I have been watching with interest as Mark Wignall has been moving from his role prior to the election (indeed for a few years), when he was an unabashed cheerleader for the prospect of a Bruce Golding-led Government of Jamaica. I was hopeful for the change in government as well, but I have been sorely disappointed in Bruce Golding as Prime Minister to date as well. Since I have been getting my news from the Thursday Talk gossip column in the Jamaica Gleaner, I quickly learned to expect the status quo to be maintained by this new set of kleptomaniacs.Take for example an item in the Thursday Talk gossip column, that discussed a JLP official who traveled to New York on official government business, first-class with his mistress, and checked into the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. It would be inappropriate for me to speculate that this individual is Karl Samuda, even though Mr. Samuda was in New York at around the same time period covered by the gossip item for the Caricom Conference on Investment (to which Caricom citizens were not generally invited). So since it would be inappropriate, I absolutely will not engage in such speculation. It was an interesting item though.
When the chief got mad!
The story on everyone’s lips last weekend was the one that the chief had to ‘recall’ one of his very own from the Big Apple when news reached him that the person had flown first class to New York, ostensibly on Government business, with his mistress in tow. The story is that they had both checked in to the prestigious Waldorf Astoria hotel, and were living high on the hog, at taxpayers’ expense. Sources close to the scenario say the chief is livid and the offending party was told to return to Kingston on the next available flight.
Source: Thursday Talk, Jamaica Gleaner, June 26, 2008
In the United States, the press corps would salivate for a scandal of that magnitude. It would be wall-to-wall coverage for at least two weeks as the guilty official would be forced to resign and the government would be forced to defend the judgment of the Prime Minister for having had this individual be a member of government to begin with. Hence the reason I strive to not make comparative analyses here, and instead rely on unchanging and objective standards of journalism. My Jamaica is not the United States, and my America is not Jamaica, so it was no surprise that instead of being given front page coverage in Jamaica, instead this issue is a small item in a gossip column.
I say all of this to note that the ideas the PSOJ floated today in the Jamaica Gleaner should be evaluated from a Jamaican perspective. The idea that everything that works in America is viable or even good for Jamaica is a laughable concept. Until purveyors of this idea begin to advocate gay marriage in Jamaica; (hey, America and Canada have it) they really need escape the Euro-centric and neo-colonial mindset that someone else has all the answers for us. So the promise is no more posts until I propose my own solutions – from a Jamaican perspective for a Jamaican application.