Samuda dem a talk ’bout?

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.

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7 thoughts on “Samuda dem a talk ’bout?

  1. The gaudy,decadent and obscene forms of conspicuous consumption on the part of kleptocrats, whether in the form of hotel accommodations, limousines, etc., the feeding at and from the public trough (government coffers) knows no limits, bounds, or constraints. While comparatively, the marginalized elements from their respective constituencies live and experience a Sisyphean nightmare or punishment mired in persistent poverty and degradation.

  2. Politricks. Same crap, different party in power.

    The media houses are so afraid of being sued that they wouldn’t even dare to investigate who this govt official and his mistress are!

  3. Esteban: Based on stories with which I am familiar, the Waldorf always will remind me of Nigerian kleptocrats.

    Ana: I guess Samuda will not be making any heartfelt appeals for libel reform soon. We have an opposition that is supposed to use it’s privilege to make such an assertion in parliament though. The way our democracy is supposed to work a more expendable PNP backbencher should be making the charge in Gordon House loudly, even an oblique charge. Something cheeky.

    Something that always fascinated me, was the very deliberate narrative in the Jamaica Gleaner about Kern Spencer’s interaction with Colleen Wright in court. As described: he was very stoic and stone-faced till he saw her when he smiled and waved and mouthed something. No followup though, even when there was clearly a nugget there.

  4. Yes, indeed, I am extremely cognizant of some of the stories about Nigerian kleptocrats and their beloved Waldorf-Astoria.But, it is increasingly apparent that our homegrown kleptocrats,irrespctive of political colours–green or orange– are now seeing them (the Nigerians) as a model to emulate,with respect to their rapacious and insatiable wolfishness for conspicuous consumption at the tax-payer expense.

  5. Thank you for deciphering the news for me…I had no idea what the gossip column clues meant, though I had a strong hunch the real nuggets were hidden right there in the cocktail chatter. Now that’s what it means to go prospecting for your news…

    The society is finding it increasingly difficult, keeping up this act of being civilized, yet among other indignities having to “glean” its news from gossip columns… and in a “free press” environment too!

  6. Yes, I also thought that the relationship between kleptocrat Kern Spencer and Colleen Wright would have been explored in greater detail by the media.Indeed, I would consider this a nugget, and of course inquiring minds definitely need to know what is going on. I guess this will be fleshed out, or ,aired at a letter date, maybe during the trials.Respect star!

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