ILL ADVISED POLITICAL CONSULTANTS: Saboteurs of Jamaica’s Development?
In Jamaica, gratuitously, overly well paid, political consultants are employed to offer political advice, meritorious or not. If they were employed as expert professionals who are consultants the outcomes would likely be entirely different. But in Jamaica this unique arrangement has been sanctioned and practiced by all political stripes for decades, and so is now the fully entrenched and accepted normal conduct.
So while the entire town is painted bright orange, the political consultants abysmally flawed, political recommendations to their puppeteers describe only glowing green seas. The converse is true. When the forest is densely green, when observed through thick, discolored political lenses, only a vibrant sea of orange is falsely perceived. And misguided, gullible governments fall. Usually having failed! Unnecessarily.
The young, Honorable Prime Minister, Andrew Holness is described by some as being politically shrewd, bordering on being a wizard. In church circles his proxies are apt to describe him as daily, prominently, vividly, and eloquently demonstrating the practice of his christian faith. He is regarded by them as being a fervent student of the Bible who knows well the history of Daniel of Lions Den lore, and Joseph the quixotic famine Czar. Like them – some insist- he should not have achieved this pinnacle of political leadership, nor have bestowed on him such reigns of immense political power. And Holness fully understands these rare leaders could not, and would not then dare betray their appointments. Their unique standing demanded superior performance.
To Joseph and Daniel trying to be just a little less evil than those around them was as unappealing as it was totally reprehensible. Repaying evil with evil was anathema and so not considered an attractive option.
Regarding the Jamaica Petrojam Limited uproar Garfield Higgins seems to suggest the governing Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) should be content if their misdeeds are just a little less appalling than those committed by the now opposition Peoples National Party (PNP), when they were at the helm of government (see article in Jamaica Observer June 24, 2018 entitled “PNP on the hunt for a scandal to throw at the JLP”). And that immediate intervention by the Prime Minister (PM) when accepted norms of performance are breached is the gold standard of good governance. Principled, honest, error free behavior, should not it appears, based on Higgins reasoning, be the accepted norm. Higgins’s conclusion that governments must accept some level of improper conduct as meritorious and acceptable performance (while they are in power but not when the opposition) is flawed and false. This is especially worrisome if the improper conduct as gauged by the in power authorities is considered to be of lesser severity than the similar past, heinous deeds of the now opposition, when they formed the government.
Perpetuating political and leadership folly has prevented the country from achieving easily accomplished fiscal, educational, developmental, and other positive goals, and will continue to stymie the required, necessary nation wide developments.
Millennials and younger generations invested in Prime Minister Andrew Holness, desperately hoping he was cut from a new cloth. They believe he was willing to bury tribalism, political savagery, crass behavior, myopic leadership and the wanton politics of hopelessness. His thin, razor edge governing majority clearly reflects the doubt many in the population have about trusting any politician to provide good governance in Jamaica. Or to invest in the difficult decision making to right the gross, pervasive indiscipline and inefficiencies that have plagued the society for far too long.
Holness is walking a tight rope. He probably experiences severe post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) whenever he recounts his decision to prematurely dismiss Mike Henry during his previous short tenure as Prime Minister (See the Jamaica Gleaner Editorial “Right Decision on Mike Henry” January 12, 2012). The recognition for what he perceived to be a principled act was to be summarily booted out of power when he called the election. As he does his high wire act navigating the headache of Petrojam Limited he must have awfully terrible nightmares.
Jamaicans he has probably concluded do not care about principled governance. Cronyism, political connections, ‘one up man ship’, and deception are the preferred norms. Should he accede to his principles and relive the bitter experience of being booted out of power for appearing to do the courageous and principled thing?
Most suspect Holness will wisely ignore the advice of the now, newly apolitical, and very vociferous National Integrity Action (NIA) group, and instead cling steadfastly to the reins of power. After all, despite being a devout christian, Holness has never publicly proclaimed emulating Daniel in the den of lions, or the exemplary, innocently imprisoned Joseph.
By Guest author: Leon Wright.
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