Politics and Friends, Political Deception and Lies

We have been living in this country for too long under a BIG lie.

The entire society is organised within a web of deception and we continue to fool ourselves and expect better.

Our country is run through a system controlled by politics and friends. The morals that are attached to our system of government have long been abandoned and quite frankly, are being exploited to the detriment of the country. We have mastered the art of deception, thus rendering the system useless. The deception starts from the very top of our leadership ladder with the Governor General. The GG is appointed by the queen on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, in other words, the Prime Minister chooses the GG. Ironically, it is the same GG that appoints the Prime Minister or better yet, bubberstamp the party leader to become Prime Minister.

So the head of state and the head of government are friends. The head of government  is not chosen by the people but by a political party at a political conference. Elections are held only to ratify which of the two party leaders head the government and who the power brokers want in power.

  

That party leader is the one who chooses those persons who will make up the executive branch of government, which is the cabinet and then form the Government of Jamaica. In fact, there is no Government of Jamaica, there is the Peoples National Party government and there is the Jamaica Labour Party  government. If there was a Government of Jamaica, the cabinet would have been chosen from members of both sides of parliament.

JP and PNP supporters - Image Source: jamaicaobserver.com
JLP and PNP supporters – Image Source: jamaicaobserver.com

There is no law that says the cabinet has to consist of members of the winning party only. The PNP and JLP governments report to party headquarters and conference, not to the Jamaican people. These two political parties have divided the country in every single area of leadership and management, thus ensuring that there can be no third party. It’s the exclusive club of two. They seek employment for their supporters and marginalise the rest of the population.

The government always tells the people that there is no money in the country and people need to tighten their belts, do more and expect less. That is another lie. There is money here but it is for politics and friends. Look how the politicians live and tell me the sacrifices they are making. The government has no money but it could find over $300M to pay some friends for the Tivoli enquiry. The best lawyers are representing the state and its friends while the people who felt the pain at the hands of the state, get little representation. The FINSAC enquiry needs less than $15M to complete its report and the government said it has no money but yet it could find over $300M for the Tivoli one. The NHT could spend $180M to bailout a loss making entity but there are working class Jamaicans who will pay rent until they die, never to own a home.

There is a reason why they say scandals in Jamaica are a nine day wonder. It is so because there is always another scandal waiting to replace the current one. Our system is so politically corrupt that I am very confident that there are numerous scandals yet to be uncovered.
The state provides for politics and friends. Government- run agencies and boards are run and controlled by political friends. People are appointed not because of qualifications or expertise, but strictly politics. Sadly even our educational institutions are affected because school boards are appointed by politicians. I challenge anyone that if an audit is done on every government- run body or institution today, more than 80% will reveal adverse findings ranging from outright corruption to failure to adhere to public policies. The most recent example is NSWMA. Could you imagine the day would come when a Prime Minister would tell the nation that there is no need to sack the head of the agency because she did not light the fire by Riverton and she was not there? Can you imagine that the head is actually the head of the PNP  Womens Movement? Let’s go a bit further, can you believe that political activists marched to the offices of the NSWMA protesting the boss’s dismissal by the board?

Wake up Jamaica, we are having a serious systemic problem, not one of personnel only. One should also note that the former boss of the said agency was a JLP representative appointed by the JLP government so it suits both sides. If  government  can’t manage a dump after so many years then how do we expect it to manage its people? The standard for governance has been reset and unfolding in front of our very eyes. We continuously ask for people to be sacked but we never ask for the system to change.
The people have no one to represent them. The government ensures that they befriend all those who could oppose them and defend the people, and in so doing, take away their teeth. The church prays with the government every year after having breakfast. That’s what friends do. The private sector looks out for their main interest, which is usually to make more money while poor people suffer, and hold press conferences to appear relevant when there is public outcry. That’s a friends club. The  other civic groups and coalitions make up the partnership for transformation with the government. Partnership means they are friends. The unions who are supposed to defend workers are not only friends but family of the government. Both political parties were formed from unions. They will not go against their family member the political party. The unions sold out public sector workers by signing MOUs with the government to ensure that they do not receive any increase in salary despite the cost of living increasing every year. They fooled  their very workers by colluding with government to say they have no money for increases.

With the stroke of a pen they signed away the workers’ rights. How many union leaders are not political? Those in the private sector continue to enjoy increased profits while those at the bottom continue to be milked through taxes. Every year the finance minister says there will be no new taxes and by the budget is read there are taxes. Why do we continue to believe and be fooled? The middle class will no longer exist in a few years. Their salaries are frozen and they feel the brunt of the taxes each year. The system is dying and is sucking us the people for its survival until we all die.

Politics and friends have taken over fully. One junior government minister said that Jamaicans should migrate in search of better opportunities. He came under fire for saying what over 50% of young Jamaicans confirmed in a poll. My belief is that it is more like 80%. The opposition, as part of its solution suggested that the government seek overseas employment for Jamaicans. Isn’t that the same thing? That’s where the system and its deception has brought us. It is like a wrong formula, plug any number in it and the answer is going to be wrong.
No prominent member of society will ever get convicted in the court of law. The legal system is part of the politics and friends group.

  

We saw a policeman get caught on camera murdering a youth in cold blood yet he got off the case because of lack of evidence while Kartel is serving time for a murder where there is not one piece of evidence to even prove the person is dead. The state prosecutes who it feels like prosecuting, obviously not friends.
We are divided in this country not by religion or colour but by politics. We must be amongst the most politically divisive nation on earth yet we conveniently boast about how healthy our democracy is. We continue to fool  ourselves into believing that we have free, fair and stable elections. Lie! That’s a smokescreen. Elections are always bought and that is why parties do not want to disclose their source of funding or an accurate budget. It suits both sides to keep it a secret. Our democracy is broken and needs fixing. We will never have a fixed election date simply because it doesn’t suit this corrupt system. Politics and friends must decide who gets power and when. Less than 20% of people who vote actually do it without being paid, or at the very least, promised payment in cash or kind. That number will continue to reduce over time. Politicians have been campaigning on road, light and water since 1944 and up to this day, people vote on no other issue.
Each time it draws close to an election roads start to get fixed and people start to get seasonal jobs just to fool them and get there vote cheap. It’s a formula that works all the time. Why when I make one vote it goes for two persons? Why can’t I vote for my Prime Minister separate from my Member of Parliament? Why when I vote for my MP to represent me and my constituency, the PM who I didn’t even vote for, chooses to give him cabinet appointment and take him away from my constituency without my consent? Why when my MP was campaigning he didn’t tell me that he wanted to become finance minister as well?

We all know these lies and deceptions but we are not brave enough to point them out. The church, union, media and capital know all of this but it suits them to be quiet. The country is not broke but the system is broken. We need to change this system that was designed for politics and friends and we need to reveal the truth. It is full time the people realise that we have no leadership, no one to represent us, and very soon, we will have to represent ourselves.

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Esteban Agosto Reid
7 years ago

Interesting read. Jamaica is desperately crying out for major constitutional reforms. If not a total re-write and even there we may mess it up. At the heart of most of the problems that you have enumerated is the burning and vexing questions of constitutional reforms. In many instances, our constitution is no longer applicable to the extant realities of Jamaica.

Dewey Reid
7 years ago

what we mst tell the people that demon cracy is selective.people should be like me,protest,by not voting.i never vote for their s…tsystem.yes,i know a lot of you so called intellect will say i am a par of the problem,by not voting,but i can’t vote for something i don’t support

Esteban Agosto Reid
7 years ago

Why is it that the WESTMINSTER MODEL of government works relatively well in other polities such as Barbados, Bahamas, Trinidad, Australia, New Zealand and Canada to mention a few places, but is extremely problematic in a polity such as Jamaica? Is the model the problem ? Or, is it the political culture that we have developed over the years?

Juliet Powell
7 years ago

Great read! The only thing I disagree with is that I think we are still divided by colour, religion and politics. And while we are at it throw in class as well. People overlook any atrocity once you have money.

Esteban Agosto Reid
7 years ago

With respect to scandals, we have become a full blown corruptocracy with no real accountability.

Cyrus Rousseau
7 years ago

I have been crying out for constitutional reform ,from I was a high school student;but to no avail. I have been ostracized by the political and business sectors of the social order , because I could not be bought. TIME COME JAH BLESS ONE LOVE. JUDGEMENT ON THE CORRUPT SYSTEMS.

Melisa Gayle
7 years ago

ll written i think its time Jamaica people weak up and stop being fools for these politician give me Ll

Josh Robb
7 years ago

Great piece of writing and yes we do need a change. This is a serious problem and we won’t get anywhere unless we get a total revamp of the political engine

Morfia Edwards
7 years ago

The article hit the nail on the head. The writer is a JAMAICAN and NOT labourite or pnp. Everytime I hear a politician my stomach sick I feel like throwing up.

Sefton Stobbs
7 years ago

Interesting read

Jacqueline Samms-Sherbin

Very interesting indeed….I hope the people rise up and demand better

Oduwa Khumalo-Amen
7 years ago

You’re absolutely right, i came to the same conclusion the only solution is a people revolution and constitutional reform. Our political culture is designed for the oligarchy and the church is used to keep the people ignorant by teaching them that only devine intervention can save us. Excellent article i am going to share it.

Ryan Russell
7 years ago

I like the comments!

Jennifer Campbell
7 years ago

I have always said that they are all friends. They put up a front
so the people think they’re different but cross the aisle behind closed doors when they are sharing the loot.

Daniel Morgan
7 years ago

gjj

Daniel Morgan
7 years ago

I totally agree with this post. I always wondered the same thing. I can also add to that. We live in two Jamaicas. Let me hive you some examples. Why is it that the government say that they are serious about crime and want to reduce the numbers. However, when you call 119 it takes at least half an hour and about twenty tries to get through? I dare anyone who has areal emergency to try it?Yet we say we are serious bout crime..please!! But you will see police cars always patrolling uptown areas at any time of the day.… Read more »

Daniel Morgan
7 years ago

I totally agree with this post. I always wondered the same thing. I can also add to that. We live in two Jamaicas. Let me hive you some examples. Why is it that the government say that they are serious about crime and want to reduce the numbers. However, when you call 119 it takes at least half an hour and about twenty tries to get through? I dare anyone who has areal emergency to try it?Yet we say we are serious bout crime..please!! But you will see police cars always patrolling uptown areas at any time of the day.… Read more »

Desreine Taylor
7 years ago

This is an interesting and thoughtful read. But I have to ask if you ever did a civics course to understand different forms of governments e.g. At the question why when I vote for an MP is also appointed a minister. Countries are governed by constitutions and this is a part of our constitution as to how ministers and senators are appointed. The prime minister is only the chief among the ministers of the cabinet. I believe our problem with governance is not ministers being MPs but rather a lack of STRONG local government. Any well run country has strong… Read more »

Desreine Taylor
7 years ago

This is an interesting and thoughtful read. But I have to ask if you ever did a civics course to understand different forms of governments e.g. At the question why when I vote for an MP he is also appointed a minister. Countries are governed by constitutions and this is a part of our constitution as to how ministers and senators are appointed. The prime minister is only the chief among the ministers of the cabinet. I believe our problem with governance is not ministers being MPs but rather a lack of STRONG local government. Any well run country has… Read more »