When Wrong Mek Right: Only in Jamaica

CaribZone Commentary: Aubrey Campbell – Monday, December 7th

Ladies, gentlemen, friends. I bring you greetings and glad tidings of the silly season, what with a mere 18 days left before the big birthday celebration and all the feasting and festivities!

However you wish to celebrate, the message from us here ‘in the zone’ is to do it, responsibly!

And having said that, today’s conversation straddles two recent developments, at home and abroad.

A fortnight ago, Fenton Ferguson, the former health minister and MP (East St. Thomas), told reporters outside the parliament building that he felt hurt and demonized, in the aftermath of being relieved of his portfolio responsibility for the nation’s health and wellbeing.

I’m not so sure why the goodly doctor would feel that way, unless the labor ministry does not come with the same level of perks and pension.

To tell you the truth, it happens in sports, big time but not so much in politics, where, you are fired from one ministerial post and in less than 24 hours later, you are placed, er handed a post of similar or higher value!

This time, ‘only in Jamaica!’ Seriously?

I find even more telling, the PM’s summation regarding her decision to ‘can’ the minister, saying that after careful consideration and despite the significant work done under his (Ferguson’s) watch, the deaths of 19 premature babies in two public hospitals during bacterial outbreaks, has served to overshadow his accomplishments.

To be clear, the PM’s decision has nothing to do with the impending general elections.

Which brings me to this point. Who says the Most Honourable PM does not listen to the news and read the newspapers?

Only in Jamaica, silly!

Think of it this way. You mess up, BIG TIME, in Jamaica, and you are rewarded for your incompetence. And what do I call that, the science of Jamaica’s politics.

But here is the kicker, er stinker of the week. A prominent, 61 years old Jamaican woman, socialite, if you will, is sentenced in a Florida court, to six and a half years in prison, and of the 84 readers who responded to the story carried in one of the island’s dailies, majority were unapologetic!

Most thought that she got what was coming to her since she plead guilty to wire fraud in October.

Background to the story is that as a CPA, she robbed her clients including family members and the federal government, by falsifying their tax returns. How she did it. The client is told that ‘x’ will be their refund. She then alters that document to show ‘x + some’ as the final refund amount submitted to the IRS.

During the course of her scheming and scamming, she was assessed to have bilked ‘Uncle Sam’ in the amount of $3.68 million. As the story goes, here South Florida parties were the talk of the town and county, with no shortage of ‘A-listers’.

As one ‘voicer’ said, if she was in Jamaica, she would have been made a junior minister in the ministry of finance. I kid you not!

So, is that an indictment on the state of affairs ‘on the rock’ by ‘Diasporean’ Jamaicans? I don’t’ think so, neither is it far-fetched.

One ‘voicer’ went as far as to say that if such a crime was committed in Jamaica, the guilty party would have gotten off, scotch free.

“Had this crime been committed in Jamaica, her political contacts would have perverted justice. Cronyism and Corruption will be the death of our Island Nation unless we restore/instill integrity in Governance.”

How about this response from another disgusted, corruption-intolerant ‘Disporean’

“True. ‘Political contacts’ is right. Evidence would be missing, or judge would have some long-term illness, or case would expose national security secrets. But, some explanation would be found. Yu tink wi easy?”

Or, this bit… “stealing from the (federal) government. …and expect a tap on the wrist. missis afta a nuh Jamaica yuh deh??? Uncle Sam will lock you down..and has!!!”
This one provided a bit of comic relief. “If the law is enforced in Jamaica, then we would have to accept the prison from (British PM) David Cameron because we would need space to house politicians and thousands of other public and private citizens.”


If you are going to be rewarded for messing up, what is the point? So, to say that you have been ‘demonized’ from Chik V up til now, I don’t get it. And if shuffling you from health to labour, without any loss of perks and pension is ‘demonizing’ then what of the families who must now contend with the indelible scars left by those ‘premies’? Are those not demons?

A tief is a tief. Incompetence is just that! Or, as Desederata reminds us…’go placidly amid the noise and haste and remember what peace there may be in silence..”

Only in Jamaica, not in America!

That’s today’s conversation. You have the last word. Share your thoughts.


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