You must have clean hands

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

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Dear Editor,

If you follow some people, you would believe that corruption started two-plus years ago in Jamaica. The way how some people harp and pontificate I can't help but pinch myself to see if I am living in an alternate universe. It can't be Jamaica; it must be the Isle of Make Believe, where unicorns, elves and fairies live.

Who remembers when Peter Phillips, the now Opposition leader, said that in Jamaica the man 2ho plays by the rules gets shafted? At the time of saying that the only person who raised an alarm was the great Wilmot “Motty” Perkins. I distinctly remember him repeating that phrase as the years went by. Everybody then was as quiet as a church mouse. Nobody cared then. But all of a sudden, this idea of corruption is floating around as if it is a new creation.

The problem with most of the Sauls pontificating as Pauls these days is that they lack the credibility to mount a morally strong argument about corruption, whether perceived or real. Even agencies that have been set up to fight corruption, their leaders don't have clean hands, so to speak. Their antecedents are rooted in many of the corrupt practices of the past that have helped to entrench corruption in Jamaica.

The Opposition People's National Party (PNP) has no moral authority to even dream about criticising anybody about being corrupt. You need 10 Bedouin tribesmen's scrolls to list half of the corruption that went on under their rule. It's laughable that PNP members are the ones now talking about corruption.

And I know many will say, well, because one side is corrupt then the other must be let off? That's rubbish! It isn't about letting off anyone, but you can't be the most corrupt party in Latin America and the Caribbean, and then, because of political expediency, you are all of a sudden reformed and the voice of God on matters of corruption.

And, to top it off, some of the very same acts that they are talking about, and having a national broadcast about, were perpetrated under their watch, and the persons responsible are still sitting in the shadow Cabinet! That's what Christians call presumptuous sin.

To really be taken seriously on corruption matters one's hands have to be clean. And it must be demonstrably so, too. If a person or entity that has been as corrupt and barefaced with it as the PNP and its cronies in media and academia wants to be taken seriously, then a process of cleansing and redemption is necessary. And the first act of cleansing and redemption starts with acknowledging and accepting that you have been corrupt and apologising for it.

Don't hold your breath, because you will die of suffocation, as it will never come.

One of the reasons Jamaicans are so distrustful of the political process, and the utterances of so-called civil society — which in many cases are groups of political hacks parading as angels in long frocks — is the rampant and rabid hypocrisy that they wallow in daily. Jamaicans are not stupid. They know when certain people speak that it's the voice of Jacob, but the hands of Esau; they can't be trusted.

Unless we rid ourselves of those people, then the words of Jesus, “He who is without sin cast the first stone,” will continue to cripple discourse and hamper the fight to stem corruption in this country.

You can't be a damn crook and pontificate about honesty.

Fabian Lewis

tyronelewis272@gmail.com


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