A case of selective outrage?
Governance in our country is at an all-time low, especially with the almost daily revelations of allegations of illegality by those who swore to defend the constitution of Jamaica in the execution of the duties they have been appointed/chosen to serve.
Continuous revelations have shown that the current Government needs a reality check. Once allegations of irregularities are made, their method of operation usually follows this pattern: deny, accuse the fact finders, defend each other in the Parliament, make loud noise about past misdeeds of their opponents, claim the allegations are only speculation/unproven and are decades old.
The resignation of the speaker of the House was inevitable. The only other needed action now is for the six Members of Parliament who are allegedly under investigation to be revealed.
What I find most disappointing is that so-called practitioners of the fourth estate in democratic countries, the press, and other civil society groups, along with certain members of the privileged class are selective in their outrage. Members of the Government have been calling for the dismantling of the Integrity Commission (IC), yet civil society seems muted.
A shooting was reported at a media house, Nationwide News Network, after it was accused of being sympathetic to the Jamaica Labour Party and we have not heard the source of the shooting. A similar occurrence happened this week, as a member of the IC was shot. The police were quick to label it a robbery. One of the IC leaders, Greg Christie, was asked about the shooting and responded, “Ask the Government.” His response has now become a reason for the echo chambers to call for his resignation.
So one can conclude, from this type of selective outrage, that these practitioners of the fourth estate and civil society in Jamaica are clearly biased. I say this from a conversation I had several years ago at a gathering in New Jersey at which a senior writer for one of the major newspapers and I had a conversation about why Jamaica does not carry out investigative journalism. I was told that it is done but because of the incestuous relationships with board members and journalists most, if not all, stories are squashed.
Could the Press Association of Jamaica update the public on its position regarding the allegations that six Members of Parliament are under investigation for illicit enrichment? Is this a nine-day wonder?
Where were your collective voices when the Government used its majority to extend the Director of Public Prosecutions’ term? Where is your outrage about the Stocks and Securities Limited scandal and how it is being handled by the Ministry of Finance?
Until the press/journalists in Jamaica can shake their desire to “eat a food”, be invited to cocktail parties, and have proximity to power, respect for most of them will remain at rock bottom.
Patrick A Beckford