Recently the news had been all about the increase in the salary packages of our political leadership.
I am hearing a lot of emotion, a lot of passion. What I'm not seeing is any logical discussion or analysis on the subject.
This is how we approach most things. Lots of fire, lots of holding on principle, often at the expense of the poor, often at the expense of their blood.
So let me attempt the analysis I would have liked to have heard and read in the press and in social media.
When last did we increase the pay of the political arm of our government? I'm told in 2009.
When this increase occurs, when will another one be granted? Fourteen more years?
What is the percentage increase in the salaries paid to government workers 14 years ago vs the present. Was it increased by 200 per cent?
You see where I'm going with this. Do the math and then scream out. But we are screaming out before we analyse.
I would argue that the primary mistake made in this issue is that the increases should have occurred at the same frequency as the public sector. That way we wouldn't have this harsh backlash.
Another angle we could examine is a comparison to similar jobs in the private sector and what is the reasonable difference we expect.
So take the job of the prime minister, let us look on what the compensation package is for a similar size job such as the CEO of Seprod, Red Stripe, or Flow.
Could we assume it is reasonable that the prime minister is earning at least half of what the top CEOs are earning.
That's the type of analysis I'm expecting to hear. Not expectations that we will attract the best based on a desire to serve in isolation. That is not logical.
Quite frankly, I don't even agree that we should be using elected persons to be ministers. I would prefer we get the most qualified possible to head those ministries and pay them what the market dictates. That is logical thought. You get the best results when you utilise the most qualified.
This lack of logic is the very essence of our legal system as well.
In the United States you can introduce past convictions and conduct into a current case before the court. This makes sense, past conduct is an indication of likely conduct. But that's not allowed in our system.
The jury, or even the judge if he is the decider of the facts, can't be exposed to any aspect of his life of the accused outside of the case. So if he is a deportee, convicted killer or habitual offender that can't be disclosed.
It doesn't stop there. The whole system is skewed with these rules that are the foundation of our system constitutionally and otherwise goes against any and all logic, and treats the constitution like a Bible that cannot be altered.
Has anybody ever thought that it is a flawed document and out of touch with our current reality? The system is rife with these rules that are in contention with logical thought.
I once had a matter where a man in a shooting incident gave Indecom a statement placing himself on a scene and then ran a defence that he was not there.
This whilst both the prosecution and the defence had a copy of this statement on their file. But this statement can't be introduced in the case unless you accept that all stated in that statement makes up part of the Crown's case. I understand the rule, but why is this a rule?
Is the reason for this rule so important that this gunman should be able to run a defence that is contrary to a report he has made to an existing government body.
So it's for justice?
This doesn't seem like justice to me. I have often made public my contention that if a suspect waves his right to counsel, you still can't accept his confession, unless a lawyer is present.
It just seems like it's more about adherence to a rule book rather than the logical analysis of the offender's guilt or innocence.
Serving copies of statements in a matter on the accused person is another rule I struggle with. This was not the case before the Linton Berry murder trial. I won't argue the legal basis for it, but I can tell you it endangers the lives of witnesses and again it's not logical.
The biggest gun battle in the history of the Caribbean in at last 100 years was the badly named 'Tivoli incursion'.
It was a true demonstration of the power of organised crime. One would expect that we would pass laws that would ensure that this could never again occur.
Is that what we did? Nope. We passed the Indecom Act.
I can't understand this rationale, I can't understand this logic. You come under an attack from organised crime and you introduce an Act to police the armed forces.
You then pen the Act so the organisation doubles as an activist against police shooting and a primary investigator of police, military and penal shootings.
So what's the motive? How does this help to prevent a recurrence of a gang stand-off against the Government?
So maybe the Act was not designed to prevent a second attack or stand-off. Okay, so what legislation have you passed to ensure this does not recur.
Human suffering runs secondary to the adherence to the rule of law. This is a fact.
I once had a case where a child victim was gang raped. The offenders were held and two weeks later they were on bail.
During the entire trial I tried to explain to this child that it was "justice" that they should commit a heinous crime like they did and be free two weeks later for years.
I could go on and on. Likely our justice system will continue to be designed to deliver justice at all costs. We can't do anything about that.
What we can do, especially those in the press, is to argue and analyse with logic, not emotion or passion.
We have to be better than social media. We are to be professionals.
Let me see an analysis of salaries, comparative analysis to the private sector, and rate of increases or lack thereof over a decade. Then we can rant.
In my opinion the leaders of the country, whether prime minister or leader of the opposition, should be well paid because I want the best possible representation. I want it to be at least 75 per cent of the salary of a major CEO in the private sector.
I would like to one day see the talent I see at Seprod and GraceKennedy in charge of major ministries.
Therefore I want a logical system and approach to attract them.