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As a sensible Jamaican trying hard to be fair and balanced, as it is the right thing to be. It is difficult to not be jolted by some of the comments coming out of government into the public space.

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness

This past Sunday’s edition of the Jamaica Observer, reported that PM, Andrew Holness said that the government is ‘Smart on Crime,’ and, he also added that we have a liberal democracy, and the society is not one that brooks any argument about censorship.

Mr. Floyd Green, MP for S.W. St. Elizabeth, is also quoted admitting that being in government is a “learning experience.”



Now, let us take a look at these comments from above – because you may miss the “salient points,” that’s if you and the quotes attributed to the PM, and the MP are on the same level, of if you are below them.


Firstly, no government in Jamaica, JLP nor PNP. Let me say that again, no government in Jamaica – has ever been ‘smart on crime; and from above, there is nothing to prevent the utterance from being treated as an idle boast.


Smart government not only know, but it does what is required to keep its country in relative peace and security, especially government whose countries are not engaged in wars either internally, or externally. There are some simple things the PM needs to do to impact the crime situation which will enable the government to claim truthfully and convincingly that it is indeed “smart on crime.” Until then, there is a duty to fearful citizens cowering in diverse places, to avoid such puffery. The bar is set sufficiently low by his predecessors, that it shouldn’t take too long or be too costly to reach this goal.


Liberal Democracy? 

Secondly, it is hard to understand what being a “liberal democracy” has to do with adherence to law and order, and with setting the boundaries for a decent living that will redound to the benefit of all, unless being liberally democratic entails a laissez-faire approach to governance.


Though the PM was at pains to not endorse the free-for-all that presently exists, in trying to be balanced and to play to the gallery, he failed to stand up for decency that would help set the tone for a better society.
If the citizenry – especially the majority of Jamaicans – were capable of governing themselves, this would obviate the need for government and save the country a lot of money. If the citizenry were generally able to censor themselves, there would be no need for regulations to prevent their excesses from being problematic to others.


Playing politics has no role in what is decent, and this is bigger than any issue with Vybz Kartel, much bigger.

It is for this reason that the PM should have stood up for a decent, law-abiding country, where a convicted murderer and others cannot permeated the airwaves and the public spaces with lewd and lascivious music and the kind glorifying violence, mayhem, destruction and other nefarious activities, that undoubtedly lead to the further deterioration of the society.


As it relates to the allowances for convicted persons to be able to record music and have them played on radio, the PM would do well to inform himself as to what exists in truly exemplary countries; and I will point to Canada as one such good example. While the PM’s comments about educating the populace, to guard against the onslaught of less than wholesome music in the public spaces is commendable – that is a long-term goal. There are thing leading to the rot of the country that needs immediate attention and action. Smart government should not only know this, but also know what to do. We cannot afford the luxury of ‘time’ at this stage of crime and violence being at an intolerable level.


MP Floyed, “Government is Learning Experience”

Thirdly, while some amount of understanding is required to the comments made by MP, Floyd Green, it leads us to the point that the on-the-job training, which our MP’s have to go through at the expense of the country and its citizenry, forces us to an uncomfortable truth that our governments are comfortably engaged in experimenting with our lives.


None of us, with any sense, would knowingly board a plane with a pilot that was engaged in a “learning experience.” Furthermore there are many jobs that one cannot undertake with the intention to learn as you go along.

This should be no different for politicians putting themselves up to govern a country; our politicians running our county should not expect to be permanently occupied in on the job training.

 If training in this too, is required, then payments and benefits should reflect that training period.

Until next time, keeps doing what is noble and just.

Go ahead and have a discussion right here.

I am Warren Johnson


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