My father is won’t to say you should focus on the things over which you have control. That may lead to positions or comments that suggest indifference, but it’s really about not pretending that you have more influence than you do.
I have strong opinions and can be prickly about defending them. Mainly, I don’t bend when I think I’m listening to rubbish, no matter all the flowery phrases that come with it. I’m also hard pressed to put up with what I term ‘psychobabble’. While I know that pain is in the mind, I still react when makka juk me. I’m also not very deferential. I have little tolerance for people who have positions because that comes from many things, of which ability and clear thinking are not necessarily so important.
So, that said, what am I doing in the face of certain clear problems facing Jamaica?
Drought. Rain has hone on holiday from Jamaica, and is having a great time in North America and Latin America, placing millions of gallons of water there and slashing the air with lightning bolts. I saw a Weather Service map that shows that further east means abnormally dry; go we(s)t. We see little prospect of much rain in coming months. I have no grand solution for Jamaica, which tends to go for grandness over simplicity, and delay over immediacy. So, I am collecting some of my own household waste water to at least offer some plants a lifeline. All I do is collect the kitchen sink water that we use for incidental washing of hands, crockery, and food, then pour it on plants. It’s a few gallons a day. If I could divert washing machine water, that would be wonderful, but it’s complicated and my house is rented.
Did Commissioner Ellington jump or was he pushed? He knows, the PM and National Security Minister know. Few others do. Unless you are privy to the real reasons, every view is conjecture, assumption, guesswork. You could be the greatest PM we ever had, but if you’re out of office, you are out of the loop. You know something, but not much, necessarily. Old phrases that were once used by you can well be applied to you. As for views about moral authority, save me the wry smile. Sit down, please. Stop yelling. Enjoy your retirement. Have a beer. If you supported Germany and have aspirations of being PM again, the same sentiment applies. If you really know the reasons,do share. If not, leave us to savour the heat. Guess what, a friend of mine who works at the US State Department, who, told me that the real reason was…Now, we may take exception to Minister Bunting being economical with the truth, as he was open enough to suggest, for ‘national security’ reasons. But, please, let’s not get huffy puffy about this instance of political parsimony with the truth, when it’s the norm. Remember the teeth pulling of the PM’s teeth to just learn about her official travel. Why do we expect different on really sensitive issues. We love to make noise?
Should the new Commissioner come from overseas? Why not? I see we are not interested in getting the best, if we say no without reservation. It’s not a slight on current staff. Yes, national have certain insights to local goings on, but that could be the biggest problem. You may be ‘captive’ and have dues to pay. An overseas leader may have a hard time getting cooperation. Well, one can deal with that. We do not have good enough national football coaches? Go overseas. The best in the world have done so. Look at Real Madrid, Bayern, Barcelona, Liverpool, etc. Jamaica, far from the best, did it and got to the a World Cup finals. Case rested. We had a Canadian central bank governor in the 1990s. We have very good economists and financiers. But, look at the Bank of England. They chose Canada’s central bank governor to be their current head. Some countries even tried to get Margaret Thatcher to be their leader after she left UK leadership. Be honest, we are afraid. Maybe, all our guff will be exposed for what it is. “You really carry water in a sieve?” We say that’s how we’ve always done it. Eyes roll. Sadly, our diaspora is not so well developed that we can look overseas and find a ‘middle ground’ with someone of Jamaican descent being a prime candidate. But, let’s watch the party play out.
Voices of reason are everywhere. I often despair when I read some reports in Jamaica. They exhibit so much obvious bigotry as to be really scary. Fortunately, intelligent commentary is leavening that. I do not mean to make a dichotomy between bigotry and intelligence. It’s just that, to argue past the bigoted views takes intelligence and reasoning. A sports reporter blurts out “Heil Hitler!” after Germany win the World Cup. He apologizes, soon after. His station’s reaction? Stony silence. Message. Keep quiet. The problem will pass. Jamaicans have short memories, and really are too conceited to worry about who they upset. We live exceptionalism. If international opinion condemned us loudly, we’d start to rail about moral authority. We have NONE! We are a shocking shame of a nation for the way we let our insults of others seem like the most natural thing in the world. Say a word against us, and listen to the tracing. “Your mother’s b€£*^#%e!”
A few days in another challenging little island beckon, as I head to a Christening in Barbados.