Jamaica’s forthcoming election, a tragi-comedy unfolding

Sometime during the night of January 31, aliens landed in Jamaica and sucked out the brains of a significant body of people. I’ve always had my doubts about politicians, but the only rational explanation I can find for what has unfolded in the past two weeks is this alien attack.

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 1.28.45 PM.png
The Jamaican political class has been overtaken by aliens

If that is not the case, then why is it that a sort of collective madness seems to have descended on so many politicians–at least those who are close to the leadership, or have the privilege of a microphone or TV camera in their face?

The brouhaha over the house of the Opposition leader has turned into one of those endless quiz games, where each answer leads to another question, and the repetition of an answer is used to disqualify the contestant. You may not know the BBC program, Just a minute, where contestants must talk for a minute, without repetition, hesitation or deviation. Well, tonight’s topic is “How did Mr. Holness get that house? Begin…” 

It’s really talking for the sake of talking.

Married men may be familiar with this situation, which is often known as “Your wife is always right”. You know, the question comes: “Darling, does this dress suit me?” You say, yes, then the follow up is, “Well, I don’t like it! Why do you like it? You always go against me!”  The man, previously emersed in a long overtime game between The Lakers and The Bulls, is spitting out his pretzels and spilling his beer, wondering how he got here. “It’s like mother said: ‘He’ll just try to bring you down.’ I don’t know why I married you!”

Well, whatever the aliens are up to, I’m scared. Any minute now, I fear that a light beam will descend and suck me up to take me far away to a land where my brain may be useless–the United States? Mwaah!

Honestly, though! I can think of good reasons to pose some questions of any politician and how he or she obtained certain assets or afforded certain spending. That’s just prudent ethics. No big deal. But, this house thing is getting a little out of hand. No? I was forced to wonder if we’re in a reality show that no one knows about, and will be aired on February 26, with the whole world chuckling themselves silly as “Jamaicans go to the Polls”. You know, like those prank shows where people are trying to shower and shampoo is constantly dribbled on their heads so the soap never goes away. Jamaica is being ‘shampooed’. We keep trying to rinse, but it’s no use. 

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 1.55.41 PM
Mr. Plunkett? Mr. Holness?

Yesterday, PNP said it was satisfied with the answers about Mr. Holness’ house, and its General Secretary said they are moving on to “focus on the Manifesto”. Today, manifestly, they have had a change of mind. It has become, paraphrasing Richard III: “A *house*, a *house*! My kingdom for a *house*! What next? Well, joking aside, the latest questions seek to know if the financing was with collateralization (secured, or unsecured loans). Well, collateral damage now takes on new meaning!

Some people see the hand of God in all things. I suspect that, for sure, some outside force is working on the minds and hands of many in this process. People talked about “waiting to be touched”. That all sounds too spooky and outerworldy for my liking. Looking back to all those references to “divine intervention”, I now wonder if we are all being pawns in some sinister take-over. Will putting my cross in a box and getting ink on my finger change what is ahead for us? Do I need to worry about Zika? I see the world crumbling. Should I be panicking?

Author: Dennis G Jones (aka 'The Grasshopper')

Retired International Monetary Fund economist. My blog is for organizing my ideas and thoughts about a range of topics. I was born in Jamaica, but spent 30 years being educated, living, and working in the UK. I lived in the USA for two decades, and worked and travelled abroad, extensively, throughout my careers and for pleasure. My views have a wide international perspective. Father of 3 girls. Also, married to an economist. :)