Exist, reputable politicians? 2023

Corruption costs Jamaica around $100 billion a year, while the IC costs the Jamaican taxpayer $1 billion.

The IC was ironically established by our politicians, the nation’s chief legislators and the main perpetrators of corruption, against the backdrop of high public sector corruption, mostly involving politicians and other public servants.

The Bangladeshi Daily Star recently asked, “Is ‘honest politician’ an oxymoron?” Oxymorons combine contradicting terms. “Old news,” “deafening silence,” and “organized chaos” are examples. Jamaicans say “genuine counterfeit” or “pedigree mongrel”. Integrity means honesty and morality. Are any politicians like this?

“To politicians – most of whom lack an iota of personal integrity – power is control over their citizens, patriotism is servility, and democracy is absolutism,” the Daily Star writes in a stinging editorial.

Politicians are diverse. Some are from ruling parties [also Opposition parties], some from the military, some from industry and entertainment, and others from the State’s security sector.

Power is politics… They allow their cadres to pack ballot boxes or encourage their followers to vote under cover of darkness the day before the election to rig elections. Like Richard Daly, mayor of Chicago from 1955 to 1976, they may make the dead vote for them. “The voters decide nothing,” Stalin stated.

Some politicians are charming, dull, or full of hot air.

Vote counters—politicians’ henchmen—decide everything. A former governor of Louisiana, where election fraud is prevalent, said he could make voting machines sing whatever melody he wanted.

“Politicians manipulate public employees, use State funds for political campaigns, resort to terror by unleashing their ancillary groups that are thinly conceived and sometimes crudely manoeuvred, and grant extensive power to law enforcement agencies to arrest their opponents without warrant.”

Some of these infractions have been eliminated thanks to deliberate electoral reforms by the Jamaican political directorate, civil society, and the private sector, but many others remain, often under the radar.

In the meantime, the trust deficit between politicians and the people has been at an all-time low, so much so that Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) leader and prime minister Andrew Holness recently lamented that the political directorate is despised, especially by the younger generation. Politicians—including Holness—are to fault for this terrible condition of affairs.

An Act of Parliament established the IC to design, implement, and enforce anti-corruption laws, policies, and initiatives using its highly skilled employees and efficient systems, processes, and procedures. This is OK, but Jamaicans say, “Uno raise up cock chicken fi come dig out uno eye.”

From minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation with responsibility for works Everald Warmington’s war of words to muzzle the IC to Minister of Constitutional Affairs Marlene Malahoo Forte’s scurrilous attempts to name and shame and Member of Parliament Robert Montague’s accusation of bias, the onslaught against this august body has continued unabated while we watch.

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