Anyone with a shred of decency, honesty, and fairness must be offended at Andrew Holness’s disgusting behavior as a guest of the Police at their retreat in Ocho Rios days ago.
Or better yet, maybe I should say that in another country that kind of behavior would have been met with a solid wall of condemnation and significant consequences to boot.
Unfortunately, Jamaica is not that kind of country, it is a country with a political class which is largely a bunch of criminals, a cheerleading media which also hates the police, a pseudo-intellectual class with its collective head so far up its own pretentious ass to be of use to the country, and an otherwise vastly illiterate masses.
To begin with, when you are an invited guest in another man’s house you act magnanimously to your host. It does not mean that you necessarily agree with everything that that person ever did or say, but it means that for that brief moment that you are an invited guest you show that man some damn respect. If you do not have it in you to have some class, stay away.
But what Andrew Holness did was even more classless, because while he was disrespecting the poor feckless police representatives at their own retreat, two police officers had just been shot a mere two days earlier and narrowly escaped death at the hands of the marauding thugs Andrew Holness wants the police to be deferential to.
And so even though Holness is within his rights to hate the Police, as a product of his unfortunate and blighted environment, it was highly inappropriate that he would continue to berate and disrespect the hard-working men and women of the police department who foolishly invited him to address them.
Sure some criminals have seeped into the police force, that is regrettable. Some have also seeped into the Parliament and into Jamaica House as well, and that is vastly more consequential.
I did not hear Holness berate Andrew Wheatley who was forced to resign over the Pertojam scandal. After all the Petrojam scandal has been a scandal of epic proportion which has cost the Jamaican people untold billions of dollars in lost revenue.
I did not hear Holness berate Ruel Reid over his scandal, lavish spending and reportedly alleged corrupt practices as Minister of Education.
I did not hear Holness Criticize Carl Samuda who was allegedly forced to repay the Jamaican people for the workers who were reportedly working on his farm on tax-payers dime.
Should I go on or have I made my point about the rampant corruption which has characterized the Holness Administration?
Because we can go on and detail point by point the incidences of corruption in this three-year Government.
The Prime Minister, as Minister of Defense, is well within his right to be critical of police corruption, as long as he is equally adamant and vociferousness about corruption across the board beginning with his own administration.
He is well allowed to lash out against Police associations with underworld figures, as long as he also looks behind him and in front of his seat in Gordon House at the well-dressed crooks parading as men of character.
What we have in this Prime Minister, is a man who is a product of and a mindset which was derived from the past, steeped in ignorance of what modern day police ought to look like to protect the people and the stubbornness and lack of humility to acknowledge that he doesn’t know what he is talking about.
In the end, Andrew Holness is a product of the garrison politics our country must eschew, he is a Socialist, schooled and educated in far left ideological thinking parading as a conservative Prime Minister.
He understands nothing about what the rule of law means fundamentally to the wellbeing and development of a people. His subsequent fixation with abusing and demonizing the police are bound to cause more harm than it will end the unmitigated bloodshed in our country.
And now it pains me to see that the Party of Bustamante and Hugh Lawson Shearer, has become the anti-police party. It is no surprise that as Edward Seaga the last leader who believed in the rule of law (somewhat), has passed, the Labor party my grandparents supported, have become the party of Bruce Golding and Andrew Holness, elitist frauds who hate the police.
Make no mistake about it when Andrew Holness stood in front of delegates of the Police Federation and the entire nation and talks about creating a police force for good, he is saying that the police which existed before was and have always been a force for evil.
That has been his argument all along. His disrespect and hatred of the police come directly from a dark place within his inner sanctum, as the Member of Parliament of one of the most entrenched garrisons on the Island.
The many police officers who paid the ultimate price in service to their country do not deserve a weak punk of a politician spitting on their grave in disrespect.
What has Andrew Holness sacrificed for Jamaica?
My squad-mate arrived for Police training with his Bible. He was the most innocent, gracious and God-fearing guy imaginable. He always had a smile on his face.
After graduation Seiveright took that same congeniality, civility, and Christianity to the streets. As a patrolman stationed at the Motorized Patrol, one night he approached a suspicious taxi-cab his driver pulled over on the Ferry main road.
Courteous as always, Seiverright approached the cab with the same degree of naivete’, which Andrew Holness, his minister of national security, and his [non-police] commissioner have toward actual policing.
Before Seiveright could greet the occupants of the cab, he was greeted with a bellyful of 9mm bullets, he had no ballistic vest.
At the time we had no ballistic vests.
When I was shot in 88 ballistic vests wasn’t a consideration, we simply did not have any.
Constable Seiveright was not a part of any force for evil, he was not an evil man. I was not a part of any force for evil, every day that I put on my uniform and strapped on my utility belt, or buttoned up my shirt and laced up my shoes, as an investigator, I stepped out to help people, and make a safer country for each and every law-abiding Jamaican.
The very idea of a tagline which now speaks about “a force for good,” is a disgrace and a disrespectful affront to the tens of thousands of officers who gave of themselves to their country throughout the 151 years of the JCF ‘s history. Despite the Yeomans sacrifice the police has given to nation building the Jamaica Labor Party and this Prime Minister has demonstrated that he has zero regards or respect for that service and sacrifice.
Which brings me to thinking about those officers putting their lives on the line to protect him.
This behavior is not about party politics. This is about an elitist Prime Minister, from a party which has had problems in the past with perceptions of elitism.
But this transcends the elitism which normally characterizes the JLP and has kept the party out of Jamaica house for almost two decades, because the average man did not believe their goals and aspirations were represented in the party.
It is about a Politician who is blatantly ignorant about a subject and has, in an overbearing way, injected himself into the mechanics of policing and policing policies without the commensurate knowledge, or the sense to know that he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.
In addition to that, he fundamentally believes that the police are so backward and stupid that despite their many years of experience and education a suitable commissioner of police could not have come from the gazetted ranks of the force.
And to remedy that, he appoints a sycophant who has zero law-enforcement experience to run a 12,000 man police force in one of the most volatile Islands in the Caribbean and one of the more crime-ridden places on planet earth.
Not to mention the fact that this military General is the former head of a 3’000 man defense force.
Now insofar as that is concerned, I have no sympathy for the police brass. Many of them have been pretty much lapdogs for the likes of Holness, crabs in a barrel, news carrying, pathetic excuses for leaders, so they deserve the slap in the face. It is the hard-working rank-and-file that I care about.
This requires no cliche, but make no mistake about it, messing with the Mobile Reserve and turning the JCF into a courtesy corps instead of a force, competent and able to deal with the challenges and emerging threats of the 21st century, will have sustained and significant challenges and consequences for Jamaica.
INDECOM was the brainchild of Bruce Golding, Andrew Holness’ mentor.
That has not worked so well for Jamaica, but there is far too much pretense and denial within the Jamaican intellectual space to walk that back. On this issue, the idea of an intellectual space is [oxymoronic].
Sure the police aren’t shooting the criminals as they are used to doing, so the criminals are shooting more innocent people than they were used to doing.
But INDECOM, the Albatros, will be around the collective necks of Jamaicans, and the killers will continue to find solace in the fact that the police have no incentive to come after them.
In the meantime, the government will continue to blow smoke up the nation’s ass, about the effectiveness of INDECOM without ever mentioning the fact that the end does not justify the means. Fewer bad guys are getting shot as more good guys are being murdered.
This is the twilight zone that Jamaica has become.
Mike Beckles is a former Jamaican police corporal, business owner, avid researcher, and blogger. He is also a black achiever honoree, and publisher of the blog chatt-a-box.com. You may subscribe to his blogs free of charge.