An “un-jolly” old and Unjust Jamaican Saint Nicholas
Oh! Oh! Oh! It’s the season to be Jolly in Jamaica again we love the ho -ha of a good Jamaican Christmas we are a people religiously and materially punched drunk on a good old Christmas. By now the Portia Simpson -Miller led Government officials are unwrapping their 60 Million Jamaican dollars worth of high end SUV (JEEP).Jamaica’s idea of a Globalised Christmas is a woman dressed in a Brazilian wig, cheap false nails from Singapore, a tight cheap shiny dress from China, discounted underwear from Victoria secret in the USA, a fake Gucci handbag from Hong Kong and a replicated Dolce & Gabbana slipper while dancing to misogynist background music- courtesy of “Vibes Cartel”. Her spoof male counterpart is a man with his face bleached out by cheap Indian bleaching cream, studded gold earring bought in Panama, string vest from Thailand a tight pair of jeans from new York and a pair of Clark’s extorted from his family in London-dancing to” Boom By Bye in a Batty Boy head”.
I am self-disgusted to churn out this aggressive generalisation of my beloved country as most of us a humble, loving and decent people who are broadminded and generally modest. But running concurrently to our better selves is the dark side of our cultural equation bedevilled by debt riddled and morally bankrupt society where politicians run “amuck”.According to the debt Management Unit of the Ministry of Finance Jamaica has racked up $81.9billion of additional debt during the period January to September 2012. The nation ended 2011 with debt in excess of $1.63Trillion at the end of September 2012, calculations estimate the nation’s debt has grown this year by about five per cent to $1.71Trillion. Jamaica has added debt at the rate of $299million per day or $12.5million per hour or $207,000 per minute or finally, almost $3,461 per second.
So while we shake our tambourines and sing Christmas songs to the backdrop of thieving oily mouthed rapture hungry evangelist waiting to steal our Christmas Sunday collection drop, just remember that our debt to GDP ratio is running at a whopping estimated 135%. And a new IMF deal is yet to see the light of day. Oh! By the way don’t forget to remind Dr Pieter Phillip about the Recommendations of the 2004 Matalan Report that has hovered over the head of four Jamaican prime minister that called for a reform of the tax system, a trimming of public sector wages and pension reform. So I would like to send a Message to Dr Peter Phillips our very clever Finance Minister via an entrenched “champagne Socialist”.
Please tell him that he only growth this bad Santa has seen from my birth in Jamaica in the past 49years- is the increase of politician’s wages, their waist sizes, wallets and their walk-away retirement packages. And while conveying my message to Dr Phillips- if he is on speaking terms With Mama Portia-tell him to convey my regards to her for looking so young and stunning. The Brazilian wig that she bought in Miami on her recent shopping trip epitomises the incredulity of the spectre of globalisation it looks real to her poor constituents but it’s still fake like Usain Bolt’s American accent. Even I Santa could not get such a good deal from Brazil although I buy my presents at the pound shop in bulk.
Dear Mr Politician you might believe that this Un -Jolly Old St Nicholas has an axe to grind because I have ran off to greener pastors in the UK and is ungrateful for bad mouthing Jamaica but this broke arse Santa became fed up because I wanted a better life for my Children. I wanted my children- like the thieving politicians and corrupt business men in Jamaica- to escape the poverty trap and attend Ivy League Universities similar to the ones that your children attend. So I created my own version of equal opportunity by migrating with them to the United Kingdom.
It’s cold as hell up North and I miss the Sunshine but I can’t afford to return to live because of the murder rate as I know full well that I might get gunned down and robbed in my slay by those little shooters that you have created because of your corruption graft and mismanagement of the Jamaican economy. You can’t exactly regard me as ungrateful as I help my relatives and friends with remittances with my slay full of Christmas barrels. By the Way, I am coming to The Jamaica Jazz and Blues festival and me and my family will be staying in an undisclosed all inclusive own by a rich Jamaican. My only hope is that he pays his fair share of tax and is not benefiting from the waivers that the Matalan report omitted to mention.
To my fellow Jamaicans it may seem as if voting in and out the two major political parties has been a fool’s errand since independence in 1962.Together with the frequent hurricanes since 1988 they have made our lives a living hell at the root of our economic crisis lies a moral crisis that has nothing to do with god or the devil. It’s a long time we haven’t had a debt free Christmas. Our challenges lies not so much in our ability to be creative people but by our failure to demand a moral /ethical leadership in Governance. Our problem is rooted in our neglect as responsible citizens to demand that the two duopolies masquerading as two democratic parties to provide a stakeholder leadership culture that is responsible and just.
On our part as citizens we are guilty of selfish “shortermism” and materialism. The two duopolies that have duped us will never own up to the fact that they have failed us. Instead, they distract and confuse us in a poker game of finger pointing and a cacophony of pre -election lies. Bad Santa or not let us demand a culture of honesty and responsibility. The sentiment that the Jamaican Government should borrow and repay our public debt and to help the poor and vulnerable has long evaporated.
Donovan Reynolds is a Blogger and Independent Writer. He is a British based Social Worker and Human rights Activist. He has an interest in Politics, Culture, Human Rights and International Development issues. Readers of this blog may add their comments or critique at the space provided on this blog .Or alternatively they may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org/ or dannygerm@twitter