It came as no surprise at how fast the PNP circled the wagons and moved decisively at defending Government Minister and MP Richard Azan through stall tactics and the vocal rebuke and curtailing of movements at Parliament for a few Journalists chomping at the bits for more information on the Spalding Market scandal engulfing him. Lest we forget we are dealing with a Party that is washed in corruption and a strong track record of not doing much to restrict it.
For this government, the Party comes first not the people. In the eighteen and half year reign by the PNP from 1989 to 2007, corruption scandals were so much the norm that many of us are struggling to differentiate right from wrong. It is not uncommon to see people of whatever political persuasion openly defending the most flagrant acts of corruption by political leaders, as far as they are concerned, “the boss a look out fi we”. Like I said before Jamaicans are not too unsettled by bad governance as long as they see some benefit from it no matter how terribly short-sighted and pitiful it is.
Despite its long-running record of scandals the PNP won general elections back to back from 1989 to 2002 until only being marginally defeated in 2007. The scandals of that time are many and include the Rollins land deal, 1989; the Zinc scandal, 1990; the furniture scandal, 1991; the Shell Waiver scandal, 1991; the motor vehicle importation scandal, 1992; the foreign-exchange scandal, 1993; the land distribution scandal at Holland, 1994; the sand mining scandal, 1994; the Water Commission scandal, 1994-1995; Operation Pride, 1995-1997; the Montego Bay street people scandal, 1999; the Fat Cats Salary scandal, 1999; the Net-Serv Jamaica scandal, 2001; the NSWMA scandal, 2004; the Sandals Whitehouse scandal, 2005; the Trafigura scandal, 2006 and the Cuban Light Bulb scandal, 2007 and the multi-year running FINSAC debacle. In total the Jamaican people have not only lost billions upon billions of dollars as a result of these and many other corruption scandals but it has also been robbed of its great potential for significant growth and development. How many of our leaders were held accountable despite the plethora of scandals? Hardly any.
The result now is that many of our people are stunted and condemned to a life of poverty and despair.