Questions that need to be asked & answered

An excellent letter to the editor appeared in today’s edition of the Gleaner. I’ve highlighted the ones that have been swept away in this entire debate but which have significant bearing on how this debate, investigation, and analysis are to proceed.

LETTER OF THE DAY – Questions to ponder in the Trafigura affair published:
Wednesday October 11, 2006
The Editor, Sir:
I wish to put forward a
few questions which we might do well to ponder for a clearer, balanced and more
instructive debate on the Trafigura/People’s National Party (PNP) funds transfer
was the PNP or Government accused by the Leader of the Opposition in
his press conference at Gordon House, of illegally diverting state funds in the
“mother of all scandals,” and therefore the Government should resign
Is it that a political party’s acceptance of financial contributions from a foreign company with which its Government is doing business fits the “mother of all scandals” description and calls for the Government’s resignation as a result?
If it is the former and the accusation is false, is there not a very serious case for the accuser to answer?
Is it the suggestion that the
Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) when it formed the Government, never accepted donations from foreign companies with which it did business?

Is this an unusual practice in western democracies in the absence of specific laws
against it?
For the allegation to be credible, should proof of a “kickback” be presented?
Does not the receipt of financial donations to political parties from individuals, organisations and businesses anywhere carry the implication that favours are expected in return?
What is the motive behind government-to- government assistance? Philanthropy?
Why is this a partisan rather than a
bipartisan issue, since both parties accept that transparency in such cases should be required by law (presuming that both parties engage in the practice)?
In addition:
Was divulging confidential banking information really motivated by dispassionate national interest concerns?
How then to explain revealing the information to a political party in the midst of an
election campaign rather than following the established lawful procedure?
How is the public, graphic and dramatic display of information thus obtained, by representatives who are of such high national political stature, to be viewed?
What is the relationship between the provider of the information and the individuals or political party receiving it?
What does this say of the integrity of the entire financial/banking system? Are internal controls adequate to protect clients from unauthorised and malicious disclosure of their private affairs?
How is access to private client information regulated to prevent such a breach?
Answers to these questions could facilitate an honest and responsible debate instead of self-serving opportunism.
I am, etc.,

Fear is a powerful thing. At its most acute occurence it forces clarity and complete, bare honesty. I can only imagine how afraid Sister P is feeling at the moment – her party’s political future, her political future and any positive election result are now hanging precariously off some cliff – but apprently the pangs are not yet as sharp as they need to be for her to speak and speak clearly and honestly to the Jamaican people. That the Prime Minister of Jamaica has not yet uttered a word in a national address or some other speech is becomming more and more unfathomable. She needs to speak. Her silence is a vacuum, and while she doesn’t speak members of the Opposition are speaking a lot and loudly, filling up the space with their propoganda, accusations, questions, and demands. They have captured the opportunity presented to them and are chipping away at any opinion poll leads. It is their voices that Jamaicans are hearing and responding to. Portia cannot continue to leave it up to spokespeople and the former Prime Minister – freal, is who running the government and the PNP, she or him? – to speak for her or for the party for which she is President and the government for which she is leader. The Gleaner‘s editorial ( is correct that the emotional and other investment made in Portia at the time of her victory as PNP President is being severely eroded in this the biggest challenge of her tenure. And yet she says nothing.

Perhaps she needs to the fear of God to make her react.

And then today she dodges the media on the way from Gordon House. Is she truly daft as her critics suggested in the PNP Presidential election? All while Bruce is sending off documents with a request for intervention and investigation by the Government of the Netherlands. Is he for real with this ‘by any means necessary tactics’? That shit is going to backfire no matter if there is an ounce of good intentions in his actions. In fact, we all know which road is paved with good intentions, right? Unbelievable. And yet she says nothing.

mood: anticipatory
sounds: da office


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