Is it a case of Tek shame mek fight or does Prime Minister Bruce Golding have a valid point? Golding is lashing out at the Gleaner for publishing WikiLeaks’ confidential diplomatic cables that have caste his administration in a bad light. He claims, “There is a sustained effort being made by the power brokers of North Street to harass the government.”
The Lady of North Street says its partnership with WikiLeaks is about freedom of speech, transparency and the people’s right to know. To that we can probably add increased newspaper sales. Most people can’t wait to get their hands on a Gleaner each morning to read about the latest juicy political debacle. In other words, it’s also about the bottom line. Suss sells.
So it has come to light through WikiLeaks that the US Embassy in Kingston labeled the Golding administration as two-faced, suggesting the PM was not honest when he first responded to questions in Parliament about the extradition request for Christopher 'Dudus' Coke. Other documents reveal a US Embassy claim that then opposition leader Bruce Golding requested help from the Americans to identify and remove the corrupt persons in his ranks. Then there is the 2009 cable alleging that Deputy PM Ken Baugh had impressed on the US that the timing of the extradition request was bad because of the economic crisis facing Jamaica.
But in all fairness to the Gleaner the PNP has not escaped the WikiLeaks tarnishing. It exposed Sharon Haye-Webster’s flip flop on the dual citizenship issue; making the PNP look like hypocrites. We have learned that Omar Davies threatened to resign because, with elections looming, then PM Portia Simpson-Miller wanted to use NIF funds to finance job creation projects. Do you smell pork barrel politics? And what about Simpson-Miller being warned by three of Jamaica's major international partners that a high ranking member of her team may have been dabbling in illegal activities. Surely the PNP must be squirming too.
WikiLeaks seems to be an equal opportunity offender; keep in mind that it cannot dig up dirt that is not there. The real issue at hand is that our wily politicians thought their actions were safely hidden. Now the Gleaner is exposing our politicians’ shoddy housekeeping shenanigans.
So Mr. PM, do not worry. The WikiLeaks revelations likely are not personal. Besides, Jamaicans have very low trust levels with politicians and/or politics. To the average Jamaican it is the same political chicanery, different day.