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A Politician's Cry

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
February 08, 2012

Initially, Jack wept publicly because he wanted to persuade black people that he felt their pain. Like Brigadier John Sandy, his enabler, he just could not stand how black people were killing one another so he joined his UNC colleagues to impose a State of Emergency that threw black people in prison, for the most part. I noted then, "Jack wept just as Peter wept after he betrayed Christ."

Jack wept a second time. This time he is weeping silently and unpretentiously because he has been betrayed by those in whom he had placed his trust and confidence. Although he worships compulsively at Mount Saint Benedict each Sunday he never fails to run down to his mandir in Central to appease his Hindu gods.

This must be a confusing thing to God. He has chosen to cover both bases in case one does not work out. If Jesus Christ does not work out, then Lord Shiva will.

But as my mother used to say, "God is not deceived." You may fool man but you can't fool God.

Now it seems that both Lord Shiva and Jesus Christ are failing him.

How else can one read the Prime Minister's pronouncement on Jack's fate (or is it Jack's faith) without feeling a pang of remorse?

Asked recently about their relationship, she responded, "I have no problems with Mr. Warner. Mr. Warner is a very hard-working minister and remains a very important part of the Cabinet, like all other ministers" (my emphasis). But if all the other members of her Cabinet are as important as Jack then none of them, including Jack, is particularly important.

Put another way, her statement is analogous to the logical fallacy of mistaking correlation with causation which is to say that even though Jack may be a (not the hardest) working minister of government and an important member of her Cabinet, it does not mean that there is not a rift between them which she does not deny. Perhaps Jack is comforted by the fact that she held his hands, like all the other ministers, at the second anniversary of her becoming the political leader of the UNC.

Such a tepid endorsement does not bode well for Jack or the people he serves. Nor for that matter, does it speak well for his position as a leading figure in the UNC. After all, this put down comes after none of the ministers attended his launch of the Fisherman's Cry (the petition drive he started unilaterally in support of hanging) and the public humiliation he received from the prime minister. It was one thing for the prime minister not to attend the launch of his grandiose scheme; it is quite another thing to announce that it was not even on her agenda.

Quickly after he announced his petition drive, three of his ministerial colleagues decided that they would not sign his petition unless it was approved by Cabinet. The Cabinet met and Jack, almost blue with humiliation, announced the campaign was off.

Although one does not always know the truth of these matters, it is entirely possible that the prime minister presented Jack with the following ultimatum at her cabinet meeting: either cease and desist or be fired as a minister.

It was at that moment that Jack's instincts (or was it one of his faiths) kicked in: either accept public humiliation or the private contempt of his peers.

Faced with such scorn, Jack wept a second time: silently, privately and unpretentiously amidst the gaze of those whom he had humiliated previously and who took a sadistic pleasure at his agony and his shame.

This leads to the question: does Jack have any shame left? Or, is that his ego is so inflated that he is blind to his public humiliation and the private contempt his colleagues have for him?

They say that ego is as cunning as it is deceptive. On many occasions it prevents one from seeing the truth or understanding one's degradation.

Jack entered the UNC like a knight in shining armor, with wooly hair and a bagful of money to remove the evil that was the PNM. Like Hanuman, the mighty Hindu deity (usually depicted as an ape and called sometimes the monkey god) that assisted Lord Rama to locate Sita, Rama's wife, Jack boasted of his ability to locate the PNM and blast it into a nether world of obscurity.

However, Jack, the Hindu believer, did not understand that although Hanuaman saved Sita from death and destruction and brought the sacred herb to cure Lord Latchman, he was struck down by Indra's thunderbolts when he sought to reach for the sun. In spite of his invincibility he was not always welcomed by the other gods.

So that although there was a time when the UNC needed Jack's physical prowess and monetary strength to face the enemy called the PNM, today he is seen as nothing more than excess ballast for which they no longer have any need. He has fulfilled his function, saved them from destruction, and now he must be cast aside.

The only question that remains is how to achieve such an end without their having the appellation of nemakaram added to all of the other words that describes the inherent lack of principle or decency that marks everything the UNC does.

In spite of all of his frailties and miscalculations, Jack deserves better than the public humiliation and private scorn that he now receives at the hands of the UNC. But when you have Macandal Dagga, Rupert Griffith and others of that stripe in a party that lack principles, projects, or programs, then one can only expect double-talk and treachery which explains Jack's fate/faith and the final humiliation that is yet to come.

Jack should remember: "God is not mocked. For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he reap." Thus it has always been; so shall it always be.

Professor Cudjoe's email address is

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