Open letter to Peter Phillips and Portia Simpson-Miller from Michael Manley: January 5 1986, Sunday Gleaner

[Dear Peter and Portia,]

Third World Debt

NOW what of the debt crisis itself? One has to assume that sensible people understand the fundamental cause of Third World debt.

It is true that some Third World leadership has been corrupt, or adventurist or both. It is true that not all Third World economies have been brilliantly managed. On the other hand, it is only a fool or a liar who maintains that these have been the main factors at work.

Third World debt is a function of the structural deformity implanted in the world economy by centuries of colonialism and by the subsequent domination of the world by international finance capital and the transnational corporation system which now controls more than half of world trade.

Adverse terms of trade, the high price of technology, the reverse financial flows caused by profit remittances, royalties and other financial charges together with the effects of transnational decision-making all lay the foundation for the crisis. Thereafter, the policies of the IMF into whose arms Third World counties are driven, contribute nothing to the solution of the basic problems. Indeed, IMF programmes exacerbate the difficulties. When, finally, the burden of expensive money is added to everything else, the stage is set for the disaster that is now slowly engulfing nearly a half of the world’s population.

What is to be done? Virtually every economist in the Third World, together with the finest thinkers of European Social Democracy, are of one mind in this matter. They say the debt crisis can no longer be managed on a case by case basis. They charge that we are engaged in a “game of pretend” in which Third World governments pretend that they can maintain the schedule of payments required in whatever is the latest IMF agreement. The IMF pretends the same and the commercial banks accept the pretence because, with it, they could not face their shareholders. Meantime, the governments of the developed countries whose commercial banks are on the line, pretend that the situation is under control because otherwise they would have to face the serious decisions without which the whole sorry mess cannot be brought under control.

The genuine experts argue that an international conference on debt is urgently needed. Such a conference between major creditor governments and representatives of the debtor governments ought to negotiate the following package:

(1) The virtual cancellation of the debt of the Least Developed Countries, mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa. Not more than token payments should be charged against these governments which simply do not have the capacity to pay because of the stage of their development and the massive impact on their economies of the world crisis since 1974. The share of total debt which this section represents is less than five percent.

(2) A comprehensive rescheduling of the remaining debt incorporating the following principles:
(a) A period of moratorium
(b) Arrangements to ensure that no country be required to commit more than 20 percent of its export earnings to the repayment of debt.
(C) A cap on interest rates to ensure that his factor does not undermine all other arrangements.
(d) A lengthening of repayment schedules to accommodate (a) and (b) above.
(3) A device such as an internationally backed bond issue to take up a substantial proportion of the existing private commercial debt so as to preserve the position of the commercial banks involved. Such a bond issue would not require payment of cash but would, in turn, pay the interest rates necessary to secure the position of the banks.
. . .
It must be argued, of course, that any solution to the debt crisis today will be short-lived if we do not simultaneously tackle the structural problems in the world economy which have consigned the Third World to an inferior position in the international division of labour. This the real and continuing cause of the problem.

Michael Manley

PS: I became so annoyed at your constant patting yourselves on the back (especially you Peter) for your slavish adherence to IMF austerity measures that I felt compelled to send you this article which I wrote in 1986! Do you guys ever read what I wrote?
National Heroes Park.

Paula Llewellyn must go: The DPP should be an elected position

THE latest impasse between INDECOM and DPP Paula Llewellyn is not about the needfor greater communication between the two as JLP spokesperson on justice Alexander Williams and the PNP’s Phillip Paulwell seem to be saying according to a Gleaner report.

DPP Paula Llewelyn has been an absolute failure where the interests and human rights of poor and working class Jamaicans are concerned.

Her failures are well known. She has been ineffective in prosecuting policemen who are charged with extrajudicial killings (part of the circle of impunity) and she has been ineffective in prosecuting public officials who are charged with corruption (the number one concern of most Jamaicans).

Paula Llewellyn is a fairly young woman and it is frightening that it is almost impossible to remove her until she reaches age sixty or sixty five according to the constitution.

Now is the time to amend the constitution. Either the DPP is appointed for a stipulated period of time or the DPP becomes an elected position as is the case in 47 American states. The latter alternative is perhaps the best way to go.

Instead of providing money to political parties, money should be used to fund the campaigns of those interested in running for the office of DPP.

Let the people decide who they prefer to protect their interests. The office of the DPP is too cloistered, too powerful, too “independent”, too unaccountable to serve the democratic interests of the people.

Now is the time for change. Now is not a time pretend that the incompetence and social indifference of Llewellyn is not a GLARING wake up call to the dangers of this ALL MIGHTY position that she holds.

Lloyd D’Aguilar
Tivoli Committee

From the Archives: The lies politicians tell..and Bruce Golding told

SEPTEMBER 19, 2010

DID you see that GLEANER cartoon last week of Prime Minister GOLDING once again putting his foot in his mouth… actually it was putting his feet in his mouth.
You know the saying about those people, who every time they open their mouth they only end up putting their foot inside it.
Some weeks ago I interviewed psychiatrist Dr Freddie Hickling because he had written something in the papers about the compulsion of our leaders to tell lies.
Well the truth is that these leaders are bound to lie because their rule over us is based on a lie.
They want to pretend to be democratic when they are really dictators. They want to pretend to be for the poor when they are really for the rich.
And Mr. Golding expressed that lie very well when he said that he is the servant of the people…
Well that is a POLITICAL LIE. He is not the servant of the people … HE is the head DICTATOR over the people…
AND … everytime that dictatorial style is exposed ….you have to engage in another lie to cover up that lie that has been exposed… you just keep on telling more lies…
So Forget this business about whether Mr Brady was still a member of the JLP or not
Events have proven that this was wishful thinking on the part of Golding…. And when we put it that we way we are being charitable.
The most incredible thing Mr Golding said was that the $50,000 US dollars that was paid to Manat and Phelps was paid by a businessman who has been a donor to the JLP for over FORTY years FORTY YEARS
He even receives Government contracts…
AND listen carefully…. Mr Golding said he called in this person and said ‘look nuh something come up and we need $50,000 US dollars to take care of some business’
AND the DONOR, said no problem man; he asked no question WHATSOVER in terms of what the money was to be used for
HE just put his hand in his VERY deep pocket and gave Mr Golding the $50,000 US dollars.
He didn’t ask a word.
NOW What a faithful contributor to the JLP this PERSON is.
But the story gets deeper…. Mr Golding subsequently called him after EVERYTING bus bout Manat and Phelps and Dudus Coke…..
And Golding said to him “Look nuh MAN I’m coming under a lo of pressure, the people want to know who gave us that $50,000 US dollars which by the way we used to pay Manat and Phelps…. PLEASE CAN I REVEAL your identity?

And Mr Golding said the Man said NO WAY….NOW WAY Amigo… I don’t want to get mixed up in that at all.
NOW let’s analyze this for a moment….
This donor with obviously very deep pocket loves the JLP and love Bruce Golding so much… forget about the fact that he gets government contracts …. That he didn’t care what the MONEY would be used for… HE DIDN”T ASK and WAS NOT TOLD…. AND Now that his dear friend BRUCE GOLDING is in trouble… could possible lose his JOB and NOW we are to believe that this person say NO WAY I don’t want get mixed up inna dat.
Doesn’t that sound a little hard to believe? The man has been cleared… He did nothing wrong… he gave money to the JLP which is legal; he had nothing to do with Manat and Phelps and Dudus Coke…. So what does he has to be concerned about?
BUT most important his friend Golding is in a pickle… doesn’t he care about what could happen to him. How could he be so callous.
But more who is this person?
IF he has been a JLP contributor for forty years, a businessman…. and has deep pockets ….. then he has to be in his late seventies at least…
That rules out DAVID SMITH … who we know contributed very heavily to the JLP
David Smith is a young man… and his funds are frozen as far as we know.
It rules out Dudus because although Dudus’s companies had contracts with the government, and Dudus has deep pockets… AND would have every reason to want to pay the US$50,000 ….. He is just a little too young….
So is it possible that Prime Minister’s mind is playing tricks with him once again…
It has played tricks on him many times before….AFTERALL He was quite sure that HAROLD BRADY was no longer a member of the JLP….
And now it turns out that Harold BRADY is a member of the JLP
Could it be possible that the PRIME MINISTER just flipped the rolodex… looking for this 40-year contributor to the JLP… but being so tired and over worked…. He didn’t realize that he happened to come up with Dudus’ number by mistake and called him….
Dudus of course as a loyal member didn’t need to know what the money was for… And if he knew he certainly wouldn’t object
And He just sent it over right away…..
And the Prime Minister being tired and overworked just didn’t pay attention to detail…. And made a mixup….
Ahh but GUESS what…. IT couldn’t be that way… It couldn’t be that way BECAUSE the PRIME MINISTER says he has now called the contributor… AND DUDUS IS IN JAIL.. so he couldn’t have made a mistake….
But hold on didn’t I read last week that Dudus is allowed two calls per week….
I’m telling you people…. IF ONLY THE PRIME MINISTER were a believable person…. Who despite his great command of the English language …. Makes so many mistakes sometimes …. WE COULD ALL JUST MOVE ON with this one.
SO IF YOU ARE TO REGAIN THE TRUST OF THE PEOPLE, Mr Prime Minister ….. You have no choice but to forget about the wishes of your alleged donor… reveal his identity…. THERE IS NO LAW stopping you from doing so … the only thing stopping you is your own political morality… reveal his identity….AND LET US SEE THE CANCELLED CHECK. Nothing less will restore trust in you.
And speaking about restoring trust in the Prime Minister and putting feet in mouth…..
Last week the Prime Minister went to Tivoli and gave out some checks to some RESIDENTS…. these are checks for damage that was done to their furniture, apartments and belongings by the security forces…. And these checks were only given out to some of the people.
I understand that more checks are to be given out.
Now Mr Golding apparently made a little speech to the people and the Gleaner reports him as saying and I quote:
“What happened in May could not have been avoided”
In other words Mr Golding accepts no responsibility for anything that happened
73 people died… and Mr Golding accepts no responsibility…
He hasn’t even expressed remorse to the people who claimed that their young men were taken out and executed by the Security Forces
That I guess could not have been avoided either.. Nor has HE asked the Police Commissioner to give an accounting…
And in terms of the destruction of people’s property by the security forces ….. that could not have been avoided either.
And so the Prime Minister like Alice in Wonderland is so happy to be there in Tivoli — to be photographed giving out tax payers’ money to compensate victims of state terrorism … which government obviously accepts as having happened… or else it would not be giving out checks.
You know I am hoping that next time our psychiatrist friend Dr Freddie Hickling will write a diagnostic essay about the madness of delusional politicians.
Seriously: Was THERE A twelve year old school boy or girl in Jamaica who took the strike threat of the trade union leaders seriously?
A general strike …. Called by this coward bunch of eunuchs, otherwise called trade union leaders?
Listen all they wanted was a little attention… and a little meeting by the government and they got their meeting.
That is the Trade Union bible that these Eunuchs swear by.
And so the government, which wrote the Bible by the way, simply calls for a meeting to tell the Trade Union bureaucrats that it doesn’t have any money.
And the government will keep on using this method to keep on forestalling Strike Action for as long as it takes.
What a laughable stock of trade union bureaucrats we have in this country… even 12 year olds see through their game and are laughing at them.
I’m glad that someone wrote a letter to the Editor to tell the bright Miss Lisa Hanna, the future of the PNP according to Mr Ronnie Thwaites… that there is no such thing as clean coal. To use coal to fuel any bauxite plant in Jamaica would be an environmental disaster.
Miss Hanna should go and do some reading and stop making a fool of herself by making such ridiculous public statements.
The Prime Minister said the same thing some time ago…. but surely Miss Hanna you don’t want to be emulating the Prime Minister do you?
I’m sure you can do much better than that.

Away with education minister Ronnie Thwaites and his plantation mentality!

CHRIS Zaca‘s call as head of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica for a reshuffling of the Cabinet is obviously a diversion from the real speech he should have given which was to exhort those in the private sector who avoid and evade paying taxes to pay up. Zaca knows precisely where to fire his diversionary blank shots.

But if there is one minister who should immediately be exiled from the Cabinet it is Ronnie Thwaites, minister of education. This gentleman is the most disingenuous of the lot. He blames everyone but himself and his government for the terrible state of education due mostly to underfunding and budget cuts.

His stilted verbosity is not an example of good communication and the way Jamaicans should speak, it is an example of patrician, planter-class type speaking down to poor black people.

The nerve that this Patrician Gentleman has telling poor people that is because of buying donkey hair why they can’t find money for books and food and clothes to send their children to school. So many children go to bed hungry at nights or go to school on empty stomachs and he has the gall to be embarrassing black people about bag juice culture.

He and his retinue of expensively paid consultants would never think of taking a pay cut to help do away with the bag juice culture. Contrary to what his colleague minister Omar Davies thinks, Darryl Vaz has demonstrated that a pay cut for MPs and Ministers, and the rest of the unproductive class, can be a BIG deal for the 1.2 milion people who are living below the poverty line.

Finally, Thwaites’ democratic pretensions are exposed when he chides students for exercising their constitutional right to protest a foolish and oppressive Education policy about length of dress — maybe because of his religious prudishness.

Away with Ronnie Thwaites! Banish him back to the plantation from whence he came.
Lloyd D’Aguilar

Open letter to minister of health, Fenton Ferguson: Stop the chemical attacks against innocent citizens

Dear Minister of Health, Dr Fenton Ferguson,

I write you to ask that you immediately suspend the policy in regard to the Ministry of Health mosquito spraying programme.

This method of constant spraying without warning to residents is an absolute criminal assault, especially against those who have respiratory problems.

It is absolutely necessary that your ministry publicly publish and discuss this spraying programme so that those who believe that their health might be affected by indiscriminate spraying be allowed to exempt themselves from the area at the time that the spraying is to take place. This is the minimum courtesy that your ministry can extend to citizens of this country.

I think it is also the right of citizens to know precisely what is the chemical content of the spray being used so that potential harm to humans can be evaluated.

It is my observation that workers on the vans that do the spraying do not wear gas masks as should be required and this has got to be an absolute assault on their health.

Studies have shown that pesticides used to control or kill mosquitoes are not only harmful to the environment but are potentially carcinogenic for human beings, not to mention the ineffectiveness of this method. Malathion for example is an organophosphate that can cause long term neurological health problems.

Indeed, in other jurisdictions such as the United States, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) demands that there first be a surveillance programme to determine “levels of mosquito activity” and a “community outreach and public education” programme before any such spraying can be carried out. In other words are all communities equal in terms of mosquito threat?

I challenge you to show how or where such a scientific approach has been adopted by your ministry. This is in contrast to your extensive public discussion about the dangers of cigarette smoking and coming regulations regarding carbon monoxide emission from motor vehicles.

It is my experience in the neighbourhood where I live that spraying has been continuing for months and is carried out several times per week. This has got to be totally excessive and is a reflection of the absolute ineffectiveness of this method where killing mosquitoes is concerned.

I urge you minister to immediately suspend this programme and to engage in a public review and discussion.

To ignore this plea, and to continue with this indiscriminate spraying has to be recognized as a chemical attack against innocent citizens and is criminal in nature.

As the one who sets policy, the bucks stops with you, and makes you criminally liable for damage done to citizens.

Lloyd D’Aguilar

Open letter to Dr Marion Bullock DuCasse: Chemicals used in spraying are not safe!

DEAR Dr Marion Bullock DuCasse
Director, Emergency, Disaster Management and Special Services, Ministry of Health
I am outraged but not surprised to read that you are contending that the chemical malathion that is used to attack people or “fog” them as you call it is “safe”.

According to you, “this is recognised on the safe list in terms of the international health organisation.” Which health organisation are you referring to?

That is as much you can say to reassure people, despite admitting that “it is a chemical and individuals react differently to chemicals; some have an allergic reaction, some might have respiratory irritation, but that does not mean it is something that is not safe for you and is not approved for you”! In other words, ‘this is just a minor inconvenience. Get used to it!’

I urge you to reflect on the implications of the above statement and then perhaps come to a decision as to whether you wish to continue to promote yourself as a doctor and person of science or, whether you shouldn’t start wearing your real hat as a salesperson for the chemical company that produces malathion. (Maybe salesperson for the pharmaceutical companies that produce vaccines that damage our children, as well, since your authoritarian position on that issue is also well known).

Please allow me to inform you that despite your safe label pronouncement, malathion is an organophosphate that can cause neurological damage and is considered carcinogenic by scientists who have carried out studies.

Had you have taken the time to peruse the internet, for example, you would have discovered that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has taken the position that there is “suggestive evidence” that malathion causes cancer. And, that recent studies provide even stronger evidence that commercial malathion insecticide caused breast cancer in laboratory animals, and malathion use by farmers is associated with an increased incidence of a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma — a type of cancer.

The policy of your ministry of health (so-called) of indiscriminate spraying of people (not to mention the potential damage to bees and the water supply) is in itself criminal given the known health risks of malathion. It cannot be a defence that you keep yourself blissfully ignorant.

I therefore urge you to revisit this matter. I urge that despite your awful powers to legally and lethally attack people with chemicals that you have a moral DUTY to at least inform them as to when you intend to carry out your attacks. Unless, of course, your commitment to the chemical companies is irreversible and the people be damned.

Finally, I think you ought to inform the MOH workers that you employ to carry out these chemical attacks, of the dangers to themselves, and to give them the gas masks that they should be wearing for protection.

In any event, I think these workers have the legal right to take you to court for wilfully putting their health and their lives at risk by not protecting them, and by being deceitful.

Lloyd D’Aguilar

Ellington resigns: so should Maj Gen Stewart Saunders and Peter Bunting

is obviously amiss with Owen Ellington’s sudden departure as head of the police force. That is perhaps a secret between himself and his political bosses in the government which may or may never be revealed.

For the moment, however, we need not detain ourselves with speculation. What needs to be focused on is the very incriminating reasons given by Ellington for his decision to step down.

Ellington says he is stepping down because he needs to separate himself from “from the leadership and management of the force prior to the commencement of the upcoming commission of Enquiry into the conduct of the operations of the security forces in Western Kingston and other areas during the limited State of Emergency in 2010″.

The Tivoli Committee has long taken the position that Ellington should either have been fired or done the honourable thing and resign as police commissioner immediately after the Tivoli Gardens massacre.

It took him four years to do the honourable thing while his boss Peter Bunting seems to have been on his knees praying for divine guidance rather than showing leadership. According to Bunting: “He was not pushed out….I was satisfied with his performance.”

The fact is that Ellington should have long been the subject of a criminal investigation into his role as police commander of the Tivoli operations. The fact that the investigating arm of the police did no investigation has to be laid squarely at the feet of Owen Ellington.

Had he resigned immediately it would have been far easier for Bunting to agree with the Tivoli Committee’s demand that not only should Ellington be investigated for the crimes against humanity that were committed by the security forces, but that the matter should be referred to the International Criminal Court.

Having now done the “honourable” thing it might be a little too late since the die is cast. The terms of reference have been decided upon by the government, and there is no indication that there will be anything other than a perfunctory look at Ellington’s role in the whole affair. The commissioners have not been tasked with specifically investigating his role as commander. And the government has given no indication that it is disposed to sending the matter to the ICC.

Additionally, the Tivoli Committee believes that even at this late stage, the example of Ellington separating himself from the management and leadership of the force so as to minimize any obstructionist role that he could play in the enquiry, should also apply Assistant Commissioner Glenmore Hinds. He was the ground commander and now as commissioner he has the power to obstruct and he should also step aside or be fired.

Ellington also cites the need for there to be no perception of him having any “influence” or “interference” with the ongoing INDECOM probe into police death squads operating out of May Pen Clarendon. Like the Tivoli matter, this is also a little late in the day since this investigation has been ongoing on for many months.

It would be interesting, however, to hear what is INDECOM’s perception of the role Ellington has played in their investigations so far, or his involvement in the matter.

Finally, Ellington makes it clear, that Major General Stewart Saunders, former head of the JDF, and military commander of the Tivoli, should also resign or be fired from his post as permanent secretary in the Ministry of National Security.

The same principle applies. As the subject of a potential criminal enquiry Saunders should never have been appointed to this position which gives him opportunity to obstruct and shape the enquiry to suit himself.

In the final analysis, the blame for this fiasco must rest squarely on the shoulders of minister Peter Bunting. He has shown scant regard or concern for the seriousness of the crimes committed in Tivoli Gardens, and this is exemplified in no greater way than his seeming attempt to protect the two major players in that massacre.

We believe that he should also resign or be fired. It is the ethical thing to do.

By getting rid of Ellington, Saunders and Bunting, it may be possible to revisit the terms of reference with a different approach, devoid of the temptation for corruption.

Lloyd D’Aguilar
on behalf of the
Tivoli Committee


Jamaican government complicit with criminal allegations against police commissioner Owen Ellington

IF it is true that our “international partners” have evidence against police commissioner Owen Ellington that required revoking his visa and forcing him into early retirement, then obviously the charges must be quite serious and compelling. See Gleaner “External pressure — Int’l partners keep close watch on ‘death squad’ probe; US assistance to JCF under review

It therefore stands to reason that these serious allegations must also involve violation of Jamaican laws as well and would, under normal circumstances, warrant an immediate criminal probe of Ellington by Jamaican authorities. But once again, who are these Jamaican authorities to launch such a criminal probe: the police? the Cabinet? the prime minister? Peter Bunting? the DPP? INDECOM? Complicity is the name of the game.

If INDECOM, for example, is investigating Ellington, which it has neither confirmed nor denied, then it is incumbent on them to say so. Owen Ellington is not an ordinary policeman. He was the head of the Jamaica Constabulary Force and must be held to a higher standard of accountability. The standard used by international partners should be no less the standard used by the Jamaican state.

If for some reason INDECOM believes that it is under constraint to be direct with the people then the government is under no such constraint.

To withhold information from the public and to do nothing about Ellington is to be complicit with whatever crimes Ellington may have committed. If it were not complicit, then the government would be duty bound to comprehensively and truthfully inform the public and to ensure that the relevant arms of the state vigorously investigate Ellington based on the information provided by “international partners”.

Government approach so far indicates that it is complicit, and is defending Ellington as best it can. Otherwise, Ellington’s four million a year retirement would have been blocked, he would have been suspended, and an investigation launched. Or, the evidence provided by international partners, accepted at face value.

By having stuck with Ellington, this PNP government, strengthens the argument, that it like previous governments, orange and green, gives the police and the army the right to commit extrajudicial killings with the full assurance of impunity.

We focus on extrajudicial killings because Ellington himself has opened the door to that discussion by pointing to the Tivoli Gardens massacre and the INDECOM death squad investigation as the reasons why he is leaving. He is inviting an investigation of these matters free from his possible influence and interference. A little too late perhaps.

Peter Bunting

As the Tivoli Committee has previously stated, Peter Bunting has lost the moral authority to continue being the minister of national security because serious crimes committed by Ellington could not have happened without his knowledge, or his duty to know.

He has protected and succoured Ellington from the very beginning, just as he has done with Major General Stewart Saunders, former head of the JDF, a person of major interest in the Tivoli Gardens massacre. Bunting must go!

INDECOM at this time has a special responsibility to the people of this country and cannot continue with its narrow-minded, legalistic approach to extrajudicial killings.

A public enquiry into the decades-old Jamaican state policy of impunity for police extrajudicial killings must be held. INDECOM has the power to hold such a public enquiry. The policy has to be unbared publicly in order for a new policy and a new culture to emerge.

INDECOM is foolish to believe that it can get past the DPP with any death squad investigation because that body is an extension of the JCF, not the other way around. See — “Death squad holes — DPP to reassess Clarendon murder cases”; “DPP won’t press Canada for ex-cop’s extradition”.

We therefore call upon INDECOM once again, to hold a public enquiry into the state policy extrajudicial killings.

If INDECOM fails the country, it leaves the public with no other choice but to conclude that INDECOM itself is part of the circle of impunity.

It leaves the public with no choice but to label high state officials as complicit with murder and terrorism. The logic of this argument cannot have escaped our international partners.

Lloyd D’Aguilar
Tivoli Committee

The Christine Lagarde Jamaica show

EMPRESS CHRISTINE LAGARDEInternational Monetary Farce – has come to Jamaica to assure her faithful officials that she is mighty pleased with the way they are screwing the subjects in order to make sure that creditors, international and of course local ones, get their pound of flesh.

The JLP grumbled about devaluation but was proud that Lagarde saw them as a responsible opposition — which is exactly what she came to counsel them about — to ensure that her grateful officials (US$400 million loaned so far), loyally support the plan to screw the people, even while allowance is made for a little political posturing here and there. She was not to be disappointed. “I also had the opportunity to meet with representatives from the private sector, labor unions and opposition. I was impressed by the high degree of consensus and awareness on the need to reform Jamaica’s economy….”

The head of the UWI economics department, Dr Damien King, clothed in a demeanour to suggest economic intelligence, introduced Lagarde as only well-trained house slaves can do, masking his intellectual grovelling with common place Economics 101 observations. God bless the poor young minds at UWI being groomed for a future life as Economist clowns.

Lagarde was at her partonizing best, as was to be expected. She approvingly mentioned Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Bob Marley and Tessanne Chin and Claude McKay — but not Juan de Serras (who was the ultimate Maroon warrior) and Tacky (who terrorized planters in St Mary) and Sam Sharpe (the man who could have been a Toussaint L’Ouverture) and even George William Gordon (Governor Eyre’s constant irritant) — all of whom most symbolize the future — i.e. a non-grovelling, revolutionary struggle against a neo-colonial form of deception and oppression which Lagarde represents.

The highlight of Lagarde’s very polished attempt at deception was of course that she mentioned but never analyzed the “unsustainable” level of debt.

She wants to give the impression that “growth” will result from the grinding sacrifice by the people, and in so far as that happens, all is well. A typical Anancy story if ever there was one.

Lagarde, as the face card for international finance capital, knows that economic growth is possible with a little statistical manipulation, but it is sustainable economic development which the people want, and for which they are being forced to sacrifice, in vain.

For starters the debt will never stop being an obstacle to development unless it is repudiated and all that that implies. Lagarde’s IMF policies is the very antithesis of sustainable economic development and hence for her the idea of repudiation is tantamount to treason.

Thus, she is here to assure her faithful officials never to entertain such ideas which can only come from discontented and ungrateful subjects. Her dutiful finance minister gets it. He shakes in his boots at the thought that repudiation would create a cash economy! [Stated in response to a journalist's question].

Lagarde presents herself as the moderate alternative to potential ingrates because she is also against global income inequality (so she says!); she mouths stuff about the perils of climate change; and of course she wants equality for women; and protection for the poorest (i.e. PATH — wow!); and for that frightened UWI student who sees government cuts potentially hampering his education –she expresses a hope that the finance minister will see education as the path to growth. How enlightening and progressive but what a piece of cant!

The biggest contradiction and even hypocrisy is the fact that the IMF has expressed opposition to US courts scuttling the deal that Argentina made with its creditors after having repudiated their public debt, and forcing creditors to accept a radical reduction in the debt Argentina is prepared to pay them.

Of course that is something not to be publicly discussed as part of the options available to Jamaica.

Despite the carefully crafted show, Lagarde and her Jamaican courtiers may fool a few gullible ones, but not the vast majority of the people who are daily burdened by oppressive austerity measures. The daily cry for justice continues.

No wonder Her Imperial Highness and her courtiers did not want questions asked. Correction, they allowed about four questions which Lagarde waffled over showing that even Gods have intellectual limits.

Common sense tell us though, that the debt is not only unsustainable, it cannot be repaid. It must be repudiated if only for the reason that most of it is odious, illegitimate, or constitute irresponsible lending by those who want to enslave us.

Christine Lagarde is only a show. The real struggle over unsustainable debt that must be repudiated continues.

Lloyd D’Aguilar
Campaign for Social and Economic Justice (CSEJ)

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