Resignation the right thing, but sad to see Mr Floyd Green goThursday, September 16, 2021
Mr Floyd Green did the right and decent thing by resigning from the Cabinet yesterday, after it became public knowledge that he and others had breached the Disaster Risk Management Act (DRMA) and the COVID-19 protocol relating to social gatherings.
That he quickly took responsibility for his action, without evasion, equivocation or mental reservation of any kind, speaks to his character as a just human being, the kind that is good for political leadership.
But we had expected no less from Mr Green who, from his early days in political representation, has demonstrated the kind of principled behaviour that is not often exhibited by people who hold public office, and indeed, many in other sectors of the country.
Without doubt, he demonstrated poor judgement by attending the social function held on a 'no-movement' day when Jamaicans, except for those exempted under the DRMA, were supposed to be at home, as mandated by the Government in its effort to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus that has so devastated our lives and economy for more than a year now.
It is obvious that Jamaicans, seeing the group of people in that video showing scant regard for the law and, in what came across as a shallow mocking of the no-movement order, felt a sense of revulsion. No one, therefore, can blame them for believing that there is some amount of double standard in the Government's management of the pandemic.
This is an issue about which we had cautioned the Administration before, because once the public is of that view it will be extremely difficult to get compliance with the measures necessary to beat this pandemic.
It is most unfortunate that this type of Orwellian behaviour is not new to Jamaica, for we have seen it in other governments in the past. In fact, it becomes conspicuous when they spend a long time in office, as they grow to believe that they are masters and not servants of the people who voted for them.
Based on Mr Green's attitude in the past we don't believe that he will morph into the type of political leader who subscribes to the view — held by too many people with influence and authority — that “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”.
We take him at his word that his “actions have demonstrated a lack of sensitivity for the difficult realities that all of us are facing currently” and we commend him for publicly stating that his presence at the function sent a wrong signal, especially in light of the Government's drive to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
We have no reason to doubt that he was genuine in his contrition and we hope it sets the tone for others in leadership positions to man up to their errors, whenever they do make them, because it is indeed human to err.
Mr Green is young and he will have another opportunity to rebound in his chosen field of political representation. The break from ministerial duties, we expect, will give him more time to see to the affairs of his constituents in St Elizabeth South Western who, we are told, regard him as an excellent member of parliament.
Mr Green can also take some amount of comfort in the fact that while he has indeed disappointed the Jamaican people, there are many who do not believe that he is devoid of moral worth. He should build on that going forward.
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