(Jamaican Gleaner) – Former contractor general of Jamaica, Greg Christie, has signalled that the time has come for one law to be applied across the board to the rich, the poor, and those in positions of high leadership.
In a no-holds-barred response to questions posed by the audience at the Annual Archbishop Samuel Carter Lecture held yesterday evening at Campion College as part of the institution’s Founders’ Day function, Christie charged that there were two laws in the society.
“One for the well-to-do – the rich, the connected – and there is another law. The first one is seldom applied while the other one is applied to everybody,” Christie, who is now director of the Turks and Caicos Islands Integrity Commission, declared to applause.
Christie, whose acid tongue and voluminous reports chafed the nerves of public officials during his tenure in Jamaica, argued that the notion of two laws for different classes of persons in society was more than a perception, noting that it was real.
“When you put persons in positions of leadership and they are prescribing a certain code of behaviour for everybody else, and then one from that group violates that very code, you get pushback,” he added.
“We speak about it in our anti-corruption thrust that we have to get to a place where this notion of two laws must be eliminated, and we have to begin to make examples of our lawmakers and our politicians who break the law.”
The former tough-talking contractor general contended that it was difficult to “ask your population to behave one way when they see those in leadership behave another way”.
Pride not enough
While lauding the many achievements of Jamaicans and expressing national pride, Christie said that there were many things that placed the country in a bad light.
“Jamaica is now the number two murder capital of the world. It’s now number six in organised crime out of 141 countries. That’s not something to be happy about. We can’t put that under the covers. It tells us something about our society – a very murderous society.”
Christie said that the issues of corruption and a breakdown in discipline were areas that needed urgent attention.