EDITORIAL: All that is not glittering is Golding
Prime Minister Bruce Golding has not done his country proud; nor CARICOM, which he alluded to for comfort during his tirade against Barbados on the weekend.
Speaking with gusto – and less grit – the Jamaican leader accused Barbadian aviation authorities on a “suspicion” of “aggressive action” against Caribbean Airlines, of which Jamaica is a minority shareholder.
Assuming that a routine ramp check of a Caribbean Airlines plane at Grantley Adams International Airport in the last week was an act of reprisal for Jamaica’s delay in granting the Barbadian-based REDjet landing permission, Mr Golding declared to “interests in Barbados” that Jamaica would not be bullied.
On circumstantial evidence, at best, a “disturbed” Mr Golding speaks of a Caribbean Airlines plane being “harassed” in Barbados for the reason, he surmises, that “REDjet . . . has been declared by the Barbadian Government to be its national carrier”.
And, in a feeble attempt to be politically correct, Mr Golding expresses hope this is not so, “because that is not the way we in CARICOM should resolve our issues”. How indeed does Jamaica resolve issues in CARICOM?
When we juxtapose Mr Golding’s reaction to the Shanique Myrie affair with his current premature outburst, we see the Jamaican leader proving once again that his political savvy, if bolstered by patriotic pride, is severely lacking in charm – and tact.
When Mr Golding received his so-called disturbing news, he could have got his aviation minister – as we should do it in CARICOM – to call up our Minister of International Transport George Hutson. He would have got from the horse’s mouth that officers of the Barbados Civil Aviation Department had conducted a routine ramp inspection of a Caribbean Airlines Boeing 737 aircraft on Friday afternoon and on a Caribbean Airlines Dash 8 aircraft on Saturday – as required by the International Civil Aviation Organization.
Mr Golding may not relieve himself of the notion that because of the “Air Jamaica-Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL) deal” pressure is being applied to get REDjet into Jamaica – even if he does talk with the prime ministers of Barbados and Trinidad as he promises.
And on the REDjet issue per se, Minister Hutson laments that Barbados has done all required to satisfy the authorities in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, and yet efforts are being made “to frustrate the entry of REDjet, a Barbadian-registered airline, majority-owned by citizens of Barbados”.
The Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority says there is nothing unusual in the processing of REDjet’s application, and that an announcement could be made early this week.
Oh, that we could get out of this hellhole of toing and froing!