Thu | Jun 8, 2023

No ‘I’ in ‘team’, Dr Tufton

Published:Wednesday | March 29, 2023 | 12:53 AM
Dr Christopher Tufton
Dr Christopher Tufton


The Gordon House-venued proceedings of a certain joint select committee meeting, which has been chaired by Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton since its inaugural sitting in 2021, descended into a most worrying display of political entitlement on Thursday, March 16.

At the end of that session – notable for its restrained volleys of passive-aggression – Dr Tufton’s self-induced frustration with the minutiae and customarily measured pace of the Tobacco Control Bill he tabled back in December 2020, lapsed into a patronising rant that betrayed a lack of respect for the universal intricacies of the legislative process.

The Cabinet minister went to pains to assure those on the receiving end of his thinly veiled diatribe that he was not casting blame at any particular group of actors, yet immediately undermined his own disclaimer by centring his career legacy in the discussion, at the expense of the never-ending grunt work that must be undertaken by the technocrats who are critical to the passage of laws and public policies.


Dr Tufton continues to maintain that his ambitions are for the public good but his consistent protest behaviour and international pandering suggest otherwise.

The role of any public servant is to facilitate representation and inclusion of the people, and not to perpetuate didactic conceits that seek to sideline the Constitution, the rule of law and the contributions of those employing their expertise to Jamaica’s betterment.

When will this government realise that they will continue to eat crow if their trigger-happy approach to lawmaking does not change? How many times must they rush through legislation without reasonable care only to have it retooled following public outcry?

How many national identification and registration and road safety acts do we have to suffer through before they accept that lawmaking is a delicate science?

‘Unparliamentary’ has become a buzzword in recent days but – dare I say – it is apropos, in this case, to the health minister’s tenor, and it would serve him greatly to remember that there is no ‘I’ in ‘team’.