Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Proverbial 'Bamboo Fire'

I was reading this article in the Jamaica Observer and I swear, certain people in our Jamaican society (READ: certain constituencies on both sides of the political divide) are masochists! They vote the same way for years despite the same 'nothing' going on for these same years. Is it that they misunderstand the importance of exercising their democratic right in achieving their own 'greater good'?

I sincerely hope that with this significant increase in the number of youths that have registered to vote as per the May 31 voter's list that there will be an increase in scrutiny of what is being done and put forward by the political parties in Jamaica. Though some may argue that the type of government we have does not suit us, it is what we have and we may as well work with it. I hope this new interest, whether a 'flash in the pan' or not will bring about a new drive by Jamaicans to do away with voting for a party because of tradition and start something unheard of in Jamaica - voting for better! The old uneducated fools who have been responsible for leading Jamaica down a path of destruction for 18 unbroken years and then some need to be removed, there is still hope for Jamaica - men (and women) like Davies are on their way out, Roger Clarke is gone, A.J. Nicholson 'cut', Portia Simpson-Miller, as we say in Jamaica 'a gyaap', there seems to be a cry for 're-imagination and re-birth' in the People's National Party (PNP) and that is long overdue and welcome.

I am not in a position to fairly judge those members of the Jamaica Labour Party as frankly, I have not seen much of them in leadership of the country. I do remember as a very young child under an Edward Seaga led Jamaica being given a wet $2 note by one of the workers on the farm that I grew up as change for my mother who had asked him to purchase batteries for a flashlight and that worker being verbally reprimanded by another worker for giving me 'so much money' lest I lose it. Bread was cheap, milk was cheap, corned beef and tin mackerel were also cheap. Crime wasn't so bad, the dollar was doing OK for itself and there was not so much lawlessness in Jamaica. Fast forward couple years to the beginning of a Bruce Golding led JLP government. A country inherited from 18 years of PNP 'leadership' debt is sky-high, crime and violence increased, bad roads, worse economy and a beaten and battered Jamaican dollar among many other ills, especially those in our Society. I was fairly pleased with that rather short JLP administration's achievements in comparison to the PNP's 18 years and it is against that backdrop that I am able to make a comparison.

Let's hope this cry for not 'better' but actual 'leadership' is not merely being championed by those with self-serving aspirations but is being done by people who genuinely want to see better for their party second and their country above all. The likes of Peter Bunting, Lisa Hanna and Julian Robinson all seem attractive to Jamaica against the likes of what previously obtained in that of those mentioned in the previous paragraph and also of Robert Pickersgill, Peter Phillips and and the 'youthfully exuberant' Phillip Paulwell who has not done too well for himself since his much heralded entry into Political representation. Let's hope Jamaica stands to benefit from the boat-rocking.

Anyway, the direction I see Andrew Holness taking the country is promising, is it that we will see new governance and leadership in Jamaica or is it the proverbial 'bamboo fire' that just blazes up to die down as quickly as it started?