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We here at Falmouth News wish you a happy Independence Day.

Independence is a time to not only celebrate what we have achieved as a country, but also to look at what we did wrong, and how we can make it right.

There are many positives about Jamaica land we love. As a people, it seems whatever we set our mind to do, we can do it. If we choose to do good, we can be the best at whatever we do. Unfortunately, if we choose to do bad, we can be the worst of the worst. Too many of our people choose the latter.

Our leadership is hampered by a political system that serves itself, instead of serving the people. The politicians act more like our masters than our servants, until election time comes along and we become prizes. We are pampered, until elections are over.

We are taxed to the maximum to pay debts for which we see little results. Some of the very loans received by the successive governments are spent to convince us to re-elect them when elections come around. It becomes a vicious cycle of non-performance and promises, to keep the elite in power.

Poor economic opportunities has created a generation of thieves and hustlers among our young people. Jobs are few for those leaving school and many have to migrate after getting their qualifications here. Those who stay try to find ingenious ways to live a successful life, minus the hard work. The wages are too menial to make hard work an attractive option. The result, is a huge lottery scam industry.

I was at a location over a year ago for the entire day. I saw tens of young men who don’t work walk in and out. All of them were big spenders and were obviously hustlers. some were in their young teens. My host, the owner of the establishment, looked at me seriously and said that scamming is the number one employer of males in Trelawny! After sitting there that day, I was left in awe.

As a result of this underground employment, the murder rate has sky rocketed. It is a known fact that the one thing the ‘scammers’ buy the first time they ‘bingo,’ is a gun. The result? Disagreements and shady deals are often settled by murder. That is why I believe the National Security Minister Peter Bunting when he said that scamming was the main cause for the spike in murders in Jamaica. how do we stop this if we do not provide attractive, meaningful employment for the young men?

Jamaica’s problem is a political one. It can be fixed if we have politicians who do not serve the PNP or JLP systems, but serve people! You see, No matter how someone is motivated to make a difference as a politician, once they fall into one of those camps, it is all over. You have to settle into how the party does things. For example, if there is a vote in parliament and senate, you are expected to vote for the party, not for your personal belief. In no time, that strident lover of people is transformed into a lover of power and all the fringe benefits it brings. The people he loved at the start of his foray into politics are now secondary.

Why not make it a priority to create economic opportunities, grow the economy, provide jobs that people can live by, enforce the law with zero tolerance, provide a justice system that gives justice so people do not have to take the law into their own hands, make corruption a national disgrace instead of a national pastime? Put politics last and people first. you are the servant of the people!

On the positive side, our people continue to strive worldwide, in whatever field they choose. Our athletes makes us (per capita), the number one track and field country in the world. Our scientists are blazing the trail as pioneers, using our Jamaican grown plants to fight the most feared diseases. Jamaicans continue to strive against adversity, we now have 4 or more major universities, we are gradually building out highways that will be the catalysts for future development.

Our people have such a great impact on the world, I am sure many are shocked when they hear there are only 2.7 million of us. The Jamaicans in the diaspora have helped to build the countries in which they live, Bob Marley, Marcus Garvey, Usain Bolt are all household names worldwide. As Jamaicans say, “we lickle but we tallawah!”

Oh, if all this great potential could be harnessed to build our country! The major problem as I said before is our political system. Where are the leaders to take us out of the present economic and social mess we are in? In this the ‘selfie’ generation, everyone is too busy looking out for themselves. Who will look out for Jamaica? In this celebration of our 53rd Independence, this is the question we need to ask.

Personally, I think the answer lies in the diaspora. Jamaicans at home are so stifled and riveted in the current political system and way of doing things, we are powerless to make a change. That change can come from those living abroad. If change won’t come from within, let it come from without. Jamaicans living in the diaspora seem to love our country more than those of us living here. It maybe time to convert that love into action and take more active part in the future of our country.

Food for thought on this Independence Day.

 

Take a look at where it all began. Video of our first Independence.
Why Marcus Garvey Should be Celebrated Every Independence Week

 

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