THE PEOPLE’S NATIONAL PARTY:

 

Since the launch of this site we have been critical of  Jamaica’s  People’s National party on several occasions , in fact we have written three specific blogs that specifically targets that party and its operatives. These blogs are as follows.

(1) Enough with the support for criminals .July 27th.

(2) We are not acting irresponsibly says PNP . August 5th.

(3) No sloganeering except this new slogan .August 8th.

We have been harshly critical of the PNP in these blogs as well as in others , not because we hate the people’s National Party as a party competing for state power, and one that has been incredibly successful at doing so .

We criticize the PNP  because that party has been given tremendous leverage at state power , yet as very little to show for all of the time they were allowed control of the state’s resources. In fact they have woefully squandered the resources of the State , this criticism has come even from within . Dr Blythe a former minister of Government and a very well-respected Jamaican, himself  pointed to the party’s failings.

Many people barely able to write their  names, have become filthy rich , at the expense of the Jamaican taxpayers, as a result of the PNP’s largess. They have systematically used every corrupt practice to award contracts to people not qualified to shine shoes. This has cost the Jamaican people Billions of dollars. Nepotism, curry favor, political pay-offs and every vice imaginable,has been employed in swindling the scarce resources of the state and diverting them into the pockets of unscrupulous party hacks and enforcers. Yet despite this,  Jamaican voters have overwhelmingly given that party the reins to governance significantly more than the other party , the JLP.

The country has struggled and now lags behind the rest of the Caribbean in pretty much all sectors to include education , economic growth, and crime management  to name a few. Jamaica, which up to the beginning of the 70′ was the leader in the Caribbean, was looked to for leadership by its neighbors , has now been reduced to a laughing-stock by countries like Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, the Cayman Islands and others. Our currency is almost worthless and our people looked on as pariahs wherever we go.

The PNP has traditionally positioned itself as a champion of the poor . Articulating a path that at face value seem to advocate for the poor illiterate masses, championing their cause as the cause of the party, rather than actually doing anything substantive about their plight.

This party has been blessed with great orators at it’s  helm, from the Manley’s,  father and son to, Portia Simpson Miller , the first female to ascend to that level in either party, they have had tremendous crowd pleasers, who could/can mesmerize a crowd into believing anything . However when the facade is peeled back there is, and never really was anything to the rhetoric.

Unfortunately for Jamaica ,a country with  a large part of  its population illiterate,  and too many looking to politicians for a break ,the future seem bleak.

Simpson Miller

Simpson Miller

The hot air the  PNP spew  is welcome news and something to hold onto for many, but generally is a lot of heat and not much light. The present leader of the party Simpson Miller is seen as a kind of local deity , she has clawed her way up from the bottom of the pole of representational politics , most people identify with her, they see her as one of them based on her humble beginnings, others are drawn to her because of her gender, they see her as  a  trail-blazer . Getting to the top of the heap is commendable and worthy  of recognition. However there are those who could tell tales of some of her shenanigans that would turn a lot of  folks completely off.

When viewed in the context of the length of time she has represented the  constituency of South west St Andrew, and her supposed passion for the poor, the two narratives shows a seismic disconnect. The people  of that constituency are some of Jamaica’s most disadvantaged , needy, dispossessed,  impoverished, and illiterate. There  is no intent here to disparage the good people of south-west St Andrew.

We bring these facts to the fore to illustrate that supposed caring, does not necessarily translate into positive change.  Saying I care , , hugging and crying, without actually laying the foundation that will sustain a long-term growth process for generations to come , really is disingenuous, and creates more hurt than help. Teaching someone to fish, is a much better strategy than giving  a  person a fish every day. Unless of course, giving a fish a day is a strategy designed to keep people beholden to the giver , mesmerized at the largess, and perceived kindness , but in a sinister way traps them into a culture of dependence, and illiteracy.PNP CROWD

The road to success was never going to be an easy one ,those in leadership , whether in business, politics, war, whatever the field , must educate those they purport to lead on the sacrifices and challenges, as well as the setbacks that will litter the road to success. Some argue success is  not even attainable. That aside, I  liken success to a high-rise tower . Before we get to the exquisite panoramic view from those air-conditioned  offices, someone had to dig several floors down into the dirt and mud to lay the foundation , getting dirty, with hands bruised and calloused from the grind of securing the foundations that makes it necessary to have that high-rise office tower. This analogy is alien to the strategy of the PNP , they steadfastly refuse to acknowledge the grunge work that must be done to attain the fleeting concept that is success. Each and every Generation must do it’s part to add to the successes of generations past as we move to success, a concept that constantly moves the goal post. Despite this each generation will see their standard of living improved if we understand and implement the necessary foundation work toward that end. In the blog titled No sloganeering except this new slogan,  I pointed to the fact that the president of the PNP when asked pointedly what was the priority for her ,should she become the Prime Minister again. In the Interview given to TVJ she gave an incoherent tortured ramble that seemed like a toy train going round and round with no destination. In that interview she failed to identify the single greatest threat to growth and progress, the crime monster and energy cost. As I commented then, if Portia Simpson Miller is unable to understand that everything is predicated on a stable society where entrepreneurs can be the best they can be , creating jobs . In a society free from crime and terror , extortion, exorbitant energy rates, stupid regressive Government regulations based on the whims of one person, and a work-force that feels someone owes it something.

This brings us to the latest fluff  put forward by the PNP called the “PROGRESSIVE AGENDA”. For the sake of our country I prayed that this latest fishing expedition would be different from all of the other fluff agendas we have seen of the PNP in the past. Well true to form they continued to offer a Utopian wide-ranging disorganized kitchen sink , rather than specific targeted areas for sustained attention and  growth.

The Progressive Agenda  features five pillars: Human Resource Development; A Safe, Secure and Just Society; a Participatory, Accountable and Responsible Society; Progressive Internationalism; and Economic Growth and Sustainable Development. These pillars are certainly critical to the social and economic progression of Jamaica. Unfortunately, the PNP’s Progressive Agenda fails to lucidly demonstrate how the party intends to achieve its in-explicit declarations. Under the Human Resources Development pillar, the party notes that it will “address the under achievement of young men, and the under-rewarding of young women”. Under Safety and Security, the PNP expresses its intention to “promote a culture of tolerance, respect, social responsibility, respect for other people, for animals, and for nature”. They declare: “Jamaica will be a busy beehive.” They might as well state an intention to summon great God from the sky to “take away everything and make everybody feel high.

 When pushed by TVJ on what would be her immediate focus if she was to be returned to power, Miller had this to say.

have several priorities and hence the progressive agenda, that lays down the various areas of concentration,certainly the growth and development of the country,economic growth and development,education , jobs. 

 But those are kinda broad, but what would you do to fix what you understand is a broken economy.?(interviewer)

 There are a number of areas that we … we can look on that will be able to create jobs , we look at what you mentioned earlier agriculture and the value added, you notice every year it’s now mango time, we eat what we can and the rest just fall on the ground and rot, .vegetables now when you see the farmers loosing their crops because they have no market,how is it we can get factories into a number of the parishes, that will process all of these things , and so that we can consume what we can and then others the rest of the world will share with us ,and I think agriculture is one in terms of agriculture and the value added.And I think urban and rural development will also be a focus apart from looking at the whole question of energy , because I think that is critical in the country at this time, and looking at all the other areas certainly businesses, aahm small medium size , while not ignoring the big businesses, and continue to give them support, well we need to look at all those areas that will allow the economy to grow. We need to look seriously at the development and planned development of Jamaica , both rural and urban, we tend to look at the towns and the cities and we ignore the rural areas,and the deep rural areas , and I think that’s why we have the migration into ….so there are a number of areas that are well documented in the progressive agenda , and there are a number of persons that are looking at it and they are giving us some critical feedback and suggestions  that we are taking on board so we can have the launch, and then to have wider consultations , broader consultations , and all of that.

Mangoes ! Yes my fellow Jamaicans mangoes.

 


One thought on “THE PEOPLE’S NATIONAL PARTY:

  1. “The country has struggled and now lags behind the rest of the Caribbean in pretty much all sectors to include education , economic growth, and crime management to name a few. Jamaica, which up to the beginning of the 70′ was the leader in the Caribbean, was looked to for leadership by its neighbours , has now been reduced to a laughing-stock by countries like Trinidad and Tobago, Barbadoes, the Cayman Islands and others. Our currency is almost worthless and our people looked on as pariahs wherever we go.”

    Don’t have time to comment on the whole post just yet, but I wanted to address this point in particular for now.

    This is a myth. Jamaica was only a leader in the Caribbean and looked to for leadership by its neighbours (I prefer the term “siblings” since we are all one family) until about 1961-1962 when we abandoned that leadership position (and we have never attempted to take back that leadership position despite supposedly being the natural leader of the West Indies). We first started to abandon it the moment Norman Manley and Bustamante decided not to run for federal elections. There is no doubt that either one of them could easily have become federal prime minister. But they didn’t even try. They left that prospect to their deputies (Adams from Barbados for Manley and Sinanan from Trinidad for Bustamante). By repudiating the official leadership position in the region, we gave a heads-up to what we were going to do next, which was abandon our brothers and sisters in the other islands to a separate independence. We abandoned people (the majority of whom were dark skinned like the majority of people in Jamaica) who had suffered through the same ills of slavery, indentureship, discrimination, exploitation and colonialism for most of our people’s history (up until the 1840s to 1940s when Britain managed to right her ways by first ending slavery (late 1830s), then ending indentureship (late 1910s) and then giving universal suffrage to the populations of the islands (1940s) and appointing locals to positions of power). The West Indies could have received independence between April and July 1962 (earlier than any of the islands did separately including Jamaica) and many of the other islands had to wait at least another decade or two to get independence. Imagine what Marcus Garvey must have thought in heaven at our abandonment of fellow coloured people in our own region. We abandon them, yet unashamedly claim to follow Marcus Garvey and his pan-Africanism and more general view of fighting for the rights of all oppressed peoples everywhere (whether they were African or not).

    We were also never leaders of the region economically except in the aspect of deficits. During the time of federation Jamaica accounted for about 50% of the population but 60% of the deficit with the outside world (and note that Trinidad at the time had a surplus with the outside world, i.e. all territories outside of the federation – the figures did not take into account intra-federation trade). So our share of the deficit was actually even worse than the 60% indicates. Since the 1960s we have been importing more than we export and at the time our manufacturing industry was light years ahead of what it is now. The sad fact is that our leaders have always been REactive instead of PROactive. We have always blamed outside forces for our ills, but we do nothing to pre-empt these forces even when it is clear that they are coming. I would strongly urge you to read the study “A Tale of Two Islands” which shows how our lack of policies has contributed to our wretched economic situation. In contrast places like Barbados and the Bahamas which have nearly identical constitutions and systems of government and which are more similar to us in other ways (the Bahamas has a larger land area, Barbados has a high population density like us, Barbados has a small natural resource industry in the form of small oil deposits which compares to our relatively large bauxite deposits in terms of revenue, Bahamas and Barbados have people as their main resource like us and sell agricultural produce etc) are now first world countries like Singapore and Sweden while we remain resolutely third world. They put in place policies to head off external factors before they caused havoc with their economy.

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