One of the many down sides to commenting on Jamaica’s politicians is, one way or another you will most assuredly, be accused of being a supporter of the other party.That is a risk we are prepared to take if it generates the kind of discussions we would like to see that will spark an intellectual revolution amongst our people, one that will force change toward transparency and accountability among public officials, and Agencies.How then do we get to spark that intellectual discourse when the battle lines are so stark between those who are educated, wants everyone to know it and are quite happy not to have others get a shot at the education they got, leaving them no one to look down on. And on the other side of the divide those who are painfully illiterate that they glorify some who are barely able to read and write.
Recently sworn Prime Minister Andrew Holness, promised he would write to the leader of the Opposition Portia Simpson Miller inviting her to walk with him through Garrison communities, a symbolic move Holness feel, one that will set the tone toward his stated goal of dismantling garrison communities. The Jamaica daily Gleaner of October 31st 2011 is reporting that true to his word Holness sent a letter to Simpson Miller last Friday October 27th, but is yet to receive a response. I’m not that cynical to believe that there is a sinister motive to what the Gleaner story seem to feel is a reluctance on Miller’s part to respond.
I am willing to give Miller the benefit of the doubt, I am willing to wait for someone within the PNP to coin a response, give it to her and allow her to figure out how she can benefit from that response politically. On that basis I can clearly see why she hasn’t yet responded.
I mean for crying out loud, what is there to think about? Zones of political exclusions only serve to keep people impoverished and down trodden, how could anyone who claim to care for the most dispossesed amongst us not want to tear these barriers down? Barriers mean crime , poverty , lack of investment, lack of jobs, lack of educational opportunities, lack of proper health care , and I could go on ad-naeusum.Why would Portia find this objectionable , despite the politics involved, is asking her to be gracious and magnanimous too much to ask ? Miller is reported to have stated that there are no walls in her constituency, this response was her attempt to suggest her constituency is not a garrison, because there are no literal walls keeping anyone in or preventing anyone from entering.
This comment is both cynical and insulting, on the one hand, one has to surmise that the esteemed leader of the opposition is suggesting that the absence of a wall is proof positive that she does not preside over a garrison. On the other hand it could be reasonably construed that she actually believes that an actual wall is a necessary component that makes up a garrison. So which are we to believe? One thing is certain The leader of the Opposition has spent her entire carrear honing an image that monopolizes the art of caring for the poor, she is member of parliament for the constituency of South West Saint Andrew one of the most desperately impoverished areas in the country, added to the poverty, it is crime infested. Through intimidation, murder, rape, arson and other means, Miller and other garrison Members of parliament are returned to office time and time again. No one really knows what the true political feelings of the people who live in those communities are, no one dare to go against the grain , too many have died. This type of desperate 21st century slavery is synanamous to what Bob Marley so eloquently sang about , where they removed the chains from the ankles and placed them on the brain . This is not confined to the constituency of Miller, or Holness, it is not just Arnett Gardens built and armed By the likes of Anthony Spaulding, or Tivoli Gardens the once legendary mother of all garrisons, nurtured fertilized, pruned and cared for by Edward Seaga. The truth is most of the corporate area is carved up into ridiculous no go zones, once pristine areas of Willow Way and Standpipe in the heart of uptown are now over-run with crime and made impossible for decent people to live.
So the question arises, why would Miller want to see a dismantling of garrisons? Garrisons have kept her relevant , kept her paid , bestowed the title of Prime Minister on her, and Most Honorable on her and her husband. Does the privileged give up their privilege? No it has to be taken from them. It is up to the Jamaican people to tear down the garrisons. Portia Lucretia Simpson Miller , and Andrew Michael Holness, despite the gestures of good-will cannot and will not dismantle garrisons, Garrisons are not geographical, or phychical they are mental, people will necessarily have to get to a point where they realize that the Holnesses and the Millers of this world are not in their corner, they have to take their future and that of their children into their own hands , they have to decide that they will not be pitted against each other so that one person , one family, can be elevated above all else.
It was a wonderful thing to see the beautiful family of Andrew Holness , picture-perfect, husband , wife and two adorable little boys, those two boys will get a proper education, they will get the best health care, they will get to live in the absolute best Government Housing and have all of the perks and trappings that are accorded the Prime Minister and his family. But for that one family that made it, how many little Jamaican boys do not have shoes, clothes, a proper bed to sleep in, or has no idea where their next meal is coming from?
The intellect that would cause the people to see that they deserve the same things Miller and Holness enjoys, is lacking and that deficiency will keep them enslaved in the garrisons , held behind imaginary walls that keeps them enslaved in south-west St Andrew to Portia Simpson Miller, and in West Central St. Andrew to Andrew Michael Holness. Holness may deny that his constituency is a garrison all he wants , those of us who lived there, dodged bullets there and woke up to see the corpses know a garrison when we see one , Tower Hill/ Water House is a garrison.
What bothers me is the total blindness and absolute idiocy of Jamaican voters who continue to allow these misfits to use and abuse them , while they kill each other to elevate them to god like status. People all over the world, in places where dictatorships ruled for decades , are rising to the occasion, realizing that those who governed are allowed to govern by them the people, and as such they are taking their future into their own hands , overturning even the most entrenched systems in places like Egypt and Libya. We get the Government we deserve, the blindness of the electorate is their undoing, where there is no vision the people perish.