Brand Jamaica under threat

Published: Sunday | July 22, 2012 Comments 0


It is embarrassing as a Jamaican to see the continued erosion of the once spotless brand called Jamaica. This by no means is a new phenomenon, as the near civil riots of the late '70s almost removed our title as the 'pearl of the Caribbean'.

Fast-forward to 2012 and we seem to be in self-destruct mode once again. As if degrading our own sacred national emblem, the flag, wasn't enough, our Parliament decided to try to outdo itself with a performance worthy of the 'Jerry Springer Show'. This fish market was followed up by some half-hearted apologies which only continued to show the disdain and contempt senior public servants have for the Jamaican people.

I hadn't even begun to look up from hanging my head in shame when the news surfaced about two elected officials representing the ruling People's National Party being arrested for their believed involvement in the lotto scam. Now the gentlemen are innocent until proven guilty, but the fact that their actions or associations could put them in such an unfortunate position is, at the very least, quite regrettable.

These developments bring into sharp focus the foundations of our political system and their suitability to address our current realities. We need to quickly determine who we are as a people and what we want for our future.

We also need to be reminded the world sees no political party when they look at Jamaica - just one nation. And when the Government fails, the country fails.

There needs to be consensus on both sides of the political fence that leads to improved representation for the people of this country. The prime minister saying she wasn't there and she was busy when asked about her views on the matter cannot be accepted by the people who she serves. She is the leader of the country, and not only the leader of the PNP. She is ultimately responsible for the safety and development of our island and, the chief protector of Brand Jamaica.

Urgent action needs to be taken to improve our system of governance, our political structure and the transparency and accountability of Government. If not, 50 years from now we will once again be left to bemoan the opportunities we didn't exploit and our failure to progress as an independent nation.


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