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Status Quo

Dear Editor,

Another political year comes to an end in Great Bay, and the biggest losers are our people. We would hope that during the meeting closing off the parliamentary year, the fraction leaders can point to something however insignificant they have done to improve the lives of our people. We know for instance that they have not yet dealt with the abuse of the short- term contract. We know that unemployment is out of control and among the youth the word employ does not exist.

We already are aware of Transparency International’s report that states, among other things, that too many high positions in our public sector are headed by outsiders. We too are concerned about the convict sent back from Holland to finish deal away our patrimony through our cadastre. We are also cognizant of the fact that we have refused to offer contracts to some of our people, who have reached pension age in public education, instead of importing Jamaicans under the rationale that we can get two for one local.

We bear witness to the jobs occupied on Front Street and Back Street by people who don’t belong and are only there because of ineffective government and racist employers. We also took note of the show in the parking lot to register persons seeking employment. We see it as a waste of time and energy for the same way we go knocking on doors during election, we should take these things to the people. Either in the community centres or under the trees.  

We followed with interest the Dutch civil servant, who came here and disrespectfully and rudely belittled our local police force, and insulted country and government. I hope he doesn’t return to our shores, not even as a tourist. In the meanwhile, the inevitable instruction has been ordered by the Kingdom Government. I a true democracy or a country as we refer to ourselves, there can be no council of ministers without a parliament elected by the people. We have never casted a vote for anyone in the Netherlands; they don’t hold meetings informing us of their plans or intentions.

The fallacy that a minister plenipotentiary equals our participation is simply colonial justification to continue imposing on our people. We were informed of an institution contracted to put together for us a “National Development Plan”, however, we have no input and they are claiming to put something in place that no government now or in the future will be able to change. And we asked ourselves if we can’t alter our adjust same to meet our real needs, who is it for?

We have relented after some choice words and grand standing to allow the Dutch to set up an integrity chamber for us that fits their needs and complies with their wishes. While all this takes place, nothing concrete or tangible is coming out of Philipsburg, but the reshuffling of portfolios in the Gumbs Cabinet. It would seem that the leader of the UP party is resigned to doing anything or giving anything to keep this coalition afloat; only God knows for how long.

With all the happenings of the past year, the de facto leader of government Heyliger was not only silent, but also missing in action. However, there are outcries when members of the executive act and they feel threatened. My good friend, it is not worth it, if this country has no idea where you are taking it. We have yet to hear a debate on TI’s report and not to forget we would be pleased to know how the closed-door meeting decided to tackle crime on our behalf, after all, we are the ones affected most.

I won’t comment on the incoming ministers at this time, suffice to say it is surprising how some got by the screening if it was not relaxed. Anyway MP Heyliger, if you have lost control of your allies in the coalition, or members of your party, or you simply don’t have what it takes to lead, do the honourable thing, dissolve this parliament and let the people in their infinite wisdom decide where we would like to go. Status Quo just isn’t hacking it.

 

Elton Jones

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