Jamaica could be a better nation


June 29, 2018
The official opening of Parliament at Gordon House in February.

Every time there is a scandal in this country involving the mismanagement of huge amounts of money due largely to political expediency, I often wonder just how great a nation we would be if we could only self-govern.

As I have said before, we used to be the best in the world at tourism, bauxite, pineapples, and, I am sure, other things as well. We used to attract an elite tourist clientele. Jamaica used to be the place to be.

However, over time, instead of getting better at what we did, we only got worse - not because we lacked the capability, but because we had people in charge who were more concerned about fattening their pockets than putting the country on a path to further success.

Yes, there have been external influences that have impacted our economic fortunes, but that again came down to the willingness of some of our leaders to destroy the country just so they could rise to power.

What has resulted is that Jamaica is, 50 years after independence, trying to rise from the ashes to be the country we should have always been.

Instead, we are continuously hamstrung by the selfishness and the myopia of some of the people who call themselves leaders.

Can you imagine, if we could just manage to do the right things most of the time, how great a nation we could be? We would have people trying to come here to live and invest instead of trying to flee.

We would have a population bound by ethical standards that would only encourage great levels of investment. We would manage to keep our university graduates, our brightest minds, here to help build on what would have been strong foundations.

But, for some reason, we only seem capable of shooting ourselves in the foot.

Haven't we learnt any lessons over the past five decades? Haven't we seen how detrimental we are to our own potential success? Are we so selfish to not see that if we create a society, an economy, where all Jamaicans could benefit, where all Jamaicans could get an education or learn a skill, we could all live in a country we could be proud of?

Why is it so hard for us to see and embrace that?

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