Tue | Feb 25, 2020

Mark Wignall |Many missing the prosperity train

Published:Thursday | November 8, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Prime Minister of Jamaica Andrew Holness (left) with Member of Parliament for South East St Mary Dr Norman Dunn.

The messages which heralded the messiah-like political status of Michael Manley in 1972 were 'power for the people' and 'better must come'.

In 1980, Seaga announced his intention to free us from the political imprisonment and economic uncertainty of the turbulent 1970s. His message was 'deliverance is near'.

In 1989, a much more politically sedate Manley announced that his party, the PNP, would 'put people first'.

Probably recognising that all of the good and catchy election campaign messages had already been taken, Bruce Golding, in 2007, promised that his government would be one 'for all the people', relatively droll and lacking in political lustre as campaign messages go.

In the most recent message, the one issued at the beginning of 2016, Andrew Holness made mention of a word that not many Jamaicans were familiar with. Prosperity. That was the promise. Surely, should that be fallen short of, at the next election just about every political promise would have been taken and a round of recycling would have to be embarked on.




Let's take Mandy (not her real name). She emailed me about two weeks ago.

"Good morning, my name is Mandy. I am 27 years old. I saw your article in The Sunday Gleaner dated 21/10/2018. I am in a financially bad state, as I have been unemployed from March of this year. I have applied for every job possible, I have even called the office of the Prime Minister and was directed to the labour ministry and so far, nothing.

"I went ahead and took a loan from NCB to fund my education and I recently finished a master's degree in human resource development, but everywhere I have applied requires experience and when I apply for a lower-level job they inform me that they can't pay me. Please, I am asking for any assistance. I am depressed and frustrated. I can't even afford the basics. I have to ask family to allow me to stay with them. I am thinking to just walk away from everything."

After I had responded to Mandy and told her that I would make an appeal on her behalf through my column, Chupski suggested something else which I sent on to Mandy.

"Mandy please do not rule out putting in some serious legwork. Put on your clothes, arm yourself with your rÈsumÈ and determination. Travel to the offices of the places you are seeking work.

"Ask to speak to the HRD manager. You will get a lot of refusals but prepare to wait and never give up."




Of course, what I cannot do is make any impossible promises to Mandy. The best I can do is make an attempt to hook her up with anyone who may wish to assist her. Mandy should also recognise quite early on that whatever expectations she had as she began her postgraduate degree must never be seen to be set in stone. She must find her strongest attributes and bank on them.

That she called the prime minister's office speaks to her desperation. A few weeks ago a young woman, 24 years old, made a link with me and reminded me that she used to work at a bar that I used to visit. I remembered her. She was doing a course of study and I would assist by critiquing her papers before she submitted them.

In short, she had to cancel her studies because her funds ran out when the man who was funding her ran out on her. She is about to start anew to search for her piece of prosperity.