Fri | Jan 19, 2018

Throne Speech relevant but not relatable - Youth say GG's parliamentary contribution not for common man

Published:Friday | February 10, 2017 | 12:00 AMSyranno Baines
Don-Marie Thompson from Mandela Terrace, St Andrew.
Stephanie Prince from Olympic Gardens, St Andrew.
Jessica Kirlew from Arnett Gardens, St Andrew.
Tyrese Taylor from Grants Pen, St Andrew.

Four inner-city youngsters stand resolute in their belief that while the  annual Throne Speech delivered to the nation to mark the opening of Parliament has relevance, its format of delivery requires simplicity to better appeal to the common man experiencing the issues.

"I believe he could have reached out and empathised with the nation to say mothers, parents, grandparents, I understand what you are feeling, and the Government will be working to stop these criminal acts that are destroying families. The speech was way too formal, and the man in the lane cannot relate to that," said 24-year-old Don-Marie Thompson, a resident of Mandela Terrace in St Andrew.

Specially invited guests of The Gleaner, Thompson and three of her contemporaries were providing feedback on Governor General Sir Patrick Allen's ninth Throne Speech yesterday, which outlined the priorities of the Andrew Holness Administration for the 2017-2018 fiscal year.

Twenty-six-year-old Jessica Kirlew, a resident of the tough Arnette Gardens community, stated: "I didn't feel a connection with him at all. It's as if they (the Government) just gave him a speech and he just read from it; no feeling."

The young people also unanimously expressed their belief that those who assume the reins of power are out of touch with the reality common folk struggle with daily.

Kirlew added: "I don't think they understand crime because they're not subjected to it. As a woman in today's society, I'm scared. More police need to be on the road because something serious is happening to our country."

... Delivery required someone who understands

In weighing in on the dialogue, 26-year-old Stephanie Price of Olympic Gardens stated that the nature of the speech would be better conveyed if delivered by someone with experience and a better understanding of the issues.

She said: "It requires someone that understands how a qualified but unemployed individual feels. It requires an individual who understands the feeling of losing a relative to violent circumstances."

The crop of youngsters also agreed that the majority of the outlined plans are repetitious scripts - with an emphasis on job creation - over the years that haven't come to fruition, .

Grants Pen resident, 18-year-old Tyrese Taylor said: "We've been hearing the job promises for a while now, and I'm not seeing them. If persons don't have a certain level of education due to lack of resources to attend school, and so on, they should still be able to become employed at their skill level."