Sat | Feb 24, 2018

Letter of the Day | Goodbye to the old, hello to the new

Published:Monday | June 27, 2016 | 12:00 AM


As we awaken to the new post-Brexit world, I hope that the Jamaicans who have been living in the past will smell the coffee. The writing has been on the wall for a long time, but we have chosen to believe otherwise.

The discussions about the Privy Council and knighthoods, the expectations of the embrace of the black migrant and more are now behind us. We need to plan strategies to deal with the new world. We need to plan the way forward with the new European Union and the world.

Now that Jamaicans form the largest group of black migrants to the United States of America, we also have to prepare ourselves for the possibility of the ascent of the great wall builder, 'President' Donald Trump.

It is quite possible that he will be in office in November, and dog will be 'nyamming' our collective suppers. For all Jamaicans, it must be time to face the fact that we who are citizens of this country must fix it. We have to maintain good relations with our neighbours and find new friends and allies in the world.

Life will get more difficult for the migrant, and we must address the factors which are pushing our citizens away, the crime, limited opportunities for employment, corruption and a lack of strategic planning for the country.

We have to stop depending on those who face the winter, the racism and other adversities to send home remittances. In fact, we may be facing a period of increased deportations of our citizens. Our leaders need to become informed and purposive. No more tired rhetoric.




We have to improve our relationships with our Caribbean neighbours and ensure that we don't get caught in the idea of Jamaican exceptionalism. On the larger scale, we see the dangers of American exceptionalism and British exceptionalism. Ours is a small country with half of its population living outside. We are facing economic challenges as well as a generally fragile ecosystem in the social and environmental sense.

What we need is new thinking, including ideas outside of the neo-liberal economics which has left the leavers in power in Britain. This is a time for us to think like the god Janus, who has the capacity to look back at the past while looking forward. We need to understand what will happen if the economic benefits which accrue from the sacrifices which have been made by the many are only felt by the few. We have to think positively through the time of uncertainty.

Hilary Roberston-Hickling