Mon | Oct 22, 2018

Is Gov't a modern-day colonial master?

Published:Saturday | December 16, 2017 | 12:00 AM


I have been watching the trajectory of events closely during the past few months and I finally yield to the temptation to ask, "Is the Jamaican Government, in its present state, a modern-day colonial master?"

Let me start on the point of democracy - participatory democracy. I will backtrack to the question that Daniel Thomas asked in the OPM Youth Forum a few weeks ago and the prime minister's apparent how-dare-you retort.

This is so reflective of slavery when the masses were not allowed to question anything and had their rights taken away from them. The moderator's response, "There are implications ... ." I will stop there, before I misquote her. Rhetoric like this reminds one so much of whips, chains and shackles.

Might I add, when slaves were being pressured to work under undue strain and temptation, they resisted through measures like malingering. We see this echoing in the police and nurses as they continue to stage sickouts in protest for better wages. Reminds us so much of even the wage riots in the 1930s.

We are coming from a dark place to which we would not want to go back. The Government needs to negotiate better wage deals with public servants, who are the pillars of our society.

Even colonial masters knew that sometimes negotiations suited their interests. Remember the Maroon Treaty? When the Jamaica Labour Party won the Government in February 2016, the party's arrogance was to be put aside and the task of governing the nation prioritised. They need to remember that they were put there with little confidence by the people; after all, it was a one-seat majority.

Don't give us more reasons to think that electing you was an accident. Treat the people better. Democracy means 'people rule'. Respect the voice of the people.