The Editor, Sir:
There is hardly a single factor which traps the poor in enclaves of poverty, hopelessness and despondency as the type of garrison politics we stubbornly practice in Jamaica, to everyone's disgrace except the politicians who cherish this as their surest path to political power and access to state resources to enhance the status quo.
The incongruity of this is so stark: many of these politicians are still claiming the mantle of 'champion of the poor and oppressed'. The real pity is the citizen and the press refuse to face this issue head on. This is nothing but the ostrich head buried deep in the sand.
Added to this, Jamaica's lack of meaningful economic growth for the past two decades has further robbed the residents of these garrison enclaves of adequate opportunities to escape this stranglehold of poverty. This calls into serious question the brand of socialist policy which we have practised during this period which, by all empirical evidence, resulted in more, rather than less poverty. When all these disadvantages are added up, one can only conclude that rarely has there been a bunch of politicians who have failed their people so dismally.
This also puts light on the Michael Manley's legacy of social reforms of the 1970s. In countries with sustained positive social changes, economic progress is never left outsides the matrix. The governance of the past two decades ignored the important lessons from Michael Manley's errors and the country suffered significantly for this.
This is yet another plea for our politicians t their doctrine with sober action and for the media and the citizens to hold their feet to the fire to adhere to this important process.
I am, etc.,
W. W. WOOD
P.O. Box 760, Kingston