We seem to live in a world apart. Much of what we do and say seems to suggest that we have chosen to ignore many of the realities that surround us.
This plays itself out on many levels. Our politicians sometimes find themselves embroiled in squabbles about matters that are rather inconsequential, and then spend much effort convincing the public that these issues are of import.
I remember one recent discussion in Parliament in which the main point of concern was whether the shade of gold in the national colours in an official document was inaccurate. Apparently, the claim being made was that a public servant who supported the People's National Party Government was using a shade of gold that was closer to orange - the party colour - on official documents.
We were supposed to take note of that and prevent this outrage!
This occurred a couple months after a senior civil servant claimed that he was unable to provide the green for the creation of the national flag for an official function. Apparently, we have decided to take the political silly season to another level of ludicrousness!
All of this at a time when our education system, our infrastructure, our health-care provision, our crime prevention and the economy, in general, are in dire straits, and when neither of our political parties seems able to come up with solutions to carry us through these parlous times.
It may be, however, that normal methods, standard economic policies, the usual social-intervention systems and traditional crime-fighting approaches will not, even if rigorously applied, carry us through to a brighter day.
Maybe there is nothing else our politicians and our planners can do but continue doling out promises to fix roads and broken sewerage systems, improve health care and educational opportunities, fight crime and abuse, and provide jobs as they 'shut dem yeye an gwaan try a ting', knowing full well that they are waging an unwinnable war.
The world is changing rapidly. We see erstwhile First-World countries lunging headlong into bankruptcy. We see the poorest nations becoming poorer. We see the man who seemed to hold out some hope, Barack Obama, being embroiled in a constant struggle to keep himself out of the clutches and control of the tiny group of super billionaires and their companies that rule the world.
I think, however, that Jamaica, the land of the tallawah, is in a position to begin a movement that can make a difference to the developing world. I believe that we lost a wonderful opportunity to do so when we crumbled under the pressure that began when these super rich realised the power of the idea of the New International Economic Order that was being formulated and promulgated by Jamaican Michael Manley. This would possibly have begun a movement that could have led to their losing their iron-clad hold over organisations like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Trade Organisation, and the World Bank.
So they used their control of the media to target Manley's weaknesses and to demonise him in Jamaica, and used our own democratic processes to oust from power the man who was galvanising international support for this new thinking.
CHANGE IN ATTITUDE
It is only if there is a change in the attitude to the world's economic power structure that countries like ours will have any hope for prosperity for the people. I believe that Jamaica can lead the struggle to get the IMF to change its moribund policies.
I believe that this is where it must start and other international agencies may begin to follow suit. It has to start somewhere. It is absolutely necessary for the poor of the world to be able to survive.
It is a return to the old idea of a new economic order. An a wi fi do it. We, the descendants of Marcus Garvey. Our thinkers must find the arguments and the clarity to get the IMF negotiators to turn the necessary corner.
So we must immediately rid our political leadership of those with the 'crab-inna-barrel' mentality and start getting our heads together. I believe that we, in this land of the tallawah, can make the difference to the developing world!
Keith Noel is an educator. Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.