LETTER OF THE DAY - Turn slogans into action
THE EDITOR, Sir:
The slogan of the People's National Party (PNP) during its election campaign 13 months ago was 'People Power'. But the people have again been reminded that election slogans are just that: slogans. While people power was sought to gain an election victory, the PNP has ensured it is powerless to impact the direction of society.
A.J. Nicholson: Declared there doesn't need to be a referendum to change the final court of appeal for Jamaicans. This as the election results were a referendum for the PNP to effectively 'run the country' as it deemed appropriate. Guess the people handed over all their powers on December 29, 2011.
Portia Simpson Miller: Informed us she will not 'speak her way out of power', hence she refuses to speak on matters of national importance. The people don't even have the power to gain her attention. At least she said thanks for the election victory. Guess she will begin to speak again in 2016.
Bobby Pickersgill: Ironically, 'Chairman for Life' says the Cabinet has performed well, despite even the staunchest Comrade expressing dissatisfaction with the state of affairs. Guess the people are not only powerless, but their opinions don't count.
Lisa Hanna: Promised a national broadcast on the Jamaica 50 celebrations TWICE and failed to show. A grand opportunity to unite the nation was lost in finger-pointing and poor planning. Even worse, the winner of the Jamaica 50 Festival Song competition was powerless to collect her prizes until nearly five months later.
DO PEOPLE REALLY MATTER?
Omar Davies: While he and his Comrades drive in new luxury SUVs (some because year 2007 vehicles were too old), the powerful people will now be paying more for bus fares. This while the honourable minister challenges the powers of the Office of the Contractor General as it is impeding the Government's progress by asking for transparency.
Phillip Paulwell: Started with a bang and got phone rates down. However, when the powerful people got the monopoly of the Jamaica Public Service Company overthrown, his Cabinet took the people to court. Guess the people cannot get away with any display of power after all.
Peter Phillips: Well, his leader promised an IMF agreement in two weeks. But 52 weeks later, the people are still waiting. There's a Budget that was more than a month late with taxes aimed squarely at the patty-eating power, a dollar that's moved from being a rock to a rolling stone, and unions asking for their pound of flesh would move anyone to tears. I feel your pain, sir.
The power of the people has vanished, only to be replaced with egos and incompetence of the highest order. One-third of the nation remains poor and between salary freezes and rising prices seemed destined to increase. Elections are not the only time we the people have power, and until we realise that, we will continue to endure hard times and poor leadership.
The media, the Church and the middle class owe it to the less intellectual among us to ask HARD questions and demand transparency and accountability from those who lead us.
People Power needs to move from a slogan to action. The Government works for us; not the other way around.