Frequent flyer PM needs to touch base

Published: Wednesday | December 18, 2013 Comments 0

Hero Carlito, Guest Columnist

Isn't it clear Dr Carlton Davis and the prime minister (PM) are still taking Jamaican people for idiots? They fail to understand that some people were born at night, but not everyone was born last night.

I came to this conclusion after reading the article titled 'PM's overseas trips warranted' (Gleaner, December 16, 2013). Trust me, I would be angry if our PM sat home and didn't travel.

We want her to go out there, get investors to come to Jamaica, and make us proud, but going out there and keeping people in the dark is not going to sit well with people who are hungry for information. And trying to gag our journalists is going to be one of her biggest mistakes. How would I know what is going on in Jamaica if our journalists are leashed and muzzled?

In sum, to paraphrase the famous lines of the English poet, John Donne, while in our own case here, Jamaica is indeed an island, it is not one 'entire of itself'. It must, as a matter of good sense, keep in touch with the outside world to further its social, economic and political objectives, some of which may not be realisable in the short term.

The above paragraph alone makes Dr Davis' article worthless. Jamaicans are angry not because our prime minister is travelling; we are angry because she is giving us the impression that she doesn't seem to know what is happening in the country she was elected to run.

Take, for example, her trip to pay her respects to the late great man in South Africa, which was justified. But not speaking up on the number of people murdered in her own country in a week or two is idiocy. Showing more respect to the dead in a foreign country while ignoring the living in your own country is inconsiderate.

The other thing that got the Jamaican people riled up is the number of people in the PM's delegations.

Why shouldn't taxpayers be concerned with this constant travelling? Despite all these travels, Jamaica is still dirt poor and not on the international map for anything, aside from track and field and reggae. Reggae? I am not even so sure if we own reggae anymore.

Our dollar is sliding like hot lava. The Jamaican people want to know the cost benefits for these travels. Can the PM tell us the benefits she has brought to Jamaica from these travels?


The prime minister needs to declare all the details to the Jamaican people about the accomplishments she has garnered for herself and for Jamaica from these travels.

The PM won a landslide victory in the last election, which means she has a massive audience to address. There are many subjects on which the PM can touch that will keep the people glued to their TVs. Our PM could discuss the high crime rate, the recent placing of Jamaica at the lower end of the corruption table, the many concerns the police commissioner has, unemployment, and the issue of a failing justice system.

It is rather sad that the prime minister sent her sidekick to tell the people of Jamaica nothing. She was very vocal on the campaign trail when she wanted poor people's votes. But now she is in office travelling the world on taxpayers' backs, she has kept schtum. We had no idea the people of Jamaica voted in a mute prime minister.

She needs to show the same respect she claims she is getting from journalists abroad to the Jamaican people who are paying for her travels.

The other day, the PM ran over bridge grinning like a Cheshire cat, thinking that is what the people want to see. I hope she knows that that can't send kids to school, put food on the table, get hospitals running, help the police put away criminals, and stop corruption.

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