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JaRistotle’s Jottings | Alternative realities

Published:Thursday | April 4, 2019 | 12:00 AM

Years ago, I watched the movie White Man’s Burden, which was based on an alternative reality in the United States where the lower class consisted mainly of white Americans who lived in run-down and crime-infested ghetto communities while the upper class was predominantly black Americans. With all the recent goings-on in Jamaica, I have given thought to the question of a similar alternative reality vis- à -vis our politicians. If they were forced to live the people’s reality, would the country be a better place to live, work and raise families?

What if politicians were to experience challenges in accessing the benefits of being a citizen in their own country? What if they were routinely exposed to unfair treatment, and had to do without essential public utilities like the rest of us? What would they do?

Road safety

Many a day as I sit in my car, stuck in traffic jams caused by undisciplined drivers and ineffective policing on our roads, I hear the sirens a-coming, police outriders storming through the stationary vehicles, demanding us to pull over and make way for the glorified ones, politicians showboating in high-end vehicles paid for by fi wi money as they cruise pass us the lesser beings. Oh, what a day it would be if they were forced to do without outriders and had to negotiate the kamikaze taxi drivers and traffic jams like the rest of us! Maybe then we would see the back of traffic jams and road hogs with the police taking charge of intersections, bringing dangerous and undisciplined drivers to book and removing them and their vehicles from our roads.

Health

While we have to sweat it at public healthcare facilities, our politicians have heaped on themselves and their families the privilege of overseas medical services, at fi wi cost. Oh, what a day it would be when dem wing clip and they were forced to come and sweat it beside us at the oft below-par public facilities, wasting their entire day just to get two deggeh-deggeh pill. Maybe then they would stop scamming us with free healthcare and start investing in the facilities and sustainable health services.

Security

The upscale communities and mansions where politicians typically live at our expense and their expressed abhorrence to living in poverty have been general talking points for many years: house size was even the major theme for one campaign during the last general election.

If politicians were forced to live in some of the war zones they call residential communities, the garrisons they built and continue to nurture, where the likelihood of them and their families living to see the light of a new day was as diminished as it is for the current residents of such communities, I bet we would be long rid of the murderous scum that prey on the innocent.

Oh, what a day it would be when a politician can’t attend Parliament because shot a pop inna him backyard and shotta out to kick down him door at any moment. Oh, what a day when politicians are the first to be hauled before the courts for tiefing, banduluism and deviance. Need I say more?

He who feels it knows it

The least forgotten lessons in life usually accrue from experiences that leave an indelible and often painful mark on us. Cruising through traffic jams, living far removed from warring communities, and enjoying free overseas medical care is bliss, a far cry away from the indelible and painful circumstances of lesser beings.

Until politicians have lived our realities, felt and known true hardships and pain, and face inescapable sanctions for errant behaviour, things are not likely to improve significantly for the ordinary Jamaican.

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