Tue | Mar 28, 2023

Bad advice from diaspora group

Published:Tuesday | February 2, 2010 | 12:00 AM


THE JAMAICAN Diaspora Advisory Board never ceases to amaze us with its idiotic views. If this group wants to be admired by Jamaicans around the world, I would suggest it leaves government business alone and try to rally the Jamaicans in the countries where they have representatives to pool all their resources to support our education system, Jamaicans for Justice, our children, the elderly and so on.

If this group really wants to play a part in making Jamaica a better place, then its leaders might want to start thinking with their heads instead of antagonising the Government with half-baked ideas. According to Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams in a previous article, she is not in favour of voting rights for non-resident Jamaicans because it would "rock the vote" but would like to be represented in the Senate. A statement like that tells us that this group is confused and lacks understanding as to what is good for Jamaica. Her fellow member, Patrick Beckford, said: "I cannot stay in New Jersey and know what is happening in the community where I came from on a day-to-day basis. Why should I have that right (to vote) to tell those people to live under my choice? That is so presumptuous of me to do that," said Beckford.

Potential untapped

But their views didn't stop there, because Ffolkes-Abrahams is also reported to have said that the potential of the Jamaican Diaspora, estimated to number more than "three million", was yet untapped. She urged the Government to develop "a strategy to get funds through this medium to help offset the country's debts". This is the same person who is encouraging the Government to keep Jamaicans living overseas off the voters' list because it will rock the vote. Yet, from the other side of her mouth, she wants Jamaicans living overseas to pay for debts that overseas Jamaicans have nothing to do with.

It is time the Government stops accommodating this group. We are Jamaicans and when we do get that chance to vote, we will surely vote as Jamaicans and not as People's National Party or Jamaica Labour Party supporters. I wonder if Beckford knows that he is living under a government in the United States voted in by Americans who live and voted in Brussels, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Russia, Jamaica, Nigeria and any other place where Americans live. That is the system Mr Beckford is living under comfortably in the US, yet that same system is not good for Jamaica.

I am, etc.,