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Cry me a river for local government

Published:Friday | March 26, 2010 | 12:00 AM


IT WAS such a tragic and pathetic irony to see mayors from the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) on the evening news begging their 'Drivah' to slow down and bawling to their government for their supper.

Many of them are old enough to remember that parish councils have been left on the life-support machine in every JLP administration. They should remember that in the 1980s, they were stripped of almost every portfolio responsibility except for the maintenance of cemeteries. In case they did not get the message that time, permit me to spell it out for them: 'Under a JLP government, local government is dead'.

The writing was on the wall and should have been quite apparent with the non-appointment of a full minister. However, in any event, the mayors should have possessed sufficient wisdom to know that conservative governments are formed to suppress self-determination and seldom believe in the people's right to self-governance. Local government is nothing more than a nuisance to ruling class governments.

Wake up and wise up

How long will it take these seemingly sensible men to come to the realisation that the death of the very idea of local government is a significant part of the 'change' they campaigned so hard for? There is just not enough money to share with parish councils after the huge salaries and retainers are paid to the 'big boys' higher up in the food chain.

Wake up and wise up, gentlemen, and save your tears. Power-sharing is the forte of progressive, not conservative regimes.

So then, my dutiful mayors of Jamaica, 'Shall we gather at the river?'

I am, etc.,