Has the cat got civil society's tongue?

Friday, August 31, 2012    

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Dear Editor,

I see where the economy is taking a nose-dive since the change of government. We are in official decline, inflation is going into the double digits, the exchange rate sliding, the Net International Reserves collapsing faster than West Indies cricket and there's no clear direction regarding an IMF agreement. Added to that, unemployment is at its highest level since the year 2000.

I also see where Finance Minister Dr Phillips said some time ago that the days of borrowing cheap money are far from over. Added to that the government landed a massive and far from credible tax package while taking on a slew of advisers, consultants and assistants costing taxpayers millions of dollars. The Ministry of Finance is reported to have taken on 12 in this time of "belt-buckling".

We even have a spend of over $140 million during the London Olympics and can't get a credible account as to whether it is value for money. Minister of State Damion Crawford "a shell dung a club in London" at the height of the supposed promotional activities.

I am appalled that to date I hear very little from the same civil society and media which were so vocal under the last government. What has happened to the Jamaica Civil Society Coalition, the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, the Jamaica Council of Churches, the National Integrity Action, the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Alliance, the Jamaica Civil Service Association, the Jamaica Teachers' Association, etc?

What has happened to our various pundits who often diagnose and comment? Cat got their tongue? Where are the independent voices who will step up for Jamaica?

Maybe some of us were either a bit too hasty or tricked into getting rid of Bruce Golding and young Andrew, and maybe Delano Seiveright was saying it right all along.

In all this, the prime minister is as silent as a lamb, with not even one national broadcast to calm our nerves.

C Blake






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