Jamaica is like a woman scorned

Wednesday, October 24, 2012    

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Dear Editor,

Jamaica can be likened to a woman who has been caught in a cruel cycle of being used, abused and refused by every man that she dates, and helplessly continues to go back to one or another of her cruel, abusive lovers.

She has alternately dated the Jamaica Labour Party and the People's National Party for the past 50 years, yet her lot has not improved.

When Jamaica became an adult in 1962 she fell in love with the JLP. It was indeed an exciting and optimistic time and there was a lot of promise for this fledgling relationship. Like most young relationships, Jamaica and the JLP did reasonably well, and a lot of institutions were created and the economy grew.

Ten years later Jamaica was attracted to the PNP. She was not satisfied with how the JLP was treating her and the PNP was an untried quantity with charismatic qualities. In 1972 Jamaica left the JLP and started a love affair with the PNP who promised her that he would lead her like "Joshua" to the "Promised Land".

Halfway through the relationship the PNP started to change into a radical socialist and this frightened Jamaica. This was not what she expected or was promised. Her ex-lover, the JLP, kept whispering in her ears that the PNP was cheating on her with Cuba. Jamaica decided that she did not want to share her man with a Latin woman. The relationship got really rough and the economy was at its worst, despite great advancement on social issues.

In 1980 Jamaica went back to her first boyfriend who promised her "deliverance". But this did not happen too easily, as the PNP and the JLP had an all-out war over who should be Jamaica's suitor. Sadly, the only casualty of that war was Jamaica herself. She suffered tremendous loss and was wounded to the point of death as guns barked and bullets filled the air. It was a tired Jamaica that finally collapsed into the arms of the JLP, beaten, battered and losing blood fast. It was not difficult for Jamaica to love the JLP at the time because she had fallen so low that the only way forward was up. However, in 1989 Jamaica was fed up with the JLP again. She accused him of not giving her money to jingle in her pocket. She argued that despite the fact that the economy was growing at about five per cent per annum, she was not feeling the effects. She also contended that although the JLP was responsible for several factories in the apparel industry and people were getting jobs, she needed more than that.

While this was happening, the PNP had gone through a political metamorphosis and abandoned his socialist proclivities. He was now embracing a capitalist economy.

As they say, the rest is history. Jamaica returned to the arms of the PNP for 18 long years. The PNP did a lot of good things - highways, telecommunication revolution, social issues, etc. As it has always been, Jamaica was still in an abusive relationship. Her children were dying at an alarming rate, with a crime rate that rivalled those of countries fighting civil wars. Her economic standing did not improve and she was mired in scandals and corruption. Trapped in a vicious cycle, she reluctantly went back to the JLP for a four-year relationship in 2007.

With no politically viable alternative, Jamaica went back to the PNP in 2011. Now news is emerging that the PNP is not the man it used to be and that it has even stop talking to Jamaica. Jamaica is said to have been complaining that the PNP is wilting under economic pressure and might not be able to deliver on the plethora of election promises. She is also complaining that after 50 years she is regrettably no better than she was in 1962. She is musing that she might need to raise her standard and demand more respect and accountability.

Laval Wilkinson





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