Enough is enough!

BY Ralston Nunes

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

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The subterfuge which is characteristic of so many aspects of our present governance structure is indeed alarming.

The many incidents of impropriety and dishonest behaviour that has bombarded us so regularly goes unaddressed, except as an eventual succumbing to sustained and prolonged public pressure.

As a people, we must understand our power, and it must be indelibly etched in our minds that while we should readily congratulate the Government on its successes, we must also be ready to lift our voices and let our feet be seen in the streets demanding that the Government serve the people, and not the opposite, as is being practised today.

Petrojam, NESol, Spectrum Management Authority, political patronage, Mombassa grass, cholera cemetery all have some commonalities. The main common denominator is that the people pay, suffer, and are left to exist without hope, while the chosen few bask in new-found wealth and opportunities.

It's no big thing to drive around with millions of dollars while the majority of our people must endure the indignity of Middle Passage-like transportation, as the State-owned Jamaica Urban Transit Company is not capable of fulfilling all the needs.

The behaviour of these publicly and mainly politically engaged individuals tends to undermine the very principles that the Government purports to stand for, or the promises on which it sought and gained office. What is most disconcerting is the apparent unwillingness or tardiness of the prime minister to act in a timely and decisive manner. This sparks insinuation of weakness, of being compromised, and a misunderstanding of what is really true public service.

Stories of enriching self and associates and building up of family empires abound at a time when surviving gets harder for the average citizen. The proverbial half-full basket that Andrew Holness had on display during the political campaign is now practically empty. And no longer are we speaking of fuel reaching $100 per litre, but rather how soon before it passes $200.

A popular saying, “No news is good news” doesn't apply here. The nation deserves to be apprised of varying factors impacting the Government's performance. No longer must our leaders be allowed to wait out the nine-day wonders, enough is just that. Robbing or facilitating the robbing of the public purse in any form is tantamount to treason and should incur similar sanctions when they occur.

If the Opposition's strategic plans are not in line with the citizenry's expectations, then we must understand that the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms (Constitutional Amendment) Act, 2011 guarantees for each citizen:

• the right to freedom of thought, conscience, belief, and observance of political doctrines;

• the right to freedom of expression;

• the right to seek, receive, distribute or disseminate information, opinions, and ideas through any media;

• the right to peaceful assembly and association;

• the right to equality before the law; and

• the right to equitable and human treatment by any public authority in the exercise of any function.

If the Government is abrogating its responsibilities to the people, then the aforementioned rights are ours to claim. Enough is truly enough!


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