Letters to the Editor

Don't blame the JLP

Friday, June 13, 2014    

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Dear Editor,

Please allow me to point out that it is inaccurate and unfair to lump the JLP and PNP together as being responsible for the bad state of affairs in our country.

The first 10 years of independent Jamaica were under a JLP administration. We became the model for newly independent countries; no one could expect things to be perfect in 10 years coming from 300 years of colonialism, but we made massive strides in every department.

A programme of industrialisation was vigorously pursued. The Government changed in 1972 and, under the PNP administration, everything was in shambles by 1980. Crime and violence, corruption and extortion became the order of the day. I remember Edward Seaga warning them: "You are putting the country on a collision course with bankruptcy." They called him a prophet of doom and continued on their destructive path.

The JLP was returned to office in 1980 and the whole of the first term had to be spent picking up the pieces; the second term brought significant improvements with the economy growing by five or six per cent.

By some strange logic the JLP was voted out in 1989 and the PNP spent the ensuing 18.5 years destroying the economy once more. The dollar devalued from $5.50 to US$I to $70 to US$1, crime and violence, extortion, corruption, and scandals reigned supreme, the productive sector was destroyed.

After many years of economic decline under the PNP Administration, the JLP returned to office in 2007. By the time they settled in world recession and natural disaster struck, yet they stopped the slide of the dollar, stabilised the economy and returned to a path of growth within the four years spent in office.

The PNP assumed office again and in less than three years the dollar has already lost some 20 per cent of its value, and the slide continues together with the other negatives. For the more than 40 years since 1972, the PNP has occupied office for more than two-thirds of the time. So it is the PNP which destroys the economy. If young people do not avail themselves of the facts and act and speak from the standpoint of truth they will be forfeiting their own future.

alvalj@cwjamaica.com

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