Wise King Solomon, upon inspired observation, once said, "Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord pondereth the hearts." (Proverbs 21:2)
We, too, must ponder the hearts of our leaders, even as they profess themselves to be doing "good". Consider the contemporary initiatives which the Government of Jamaica has embarked on in three particular areas: back-to-school funding, the push for electric motor vehicles, and food security.
People's National Party Member of Parliament Mark Golding has not realised that the financial support being offered by Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke for the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) and non-PATH students who are returning to school is not only a drop in the bucket, but the bucket has holes in its bottom.
However, you have to give credit to this Government for it's political genius in disguising a stimulus package, which will make students, parents, and micro- to large-sized businesses which depend (especially in these times) on the economic support from anything school-related happy. However, as Grammy-nominated reggae artiste Chronixx says in Ghetto Paradise, "And den you talk how Jamaica sweet. [Well], wah sweet you will rotten your teeth."
Again, Dr Nigel Clarke was at the helm of another distraction in the electric motor vehicle saga. Isn't a major reason for wanting to switch from fuel-powered vehicles to electric to make Jamaica more energy resilient and less of a contributor to carbon emissions and other atmospheric pollutants? Aren't the recharging stations going to be providing hydrocarbon fuel-sourced electric charge anyway? Opposition spokesman on energy, Member of Parliament (MP) Phillip Paulwell, is failing us by not driving home the feasibility and prudence of requiring those charging stations to be powered by renewable energy facilities.
And what about fixing the public transportation issues as Opposition MP Mikael Phillips has urged.
Finally, a man once relayed the story of how he will never have to buy a mango again. This is the stage to which Jamaicans should aspire, not only for mangoes but for most of our basic food items. The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries should seek to move beyond attending to mere supply and demand but to advance the country to the point at which it is more concerned and interested in a consistently improving and producing more competitive products.
Andre O Sheppy
Norwood, St James