When The Government Fails, Everyone Fails

With the greatest of intentions and the support of Jamaicans of good faith and will, Jamaica’s new Prime Minister and his Administration will have a difficult time in carrying out its task of transforming the Island from poverty to prosperity.

All Jamaicans have a vested interest in the success of our country yet at this point our country is positioned as a barrel at the edge of a cliff being rolled uphill by the governing administration and Jamaicans hoping for a better nation. Unfortunately there is the little issue of huge swaths of people who support the losing party who are on the other side of the barrel who are pushing back hard, hoping to push the country over the cliff to prove their party is better. Pushing the barrel down-hill is always going to be an easier task and therein lies the challenge for our country.

It pains me to say it but there are Jamaicans who are actively cheering for the failure of the new administration. They do so without a consideration that failure of the Administration means failure of their country.
Is it fair to say that these Jamaicans favour party over country? If we answer yes we must examine the reason why these people are so endued with their party at the peril of country.

Like many Jamaicans living in the diaspora I hope and pray for a new Jamaica which will offer the Jamaican people opportunities to take care of their families and educate their children without having to struggle against impoverishment. It is fair to say that most Jamaicans in the diaspora want a Jamaica not inundated with crime. They see crime as the deal-breaker as it pertains to their return and participation in the economy, I share that sentiment.

In 2008 Barack Obama made history when he was elected President of the United States of America.
In a scintillating book author Robert Draper detailed that on the night of January 20th, 2009, a group of Republicans gathered  at the Caucus Room in Washington, an upscale restaurant where a New York strip steak costs $51.
The purpose of the dinner/meeting was to discuss ways in which Republicans would obstruct the new president and bring him down , the idea was to obstruct on every bill.

Image Source: jamaica-gleaner.com
Image Source: jamaica-gleaner.com

They would take back the House in November 2010, which they did, and use it as a spear to mortally wound Obama in 2011 and take back the Senate and White House in 2012, Draper writes.
According to Draper, Congressman Kevin McCarthy told the group,  “If you act like you’re the minority, you’re going to stay in the minority,”  “We’ve gotta challenge them on every single bill and challenge them on every single campaign.

One of the negatives which arose from the strategy meeting was the total gridlock in the Nation’s capital and the rise of Donald J Trump. People’s National Party supporters  are not the only political animals who are more invested in the success of their party over the success of their country. Neither are the Republicans in the United States. In twisted ways many people I have spoken to, including PNP and Republican supporters, argue that they hope that the party in power fails so their party can take the reins and succeed.
It’s a convoluted reasoning which defies rational thought or reason. If the party in power succeeds, isn’t that a good thing, isn’t that the end game? Obviously not so for Republicans or many PNP supporters .

It is obvious and sad that the success of the nation is not paramount to many persons.
Which brings us to the real issue which seems to be control and power over state resources. Over the last two or three election cycles less and less Jamaicans have lost their lives to political violence. In fact political killings have dropped precipitously when compared to preceding cycles.

Some analysts have contended that this may be due to diminished clout of politicians over traditional enforcers. They argue that members of parliament has less and less tax-payers funds to dole out to constituents for their support.
Some have also contended that many young men who would normally be out committing violent acts on behalf of their parties are engaged in more lucrative criminal activities like scamming and robberies.
I am inclined to believe overall that there is simply not enough slush money in the hands of parliamentarians to inspire the kind of loyalty that once existed. That’s a good thing .

Shockingly though not surprisingly it appears that the general consensus of the losing party’s supporters is a fervent desire to see the new administration in Kingston fail.
How does this young new leader assure and convince those people that if he and the government fail they fail? How does he convince them contrary to what they were reared to believe, that political parties are tools for nation-building?

If leaders lead the people will follow. Yet what appears to be happening is a sense of nit-picking at the new administration which hasn’t yet fully warmed the seats on the government side of Gordon House.
I understand the Labor Party has always been held to a higher standard but the party deserves the opportunity to settle into office and a chance to execute it’s agenda.
The party campaigned on a platform of “from poverty to prosperity” , it must have a chance to execute.
If the people believe they can continue business as usual with the sense of chaos which exists then that battle is already lost.

One of the main lures of the People’s National Party to the masses is its anything goes style of Governance.
That governance style which has been in place and controlled power for 32 of the last 44 years has seen a massive rise in urban sprawl, a massive increase in poverty, and a massive increase in squatter communities which have encircled once pristine communities. Potentially most damaging is the mass proliferation of vending stalls which take over entire streets preventing the free-flow of traffic placing the lives of entire communities at risk.


There is a general sense on the part of many Jamaicans that the rule of law is not important or at best it’s secondary to their means of making a living. The People’s National Party maintained a form of quasi governance amidst the chaos which never addressed the rot but allowed it to metastasize.
No higgler believes he/she should be removed from the streets, or in front of  traditional businesses where they sell the same things inside the stores but pay no taxes.
No squatter believes the auto-repair shop he illegally cobbled together beside someone’s home which depreciates that property owners home is a problem. Moving him away is a major problem. It demonstrates that the Government is against poor people. Such is the Jamaican mentality and the PNP thrives in that chaos.

Republican obstruction precipitated the rise of a man many view as a fascist called Donald J Trump. The party is now stuck in a quandary, unsure how it will handle the threat Trump poses to it’s legitimacy. Many argue the establishment has already lost control of the party to Mr Tump.
The Leader of the Opposition party has created a so-called Council of advisers which has turned some heads , this is a departure from the role the opposition party traditionally plays in monitoring the activities of Government and reporting to the people.
I will be keeping an eye on this council to point out to the people whether or not I believe it is an organ of obstruction instead of a legitimate opposition as is provided for in the constitution.

By Mike Beckles – Check out his blog HERE

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