Pound of Flesh

For a mere pound of flesh a day, my fellow Jamaicans, we can live, work and raise a family in this country we love. 
How do you feel about that first statement? I suppose you would prefer to drink arsenic too? Well my fellow Jamaicans that is where we have found ourselves as a people. We’ve struck ‘green’! We have landed ourselves in the lowest of political abysses with a government that is willing to trade the proverbial ‘puss inna bag’ for the pounds of flesh of its people. Lie after lie, mistruth after half-truth – to no truth at all, we’ve been impressed upon by the embellished gold font and green paper promising years of grand prosperity! ‘What would you do with up to 18,000 dollars PER MONTH? One year and forty odd days later we’re yet to smell even the slightest scent of it. Instead my people we’ve received something far less grand – well grand in its imposition. The mid-winter Santas robed in green have delivered to us LARGE blocks of coal labeled property, heath insurance, gas and electricity tax increases! One for you! One for you! One for me? Now that may lead you to question whether you’ve been naughty or nice. Unfortunately, from the looks of things it seems to me that we’ve all made the naughty list – since we’ll all be removing our daily pound of flesh as holy sacrifice for the 30 billion dollar tax regime. But that isn’t so bad, is it? It’s only a DAILY pound of flesh from a disabled man, a pensioner, a retiree, a student and a young woman or man working to make a life for her or himself. Admittedly, I would love to be exaggerating the facts! But sadly my people, to no solace of your own or mine; it is that bad, it definitely is worse than it sounds.  
I presume that this is what slavery would have looked like. Well in the most generous of its existence – but slavery nonetheless. The Jamaican taxpayers of course would be the slaves, toiling in the field to harvest crop (hard earned cash). Our white, rich, couldn’t-careless masters would then be the government, subjecting us to 18,000 lashes all while screaming ‘work faster!’ completely ignoring that we were doing our best under the conditions (joblessness, criminality, tertiary funding or the lack thereof). A pretty dark reality – that may be euphemistic. But how big of an irony is it that the minority oppressed the majority? A selfish few held hostage the lives of MILLIONS. The truth is, the light that the slaves always needed to overcome the shackles of slavery were always within them. But in order to discover and realize the full potential of that light they needed to first believe that they deserved better than what was being dealt to them. That they were better than the burdensome taxes – forgive me, burdensome culture of slavery. All they had to do was believe that they were worthy of bearing hopes for their own future. 
What they allowed continued. WHAT WE ALLOW WILL CONTINUE.
Me. Connoly Black 

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Dr. Peter Phillips Engages Youth

We are awed at the change in political wind in our country. The rhetoric for quite some time now has been whether age influences one’s decision in choosing a political leader. Most people will say ‘no,’ competence is the chief variable that influences their decision. On the other hand, in recent times the electorate has been demanding the political parties to have youth representation in the Houses of Parliament.
We are very proud of Prime Minister, Andrew Holness for becoming the youngest Prime Minister and a long-standing Member of Parliament. However, a few weeks ago, we noticed a meme circulating on social media with a number of MP’s from the Jamaica Labour Party who are well over the age of retirement. One would never guess, because when we think of age, all we see is the fact that our Prime Minister is young. We were never prompted to take into account the age of his cabinet ministers.
It is interesting to note however, that although Dr. Peter Phillips is Prime Minister Holness’ senior by well over a score, we see more youth involvement surfacing from the PNP. We have been watching keenly the approach Dr. Phillips would have taken and although it is still early days, he seems to be one who can relate with the youth and engage them. We see tangible evidence of this with people such as Damion Crawford and Raymond Pryce coming back actively on the political scene.
To put the icing on the cake, the appointment of former senator, Imani Duncan-Price to Chief of Staff in the Office of the Opposition Leader is a big deal! The epitome of inclusion and leadership mixed with experience and youth. That is commendable!
We look forward to good governance and an even more robust opposition.
Kimberley Thompson