Editor: Even as we celebrate 40 years of being an independent state, we must admit that the broad-based exhibition of lack of maturity – “small mindedness”, has prevented us from reaching the level of societal development which in the 1970’s we seemed to have had our minds set on.
There are some who have been trying to say, that the reason for the level of the desired development not having been met, was entirely blameable on the British, who did not leave us with a sufficiency of resources, but instead, handed us a constitution which inhibited us.
But indeed an examination of our circumstances will show, that we could have been better off many times even if we had been prudent in the management of our resources. It cannot be disputed, that the roads serving the agriculture sector used to be addressed in a serious way by the British so that all the productive valleys were accessible by vehicle. Today those roads have been in a state of disrepair for decades, despite the fact that this government had pledged to launch an aggressive road repair program in 2001. The farming community is still waiting on them!
So it is clearly not true that the British are to be blamed for our continued economic stagnancy. The main reason is our “worthless mismanagement” which has caused us to lose billions of dollars, which could have been earned from bananas and arrowroot, for which there is a market. And on top of that, we are now importing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of vegetables which we once exported. The ULP government cannot be exonerated!
Because of this mismanagement, the farming community has been so badly crippled, that it can offer no solid hope to the hundreds of young bright and intelligent people who have the skills and ideas, to use agricultural activity to provide a food platform for personal development. The authorities have been talking glibly about encouraging entrepreneurs, but how can young entrepreneurs succeed if the economy suffers prolonged stagnation? That regular income from agriculture is needed.
All those of us who have in any way participated in this mismanagement, or who have remained indifferent and unmoved, even when we were aware that things were not “going right”, should be prepared to accept the wrath which could come when the people are aroused!
In the fight against crime, in the pursuit of economic development of the people; in the advancement of their interests in health, we need the active conscientious involvement of citizens. The ULP government, the opposition-NDP, the Green Party, and all of the rest of us have to be involved.
The obvious shutting out of the Honourable Pattel Matthews, from that function relating to the commissioning of the important health facility, in the constituency of which he is the elected representative, is a classic example of the immaturity, the small mindedness, which had been a predominant factor, impeding the progress of this richly endowed land.
Clearly it was an affront to the people of those villages who have been valiantly bearing-up under the pressure of the neglect for decades. In that exposition in Chateaubelair the administrators did themselves no honour and what in fact was on show was our lack of maturity!