Hopefulness and brain drain

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

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Dear Editor,

Jamaica, once the jewel of the Caribbean and the blue-eyed baby of the big man from up North, is now in a crisis of hopelessness, especially among our young people.

Although this hopelessness is more pronounced among the youth and middle class, it permeates across other sectors of the society, including our farmers, small business entrepreneurs, the poor, and our pensioners.

Recently, I had the opportunity to share audience with a group of 15 Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) unit one students and almost all of them have lost hope in the Government, the Opposition, the justice system, and the ability of the economy to give them a decent quality of life in their adulthood.

What these future leaders and professionals of our country reflect are the disillusioned teachers, nurses and other professional groups who have been jumping on planes in droves, having flung the proverbial stone behind them. No sustainable economic growth can be achieved in such environment of such hopelessness and massive brain drain.

The wife of our prime minister, parliamentarian Juliet Holness, made the unfortunate statement that we, as a country, are lucky to have her husband as prime minister because he is sexy and firm in body. My question to her is: What are those attributes of her husband doing to stem the hopelessness and accelerated brain drain taking place in the country?

My advice to her is to change the narrative as none of our past prime ministers were elected because of those attributes.

Our young people need hope, an economy that provides quality jobs that are commensurate with their qualifications.

As if Holness's gaffe were not enough, Minister of Local Government Desmond McKenzie told fellow Labourites that when it comes on to corruption the People's National Party (PNP) should not be calling out his Government because they too were corrupt. Let me say this to McKenzie, incumbency comes with responsibility. It is the Government's responsibility to formulate policies to eradicate corruption.

The JLP must tell the nation what it has been doing about corruption and crime, and the PNP must articulate how it will deal with both should they form the next government.

Both parties have been major contributing factor to the state of hopelessness and brain drain.

It is indeed a sad day when our young and gifted minds have lost hope in our democracy and rest their hope for a better quality of life in foreign lands.

Fernandez “Bingy” Smith

Former Jamaica Labour Party councillor

fgeesmith@yahoo.com


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