Sun, 25 Feb 2018 03:00:11 -0500
St Thomas needs to organise its voiceWednesday, November 08, 2017
Although the people of St Thomas have been complaining for years about a number of issues that affect the masses, like job creation, bad roads and bridges, housing issues, etc, I strongly believe that the majority do not know how to coordinate an effective effort to get the attention of the appropriate authorities in order to get meaningful results.
Over the years, I have seen demonstrations after demonstrations, yet they amount to nothing because, after a while, it is 'business as usual'.
At present, the people of St Thomas are being represented by two sitting Members of Parliament who have been in power for years and know the history of St Thomas and the state of mind of the majority of voters. Because they have been elected over and over again, an outsider could assume that the people are satisfied with their performance. So Dr Fenton Ferguson, who represents the east is dubbed a “five–star general” based on the number of victories at the general elections. And James Robertson, who represents the west, is also a proud, many-time winner.
Personally, I may not be in the ideal position to elaborate on the performance of either Member of Parliament; the voters have already cast their votes based on what they know. But, in my estimation, although the parish is loaded with natural resources and is poised for major development, I strongly believe that the absence of proper road and water infrastructure and an active chamber of commerce (board of trade) with a competent president, whose goal is to further the interests of the parish is needed.
And so, although I understand the people's cry, instead of conducting peaceful picketing with placards and invite the media or the parish representatives to look at the concerns, some people choose to block certain roads that slow or prevent the free flow of traffic, others throw stones at vehicles, attempts are made to force certain business owners into closure, while a few just show up in order to create mischief.
By doing so they get the attention of the police, who only want to maintain law and order. The victims are the students from various schools in the parish and the working class, some of whom have to travel to Kingston on a daily basis using infrastructure that is badly in need of repair.
I remain hopeful that some of the issues will be addressed in a timely manner, but the people of St Thomas need to inform themselves on how to get things done.
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