Let's look towards a brighter future
Happy Jamaica 50 to Jamaicans everywhere. This is indeed a great milestone. Despite the gloomy economic picture, we have come a far way in many respects.
With our Jamaica 50 celebration and the high prospects for Team Jamaica in the London 2012 Olympics, there is an overwhelming feeling of pride and patriotism in our nation at this time. We should not let it die after the celebrations and our Olympic glory. We must channel this wonderful feeling of pride and patriotism into commitment and action to advance to economic independence, thereby creating an even better future for generations to come.
Let us ensure that:
* Our nation is not subject to manipulation by external powers and the dictates of international funding institutions, and we use our membership in international and regional bodies such as the United Nations and Caricom to champion the interests of the developing nations and principles of economic cooperation and peaceful coexistence with full respect for national sovereignty
* There is scientific and technological support and guidance to our farmers ensuring that all arable lands are fully utilised for organic farming in order to provide our people with healthy nutrition
* There is a strong manufacturing industry utilising the latest technology and our skills, creativity, ingenuity and entrepreneurial talents to produce high-quality goods for the local and export markets.
* All our natural resources are harnessed and developed for the benefit of the nation
* Every citizen is able to find employment that fully utilises his education and skills, and is adequately compensated so that no one lacks the basic necessities of life and no one goes hungry or is forced to beg, or eat from the garbage for survival
* Every child is guaranteed high-quality free education (up to university), with the highest technological support, no matter what school he attends
* All citizens have the opportunity to improve their skills and education free of cost for the betterment of the country
* All citizens enjoy at least a minimum standard of safe, spacious and secure housing and no-one sleeps on the street, under rocks or in drains
*All communities have adequate infrastructure to support development in sports, arts and recreation, wholesome upbringing of children and care of the aged, mentally ill and physically incapacitated
* Public transportation is sufficient, safe, comfortable, orderly and reliable, allowing people to park their cars and use it for their daily commute
* Free health care is provided to all citizens with an emphasis on promoting disease prevention, healthy nutrition and regular exercise
* There is public access to all beaches and they are adequately developed and managed for safe and orderly use by citizens and tourists
* Environmental protection is a way of life
* True rehabilitation of prisoners is implemented so that they can contribute positively and without stigma when they return to society
* Political representatives are held accountable based on a comprehensive code of conduct and outline of duties and responsibilities, and are subject to recall by their constituents at any time during their tenure
* The rights of all citizens are honoured and protected.
Some may think that this is utopian and impossible, but we can do it.