Have Some Respect- No Prison!
It is very disheartening that at a time when many Jamaicans are complaining about the austere measures under which we must live, that our own government would invite a head of state to tell us they are planning to build a 23 million pound prison and repatriate the prisoners to serve their time in Jamaica. What madness is that? Things like these further shows just how out of touch the government is with the realities of Jamaicans.
The UK is seeking to save millions of pounds of tax payers monies by sending these prisoners back to Jamaica, so what about our tax payer dollars? Many of these prisoners have spent most of their lives in the UK and have done more for the UK economic system than for the Jamaican. Why then should my money be spent to take care of them for crimes they committed outside of this country? It’s a slap in the face that at this time when the IMF deal is making our lives a living hell, the dollar cannot seem to stabilize which in turn drives up the cost of everyday goods, crime is out of control, health care is at the brink of collapse, social welfare and infrastructure is struggling, that the government would even accommodate such a grand announcement of an initiative that will in the long run cost us billions of dollars. This short sided acceptance that tries to posit the fact that jobs will be created in construction and security is laughable. Like the JEEP program, these jobs don’t last for 5 years or longer, therefore a 6-12 months construction contract cannot be viewed in the grand scheme of things as a meaningful job when the remuneration for the regular workers may not be enough to feed their families, and of course like with the Chinese I am sure the specialized workers will come from the UK. I hear the leader of the Opposition, Mr. Andrew Holness calling for an investment in education from Prime Minister Cameron, that’s all well and good, however, I would prefer investments in manufacturing and tourism, or a fund set up that is easily accessible to Jamaicans with business plans who cannot readily access capital investment. Jamaicans are investing in their education, however they become very discouraged when they are not able to get a job after spending millions on tertiary education. We all know the spiel “only education can take one out of poverty”, but being educated with no available job is even worst, the brain drain that this country will face in the next couple of years will probably cripple the entire country.
Jamaicans should vehemently reject this one sided deal as our own government seem to not have the backbone to say no to anything regardless of its impact negatively or positively. Our minister of national security has the guts to support this deal however, he is yet to put forward a sensible, workable crime plan that can stem crime/murders which will in turn encourage international investment and cost our disgraceful health system some needed funds. It’s full time our government have some respect for us and our real needs.