Are We Heading Uphill Or Down Slopes?

Image of Carlton Ishmael
By Carlton Ishmael

IT is difficult to determine if we are progressing or regressing. I say so on the basis of information derived from the media. From the information coming from the government circles, they claim that there has been a drop in unemployment, yet there seems to be no visible signs of where the upsurge in employment has taken place.

The Prime Minister is out on frequent trips abroad, claiming to be seeking investment opportunities, but we have not seen the advent of any new industry, especially in manufacturing. All we hear is about more hotel rooms to come. This bothers me because it doesn’t offer diversity in employment. We see no changes in our education system, no new cultural trends for the many seeking out a living through vending, no place of operations, only roadside hustle. How can we proceed or progress if the needs of the people are not attended to?

Frustration seems to be the order of the day and crime is dealt with at the top but not dealt with from the source. We invite investors to set up shop but they decide what areas are profitable to them but do not pay attention to our needs.

Are things changing for the better or are things no different than it was before the last election? Is talk being transformed into action, or is there an absence of new ideas? Have we been bluffed, or taken for a ride?

Do we follow based on colours, or on performance? Can we see light ahead or is there more darkness to come? Well, who feels it knows it and for those who believe that everything is fine, I wish them good luck.

There will come a time when there will be no one to blame because there was a time when the people had the power to change things. But the government of the day decides what our future should be or become. Sad, but it seems that no other opinions matter despite the petitions or the condemnation of certain development plans; our voices fall on deaf ears. Only time will tell because we have allowed political dictators to determine our future.

The cost of change is going to be astronomical but can we decide not to let it. In assessing what was what is and what will be for the future of our island, we must accept our present reality. Firstly, there is a wave of crime that has become a threat to our very existence. People from all walks of life are running scared. We are afraid for our children, we are afraid for our women, we seem to have become defenseless against crime against humanity. The powers-that-be, meaning the government, Attorney General, sectors, the armed forces, Chamber of Commerce, and learnt department heads have not found a formula nor do they have a plan to deal with our present predicament.

We seem to have our hands tied with no clear policy direction on the crime situation. Many other areas of concern to us are still not being addressed. It is like every major concern is on hold, pending future investigation.

We, the people, know what has to be fixed, we know what has broken down, we also know that large sums of money are being negotiated through loans, bonds and grants on our behalf, plus our various taxes and despite all the gains on our behalf, there still are no benefits or response to our needs and concerns. If we do not fix the system and deal with our problems head-on, how do we expect to effect change?

There is dread and rebelling by the young because we put no solid measures in place to make life livable for them. They are promised the heavens but what they get is hell. Some people take jobs on their behalf but do not deliver. The earning seems to be for a certain circle and the general public has to struggle to make ends meet.

The projects, programmes, protection, education and development that are supposed to give us deliverance are not forthcoming. We cannot continue to live on a promised future. The system has to urgently deal with our current situation and problems. Life cannot continue to exist as is, and all that is not working has to change. The system needs to be overhauled. New thinking minds with a progressive thrust much replace the redundant persons that now are in charge. Give the right task to deserving persons and deal with justice in a realistic way.

The major source of our problem is not dealing with the problems directly. Nobody wants to make decisions that are not popular, nobody wants to be seen as being harsh or to be called a dictator, but everybody wants to lead.

Change has to come from the top; it has to be handed down, it has to be dictated, it has to be law. If the top cannot effect change, then the bottom cannot be expected to, either. There must be lines drawn because each one doing their own thing or taking their own form of justice cannot work. Without rules, or stringent laws, penalties or condemnation, we are doomed.

I have said and written many times before that we need to start changing at our school level. It is not the schools that are bad, but the lack of additional subjects that are modeled to change our children’s mindset. What that exists must be enhanced and parents should not have to pay an arm and a leg for books because the information can be sought electronically. It is much cheaper for every parent to buy an electronic gadget for their kids for information transfer than to buy books yearly. But it seems that the present system is profitable for business purposes. Such change can make a difference economically.

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