Well, well, well: Jamaican government policies now clear

Jamaicans are just so filled with the desire to complain and do nothing. They do this and fail to see what the government is doing to help them that is right in front of their very noses. Take all the movements over the past weeks. Riverton dump was set on fire again in mid-March and caused untold damage to the quality of air over the parishes of Kingston, St. Andrew, and St. Catherine. Fire tenders and their employees worked night and day to put out the fire, and medical personnel were called on to tend to the respiratory problems of hundreds of people. Estimates indicate that the fire will cost us about J$275 million. All we heard was grumbling about the government’s perennial disregard for health and safety at the dump. Hello!

The Governor General last week declared April ‘Wellness Month’, to highlight the importance of health and wellness. So, what better way to do that than to see how important those things are when they are put in grave danger. A stroke of absolute genius! I am just surprised that the government’s Information Minister didn’t take the many opportunities since mid-March to alert the nation to this. I can understand that the NSWMA management were unaware of the policies, and they were up to their necks dealing with the usual heavy piles of rubbish around them. This is stuff for big thinkers, not those forced to grub along.

The government at all levels, sadly without telling us clearly, is pursuing the principles of this period. Just days ago, the KSAC decided to clean up a few crab vending stalls by Heroes Circle. The area was being “sanitized” ahead of the visit of the US president. The stalls “were weak”, the Information Minister told us, so naturally when they were being removed they could do nothing else but fall apart. But, it was all for our good. These vendors, plying crab, corn soup, and roast corn for decades, had been doing so in unsanitary conditions and putting the health and wellness of the unsuspecting Jamaican public in danger. I was shocked to hear this. Just a few weeks ago, I had taken an American visitor there; he happens to be a doctor. He enjoyed every minute of the experience. But, imagine my utter dismay to think that I was showing off this piece of Jamaica rusticana and culture, yet putting at risk a trained health professional.

The visit by President Obama should be seen as opening our eyes to our lack of care about our health? Why? Where have you been? We hear the government saying every day that that “sanitisation” is needed ahead of the visit. How much clearer can the message be?

In addition, Michelle Obama has become the queen of healthy living. C’mon, man! Join the dots. I look forward to the announcement during the POTUS visit that Kings House, Gordon House and Vale Royal will all be turned into organic farms, and only the food grown there will be consumed by the GG, Cabinet ministers and Opposition MPs. If you look at the physical shape of most MPs, you will note that with the exception of a few svelte ministers who can sport a bikini at the drop of a hat, all are shaped more like capital O, than capital I. Margaret Thatcher talked about wanting ‘lean and mean’ government. We will get it.

Politicians are used to taking us for a ride

We can look forward to our political leaders giving up their SUVs for bikes. That must be on the cards. We’ve nice, smooth roads in the capital now. Use them well.

We will grow lots of oranges and plenty of greens

These are messages President Obama will be giving our PM. Sure, pass more IMF tests, but get the national BMI down and get the BMWs out. Yes, we can!

We’ve already seen the PM can wield a shovel and she has no problem getting down into the dirt. How dare you doubt that this is on the cards? She will bring the country together as one as all grow lots of oranges and plenty of greens. Kumbayyah, my lord!


These actions will be taken back to constituents and soon we will be hormone-free everywhere. We will cut the food import bill and stop buying those sugar-filled foods from abroad.

Let me be the first to see what the government is trying and raise my hand in applause.

Author: Dennis G Jones (aka 'The Grasshopper')

Retired International Monetary Fund economist. My blog is for organizing my ideas and thoughts about a range of topics. I was born in Jamaica, but spent 30 years being educated, living, and working in the UK. I lived in the USA for two decades, and worked and travelled abroad, extensively, throughout my careers and for pleasure. My views have a wide international perspective. Father of 3 girls. Also, married to an economist. :)