One of the few remaining manufacturing companies, Caribbean Cement, like most survivors, is minority owned by Jamaicans.

I’ve decided to take a break from writing, get off my butt and get some other action going. Jamaica is looking at an election in three years, with one of two deadbeat political parties expected to again take us on that ride to nowhere. I hear some calling for boycotting elections, but I think that’s a lousy option. We the people should be able to direct our fate. If we do not take charge, it’ll be the citizens who suffer, not the politicians.

What do you think, can the National Democratic Movement (NDM) be resuscitated in the hands of the right leadership, someone with the calibre of contractor general, Greg Christie? I wasn’t really around during the NDM’s most active period and thus was not acquanted with the party’s impact. But what do you think? People are weary and sufering post-traumatic stress disorder from the bloodbath, the stink of the corruption and the lack of any contrition on the part of our current miserable crop of leaders.

It will be a tragedy if either one of them returns, unrepentant and gloating, to continue feeding at the trough and feeding the nation the bullsh*t we’ve been choking on since independence. Even their garrison residents are finally wising up to the fact that, in the immortal words of Malcolm X, “we’ve been took, we’ve been had, we’ve been misled”. It’s just that the masses have resigned themselves to being ruled by kleptocrats for they feel there is no other option.

I remember waving the new Jamaican flag in my little fist at 7 years old as soon as the Union Jack was with much ceremony replaced, and what hope our parents had at the birthing of our new nation! Those insufferable British colonialists had left us a vibrant mass transit system with the JOS network and the Railway Corporation.

My parents said we had tramcars at one time, just like those in San Francisco. But we mash it up. Jamaica Public Service Co the power company and the National Water Commission were in excellent shape. Queen Victoria Park, downtown Kingston, was always perfectly groomed, in bloom, and after dark pungent with the fragrance of night jasmine. There was even a working fountain and public restrooms. The cement factory was ours, the silos standing proud on the way to the airport. But we give dem wey. And we don’t believe maintenance is important; we erect monuments with flourish and leave them to maintain themselves to dereliction.

Growing up, I remember the Purina Chows silo, the huge Tia Maria bottle atop the factory building out by Four Miles, with Red Stripe, Canada Dry sodas, Metal Box, Juredini, Seprod, Diamond Mineral Water, and many other factories in that Industrial complex. I remember the factory grounds being well manicured and the buildings spotless. Cremo and United Dairy Farmers supplied us with ice cream, D&G used to belong to us. So did our own Blue Mountain coffee brand. And we developed a bustling free zone industrial complex as well. What went wrong?

A demitasse of Blue Mountain coffee sells in Tokyo for over US$12! Where has all this profit gone?

We share in the blame, for we have not really been model citizens. We have not spoken out and we haven’t stood up. But it’s not too late. We need to soundly reject the present crop of politicians. They have served themselves and not the people. They have ruined the country and our reputation, misappropriated our birthright, and will ride off into the sunset with the spoils.

But we must NOT give them an opportunity to finish us off. We must reject them. We cannot and must not be limited to the JLPNP – for the old farts aren’t going to let go – and let those with vision and energy lead. And the youth currently among them have been already contaminated.

The NDM may just be on the hunt for a leader, but the party needs membership. I think we should support it. What do you think?