Following my last article that tried to explain the ongoing commitment that capital expenditure requires, we have been completely distracted by the by-election in Portland, and the silly season it has produced. Both sides seem to be united in the excuse that bad manners, discourtesy, nonsensical dialogue, and stupid remarks are all acceptable in the cut and thrust of a period of very nasty statements and innuendo. After that period they say they will return to hugging at cocktail parties, balls, awards, and birthday celebrations.
This should be seen as temporary insanity and treated as such. Six months’ custodial residence at an asylum for psychiatric observation, and a possibility of release if progress is established would be recommended. Neither Mrs. Vaz nor Mr. Crawford should set a stage that will come back to haunt them in five or 10 years.
Subsequently, Senator Ruel Reid has resigned or has been fired and at this time no details have emerged, and all will remain silent until the return of the Prime Minister. If allegations turn out to be more than idle speculation, then another career will be ruined by the “Dark Side”. It is unfortunate that many like Mr. Reid choose party colours instead of professional integrity. I hope he exonerates himself and his family.
Inadequate public transportation has again hit the headlines, this time propelled by the need to use proper uniforms and some uniformity. The regulations go into force in April, and again the voices of chaos are readying themselves for a showdown. Clean clothes are a problem, but smoking ganja while driving a vehicle is no problem. Indiscipline may rear its ugly head again and destroy an entire industry.
This is why every Jamaican needs a car. It protects children from second-hand smoke, and overcrowding and physical contact that is not always healthy or wholesome. This extends beyond taxi operators, to the various size buses that push you off several roadways, and pass and turn from the wrong lanes.
I will once again suggest an alternative; however it requires a vision, capital expenditure and maintenance.
For Jamaicans who have US visas, some have visited the Disney Theme Parks in Florida, and have been able to traverse the vast areas by ferry; monorail; and articulated tramcars. Disney, for many decades, has led the road to “Tomorrowland” and the vision of the future. The future of transportation; agriculture; science and technology; space exploration; the blue economy; alternative power solutions; engineering; fantasy and fairy tales are prominent themes. “When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are”. Dreams can come true if only you believe.
The Government of Jamaica currently owns all drainage gullies and channels, and so have no acquisition cost for that land to be used for transportation expansion. We had tramcars, ferries, buses, all in a planned environment that intertwined routes several decades ago.
Can you imagine monorails from Constant Spring to Downtown via Half-Way Tree or Cross Roads or Marcus Garvey Drive in less than 15 minutes, or Harbour View to Downtown and on again to Papine via Cross Roads, Half-Way-Tree, Liguanea in less than 20 minutes? Monorail connecting to articulated tramcars for small area distribution, or even buses and taxis for specific routes would be an improvement of great magnitude and even make 5 in 4 easy. A high-speed ferry from Old Harbour Bay to Victoria Pier via Portmore in 20 minutes, and connecting with monorail, tramcars or buses with quick breakfast served on board; Water Jamaica replacing Air Jamaica.
This is no different from Mike Henry’s dream, except that this moves people and opens roadways and rail for cargo logistics. This is the age for invention, innovation, and bold steps. This is not a time for politicians to square off at each other on matters of ethnicity, gender, social status, handouts, and intentionally trying to degrade the office of the Political Ombudsman (that they created).
Wake up and smell the coffee (not doing well); roses (being imported not exported); and the crap that passes for political campaigning (our own home produced manure).