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EDITORIAL: Looking forward to 2012


BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

EDITORIAL: Looking forward to 2012

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The year just passed has been one of the most stressful for our young nation.
The international recession continued beyond the point where everyone expected it to have ended. We were also faced with the reality that this country had to tackle the future without its elected leader and had to throw its weight and support behind the new Prime Minister.
It was not something contemplated a year earlier, and the guidance and political skill which had earned the late Prime Minister David Thompson his spurs, as our leader, now had to be earned all over again under a new leader.
Whatever the challenges and strains, we have not suffered the devastating social dislocation which some other countries have experienced, and we can only hope that this is the result of the people’s acceptance of the reality that we must all pull together.
We are worth much more pulling together as a people than if individually we try to do our own thing and operate as single people chiefly interested in ourselves. We have strength in numbers and provided we remember to be our brother’s keeper, we can survive any challenge thrown our way.
As we contemplate the future, we continue to be challenged by the need to build regional structures to deal with some of the realities of regional cooperation among our people.
Problems such as those of regional business entities which flounder still remain a challenge and regional regulation must be so organized that it is effective to prevent the disastrous consequences of wholescale misery of an economic collapse.
The immediate developments in our neighbouring territories suggest that at long last the region may be able to further embrace the Caribbean Court of Justice as our final court of appeal.
This act of faith in our people to be final judges in the disputes of the region’s citizenry is an historic necessity arising out of the crucible of colonialism; and as we enter upon a new year, the circumstances have hardly been more propitious for such further accession with the result of the Jamaican election.
The business of a final court of appeal may seem distant from the aspirations of our people for an improved economy, and for a reduced cost of living and an increase in the standard of living, but we can only prosper if we have belief in our ability to manage our own affairs, whether it be in the economic or other spheres.
A final court of appeal remains a peak which we can conquer with a display of the requisite political will and a national commitment to the rule of law.
Challenges to the exercise of freedom of the Press appear to be raising their head on the ugly horizon of overzealous governmental and quasi-governmental bodies and their operatives who seem not to have fully grasped that freedom is not a theoretical construct but a functional exercise which we are entitled as citizens to experience and to practise every day.
We must therefore face the coming year conscious of our obligation as a nation to push back against those who would seek to circumscribe by the use of coercive power, those hard-won freedoms which we have extracted from judicial pronouncements and having distilled them, have written them in our hearts and our constitutions.
Most of our countries have large numbers of young people who were born after Independence and who would not have lived under the oppression of colonialism.
We need to ensure that these adults of the future appreciate the fruits of the struggles of their forebears, and that while they build for the future, they remember that the ancient landmarks of honesty, courtesy, thrift and hard work are not to be needlessly destroyed for they are our foundations on which they must continue to build for the future good of our country.
The recession is a reality but so also is our proven ability to press on, steadfast in our belief that we can conquer even the gravest adversities of this life.
Happy New Year, everyone!

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