Best News & Current Affairs Blog (2011 & 2012) and Jamaican Blogger of the Year (2011) at The Jamaica Blog Awards.

A Travesty of Government


“We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. To secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. And whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it and to institute new Government, laying it’s foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such a form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness…”
– U.S. Declaration of Independence, 1776.

These are the words which came to mind as I listened, with mounting horror, as the Finance Minister released his government’s third onslaught of taxes on the Jamaican people in less than a year. I was even further distressed when it became obvious that the Minister had opted to apply the General Consumption Tax to items which were previously exempt out of deference for the poorest among us; the Prime Minister was unrepentant as he, too, rose in the House of Representatives to defend the cruel tax burden. The government seems to have lost its touch with the Jamaican people, they seem to either not care, or are so consumed with government power that they have forgotten that they have a responsibility to protect the people of this country, whether from an economic crisis or from criminal elements, jobs they have proven to be woefully ineffective at doing.
Reports have now surfaced that the Opposition may be considering national demonstrations to show their outrage at what the Opposition Spokesman on Finance terms ‘a stupid and ill advised’ decision, and I say right on. We the People have to send Mr. Golding and his cabinet a clear and forceful signal that we expect, no, we demand responsible governance. These unjust measures are not unlike those imposed on the original thirteen colonies of the United States by the then King George of Great Britain, which led the people to rise up and revolt against the cruel and unjust rule. Mr. Golding and his government must be careful that they do not aggravate the already irate people of this country further, as the consequences may be severe and far reaching. I am yet to hear a response from the government on the recommendation that they gap in the budget may be filled by taxing government paper. I am curious to know why the government opted to tax the poor and most vulnerable and rejected a proposal that would have more equitably spread the burden among the population. I am pleading with this government to be compassionate towards the plight of the people of this country, we cannot, and should not be expected to bear such a burden, not at this point, not now. Think Mr. Golding, think.

“…prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
– U.S. Declaration of Independence, 1776.

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