Our nation-state was born out of the struggle of our people against British colonialism. A fight waged by Nanny, the world’s only female guerrilla fighter that defeated the British empire; the Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Paul Bogle, Sam Sharpe, George William Gordon and continued with the brilliant lawyer and statesman, the Honorable Norman Manley, who is also responsible for the independence.
The mission of the Jamaica Patriotic Movement (JPM) is to play a prominent role in the political discourse of Jamaica’s political life with the objective of creating a paradigm shift that will transform its economic and political sectors, and deepen democracy to benefit all citizens of Jamaica.
The rationale for this movement is evident with the continuing deterioration of our cultural, economic and political life. The adoption of the neo-liberal model of development has only aggravated our small and semi-feudal society. We have over a half million of our citizens living as squatters. We are one of the most indebted countries in the world along with a spiraling murder rate, with no end
Principle 1 Renationalization of important economic sectors
Principle 2 Growing the economy
Principle 3 Self-sufficiency in food production
Principle 4 Affordable housing for ALL citizens
Principle 5 Manufacturing as a priority
Principle 6 Creation of more local tourism activities and opportunities
Principle 7 Training and employment of the youth
Principle 8 Health care for all
Principle 9 Education for all
Principle10 Removal of all vestiges of colonialism in the Constitution
Principle11 Independence of the Judiciary
Principle12 Independent of Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions
Principle13 Independence of the Electoral Commission of Jamaica
Principle14 Support of the proper operations of the Independent Commission
The economy is in desperate need of revitalization because our country’s economic decisions are charted not by our elected government, but by the powerful private sector with the IMF as the overseer. The IMF is the financial arm of the United States foreign policy, designed to assist with loans when countries are facing a financial crisis. The financial crisis usually is the result of the same loan arrangement of the IMF.
Our economy never worked because of the successive government prioritization of tourism over manufacturing. Foreign exchange earned by the sector usually ends up in foreign banks with none invested in Jamaica. We import four times the value of our export, thus the incurred debt of over 100% of our gross national product. No country can grow and prosper with this kind of equation. We must make a commitment to eliminating the deficits in order to have a sustainable economy. Moreover, our people must be involved in the decision making and running of our country. The government must be the driver of the economy with the private sector playing a secondary role. The government was elected by our people to lead, not the private sector.
US$ 2.771 Billion
$771 Billion (Owed to the Private Sector)
Agriculture is one of the main drivers in Jamaica’s economic growth. However, due to the underutilization and mismanagement of our natural resources and the lack of food security, we import over two billion U.S. dollars in food supplies, which constitutes a large part of our country’s expenditure. As a country with very lush, vegetated agricultural land surrounded by water, we must do a better job with protecting our environment, managing our water supply, supporting our farmers and, boosting food production. We need to create a system where food is available, affordable, the supply is sustainable.
Investment must be made in agricultural technology, research and education, modern applications, agro-processing, storage, and distribution. This approach must be inclusive of all prime agricultural lands in each parish, with full involvement of farmers and citizens. After satisfying local consumption the surplus will be exported to markets in the Diaspora. The savings from local production should be used in other sectors of our economy such as Health and Education.
Our women traditionally have been assigned the role of housewives, baby mothers, and single parents with little assistance from the State. Michael Manley initiated an awareness when he challenged the status quo to pay more attention to women, especially our black mothers. He called for the removal of barriers to women’s plight and advocated for maternity leave with pay. This empowered our women and set in motion a rise in women organizations across all spectrums.
Our country’s manufacturing potential has been on a steady decline and much of its operation has been left in the hands of the private sector. Today, manufacturing plays second fiddle to tourism, thus creating an imbalance in trade which also negatively impacts other sectors of the economy. The lack of manufacturing impacts our foreign exchange earnings due to the constant devaluation of the currency, costing manufacturers more to import key products used in their operation. This also has a negative impact on employment, leading to mass migration in search of jobs. The manufacturing sector will be a focal point of the movement and will be used to gain foreign exchange, along with tourism. Tax credit and marketing assistance will allow our companies to compete in the world market.
Tourism has in the past been a national priority and one of the sectors of the Jamaican economy that has flourished, leading to somewhat of an economic imbalance. Last year alone our country had an increase of approximately 6% in tourist visiting and revenue increased a whopping 12.1%. This is equivalent to about US$3 billion which is a large increase from the year before. With all that money coming in, there is no question about the economic benefits of job creation and tourism helping to raise tax revenues, however, the costs far outweigh the benefits.
This sector has been known to overwork and underpays laborers, especially youths. In addition, the revenue earned from tourism does little to help with the improvement of the country’s poor infrastructure and any investment is primarily targeted to main tourist destinations. There have also been failed attempts to protect our natural resources that have been depleted by the dominance of tourism in parts of the country and to protect citizens and visitors from the surging crime rate.
So, where does the money go? This sector is dominated by powerful hoteliers who ensure that their political connections support their agendas. So much so that Prime Minister’s first act was to give them a billion-dollar line of credit, while Montego Bay was bleeding. Areas like sports, music, and cultural landscapes have been neglected in the process. Our archaic, privately held and non-focused management styles have stifled our creativity. Creativity and proper management must be fostered.
Since the founding of our nation, Parliament has conducted its affairs with the use of a colonial constitution, which was formulated under the British colonial law. The constitution then became the premise of our judicial processes and administration. Our two major political parties have done nothing to amend the constitution to represent our national objectives, the majority of the afro- centric features of our country or to further the unity and development of Jamaica. They have instead, used this colonial manuscript to further the division and underdevelopment of our country to increasingly benefit the entrenched elite. To change this, we have to start with the amendment of the constitution in the pursuit of eradicating tribalism and poverty and the strengthening of our democracy. The political system that alienated our people and communities needs to begin to empower them again. The JPM proposes amendments to our constitution to remove all vestiges of colonialism.
Crime and violence will be met with an ‘iron fist’ approach and all our police personnel must be equipped with the necessary tools to fight crime. Social intervention must be at the forefront. JPM supports the work of the Peace Management Initiative (PMI). The PMI is a community-based approach to conflict resolution. It has been working at the grassroots level to reduce violence and bring peace to fractured communities, since 2002. Today, the PMI works in St Catherine, Clarendon, St James, and Hanover. When the PMI enters a community in conflict, it goes in with a cadre of experts, such as social workers, violence interrupters, psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, ministers of religion, and data analysts. Its work is also supported by a dedicated band of volunteers from within the various communities, as well as international agencies.
Community policing will be another of the methods that will be employed. Police presence in every community will be a permanent fixture, with officers residing in the community. A holistic approach will be implemented. Each resident will be comfortable relating and interacting with the men and women on the police force. The officers must be seen as the protectors and servants of the community.
Educational facilities and opportunities will be afforded to inmates in the Correctional Centers to prepare them for re-entry into society. Counseling and mentorship will form part of this positive rehabilitation.
All police officers will be paid livable salaries and afforded all the benefits of the State, so as to limit the temptation of corruption. Housing and medical allowances will be provided along with educational opportunities, in order to foster upward mobility. All efforts will be directed towards fulfilling the mission statement of the Police Federation. We would explore the possibilities of having superintendents vie for leadership of the parish they reside in through an electoral process monitored by the EOC. From the thirteen elected we would choose the commissioner of police.
These changes along with the eradication of poverty will ensure the peaceful enjoyment of all as prescribed in our constitution
Along with Agriculture, the other important economic and employment driver is Housing – construction of suitable housing for all citizens. However, there has always been a housing crisis in our country, with the population expanding and not enough homes being built to meet the increasing demands. Another reason for the housing crisis is private ownership of land. Prior to the enforcement of private ownership of land, housing was communal. Today, with the privatization of lands, the cost of owning a house is so high that it remains unaffordable to most, displacing many families.
So, what does owning a house means for Jamaican citizens in poverty? There are three things humans need to exist and survive: food, clothes, and shelter. Many of our people live below the poverty line and are unable to pay for food and clothes, in addition to childcare, health care, transportation, or education. Therefore, a large investment such as a house is far-reaching. The Department of Housing has failed our people as its budget and programs place less emphasis on providing shelter for citizens in need, but are more so focused on the profits they generate from landowners and the construction industry. Even though there has been an increase in houses built, homeownership has plummeted largely due to the loss of homes by previous homeowners. A large percent of the homeless population consists of previous homeowners.
The housing crisis is not something that can be resolved easily. It will take several generations before “everyone” can have a home. Nevertheless, everyone can have shelter through properly funded multi-family housing, along with the necessary socio-economic support and facilities needed.
Our healthcare system is in dire straits and in its own state of emergency. There needs to be rapid reform in order to meet the needs of our people. The government must take the lead to ensure that our citizens’ medical care remains a top priority. The JPM’s emphasis will be on preventative care, beginning at the community level. All our citizens must have access to health care at a minimal cost. All our citizens must be able to have access to affordable health care.
We are advocating for a 21st-century education system that reflects the changing technological advancement and global education. The British system was and is still geared towards elitism – the education of a select few and the majority with substandard education, to satisfy the low wage pool. It has created an unfair division within our country and not focused on putting children first. The social injustice and inequitable funding, especially impacting the rural schools, has only increasingly disadvantaged children. Our people are our most valuable resource and investing in their education, is in an investment in the country’s future.
Our judicial system is a replica of our colonial master’s design at the time to keep us within the commonwealth. Our independence gave us the right to govern ourselves using their legal construct as the basis. The tribal system was emanated from their legal structures to preserve the interest of the elites and their neo-colonial minded politicians. Our branches of governance are not independent in carrying out their duties as the prime minister has powers to appoint and fire at will, we need to change that by granting important institution statutory powers. Our crime rate today, which is averaging 50-65 per thousand with a population of only 2.5 million citizens is one of grave concern. The political penetration of our judicial system has allowed for its paralysis. The poor are the only ones subjected to the injustices of this system, while the rich use their connections and riches to undermine the work of our judiciary. Also, as a result of a weak judiciary, some section of the police, which is highly politicized, perpetuates serious human rights violation during its operations.
The chief prosecutor must be appointed by Parliament, but must first be approved by the Judicial Board. This entity must have at its disposal, the necessary tools to carry out its mandate to prosecute all who violate the public’s trust and/or the laws of Jamaica and the Constitution. All other entities of enforcement of our laws and criminal justice system must come under the umbrella of the Department of public prosecution.
Our country currently lacks a national foreign policy. Our current government’s foreign policy is aligning itself with the policies of the Trump Administration, which goes against the grain of the United Nation’s Charter of non-intervention in sovereign countries; promotion of dialogue to resolve potential conflict and the support of a two-state solution to the Palestinian issue. Our policy should be independent of the United States and should reflect our people’s history and desire to work on fulfilling the mandate of the United Nations as the representative of a collective view. As such, JPM will reject the racist and warmongering policies of the US and support the idea of having the Caribbean as a zone of peace. Our foreign policy needs to reflect the changing political and economic landscape unfolding on the world scene.
JPM will continue Jamaica’s strong relationship with the United States and the Western world on the basis of equality and respect for the sovereignty and independence of each country. Our trade relations with the new and emerging world powers will be widened to benefit our citizens and allow our business opportunities to expand.
Our manifesto is the result of experiences gained from past leaders and world experiences in addressing the needs of nations trying to achieve their maximum potential in an equitable fashion. We are standing on the shoulders of great men that left us directions and policies to work with.
Any realistic vision of changes must be based on the notion of the empowerment of our people Democracy means far more than the right to vote every five years, it means the right to participate in every aspect of National and Community life. The people must believe that they can take part.”
By; The late Honorable Michael Manley.
The black skin is not a badge of shame, but rather a glorious symbol of national greatness.
If we as a people realized the greatness from which we came we would be less likely to disrespect ourselves.
By; The late Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey.
The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.
By; The late honorable Malcolm X
Service to Humanity means sacrifice.
By: The late Honorable Paul Bogle.
I would rather die upon yonder gallows than live in slavery.
By: The late honorable Sam Sharpe.
The words that inspired me along with others came from the mouth of the late great Mohammed Ali
“It is the lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges and I believe in myself and my people. I know where I am going and I know the truth and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I am free to be what I want, My principle is more important than the money and the title.
Every bit of your donation goes toward building a leadership training center inclusive of a library, seminar room, music studio, and offices to deal with our national affairs. This will be the place where Jamaican youth can gather and learn important skills to independently build wealth for themselves and most importantly, the national economy.
The book is a pathway for my country, jamaica, to achieve complete freedom and sovereignty. It encompasses the ideas and philosophy of our national heroes and scholars that have left us. The undoing of the systematic damage done to our people is practical and falls within the jurisprudence of our legal system, only needs to be amended. A peoples democracy is our path and the eradication of poverty our goal.
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