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Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Road to Independence

Jumbies on the Road

Dr. Lester CN Simon-Hazlewood

If I had one wish to make this country better, what would that wish be? And what would be the basis of such a singular, important choice? I should take a good look at the finest machine on earth and see how it functions so I can learn something.

A man comes up to me with flailing hands and fluttering lips, asking me if I am done registering to vote and if I want to join his party. Not getting an answer, he wants to know if I am going to vote, and for which party. Not giving him a chance to ask me another personal question, I tell him I am going to vote for myself. His mouth and brow move quizzically in opposite, parallel directions, pondering that I have a party too. Before he offers to join or merge I let out that my political party is called Me One Party.

Me One Party will campaign on the sole promise to mop up, fix and revolutionize the transportation system in this country. Just that. A good look at the adult human body, the finest machine on earth, tells me something essential. With over 100 trillion cells, numerous tissues and many organs, the most important system in the human body is the transportation system. Indeed, any pathology textbook will disclose that problems with the transportation system in humans are responsible for more sickness and death than any other category of human disease.

Take a drive on the eastern main road in Cedar Grove. You will descend into a trough that spans the width of the road. There are two remarkable features of this inverted sleeping policeman. Firstly, after mashing up the road some months ago to run pipe or wire, the debris that was dug up was simply put back. In a few weeks, a trough came. It took many weeks after that for the roadmen to fix it. And in a few more weeks, the trough returned, only this time it had fragments of materials from the repair.

Secondly, all this mashing up and just putting back the debris, and the delayed repair and the return of the trough, have happened before, under the other government. Does this not suggest that at some time, some of us have to look in the mirror on the wall and ask ourselves if we have done a good day’s work? When will we stop negotiating our vehicles through troughs and holes and craters and start ensuring that people like us, not just politicians, do a simple job well?

Yes, we must keep one eye on the politician but the other eye must be on ourselves. This is why I am voting for myself and I am asking everyone to vote for that person in the mirror. A few blocks from the trough in the road in Cedar Grove, people gather to register to vote, and they complain and complain, almost wanting to swear and curse, were it not that they are on school ground and there is a church nearby. Yet we the same people cannot decide to block the road and refuse to move until people like us, some doing the same registering and fretting, fix the trough in the road, properly.

Transportation is paramount because transportation teaches us about communication. No matter how independent you think you are, you need to move, and people need to move for you to move. Movement is a basic characteristic of all living things. School children know this, although the way some of them use the road suggests otherwise.

Proper transportation brings people together. Using the transportation system wisely and courteously is a hallmark of civilized people. Not like the man whom I graciously allow out from a side road. I am wrong to blow my horn and gesticulate that he can at least say thanks. I am wrong because, the ungrateful son of a man tells me expletive stories about my mother and her private anatomy. My dear mother is long dead and, to the best of my knowledge, she is not walking around as a daytime jumbie. And even if she were, do female jumbies travel naked?

A good transportation system with the attendant proper controls and neighbourliness will allow us to be more considerate of others. So some of my neighbours in Hodges Bay will not think that their family can walk and ride bicycles on the road when my family cannot do the same because the road has literally gone to the dogs, their dogs. And their dogs on the road intimidate my dogs and my family and bite my people. Now suppose we were to bite them back? Your independence and my independence cannot collide.

Register to vote. And vote. But if you really want to know whom or what to vote for, whether good roads or good schools, or whatever, put yourself to the voting test. Look in the mirror and consider seriously if you can vote for yourself. And look back to see if you mash up the mirror.

Me One Party is campaigning that transportation is the most important system in any civilized, independent country. Transportation can either bring people together or push them apart. Be a truly independent voter and vote for yourself. The road to independence is not paved with good intentions. It is simply paved well.


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