Journal: Delroy Downer

What matter the most?

Have you ever imagined what the mayor and cabinet meetings is all about? I bet you might wonder or question yourselves about the importance of attending these meetings or you might be thinking do these meetings really matter or is it just a waist of time?

I had the privilege to attend one of these meetings; I encountered a cloud of desperation and hopelessness that has enveloped the lives of many. Not only is there a sense of hopelessness, but of resignation that things will not get any better any time soon.

This is coupled with a debilitating disinterest which suggests that people do not know how to pull themselves out of the economic hardship in which their lives are trapped. Each person carries on in their own little corner, some finding it harder than others to eke out a living in their chosen space. There is an obvious sense of an absence of faith in any kind of leadership to provide a way out. This is the unifying consensus of those with whom you interact with are listened to heckled their frustrations at the mayor/cabinet and their advisors?

When you look around your surroundings and you noticed that majority of the political diehards are elderly who will hold on to any string of hope that their party can provide a way out of the wilderness. Yet you see may young individuals fighting hard for change in their community and pitching their argument with precise precessions hoping that the mayor will not only listened to their pleas but he will agreed with their recommendations for change.

One of the things that have bedevilled political leadership in this country is the inability to get little things done which could ease the pressure on people and take the grime out of their faces. One gets a strong sense that things could have been so different for many people if government could get simple, little things fixed.

The cry of many Councillors and the mayor, of course, is that there is no money in the budget because Central Government have demanded cuts/savings right across local government and failing to do so will have a huge impact on their finance. The public do not buy this argument. For what we are talking about is the things that hold the community together especially when times get tough and bumpy and people are finding it hard to make ends meet, which should be accounted for in the national budget.

What we are dealing with is a misallocation of admittedly scarce resources to Government's pet projects which are benefitted to the wealthy. It is okay for the queen, the prime minister and their entourage to drive on or see clean, well-surfaced streets, but the contempt for the majority does not allow them this luxury.

Why is there not the same passion to take some of the grime out of the lives of people, especially the poor whom we claim to love so much and at the heart of the government plan? Why instead of removing the youth centres and other youth provisions in the community and replacing it with huge 7 star buildings which local residents will be prise out by foreign investors and high earners. Many of these people have lived in these communities for decades.

We talk about economic growth, but part of the frustration of people is that they do not get the feeling that Government is doing enough of the small things to encourage this. One of the best characteristics of good leadership is leadership by example. Many do not feel that this is the case with this government.

In the bubble in which members of the political directorate live, they may think that they are doing the right things, but people will not be convinced about this until they see the simple, small, but irritating things being attended to. Perhaps the public workers would be more willing to take the wage deal being offered by Government if they too could demonstrate that we are living in austere times and that they really understand people's pain. Taxing every poor ant that walks whilst giving big cooperation's and the well off tax brake is no way to inspire confidence.