Jamaican Poll: ‘Bring back the British!’

Go Lean Commentary

“When a man longs for the town of his boyhood, it is not the town that he longs for, but rather his boyhood” – Old Adage.

There’s something about nostalgia; we always seem to only remember just the good times –  the “Good Old Days”.

Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter Billy Joel asserted this truth in his song “Keeping the Faith” with this stanza:

You can get just so much
From a good thing
You can linger too long
In your dreams
Say goodbye to the
Oldies but goodies
Cause the good ole days weren’t
Always good
And tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems

(See VIDEO below in the Appendix)

The island-nation of Jamaica requested and was granted independence from the United Kingdom (UK) in 1962. According to the subsequent news article, the time before 1962, like the 1950’s, seems now to be nostalgic for many older Jamaicans. But this commentary posits that these ones are really just longing for a simpler time: with more economic prosperity, more jobs, more security (less crime), and more governing efficiency.

The book Go Lean … Caribbean aligns with the need for these same nostalgic benefits, to elevate the economic-security-governing engines of the Caribbean region, Jamaica included.

Like Billy Joel sang, the “good old days weren’t always good”. Colonialism was not all positive. The Jamaican masses were suppressed, oppressed and repressed. The majority Black population was marginalized in their own homeland, at the hand of a White minority. History teaches that this type of oppression only has one end-result: revolution. The UK had just participated in the Second World War – within the same generation – they had learned the bitter lessons of imperialism and could not – or would not – submit to the same failed course of action. Colonialism had failed … the planet, as evidenced by the two World Wars.

History is a great teacher; but failure, hunger, crime and despair are better teachers. There was a need for a better delivery of the implied Social Contract between Jamaica’s government and the governed; (where citizens surrender some of their freedoms and submit to the authority of the State in exchange for protection of remaining natural and legal rights). But as assessed by the polling responders in the following article: the new (50+ years) independent nation has simply failed … to deliver on the Social Contract obligations for their citizens:

Title: Bring back the British! Most Jamaicans say they would be better off ruled from London
By: The Daily Mail – British Daily Newspaper; posted June 29, 2011; retrieved April 2, 2015 from:

CU Blog - Jamaicans - Bring back the British - Photo 1Kingston – Most Jamaicans believe they would be better off if they were still ruled by Britain, a poll shows.

In a harsh indictment of nearly 50 years of independence, 60 per cent of those surveyed hanker for the days when the country was Britain’s biggest Caribbean colony.

Only 17 per cent said the crime-ridden, poverty-stricken nation would be worse off under British rule.

The depth of feeling is particularly astonishing as generations of Jamaican leaders have portrayed the British as oppressors who subjected the Caribbean to slavery.

The Queen is still Jamaica’s Head of State. Under the headline ‘Give Us The Queen!’, the Gleaner – Jamaica’s biggest newspaper – said its poll showed how much people had become ‘disillusioned’ with the violent and corrupt political gangs running the island

‘As painful, and some will claim insulting, as these statistics may be to Jamaican nationalists, they are quite understandable – and even logical,’ the paper said in an editorial. ‘The attitudes are formed by people’s existing realities and their expectations for the future.’
These realities, it added, include living in a country ‘where, for  more than a generation, economic growth has averaged below 2 per cent per annum and its homicide rate is among the highest in  the world’.

The newspaper also highlighted Jamaica’s ‘creaky’ justice system, ‘patchy’ law and order, ‘indifferent’ education system and the widespread public perception of ‘overwhelming’ corruption.

CU Blog - Jamaicans - Bring back the British - Photo 2The survey of more than 1,000 Jamaicans is embarrassing for Prime Minister Bruce Golding. He wants to mark next year’s 50th anniversary of independence by removing the Queen as Head of State and making the island a Republic.

Among older Jamaicans, nostalgia for what the Gleaner called the ‘good old days’ under Britain may have been sharpened by the island’s disastrous experiment with socialism in the 1970s. Left-wing prime minister Michael Manley introduced economically disastrous policies while publicly courting Cuba and scaring off tourists.

In recent years, violence by drug gangs has made the island  one of the most dangerous places in the world.

About 25,000 Britons live in Jamaica, including 23,275 pensioners. An estimated 1.3 million tourists visit the island each year, including about 185,000 Britons.

This foregoing article was composed and posted in 2011. What of the 4 years since?

The Go Lean book – published November 2013 – and subsequent blog-commentaries have concurred most emphatically: “Yes, Jamaica is in crisis; along with the rest of the Caribbean”. The Go Lean book posits that the entire English-speaking Caribbean is in crisis, along with the French and Dutch Caribbean; plus the US Territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Island suffer the same fate. But instead of campaigning for the “good old days”, the book (Page 8) asserts that this crisis is a terrible thing to waste”; that now is the time to finally employ best-practices in the structures of colonial society that the British (and other European powers) left behind.

This longing  for the “good old days” is similarly being echoed in the Dutch Caribbean. According to the book (Page 16), outcries for change in the Netherland Antilles resulted in the Kingdom of the Netherlands (Holland) polling the general population to choose among four options: independence, closer ties with Amsterdam, autonomous status within the Kingdom of the Netherlands or the Confederation Status Quo among the Dutch Caribbean member-states (6 islands). After a series of Referendums (2000 – 2005), the Status Quo was abandoned for closer-Amsterdam options.

Also in the French Caribbean, the book relates (Page 17) how discord and dissension has resulted in governmental structure changes that led the French territories to demand more direct rule from Paris. The acute need for reform has been openly acknowledged and these islands are even considering more regional solidarity with their wider Caribbean neighbors.

The independent Caribbean member-states (consider Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Suriname) are not spared from these crises as these countries have near-Failed State status and many of their populations have fled their homeland to a “Diasporic” life in some foreign location. Now it can be concluded that when these ones are called on to participate in “local democratic elections”, they are really voting: “None of the Above”.

On the other hand, the objective of the Go Lean movement is to reconcile the flawed economic-security-governing policies of the past and lean-in for the optimizations of the Caribbean future. The book serves as a roadmap for the regional integration of all the 42 million people and confederation of all 30 member-states of the Caribbean with the implementation of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). This roadmap advocates the elevation of Caribbean society, with the following prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy from $378 Billion to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines and mitigate internal and external threats.
  • Improvement of Caribbean governance to support these engines.

The Go Lean roadmap commences with this ideal embedded in the opening Declaration of Interdependence, pronounced as follows; (Page 10):

As the colonial history of our region was initiated to create economic expansion opportunities for our previous imperial masters, the structures of government instituted in their wake have not fostered the best systems for prosperity of the indigenous people. Despite this past, we thrust our energies only to the future, in adapting the best practices and successes of the societies of these previous imperial masters and recognizing the positive spirit of their intent and vow to learn from their past accomplishments and mistakes so as to optimize the opportunities for our own citizenry to create a more perfect bond of union.

The structure of colonialism has always been defective for colonies. As practiced in the past, all natural resources were extracted and sent to the host country as raw materials. Then finished products were returned to the colonies. The added-value and profit margins of such a eco-system were never realized in the colonies; it was always a win-win for the host country. There is no need to go back to that! There is something better here; its time to Go Lean … Caribbean.

Even the European imperial masters have abandoned such a colonial eco-system. Yes, Europe has now grown up to be a more technocratic society. This is the model we – in the Caribbean – must follow. The CU is modeled from the EU – see Page 130 in the Go Lean book – so as to provide good stewardship and shepherding of the Caribbean economic, security and governing engines. This theme has been elaborated on in these previous blog/commentaries:

Introduction to Europe – All Grown Up
A Lesson in European Dysfunctional History: 100 Years Ago – World War I
EU willing to fund study on cost of not having CARICOM
Europe Model: One currency, divergent economies
Book Review: ‘Wrong – Nine Economic Policy Disasters and What We Can Learn…’

The issues involved in this commentary are bigger than just for Jamaica. The CU roadmap drives change among the economic, security and governing engines for all the Caribbean region. One perplexing problem for Jamaica is the management of their previous debt. The Go Lean book therefore provides solutions to assuage this dilemma, but the solutions are tuned to a regional approach. This is a lesson learned from the EU’s model for assuaging the sovereign debt crisis of member-states there, like Greece, Portugal, Italy and Ireland. This roadmap therefore envisions elevating Caribbean society by means of new community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocates; as sampled here in this list:

Community Assessment – English Countries: Failed Integration of CSME Page 15
Community Assessment – Dutch Caribbean – Integration & Secessions Page 16
Community Assessment – French Caribbean – Organization & Discord Page 17
Community Assessment – Puerto Rico – The Greece of the Caribbean Page 18
Community Ethos – Forging Change Page 20
Community Ethos – Economic Principles Page 21
Community Ethos – Security Principles Page 22
Community Ethos – Governing Principles Page 24
Community Ethos – Impact the Future Page 26
Community Ethos – Impact the Greater   Good Page 37
Strategy – CU Vision – Integrate Caribbean member-states modeling the EU Page 45
Strategy – Facilitate a Currency Union, the Caribbean Dollar (C$) Page 48
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy Page 64
Tactical – $800 Billion Economy – How and When Page 67
Tactical – Separation-of-Powers Page 73
Implementation – Assemble Caribbean Central Bank Page 96
Implementation – Ways to Better Manage Debt Page 114
Implementation – Ways to Promote Independence Page 120
Planning – Ways to Model the EU Page 119
Anecdote – Caribbean Currencies Page 149
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs Page 152
Advocacy – Ways to Better Manage the Social Contract Page 170
Advocacy – Reforms for Banking Regulations Page 199
Advocacy – Ways to Re-boot Cuba Page 236
Advocacy – Ways to Impact the Dominican Republic Page 237
Advocacy – Ways to Re-boot Haiti Page 238
Advocacy – Ways to Impact US Territories Page 244
Advocacy – Ways to Impact British Territories Page 245
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Dutch Territories Page 246
Advocacy – Ways to Impact French Territories Page 247

The Go Lean roadmap posits that modeling European society does not mean subjecting anew to colonial status for them. No, that is a parasite disposition. The roadmap calls for the region to assume the stance of a protégé of our European (and North American) trading partners. Yes, we can prosper where we are planted … in the Caribbean.

The book declares that the Caribbean is the greatest address on the planet. So we have the potential to do more, go further and rise higher than our previous colonial masters. But this requires heavy-lifting!

While this is easy to say (and write), it is harder to do. But there are some best-practices that would optimize our endeavors. For starters, economic empowerment is easy; just show up with investments (money) and jobs and the Caribbean communities will acquiesce – they will form long lines to solicit those jobs. On the other hand, the attempts to introduce empowerments for security and/or governing engines are a lot more complicated, requiring a political process, with a lot of consensus-building, collaboration and compromise.

Who should do this heavy-lifting? London, Amsterdam, Paris, or Washington? No. This effort needs to be done by us, for us. This is what independence is all about, standing up and finding solutions to our own problems, not crying out to “Mama or Papa” as in London, Amsterdam, Paris…

“Cause the good ole days weren’t always good
And tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems”.

Now, we must “step-up our game” all the more so and tackle our problems; we must forge viable solutions. How? When? Why? Who? Good questions. There are no quick answers; there is a roadmap instead. For example, the Go Lean roadmap details that the answer to the dilemma of “defects of independence” is interdependence … with our Caribbean neighbors. This is part-and-parcel of the remediation and mitigations in the 370-page turn-by-turn guide.

Yes, we can … all work together and be successful. “Many hands make a big job small”.


Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!


Appendix – VIDEO: Billy Joel’s Keeping the Faithhttps://youtu.be/ph7oZnBH05s

Uploaded on Oct 2, 2009 – Music video by Billy Joel performing Keeping The Faith. (C) 1983 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT


Share this post:
, , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *