What do you want from your local Jamaican politician? Of course, that individual must be intelligent, empathetic, an excellent communicator, knowledgeable about local, national and global issues. But what other important attributes make an effective politician? I would assert that a knowledge of Human Rights is also paramount, a knowledge of Human Rights that can be applied to improve the lives of local people that a politician represents. Human rights are essential because they lay down the minimum standards for people to live with dignity. It gives people the right and freedom to choose their own expression, to secure life, equality, freedom, and safeguard from abuse.
So, In Jamaica you have that politician: Moreland Wilson. He is presently seeking to represent the people of Western West Moreland for the JLP . He is determined to represent this District and the island of Jamaica using his impressive knowledge of Human Rights issues since employment with the British Council. During his time there, he developed a highly respected Human Rights programme to address the lack of knowledge in Jamaica. This programme is all encompassing, focussing upon the young people of Jamaica using social media, school brochures, social events, board advertisements and more.
It might be that many of us believe we understand Human Rights but it might be that we only have a very basic understanding of the importance of living our lives incorporating Human Rights into our every day activities. A knowledge of Human Rights, developed from a young age in school, will continue to impact on every day decisions and behaviour. Is it reasonable to walk past the man on the street in his ragged clothes, no shoes, matted locks, begging with his tatty Starbucks coffee cup? Those of us with empathy and knowledge of Human Rights will not walk past, we will give food and drink, maybe some clean clothes. We will think and reflect: what type of society allows this to happen? Surely this man has mental health issues, yet he has a right to shelter, sustenance, dignity. Hopefully we will lobby our local politician to improve provision for such needy people. Consider the girl in school who has no food in her belly, walks shoeless to school but desperately wants to learn. Her fellow pupils who have understanding of Human Rights will know that to learn, you must have a full belly and a healthy body. Such pupils may well share their lunch but will then speak to their school Principal and lobby for a breakfast club for needy pupils.
As JLP political aspirant, Moreland Wilson presents as credible, accessible and innovative. To measure an individual’s political effectiveness, it is necessary to examine the work completed by the person in question. Moreland achieved recognition for the Human Rights programme that he project-managed for the British Council. This programme used the social media tools of Twitter and Facebook to engage young people, with 949 FB friends and 306 Twitter followers. The Youtube channel ‘Rights Awareness ‘programme engaged young people with a range of videos that included competitions and musical themes. There was also positive tv and radio coverage on Smile Jamaica and Nationwide FM and an educational booklet was produced for school use. In addition to these achievements, Moreland is a successful Businessman. He is CEO of Prestige Logistics, a multi-million dollar company specialising in three areas: importing luxury cars, provision of tourism and logistics training for young people and finally, provision of business consultancy.
The one-dimensional charismatic Politician is no longer effective in our complex global world. A politician must be multi-talented, well-travelled and specialise in many fields. The millennial generation, the future voters, see the personal as the political and the local connectivity with the global environment. Young people are sensitive to Human Rights issues and a global agenda that can meet their local needs. In the past, The Jamaican political landscape was occupied by persons with Messianic appeal offering platitudes that never materialised. The young voter needs deliverables and evidence of effectiveness without political posturing.
Human Rights are an essential element of civil society; promoting this is the best tool for attracting positive political attention. Any aspiring politician worth his grain of salt must be aware of its currency in terms of soft power advantage. Millennials are more politically engaged than previous young generations. They are more interested in Human Rights than any other generational cohort who have traditionally relied upon religion to mediate differences. Morland Wilson use of social media to collate a comprehensive Human Rights programme targeting young people is indeed innovative. A 2006 (IOP) survey Harvard Institute of Politics of 18 to 24 year olds shows that the millennial generations – more so than any other – are positively disposed to the values of Human Rights. Kingstonmouth applaud Moreland Wilson for his contribution to the corpus of Human Rights and wish him success with his political endeavours.
This article was written by Donovan Reynolds, CEO and Ann Smith, Managing editor of Kingstonmouth.com. Donovan Reynolds is an Independent blogger and Human Right’s Activist of Jamaican descent and a legal Academic who has an interest in Human Rights, Culture and International Development issues. Readers of this article are welcome to provide feedback at the space provided at the end of this article or at firstname.lastname@example.org useful commentary made on our Facebook and Kingsonmouth@twitter pages