Toraino Beckford is a Pan Africanist, activist, philosopher and a politician from the parish of Westmoreland, on the tourism island of Jamaica. He became a politician at the age of 24, in February of 2016 when he ran as an Independent Candidate for the Westmoreland Central Constituency. He graduated from the Manning’s School (which he represented in TVJ’s Schools Challenge Quiz) and from the University of Technology (Jamaica), where he completed a degree in law.
Beckford then spent a year working for a law firm until he engaged in community activities and served as the President of the Llandilo Citizens Association (LCA). Throughout his political career, he has done interviews with Cliff Hughes, Michael Hyper and Emprezz Golding. He even appeared on CVM Live’s Editorial Segment with Richard Chen on March 08, 2018.
Toraino Beckford’s political policies include:
- Using renewable energy to offer cheaper light bills to Jamaicans.
- Remove custom duties on technology so that people can import technology (laptops, smartphones, vehicles and heavy machinery) without paying to clear it.
- Use crowd-funding to start businesses within inner-city communities so that unemployed youths can engage in businesses compatible to their abilities.
- Introduce Political Campaign Reform in order to structure political campaigns to focus on issues as opposed to party colors and to make access to politics less dependent on finances and more dependent on the integrity, ingenuity and the incorruptible character of the particular political candidate.
- Introduce legislation to allow citizens to carry pepper sprays and stun guns.
- Implement Police Reform so that Jamaicans can be offered a newly branded police force with more accurate crime-fighting strategies and a new image which will aid in public relations and intelligence gathering.
- Develop the military to be better able to fulfill its duty of securing our borders, fighting crime and engaging in effective and timely disaster management. Repurpose a portion of the military to assist in building homeless shelters, renewable energy farms, community centers and prison work-outposts so that prisoners can take part in work programs alongside the military and help to develop the country.
To Toraino Beckford, politics is about professionally administering the affairs of a nation at the highest level achievable. It’s not about achieving power, fame, wealth or a validation of superiority. However, with all honesty, these forces do influence all politicians to some degree and it’s full time people accept that politicians are just humans who cannot be trusted and need constant oversight from the people.
Toraino entered politics at 24 years old because he lost faith in the politicians governing the country and saw no worthy option to vote for during the elections. So instead of complaining and leaving the welfare of the nation in the hands of underperforming leaders, he decided to be the change that he wished to see in politics and therefore put himself forward to represent the people. This is why he personally doesn’t consider himself to be a politician but rather a concerned citizen who saw it fit to challenge the poor standard of politics in Jamaica.
Toraino Beckford is not like your usual politician, with a wealth of administrative experience. But what he lacks in experience, he makes up for in his ability to formulate innovative ideas and solutions for government policy, which is a product of him living among the people and being able to relate to their concerns. Additionally, it can be argued that people with administrative and political experience tend to be versed in the ways of corruption and don’t seek to change the system but just to become the beneficiary of its unfairness. Thus, people must accept the reality that the change that they are looking for is likely to come from young people who are uncommitted to the corrupt ways of the current system.
He believes that Jamaica needs a revolution which consists of replacing the current stock of politicians with the brightest, most incorruptible individuals that the country has to offer and he actively advocates such a revolution via his accurate yet unconventional political commentary on social media.
As a patriotic Jamaican with a genuine concern for Jamaica’s future, Toraino Beckford aims at embodying and articulating the concerns and desires of the people so that there exist a pragmatic blueprint for generational advancement in Jamaican politics. The sum of his political legacy is not only to identify and administer the needs of the people but also to empower the people to be able to take action in removing any leader who fail to perform to a reasonable degree, even if that leader is himself. Jamaica needs a leader who will align the development of the country with his/her own personal interest as if they are one and the same. And although that is a very selfless and utopian political standard that is easier said than done, Toraino Beckford believes that he has the potential to achieve that standard to a higher degree than any of the other current politicians.