Michael Manley was so right

Wednesday, October 03, 2012    

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Dear Editor,

The writer of your editorial which appeared in the publication of October 2, 2012, "From Michael Manley to Portia Simpson Miller", must be commended for having crafted one of the more balanced and insightful editorials to have appeared in the Jamaica Observer in recent times.

The editorial correctly pointed out that small developing countries such as Jamaica will not be able to fashion balanced economic and social development, without a concurrent attempt to rebalance the current global economic architecture which has always been heavily skewed in favour of the more developed and advanced countries.

Michael Manley was at pains to point this out during the 1970s and in the early 1990s when he was prime minister. For this, among other things, he was elevated to be one of the primary voices of the countries of the South, as he argued the case of developing countries within the context of the agitation for a new international economic order.

PJ Patterson, in his own inimitable style, was also a force to be reckoned with in making the point that, while developing countries were required to address their own domestic situations, it could not be successfully undertaken if the tentacles of international governance were not sensitive to challenges created by non-local factors. He, too, argued for a system which was not only free but also fair, especially in the area of international trade.

Portia Simpson Miller, in her recent address to the United Nations General Assembly, continued in this vein by impressing upon the august gathering that one of the primary challenges faced by countries such as Jamaica resulted from what is happening in the global economy. As an example, she pointed out that one of the greatest impacts on small domestic economies is the cost of energy, the price of which is largely determined by factors outside of the control of small, non oil-producing domestic economies.

It is not by chance that all three leaders, albeit in their own way, mannerism and style, make the connection between the domestic and the international environment. Their ability derives from the fact that the party they represent, the People's National Party, has always pursued an international progressive agenda which allows them to understand the wisdom of "changing the international economic system to allow poor countries to achieve self-reliant economic development", as your editorial intoned. I look forward to more reasoned editorials.

Delano Franklyn

Chairman, Michael Manley Foundation

1 Hope Boulevard

Kingston 6

delanofranklyn@cwjamaica.com

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