Losing our way in fixing this broken land?

Thursday, October 18, 2012    

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Dear Editor,

Karl Marx would laugh! We as a people have sat and watched the demonising of our first woman prime minister. For decades our leaders have failed us in many respects; the perpetuation of a deadly divisive politics, the nurturing of a culture that rewards mediocrity and celebrates messianic divas for politicians.

In the year of our independence jubilee celebrations, the highest national honour was awarded to a musician and not to a member of the political class. Such is the lacklustre political leadership over the last 50 years, in spite of the moments of brilliance. I could go on and on and repeat the failures of the political leaders. However, as a people, it does not mean that we have licence to be unfair to our leaders in our criticisms.

Portia Simpson Miller has been the target of a sustained vitriolic assault for as long as she has been in representational politics. She is treated with the contempt reminiscent of the plantation relationship between slaves and masters. At each opportunity, she is literally expected to make as many errors as there are and interestingly, what should be a stinging rebuke is the hawk-eyed behaviour used to zone in on her speaking proficiency.

Sunday's celebration for our Olympians and Paralympians was the latest episode of Jamaicans salivating to hear Mrs Simpson Miller's latest "coinage". The strange thing to note, too, is that many of those who are caught up in this are members of the bowels of the working class, from which the prime minister claims she springs. While we sometimes don't do what is right but are aware that there is better, this class has to be careful it doesn't become a pawn for the middle and upper classes. Clearly, the middle and upper classes are not the best of friends with the prime minister. However, they lack the democratic numbers to bear down sufficient pressure on her, and so enlist the support of the masses to attack the prime minister for the less substantive issues. I'm not a Portia sympathiser, neither of the government, just a Jamaican who fears we might be losing our way in fixing this broken land for another 50 years.

Mark Williams





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