What did you really expect from the PM?

Friday, January 11, 2013

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Dear Editor,

Ever since the prime minister's speech was broadcast on Sunday, it has become apparent that the nation is waiting to exhale.

It is paradoxical that so many were waiting for her to broadcast the Government's plans to lift the country out of its financial rut; what, if any contingency plan it has, should there not be an IMF deal; what safety net will be cast to check the devaluation of the dollar; how the Government proposes to create employment for the desperate populace.

We also wanted to know when members of the public sector, who have not received a salary for months, will be paid; how the justice and security ministries could make such a diabolic mess of the traffic ticket amnesty; how her Government in one instance could promise relief from the monopolisation of the JPS, yet it is opposing the decision of the Supreme Court against the very same JPS; why her Government has promised transparency in its administration yet it seeks to circumvent the ambit of the OCG.

I could easily go on listing failings of the Government, based on targets it has set for itself, yet has dismally failed to live up to its own projections. Should we really have been expecting the PM to say anything more than what she delivered on Sunday?

Did she perform below her capabilities?

If we truly expected more from this PM, then our expectations speak volumes about how much we are in denial. How much we have been ignoring the writings on the wall.

The president of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce was heard on a radio broadcast asking for the PM to bring more substance to the people, particularly as it relates to the IMF deal, but what can we really expect? Other key members of the private sector and civil society have voiced their disappointment in the quality of her presentation (or the lack thereof). However, if the PM or even the finance minister had come forward and for once, spoken honestly to the people, that would be the final nail in the fulfilment of the PM's proclamation that she doesn't want to talk herself out of power.

All that the PM failed to present in her first anniversary speech is nothing more than confirmation of how dismal our future really is. The truth of the matter is, even 12 months after its victory, the PNP still cannot believe its victory — a victory that it is still not prepared to utilise.

What the PM failed to say in her speech also brought to the fore the disunity and incompetence within her Cabinet. It is an open secret that the only person who could have secured a victory for the PNP was none other than PSM. This victory, however, in no way speaks to her suitability to govern.

What is even more alarming is that, as much as some of her Cabinet members would like to see the back of her, there is not one member within the current Cabinet who can garner the respect and confidence of the Jamaican populace and the international business sector to take on the role of prime minister.

The sad fact is, the voting population made a decision on December 29, 2011, and they now have to live with the consequences as their crop is coming to maturity.


Yorkshire, England





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