Kakistocracy critique just seems 'bad mind'and bitter

Thursday, December 14, 2017

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Dear Editor,

It's always interesting to read the thoughts, ideas and criticisms laid out in the relevant sections of the papers. Many of the subject matters I identify with, others I am shocked to learn about, but there are those that are simply mystifying and bewildering.

Politicians are people of pride and ego, and when those two things are bruised hell hath no comparable fury like it.

I suppose one such person with a very bruised ego is letter writer Fernandez Smith, a former Jamaica Labour Party councillor. He has gone to great lengths to dredge up some old and admittedly controversial issues as he seeks to lambaste the governing party — of which he was a part — suggesting it is a kakistocracy with them in charge.

Now, by his own definition and my own research, I note the word refers to a type of governance in which the worst people are in power. I find this reference completely outlandish, disingenuous and purely Machiavellian.

Jamaica is fortunate, at a time such as this, to have the leadership of a party almost exclusively focused on growing the economy and changing the very outlook of every single Jamaican from one of poverty and pessimism to one of prosperity and optimism.

Today, every Jamaican is speaking prosperity into their lives; more Jamaicans are employed with at least 50,000 new employees joining the workforce over the last 18 months alone; billions of dollars worth of investment is taking place; business and consumer confidence are trending upwards; there are greater prospects for employment; the public sector is finally set to become more robust, agile and responsive; Government is displaying greater levels of accountability now than was previously the case; the country has been able to achieve increases in growth; massive increases in tourist visits and related revenues; and there is greater transparency in government transactions.

In the Jamaican context, I'd like to think that one of the greatest indicators of growth is when the governor of the Bank of Jamaica can suggest that at the rate the country is going there might soon be more vacancies than competent people to fill them.

I have never, in my more than modest years as a Jamaican, experienced such positivity in the Jamaican spirit as I do now.

Sure, there are problems; of which one of the most heartbreaking that we grapple with as a country is crime. We hope that the Government will soon get a handle on this destructive monster even as we must concede that the Government's failure to control crime is not for lack of trying and strategising.

I am certain the Government wants to pay its civil servants more, but as of now it can't.

Sure, the cars for police officers should have come on time, but would a Government deliberately expose itself to a raft of criticism for failing to meet its deadlines?

For the shortcomings of the current Administration we are all well within our rights as citizens to criticise; yes, let's keep them on their toes. But to go as far as accusing the Government of your country of being a kakistocracy might be taking it too far, especially when governments past have been far worse, to the point where a reasonable comparison cannot even be made.

And, coming from a former JLP member, all it does is put his bitterness and I dare say “bad-mindedness” on full display.

The prime minister is responsive and accessible; he is open to criticism and never shies away from public dialogue. He has offered himself up to provide leadership that is both effective and inclusive. He is not afraid to take difficult and unpopular decisions to ensure the greater good. I believe such leadership is called transformational.

And, by the way, Smith, “bad mind” is out of style.

S Grey





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