Let Portia and Andrew go at it

Thursday, August 28, 2014

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Dear Editor,

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller was referred to by the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Holness as an empty barrel.

Holness was told by Simpson Miller at a political meeting that he is not a leader and that she will start responding to him every time he criticises her.

These exchanges between the two leaders have evoked insipid responses from certain sectors of the Jamaican society. They have called for the reinstatement of a political ombudsman. There is no need for the political ombudsman. There is no reason to waste scarce money to install one.

Frankly, these proclamations should help to remove wrinkles from the face. So each leader should listen to them and smile. Unless the assertions against them are true, their responses should not help to substantiate them.

The Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms (Constitutional Amendment) Act, 201 entitles everyone to freedom of expression, which includes politicians. People should be allowed to express themselves based on their own conscience. It is for each person to guard against degrading himself or herself in the process. Furthermore, Jamaica politics has now matured, so platform presenters do not elicit violence against their opponents, and the party supporters attend these meetings for good news, promises and merriment, not to convert words from political stage into physical weapons against their opponents.

The attendees at political meetings not only need to be told the truth, but often need vibrant and colourful language in order to energise them. So, while we aim to hold our leaders to high standards, let us not try to stifle or remove their innate disposition.

I am etc.

Peter A. P. Gordon

Mandeville, Manchester





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