It has been very interesting over the last few weeks to see things unfold about David Smith and his contributions to our two major political parties. One needs to accept that from time to time political parties will accept contributions from donor groups and individuals in order to finance their political campaigns.
From Olint and other Ponzi schemes, many Jamaicans have lost much-needed cash. The ludicrous debacle of these financial schemes is an indication of how much people want to achieve some of the finer things of life, and of course to have a better life. Some may say these people are stupid, but it could be interpreted that they are ambitious. I therefore ask: What can be achieved in this world without taking a few risks? On the other hand, it should be known by now that high returns must have high risks.
One needs to congratulate the People's National Party for admitting to the contribution it got. I think this not only shows honesty but also maturity. In light of these admissions, the chairman of the PNP, Robert Pickersgill, was quoted as saying that from a moral standpoint the party had no obligation to refund the money. I am glad, however, that he did not say that the party would not refund the money. Although we need to accept the fact that this was a gift, I am still not sure if any law was broken, and sadly the Opposition cannot pressure the Government to return the money, as they are in the same position.
I must remind the PNP that their winning a landslide victory, after only a little over four years in Opposition, was partly because of one party not listening to the people; thus the other party promising to give a listening ear and give the citizens "people power" must be taken seriously, if they wish to avoid the same fate. The PNP needs to be aware that people power is not just a good slogan and that the people cannot be made to believe that they are powerless, even after an election. They were not a part of the major decisions in our country and thus they needed a voice. It was interesting to note that after the PNP won the 2011 general election, the new Opposition leader vowed to start his campaign the next day.
I urge the PNP that even though they are not obliged to return the money they need to listen to the people, thereby demonstrating to the people that you have given them power. Show them that you care, fulfil your promise in giving them a voice.
Therefore, I urge you to return the money, thus putting your money where your mouth is, when you say you care. Remember the 1989 slogan "We Put People First" to the 2011 election's "People Power". I am aware that US$1 million is just a drop in the bucket to what is owed, but your reputation is better than a million dollars. It is against this background that I implore the party to do the right thing and demonstrate its strength. I would also like to encourage the senior members of the party to read Proverbs 22:1: A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.
God bless Jamaica and the ambitious people who are trying to invest.
Lincoln A Dennis