Letters to the Editor

Holness defending the wrong blurs his vision

Friday, February 09, 2018

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Dear Editor,

The public outcry against Prime Minister Andrew Holness's decision to name Justice Bryan Sykes as acting chief justice is very timely and instructive as, once again, he has been caught publicly in “a conspiracy of deception”.

Why does Holness continue to go, against the things that are right and just. As some luminaries in the legal fraternity have said, his recent actions or inactions are a threat to our democracy.

One must recall that the same justice system that Holness is trying to usurp — or has usurped — found him guilty of breach of our constitution and against public policy in what was termed the “Senate letters saga”. It seems that Holness has not learned to listen to the right people when dealing with legal matters.

Why did Holness's legal advisors not warn him against his decision?

Well, Dr Christopher Tufton once said that Holness does not want any “bright people” around him and, while that may prove a point, I think he took that decision all by himself regardless of the consequences.

If that were not enough, immediately after coming to the Jamaican people to justify his decision to name Sykes as acting chief justice, he called a by-election in St Andrew North Western reportedly without the due process of first consulting the director of elections. If true, this is unprecedented where the Electoral Office of Jamaica only heard of an election date in the public media.What is Holness up to? Does he think that he is bigger than the limb that his Government is perched on?

Well, let me tell him: The last rooster that thought he was bigger than the limb that he roosts on ended up roosting on the ground below the humble hens.

Several of Holness's actions have been met with public resentment, and he always comes to the Jamaican people with a straight face trying to defend or justify the wrong. This present impasse does not instil confidence in our leaders to act truthfully and fairly on our behalf. We have seen it time and time again since this Government took office.

In this environment of fear, mistrust and apprehension about our justice system, this does not really help. Sometimes leaders must shed their pride and tough-headedness and level with the people and agree that a bad decision has been made. That is what great leaders are made of.

When we, as leaders, hold on and defend the wrong, it shows leadership weakness, which distorts the very vision that the people require.

Fernandez Smith


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