Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Leadership must not only be aspirational

Published:Thursday | November 17, 2016 | 11:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

An open letter to Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

The Jamaican diaspora has a legitimate right to determine the government with whom they have been investing consistently over US$2.7 billion annually to include charities and tourism dollars. This right is no different from the rights of those who are able to contribute millions of dollars directly to political parties to influence and determine the political and economic agenda of our government and maintain their primary residence and headquarters overseas.

Aspirational leadership is oftentimes prone to manipulation by special-interest groups as they no longer hold true to their vision of uniting the people, but rather seek to divide at all costs by politicking and classism.

So, as the beautiful petals from the otaheite apple tree blanket the bare rock, as they fall to the ground, so should be the voice of our leadership; smoothing the hard reality of the Jamaican experience both at home and abroad.

EMBRACE ALL PEOPLE

Government must embrace all people rather than create barriers and disenfranchisement as we are "out of many, one people" and "not many out of two political parties". Who you voted for was only a moment in time that occurs every four to five years. The rest of the time you must be true to the interests of all your fellow men and not in your aspiration for "5 in 4".

We should be committed to transforming Jamaica through leadership, an agenda for real change. When we talked about transforming Jamaica and change, we were not talking about change you can live with, as in shuffling the deck. At the core of real leadership and governance are fundamental values and principles that govern how those with power relate to and treat those who are less powerful.

Silbert Barrett