Tue | Sep 18, 2018

Letter of the Day | Give Bobby Montague his due

Published:Wednesday | October 25, 2017 | 12:00 AM


If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, did that tree fall? Similarly, if a minister works but no one acknowledges it, is that minister working?

We have become accustomed to the habit of not believing work is being done if we have not witnessed it with our own eyes. While some of us do witness what is taking place, our refusal to acknowledge it is deep-rooted in our own personal prejudices.

On Sunday, October 8, a cartoon depicting National Security Minister Robert Montague in a less-than-tasteful light was published. What the cartoon depicted was that Prime Minister Andrew Holness was the minister responsible for security and, as such, was better able to speak on matters of national security than Mr Montague.

Despite the work put in by Minister Montague and, by extension, his staff at the ministry, he continues to bear the brunt of detractors and critics. To that, I say there are too many ants telling bees how to make honey.

As we become overly critical, how quickly we forget that the Ministry of National Security is the only ministry of late to earn $177m from two amnesties. The minister has put his energy behind seeking promotions for qualified and deserving police officers in an effort to plug the attrition rate.

Mr Montague remains an easy target for critics because he is unapologetically honest, a straight shooter (pun intended). Isn't this what we clamour for in a political representative? Someone who is truthful, accountable and loud about the issues that matter!

Let's point fingers, let us try to identify every single minister, and attribute their successes and failings accordingly. Impossible!

When it comes to national issues, of course some initiatives will see joint efforts from multiple ministries. After all, Jamaica's business is everybody's business. And if Prime Minister Holness should lead the charge publicly, so be it. Ultimately, he is the chief servant.



Long Mountain