Tue | Jul 16, 2019

Open letter to Bruce Golding

Published:Monday | April 2, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Dear Bruce Golding:

Respectfully, there are several solid reasons that have been put forward publicly as to why there are great reservations against the North-South Highway being named in honour of Edward Seaga.

First, how can an entity be named in honour of an individual who Hansard records as having early set his face quite decidedly against its very conception?

Second, if, as the Cabinet maintains, the proposal is that Seaga should join the list of past prime ministers to have their names attached to highways, how does the Government rationalise not naming this segment for the former prime minister who was most closely attached to its coming into being and for whom no highway has been named?

Third, why not now be true to history and name the Kingston waterfront, Turtle Towers, etc., in honour of Edward Seaga, who maintains that he was closely attached to their development during his time in public office?

Fourth, no one has ever, even once, sought to deny the Most Honourable Seaga's contribution to national development. The reservations concern the naming of this particular highway because of the perpetual controversy that would inevitably ensue.

Finally, Mr Golding, is it because the questions that have been put forward are unanswerable why you, and Mr Seaga, have so unfortunately sought refuge in the dark corner of 'grudgefulness' on the part of those who have voiced their opinion? With respect, that kind of comment should be left to the political hacks; it certainly does not become former prime ministers.

When there was criticism of your administration's attempt to name the Vineyard Highway after Usain Bolt, no one seems to remember your laying those criticisms at the doorstep of being 'grudgeful'.

Let us recall, fondly, that Mr Bolt graciously declined the invitation on the twin grounds that he was not in any way attached to the highway and also - long may it be remembered - so as to avoid any lasting controversy that would cling to that important corridor.

Those are, Mr Golding, the same twin reasons that form the basis for what is now being placed today on the table concerning the naming of the North-South Highway. Planting the seed of avoidable controversy should always be shunned by a government, and, of course, should never be watered by former prime ministers.

Colin Campbell

Former Minister of

Information and

Development