Mon | Jan 20, 2020

Letter of the Day | More than a hint of authoritarianism, Mr Holness?

Published:Tuesday | July 10, 2018 | 12:00 AM


Though for different reasons, those of us in civil-society organisations have so far said little publicly on two important current issues - the Wheatley brouhaha and the media briefings after Cabinet meetings. With the first, we tend to steer clear of the party politics; with the second, we judge the media to be strong enough to carry by themselves.

But our media are so crucial for civil-society matters, I cannot resist giving them my little iota of support. Their character as probably the most progressive in the world make them especially precious. It is really time this Government opened up to the quizzing of our journalists. Its own point of view would, in fact, be sharpened and so benefit all of us.

The farce of Dr Andrew Wheatley trying to defend the indefensible has gone on long enough. With the PM apparently losing the support of some of even his own party leaders, his persistence in keeping the man in the Cabinet is raising political questions that will become increasingly uncomfortable for him, as well tarnishing a record of some other wholesome decisions.

The thread of an authoritarian approach to government that is showing up in both these two and other issues is very troubling. It could be useful for Mr Holness to do a little introspection in this regard, and extend it to consider the negative prospects of partisan politics. Not one shred of prime ministerial greatness has resulted from it in Jamaica's history. Quite the contrary.