LETTER OF THE DAY - Bruce, go for broke!
The Editor, Sir:
Please publish as an open letter to Prime Minister Bruce Golding.
Dear Mr Golding,
I prayed for you this morning (Thursday). I thanked God for the courage only He could have given you to begin telling the truth. Then I prayed that in the midst of this mess, you would smell marvellous opportunity. I prayed that you would not resign - at least, not right away - but instead, go for broke. I prayed that you would let God help you finish what you started, by declaring everything you know about the Manatt issue. Fifteen years ago, you came the closest any seasoned Jamaican politician has ever come to being (politically) 'born again'; I prayed that this would finally be your Damascus Road, even if it is still your Waterloo.
I prayed that you would then allow justice and the law to run their course with Christopher Coke, and let the extradition chips fall where they will. I prayed that you would open the can of worms in your so-called garrison constituency, telling the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Jamaica Defence Force (and Scotland Yard, Royal Canadian Mounted and the FBI, if you had to) everything you know or could find out, about where the guns are and who the criminals are.
You might have no currency there thereafter, but doors will open for you elsewhere. I prayed that if your Opposition colleague, who could not find her voice during the Trafigura affair, but who now shouts aloud, does not follow in similar fashion in her garrison, that you, prime minister over all Jamaica, would have the courage to be a catalyst and facilitate the same kind of cleansing in hers and all other garrisons in Jamaica.
I prayed that you might use this crisis which, admittedly, you - and the powers of your garrison - created, as opportunity to launch the massive Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) for which many have called for over a decade. I prayed that you might see the irony of 1995 being the same year the TRC happened in South Africa while something significant was happening to you in Jamaica. I prayed that you might invite Bishop Tutu to help you lead Jamaica through a Jamaican TRC process; it will probably take an extraordinary 'outsider' like him to persuade JLP, PNP, JCF, private sector, public sector, Church and John Public to come out a-confessing, and he will give you the wonderful counsel you would need for your soul, and spirit.
This is only a beginning. I prayed that you would go for broke like this, mashing up the dolly house, because if you should resign and go just so, there is no sensible Jamaican who really believes that better would come from anybody else in your party who takes your place, or from the PNP, should all this precipitate fresh elections and they 'win'.
Jamaica is in a nasty mess, and band aids or patches are now inadequate. What Jamaica needs now is the kind of sacrificial cleansing that only a man - a man going for broke on his way out - can offer. Bruce, my friend, I prayed today that you understand that you are that man, and the time is now. I will always be your friend.
I am, etc.,
Rev Dr MICHAEL, PL FRIDAY