Thu | Feb 20, 2020

A justifiable lie?

Published:Sunday | May 16, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Editor, Sir:

In your Gleaner editorial of May 13, you closed with this: "In many democracies, deliberately misleading the country is cause for a prime minister to resign. Mr Golding and the Jamaican people must decide whether the PM's lies now render him a fatally flawed leader."

Might I mischievously suggest that the prime minister could possibly have support from the prestigious Athenian philosopher Socrates, who said, "It will be for the rulers of our city, then, if anyone, to use falsehood in dealing with citizen or enemy for the good of the State; no one else must do so."

I, too, strongly disagree with Socrates, but even if I did not, the prime minister would have to scour the legal fraternity in Jamaica to find a lawyer who would appear, even for a colossal fee, to prove the 'good of the State' that informed the prime minister's mixed-bag pronouncements in the Coke saga.

The historians among us, I am sure, can provide examples of heads of state who lied to their nations in times of national crisis for the good of their state. But though those acts may be understandable, it does not follow that they are justifiable or excusable.

I am, etc.,