THE EDITOR, Sir:
As the David Smith/Olint saga further unfolds, the People's National Party (PNP) continues to go inches deeper in the hole it dug since the first denial of former leader P.J. Patterson that he had any knowledge of donations made by Smith to the party.
Mr Patterson told the media that while he was aware of Smith's intention to make a contribution to the party, the matter was in the hands of the late Danny Buchanan, who dealt with such matters at the time.
While I do not question the veracity of Mr Patterson's statement, or his integrity, for that matter, the feet of a dead man appears to be the safest place to let the chips fall. After all, we may have to appeal to the highly spiritual among us (maybe Prophet Phinn, if he can be found) to talk to the man above and ask him to ask 'Danny B' what really transpired.
However, for now it rests with what Mr Patterson says, and until we can prove otherwise, he can get away with it. Mrs Simpson Miller, however, can't get off the hook so easily.
REALLY A FIGUREHEAD?
I was appalled when I heard Mrs Simpson Miller saying she was not aware of any donations, and that since the matter was being dealt with by the party chairman, Robert Pickersgill, she could not comment as she was not yet briefed by him.
This statement gives a lot of credence to those who suggest that she is just a figurehead and not really the leader of the party, which leaves a lot of burning questions in my mind. How can a party leader be unaware of who the contributors to his/her campaign was more than six months after an election? With the present issues on campaign finances in Jamaica, shouldn't a party leader consider it a matter of grave importance to know who the party is accepting donations from?
Isn't US$1 million - or US$2 million, depending on what the true figure is - quite a significant donation that one would want to bring to the attention of the party leader immediately as it is received, or at the earliest possible convenience? Isn't it the norm for a businessman to make contact with the party leader when making such large contributions, since the ultimate goal, whether one wants to admit it or not, is the anticipated favour when the party wins?
Mrs Simpson Miller, I find it most unacceptable that at this stage you will have to consult with your party chairman before you can speak on this matter. It certainly does not augur well for your image as a leader. It appears to me that you are being led rather than leading, and the Jamaican electorate did not elect you to be led but to lead.