The Soloist, Contributor
So the Parliamentarians came out to honour Edward Seaga last week. I watched the proceedings with cynicism in my heart. Let's face it, I cannot recall any other politician who was more hated, reviled, cursed, jeered and ridiculed in his time at the wicket. Heck, some even wished his baby daughter did not make it into life at all! How quickly we forget and dress ourselves in the costumes of hypocrisy.
For my part, I think he must have been a lonely man with so many gangs rising up against him in his own party. But then again, those stupid Labourites think the enemy is within their party, so they cannot be helped on that score. But back to the 'kudos for Eddie' party held at Gordon House: What a show! I wonder how much of it was sincere? Too late to take it all back now, it's all on record and in Hansard!
What I miss most about Seaga and his speeches in Parliament is his sharp wit. All those exchanges showed that he had a good grasp of procedures, standing orders and timing. He could stop traffic with his smart rejoinders and witticisms. And as for work and worth; who is there to top his record of achievement, what a legacy! Love him or hate him, you can't take it from him.
His list of achievements include tangible contributions to independent Jamaica, economic and social development, culture, business and finance, and a lasting legacy that will remain in Jamaica long after his great, great grandchildren have died and gone. Just the Human Employment And Resource Training (HEART) Trust National Training Agency (NTA) and its unending ripple effect is enough to demonstrate the measure of the man. Which other present or former prime minister has achieved such an impressive number of institutions and programmes? Not one.
Among his list of 80 achievements are: The Stock Exchange, The Jamaica Unit Trust, The Ex-Im Bank, National Development Bank, Agricultural Credit Bank, Jamaica Mortgage Bank, Agro 21, Self-Start Fund, Solidarity, The festival movement, JAMPRO, Privatisation of NCB, Decimalisation, Student Revolving Loan Fund, Devon House, the Media Commission, National Heritage Week, Jamaica Racing Commission, the Creative Production and Training Centre, Order of the National Heroes, Heroes Park, and the return of Marcus Garvey's body to Jamaica, plus several scores more. And that was between 1967 and 1988. This is just a small fraction. But, don't take my word for it, go to: www.answers.com/topic/edwardseaga.
I think the best way to honour this man is match what he has done. I am sick of today's passive leaders who no longer plan for the long-term development of Jamaica, but instead chart five-year increments geared to return them to power.