Seaga, Patterson failed Jamaica
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Several weeks ago, when Parliament offered glowing tributes to Edward Seaga, there was no mention of his contribution to the development of Tivoli Gardens, the symbol of Jamaica's cancerous crime.
It is that same Parliament which yesterday honoured P.J. Patterson.
Patterson and Seaga are inextricably linked to supervising Jamaica's descent into social and moral decay.
Patterson spent some of the best years of his life at the leadership levels of the People's National Party (PNP) and Government of Jamaica concentrating, it seems, on becoming the winningest prime minister in the country.
True, we will remember that the gift of Emancipation Park and the splendiferous toll roads. We will also remember Patterson as the leader who removed political confrontation from the front seat of politics.
But that's what governments are supposed to do. They are elected to implement policies that lead to programmes which make life better!
I do not see why Jamaica should be honouring anyone for spending 40 years in politics, when the sum total of what you have done has taken the country from worse to worst.
There should be no honour for anyone who sanctioned, supported or presided over the rise of criminal dons in this country. There should be no honour for someone who has put party before country, and ceded power to committees.
It was under Patterson's leadership, and the PNP Government, that the local authority sat back and watched the city and country become overrun by squatters.
Both Seaga's Jamaica Labour Party and Patterson's PNP have benefited from squatting, which has done nothing more than shore up constituencies that were marginal for one party or the other, while providing criminal muscle to win elections.
They have now turned into environmental monsters, threatening the integrity of the country and our institutions. You only have to look at the squatter community before the University Hospital of the West Indies.
Since honours a dash weh, why is there none for Bruce Golding? If we can all allow Seaga and Patterson to be honoured, I bat for the beleaguered Golding. He must be honoured for his link with Tivoli.