Thu | May 26, 2016

LETTER OF THE DAY - Does Portia think she is beyond criticism?

Published:Saturday | February 2, 2013 | 12:00 AM


I am becoming increasingly worried about some unfortunate utterances coming from Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller in recent times.  While it is appreciated that the prime minister is not the most polished speaker, her seeming disdain for criticisms, however well founded, has seen her reacting irresponsibly on too many occasions.

On January 31, she was featured in a news clip on the evening news referring to Opposition Leader Andrew Holness as "an enemy of the state" for his criticising the prime minister and her administration for failing to provide responsible leadership to the country.

It is a fact that this PNP Government lacks a coherent set of policies to move the country forward. There does not seem an appreciation for the real solutions to the problems besetting us.

The Opposition has a responsibility to hold the government of the day accountable to the people and, in that regard, criticism may be necessary. Criticism against the political administration is not, and cannot, reasonably be considered disrespect for the people of Jamaica and those who are doing business in Jamaica.

People come first

While Mrs Simpson Miller may regard being the Government's worst nightmare for political mileage as her responsibility while in Opposition, it is the protection and defence of the interest of the people and the country that should take precedence.

An Opposition seeking to responsibly execute its constitutional duty to the country will seek to criticise Government's policies, or the lack thereof, that are inimical to the interest of the people and the country, and will seek to advance alternative policy measures.

Mrs Simpson Miller is to be reminded that she is the leader of a country with a democratic system of government and not one with a dictatorship, so she ought to exercise a little more restraint and become a little more tolerant of criticisms levelled against her. Her refusal to be so guided poses a real threat to our well-revered democracy.