She was not as fulsome as we hoped, but Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller did better on Sunday.
Hopefully, it represents the start of a sustained conversation by the PM with the Jamaican people on the crisis in the economy, what will be required to fix it, and the consequences if we don't take the tough decisions.
Indeed, the prime minister's failure to fully engage in such a dialogue, and frontally address Jamaica's problems, has, so far, been the biggest failure of her premiership. As we have complained in these columns, it seemed as though Mrs Simpson Miller was intent on absolving herself of ownership of, or responsibility for, the necessary austerity that Jamaica has to undergo.
We do not suggest the prime minister never addressed the matter. She did - but in an en passant fashion, as though the problem belongs to someone else, in whom she would not invest political capital.
In so doing, the prime minister, if her strategy was intentional, miscalculated the political usefulness of this tactic - apparently that she would escape blame for hardships and failures, but reap the rewards if there was success. For success in the tough programme Jamaica has to implement is unlikely without substantial public support, and the person most capable of mobilising this backing is Mrs Simpson Miller herself, given her unrivalled skills in communicating with the mass of Jamaicans.
'not going to be easy'
On Sunday, the prime minister made an importance advance in her address at the public session of the annual conference of the People's National Party (PNP). More fully, and with greater obvious sincerity than previously, she noted the impeding weight that the country's J$1.8 trillion debt imposed on the economy, that growth is unlikely unless the debt is brought under control, and that the necessary reforms for this to happen will be tough.
"It is not going to be easy," she said.
We would have appreciated if Mrs Simpson Miller had gone through some of the specific reform programmes that are still outstanding such as pension, public-sector and tax reform, and why these are important to economic reform and sustained growth.
Our suggestion to the prime minister and her handlers is that having broken from the fear of blame, they should not allow her escape to be temporary. Mrs Simpson Miller should play to her strength by coaxing the population along the difficult road that lies ahead.
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