Sat | Sep 22, 2018

Poor PM ratings a warning to Government

Published:Friday | October 10, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Mark A. Hylton, Guest Columnist

It cannot be that surprising for the power brokers in the governing People's National Party (PNP) to have come to the realisation that its populist leader and prime minister, Mrs Portia Simpson Miller, is witnessing a monumental decline in national ratings as an effective leader.

For one would be hard-pressed to debunk the argument that the prime minister is best assessed as a retreating, vacillating and out-of-touch leader, who displays an overwhelmingly ineffectual grasp of the rudiments of Cabinet and parliamentary leadership.

While the prime minister and her self-serving publicists may continue to delude themselves about the value of her affection and deep-rooted concern for the plight of ordinary Jamaicans, we are not all prepared to engage in this fool's errand.

The fact of the matter is that this nation has faced some difficult times since its self-governance experiment and the return to the Jamaican citizenry has been a bad cheque, representing a poorly managed account. Mrs Simpson Miller has offered nothing different, beyond the novelty of her elevation to the leadership of her party and the country.

The prime minister and her Government have buried their heads in the sand for too long, deluding themselves that they have rescued us from a "wicked and uncaring" administration, in the form of its immediate predecessor. Mrs Simpson Miller herself has publicly contrived this unqualified piffle, about 'the four missing years', which serves only to entrench our divisive and polarising politics.

For truth be told, as much as the Bruce Golding administration had fettered its energies for four years, by stalling the nation in its preoccupation with the PNP's errors over 18 years and its own misguided pursuit of delaying the extradition of one of its major patrons, the PNP shares equal culpability for our current abject situation.

No amount of thoughtless falsehood and expedient bamboozlement will absolve the PNP as a supreme culprit of our legacy of bad governance.

The Government and prime minister could not have been so audacious to have expected this nation to invest its trust in perpetuity, after Mrs Simpson Miller's duplicity, played out by the evident conflict of her ineffectual and unresponsive leadership, which bears no relation to the hope she evoked on the occasion of her inauguration.

Mrs Simpson Miller spent four years as opposition leader, deriding and plotting the downfall of the Jamaica Labour Party government, at all times reminding us of the need to balance people's lives, while balancing the books. However, having assumed state power, the prime minister has distinguished herself as the most detached, unresponsive and derisive leader of our self-governance frolic.

Recent regression

Prime Minister Simpson Miller and her Government must change the regressive momentum and get with the programme that the feat of her advancement to the highest executive office has long expired. A hurting populace has no interest in her humble antecedents.

We are about executing a plan for real socio-economic development, and she does not appear to fit in. It is an incontrovertible fact that the current macroeconomic realignments are inescapable. However, they are unacceptably being promulgated with thoughtlessness, arrogance, duplicity and unequalled sacrifices, while our legislature, the executive and a privileged few exist in unrestrained comfort.

We are not delighted, and we are prepared to demonstrate our rejection of this characteristic supercilious disregard for our authority as citizens of this nation.

It is time the prime minister make a determination on a change in her posture or it be made for her. No longer can Mrs Simpson Miller hoodwink us with thoughtless drivel and baseless showboating. Her ill-conceived JEEP programme has not worked, the Progressive Agenda is unconvincing, the energy transformation project remains elusive, and confidence in the logistics development is being eroded.

While our hope continues to fade, our prime minister remains jaded and sheltered and only addresses national issues by 'tracing' her critics from the sanctum of the political platform. No, Prime Minister, that is bad governance, and it now borders on tyranny. Something has to give.

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