Fri | Jun 18, 2021

Don't fault Holness for telling the truth

Published:Saturday | August 8, 2015 | 11:44 PM


While I am happy with 18-year-old Mickel Hylton's intention to hold the Government to account and make his voice heard by voting when next Jamaica goes to the polls, I am compelled to respond to his letter published in the Friday August 7, 2015 edition of this newspaper.

The writer took issue with the opposition leader's Independence Day message, arguing that it was overly politicised. I invite him, however, to see the speech for what it actually was - an honest assessment of where we are at 53 and a challenge to the populace that could not have come a moment sooner.

The time has come for us to seriously reflect and take stock of our stewardship of this country since we took over the reins in August 1962. With all that is happening around us, we would be deluding ourselves if we were to allow empty rhetoric and airy-fairy talk from the political leadership of this country to supersede a conscious debate and reflection on the real issues.

It cannot be that, year after year, we allow ourselves to be appeased or otherwise regaled by platitudes, while the very purveyors of the platitudes do very little to meaningfully advance our fortunes as country.

So for me, if there were any time that a clinical assessment of how we have managed our affairs as an independent state is needed, that time is now.

And so, with the captive audience afforded by a free-to-air Independence Day address to the nation, one should readily recognise and appreciate why the opposition leader would have deemed it worthwhile to engage the population in a serious dialogue.

More to be achieved

As mentioned in Holness' Independence Day message, we have achieved so much as a country, but in all fairness, could have achieved so much more.

Instead of being feted to the mundane platitudes as to how well we are doing at 53, I rather like the challenge thrown out to the populace to hold the Government accountable for growth. Indeed, securing robust economic growth is the only way we are going to solve our problems, the most pressing of which are our low growth and high indebtedness.

So to Mr Hylton, I say, the truth may cause discomfort and may be unsettling for some, but it is not a sin.


Aide to Leader of the Opposition