Mon | Aug 15, 2022

Letter of the Day | Move away from divisive politics to inclusive society

Published:Monday | May 16, 2022 | 12:06 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

Delano Franklyn’s commentary in The Sunday Gleaner of May 15, ‘Michael Manley, Edward Seaga and $2000 banknote’, so eloquently laid his case for the complete separation of the two Jamaican statesmen being on the same banknote. He spoke extensively of the political reach and influence of Michael Manley and, by his data, the limits of Edward Seaga.

If one takes his rhetoric on face value, it would seem as if an injustice has come upon Michael Manley being paired on the same note as Edward Seaga. What readers may miss, however, is the divisiveness that he harbours and still wishes to promote. What is the loss of having both men on the same note? To that, I have no answer. What I do know is that having both of them on the same note will strike up conversations, particularly among the young about who these men are. That in itself will lead to further conversations.

Having both Michael Manley and Edward Seaga on the same banknote should be a teachable moment for Jamaicans, particularly the young. Here are two men who have given their entire life in the service of Jamaica. Despite their sociological and political difference of opinion, they both meant and did well for Jamaica.

Of course, some of their outcomes were flawed and costing; but they never gave up on Jamaica. Instead, they sacrificed wealth and family in pursuit of a better Jamaica. Many of our young, trained professionals will tell you that they don’t have the stomach for politics; it’s a thankless job. But not only that; they will catch the first plane out for a more lucrative job. Michael Manley’s and Edward Seaga’s wins and losses showed that they withstood the test of time and did not lose faith in Jamaica. We ought to celebrate them.

This gesture by the Government, if nothing, should symbolise the need for a more inclusive society; let’s let go of old divisive politics. Instead of trying to see either of them as lesser men, let us see them as men of sociological valour who took on the politics of our time in furthering the building of the foundation of Jamaica.

FRANK PEART

Bronx, NY, United States

frankpeart@yahoo.co.uk