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Sista P's wise silence

Published:Thursday | March 18, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Editor, Sir:

Portia Simpson Miller yesterday deferred to her spokespersons on the extradition matter involving the west Kingston strongman and the media have made heavy weather of whether she should or should not speak on the issue. One commentator rudely suggested she should read her briefs and be prepared to talk on the matter whenever and however the media asked.

Mrs Simpson Miller is a former prime minister. She understands the sensitivity and severity of this situation. Not everything 'good to eat good to talk', particularly not for a former prime minister. It is a very responsible position. Her party has a position and she said she left the talking on this matter to her spokespersons. It is an excellent strategy.

Difficult situation

When both the prime minister and the attorney general declined comment on the matter, it was explained away as sensitivity to a difficult situation. What is the difference when Sista P takes a principled position. It is not as if the opposition is silent on the matter. Her spokespersons are carrying the party's position. There is no need for her to override them. That's a big difference with the one-man show we now have as a government.

I heard another commentator on radio say yesterday that "prime ministers don't have the privilege of thinking out loud". It is true. Our current prime minister should take counsel, as in recent days he has been bluffing and dancing around, particularly in Parliament. I've watched him on television pontificating and posturing. I often wonder what is the point he is trying to make.

What I do remember is the entire country waiting on Sister P to trip up and embarrass the country when she was prime minister. She never did. Never before have I been more embarrassed of my prime minister as I am now. But as Mr Golding speaks with gilded tongue, we all get taken in, mesmerised by his eloquence.

Sista P, Take counsel from an old man. There is often wisdom in silence. Don't let them pull your tongue. Not expressing a position does not mean that you do not have one. You are part of an organisation. Let it speak on your behalf. I know that at exactly the right time your voice will be heard on this matter. At that time, say exactly what you want to say, in the way you want to say it. Time longer than rope.

I am, etc,