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Please, Portia, don't go negative

Published:Saturday | April 17, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Editor, Sir:

Please publish this as an open letter to Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller.

Dear Mrs Simpson Miller,

Once again you started off your Budget presentation on a good note but dimmed the whole message with conflict. You couldn't resist the urge to hit the Government below the belt. Please remember that the administration of which you were a part was in power for much longer and did not achieve much.

I expect more from your party than the one in power. What I expect is collaboration in the interest of the people of this country.

What good is your message if we cannot take it and translate it into positive action? Make that your goal always, Mrs Miller - to speak positively for the people. Leave the unhealthy criticisms behind. Take the high road - do what has never been done before - offer your help to the Government. Rally the troops behind you to help them solve the country's problems. Don't worsen it by saying things that aren't helpful.

The book of Proverbs states: "Do you see a man who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for him." Statements like these may make you feel good in the short term - but you would not have accomplished anything but strife.

Remember "the tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit" when you are tempted to lash out. There is absolutely no indignity in poverty, Mrs Miller - but there is danger in lack of character. This lack of character, sad to say, is what is consistently on display by the country's leadership - Opposition and Government. It does not help us, the people of Jamaica, to see leaders who are uninspiring, short-sighted and negative. Turn this around, Mrs Miller, with your unique abilities as nurturer and multitasker. Start by fixing your constituency! And don't complain about funding. There are things that can be done without a lot of money.


The solutions to Jamaica's problems are discipline, collaboration and sacrifice by all. I am saddened by what you said about the PATH recipients. Even if you felt that there was an ulterior motive by the Government, you have done further damage by voicing this negative spin.

You wanted to shame the Government but you have planted this negative message in the people's minds and succeeded in shaming them instead. You could have put the spotlight on them and said that you were proud that they came forward and told their stories, which would inspire other persons.

If the Government has erred, you don't have to follow them down that 'path', you will be the better leader in taking a negative and turning it into a positive. Learn about the 'Lincoln Philosophy' and emulate good leaders.

Hoping for a positive change.

I am, etc.,