Forget About Who Loves Who, Both PNP & JLP Infested With Thieves…

The hyper­bol­ic non­sense sur­round­ing the Prime Minister’s cri­tique of the late Michael Manley’s tenure is as sil­ly as his deci­sion on the need to respond or clar­i­fy that he, in fact, loved Michael Manley.
As a cit­i­zen of Jamaica Prime Minister Andrew Holness did not sur­ren­der his God-giv­en right to speak his mind.
As a mem­ber and leader of the par­ty that com­petes against the late Michael Manley’s PNP, had Andrew Holness not cri­tiqued Michael’s tenure, it would have been pro­fes­sion­al abdi­ca­tion.

With that non­sense set to the side, it is time that as Jamaicans we learn that the art of pol­i­tics is not a zero sum game. We can love the late Michael Manley while at the same time dis­agree with his pol­i­tics.
Conversely, we can love Andrew Holness and not be hap­py with his pol­i­tics either.
Additionally, we can like some poli­cies and hate oth­ers, on either side of the polit­i­cal divide.
I strug­gle to under­stand why the mad rush to balka­nize, to be polar­ized fur­ther, to place our­selves into restric­tive lit­tle box­es?
Are we most com­fort­able when we are sequestered into con­ve­nient lit­tle box­es, if so, we are sti­fling our­selves, restrict­ing our indi­vid­ual and col­lec­tive growth.

The sad irony is that all pol­i­tics is local in Jamaica, the size of the coun­try makes it so, 4411 square miles all told, and under three mil­lion peo­ple, it is a hop skip and a jump.
As such, we need to close the gaps not seek to cre­ate chasms. Growing up in a JLP home, I hat­ed the poli­cies of the PNP, but noth­ing made me proud­er, as a high school­er, than to have seen my Prime Minister, Michael Manley stand on the world stage, and speak as only he could, against the igno­ble evils of apartheid in South Africa.
I still feel chills through my body at the pride I felt when Michael Manley went around the world as the leader of our tiny nation, and a leader of the non-aligned nations, larg­er than life, and demon­strat­ed to the world what human­i­ty ought to look like.
Yet I hat­ed Manley’s Democratic social­ism, I hat­ed what he did to our local econ­o­my, I hat­ed his pol­i­tics of divi­sion that result­ed in hatred, fear, and anx­i­ety.
I hate it still.

Growing up in a con­ser­v­a­tive Christian home, we were taught the val­ue of God, fam­i­ly, and coun­try. We learned the val­ue of edu­ca­tion, hard work. The idea was not to expect any­one to give any­thing to me because I was owed noth­ing.
I took that to heart, as a con­se­quence, I worked to school myself from as young as six­teen years old.
That is what par­tic­u­lar­ly drew me to the poli­cies of the JLP which was a mar­ket-dri­ven ide­ol­o­gy which was heav­i­ly geared at infra­struc­tur­al devel­op­ment as was evi­denced by the mas­sive school build­ing pro­gram under­tak­en by the Hugh Lawson Shearer’s admin­is­tra­tion that pre­ced­ed Michael Manley’s tenure in the ear­ly 1970s.

In ret­ro­spect, Hugh Lawson Shearer’s tenure at the helm of the Jamaican exec­u­tive, still stands as the most pros­per­ous peri­od in Jamaica’s post-inde­pen­dence his­to­ry.
That peri­od of peace and pros­per­i­ty did not hap­pen in a vac­u­um, it was a direct result of the mas­sive con­struc­tion Shearer embarked on that pro­vid­ed jobs to Jamaican work­ers of both polit­i­cal par­ties.
In addi­tion to that, Aluminum export was at an all-time high and the low crime lev­els attract­ed increased tourist arrivals.
Yup.….built by labor.

Both Manley and Shearer are now long gone, the PNP still strug­gles to be the par­ty of the ’70s that Michael Manley led. No one has both­ered to tell them that the idea of social­ism as a suc­cess­ful ide­o­log­i­cal con­struct has long died.
Even the Chinese and the Russians have moved on, adopt­ing vary­ing forms of mar­ket eco­nom­ics that have raised their stan­dards of liv­ing, and in many cas­es, cre­at­ed untold wealth for those with­in their soci­eties savvy enough to take advan­tage of the chang­ing times.
The JLP for its part, is not the par­ty that the Rt hon­or­able Hugh Lawson Shearer led.
Laborites can talk all they want about pros­per­i­ty, but the unde­ni­able truth as it relates to the JLP, as it has been for the PNP, is that both polit­i­cal par­ties are infest­ed with thieves and crooks who should be in prison.
Andrew Holness pledged that there would be no tol­er­ance for cor­rup­tion and theft when he took office, sad­ly, the JLP is no dif­fer­ent than the PNP as it has reneged on its promise, to be hon­est, and trans­par­ent.
On that score, both polit­i­cal par­ties have been abject fail­ures.

Mike Beckles is a for­mer police Detective cor­po­ral, busi­ness­man, free­lance writer,
he is a black achiev­er hon­oree, and pub­lish­er of the blog chatt​-​a​-box​.com. 
He’s also a con­trib­u­tor to sev­er­al web­sites.
You may sub­scribe to his blogs free of charge, or sub­scribe to his Youtube chan­nel @chatt-a-box, for the lat­est pod­cast all free to you of course

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