Setting The Record Straight On Manley’s Tenure…


There are med­i­cines for most ail­ments these days, in fact, there are many dif­fer­ent med­ica­tions of each ail­ment.
Now each of those med­ica­tions may have some pos­i­tive effects but have you ever lis­tened to the dis­claimers?
Additionally, can­cer drugs are of no use to dia­bet­ics, nei­ther is it a good idea to apply a drug to a patient if it will react neg­a­tive­ly with oth­er drugs.
Remember the lat­ter state­ment, it will all make sense as we go along.

I was with a group of friends over the week­end and as it always does, pol­i­tics crept into the dis­course. Of course, there were some liba­tions involved, so much of the fil­ters were cast to the side.
Of the six or eight friends involved, all were dyed in the wool Comrades, and then there I was, some­where right of cen­ter. I learned that rea­son, ratio­nale, and facts do not mat­ter in the face of rea­soned, ratio­nal, truth.
They all stuck to the idea that Michael Manley was the great­est Prime Minister in Jamaica’s short his­to­ry. Of course when I asked them to jus­ti­fy those asser­tions no one could.
It becomes rather impos­si­ble to make sense when there are eight or nine hard­core com­rades against, well.….little old me.

Michael Manley had great ideas, like oth­er lead­ers before and after him. Manley, despite his exu­ber­ance and raft of ideas, lacked the fun­da­men­tal under­stand­ing of glob­al pol­i­tics.
Instead of read­ing the T‑leaves and being cau­tious, he went full speed ahead like a bull in a chi­na shop.
If we are hon­est with our­selves, we may final­ly agree that Michael Manley’s tenure had a few good nuggets of social pol­i­cy but all things con­sid­ered, his tenure was a com­plete fail­ure and a dis­as­ter for Jamaica.
Now because the Labor Party has been dis­mal as it relates to mes­sag­ing. And because the PNP has plant­ed func­tionar­ies into all aspects of the body politic, it has become increas­ing­ly dif­fi­cult to remove the lie from the con­ver­sa­tion.
Michael Manley applied a drug to a patient with­out an under­stand­ing of how his pre­scrip­tion would inter­act with those the patient was already on.
In short, he installed a square peg into a round hole.

At the height of the cold war the for­mer Soviet Union and the United States maneu­vered for world dom­i­na­tion, with Jamaica only a cou­ple of hours flight from the Florida shores, Michael Manley hitched his wag­on to Cuba and declared he would go to the moun­tain top, hand in hand with Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
The prob­lem is that while Manley’s wag­on was hitched to Cuba, Cuba was hitched to the Soviet Union, America’s exis­ten­tial foe.
At the time, Jamaica’s econ­o­my was intrin­si­cal­ly tied to the United States. Jamaica could ill afford to upset the Americans which Manley did with reck­less aban­don.
So it mat­tered not that Michael Manley had great ideas to make sure there were no bas­tard chil­dren, improve liv­ing wage, and a raft of oth­er social pro­grams, there was no mon­ey to fund them and that is the issue.
The pro­duc­tive sec­tor went away and it took its mon­ey. The mid­dle class also ran and so too did the best and bright­est pro­fes­sion­als.
Manley remind­ed every­one, not on board with his mis­guid­ed poli­cies that there were five flights per day leav­ing for Miami.
He need­n’t have remind­ed them, they want­ed no part of what he was sell­ing.
Talk is cheap, but we can have a con­ver­sa­tion about what the Americans may have done or not done. The real­i­ty is that one can have great plans but if they are not exe­cut­ed care­ful­ly fail­ure is guar­an­teed.
Micahel Manley guar­an­teed fail­ure when he hitched his wag­on to Cuba. Moral vic­to­ries are of no use to hun­gry bel­lies.
Regardless of what may be said of Michael Manley, he was smart enough to real­ize his mis­takes. And so he returned, hum­bled, chas­tened, look­ing for a sec­ond chance, it was giv­en to him and PJ Patterson.
Jamaican vot­ers have short mem­o­ries and that has caused our coun­try much pain.

Unfortunately, for the his­to­ry books and the Carribean com­mu­ni­ty, the left­ist pro­pa­gan­diz­ing of our cul­ture by the University of the West Indies has sought to rewrite his­to­ry and san­i­tize Michael Manley’s dis­mal record of accom­plish­ment. Instead of fac­ing hard sta­tis­ti­cal data they chose soar­ing ora­to­ry as a barom­e­ter of suc­cess.
On the con­trary, the record of accom­plish­ment by Hugh Lawson Shearer still stands today as the stan­dard by which all are judged in Jamaica and the Carribean even.
That memo has yet to reach the forked tongue pseu­do-intel­lec­tu­als the UWI has pro­duced across the CARICOM region.
For this do-noth­ing bunch of left­ists, Michael Manley’s soar­ing rhetoric is com­pa­ra­ble to accom­plish­ment. All of the black lead­er­ship which came out of that era from the Caribbean to Africa were great talk­ers, not doers. In that regard, Michael Manley was a one-eyed king in a room full of blind dudes.
For the rest of us who val­ue deeds over words, Schools, Hospitals, Jobs, Airports and oth­er infra­struc­tur­al devel­op­ments are more valu­able than flow­ery rhetoric.
I too liked Michael Manley when he stood up against the white Apartheid régime in Southern Africa. I liked the fact that he want­ed to move our poor work­ing peo­ple away from the shack­les of colo­nial­ism.
Our Country will be for­ev­er grate­ful for his con­tri­bu­tion. On the oth­er hand, we must face the fact that Michael Manley was a flawed man who made crit­i­cal mis­takes that have changed the course of our coun­try.
Unfortunately, most of it has not been for the bet­ter.

Mike Beckles is a for­mer Jamaican police Detective cor­po­ral, a busi­ness own­er, avid researcher, and blog­ger. 
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.