Lead­er­ship must not only be as­pi­ra­tional

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION & COMMENTARY -

THE EDI­TOR, Sir: An open let­ter to Prime Min­is­ter An­drew Hol­ness. THE JA­MAICAN di­as­pora has a le­git­i­mate right to de­ter­mine the gov­ern­ment with whom they have been in­vest­ing con­sis­tently over US$2.7 bil­lion an­nu­ally to in­clude char­i­ties and tourism dol­lars. This right is no dif­fer­ent from the rights of those who are able to con­trib­ute mil­lions of dol­lars di­rectly to po­lit­i­cal par­ties to in­flu­ence and de­ter­mine the po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic agenda of our gov­ern­ment and main­tain their pri­mary res­i­dence and head­quar­ters over­seas.

As­pi­ra­tional lead­er­ship is of­ten­times prone to ma­nip­u­la­tion by spe­cial-in­ter­est groups as they no longer hold true to their vi­sion of unit­ing the peo­ple, but rather seek to di­vide at all costs by pol­i­tick­ing and clas­sism.

So, as the beau­ti­ful petals from the ota­heite ap­ple tree blan­ket the bare rock, as they fall to the ground, so should be the voice of our lead­er­ship; smooth­ing the hard re­al­ity of the Ja­maican ex­pe­ri­ence both at home and abroad.

EM­BRACE ALL PEO­PLE

Gov­ern­ment must em­brace all peo­ple rather than cre­ate barriers and dis­en­fran­chise­ment as we are “out of many, one peo­ple” and “not many out of two po­lit­i­cal par­ties”. Who you voted for was only a mo­ment in time that oc­curs ev­ery four to five years. The rest of the time you must be true to the in­ter­ests of all your fel­low men and not in your as­pi­ra­tion for “5 in 4”.

We should be com­mit­ted to trans­form­ing Ja­maica through lead­er­ship, an agenda for real change. When we talked about trans­form­ing Ja­maica and change, we were not talk­ing about change you can live with, as in shuf­fling the deck. At the core of real lead­er­ship and gov­er­nance are fun­da­men­tal val­ues and prin­ci­ples that gov­ern how those with power re­late to and treat those who are less pow­er­ful.

SILBERT BAR­RETT

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