LETTER TO THE EDITOR
I read with interest the article written by Mr Don Mitchell, CBE, QC and published in The
Anguillian of Friday 16fr October,ZDl1.
The article was written in the usual style of Mr Mitchell’s scholarly pronouncements.
Howeveg some sections were indeed scathing and venomous in their criticism of some
former Caribbean leaders, the local political environment and this newspaper.
I refer in particular to Section 20 where he wrote, in part, *We have not forgotten how, after independence in 1962,the people of Jamaica fell victim to Michael Manley’s charismatic but cruel and confiscatory reign.”
While the learned judge is entitled to his opinion, I was offended and saddened by his judgement of the late Michael “Joshua” Manley who, contrary to his opinion, is regarded as one of our brightest and most astute political leaders of his era, both regionally and
Michael “Joshua” Manley’s leadership of Jamaica ushered in a period of unprecedented social advancement and transformation that included policies like free edueation from kindergarten to university and affordable housing for Jamaicans. Certainly, that was not cruel.
His tenure also started a process of nationalization of Jamaica’s assets which were stolen from the people of Jamaica in earlier less enlightened times. This policy was adopted by other Caribbean leaders as they sought to free their countries of the stranglehold of the vicious capitalist multi-national corporations of the North. Our sister island of St Kitts nationalized the sugar lands once owned by British companies. This is in no way confiscatory but a justified action on the long road to true political independence.
Indeed, Michael “Joshua” Manley’s reign may have totally transformed the Jamaican society to a more prosperous level had it not been for the overt and covert destabilizing actions of powerful capitalist neighbours to the North. Michael “Joshua” Manley’s reign provides good lessons for study by present and future political leaders of our Caribbean.
Rodney M Rey