Included in Jamaicans.com is a video of Prime Minister Andrew Holness (photo) delivering his New Year’s address. If you haven’t done so already, you might want to check it out.
It’s a pragmatic yet idealistic summary of his stewardship and a preview of his hopes and plans for the immediate future. And, as a Jamaican living abroad, I found it a welcome close-up of the island’s top politician.
In the video, his demeanor is calm and dignified, his words without malice or political rancor. He looks and sounds like someone I would like to have running things, someone I could trust.
He spoke of Jamaica’s need to fight gang violence – but without sacrificing citizens’ rights. And he called for optimism, providing evidence of positive developments during the past year. Included, I noticed with relief, was the assurance that the Cockpit Country and Goat Island are being protected against environmental depredation.
He acknowledged the sacrifice of public sector workers but called for increased efficiency to boost their productivity. Amd he vowed to lead a campaign against violence, appealing to all Jamaicans to reject violent solutions to personal and political disputes.
His message was one of inclusiveness and good will.
As I listened to this eminently sensible address, I wondered how a tiny country like Jamaica can produce this caliber of political leadership when mighty powers like the United States must settle for bickering, discord and gridlock.