Portia and the budget : Hear me, Bruce, and weep


I listened to the Prime Minister's budget presentation yesterday (something I have not done in years – the voice of PJ Patterson hit my own personal Snooze button and I'd just wake up hours later, groggy and bad tempered…).

At the conclusion, it was clear that while she had done well enough for PM Portia (lovable, huggable and well….. we just can't get enough of her) there was no question that Leader of the Opposition, Bruce Golding's speech last week was better. Golding was impressive on virtually every topic, and especially good on corruption, Government waste and the need for fiscal responsibility.

And it wasn't surprising that the evening news casts all made the same point – the Prime Minister disappointed. Her delivery was stilted, she didn't have appear to have a clear grasp of the issues etcetera, etcetera, etcetera….

So it was a bit surprising to read the newspapers this morning which contained nary a word to indicate that she might not have done as well as any of her predecessors or that she wasn't fully in command of her material. (Her material, by the way, was homes for the poor and elderly, money for small businesses – all good, all Portia)

"Demeaned but Empowered: The Social Power of the Urban Poor in Jamaica" (Obika Gray)

Over on The Breakfast Club, our 2 elderly Oxford-educated pundits tiptoed round the issue, each trying to say what they meant without committing that cardinal offense of "insulting a lady".

Anthony Abrahams (who, by refusing to chair the PSOJ sponsored TV debate intended to humiliate her, probably had as much to do with putting her in power as the delegates ) finally came out with this devastating critique," I think Bruce Golding's speech was a little bit better. In substance."

Oh Tony ! Say it ain't so !

But Bruce Golding and the JLP must be reading the papers, listening to the talk shows and inwardly digesting this unpleasant truth: The honeymoon continues.

Better pray that this is still just the honeymoon and that time and tide will give the citizenry some reason, some moderation regarding their new Prime Minister….

Because right now, prayer looks like the only useful option. When Oliver Clarke (He who owns the Daily Gleaner) and Butch Stewart (He who owns the Jamaica Observer) are united in giving PM Portia a free ride, woe betide him who attacks her ….

"Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey (Dover Thrift Editions)" (Marcus Garvey)

[posted with ecto]

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