Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Thursday | January 24, 2013
Home : Commentary
Hugh's moment of lapse
Colin Campbell, Contributor
Colin Campbell, Contributor

POOR HUGH Small. He has forgotten the first lesson our mothers taught us when they heard excessive chatter. It is better to keep your mouth shut and let others think certain things of you, rather than open your mouth and confirm it.

Hugh Small's comments in The Sunday Gleaner must have either resulted from a serious memory lapse or provoked by the kind of bitterness that make you sick. Hugh Small, before his appointment to the High Court of the Bahamas, was a long-standing member of the People's National Party (PNP). Not well liked though, because he tended to rate himself too highly. But worse, he never had the ability to finish the course. So whether it was the national Workers Union, the constituency of South St Catherine or Ministry of Finance and Planning, a safe bet would be that he would run away. On one occasion when he ran away, it took all the skill of oratory that Michael Manley had to convince the National Executive Council meeting in Montego Bay in the run-up to the the 1989 general election that he should once again be in the fold, and so he was anointed as the candidate for the PNP.

Now in 2013, Mr Small believes the PNP is going to crash because neither its leader, Portia Simpson Miller, nor its other leaders are intellectuals or possess the intellectual skills to prevent the PNP from crashing. This is a ridiculous argument. My advice to him is don't hold your breath. That is old hat and was dispatched to the boundary on December 29, 2011. As far as the other leaders are concerned, Mr Small does not even know many of them, as he ran away from politics nearly 20 years ago.

INTELLECTUALLY DISINGENUOUS

Mr Small appears to have had a lapse in memory or was being intellectually disingenuous when he did not reveal that he supported Mrs Simpson Miller to be leader of PNP in 1992 over P.J. Patterson. If she does not possess the skills in 2013, how could she have had them in 1992? If Mr Small cannot say why he supported her then, I am going to assume it was because he thought he could put her in office but keep power for himself.

The fact is he continues to underrate the intellectual capacity of the prime minister. Intellect is what intellect does. The accomplishments of Portia Simpson as a representative of the people since 1974, twenty years as a cabinet minister, including two and a half as prime minister, cannot reflect anything but solid leadership skill rooted in vision, intellect and massive credibility among the people.

Hugh Small has no such report card and ran from the Ministry of Finance, leaving his resignation letter with a member of Prime Minister Patterson's security detail while the prime minister attended Dr Ivan Lloyd's funeral. A man who knows about intellectual leadership would never do that. He would also never defend Bruce Golding on his mission to sacrifice his own political career in the Manatt-Dudus affair.

Colin Campbell is a former general secretary of the People's National Party and Cabinet minister. Send comments to: columns@gleanerjm.com

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