GLEANER – Former PNP Finance Minister says this Government “Intellectually Incapacitated”

Hugh-Small-FJamaica Gleaner – ” the Government is doomed to crash into a political abyss” – former Finance Minister Hugh Small

Small predicts poor leadership will crash the PNP

With the gamut of biting criticisms and roars of disapproval blasting the Portia Simpson Miller-led administration from all angles, a fresh verbal assault has been unleashed by a former high-profile member of the People’s National Party (PNP).

Describing the administration as intellectually incapacitated, former Finance Minister Hugh Small is predicting that the Government is doomed to crash into a political abyss, in its search for an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“We are going to pay a heavy price … this is because, for the first time in its history, the leadership of the organisation (PNP) is not armed with a requisite intellectual firepower to advance the party,” Small told The Sunday Gleaner.

His comments came days after former junior minister in the PNP administration of the 1980’s Errol Ennis launched a broadside against the Simpson Miller-led Government.

painted a bleak picture

In a no-holds-barred interview, Small painted a bleak picture of the future of the party which he served for many years and declared that Portia Simpson Miller, whom he backed in the PNP’s leadership race in 1992 when she lost to P.J. Patterson, does not have what it takes to rescue the organisation.


“The dilemma that the PNP now faces is that in the 75-year history as a party, it is the first time that (it is) being led by someone who does not have the intellectual capacity to carry the whole team along with the leadership,” charged Small.

He argued that the first three PNP presidents – Norman Manley, Michael Manley and P.J. Patterson – possessed intellectual leadership skills.

populist mid-level leaders

He argued that more than the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), the PNP has tended to attract a lot of populist mid-level leaders.

“By that, I mean people at the ministerial level,” said Small, the legal mind who represented former JLP Leader and Prime Minister Bruce Golding at the Dudus/ Manatt Commission of Enquiry in 2011.

“These people rise in the party to hold significant positions, but who are not themselves intellectual powerhouses who can think abstractly but who are there for the fire that they provide for the party (and) to attract the populist support that (backs) the overall populism of the leader.”

Small suggested that the prime minister has never been able to analyse the economic data presented to her.

He argued that the gravity of the situation was highlighted during the 2011 national leadership debate when Simpson Miller promised that her team would be able to speak to the IMF two weeks after returning to power.

“That is the product, not just of not having studied the factors over a long period but a feeling that you can trivialise it to satisfy the mass who don’t have a full understanding.”

Added Small: “(Bruce) Golding has left, Andrew Holness is saying bitter medicine, but these are things that we can deal with so that what happens now is that the urgency of dealing with the matter escapes the entire Government, not only because they are succeeding upon what the JLP had done in putting off … but also because she does not take ownership of the problem.”

Jamaica Gleaner – Jan 20, 2013


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