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Portia Loves The Poor

PHOTO CREDIT: The Alliance for an Idiot-Free America

With hugs and kisses and fluency and eloquence in the language of the poor masses, Prime Minister, Portia Simpson-Miller continues to demonstrate love and acceptance of the poor that few other politicians have demonstrated. When many other politicians pontificate in very pompous English about real policies that will make life better for poor people, it is Prime Minister, Simpson-Miller, who takes to the communities, kissing and hugging the everyday man, woman, boy and girl, giving them a sense of belonging. In turn, the poor have made sure to keep their favourite politician - Mama P - the most popular politician in Jamaica, currently. We must understand the currency, being kissed by the prime minister, holds for us, poor people. We love to profile. And while we may not have much, if we are aligned to, known by, kissed by those who appear to have "stepped iina life", our identities become linked to theirs and it does something for our self esteem. It is just as bankable as pocket money.

Even though Mama P has done nothing of significance to move persons out of the abject poverty in which they live; even in her own constituency, she remains for them a symbol of hope; of what can be for their children and their children's children and their children. When they look at her, they see themselves and just perhaps "she would be able to do more fi wi if dem educated crooks iina har party and in di opposition never did a fight har. True she a one a wi why dem dont like har." Portia can do no wrong because she is "one a wi" - she loves the poor.


Recently, Portia forked out JMD$60 million for ministers' new vehicles. For her right-hand-man and mini-star of finance, Peter Phillips, she bought a 2012 audi for just over USD$32,000 and other ministers were given high end SUV's at a cost of A SHADE under USD$35,000 (by-the-way, what does that mean? A shade under USD$35,000?). Quite "celebritorious"!!! Our mini-stars are rolling high! Well, nothing might be inherently wrong with buying vehicles even a shade under 1.7 trillion dallars (our current debt). But the current state of Jamaica's economy makes the purchase vulgar, unconscionable and WICKED. But wait!!! Portia loves the poor. Matters not that only recently, children of POOR people were being de-registered from their programmes at university because their could not access financing. Matters not many POOR people were displaced by Hurricane Sandy that recentlty dealt serious blows to the eastern corridor of Jamaica and some are still in shelters and have no homes. Matters not that after Sandy, poor people were flooded out in St. Mary and need help to rebuild. Matters not that there is an emergency employment programme called JEEP that seems to be running outta gas because unemployment among our POOR youth has been stubbornly climbing (34%??). Matters not that there is NO growth in our eceonomy and there is no inked IMF deal to put money in the national kitty and that our government keeps talkin' talkin' talkin' about fiscal displine. But alas, Portia found money, JMD$60 million of it, to buy vehicles. Well, Portia is a magician. She is known for "finding" money. Or perhaps she doesn't know that those vehicles were bought. In a season when all are being asked to cut back and make sacrifices, our Prime Minister and government for the poor are splurging.


PNP loyalists might be tempted to talk about what JLP DID. Ok, get that out but JLP is NOT the administration CURRENTLY running the country. And, let us put this outrage in context. In case we missed all that has been happening in the country, which I outlined above, we have been told that there just is not enough money to go around. We, really, should be cutting back but our government, who loves the poor, has managed to "find" money to create advisory and consultancy positions for their friends, costing (patty)tax payers MILLIONS. As if that wasn't enough spending on a cash strapped country, they have gone ahead to spend so much on vehicles? Why couldn't ministers drive their own? the time calls for it. And dont tell me about upkeep costs. The first thing Portia did was to install a HUGE 'bruk-front' (Cabinet too small) and then proceed to increase their salaries (their multi-million dollar salaries can run their own vehicles) and NOW on top of all of that they get new expensive vehicles? Why? To do the business of the country? Such as? Go the the constituencies they have abandoned since winning their seat? Drive to parliament where no policy is seriously discussed but people calling one another "fish" (a derogatory & homophobic name for gays) and whale (I guess the mother of all "fish")? To go cut ribbons? The actions of Portia and the PNP are an affront to the realities of POOR Jamaicans.

But, let me not get carried away. Portia loves the poor and the poor loves Portia. I am not sure how much of Portia's love for the poor translates into seeking their highest good. But from the evidence which obtain, I do know that the poor are who keep the Portia PNP relevant and in power. Without the poor, there is no Portia; no PNP. So, there is all reason to keep the poor, poor. Having the poor, is in the best interest of Portia and the PNP.

"Gwaan yaa, Mama P. Gwaan guh hug an' kiss the poor. in the next four year giddem some motn an' ax-tail an' rice an dem wi vote fi yuh same way." There is no denying, Mama P, you love the poor!!!


  1. This made me very sad. It drove home the reality that Jamaica is bankrupt in all spheres. I am really sorry for those who cannot afford to run and have to stay while the ship is wrecked.

    1. Albert, I am sorry that this post has stirred such emotion in you. I really intended to wrest us, as a people, from our slumber, apathy or fear, and spur us to action. I intended for this post to be incendiary, at least, to cause a protest and more than our usual NINE-DAY outrage... I don't intend for anybody to run but to stand and confront the pirates of our future and that of our children.


  2. There is a lot of alliteration in your blog post, D. - all those "p"'s! But you are right - what would Portia have without the poor? There was a wicked meme on Twitter yesterday of Portia greeting an inner city resident warmly, he smiles back happily. The caption was "Stay poor, my friend"... Yes, you are even sharper than I have been in recent blog posts. "Incendiary," yes! I actually feel outraged too, and to hear some of the radio talk show hosts trying to justify the Prados made me even more furious! I will add to my Sunday post...

    1. Thank you, Emma, for your feedback. This kind of puppetry and exploitation of the poor, by politicians have my heart torn. Plato speaks to this in his allegory of the cave. I look forward to your post on Sunday and I shall look for that picture with the very apt caption.

    2. By the way Mr. Williams, this article is beautifully written. Writing lessons required.

    3. Thank you, Phoenix... :) Anytime...

  3. It is very unfortunate that these are the people who have been hired to see to the growth of this country. So many issues have been highlighted where the country is suffering, yet they defend their purchases. This is why brain-drain will never be stopped. I don't see why I should stay here.

    1. It is very unfortunate as you say, but dont lose heart. Don't allow those who use politics for self-aggrandizement to drive you away from YOUR Jamaica, else they win. Use the power of your voice and your vote to keep them accountable..

  4. Third time reading it and I am still saddened. What bothers me most is there is no viable option. The youth of Jamaica is already dyed in political colours so the lines are drawn along those lines. What do we do as a nation?

    1. I challenged Dionne Jackson-Miller on how quickly the media passes over the stories and national outrage like this one. She assured me that people are the ones who call in and quarrel about belabouring the point; asking them to move on. We have become complicit in our own oppression. Perhaps, sustained public advocacy is how we can keep the issues current and hopefully get our concerns addressed. Politicians depend on our tendency to only talk for NINE days and then back to square one.

  5. Our leaders need to do better


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