What Portia promised
THE EDITOR, Sir:
I am forced to respond to your letter writer Agostinho Pinnock ('Come clean on economy', January 17, 2013) who falsely claimed that Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller promised "to sign" an International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreement within two weeks of taking office.
For more than a year now, this falsehood has been repeated over and over in the media by letter writers and even columnists who you would expect to know better.
She promised no such thing. What she promised was "to negotiate" a new IMF agreement within two weeks of taking office. As anyone who has ever negotiated anything should know perfectly well, the eventual conclusion or shape of any agreement being "negotiated" is uncertain.
That this canard has persisted in the public domain for over a year speaks to at least two things, the inability of those who have perpetuated this falsehood to grasp the simple English dictionary meaning of the word 'negotiate' ('try to reach an agreement by discussion'); the abject failure of the Government's communications department to correct a blatant example of misleading propaganda.
Both things say more about our nation's dilemma than we might care to acknowledge.
ERROL W.A. TOWNSHEND