Jamaica Magazine

Book Review: Michael Manley: The Politics of Equality

Written by Staff Writer

About the Book
Michael Manley was a true internationalist who understood the complex interplay among national, regional and global processes. He readily grasped the fact that the historically determined structures underpinning these relationships played an important role in perpetuating the asymmetric power relations between the developed and developing countries and the need therefore for the adoption of a proactive stance in promoting the interests of the latter. It was this conviction that led him to become an articulate and persuasive spokesman in Third World forums such as the Non-Aligned Movement and the Group of 77. Indeed during the 1970s and 1980s, Manley became the most articulate voice on behalf of the developing world in championing the cause of the New International Economic Order which dominated the international economic agenda during the period. Almost single-handedly, he challenged the forces of oppression both at home and abroad.

 Although many of Michael Manley’s ideas have appeared in previously published works, the annual budget presentations which he delivered, both in his capacity as Prime Minister and as Leader of the Opposition, contain a faithful record of his political vision and his economic philosophy. It is fitting therefore that Delano Franklyn, who has shown himself to be a keen student of politics and history, based on the meticulous research and documentation reflected in his previous publications, should undertake to publish this volume.

 

Book Review – Compelling and informative

 

Reviewed by: Howard Campbell – The Sunday Gleaner April 26, 2009

 

Michael Manley is, arguably, independent Jamaica’s most polarising figure. His liberal policies, driven by a doctrine of democratic socialism, endeared him to post-colonial youth in the 1970s but alienated the country’s middle class.

 

Many of Manley’s programmes had a direct bearing on a Kingston College student named Delano Franklyn. A former junior minister in prime minister P.J. Patterson’s administration, Franklyn recently launched Michael Manley: The Politics of Equality, a tome revisiting the budget presentations of Jamaica’s fourth and most controversial prime minister.

 

The Politics of Equality is a compelling read and should appeal mainly to scholars and admirers of Manley, the social engineer and thinker. The speeches cover his debut as Opposition leader on June 4, 1969, to his final presentation as prime minister in May 1991. The speeches from 1969 to 1972 set the tone for Manley’s first term as prime minister (1972 to 1976). Manley, the social progressive, addresses unemployment and illiteracy among the working class, prejudice against Jamaican blacks, equality for women and promoting self-reliance through initiatives like the National Youth Service.

 

Unrepentant

 

For much of his first two terms (1972 to 1980), Manley is unrepentant about his government’s support for oppressed African countries like Lesotho, Rhodesia and South Africa, as well as its ties with Communist Cuba. Of interest is the aggression of Manley’s delivery in the latter stages of his first terms (1975-80) when domestic and international opposition to democratic socia-lism grows. He confronts the critics head-on in his May 1975 presentation.

 

“Our aim is a just society. The heart of socialism is the mobilisation. The heart of socialism is the bringing of people into ownership and control of the means of production and distribution,” he said.

 

Manley swaps ideology for reason during his second tenure as prime minister from 1989 to 1992. In his return speech of June 1989, he defends most of his policies of the 1970s while conceding that errors were made. It shows the transformation of a man largely regarded as Jamaica’s greatest agent of change.

 

That, alone, makes The Politics of Equality a winner.

 

About the Publisher

Delano Franklyn is a practicing Attorney-at-Law and is one of the founding partners of the law firm Wilson Franklyn Barnes. His areas of legal work include, civil and criminal litigation, corporate, real estate, property, industrial relations, family, intellectual property, entertainment and sports law.

 He was appointed a Senator in 2002 and served as a Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade from 2002 to 2007.

As Minister of State, he was responsible for the Jamaica Diaspora Community, the Summit of the Americas, Regional and International Organisations such as the Organisation of American States, the Association of Caribbean States, UNESCO, the Rio Group and the Latin America Economic System. His portfolio responsibilities also included Consular, Marine and Aviation Affairs.

 Regarding the Jamaica Diaspora Community he initiated the implementation of the Jamaica Diaspora Conference; the Jamaica Diaspora Board; the Jamaica Diaspora Foundation; the Jamaica Diaspora Institute and the proclamation of Jamaica Diaspora Day, which is now commemorated on June 16th each year.

 Mr. Franklyn was presented with the keys to the City of Miramar, Florida on February 23, 2005, which was also declared ‘Delano Franklyn Day’ for his contribution to the Jamaican Diaspora and his support for nationals overseas. 

He is a trained Teacher, a former Manager of the Jamaica National Youth Service and was the Chief Advisor to a former Prime Minister of Jamaica.

 During his years at High School, College and University, Mr. Franklyn was elected the President of a number of student and youth organisations at the national level. He is the only Jamaican to have been the President of both the National Secondary Students’ Council (NSSC) and the Jamaica Union of Tertiary Students (JUTS), and also the only Jamaican to have been elected President of the Guild of Undergraduates at both campuses of the University of the West Indies in Mona and Cave Hill, respectively. 

He received his secondary education at Kingston College and his tertiary education at Mico Teachers College (now Mico University College), the University of the West Indies and the Norman Manley Law School. 

He is chairman of the Michael Manley Foundation and the Asafa Powell Foundation. He was the chairman of the committee that planned the home coming celebrations for the Jamaica athletes after the 2004 Olympic Games. In 2006 and 2007 Mr. Franklyn represented Jamaica on the CARICOM Prime Ministerial Sub-committee on Cricket during the planning and preparation for Cricket World Cup 2007.

 

In 1999, he was appointed a Justice of the Peace and in 2000, he was one of the distinguished graduates who received the Millennium Award from the Mico Teachers College.

 

He was a candidate of the People’s National Party in the 2007 general elections.

Mr. Franklyn’s publications include, The Right Move – Corporate Leadership and Governance in Jamaica (2001); A Voice in Caribbean and World Politics (2002); Challenges of Change (2003); We Want Justice – Jamaica and the Caribbean Court of Justice (2005); Michael Manley – The Politics of Equality (2009) and Sprinting into History – Jamaica and the 2008 Olympic Games (2009).

 

Purchase the book
Buy Michael Manley: The Politics of Equality at Amazon.com 

About the author

Staff Writer