PJ: PNP must hold firm to core values
Gary Spaulding, Staff Reporter
P.J. Patterson, the former political leader who secured an unprecedented three successive general election victories that kept him at Jamaica House for nearly 14 consecutive years, has exhorted members of the People's National Party (PNP) to avoid arrogance even with clearer prospects in sight.
"The IMF (International Monetary Fund) is not the end. It is merely the means to lay a solid base for a sound economic structure," asserted the former prime minister.
"It is a programme, not a policy," he stressed.
Patterson told Comrades during yesterday's public session of the PNP's 76th annual conference that it was in the same vein that universal adult suffrage was never the end, but the key to unlocking the doors of democracy.
don't lose sight
Accordingly, he stressed that the PNP must not lose sight of the greater goal - that of creating the enabling environment for social upliftment through the creation of equal opportunity.
"We must not lose sight of our core values, as success is the reward for honest work," said Patterson.
"The emphasis is on the development of human capital and the creation of the cultural/creative economy."
Patterson commended Finance and Planning Minister Dr Peter Phillips for his stewardship of the economy, as well as the leadership provided by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and the support of the Cabinet.
The modern-day political patriarch declared that (economic and social) measures being implemented by his successor, Simpson Miller, would serve the masses of the country.
"Today, the political pundits are confused," he asserted.
"Where we stand today is the result of the cornerstones on which the party was built."
Warning that the status quo would not always be the same, Patterson said new challenges would emerge as the party prepares for the future as differences in style would come with the changing faces of the party leadership.
In the face of any future changes, Patterson stressed that the PNP must remain the catalyst for progressive development.
"Never surrender this mantle nor allow any false pretender to masquerade on your parade," he declared.
With talk of preparation for national elections permeating the conference, Patterson called for the membership to build on its strengths instead of relying on the weaknesses of the opponent.
"The value of community mobilisation and involvement is necessary for development and growth," said Patterson.
The former prime minister also took time to welcome the appointment of new General Secretary Paul Burke, the man who will be responsible for organisation on the ground in preparation for impending polls, and his predecessor Peter Bunting, for setting the stage.