Thu | Sep 20, 2018

JLP must reclaim its CCJ legacy

Published:Saturday | May 16, 2015 | 12:00 AM


In reading Andrew Holness' letter to the media, I was left even more puzzled by him than before. In fact, I have begun to question how sincere Holness is being in his reasoning for opposing the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). He is definitely being incoherent, even if he isn't being insincere.

If, as he insists, the Jamaican people spoke on this matter 54 years ago (in the 1961 referendum) against sharing the country's sovereignty in any federal arrangement, why has he been calling for a referendum to be held? Surely, if the people have spoken already, what he has been doing is calling for a grand waste of money rather than a grand referendum, in order to determine something which has long since been decided.

It's also incredible that he makes this determination about an event in which he never took part by virtue of the fact that he wouldn't be born until 11 years later in 1972!

So it would seem that the only Jamaican people who matter when it supposedly comes to the issue having been 'spoken on' are the ones who were of voting age in 1961, and that all younger Jamaicans (including himself) are of no consequence.

It is truly a pity that such a person leads one of the major political parties in our democracy. Rather than trumpeting the CCJ as one of his party's finest achievements (and it is a JLP achievement since it was the JLP government of 1970 which first proposed the idea to CARICOM and the JLP government of 1988 which came up with the suggestions eventually used in the final agreement to insulate the CCJ from political interference), we have a vacillating, incoherent party leader who, for whatever reason, changes his position (and that of his party) on the CCJ, Privy Council, a local final appellate court, a referendum and addressing poverty/social issues seemingly at least two or three times a week.

In pursuit of this, he also unlawfully violated the Constitution and brought the JLP into further embarrassment. While none of the JLP's MPs seemed to have any backbone to stand up for the party's achievements over the party's leader (and note it is the party's achievements that will help sway voters, not necessarily Mr Holness), perhaps the senators for the Opposition might have the mental fortitude to begin reclaiming the JLP's true legacy.