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Letter of the Day: Golding still whining in anti-CARICOM defence

Published:Monday | June 22, 2015 | 12:00 AM


I am writing in response to Bruce Golding's column on Sunday, June 21, 2015 titled 'The problem with CARICOM (Part 3)'.

I find it unfortunate that Mr Golding would attempt to associate his arguments with that of the late Professor Norman Girvan as a defence against the charge that he is whining when Professor Girvan is no longer with us to either support or disagree with Mr Golding in this regard.

It is also interesting that in defending his argument, Mr Golding has to rely upon a man who, in 1966, wrote of his "sense of shock" and a "feeling that the whole world had collapsed" upon hearing the news that Jamaica had voted against federation in the referendum. Professor Girvan, in his 2012 speech '50 Years of In-Dependence in Jamaica: Reflections', readily admits that he "entered Mona a Jamaican nationalist and left as a Caribbean regionalist" and stated that "the one melds seamlessly into the other and I believe that those who see a contradiction between the two are either unaware of our history or choose to ignore it".

Mr Golding seems to be ignorant of the difference between his arguments from his previous columns and that of Professor Girvan in 'Reinventing the CSME'. For in it, Girvan does note that the CSME should be reprogrammed to focus on agriculture and food security, renewable energy and maritime transport (as Golding notes), but in the very next paragraph (which Golding does not quote), Girvan stated that the second element is the need to address outstanding issues in the movement of skilled community nationals.


functional cooperation


Girvan's second element is in complete contrast to Golding's characterisation of his address and also at odds with Golding's own assertion, in his previous columns, that regional integration as envisioned under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (which must include the free movement of people) is "unworkable" and "nigh impossible" because it would require the unification of policies and institutional arrangements, but that the focus instead should be on functional cooperation.

Girvan's recommendation for the delegation of authority by member states to CARICOM organs is also in contrast to Golding's observation in Part 2 of his column that the delegation of authority to an external body was objected to "vehemently" by the JLP in 2003 and would probably have been found to be unconstitutional.

Golding's argument is becoming incoherent and inconsistent.

Richard Francis