Dealing with credibility
All Jamaicans should wish the latest Government of Jamaica (GOJ) reissued bonds all the best.
In 2000, the Industrial Commercial Developments (ICD) group, headed by Joseph Matalon, now president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, had a successful tender offer in which creditors, local and overseas, voluntarily accepted 55 per cent of their investment.
Remember how Jamaicans supported the Butch Stewart/Leachim Semaj Initiative in 1992? However, forcing everyone to volunteer is a bad idea.
The PM is developing a credibility problem. He announced at the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) conference that an IMF agreement would be in place by Christmas after other missed deadlines.
Again, the prime minister in his 2010 New Year's Message said, "The number of murders committed last year, while still less than the level of 2005, is way beyond what any stable society can tolerate."
The official figures said that 2009 had more murders than 2005.
Credibility is crucial
Credibility is important in governance.
The PM needs to return to his National Democratic Movement (NDM) posture when he admitted errors in his political life and associations. He needs to do what Christians call confession. He needs to admit that his administration has made specific blunders without reference to errors of others in the same breath.
For this new programme to be credible, it needs to be undergirded by a new philosophy of volunteerism and public service. Therefore, senators and councillors would have to revert to voluntary service. Commissions of inquiry and government boards would be seen as opportunities for undertaking public service just as serving on school boards. The Constituency Development Fund would have to go.
In 1992, when there was the Stewart/Semaj Initiative to save the Jamaican dollar, the exchange rate was J$25 to US$1 and 18 years later it is J$89 to US$1.
There needs to be credibility and a credible programme.
Devon Dick is pastor of the Boulevard Baptist Church and author of 'Rebellion to Riot: the Church in Nation Building'. Feedback may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.