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LETTER OF THE DAY - Shuffle cards that are meaningful

Published:Thursday | September 11, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir: I am aware that the People's National Party (PNP) annual conference is coming up shortly. It struck me that if you are going to 'shuffle cards', you must shuffle the cards that are meaningful. In anticipating a return of the PNP, it offers a wonderful occasion to make some critical and meaningful action that has to be taken, and who better to do this at that time? Our prime minister.

The whole country is aware of an unnecessarily overloaded Cabinet. And the feeling is that a Cabinet of 13 people maximum is what is required and can be afforded. It is essential now for the country to be able to think nationally and not just partywise. After all, we are all Jamaicans and whether it is PNP or JLP, our government must act in the interest of ALL Jamaicans. In that event, Jamaicans will see and cooperate with whichever party is represented by the Cabinet of the day.

It is widely thought that a number of our politicians, once they get in, think only of themselves and really are working towards collecting their pay cheques and not their responsibilities to the people of the constituency they represent. Others can be either unqualified or incompetent, but their one attribute is 'sweet mouth'. The remainder really want to contribute and do make a considerable self-sacrifice at many levels. It is time to put some meaningful cards on the table. So 'shuffling' in the future will be meaningful. I know that, in both parties, there is a core of politicians that do make a great contribution, and presently there are junior ministers, backbenchers, and MPS who genuinely want to see Jamaica put first. In this group, I see a very promising number of young highly qualified women.

As a first step towards a meaningful change, I would suggest, after the sad passing of our good friend 'Red Bull' Clarke, a critical gap has been created and on which the economy of Jamaica greatly depends, which is agriculture. I suggest that Portia considers appointing through the Senate, Christopher Tufton, who has the various qualifications necessary and the determination and ability to make it work. I admit I am not aware of any other politician PNP or JLP, who has the necessary background. And I also admit that I am not aware that Chris Tufton would be prepared to undertake this kind of responsibility.

This is a moment in time, and one must grab difficult opportunities when one can. But, the bottom line is the immediate future of agriculture and the longer-term future of Jamaica for ALL Jamaicans NOW.



Life Member of the People's National Party