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Ruddy Lawson was a thoroughly decent soul

Published:Wednesday | June 12, 2019 | 12:17 AM


Jamaica has lost a thoroughly decent soul in the passing of former People’s National Party (PNP) parliamentarian and Minister of State Ruddy Lawson, who made his transition after a struggle with illness last Saturday.

In his career as a practising politician, Ruddy attracted genuine affection among a wide cross section of the population in the crucible of political action. His ability to question, analyse and breach the canons of cynicism had set him apart from the trap of the perversities of political activity.

More important, and of relevance today, he understood that one of the primary duties of all serving politicians in a democratic system is to, first and foremost, ensure a sense of decency, responsibility and accountability to all public offices.

Sometime ago, he had expressed to me that he had given of his best to his constituents in South Western St Catherine and to the ministries of Local Government and Water and Transport; and that fate had probably conspired to lead him to retire from active political duties “with clean hands and a clean heart” when he did.

A Man of Honour

This expression alone confirmed to me that he was a man of honour and integrity who was never likely to be seduced by the oft-repeated Actonian dictum. No one, I am sure, can quarrel with such an approach to politics and public service.

I say this to remind young parliamentarians elected to serve us, that sanity – such as that displayed by Ruddy Lawson – still has its place in the highest chamber in the land for legitimate fulminations against unemployment, fear for one’s personal safety, low wages, contract work, ongoing infrastructure problems, and other iniquities of an officious bureaucracy.

Ruddy Lawson’s legacy to the members of his PNP family and those of the wider society, is that we must all strive to widen our circle of compassion. We may not all be able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is, in itself, a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.

I offer blessings upon his family, friends, former colleagues in the political vineyard, and his former constituents of South Western St Catherine in their time of grief.

May his soul rest in peace.