What was Senator Montague drinking at the JLP’s Central Executive meeting?

News post October 2, 2015



Shadow Minister on Mining and Energy, Robert Montague

FORGIVE us if we seemed stunned by a call for a national summit — in

effect a rare call to put country before politics — from Jamaica Labour

Party (JLP) Chairman Senator Robert Montague in a speech at the party’s

Central Executive on Sunday.

Again, readers may need to forgive us for wondering if Mr Montague’s

statement to the JLP’s highest decision-making body outside of annual

conference was pre-approved by the leader, Mr Andrew Holness.

“Let’s have a national summit, let us settle on a national agenda, and ring fence it from partisan political tug of war.

We can do it, let’s do it for Jamaica. Let’s sit down within a week,”

urged Mr Montague, who is also the party’s shadow minister on mining

and energy.

“As we move towards a general election, let’s be mindful that the

harsh realities of our economic situation will not go away by wishful

thinking.

As we reviewed the latest IMF (International Monetary Fund) country

report, we, as a responsible Opposition, want to discuss some specific

ideas and solutions with the Government, the workers representatives,

civil society, the private sector, and academia,” Senator Montague said

to wide spread applause, we are told. Said Mr Montague: “Let us settle

some issues and national priorities, not shouting from political

platforms, but sitting facing each other in the interest of the country.

We have sacrificed too much, come too far, under this IMF programme, to lose the gains in an election campaign.”

This call should bring joy to the hearts of all patriotic Jamaicans

who have longed for this national unity approach to the running of our

country.

We in this space have on several occasions advocated for a new

Opposition template that would eschew the old oppose, oppose, oppose

mantra and political pointscoring, even when the national interest was

begging for the contrary.

We agree wholeheartedly with the senator when he said: “We must and

can dig deep within our patriotism, put aside political one-upmanship

and settle on a national agenda.

Let the summit not be an endless talk shop, but a forum to: place

workable solutions, within our realities; to save the jobs of hundreds;

reform our tax code; and grow the economy.”

Importantly, Mr Montague suggested that his call had no preconditions and nothing was left off the table.

His wide-ranging list for discussions covered water; unemployment;

the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ); crime; pension reform; economic

growth; community development with rural and urban development;

agriculture; energy; and education.

“Let’s commit to finding a common ground, let’s take some things from

the political platform, let’s as responsible leaders, behind closed

doors, in the interest of national good, set and agree on national goals

and priorities.

For the good of the nation, let us put aside partisan and sectoral positions in the interest of Jamaica,” he urged.

One week clearly would not be enough time to organise such a summit,

which would not be a first. Naturally, many will be sceptical of Mr

Montague’s apparent Damascus-like conversion.

Many will be looking for the trick behind his statement. It would not be Jamaica if it were not so.

But we would like to suggest that, as a country, we take him at his

word. Hopefully, this is a party position and not just that of one man

who has seen the light.

 

 

Published By: The Observer

No Tags

301 total views, 1 today

  

  • Penalise politicians who provide service on a partisan basis ­ — Meadows

    by on January 26, 2016 - 0 Comments

    JLP caretaker calls for action as Trelawny residents take to the street Placard-bearing residents gather at a section of the Salt Marsh to Goodwill main road yesterday to protest against the poor road conditions in the area.  SALT MARSH, Trelawny — Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) caretaker for Trelawny Northern Dennis Meadows yesterday called for laws […]

  • Will Cameron Speak On Reparation?

    by on September 29, 2015 - 0 Comments

    In pic: Prime Minister David Cameron. Olivia Grange said she believes Cameron would consider it unusual to be visiting Jamaica at this time in history and have extensive discussions with top government officials and not have the subject of reparation raised at some point. The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) is questioning whether the Government will […]

  • Plans advanced for use of drones to combat praedial larceny

    by on August 17, 2016 - 0 Comments

    Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries JC Hutchinson (centre), has the full attention of farmers in Lowe River, Trelawny yesterday. ST JAMES, Jamaica (JIS) – Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries JC Hutchinson, says plans are well advanced for the use of drones to […]

  • Constable Crystal Thomas

    by on July 16, 2015 - 0 Comments

    She fought to the end | Lead Stories | Jamaica Gleaner Woman Constable Crystal Thomas Norman Grindley Senior Superintendent of Police Cornwall ‘Bigga’ Ford (right) escorts National Security Minister Peter Bunting, who visited the Denham Town Police Station in west Kingston, to get an update after the murder of woman Constable Crystal Thomas, who was […]

  • "19 dead babies" United States-based Jamaica-trained expert heartbroken over deaths of 19 babies

    by on November 1, 2015 - 1 Comments

    Rudolph Brown From left: Marion Bullock DuCasse, director of emergency, disaster management and special services in the health ministry; Dr Kevin Harvey, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health; and Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson about to brief the media on the outbreak of klebsiella and serratia on October 20. A Jamaica-trained, United States-based neonatologist […]

Follow Us on Facebook