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JLP needs a new gen sec

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Dear Editor,

Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is usually called insanity.

Former Jamaica Labour Party General Secretary Karl Samuda ran a superb campaign for both general and local government elections in 2007. Many would also argue that he won four by-elections while in government. But no one can argue that Belmont Road was not a ghost town under his reign. Karl Samuda was the industry and commerce minister, a Member of Parliament and the general secretary.

He resigned in 2010, but it was too late for the incoming general secretary at that time, Aundre Franklin to stamp his authority. He is now deputy chairman and serves on many committees.

Now we are the same thing happening again with regard to the current general secretary. The current secretariat of the JLP has Horace Chang as general secretary, minister without portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, and Member of Parliament (MP). Andrew Wheatley is deputy general secretary, minister of science, energy and technology, as well as an MP. Homer Davis is deputy general secretary, mayor and councillor. Richard Creary, deputy general secretary, mayor and councillor. Audley Gordon is also deputy general secretary and fully employed in the public sector. Everybody is busy. Therefore, the bus is parked at Gordon House, while Belmont Road is dead.

We strongly believe that a general secretary should be from the Senate or from the outside.

No Government MP serving as general secretary has ever won a contested general election. One might bring up Bruce Golding because he was a minister, MP and general secretary in the 1983 election. But that one was boycotted by the People's National Party (PNP).

D K Duncan as a Government MP was general secretary for the 1980 General Election — the PNP lost badly.

Maxine Henry-Wilson as a Government MP was the general secretary for the 2003 Local Government Elections. The PNP lost badly. Donald Buchanan as Government MP was the general secretary for the 2007 election. The PNP lost.

We strongly believe that a general secretary should come from outside the House of Representatives and not be pursuing a seat. We all know that a party in government will always want to play it safe by appointing a senator as general secretary; we have no problem with that.

Who are the possible candidates for general secretary? From the outside, we see Robert Miller, Dennis Meadows, Warren Newby, Sharon Hay-Webster, Marlon Morgan, Paula Kerr-Jarrett, and or Danville Walker. From the Senate, let's look at Matthew Samuda, Kavan Gayle or Kerensia Morrison.

Sunday, November 26, 2017 will be the annual conference, so let's see if the party will make the necessary changes.

I hope the party does not let the St Mary South Eastern win fool it into believing the team is unbeatable.


Green Tea Movement

(A grass root reformist advocacy group with JLP principles and values)

greenteamovement.gtm@gmail com

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