Monday, October 5, 2009

'Golding opportunities'

Golding and Simpson after the Pre-Election Debate in 2007 - both have a responsibility to help us emerge from this crisis.

Jean Lowrie-Chin | Observer Column | Monday, October 05, 2009

If every crisis is an opportunity, then opportunities abound for Prime Minister Golding and his administration. Leader of the Opposition Portia Simpson Miller, in describing Jamaica as being "between a rock and a hard place" has also summed up the position in which the prime minister finds himself.

So what would you do if you were faced with ever-mounting debt and debtors who would no longer humour your spendthrift ways? First, we have to convince the public that we have no choice, as "He who pays the piper calls the tune". This tune can probably be summed up as a medley of Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff and Peter Tosh: "Talking Blues", "Many Rivers to Cross" and "Glass House".

We heard Education Minister Andrew Holness "talking blues" when he told us that in spite of the fact that his ministry has been encouraging CSEC students by paying exam fees for certain key subjects, over 10 per cent of those who registered for the exam did not show up for the tests. That was $4.5 million down the drain. In his Observer column last Thursday, Mark Wignall quoted the PM's address to parliament regarding the size of the civil service: "the Civil Service Establishment Order shows that there are 41,353 posts in the Central Government. But the total number of persons employed by government in all its ministries, agencies and companies and statutory bodies who have to be paid every week or fortnight or month is 117,000".

Click on title for full column

jam 2
10/5/2009 2:01 AM
Balanced article Ms. Jean and really sums up the task facing Mr. Prime Minister.........his problem is not with saying the right things it is actually finding the courage to do it, pity he doesnt know how many persons he would win over if he could just find the will to do the unpopular thing...........after all if the PNP were in Government they couldnt escape it either.

10/5/2009 6:18 AM
The tighting of the belt is one part of the equation but the other part is a change in our psyche;work attitdue.I remember as a civil servant worker in Jamaica that all it takes was just a light drizzle of rain drops that it would take for me showin up late for work or not showing up at all.I you be at work at 8 AM,showed up at ten,took two hours of lunch,then never return to my post after that; I went home.Does that sound familiar?Vacations in the public sector can be accumulated to two years or more!!Public sector workers who had "green cards" took advantage of this by seeking "under the table" jobs in the US.It has been a long held view that because public sector workers are paid starvation wages,they are given free reign to do what they please without the prospect of being fired.This is a dilemma that any goverment in power faces because of the inability to pay proper wages we are left with a lacklustered and indisciplined civil service.

Oliver Hunter
10/5/2009 7:15 AM
The J.O.S. had ceased to exist at least a decade before Peter Phillips took office.
And as for "bringing order" to the commuter system -
I take it that Ms. Chin is not a commuter.
If she was,she wouldnt say such nonsense.

Wes MoLan
10/5/2009 7:20 AM
Both parties have made significant contributions to our development, both positive and negative. It is pointless though to argue which is better.

The "Opportunity" presenting itself now is for Bruce and Portia to sign a pact to stop the nonsense, and, together, rescue our nation from the darkness that surrounds us.

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