Wednesday 22 May, 2019

Former PMs call for a revamping of values and attitude campaign

Former prime ministers (from left to right) Edward Seaga, PJ Patterson and Bruce Golding at the JSE's 14th Regional Investments and Capital Markets Conference. (Photo: Marlon Reid)

Former prime ministers (from left to right) Edward Seaga, PJ Patterson and Bruce Golding at the JSE's 14th Regional Investments and Capital Markets Conference. (Photo: Marlon Reid)

The call last July by former Prime Minister P.J Patterson for a re-launch of the values and attitude campaign he launched 25 years ago in 1994 may have been answered.

This, as former Prime Minister Bruce Golding, made a similar call on Wednesday as both men, along with another former Prime Minister, Edward Seaga, addressed the Jamaica Stock Exchange’s 14th Regional Investments and Capital Markets conference at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston.

Noting that many Jamaicans seem to have a problem determining “what’s right from what’s wrong,” Golding said all former prime ministers should come together and take the lead role in revitalizing the campaign.

The initial campaign, though well-intentioned, floundered after it failed to get the necessary and sustained buy-in from critical stakeholders. But both former heads of government are of the view that it is not only still needed, but that the current political directorate may be more willing to embrace the idea.

Prime ministers at JSE conference

Click the slider for more photos from day two of the JSE conference

“I have heard Prime Minister (Andrew) Holness make a number of statements that are almost indistinguishable from what PJ (Patterson) had put forward 25 years ago,” Golding said. He suggested that the four former prime ministers, including Portia Simpson Miller, should make themselves ready to lend support to a new campaign. In getting the discussion going, Golding said: “we should try and agree on the things that should define our values and our thinking and our concept of right and wrong.”

Patterson reminded that while addressing a meeting of the Rotary Club in  Hanover in July 2018, he made the case for the current political directorate to place values and attitudes at the forefront of their then pending Vale Royal talks. He said he had also suggested then that the four former Prime Ministers play a lead role in revamping the campaign.

Patterson noted that there are aspects of behaviour that “cannot be covered by law.”

“So it’s not just a question of what is legal and what is illegal, it is about what is right and what is wrong.

“We are prepared to get on board and put this thing at a level where the whole nation accepts that this is not an orange or green business, this is a matter where we have to work together,” said Patterson to sustained applause from the packed hotel ballroom which was transformed into a conference room.

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