Big problems looming for Jamaica Labour Party
KINGSTON – Warren Newby, campaign co-ordinator of the Audley
Shaw for Leader team, has said the party will have a problem on its
hands in the aftermath of the current leadership challenge to heal rifts
because of actions by “powerful members of the Andrew Holness
Newby, a former senator and parliamentary secretary with
responsibility for youth in the Ministry of Information, Culture, Youth
and Sports when the JLP formed the government in 2007, charged that
the camp had removed a number of legitimate workers and delegates
from the voters’ list.
He was speaking Sunday at the Youth for Shaw Conference held
at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus, involving past and
other current G2K executives and members from across the island.
“We can’t, to date, tell you with certainty that we will accept the
voters’ list being produced by the secretariat of the party. Even now
there is a meeting going on at Belmont Road going over a process we
thought was completed three weeks ago. We cannot even determine
who are the legitimate delegates of the Jamaica Labour Party and
they want to make you believe that they were organising,” Newby
said to applause.
“This process has disenfranchised so many legitimate workers and
delegates of the Jamaica Labour Party. We will have a challenge before
us to heal the party because of how many persons have been taken off
the list by powerful members of the Holness camp because it is believed
they are supporters of Audley Shaw,” he said further.
Newby also questioned the silence of Holness over
recent developments which have seen “several councillors
being ostracised by members of Parliament because of their
assertion of their right protected by the constitution (to
decide on their leader of choice)”.
“There is not even one word of condemnation that has
come from Andrew Holness on those matters,” he said,
claiming that Holness had failed to berate members of his
team for castigating, in unflattering terms, JLP members not
in his camp.
“There is nothing transformational about him. I don’t
know where this energy has come from in Mr Holness all
of a sudden, because prior to the challenge what he was
practising was a politics of silence,” Newby declared.
At the same time, he defended the style of campaigning
“They attack Mr. Shaw constantly about ‘ray ray’, seeking
to put a negative spin to the way in which he campaigns.
Before now it was OK. Ray Ray is advocacy. Paul Bogle was
ray ray in his time, Marcus Garvey was ray ray in his time,
Bustamante was ray ray in his time. So gi wi dat ‘cause a dat
Labourites know and love, gi wi dat,” he said to cheers.
“The message of our party needs a messenger.
Altogether, in one accord, we are going to make Audley
Shaw leader of the Jamaica Labour Party,” he added.
In the meantime, Newby raised questions about the
method by which the current party leader took the helm
following the resignation of former leader Bruce Golding,
who led the party to victory in 2007 after it spent over 18
years in the political wilderness.
“Two years ago, we had to choose a leader, the leader
we have now arrived out of consensus, consensus of big men
and women in a room. I believe that there is something fundamentally
flawed with such a process. It is not right that any big man, any power
group to sit in a room and decide who leads a political party and who
should emerge as prime minister of our country,” Newby charged.
“That right belongs to you as the delegates of the party, that right we
must protect with all our lives,” he told the faithful.
“Since that time we have lost two elections, one for local government
and one for central government. The claim by the current leadership is
that they have used the period to organise. Now, where is the evidence
of this? The facts are glaringly opposite to that claim,”
he said. (Jamaica Observer)