In response to critiques from the public, I am disappointed to hear poor, infantile reasoning emanating from various Cabinet members.
The Jamaicans for Civil Society Coalition pointed out that MP Shahine Robinson comes with the baggage of her very public dual citizenship trial as well as a massive lawsuit pending. They are concerned about her inclusion in Holness Cabinet. Robinson contends that first matter has been addressed in court, and the second is pending: she believes she can proceed unencumbered. She goes further to express surprise that civil society ‘objects to inclusion of a woman’ in the Cabinet. She claims they had been agitating all along for more women to be involved at that level. Ms. Robinson appears to deliberately muddle the valid legal concerns with a base sexist appeal.
JTA’s objection to the PM’s decision to keep hands-on responsibility for Education is rebuffed by the Minister of Information. The Minister pointed out that Seaga held Finance responsibility throughout his tenure as PM; Manley held Agriculture responsibility for a year. No reasonable argument is advanced to satisfy concerns of the JTA – no explanation of the logic of this decision or what strategy the new PM will employ to keep all the balls in the air.
The Opposition expresses concern about what it sees as ‘waste’ and a ‘self-promoting exercise’ in the Ministry of Tourism’s decision to take out full page advertisements to highlight Jamaica’s recognition at World Travel Awards. The Minister of Tourism fires back that Opposition being ‘mean-spirited’ and hopes for a more cooperative atmosphere in the future. There is no actual explanation of the reasoning for the large ad expenditure, what it was meant to achieve strategically, and whether it did so.
Like it or not, these are among the people charged to lead Jamaica. PM Holness must push his team members to present well reasoned defenses of their actions or positions. Too many weak arguments of misdirection continue to be presented in response to valid public concerns. This needs to change.