Celebrate political independence
I read with disbelief in the Jamaica Observer the recommendation of Opposition Leader Andrew Holness asking Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites to tender his letter of resignation. Why? Because Mr Thwaites had the gall to express public disapproval with his government's handling of economic policy, particularly in the area of imposing a 16.5 per cent GCT on basic food products without first ensuring a durable safety net to absorb the financial shocks that will surely hit the poor among us.
Naturally, the Opposition leader felt the most apropos gesture, based on uncompromising principle, was to resign. He reasoned thus, "If you think that the principle is flawed, then you must resign." I have been a fan of Mr Holness because he presents the better half of an intrinsically rancid political system. Historically, Mr Holness is one of few judicious politicians left in Parliament. But my heart grieves to know that he might now have caught the incurable partisan bug.
Rather than commending Mr Thwaites for eschewing partisan talking points, an indication that the education minister is not tethered to any feeble chains of party allegiance over that of the national welfare of the country, Mr Holness instead "politicked". The logical conclusion of Mr Holness's rationale is that any member of parliament who shows an iota of independent thinking and dares to challenge the hallowed status quo by inveighing against a policy or principle of their party, which (s)he believes to be errant, then that maverick should resign.
Am I to assume that Mr Holness, since being in the JLP, has never had a point of grievance with his party? And what of his own members, like MP Everald Warmington, who has openly made his objections known? Should he resign as well? Political independence ought to be celebrated, not that one be made a persona non grata. I will allow reason to prevail and ask Mr Holness not to resign.