We need more ministers like Paulwell
While it seems that everybody is calling for Minister Phillip Paulwell to go, I think those calls are unfair. Not only do I think that Paulwell should stay in his job, I actually think that we need more ministers like him.
As we were being told, the Energy World International (EWI) option would have used Liquefied Natural Gas to produce electricity at less than 13 US cents per kilowatt hour. This project would produce electricity using processes that would have been much more environmentally friendly and greatly reduce the cost of electricity. Who can blame the minister for doing all he could to get this deal for us?
I am glad that the prime minister has ignored the wannabe prime ministers who are demanding that she fire the minister. Who elected them anyway? As for the JLP, it has no real prospect of ever being returned to power in the foreseeable future, so ignoring its calls was natural.
There is one thing about Paulwell that stands out -- his sense of urgency to move the country forward. It is true that he has made some mistakes in this business. However, that is no reason to fire him. His determination to take a hands-on approach in order to get things going should be commended and not condemned.
His recent efforts to get Jamaica into the rare earths business, a scheme that could see Jamaica becoming the centre for very advanced communications industries are indicative of a man who is thinking outside the box. This characteristic of Paulwell is very rare in Jamaican politics today. It's a pity more of our leaders don't have this trait.
I think Paulwell knows that all of us must now learn from this episode and move on. Those of us who were calling for him to go should realise that no one is perfect. It would be a pity if politicians like him are discouraged from public service. We surely need leaders with the zeal like him around.
Michael A Dingwall