MIKE Henry's new book, Many Rivers to Cross — A Political Journey of Audacious Hope, gives a hint as to why the Central Clarendon Member of Parliament is not supporting Andrew Holness in the current Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) leadership race.
Henry, then minister of transport and works, made it clear to the party that he was opposed to holding general elections in 2011, before and after current JLP leader Holness took over the reins of the party from departing Prime Minister Bruce Golding. But Holness went ahead and called the elections, which resulted in a 42-21 thrashing from the People's National Party (PNP).
Henry also made veiled reference to Holness prompting him to resign from the post as transport and works minister in the midst of a firestorm of criticisms over massive expenditure on a new office complex by the National Works Agency which falls under the portfolio.
Holness' challenger, Audley Shaw, the former finance minister, subsequently apologised to Henry, saying his forced resignation was an injustice.
Following is an excerpt from the book:
"Looking back at my last parliamentary speech in 2011, in the then budget speech, it is evident that I was not in favour of holding any general election that year, a position which I communicated to the party's leadership and in no uncertain manner.
"Indeed, the failure of the leadership of the JLP to grasp the relevance of my advice that we were not ready for general elections in 2011, and that we should at best run the local elections then and stretch our parliamentary term to the very end in December 2012, is fully evident in that speech and the 1-3-5-7-year plans that the Ministry of Transport and Works had laid out, which I presented to then leader (Golding), the party in general, and the youthful incumbent thereafter.
"But it all went unheeded. Instead, the party adopted the opportunistic PNP platform of corruption and the supposed strength of a leader, and failed to bring our achievements to the people for a yet unexplained reason, except that the campaign leadership sought to make our programme a scapegoat and, by expansion, me and my stewardship of the programme."