Tue | Jul 23, 2024

Letter of the Day | A call for consensus? Help!

Published:Monday | May 27, 2024 | 12:06 AM


I have read the Constitutional Reform Committee Report and I have listened attentively to, and read of, the ensuing pleas for ‘consensus’ coming from within the committee and beyond. I am however totally at a loss to reach any understanding as to how Jamaicans are being urged to reach consensus and agree to this raft of proposed constitutional amendments from which the most important required change for their well-being and empowerment is missing, altogether.

There is neither an appropriate, or any, explanation for its omission, nor does the history of the leadership of the governing party inspire confidence that the best interests of our citizens are within their contemplation, the clear evidence being that their strident positions are driven by other considerations.

Upon gaining political independence from Britain in 1962, shedding the colonial garb, Jamaicans began to be governed from within. For them, access to final justice, the remaining most important element of governance continued, with reasonable explanation, to be out of the reach of the vast majority, just as it had been for their newly freed forbears of African heritage, on Emancipation Day.

For these vast majority of Jamaicans, that access remains out of reach to this day, 190-plus years later.

Where, then, is the justice to my brothers and my sisters in Jamaica for me to agree to the ‘consensus’ that is being sought? Why, pray, is consensus not being sought after in the other direction, which is of far more importance to the well-being, upliftment and empowerment of those vast majority of our citizens, and with the calm route of a vote in the Parliament available for its quick achievement?

How can I be convinced to abandon the best interests of my kith and kin to satisfy the insistence of a government whose leadership runs, without any reasoning, from pillar to post on this most important issue of access to justice for the people, to pursue initiatives that are far more difficult to accomplish, and from which no tangible benefit will accrue to their employers?

A thousand times: Help!