Friday May 3, 2013’s   Gleaner was made prominent  that we received  a  note of caution from the former Finance Minister, Audley Shaw; and  on  September 15, 2013, we saw his interest in taking command of the country during a period of projected growth (hopefully), as a future Prime Minister.

Audley Shaw did not succeed  at  winning the presidency of his party. But his  advice should not be taken lightly. Too many times in business we commit for projects only to find half-way through, the budget is exceeded or we run out of money, or interest rates have risen, or industrial unrest, and there will be a cost overrun.

Yet the winner Andrew Holness, has no stated objective in curing Jamaica’s woes.  I can see problems; money supply and the interest factors will cause the exchange rate to devalue further, unless in the interim some increase of  productive output comes  into effect.

To-date no productive endeavor has been facilitated  by either party that has ruled, or will rule.

Mr. Shaw’s advice had promised: Encourage smaller scale industrial growth and production, and let these carry the country to the point where energy installed can still be sufficient, and then the situation can be re-assessed. Moreover,  a megabucks project like Goat Island can  cause mega-dollar over-runs if some factor goes awry, so with the numerous smaller investments we are creating a “hedge.”

But can we convince our leaders, who have been at the forefront of a great deal of confusion over options, to agree to a solution? Boards and Committees have come, they have all  gone, and energy solutions especially are still in the wind (no pun intended). Daryl Vaz had confirmed his intent to support Audley Shaw and stated that Shaw has winning- ability for the head of the JLP; and emphasized that the successful candidate for head of the JLP must have the ability to win elections.  Clearly he was mistaken, because I do not see any winn-ability in Holness’s  approach.  I do suspect that that senior statesman  Edward  Seaga had a lot to do with the outcome, and at the last minute.

I have lately seen three decisions made regarding energy supplies and they are all somewhat different: LNG (gas), clean coal,  and normal coal, and from what I gather, they are all  to be burnt as fuel, which has the greatest environmental impact. The incoming leader needs to familiarize himself (or herself) with the goodwill of the investors,  seeing that China is building the latest Nuclear Power Reactors  for the U.K.  Ultimately, Jamaica pays the price, whether we take ten years or fifty.

 I agree  that perhaps Shaw  would have been a winnable option to  some extent, but I would prefer the candidate be shown to have ability to manage the Countries’ affairs, with loyalty and integrity; something that is sadly lacking these days in our politics.  I pray that out of this competition, Jamaica Wins.

Now that the Chinese seem interested in Goat Island to locate an LNG plant, and extend docking space, there is much to encourage and support, for these potential partners have the capital and experience for projects of this  size. Regrettably,  Andrew Holness and Edward Seaga do not speak Chinese as well as our Prime Minister.



(550 words)



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