‘Flip-flopper in chief’ – PNP chides Bruce Golding
Goes on offensive over State of Emergency vote abstention
THE Opposition People’s National Party (PNP), five days after its members of Parliament abstained in a vote to extend the limited State of Public Emergency, and in the face of mounting criticisms, yesterday accused the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) of playing politics, and labelled Prime Minister Bruce Golding a “flip-flopper-in-chief.”
In her address to conclude the party’s two-day National Executive Council meeting at the University of the West Indies, Mona, PNP President Portia Simpson Miller charged that the Government had no intention of extending the State of Emergency.
“Everybody is coming at us, and they are not even recognising that we tried to find a compromise. They not even recognising that the Government came to Parliament with no intention of having an extension,” Simpson told the comrades.
“…But, of course, we have become accustomed to the flip-flopper-in-chief. Say one thing yesterday, and another thing today,” she charged.
In her attack on Golding, Simpson Miller cited an October 9, 2003 letter to the editor, which she claimed was written by Bruce Golding on his return to the JLP, which was then in Opposition.
In the letter written to the Gleaner, which has been making the rounds on social networking site Facebook, she said Golding suggested that the State of Emergency at the time, should, and must be resisted, as police officials would seek to use the conditions to violate the rights of ordinary Jamaicans.
The letter also chastised supporters of the State of Emergency, which was called after the passage of Hurricane Isabel.
At the time the letter was written, Golding was not yet opposition leader, but Simpson Miller believes the prime minister speaks from different sides of his mouth for expediency.
“When we moved the motion of no-confidence they had everybody in Parliament. One even had to be called back to rejoin the team. When the motion in the Senate (the motion against the Minister Lightbourne), all were there. You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all the time,” Simpson Miller said.
During the post-NEC press conference, party chairman Robert Pickersgill said the JLP was clearly unaware that it required more than a simple majority for the extension.
“Personally, I don’t know that this is a party position, but based on the reaction when Peter (Bunting, PNP general secretary and spokesman on national security) mentioned the 31 votes, I saw the reaction of the JLP and the person went up to the clerk, and when the clerk said yes, meaning Peter was right, they were very surprised,” Pickersgill said.
According to the chairman, the action was one of incompetence, as no prime minister should ever go to Parliament without the majority he needs.
“Which prime minister would go to Parliament with a matter that they regard so important and didn’t take the count? He obviously thought it was a simple majority. So he would have outvoted us,” Pickersgill said.
He said the offer of 15 days was done in a spirit of compromise despite not being given any information it had requested.
Meanwhile, Simpson Miller told comrades that the PNP was being set up to be blamed for any upsurge in violence since the discontinuance of the State of Emergency. She claimed that a “sinister plot” to cause mayhem in communities was being hatched, and she warned them to be vigilant.
“I have already heard it said that the people murdered in Linstead was part of that plot,” she said.
Thursday night, four persons were shot and killed by gunmen who invaded their Pleasant Hill home in Bog Walk, St Catherine.
While not giving details of the so-called plot, she said the PNP would not be daunted by those who believe the safety of some should come at the expense of others.
“The fight against crime is of paramount importance to the lives of the people of Jamaica. It is a principle for which the party would not retreat,” she said.
Source: The Observer http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Flip-flopper-in-chief_7828556