31 Mar Excerpt from Dr.Peter Phillips’ Acceptance Speech – Special Delegates Conference
RETUNING THE PARTY ORGANIZATION
If we are to accomplish all these tasks our Party organization will have to be retuned and re-charged.
- Only a strong Party organization committed to working with the people in their communities can effectively meet the challenge that history has placed before us.
- We have always been more than electoral machine – The PNP as I know it is the vanguard of the National Movement – committed to Nation building and the upliftment of the people.
To Fulfill Our Mission
- We need active Party groups
- We need Party groups with real people willing to work in communities
- Whether to work to clean-up communities, or
- To run a homework programme, or
- To care for the Elderly
Groups also need to do political work
- The Party needs to increase our focus on Political Education so that every active member of the Party can understand the History of the country and the Mission of the Party in its quest to build a better Jamaica.
Money is wielding too great an influence in the political process and in Elections
Too many persons don’t know or appreciate the sacrifices that were made by previous generations to secure the right to vote.
In the face of that ignorance some have reduced political participation to being a simple financial transaction.
To them I will just report what a wise countryman from Trelawny once told me –
“If you can be bought you will soon be sold”
- Truthfully though, the only real solution to this problem is political education.
Our Party has to once again resume its place as the leading centre for discussion about national policy choices.
- We must become open not only to new ideas, but also to new people.
Remember we are a National Party, open to everyone.
All you need to be part of the PNP is love for Jamaica and a commitment to our basic philosophy and principles of Social upliftment of the people a desire for national development.
We can only fulfill our Mission for Jamaica if all hands are on deck.
We need new blood in the Party
- The Students
- The Farmers
- The Businessmen
- The Workers
- The Professionals
- The Artists
- The Entertainers
- The taxi Men
- The Unemployed
There is space for everyone in this PNP.
Today, I issue an invitation from this platform to all Jamaicans who want to build a better country. Now is the time to join the PNP; to support this National Partnership for Progress. Let us move forward together as one united nation – One people with a common cause.
I want to share some words directly with the Youth.
I know the challenges that many of you face.
- Challenges arising from economic uncertainty or
- From the rising costs of education
Recognizing that too many areas of our national life including our politics, have been scarred by corruption, many of you are understandably cynical.
But it goes without saying that all that we do, we do with you in mind.
THE FUTURE, by definition belongs to the Young.
The PNP needs you the Youth to be a part of that shaping of our vision of the future – and the policies and the programmes that will help to improve the country.
We need your energy. We need the idealism. And we need your courage.
Don’t fall prey to the easy cynicism that can say nothing good about our country. Idealism, hope and positivity belong to the young.
I invite all of you to BECOME PART OF THIS GREAT MISSION. To build a Jamaica that works for everyone. We cannot promise you always easy answers or solutions to the problems that arise.
But I will always give you honest answers. And we will always give our best on behalf of Jamaica.
Because make no doubt about our fortunes as individuals, whether we stay here or if we migrate, will always be linked to the fortunes of Jamaica This little piece of God’s earth that we call home.
Anyone who has paid attention to developments in the country over since the Budget was laid by the JLP Government would know that now more than ever Jamaica needs a strong People’s National Party.
- This Budget is nothing but a string of broken promises –
They promised to increase the Tax threshold without taxes,
Instead, the majority of the People have had to bear a heavy burden of taxes.
- Gas and transport gone up
Electricity get lick again
- Worst of all, is the plan to tax Health Care Premiums, which will move health care out of the reach of many people at the same time as the Public Health Care System is reeling under pressure.
- They promised that there would be no further drawdown of funds from the National Housing Trust (NHT) – that promise has been broken.
- They promised unprecedented resources for crime fighting. That promise has been broken.
- The promised more resources for Education. That promise has been broken.
- They have responded to the protests of the People in a harsh and arrogant way. As if your voices don’t matter. As if the cries of the people make no different. As if the suggestions of alternatives by the various sectors don’t count.
- The PNP is different from the JLP.
- We are not afraid to consult.
- We are not afraid to change, if it becomes apparent that a proposed policy measure cannot work.
- We opposed a wholesale move to indirect taxes, because we knew it would destroy the lives of the majority of the people who have to use most of their income on the basic necessities of life.
COMRADES AND FRIENDS
Our vision is of a Jamaica that works for all the People. A Jamaica where no child will be left behind in the race of life because of inadequate education. A Jamaica in which no Jamaican citizen will be a squatter in the land of their birth. A Jamaica where every Jamaican will have access to affordable, modern housing.
The Jamaica, which we seek to build – is a land where Peace will reign –
- Families will prosper and communities will live in harmony.
- Our women will be protected, and treated with respect and enjoy equal rights.
In our Jamaica – the one we seek to build.
Our children will be treasured and nurtured as the bright lights of our national future, and will not to be abused and brutalized.
Comrades, friends, Jamaicans all
Let us move forward together to build this better Jamaica that was the dream of the Founders of our great Party.
- Together we will renew our Party and re-charge our energies to make our Party equal to the national Mission that history has placed on us.