Prime Minister Mia Mottley has hailed former Jamaica Prime Minister PJ Patterson’s book, ‘My Political Journey’ as recommended reading for any student of politics.
Mottley was speaking at the book launch at the Sagicor Cave Hill School of Business and Management on Thursday night.
“There is no more consummate political practitioner in the post-Independence Caribbean than Percival Noel James Patterson. His exploits, his tactics, his strategy are legendary.
“And for all who have been a student of politics, you would do well to recognise that this book is worth reading, but more importantly, the ability to exchange with a Caribbean giant is an opportunity you should not pass by,” she said.
Jamaica’s sixth Prime Minister held office from 1992 to 2006.
Mottley said the former leader of the People’s National Party mastered the art of political organisation, not just in the constituency, but within the party. An art, she believes, that other Caribbean politicians should learn.
“There are many brilliant Caribbean politicians who believe that the stage was simply about themselves or even policy, but who didn’t understand that the ability to work with and to organise among the people who make our parties grassroots and mass-based are the people from whom oxygen comes, and are the people who will help to transform the nation. Because without their energy, without their commitment, without their buy-in, we would simply be passing on the stage.
“Meaningful progress is determined by the extent to which the people who constitute the masses of this country have their lives transformed and equally, that they themselves are prepared to transform others for whom they have responsibility,” Mottley said.
She also called for a return to the “values and attitudes” campaign that was launched by Patterson in 1994, in which he proposed a national programme of action to promote attitudinal change and social renewal.
She told the audience that Patterson’s former political rival, and former Prime Minister Bruce Golding, acknowledged the significance of that programme earlier this year, 25 years after it was first introduced.
“But 25 years after, the recognition that persons needed to return to values and attitudes on the clear understanding that many of the difficulties and challenges that we see in our society cannot be cured by the actions of government, but require a national conversation and action.
“And I want to add this, because as I get ready to deliver an address a speech … at the Oxford Union week after next, how hard it is to be good in today’s world. It reminds me that the example of ethical and moral leadership has forever been found not just in the words, but in the actions of this great Caribbean Prime Minister,” Mottley said. (MCW)