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Transcript of chat session April 24, 2002 with Ronnie Thwaites

Question (Apr 24, 2002 7:44:35 PM)
I would like to know what caused you to be in representational politics?

Ronnie Thwaites (ID=56) (Apr 24, 2002 7:44:35 PM)
I think it is an extention of christian witness, I think it is the very high calling to try to carry forward the interest of ones constitutents. Politics is a noble calling.

Question (Apr 24, 2002 7:48:43 PM)
Do you beleive you colleagues in in questions Blyte and Paulwell are corrupt or just over zealous?

Ronnie Thwaites (ID=56) (Apr 24, 2002 7:48:43 PM)
I believe their intentions have always been for the best interest of those who needed jobs, land or houses. If they have made mistakes these should be admitted, corrected and let us move on. We must never lose the primary focus of making every effort to generate more jobs through information technology and to deliver more land and housing solutions to those who have none.

Question (Apr 24, 2002 7:50:43 PM)
Hi Ronnie How are things shaping for the 4th term

Ronnie Thwaites (ID=56) (Apr 24, 2002 7:50:43 PM)
Quite well. The PNP is united and has a strong core support and is well organized. Besides more people are recognizing the solid achievements in education, economic ability and housing among other things.

Question (Apr 24, 2002 7:52:58 PM)
Do you think your statement about "transfer of wealth from poor to rich " hurt the PNP more than help them?

Ronnie Thwaites (ID=56) (Apr 24, 2002 7:52:59 PM)
I try not to make statements based upon political expendiency. It is a truth that a high interest rate policy which must be paid for from the budget , transfers money needed for social development to those who are cash rich already. It is not by any means a uniquely Jamaican experience.

Question (Apr 24, 2002 7:56:00 PM)
Mr. Thwaites, Greetings to you sir from Florida. As a Jamaica residing and studying here in Florida , my concern is whether or not anything is being done to attrack the professional minds back in the country bearing in mind that very competitive packages are being offered.

Ronnie Thwaites (ID=56) (Apr 24, 2002 7:56:00 PM)
Here is plug for the Gleaner. Every Sunday there a pages and pages of advertisements for professionals. I am also informed that JAMPRO offers a good referral service, Bear in mind, however, that numeration levels in JA can hardly compete with Florida but the quality of life can make up for this.

Question (Apr 24, 2002 7:58:57 PM)
Do you think jamaicans living abroad will one day get to vote in elections....voting from abroad

Ronnie Thwaites (ID=56) (Apr 24, 2002 7:58:57 PM)
I personally will support such a move. Jamaica is much more than this island it is a community of people in many different places who should all have the option to serve and to select. A good example of how this could work is Sengal which has a set number of representatives chosen from their people living abroad. I hope you will join me in putting pressure on our political parties to achieve this before long after all remmittances from overseas now make up the largest source of foreign exchnage.

Question (Apr 24, 2002 8:01:11 PM)
I respect your work on the Public Accounts Commitee...How important a body do you think that is?

Ronnie Thwaites (ID=56) (Apr 24, 2002 8:01:11 PM)
It is the watch dog committee over government expenditure. The trouble is that issues only come to us after the expenditures have long been made. I proposed a merger between the PAC and the dormant Appropriations committee which has the power to over see current government expenditure.

Question(Apr 24, 2002 8:04:13 PM)
How did you arrive at the decision that the P.N.P was the party through which you would extend your christian witness?

Ronnie Thwaites (ID=56) (Apr 24, 2002 8:04:13 PM)
I have always been attracted to the democratic social principles of the PNP in comparsion to what I see as the unbridled capitalism of the other main parties. Also I admired the dedication and efforts of Michael Manley and I know PJ Patterson to be a decent simple Jamaican without guile.

Question (Apr 24, 2002 8:09:11 PM)
GOING OFF WHAT U SAID THAT POLITICS IS A NOBLE CALLING, I AM A STUDENT AT A UNIVERSITY IN THE U.S.I AM MAJORING IN POLITICAL SCIENCE AND BUSINESS.MY PLAN IS TO COME BACK TO JAMIACA IN THE FUTURE AND GET INVOLVED IN POLITICS(POSSIBLE BE THE PRIME MINISTER AT SOME POINT),WHAT ADVICE WOULD U GIVE ME AS A YOUNG MAN LOOKING AT JAMIACA AND ITS CURENT ECONOMICAL ,POLITICAL AND THE CRIME PROBLEMS,TO BOOST UP MY CONFIDENSE?

Ronnie Thwaites (ID=56) (Apr 24, 2002 8:09:11 PM)
Congratulations on your ambition to serve, I hope you will match it with humility and patience. Come home and help with the education of the little children, uplifting of family life and the ethic of caring and sharing of our peasant forefathers and some of the crimes will recede. As to the politics compare us with so many other unstable countries and resolve to be a politician with a national rather than a tribal perspective outlook. Try to read the latest survey of living conditions to get an idea of where the economics now stands you might be surprised. Good luck

Question (Apr 24, 2002 8:12:35 PM)
Do u think the pmp have done enough to spend another term in office?

Ronnie Thwaites (ID=56) (Apr 24, 2002 8:12:35 PM)
Decidely yes. The economy has been structurely adjusted and with great pain growth has begun again. We have to tackly a large social deficit, bring down the death and understand global imperatives more profoundly. Have you heard our competition come up with any workable allernative plan?

Question (Apr 24, 2002 8:16:08 PM)
NEW JERSEY WHAT IS THE GOVERNMENT DOING ABOUT THE SLIDEING OF THE JAMAICA DOLLAR ITS LIKE 48 TO ONE SU DALLAR??

Ronnie Thwaites (ID=56) (Apr 24, 2002 8:16:08 PM)
Remember that the exchange rate is not set by government but by the market. The government very wisely stablises the rate when necessary. Thank God we have net international reserve of more than a billion US dollars to do so. Remember 1989 when these reserves were about 1/2 billion in the red and the black market was ramped. In the long run only exporting more goods than services can really stabilize the dollar.

Question (Apr 24, 2002 8:18:56 PM)
Do you beleive that Reglion and politics must not mix too closely given the lessons learnt from the middle ages?

Ronnie Thwaites (ID=56) (Apr 24, 2002 8:18:56 PM)
I don't believe in two Kingdoms. One of God and the other of the world. Jesus is Lord of both heaven and earth. The secrated must alway informed the secula. We know now far too much to repeat the mistakes of the middle age.

Question (Apr 24, 2002 8:20:23 PM)
Do you think that the PNP will win the next General Election

Ronnie Thwaites (ID=56) (Apr 24, 2002 8:20:23 PM)
I am not a pollster I do know that it much harder to gain a fourth term than a third one, but I get a good feeling from moving among ordinary Jamaicans despite the obvious problems

Question (Apr 24, 2002 8:22:16 PM)
What is your your opinion regarding the legalization of marijuana?

Ronnie Thwaites (ID=56) (Apr 24, 2002 8:22:16 PM)
I am against the use of any substance that alters your mental state or hurts you physically but I do not beleive that it helps to use the criminal laws to stop people from personal use of ganja.

Question (Apr 24, 2002 8:26:34 PM)
How did your company become embroiled in this issue'

Ronnie Thwaites (ID=56) (Apr 24, 2002 8:26:34 PM)
I take it you are referring to my representation of several providence societies in Operation Pride. For about 20 years I have tried to direct my legal practice towards helping landless persons to gain secure tenure. I deny the suggestions made about my firm in any Angus report. They never even contacted us to indicated or to answer any query: they never asked the chairman of the NHDC who was supposed to have facilitated us one word about our work and we certainly could not have been fired by the NHDC when we have never been retained by them

Question (Apr 24, 2002 8:28:51 PM)
hello mr twaites........since living in canada i notice a real sense of corporate responsibility,where companies do for the community,improve roads,scholarshps.donations,while living in jamaica i notice everyone depends on politics.dont you think its time the corporate society start doing more for the communities.

Ronnie Thwaites (ID=56) (Apr 24, 2002 8:28:51 PM)
I agree with you to whom more is given more is expected. You should note however, the excellent work made by companies like Grace, Alpart and Air Jamaica among others. I think the message is spreading.

Question (Apr 24, 2002 8:31:37 PM)
Do you believe Dr. Blythe as Minister could have provided as much water, land and housing solutions if he was not as pro-active by getting involved in the operations of agencies under his portfolio?

Ronnie Thwaites (ID=56) (Apr 24, 2002 8:31:37 PM)
Probably not. It is unfortunate that often a bureaucary does not share the same urgency and verve as a responsive minister. Just look at the slow pace of water and housing schemes before Carl's time. None of this, however, is to say that mistakes and over expenditure whenever they occur are miner matters

Question (Apr 24, 2002 8:33:04 PM)
Do you think Your goverments promise of over 40,000 jobs landed the goverment in hot water.?

Ronnie Thwaites (ID=56) (Apr 24, 2002 8:33:04 PM)
Maybe but it is better to try that to have fallen short than to have told the people to go and eat cake. Remember what happened to Marie Antoniette.

Question (Apr 24, 2002 8:34:37 PM)
Of course there are plenty of Jobs/career being advertised in the Daily and Sunday gleaner, BUT there are seeking people with over 10-years working experience. How can I gain such experience if I am not given the opportunity?

Ronnie Thwaites (ID=56) (Apr 24, 2002 8:34:37 PM)
Good point. There is a real difficulty when you just starting. Not all opening require lots of experience. I conceive the problem.

Question (Apr 24, 2002 8:39:12 PM)
Do you support Omar's Muttering about removing Subsidies for tertiary education?

Ronnie Thwaites (ID=56) (Apr 24, 2002 8:39:13 PM)
I never heard any mutterings when he spoke at Mona. I heard a straight forward alrenative being placed before us. The education budget is finite. UWI alone gets 17% of it. More than 80% of the cost of every students' education is a free gift from the people through the government while the remaining portion taken through grants by SLB. Our primary system needs more than the 46% at most of the budget it is getting. Hard choices have to be made. I support a comprehensive loan system for university students with a required and enforced pay back after qualification.

Question (Apr 24, 2002 8:39:33 PM)
ronnie when is election

Ronnie Thwaites (ID=56) (Apr 24, 2002 8:39:33 PM)
Wait on PJ to tell us.

Question (Apr 24, 2002 8:43:58 PM)
WE HAVE A SERIOUS CRIME PROBLEM IN JAMAICA. MANY PEOPLE FEAR RETURNING BACK HOME , DUE TO THIS PROBLEM.WHAT KIND OF ASSURANCE CAN YOU RECOMMEND TO ONE WHO WANTS TO RETURN HOME?

Ronnie Thwaites (ID=56) (Apr 24, 2002 8:43:58 PM)
There are not assurances of a crime free life either in London, New York or Kingston. I am convinced that the increased numbers in the police force, the expanded equipment they have, closer international corporation to combat crime and a growing resolve of many communitiesto ride themself of this scourge all add up to a reasonably prospect. The prevalence of drug money increases our predicament.

Question (Apr 24, 2002 8:49:01 PM)
why is jamaica's education system so poor?

Ronnie Thwaites (ID=56) (Apr 24, 2002 8:49:01 PM)
Basically I think our system has proven to be good. Our primary and high schools kids often skip a grade when they migrate and our universities are world class. Why do you think the rest of the world wants our professionals so much? We need to target our basic and some primary schools with special programmes in math and english to make our performance uniformed. Finally, schools can't make up for what we families send to them.

Question (Apr 24, 2002 8:49:47 PM)
Are the alegations made against your partnership Daley, Thwaites and Company unfounded?

Ronnie Thwaites (ID=56) (Apr 24, 2002 8:49:47 PM)
They are. I have answered that question in detail already.

Question (Apr 24, 2002 8:51:32 PM)
What are the Greatest Challenges facing the PNP as theyy seek a 3rd term....

Ronnie Thwaites (ID=56) (Apr 24, 2002 8:51:32 PM)
To creat more employment. To complete reform of the public service, to established conditions where growth with equity can occur.

Question (Apr 24, 2002 8:52:53 PM)
Do you fear you reputation as a defender of the poor has been dent a blow since you joined the PNP?

Ronnie Thwaites (ID=56) (Apr 24, 2002 8:52:53 PM)
Not really. I am not so much concern about reputation as I am about useful service. Everything else is shifting sands.

Question (Apr 24, 2002 8:54:40 PM)
Mr. Thwaites, what did u mean by saying u dont come to count cow, u come to drink milk?

Ronnie Thwaites (ID=56) (Apr 24, 2002 8:54:40 PM)
I have little time for sterle discussions and point scoring. Time is short, I am hoping to spend it contributing to effective solutions. That is what I meant.

Question (Apr 24, 2002 8:55:19 PM)
DO U THINK CARL BLYTHE SHOULD BE CHARGED CRIMINALLY FOR TAX PAYERS MONEY

Ronnie Thwaites (ID=56) (Apr 24, 2002 8:55:19 PM)
I have no evidence to suggest that.

Question (Apr 24, 2002 8:58:19 PM)
THE MORE MONEY WE BORROW IS THE MORE WE PLUNGE OURSELVES IN DEBT. THE LAST UPDATE I SAW, JAMAICA OWES OVER 500 BILLION IN DEBTS. MY QUESTION IS , HOW UNDER HEAVEN AND EARTH WILL JAMAICA GET OUT OF THIS ? wILL WE LEAVE IT ON OUR CHILDREN AND GRAND-CHILDREN?

Ronnie Thwaites (ID=56) (Apr 24, 2002 8:58:19 PM)
The only answer to debt is to produce more to sell and to expend less more prudently. Government is on apart to bring national debt in line GDP within three years. Once again hard choice are unavoidable whoever sits in Jamaica's House we have to decided whatever are going to cut if we spend less.

Ronnie Thwaites (ID=56) (Apr 24, 2002 8:59:23 PM)
Warm greeting and many thanks to all those who keep faith with our country and have joined me in this interesting venture tonight.

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