of chat session April 24, 2002 with Ronnie Thwaites
(Apr 24, 2002 7:44:35 PM)
I would like to know what caused you to be in representational politics?
(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.
(Apr 24, 2002 7:48:43 PM)
Do you beleive you colleagues in in questions Blyte and Paulwell
are corrupt or just over zealous?
(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.
(Apr 24, 2002 7:50:43 PM)
Hi Ronnie How are things shaping for the 4th term
(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
(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?
(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
(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.
(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.
(Apr 24, 2002 7:58:57 PM)
Do you think jamaicans living abroad will one day get to vote in
elections....voting from abroad
(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.
(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?
(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.
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?
(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.
(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
(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
(Apr 24, 2002 8:12:35 PM)
Do u think the pmp have done enough to spend another term in office?
(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?
(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??
(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
(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?
(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.
(Apr 24, 2002 8:20:23 PM)
Do you think that the PNP will win the next General Election
(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
(Apr 24, 2002 8:22:16 PM)
What is your your opinion regarding the legalization of marijuana?
(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.
(Apr 24, 2002 8:26:34 PM)
How did your company become embroiled in this issue'
(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
(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.
(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.
(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?
(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
(Apr 24, 2002 8:33:04 PM)
Do you think Your goverments promise of over 40,000 jobs landed
the goverment in hot water.?
(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.
(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?
(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.
(Apr 24, 2002 8:39:12 PM)
Do you support Omar's Muttering about removing Subsidies for tertiary
(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.
(Apr 24, 2002 8:39:33 PM)
ronnie when is election
(ID=56) (Apr 24, 2002 8:39:33 PM)
Wait on PJ to tell us.
(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?
(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.
(Apr 24, 2002 8:49:01 PM)
why is jamaica's education system so poor?
(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.
(Apr 24, 2002 8:49:47 PM)
Are the alegations made against your partnership Daley, Thwaites
and Company unfounded?
(ID=56) (Apr 24, 2002 8:49:47 PM)
They are. I have answered that question in detail already.
(Apr 24, 2002 8:51:32 PM)
What are the Greatest Challenges facing the PNP as theyy seek a
(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.
(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?
(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.
(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?
(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.
(Apr 24, 2002 8:55:19 PM)
DO U THINK CARL BLYTHE SHOULD BE CHARGED CRIMINALLY FOR TAX PAYERS
(ID=56) (Apr 24, 2002 8:55:19 PM)
I have no evidence to suggest that.
(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?
(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.
(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.