Former Prime Minister of Jamaica PJ Patterson has called for greater consensus and consultancy in governance. He was speaking at the launch of Journalist, Lecturer and Political Analyst Dr Hume Johnson first book, entitled Challenges to Civil Society: Popular Protest and Governance in Jamaicau201d on Thursday, June 28, 2012 at JAMPRO.
The building blocks of consultancy and consensus are no longer pretty catch phrases which we can afford to bandy about without any real intent to pursue. They have become integral to our survival and growthu2019, say Mr. Patterson.
Mr. Patterson asserted that the role of the Opposition and other sectors is crucial in this process No plan is lasting, no goal achievable if all are not equally invested in its successu201d.
Whether it Jamaican for Justice, The Jamaica Council of Churches, the many service clubs or community organizations, we each have an important role to play. Our popular entertainers must be convinced of the value of such an approach, as must our athletesu201d.
Singers must not dilute the importance of their positive message with destructive negative messages which encourage anti-social behaviours and suggest barbaric actions like informer fi deadu201d, says Mr. Patterson.
He praised Dr. Hume Johnson, whose book discusses the character of popular protests and the decline of civil society in Jamaica, as one of the most diligent young scholars of this generation, who reveals in her book an intuitive grasp of contemporary Jamaican politics.
Dr. Johnson brings to the discussion a well-researched, well-written book, buttressed by cogent reasoning that I recommend to all. It should serve to stimulate vigorous intellectual scrutiny and promote animated discourse. She dissects the issue with surgical brilliance and offers direction as to a path down which we may walk with less likelihood of achieving the opposite effect to that which we intendu201d.
She points to the risks of accepting leadership in these issues from donsu2019 and uniformed self-appointed community leaders, but also notes the inertia which marks the old form of governance which we must now move with urgency to changeu201d.
The former Prime Minister also drew on recent incidents such as the bus episode in Portmore and the disruption of exams on the Mona Campus as examples of the decline in civility in the society.
The harsh reality of these times makes protest a virtually inescapable reality. The question is how to make protest effective and civil, peaceful yet forceful, insignificant in its disruptive force and yet strident in its demand to be heard and answeredu201d, Mr. Patterson said.
Dr. Johnson donated copies of Challenges to Civil Society: Popular Protest and Governance in Jamaicau201d to the libraries of the University of the West Indies, and the National Library of Jamaica. She presented a copy of her book to Mrs. Pauletta Chevannes, widow of the late UWI Professor Barry Chevannes, to whom the book is dedicated.
The book is published by Cambria Press, New York.
For further information, and interviews contact Coleen Douglas at 849 9650 (email@example.com), or the author, DR. HUME JOHNSON directly: at firstname.lastname@example.org or 876 391 6866.
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