CONTRIBUTION TO THE 2007/2008 BUDGET DEBATE BY PRIME MINISTER, THE MOST HON. PORTIA SIMPSON MILLER ON, MP, TUESDAY, MAY 1, 2007


I WISH TO PAY SPECIAL TRIBUTE TO SOMEONE WHO WOULD HAVE BEEN HERE TODAY, EXCEPT FOR HIS PASSING.
I SPEAK OF THE LATE HON. RAY HADEED. HE WAS A CLOSE FRIEND AND ASSOCIATE FOR SEVERAL DECADES.
HE WAS AN EMPLOYER WHO OPERATED IN MY CONSTITUENCY – SOUTH WEST ST ANDREW.
HE EMPLOYED HUNDREDS OF RESIDENTS FROM THE COMMUNITY. HE WAS A GREAT MAN AND A GOOD MAN.
AS I THINK OF RAY HADEED’S LIFE, I THINK OF MARK ANTONY’S TRIBUTE TO JULIUS CAESAR: “HIS LIFE WAS GENTLE, AND THE ELEMENTS SO MIX’D IN HIM THAT NATURE MIGHT STAND UP AND SAY TO ALL THE WORLD, THIS A MAN.”
HE WAS A PIONEER, AN OUTSTANDING INDUSTRIALIST, A TRAILBLAZER, A VERY CLOSE FRIEND, WHOSE LOVE WAS UNCONDITIONAL.
HE WAS FAMILY. WE WILL MISS HIM GREATLY.
INTRODUCTION
MR SPEAKER:FAMILY REPRESENTS THAT SENSE OF BELONGING, CARING, SECURITY AND STRENGTH.
AS I DRAW ON THE CONCEPT OF FAMILY, TO SPEAK ABOUT JAMAICA LAND WE LOVE, MY POINT OF REFERENCE IS NOT THE DISTORTIONS, BUT EXEMPLARY FAMILY LIFE.
IT IS INSTRUCTIVE TO CONSIDER THAT ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS JESUS OF NAZARETH DID DURING HIS MINISTRY ON EARTH, WAS TO CALL FORTH THE TWELVE DISCIPLES. LED BY JESUS, THE TWELVE, POOLING THEIR VARIOUS TALENTS AND SKILLS, BECAME A FAMILY.
MR. SPEAKER, THE MAJORITY OF THE GREAT SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF THIS COUNTRY CAN TESTIFY TO THE POSITIVE AND LASTING INFLUENCE OF A SUPPORTIVE FAMILY EXPERIENCE.
AS WE ALL KNOW, ESPECIALLY IN THE JAMAICAN AND CARIBBEAN SETTING, FAMILY TAKES A VARIETY OF FORMS. WE HAVE THE MATRIMONIAL HOME, AS WELL AS THE SINGLE PARENT HOUSEHOLD OFTEN HEADED BY WOMEN.
GRAND PARENTS, AUNTS, UNCLES, OLDER SIBLINGS AND EVEN STRANGERS HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO THE FOUNDATION OF STABLE, LOVING FAMILIES.
WHY WE NEED ONE JAMAICA
MR. SPEAKER,WHATEVER THE CONTEXT, THE POSITIVE FAMILY EXPERIENCE IS ABOUT HOME; A SENSE OF BELONGING; CARING; SHARING RESOURCES; UNITY; LOYALTY – ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL; SECURITY; STRENGTH AND TRUST.
FAMILY IS ABOUT PROVIDING A SUPPORTIVE AND NURTURING ENVIRONMENT FOR DEVELOPMENT. IT IS ABOUT PREPARING THE YOUNGER ONES WITH EDUCATION AND POSITIVE VALUES; WORKING TOGETHER TOWARDS REALISING A SHARED VISION AND COMMON GOALS. IT IS ABOUT MAKING PROGRESS IN LIFE AND ENSURING A LEGACY FOR THE NEXT GENERATION.
THE IDEA OF FAMILY THEREFORE LENDS ITSELF VERY NATURALLY TO THE CONCEPT OF SHAPING THE JAMAICA THAT WILL MEET OUR HIGHEST ASPIRATIONS. OUR VISION IS OF JAMAICA AS ONE FAMILY UNDER GOD: UNITED, STRONG, VIBRANT, PROSPEROUS AND SECURE.
– ONE FAMILY, WORKING TOWARD COMMON GOALS AND DREAMS, RECOGNIZING THAT THE FUTURE OF THE INDIVIDUAL IS BOUND UP WITH THE FUTURE OF ALL.
– ONE FAMILY, EMBRACING, WITH RESPECT, AND TOLERANCE, THE DIFFERENCES THAT MAKE OUR NATION SO RICH AND VARIED – THOSE INTERESTING DIFFERENCES OF CLASS, COLOUR, CREED AND POLITICAL AFFILIATION.
-ONE FAMILY, WITH ALL EYES FIXED ON THE PRIZE OF A COUNTRY THAT WORKS FOR ALL JAMAICANS.
MR. SPEAKER:I AM SURE THAT THERE IS GENERAL AGREEMENT IN THIS HONOURABLE HOUSE THAT THERE IS TOO MUCH PULLING APART, WHEN OUR PEOPLE WOULD BE BETTER SERVED BY PULLING TOGETHER.
THERE IS TOO GREAT A TENDENCY TO PUT SPECIAL INTERESTS ABOVE THE NATIONAL INTEREST.
THE PATH OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, DEMANDS THAT WE MOVE NOW TO TEAR DOWN THE WALL OF TRIBALISM.
IT CALLS US TO STOP OPPOSING FOR THE SAKE OF OPPOSING;
IT CALLS FOR US TO RALLY AROUND THE THINGS WE HAVE IN COMMON AND HOLD DEAR.
THIS MOMENT IN TIME, SUMMONS US TO NURTURE THE COOPERATIVE SPIRIT AND BECOME, IN REALITY, ONE FAMILY SHAPING A BRIGHTER FUTURE.
THERE IS NO MAGIC FORMULA THAT CAN SAVE US.
THE CHOICE IS CLEAR. WE CAN CHOOSE TO REJECT THE IDEA OF FAMILY AND COMMUNITY RESPONSIBILITY, AND FAIL SEPARATELY, OR WE CAN CHOOSE TO SURVIVE AND SUCCEED AS ONE JAMAICA, ONE FAMILY, SHAPING THE FUTURE TOGETHER.
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