Dr Rowley’s ten day visit to London was high on public relations and lacking in substantial achievements.
By contrast the Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness, immediately prior to CHOGM, met in Brussels with President of the European Council, Donald Tusk. No doubt gaining first hand insights to help his government fine tune Jamaica’s post Brexit relations with the EU.
No such forward planning by Dr Rowley. We continue to be clueless regarding our EU relations post Brexit even though we remain, despite vacuous utterances by our garrulous Attorney General, the only CARICOM country on the EU blacklist.
Holness also met one on one with British Prime Minister Theresa May. After CHOGM, Jamaica therefore will be in a much better position than us to advance its interests both in Brussels and in London.
“What took the cake however, was Dr Rowley’s snub of Theresa May. Your host PM invites you to a well-publicized meeting where she is about to make a historic apology for the treatment of Caribbean residents and you send clueless Dennis Moses instead. That is “pavement diplomacy” at its best.
You then compound the error by lecturing your hosts on their negative travel advisories. This prompted an immediate diplomatic rebuke from the British High Commission advising that its primary responsibility is to its UK citizens and not our PR efforts. You then proceed to lecture your host on their affinity to the monarchy. Really Dr Rowley?” says MP Charles.
Dr Rowley held meetings with Shell and BP. He is yet to say what he achieved in these meetings that could not be done on the phone or via Skype. And is the world not headed in the direction of a post fossil future to which both Shell and BP are committed? How did his visit advance our post fossil fuel future given that we are in the top tier of countries globally with high per capita carbon footprints?
Our Prime Minister also discussed with the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, the use of Ayurvedic medicine at the Couva Children’s hospital. But did the past PP government not sign a
MOU on the same matter with the Indian government? At month’s end will we witness medical services being dispensed at that hospital as promised?
So our PM took pictures with Her Majesty, Prince Charles and the British Prime Minister. Holness in addition held more productive private meetings with them all.
Pictures were also taken by our PM as part of a CARICOM team with Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Let’s see the concrete results.
We are left with meetings with security officials and we await the measurable impact on crime locally.
Dr Rowley also advised our UK diaspora to return to assist our country. Our advice to the diaspora is do not be fooled by Rowley, Moses, Dillon and Al Rawi. Return only if this ‘gang of four’ can guarantee your safety and security and provide well-paying jobs. Our view is that they are not “red and ready” to provide any guarantees. Stay in the UK until Kamla Persad Bissessar in due course returns our country to its accustomed peace, happiness, prosperity and a safe and clean environment.
It is clear that PM Rowley was let down in the planning of this visit by his clueless and incoherent, friend of long standing, Dennis Moses.
Dr. Rowley has indicated publicly that he will take no advice from the UNC. That is his choice.
However, the next time he undertakes a CHOGM visit, Dr Rowley must at the very least ensure, from those who understand diplomacy, that it is informed by clear measurable goals linked to our national interests which must include: our post Brexit relations with London and Brussels, increasing our exports to the UK, diversifying our economy, promoting our ambitions to be the region’s financial center, assistance with the increasing numbers of refugees and our war on terror, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, and developing close, one on one, relations with the UK’s movers and shakers.
This strategic approach was noticeably absent in this most recent CHOGM visit.
MP for Naparima