Today Prime Minister Dean Barrow was called on to defend a childhood schoolmate and said that that relationship did not preclude Senator Ray Davis from being his own man. More importantly, he says, it did not influence that crucial vote that has set the President of the CWU against him.
“Mr. Davis seems to be in trouble with certainly some members of the NTUCB and I hope my remarks doesn’t deepen his trouble. I have to say I know Ray Davis from Saint Michael’s College. He is an outstanding fellow, extremely bright, extremely principled, extremely hard working, with this long history of involvement in the Trade Union movement. He is also unreachable. The fact that we were schoolmates has never caused him to give me or the government any kind of slack. So I think in all respects he is an outstanding fellow and I can’t quite understand why some people in the N.T.U.C.B., in particular the Vice-President, would be going after him in this fashion, especially because he seems to be able to show that he did not receive specific instructions. If you don’t instruct a man…in effect you are leaving it up to him to make his individual determination. How then are you going to fault him for the determination that he did make?
The Prime Minister otherwise declined to get involved in the Congress’ internal politics as it debates Davis’ fate. But he did note that the unions are benefiting from the Government’s spending of the Petrocaribe funds.
Also defending Davis is former president of the Public Service Union Jackie Willoughby, who is currently studying law in Jamaica.In an article published on channel 7, Willoughby is quoted as saying that Matura used, in her own words, dishonesty to mar the reputation of Senator Ray Davis and added that Matura needs to quote, “Learn her place.” The former PSU president went on to say that Matura, “Knew full well that at no point has the trade union congress given (Senator Davis) any advice.” end quote. Jackie Willoughby, being someone that has sat as the Union representative on several boards including UB and SSB, sympathized with Senator Davis’s position saying that, “every single time you ask for advice nobody gives you anything, and when you go there and you make a decision and it is not the liking of one loud mouth- then they try to beat you down.” She ended with some very strong words for the President of the CWU and the second Vice president of the NTUCB saying that,“I don’t want to have a personal fight with Audrey or CWU; she will have to put a leash on her mouth unless she has appropriate information”