(Socrates at Large) Progress Changed Course – Political Reflections! : It happened one night on February 25th. When PROGRESS changed course to a place called PROSPERITY.
The rain is falling and with the news flowing in on the crime situation, it gives one cause to reflect on the transition of the past two years.
Jamaica was on a path to economic growth. Slow at times, but we had stepped away from the edge of the cliff thanks to Dr.Peter Phillips. To say things were perfect or even stable would be stretching it. But indeed Progress was being made. Jamaica had turned an economic corner and crime while troubling was being “attended” to.
Our PM at the time PSM was a somewhat mystifying character. In the midst of all the progress, she had a way of shifting the focus from the Progress to her actions or inactions. Indeed there were strengths in her image and persona but something was wrong with the CONNECT to the common man, The modern electorate with a need to know. The electorate who fell some place in “PNP country” was edgy.
The then governing PNP became victims of their own success. A visible lack of strong and effective leadership and a clear lack or PR and marketing strategy were just some of its problems. Infighting and jockeying for positions was another major problem. When you add that to the smell of corruption and nepotism allegations, a stage was being set for the then opposition JLP to capitalize on. All it took was $18000 and a promise that a vote for JLP would allow you to sleep with your Windows open.
It wasn’t hard to sell for an embattled but young and dynamic leader in Andrew Holness. As he travelled the country one could feel the shift in the Wind if you were paying attention. Only die-hard fanatical PNP supporters refused to see it. The nail in the coffin came when PSM refused the do the debate thereby denying the country the opportunity to see Audley Shaw and Peter Phillips come face to face on the economic issues and Bunting and Montague on National Security. That was the prime time feature the country awaited. Not Holness and PSM. There was no anticipation for that. It was widely accepted that Holness had the edge there. Not to say PSM could not have held her own. But arrogance kicked in. The PNP refused to do the debate. The wind began to blow heavily in the direction of the JLP and kept on blowing right up to Feb. 25th When Cliff Hughes announced in his now famous line” there is a shock developing tonight in Jamaica. The JLP is holding their own” In fact, that wasn’t just holding their own, Jamaica was going green and confusion was spreading across Orange country. I remember calling Sandrea Falconer and she could hardly speak. She muttered ” them going to win GT them going to win” reality was setting in. At that moment I remember almost saying’ ‘look how I begged you to ask PSM to do the debate’. But I “kibbered” my mouth.
As reality set in, the next morning would see green shirts all over the roads of Jamaica with people shouting ” A PROSPERITY TIME NOW” The celebration and the wearing of the same “dutty” green shirt would last a week. I afforded them their space and walked around them. Mi no fool fool like Mi daddy.
Andrew Holness formed his government and ushered in the period of prosperity and the rest IS history. The New administration promised us a massive reduction in crime. It got worse. They promised us prosperity. The country can’t even pay it’s judges and are in the process of sourcing USED cars for the police force. It is here that I pause to ask my fellow Jamaicans ” whose fault was it?” Was it the arrogance of the PNP.? The lies and false promises of the JLP or the gullible culture of a people who are open to being bought for $18000 in exchange for higher crimes, higher taxes and an escalating cost of living. ? You decide but we all know the truth.
At this moment there are many that would like to revisit that vote. To leave what was well enough alone. But no such possibility exists. So we arrive at June 14th, 2017 in a national crisis.
Well PSM is gone. The chess board looks a little different but the same players are there. Having chased the leadership for 8 years Peter Phillips has assumed the leadership of the party as opposition leader. We are yet to see Phillips PNP. We are still running on PSM gas. I bailed off the bus at Wait A Bit. Paid my fare and watched the bus “putt putt” down the hill with a heavy heart. Somewhere between here and it’s a destination that bus is gonna run out of gas. But you wouldn’t know that from the mood of the Army on the bus. Funny enough it’s not the bus that is worried about…..IT’S MY JAMAICA…
Editor at Large, Mckoy’s News: the views expressed in this post are that of the writer and not that of Mckoy’s News.
Contributed by: Socrates at Large