Dorlan FRANCIS Tuesday, December 01, 2015
JAMAICA is a country reeling from an array of social and economic challenges. We would expect that the election campaign would be focused on how best to address these challenges. But, in true People's National Party (PNP) style, and with a practice made perfect by years of experience, the PNP is totally ignoring the issues at hand and is parading a sideshow with carnival-like panache.
|Andrew Holness's House|
Like most reasonable Jamaicans, I was appalled to hear Peter Phillips and the PNP making the house of Andrew Holness and his wife a campaign issue. The memories of campaigns past come rushing back to mind. We can recall the 1993 campaign. The period when scandals waxed large under the PNP. Edward Seaga tried to make the egregious scandals an issue in the election. He used a black scandal bag to symbolise the scandals. The PNP quickly turned this around and made the use of a "black" bag the issue.
We recall how the launching of security operations in Tivoli Gardens was the precursor to election campaigns. These operations were carefully designed to give the impression that Tivoli was the main, if not only source of criminality in Jamaica, and to demonise its member of parliament and leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), Edward Seaga. The PNP needs to recognise that those days are gone and those tactics ring hollow in today's Jamaica.
It should be evident that Andrew Holness is not Edward Seaga, and the PNP will not be able to beat him like a drum the way they did Seaga. Holness is a different man, in a different time, using different methods. He has an army of fiercely loyal pit bulls that surrounds him, and will not sit idly by and let anyone destroy him using spurious methods.
People like his big tent approach and his welcoming outreach to new ideas. And they will not be able to demonise Andrew the way they demonized Eddie.
So the house thing will not get the traction for which the PNP is hoping. But what does Andrew's house say about him? The house shows a man with big dreams and discerning taste. It shows that Andrew will not make his humble origins be an impediment to his aspirations. He will not limit his expectations. Oftentimes we hear people admonish others to live within their means. But that is old school. Those are psychological conditioning designed to keep people in their place. more