Same knife that stick sheep stick Dr Phillips

Letters to the Editor

Same knife that stick sheep stick Dr Phillips

Dr Peter Phillips

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

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Dear Editor,

I have the privilege of growing around older people within my community, hence I know a proverb or two. One that sums up the Dr Peter Phillips quest to become prime minister is a proverb that says, “Di same knife that stick sheep stick goat.”

Everyone in life should have ambitions, and a politician is no different. Dr Phillips has ambitions to the highest office; Maslow calls it self-actualisation. Many people in life will never achieve such a goal and sometimes become miserable at the end of their lives.
Dr Phillips has the luxury of having run three leadership races, namely 2006, 2008 and 2019, for the People's National Party (PNP), two of them he was the challenger and one he was being challenged. He has spent his entire life serving this country within several ministerial positions and, to me, the highlight of his career is when he was minister of finance. There is no question about his competence as a minister over the years, but his role as a leader has been under the microscope for too much time and, despite his narrow victory in 2019, there are still questions over his ability to lead the party.
Yes the election is over, and he was victorious, but I don't think he has the ability to reunite the party.

The upcoming general election is the Jamaica Labour Party's (JLP) to lose because of how the leadership race has split the PNP. It's a bit of the same knife that “stick sheep stick goat”.

Recall when Phillips challenged Portia Simpson Miller for leadership, a member of his team at the time said that they would not work with her, and so when she won they resigned and others of his supporters stayed on to undermine her leadership for years. Phillips's challenge in 2006 divided the party, which led to the JLP's win in 2007.
Then, there is the matter of the WikiLeaks cable, dated July 8, 2008, when Phillips spoke in less than glowing terms about Simpson Miller.

Fast-forward 2019, and its the same knife scenario with the Peter Bunting factor. Many of his supporters would rather see the party lose than support Dr Phillips. Dr Phillips's challenge damaged the party then, and now another person's challenge will cause the same havoc on his quest for Jamaica House.

Should the JLP call the election tomorrow morning a divided PNP won't have a chance against a well-oiled JLP machinery.

Old-time people also say, “What goes around comes around.”
What's more, Phillips's selection for his council of spokespersons is a clear indication of the division. Leaving key members of the party out of the shadow Cabinet is an indictment of his leadership and the inability to lead a united party.

If Dr Phillips wants to see his name amongst the list of prime ministers of this country he needs to stop listening to the person on his team who supports him only to help kill the 'Bunting factor'. Watch, they will throw their hat in the ring as soon as Phillips resigns or loses against the JLP.

Phillips needs to beg key people, like Dayton Campbell, Angela Brown Burke, Fenton Ferguson and company, to rally around Team PNP.

Rashford Dinham

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