WHILE we patiently wait for the official accounting of former junior energy minister Kern Spencer's alleged $100-million windfall from the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica, and while we wait some more for Cabinet's official position on the contractor general's conclusion that state minister Richard Azan's role in the Spalding market controversy was "politically corrupt", we are forced to contemplate members on the other side of this two-party state who offer themselves up for leadership.
The pickings are indeed slim, and the rhetoric which accompanies JLP Deputy Leader Audley Shaw's decision to challenge Andrew Holness's leadership of the Jamaica Labour Party is all too familiar. There's nothing that we haven't heard before.
"There is a wind of change that's blowing and it augurs well for the Jamaica Labour Party. People are becoming desperate for a strong leader, one who can help to rebuild our party and bring renewed hope to this country. Audley Shaw can, and will provide that leadership. He has the ability to take tough decisions and provide the necessary action for implementation," said North East St Catherine MP Gregory Mair in his endorsement of Shaw.
The truth of the matter is that Labourites may not know what they want any more than the rest of the country knows what they want.
May we remind you that the country doesn't want the strong and decisive leadership that "can take tough decisions and provide the necessary action for implementation". If Jamaicans did, we would have voted for the Most Honourable Edward Seaga and the Jamaica Labour Party in any one of the five elections during the period after he lost the election in 1989 and up until his retirement in 2005.
But no, Jamaicans on a whole rebelled against the dictatorial, "one don" style of decisive leadership that Mr Seaga offered.
As for the "wind of change", there's always some of that blowing around the Jamaica Labour Party. "There is a wind of change blowing and the Jamaica Labour Party will be winning the next election," said a confident Bruce Golding in 2007, before he narrowly defeated the People's National Party in their bid to win an unprecedented fifth term in government.
Golding won because he resonated with the party and the country after the People's National Party had the run of it for 18 straight years. He may have been the right person at the right time with his ability to talk to kings yet walk with the common folk as his charm offensive.
But that common touch got the better of him in his relationship with Christopher 'Dudus' Coke and eroded the public's confidence in the authority and integrity of his leadership. And after not being able to face another agonising day of self-doubt and lack of confidence in himself in the Office of the Prime Minister, and recognising that he was in over his head, he blew out of office almost as quickly as he came in.
Enter Andrew Holness in 2011. The swiftness with which he was deemed the heir apparent/future party leader and endorsed as future prime minister made our collective heads spin. No-one protested Golding's departure and in a singularly rare political case of unity of purpose aligned with alacrity of movement, Holness became the youngest prime minister to date in Jamaica.
Holness was the first Jamaican leader to be born after Independence and the youth card and his leadership style seemed to be what the country needed - he eschewed the tribal politics, he took a conciliatory and collaborative approach, seemingly wanting to engage and embrace all Jamaican people irrespective of their red or green or gold stripe. He was "one who could help to rebuild the party and bring renewed hope to this country".
But some Labourites have apparently grown tired of that now too, and are accusing Holness of a weak leadership style, and preferring to revert to the tongue-drawing, finger-pointing, kass-kass typical of the political poppy-show that we are accustomed to.
And we all know that Mr Shaw, who has served the Jamaica Labour Party for more than a quarter century, is excellent at that.
But Mr Shaw also knows that even he won't satisfy the people for very long. Let us not forget what he wrote in his letter to Senator Robert Montague, chairman of the Jamaica Labour Party, in considering the leadership position: "It would be remiss of me to deny the disappointment and unfulfilled expectations our limited electoral success over the last 25 years has had on our supporters. It has hampered and frustrated the realisation of our stated vision but more so our capacity to make the qualitative difference that Jamaicans deserve and our delegates expect."
And so we wonder why he's even bothering to run.