'Di president a mash up the resident'

Friday, September 06, 2019

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Dear Editor,

I was listening to a selection from Jamaica's popular music of the 1970s, 'Di president a mash up the resident' and voila! It came to me — the current president of the People's National Party (PNP) is 'mashing up' the residence (PNP HQ).

The truth about it is that it seems he was sitting down waiting for what he is entitled to; that is, to be president of the PNP and prime minister of Jamaica. Well, there is going to be history-making in Jamaica — the first party leader who had no chance to be prime minister.

Just recently we witnessed an avalanche of articles of 'Why I support Peter David Phillips' with accent on the 'David' like the Joshua experience of Michael Manley. And also 'We trust Peter Phillips' speeches. There is a charge that the Rise United campaign is using its money to buy delegates' votes for establishing a party 'good and welfare' account — a concept that is not new to the history of the PNP. But recently the person interested in representing the PNP in the next election advanced a loan programme, not just for all the people of the constituency, but to PNP delegates. Is this vote-buying or not? There was no critique on this, and she won flying because of her links to an abundance of family-related capital.

I have been told by activists in the leadership elections that after P J Patterson's revelation of his intent to step down a certain presidential candidate signed cheques for $25,000 for one delegate vote, and that was circa 2007.

Vote-buying has become a central feature in politics in general and PNP politics in particular. No one in the PNP has the credibility to talk about buying votes; the culture of greed and lust for power has transformed the party from a people-focused organisation to a transactional group.

Yes, “We trust Peter Phillips,” but are we truthful? Are we just hangers-on without competence waiting for someone who can give us a job, not by merit but out of loyalty? This was not what the people of the 1930s envisaged of the new political movement. The time has come for change, and that is what the man in the street wants.

For the past two years people have been lamenting that the PNP is dead. In the issues of trust and Phillips, there is an amazing history of distrust. Examine the Andrea Moore issue and the earlier encounters with Portia Simpson Miller for leader of the PNP. Moore, who is from a long-standing PNP family, was asked to step aside twice in the interest of the party. And word is she was 'promised' a Senate seat, but two young males were, instead, appointed.

Many children from PNP parents have become alienated from the PNP, and even at times have joined the JLP because they do not approve of how their parents — who toiled for the PNP — have been left neglected.

Many PNP delegates live in some of the worst conditions and are only enticed with 'pottage' for elections. On loyalty and commitment, take the WikiLeaks comments from Peter Phillips on Portia Simpson Miller and his objective, and also the activities of members of that group that called on the PNP to not vote for Portia and encouraged the base of the PNP to stay away from the polls.

If “di president a mash up di resident”, him caan stay deh.

According to the words of an old spiritual, if a brother in the church and him not working right, pray to God and tek him out, and let the church move on.

An intelligent PNP member

St Andrew


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