AUDLEY Shaw may have decided to run his campaign for leadership of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) on the virtues of "love" and respect, but that didn't stop him flaying Andrew Holness for having a greater Twitter and Facebook presence than connecting in person with party supporters.
"We need leadership that is strong and purposeful... I won't lead you from Facebook and Twitter," Shaw, one of the JLP's four deputy leaders, said to wild cheers from delegates and party supporters in Portmore Sunday night.
"We can't run politics by Facebook. We can't run politics by Twitter," Shaw said, continuing his reference to Holness whose use of the popular social media outlets is well known.
Shaw added, to further cheers from delegates dancing to thumping music, that politics cannot be run sitting in the office.
He promised that if elected by delegates in November to be the new leader of the party, he would be the force that helps to lead the JLP to victory in the next national polls. He said he would provide that hands-on leadership needed to revive and unite the party.
Shaw also told his audience that he had vision and knows how to lead the country into prosperity through investing in education, similar to what had been done in Singapore, which now has an annual per capita income of US$60,000.
At the same time, Shaw rubbished comments by some detractors that "rich men" were trying to take over the party. The party can't run without money," he said to howls of approval.
He also described as "foolishness" opponents trying to argue against his leadership of the party because of his complexion, stating that former prime ministers Edward Seaga, Bruce Golding and Alexander Bustamante were all "red man". Then he pointed out that Holness, too, was of clear complexion.
Shaw started his address on the heels of praises and endorsements from party members, including Joan Gordon-Webley, Councillor Camille Buchanan and other councillors and caretakers in the Portmore division.
His entrance at the South Borough Primary, where the meeting was held, set the tone for the remainder of the evening.
His arrival was heralded by a man screaming at the top of his lungs like a town crier, "Man a Yaad! Man a Yaad! Man a Yaad!"
The chorus was picked up by a girl straining her voice against the blaring music. She managed a few shouts before quitting.
Catching sight of him, the other delegates and party supporters started shouting and the ladies danced.
Shaw made his way to the stage, climbed the makeshift steps and stood awhile at the front of the platform, soaking up the adulation of the crowd, like plants absorbing vital rays of the sun.