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Bunting goes on the defensive

Thursday, March 08, 2018

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PETER Bunting went on the defensive yesterday, saying a newspaper report on his “Black Royalty” comment about Member of Parliament-elect for St Andrew North Western, Dr Nigel Clarke, substantially misrepresented the tone and content of remarks made in his ' Probe ' issue on Facebook .

Bunting, a former general secretary of the Opposition People's National Party, has come in for a barrage of criticism for his reference to Dr Clarke, a Rhodes scholar.

Said Bunting: The episode of Probe was about contrasting the two candidates — Nigel through an orthodox academic/technocratic stream, and Keisha (Hayle) through a compelling personal story and extraordinary commitment to the children of Padmore Primary. I concluded that both types were needed in our Parliament.”

He added: “Given the media storm that has been created, I wish to clarify the meaning and intent of certain references, namely:

1. Black Englishman/Black Royalty was a reference to a style of British elocution and behaviour adopted by black Jamaicans in the early 20th century which facilitated their participation in certain professions such as law or medicine. Justice Small and Dr Moody were pioneers in their respective fields and, among others, opened a pathway for future generations of black Jamaican professionals. They overcame unimaginable obstacles to succeed in colonial Jamaica, so their mention was in no way intended to be demeaning.

“On a personal note, Dr Ludlow Murcott Moody was my father's employer and mentor (whom my father honoured by giving me the unusual middle name “Murcott”). Hugh Small has been a long-standing personal and family friend, and I have only respect for the legend of his father (whom I never had the opportunity to meet.)

“2. There has also been the absurd suggestion that somehow the Probe episode was belittling the achievement of higher education when each of the candidates and Probe presenters have earned either PhDs or master's degrees. This clearly was not the intention.

“In closing, I would like to congratulate Nigel on his victory, and to say to Keisha, 'well and courageously run!”

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