Peart promises Phillips a 'political backsiding'

BY VERNON DAVIDSON
Executive editor — publications
davidsonv@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

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DEAN Peart has always been known as a man who speaks his mind.

In fact, in March 2013 at a ceremony in Mandeville to honour him for his more than two decades of parliamentary service to the Manchester North Western constituency, Dr Peter Phillips, then the finance minister, spoke to that quality in the now retired politician.

Describing Peart as a legend in his own time, Phillips said: “Much has been said, and properly so, about his personal qualities — honesty, sincerity, simplicity, straight talking, and hard work.”

On Sunday night, Peart — for the second time in just over a month — placed Dr Phillips in his cross hairs, telling the People's National Party (PNP) president that he will get a political hiding from Peter Bunting in the party's September 7 presidential election.

“Wi nah tek nutten fi granted enuh, because is a backsiding wi a go gi dem, a political backsiding,” Peart told supporters of Bunting's 'Rise United' campaign at the PNP's St Ann North Western constituency conference at Brown's Town Community College in St Ann.

Recalling his comments at Bunting's leadership campaign launch in Mandeville last month, in which he encouraged PNP supporters to boot Dr Phillips if the party wants to win the next general election, Peart said he was not bothered by criticism of his comments.

“Mi tell the audience seh if me put a little man fi run my business and after two and a half years this business almost go inna bankruptcy, mi nuh have no choice, mi nuh haffi get rid a him?” he reiterated.

He also took a swipe at PNP Deputy General Secretary Basil Waite and Patriots President Omar Newell, who, in earlier addresses, told the partisan crowd that they would remain neutral in the contest that has reopened old wounds in the Opposition party.

“When mi [see] some man a go inna middle road, mi say, 'When yuh go inna di middle road truck good fi lick dung yuh backside'. Mi not in dat, Comrades,” Peart declared to loud cheers.

Peart, who was elected five times as Member of Parliament (MP) for Manchester North Western, reminded the audience that he had a long history in the party. He said that a year or two ago he became disappointed after being told repeatedly by many people that the PNP, under Dr Phillips's leadership, would not be able to beat the Jamaica Labour Party in a general election.

He said choosing to support Bunting was pure common sense. However, he said some people lacked that ability to make practical decisions.

“Wah happen to some a wi is dat wi nuh have nuh common sense; common sense gone to backside,” Peart said, eliciting laughter.

He made reference to two polls, one which he said showed that 12 per cent of respondents indicated that they supported Dr Phillips, while 52 per cent said they did not support the PNP president. The second poll, he said, found that if someone other than Phillips was leading the PNP, 42 per cent of the people questioned indicated that they would vote.

“Den, nuh time fi di man jus' step back an' lef' di damn ting, man?” Peart declared. “My God almighty, man, weh yuh a carry wi through all dis fah? Di people dem say dem nuh want yuh, sah. Step back an' lef' wi sah, mek wi go run di ting, sah. Nuh carry wi through dis a backside, man. Rise!”

The demand resulted in the crowd responding with the campaign slogan “Rise”.

Arguing that he wanted to see a change in the party, Peart said he was confident that Bunting, the MP for Manchester Central and former PNP general secretary, will provide that change and help the country move forward.

Noting that Dr Phillips' son Mikael, who is now the MP for Manchester North Western, has been engaged in heavy campaigning for his father in the constituency, Peart said: “Mikael...a run up him mouth, but tell him say the day of reckoning is coming. Me spend 30 years up deh and mi know my people, dem nuh put up wid damn foolishness; my people a rise.”

Again, the crowd chanted the slogan.

Added Peart: “So, since common sense nuh common, an' him cyaan si say him must step back an' lef wi an' support wi an say, 'Unno gwaan man, hold di ting man, rise man', wi a go backside him.”


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