'Green-washed' — The way I see it

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'Green-washed' — The way I see it

Sandra
Currie

Friday, September 11, 2020

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This epic victory by the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) in the recent general election is one that will be a conversation piece of many dialogues for quite some time. They have not only levelled a defeat second to none against the People's National Party, but have also hammered into the dust the thought that this is “PNP country''. This green-washing had been written all over, but, as per usual, the party to whom Jamaica was willed refused to accept it.

The JLP has been treated like the bastard cousin of our politics for decades, while the People's Nationla Party (PNP) has advanced itself as 'Snow White' as it seeks to control the narrative through its well-oiled propaganda machinery. This has been able to succeed with the help of media houses and journalists who are strategically placed and are equipped with the tools to successfully proffer their biases.

The late leader of the JLP, Edward Seaga, would attest to this fact, as he received the harshest treatment meted out to any JLP leader. He was even lambasted with racism and, despite being a naturalised Jamaican with Jamaican lineage, he was branded as 'not a born yah'. This continued to significantly impact the JLP's chances at Government for over a decade, until Seaga finally stepped down as leader of the JLP. This made way for the party to rebuild and coalesce in an effort to present itself as a viable alternative to the PNP, who was now in power for four consecutive terms and had created the 'eat a food' mentality among its supporters.

The campaign period leading up to the recent general election saw both political parties jostling for the favour of voters via many platforms. The national debates on social issues, finance and leadership were judged by panelists from different media houses, who had different results as to which team had been the winner. While supporters of the respective parties themselves claimed victory.

The PNP was stuck on the legacy of late leader and former Prime Minister Michael Manley and was unable to find any solid or credible achievement of their over two decades in Government under P J Patterson and Portia Simpson Miller. In addition, they were incapable of bringing a message that appealed to the Jamaican people, primarily its youth population, through a leader who was unpopular and viewed as a dinosaur.

The popularity of Prime Minister Andrew Holness has soared since 2016. He has resonated with the young and young at heart. The prime minister's admiration climbed further when the 'legacy projects' were rolled out, along with other road and infrastructure works all over the island. The police force was being equipped to fight crime with new vehicles, motorcycles, intelligence equipment, and refurbished or new stations to boost morale. New fire stations were being built, support from the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) increased, as well as the Housing, Opportunity, Production, and Employment (HOPE) programme and Career Advancement Programme launched. All of which was demonstrated could be done in one term of Government. This disproved any theory that it took decades for a Government to get things done.

It resulted in a new awareness that Andrew Holness meant business and was on his way to building a 'new Jamaica', one in which you could get lost if you hadn't been here for a while.

Then came COVID-19, which further tested his mettle and he answered the call like a champion. We felt safe, we were safe, and the world recognised.

The results of September 3, 2020 were no fluke; it was written. It was evident all around, a green-wash was loading. The PNP knew it! They stuck their ostrich heads in the sand like they usually do and ignored it. Some of their more sensible supporters saw the green freight train coming, and though they were clad in party colours, placed their X squarely beside the bell. They listened to and obeyed the jingle “Me an mi neighbour, voting for labour'' in favour of the Honourable Brogad. Later that evening it was declared that the JLP had won the general election by a landslide victory. The PNP had been decimated —green-washed!

sandragayle888@gmail.com


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