Charting the PNP's path to victory

Charting the PNP's path to victory


Thursday, June 04, 2020

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With borders closed, there are worst places, I suppose, to hide from the perils of COVID-19 for eight weeks than some small, remote district in Jamaica's hinterland. Bereft of modern hi-tech gizmos, such as reliable Internet, cellphone coverage, or cable TV reception, one is grateful for one of Jamaica's remaining mercies — access to a daily printed copy of the Jamaica Observer !

Thanks, “Butch” Stewart, from an unrepentant Luddite, for something other than your renowned philanthropy.

Thus fortified by the offerings of Garfield Higgins, Christopher Burns, and others on the next elections; predicting doom and gloom for the People's National Party (PNP), let me offer a different opinion.

Whether suffering from a surfeit of sun, or under the influence of too much of a three-letter libation, I can see clearly now the PNP's path to Jamaica House. But it must faithfully observe all the following “protocols”:

1) Quarantine its old, ill, highly unpopular leader Peter Phillips for the duration of the campaign. Put him in a big house, high on a hill, preferably one overlooking Andrew Holness's smaller mansion. Deny him access to a phone, smart or otherwise, lest he make any more vote-losing statements than he has made since becoming director of the ill-fated 2016 campaign, or attempt any Edward Seaga- style show of “one donmanship”.

2) Install younger, tech-savvy Julian Robinson, holder of one of their few safe seats left, to show the path to victory. Have him campaign on bicycle (with helmet). This is an absolutely necessary tactic to counter the Jamaica Labour Party's (JLP) secret nuclear weapon — the unleashing on the voters of the newest of already too many additions to “Tappa” Whitmore's World Cup squad, a striker named “Andy Brogad”.

With ball juggling skills to put the late Freddie Greene, Allan “Skill” Cole, and the current sensation Lamar Walker in the shade, profiling Jamaica's newest “big 'baller” will likely garner more votes than any new “1.5” gimmick those super-smart Munronians in the JLP can conjure up.

3) Promise voters, within 100 days of taking office, to set up a People's National Bank designed to compete against we-all-know-who. It will offer low interest loans to taxi drivers, high interest on savings accounts of seniors/pensioners (like me), few bank charges, smiling customer service, and not display such abhorrence of cheques that not even branch managers have any of their own to offer customers making large cash withdrawals. Have ex-banker Peter Bunting announce this promise with a straight face.

4) Promise, within a month of taking office, to resume hanging. Never mind the objections of internationals donors such as the European Union or bleeding hearts at Amnesty International. Include this in a raft of tough criminal law amendments guaranteeing a 50 per cent increase in murder convictions so we can all sleep with our doors and windows open again. Have top attorney K D Knight announce this one. But cover the straight face with one of those COVID-19 masks with a PNP logo on it.

5) Promise nationals in the Diaspora quick repatriation at taxpayers' expense. Have ex-beauty queen Lisa Hanna announce this one with a winsome smile and 'nuff' winks.

6) Finally, offer “thoughts and prayers” that Holness makes the same schoolboy mistake he made in 2011 when he picked the right month (December) but the wrong date (between Christmas and New Year's Day).

Higgins repeatedly cites communications with various birds for his often accurate political prognostications. After eight weeks marooned in the wilderness, gathering the collective intelligence of cows, goats, chickens, donkeys, and the odd sly mongoose, I proffer a higher wisdom. I have seen the most propitious date for a PNP victory and can confidently predict that Holness will use the extra three-month grace period after February and call it then. April 1, 2021 is the date, folks. You read it here first. Watch the ride. Selah.

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