PNP hauled out the same old bus

Letters to the Editor

PNP hauled out the same old bus

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

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Dear Editor,

During the last general election the Jamaica Labour Party's (JLP) Generation 2000 group ran an amusing ad showing a defiant and angry People's National Party (PNP) leader, Portia Simpson Miller, shouting from the podium, “The old bus of the PNP not changing no course!” The statement resonates today, as the PNP rolled out its campaign bus last month with the start of an islandwide road tour ahead of what is expected to be an election year.

The bus carrying the party leadership and candidates is making stops along the route trying to engage the public and ramp up support. A tour by itself won't amount to much, though, if the infrastructure and strategy isn't there to back up the messaging and image.

Not much has changed, same old bus, same lacklustre leadership. The party had a chance to revitalise last year with the leadership challenge, which generated momentum, energy, and public interest, but delegates chose to stay the course and ride out the sleepy journey.

The PNP should not be surprised that the JLP commands a 12-point lead in the latest NNN/Blue Dot poll, and that its leader, Peter Phillips, remains widely unpopular with the electorate. The poll suggests a landslide win for the JLP.

The PNP has been delivering the same old message with the same old team; nothing new. They haven't provided any insight on what they would do differently to solve Jamaica's many problems, especially crime and corruption.

In contrast, Andrew Holness's public relation machinery is commendable, and his calm demeanour and youthfulness have helped him to weather many storms. And although I would not by any means declare Holness as “man of the decade”, nor would I compare his popularity to that of Michael Manley — which is a far stretch of the imagination — he may well deserve a second term, given the options. This would allow him to build on what was started, and hopefully experience will help to sharpen his skills and improve his vision and strategy for Jamaica to become the country of choice to live, work, raise families, and do business!

P Chin

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