PNP must rise from the vulgar contest

Letters to the Editor

PNP must rise from the vulgar contest

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

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Dear Editor,

The People's National Party (PNP) has been caught in a quagmire of presidential contest and as a consequence has missed a very important point that they must quickly wake up to or be doomed to the political wilderness for a longer time than they can bear.

The support casts of both presidential contenders, Peter Bunting and Dr Peter Phillips, have failed to acknowledge and promote an incontestable fact that the party is presenting two men with tremendous track records as workers and servants of the people — two men who are of the highest integrity and character when compared with their peers.

Both camps have violently and foolishly missed this point to their own peril, and have instead taken a path of vulgar sparring, especially, on social media and on the contenders' respective platforms.

This may be the first time in Jamaica's history that two people who are contesting the leadership of a political organisation have never been marred by the scourge of corruption. The most they can say about Bunting is that he cried for divine intervention when he was minister of national security; and, after 30 unbroken years in the belly of politics, Peter Phillips has only been accused of signing away the rights of a confessed international crime boss. If these are the strongest impediments of these two leaders they are more of a blessing to the PNP, collectively, than a curse.

We have seen, on many occasions, where supporters of both candidates have pushed them to the sidelines and have engaged in mud-slinging and verbal brutishness. People have been referred to as mongrel dogs, and others have been blamed for election defeats.

The Bunting camp will do well to stop making the contest about Damion Crawford, Valerie Neita-Robertson and Phillip Paulwell, who collectively cannot measure up to either of the presidential candidates.

And the Phillips camp should stop hurling insults at Dr Dayton Campbell. There should be absolutely no space for a blame game over the Portland Eastern defeat, and Peter Bunting should not have to suffer ridicule for working hard and honestly to build his personal fortunes.

Any objective mind will have to agree that Bunting has been the most vocal politician against corruption in Jamaica for three consecutive years. He missed the anti-corruption protest in Half-Way-Tree on Thursday, but that should not call into question his stance on this matter by people, on Phillips's side, eager to gain political mileage for their candidate.

In Bunting is an example of an ideal Jamaican citizen rising (pun intended) from humble beginnings and creating significant wealth and business acumen without ever been accused of corruption or other criminal entanglements.

Dr Peter Phillips, on the other hand, has had the most impressive track record as a minister of government in Jamaica for the last 30 years. He has done great work for Jamaica (never mind the PNP).

Wouldn't it be good and wise for the PNP to to rise united as one PNP to the level of political maturity which would see them putting forward two very worthy candidates, at once, to challenge for the presidency of the party on September 7, 2019?

Supporters of the PNP should be overwhelmed with pride, that, at this critical juncture in our political history, there can be two candidates of unimpeachable character seeking to serve the country at the highest level.

This, l believe, would appeal to the undecided voters and would assist in the healing process that the winning candidate will have limited time to fix before a general election is called.

Rayon Simpson, JP

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