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Why fear Bunting?

Friday, August 23, 2019

Dear Editor,

It seems that some within the People's National Party (PNP), and even the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), have a real fear of Peter Bunting assuming the rank of Leader of the Opposition by virtue of his current challenge. The fear is fuelled by the reality of the growing momentum of his campaign, his insightful speeches, large crowds attending his meetings, and the new life and energy he has breathed into a dreary PNP under the leadership of Peter Phillips.

The Bunting “Rise United” campaign is modern, engaging, and vibrant. It is technologically savvy and it is certainly more appealing to the younger demographic (age 18-40), which the party had a problem connecting with in the past.

In a recent letter to the editor in the Jamaica Observer, former PNP Cabinet minister Colin Campbell wrote a scathing piece with reference to Bunting about “bird fly too fast fly pass dem nest”. Campbell suggested that Bunting prematurely declared himself leader of Opposition, which is simply not true. Truth is, Bunting does currently have the support of more Members of Parliament compared to Peter Phillips — of those who have declared.

Ultimately, we know it will be the delegates who will decide the party leader when they vote in a few weeks.

Funny enough, no one remembered Campbell existed until he resurfaced in this letter to the editor. He has been in seeming political exile for some 10 years, since he was forced to resign over his role in the controversial Trafigura scandal back in 2006. Is it that he is now fearful of ever making a political comeback with Bunting as leader?

In another letter to the editor, Fabian Lewis suggested that western Jamaica should be mindful of Bunting's “sweet talk”. He went on to state that westerners are better off joining the “Prosperity Team (JLP)”, considering that the PNP has not achieved much in the west for the past 20 years.

Fact is, Bunting was not leading any government or political party or representing any part of the west over the years. He cannot be blamed for the lack of progress then.

Fear is indeed real. I think what they fear most is that the possibility of Bunting winning, because it is looking very real.

Bunting's message is positive, practical and resonating. People are gravitating towards a more modern type of leadership, one void of scandals, corruption, and arrogance; one that is results-oriented and where there is accountability and hope for a better life. This does not necessarily have to equate to prosperity. Quality of life is key!


P Chin