Time for the bitterness to cease

April 15, 2016
File People's National Party and Jamaica Labour Party supporters in a show of unity and happiness at West and Beeston streets in West Kingston on nomination Day, February 9.

Okay, so the general elections took place just more than two months ago, and there are some 'comrades' out there who are looking at everything the ruling party does under a microscope. This is good.

This Government or any other in the future must be held accountable for everything they do and say in the interest of the Jamaican people.

Scrutiny is good, but I get the impression that a lot of these bitter comrades are being more than vigilant. You get the sense that they are eager to see the Government fails.

It's a bit like how the Republicans openly said they wanted President Obama to fail when he was put into power almost eight years ago.

I see them coming down hard with regards to this tax waiver thing, for example, ridiculing the Government for making a promise that it seems unlikely they will be able to keep - like it would be the first time a government would be doing that.




Of course, it doesn't help that Finance Minister Audley Shaw keeps putting his foot in his mouth every time he opens it.

That aside, however, what has become apparent is that the sting of the election loss still burns deeply for many supporters of the former government, and that hurt is what is translating into the scrutiny, vile comments, and ill will coming from that section of society for the past two months.

There are just a few things that I will suggest to these hurting comrades that will help them overcome the pain.

1) Stop using the word 'comrade' to refer to fellow party supporters. The Cold War ended decades ago and there are really no socialists left in Jamaica, certainly not within the PNP. See yourselves as Jamaicans first and PNP second.

2) Note that if the JLP fails, we all suffer. So watching and hoping for them to mess up, not only hurts them, it hurts us all.

3) Continue to be vigilant, but also be fair. Don't be going around nitpicking at everything. I saw one disgruntled 'comrade' using a picture of an accident along Marcus Garvey Drive where a car plunged into a ditch, which was created during the road expansion work going on there, to suggest that this would never happen under the previous government. It's an accident for Christ sake that was caused by either the driver being inattentive, impatient, or thinking he is smarter than everyone else. I note that this has been the only accident of its kind since the expansion work began. That should tell you something.

4) It would be nice to see comrades continue to be this vigilant if and when their party returns to power. If we are to hold governments accountable, the scrutiny needs to be imposed on both sides, not just one.

5) Remember that the adage 'Jamaica is PNP country' is just a phrase and it really is not. Jamaica is Jamaica and belongs to no political party. I note the cheers the current prime minister gets whenever he attends a sporting event at the National Stadium. The last few times the former prime minister attended, the cheers were muted and replaced by respectful applause.

6) Instead of sitting and hoping that the Government fails, why then don't we all try to work together to ensure that they don't. Regardless of which party is in power, if they succeed, we all benefit and our kids will have a better country to live in.

7) Get your leaders to accept that they shot themselves in the foot by their actions leading up to the election; and the party leader to concede that she was at fault for not speaking to the people when the media gave her ample opportunity to do so.

8) Drop the arrogance. It is getting old. Ask Mixed Martial Arts fighter Ronda Rousey what it feels like to disrespect an opponent going into a major contest. She will tell you that when you do, you get knocked out.

9) Accept the loss, learn from it and be better because of it.

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