If a fix is suggested for the PNP, the assumption is that one understands the problem that needs to be corrected, at least papered over so that the party can squeak by as the winner in a soon-to-be-called election. There then is the rub.
The problem, whatever the problem is, requires not so much an inconvenient solution as a necessary employing of lipsticks and mascaras to hide the hideous disfigurement that the eyes reflect.
The fix for disunity is not unity. It is a contest of ideas that can survive rigorous debate to become policy. What the PNP has been since 1976 has been a finger in the wind party with the most important question being, “Who has the charisma, crowd appeal, and political chops” to lead us to victory at the polls?” In other words, leadership was not mettle tested for ideas that would move the country forward economically but for state resources hustling for which being the government was the ultimate goal.
It may seem logical that a party’s primary goal is to capture State power. It is not. It is to formulate ideas and think through their implementations such that economic and social efficiency and cohesion are achieved with minimum social dislocation.
A party that hasn’t done its homework with respect to policy is going to have cockups and scandals. The PNP has them in spades.
Personality, loyalty, and fund-raising ability are currencies to endear, grease access, or even threaten the party to facilitate personal advancement. It is sufficient to be faithful to the old ideas that had served the party well even as those same ideas have not served Jamaica well. Who in the PNP points out this disconnect, instead of bellyaching about how Michael Manley and his unworkable policies were sabotaged?
It is about time we acknowledge that neither you nor I have much to complain about how others have sabotaged or mistreated us while we are busy cutting our own wrists. It does not compute.
Why are our ports not busy hubs for the importation of farm tractors duty-free? Because those ideas are not premium. Instead, both parties are busy looking to prepare themselves to preside and allocate over the national coffers even as their policies decimate the stores of value and contribute to antisocial behaviors.
The PNP- and the JLP- are not so much moving towards irrelevance, as taking turns at the feeding trough, with a pronounced absence in the offering for the PNP, depending on how well the JLP manages its share of scandals.
In other words, both parties are content to wait for misfortune to afflict the Jamaican people and claim their level of dishonesty pales in comparison to the other.
Neither party, beyond grand announcements nor glossy manifestos, want a Jamaica independent of political patronage. In the case of the PNP, they have a man-made existential crisis with self-inflicted wounds to rival a horror show. It should not have come to this, but we do like to blame others for the daggers in our backs even as we fight for power to abuse and undermine each other. This time the PNP has crossed a bright red line.
Peter Peterkin, Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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