Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Is Holness afraid of Warmington?

Published:Sunday | January 24, 2016 | 1:00 AM
Holness

Any half-baked psychologist who earned his advanced degree by sitting under a lignum vitae tree and counting butterflies would by now have concluded that JLP MP Everald Warmington does not like himself.

The troubling trend of his political ejaculations in Parliament over many years would have also informed us that women are not exactly his favourite people, especially pretty ones occupying bodies with fairly adequate levels of brainpower.

Last Tuesday, he referred to Lisa Hanna, minister of youth and culture, as 'Jezebel'. By whatever extremes we have added to have made the biblical Jezebel worse than Satan, the outburst was uncalled for. In short time, the expectation was JLP party leader Andrew Holness would have engaged even an ounce of leadership strength to discipline Warmington, and earn himself brownie points in this election season.

Mr Warmington keeps being rewarded by more than his fair share of low-information JLP voters in the constituency of South West St Catherine, and that fact, more than anything else, has empowered him to continue the pattern of openly demonstrating to the young men that it is OK to diss women.

Had Warmington only been troubled by general anger issues while discussing matters concerning the minimum wage and he needed an easy female target in the House, he could have criticised Ms Hanna's constituency management in her role as PNP MP for South East St Ann.

But he did not do that. Instead, he referred to her disgustingly as Jezebel. We are fairly sure that Warmington, who seems to have reached as far as he will ever rise to in the JLP, has no personal relationship with the former Miss World and a private tiff led to him publicly 'tracing' her in Parliament. We are quite sure of that.

The pattern of behaviour is clear, with Warmington more than figuratively thumbing his nose at the nation and giving us the middle finger. We are forced to ask what manner of man is he and also what sort of childhood he had.

As we count our butterflies, we cannot rule out that there had to be a seminal moment or series of them that made him the man he is today. That is true for all of us.

JLP leader Andrew Holness needs to stamp his leadership on the party, but we fear Warmington is untouchable.

His litany of abuse and personal crudity in the public eye needs to be strongly addressed by the opposition leader, especially as Holness is eager to engage with all subjects at this time.

 

ZIKV AND POLITICS

 

If for some strange reason an election were called in, say, late 2014 when chik-V was making its excruciatingly painful, joint-killing path across Jamaica, it would be a safe bet to assume that the PNP would be voted out of power.

So haphazardly was its entry into Jamaica handled and so poorly were our people prepared in the face of more government denials than proactivity and resources unleashed to deal with the mosquito-borne illness that I believe the PNP would have been decimated at the polls.

It was late, and it seemed like it would never happen - the removal of Dr Fenton Ferguson from atop the health ministry in the wake of the dead babies scandal - but since then, the general view is that his replacement, Horace Dalley, seems to be leagues ahead of Ferguson.

With ZIKV on the horizon and we being powerless to stop its entry into Jamaica, Dalley has been very proactive in his engagement with the nation, and it has 'spilled over' into local politics, with the PNP's Imani Duncan-Price in East Rural St Andrew launching a constituency clean-up.

This needs to happen in every constituency, and it would suit the Government to increase the level of any allocations already made in the ZIKV national clean-up. This is conveniently a sound reason for the PNP to take advantage of a bad situation and transform it into the biggest work programme heading into the next election.

I harbour no doubt that many in the PNP administration have not already explored the ways and means to transform Zika into a plus for the PNP. It is what political parties all over the world do, especially those who know how to hoodwink the gullibility of democracy.

Government funds under the TEF and other agencies were released over the Christmas holidays to engage in bush-clearing work. Not all of those funds were able to reach those for whom it was designed, the poor voter at the bottom of the pile.

Many mid-level 'contractors' who had not 'eaten a food' for an extended period decided instead to catch up on various personal arrears and they simply held on to as much of the funds as possible.

I have no idea what the latest polls done two weekends ago are saying, but Zika has provided an opening for the PNP.

 

Does Shaw at finance attract dollars?

 

With Andrew Holness openly naming Audley Shaw as future finance minister should the JLP win the next election, the JLP and its leader have merged both ends of a troubling relationship which had threatened to rip out the innards of the JLP as late as the early and mid-months of 2015.

The reality was, the Big Business class was more comfortable with Shaw as head of the JLP instead of Holness. In instances, the construction of Holness's opulent mansion in Beverly Hills was brought up as a concern.

Questions being asked at the time were, why did he, the MP of a constituency made of very poor people throw in their faces such a vast divide in affluence by constructing such an opulent edifice? If the funds used to do the construction were above board, would the opposition leader be prepared to release documents to prove he acted within the law? Other more troubling questions remained and they tended to scare off potential funders to the JLP.

Although Holness has openly named Shaw as future finance minister under a JLP government which, for now, only exists as a possibility, even if it moves to likelihood and then reality, there is nothing binding on Holness to stick to his word.

Maybe Shaw should request of Holness a private letter of agreement which, if questioned in future, could survive a Constitutional Court with much better results than the Holness Senate letters.

One PNP propagandist, a lawyer, has placed the following on Facebook.

'Andrew Holness has publicly "confirmed" that Audley Shaw is his shadow minister of finance.

'Why does Andrew Holness not also "confirm" the portfolios of Ed Bartlett, Bobby Montague, Karl Samuda, Desmond McKenzie, Ruddy Spencer, J.C. Hutchinson and Delroy Chuck?

'Why does Andrew Holness not state specifically whether or not Tufton is in his shadow Cabinet? Can Andrew Holness state specifically whether or not his wife is in his shadow Cabinet? Can Andrew Holness "confirm" that Marisa Dalrymple is not in consideration to be a member of his shadow Cabinet?'

And lastly he asks, 'Is Everald Warmington still in Andrew Holness' shadow Cabinet?'

Of course, the PNP would like nothing better than to see the tentative unity in the JLP begin another round of implosion, especially after Warmington's 'Jezebel' attack in the House.

It is known that misery loves company.

No matter the political considerations inherent in the make-up of Holness' mock Cabinet, the immediate matter of bringing Warmington before a JLP disciplinary committee must be high on Holness' agenda of items.

The good politics of Holness placing Shaw close to him, and with Daryl Vaz, the Western Portland MP who had been most vocal in his past criticisms of Holness now fully back in the party hierarchy, all that is needed in the immediate term is to haul off Warmington to the place where I believe he would earn his best redemption.

In naming a likely Cabinet, Mr Holness needs to demonstrate to that 50 per cent of the nation who are women that they ought to be openly respected, even if some of us Jamaican men carry around with us psychological blocks that render us incapable of loving them.

- Mark Wignall is a political analyst. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and observemark@gmail.com.