Tue | Sep 19, 2017

Gordon Robinson | Who can we trust?

Published:Tuesday | July 19, 2016 | 7:00 AM
Peter Bunting, leadership aspirant, ‘drop leg’ with PNP President Portia Simpson Miller at the party’s Women’s Movement conference on Sunday. Columnist Gordon Robinson says two-time election loser Simpson Miller should step aside.

The PNP had better get its act together - and soon. If not, it's in imminent danger of expeditiously completing its inexorable journey to irreversible irrelevance. Already, its leadership, creaking at the joints like Christine, the 1958 Plymouth Fury; quick-witted as the Hulk; and as united as the EU, is suffering by comparison to the JLP with its fit, fashionable, handsome young leader and mainly young, forward-thinking lieutenants (plus Mike and Pearnel).

Portia Simpson Miller has overstayed her welcome and thumbed her nose at Jamaica's electorate, who twice booted her from Jamaica House. But she isn't solely to blame for failing to promptly resign. PNP senior officers owe a duty to the PNP and every Jamaican to convene a private meeting with Portia and politely tell her, "It's time ... ." She'll get the message once there's nobody absent from the delegation from whom she might hope to seek solace.

(It's time to go now)

Oh, this is our first date

But, as you can see,

It's getting late.

(It's time to go now)

So, it's time to run.

It's really been fun

but I've gotta go now (go now).

It's time to go now (go NOW!)"

Until the PNP acts as if election losses have personal consequences, Jamaica will never be a democracy, and political parties' treatment of citizens will continue to be contemptuous. David Cameron instantly accepted the personal consequence of his recent referendum loss. A short time ago, the late Patrick Manning did the same. Neither Kamla Persad-Bissessar nor Portia Simpson Miller considered this necessary or desirable.

 

TIME PAST

 

It's not only Portia whose time is long past. PNP's Election Appraisal Committee reported:

"... There was a breakdown of trust among elements of the leadership ... . This was never resolved and led to the campaign being dysfunctional and divided."

AND

"... The party's organisation was not election-ready due to low worker morale; unresolved candidate selection issues; problematic relationships between some MPs and councillors ... ."

These are unambiguous, unanswerable indictments on the party secretariat and general secretary where all bucks stop. It's yet another sign of politicians' attitude of eternal entitlement that the general secretary hasn't yet resigned, especially as I haven't heard him publicly contradict any of these findings. He contends that these arguments ought to be private but fails to understand that his position is a public one, dependent on public support, and must be dealt with transparently.

Oh, boy,

Believe me, I hate to leave you

But it's something that I must do;

(It's time to go now).

It's simply been great

So I hope you understand

I've gotta go now (go now).

It's time to go now (go NOW!)"

Gladys Knight and family (The Pips) formed one of the best R&B singing groups of any generation yet were repeatedly under-rated by Motown. After switching to Buddah Records (1973), they recorded their smash hit Midnight Train to Georgia (won Song of the Year Grammy), which includes my idea of the best harmony found on any record. The group won multiple Grammy/AMA awards and was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame (2001) and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1996).

The Julian Robinson-led Appraisal Committee found a still-unresolved "breakdown of trust, among elements of the leadership".

HOW CAN THIS 'LEADERSHIP' REMAIN INTACT?

In this regard, I also take issue with the Appraisal Committee. This isn't a private club. These people will be offering themselves to the electorate soon enough. We have a right to know who didn't trust who and why. PNP, particularly Peter Phillips, was strident about matters of "integrity" and "trust", especially as it fed its intense, warped curiosity about the opposition leader's family home.

 

TRUST ISSUES

 

In light of the Appraisal Committee's public assertion that these trust breakdowns were NEVER RESOLVED, we insist on knowing who in the PNP we can trust; who has trust queries against his/her name; and who we shouldn't trust. Ask Bob:

Man to man is so unjust;

Children, ya don't know who to trust.

Your worst enemy could be your best friend

And your best friend your worst enemy.

Some will eat and drink with you

Then behind them su-su pon you.

Only your friend know your secrets

So only he could reveal it.

And who the cap fit, let them wear it!"

If the PNP won't do what's right, WE will. Prince Buster's mantra says it all:

They got to go, they got to go,

They got to go, they got to go,

They got to go, they got to go,

They all got to go.

Peace and love.

- Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com.