Mon | Dec 18, 2017

Samantha Anderson | Poor packaging of Sugar Shane

Published:Friday | October 13, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Christopher Columbus introduced sugar cane seeds to the New World, specifically to Hispaniola, on his second voyage in 1493. Following that, it spread throughout the region, and the manufacturing of sugar within the Western Hemisphere as an engine of the slave trade took shape.

Perhaps Dr Shane Alexis knew exactly what he was doing when he gave himself the moniker 'Sugar Shane' as his political campaign got under way. It was perhaps an innuendo about his nationality, which he, perhaps, wished to disclose from a much larger date.

Like Columbus, the People's National Party (PNP) administration has admitted to its conscious importation of the 'sugary' substance to the island, but why would the Peter Phillips-led administration not declare the true origins of their package to the market, knowing very well the potentially harmful side effects?

 

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Truth be told, very few persons actually read the nutritional facts on their food before consumption. This means that often, they indulge in far more sugar than is healthy. The same can be said for the electorate. Very few persons are concerned with the fine print - the details and plans of their candidate - to glean their history and manifestos diligently.

As a result, we often find a lot of hyperactive behaviors surrounding campaigns and elections, not a lot of nutritional value. Hype over substance.

The PNP leadership must take responsibility for dropping the ball. It seems that despite the embarrassment that they received in the last general election, they have been unable to strategise and organise themselves effectively.

Columbus, much like Alexis, said he came to save the people from below-par standards of living. His heralder, in the form of Damion Crawford, reiterated this in stating that Alexis "run away" from Canada to come to Jamaica (South East St Mary) and represent the people.

How sweet of Sugar Shane. The error was not in selecting Alexis as a candidate, but it was in trying to sugarcoat the truth about who he was to the people.

The PNP went to great lengths to paint Shane as the 'right doctor' for the people of South East St Mary to the point where Crawford even ridiculed Jamaica Labour Party candidate Norman Dunn repeatedly on non-issues and semantics.

Crawford, who, reportedly, declined the offer to champion the South East St Mary constituency on behalf of the PNP, threw down the gauntlet in Annotto Bay days ago, which was the catalyst in the JLP's motive to defend its candidate and discredit the PNP's.

According to Alexis, his grandmother gave him the nickname Sugar Shane. My grandmother taught me an old proverb that states, "Weh sweet nanny goat a guh run him belly", and I think he now has a serious case of diarrhoea, and likewise Crawford, of the verbal nature.

Knowing that he was in the legal right is even more reason why Shane, in my opinion, ought to have come forward with a full disclosure initially and given the people the facts. Instead, it was all sweet talk and fancy politics. Sometimes it is good to remember that lemons have more sugar than strawberries despite the taste.

Now that the advantage of disclosure has been robbed from them, the PNP will have a lot of work to do on the ground should their base be disgruntled by the sugar rush that has hit them over the last few days.

- Samantha Anderson is a law student. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com