Fri | Oct 19, 2018

What's next in this political theatre?

Published:Thursday | September 24, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Portia Simpson Miller


I am intrigued by the Internet memes and other jokes, etc, which routinely charactise the prime minister as incompetent on a range of issues and which are often used to discredit her among the so-called 'articulate minority' on social media.

Yet, now, in what can only be regarded as a strong show of support for the value of her brand as a powerful political marketing tool, the very people putting out this steady onslaught have resorted to using her name/ image/brand to shore up their own. How do you figure this in the drama that is Jamaican political theatre?

Indeed, beyond the issues of ethics and the claims of 'moral bankruptcy', which I am sure are justified at some level, I am keen to know whether this is not an indirect endorsement of one's political opponent. What, in other words, would be the rationale behind this 'new' strategy, especially as things heat up in this election silly season? And, will there be an official condemnation and removal of the website by the Opposition? Or, is this part of seeking to destroy the Portia Simpson Miller brand by creating confusion in the minds of likely supporters/constituents and, importantly, financiers?


If so, the Opposition is to be credited for this move; that is, if there are no legal grounds which have been crossed in this radical new approach in taking the fight to the prime minister, directly, and her administration, by extension.

Still, in pure public relations and communications terms, I find myself fascinated by this engagement of political brands as part of the strategising and campaigning. The agenda appears clear - create confusion in the minds of likely backers, financiers and supporters, as a means of undermining or, at the very least, dampening the potency of the PM's brand in the coming election.

This way, using the PM's brand, going forward becomes a potentially dicey situation and one which she and her team may choose to reconsider. Note, may, after all, there are ways of addressing this as well.

This notwithstanding, in the absence of an official condemnation (there may have been one, but I have not heard it), and a move to remove the website, this strategy has me very interested in what's next. Claims of 'lowness' and 'dirtiness' aside, the question that keeps coming to me is: how will the People's National Party respond, given the context?

And by that I mean, will their response be sufficient to counter the Jamaica Labour Party's blatant efforts to resort to any means necessary to win in this 'kitchen sink-style' politics?

'Communications 101' is now in session. And, no doubt, all are plugged in, as we keenly await the unfolding of the various modules addressing electioneering and strategy in Jamaica 2015.

I am riveted, I have to confess! This is all very interesting to me.

Agostinho Pinnock