Tue | Jun 2, 2020

Letter of the Day | PNP getting wake-up call

Published:Thursday | May 24, 2018 | 12:00 AM


With the embarrassment of Twittercide - the Twitter poll that showed the majority were better off now than they were two years ago - the People's National Party (PNP) must have finally got a wake-up call. They so needed a period of introspection and evaluation, but they could not see it.

The Jamaican people are partly to blame for it. We never gave them the message that they need to 'tek weh demself', have a period of internal review and renewal, and wheel and come again. It is our fault because we seem to vote them out reluctantly. They are fully cognisant that we, as an electorate, have declared the nation PNP country, and so, they think they are the cat's pyjamas.

Of course, our journalists, who are also drawn from the electorate, are no different. Rarely calling them to book, some have sent them the message that they should be in power forever. And so, the PNP has developed an insatiable thirst for power, and it makes them very unattractive and insincere.

We, the electorate, have sent them a message that they are OK, even when they allowed the Jamaican dollar to slide rapidly over two whole decades. We sent them the message that they are OK when we sat down and accepted ongoing inflation and stagnation during the 1990s. We sent them the message that it is OK, even after they decimated the middle class by destroying more than 40,000 businesses, including manufacturing, finance and agricultural enterprises.

We sent them the message that they are OK even after a policy of very high interest rates, rising Jamaican dollar and inflation helped to make housing unaffordable to most and businesses unprofitable. We sent them the message that they are OK even after the destruction of our economy led to increases in crime.

The PNP needs to take a page out of Michael Manley's book, who, after his crushing defeat in 1980, went away like a dog with his tail between its legs but returned renewed and stronger after nine years to claim a resounding victory in 1989. He even apologised for how he led the country in the 1970s - a clear indication that he took time out for introspection.

The country is better off with an Opposition that may one day prove to be an attractive alternative. But it cannot happen without an acknowledgement of their failings and weaknesses followed by a clear plan of change.

This is an imperative that is beneficial not only for the party, but also for the country because when the Jamaica Labour Party is no longer attractive, we do not want to send them the message that it is OK.