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Did Danville 'diss' them? Walker heads to the private sector, some labourites vexed by his departure

Published:Sunday | February 19, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Danville Walker

Gary Spaulding, Senior Gleaner Writer

A flurry of recriminations has greeted Danville Walker's resignation from the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), even as the man with the rambunctious air seems to have mysteriously retreated into thin air, after tendering his letter to leader Andrew Holness and dispatching copies to the media.

The search for answers led us to JLP General Secretary Aundre Franklin. "The matter will be discussed at Monday's (tomorrow's) Standing Committee meeting," was all he would venture.

He said the resignation letter was not sent to him, but argued that this was not unusual as it could be also sent to the party leader or the chairman.

Asked whether he had any idea why Walker had decided to call it quits within two months of the December 29, 2011 general election, Franklin responded, "you will have to ask Mr Walker."

But Mr Walker was not available: seen or heard by members of the press since Friday.

"It's not surprising," declared one senior party member of Walker's rapid 'in and out' of representational politics.

Arrogant and feisty

Walker, described as an arrogant and feisty public figure, was closely defeated by the People's National Party's Peter Bunting after a scathing campaign in the election.

As Walker packs his bags in readiness to make his exit, the reactions are in stark contrast to the man who was touted to give Bunting a lashing two and a half months ago. "The last person to enter the race in Area Council Three is the first one out," scoffed a member.

"He was never in it for the long haul," declared another senior member. "It was what they could get (out of an election victory)." he declared as he asked not to be named.

Another JLP stalwart said: "I bet if he had got a big ministerial position if the JLP had won, he would still be here. You must find out what was promised to him," the senior JLP member challenged The Sunday Gleaner.

Two very senior members, who were approached separately for a perspective on Walker's sudden exodus, charged that the act of going into Central Manchester in the first place was pure opportunism on the new politician's part.

Yet another questioned: "Is he a Labourite, was he ever a Labourite? No man, he was never a Labourite, he was a 'Shaw-rite'.

The Sunday Gleaner understands that Walker"s resignation has brought new hurt to an old wound. Apparently, there were some objections from within the party when Walker's candidacy was first announced. Deputy Leader for Area Council Three, Audley Shaw, who commands a lot of respect in the organisation was fingered as the one responsible for recruiting Walker.

"If you want answers, go to Mr Shaw. What you need to do, you need to speak to Audley Shaw who recruited and brought him into politics although some people were telling him (Shaw) to make him (Walker) stay where he is."

He added: "The person who recruited him into politics and took him from the job down at the wharf (commissioner of ustoms) is Audley Shaw. Also you need to speak to Audley Shaw as the deputy leader for the area council.

Sunday Gleaner's efforts to reach Mr Shaw were unsucessful. His cellular telephone ran through to voice mail on several occasions, and he did not return any of our calls.

Five questions for Danville

1. Were any promises made to you by anyone to convince you to run in Central Manchester?

2. What were your objectives in representational politics and to what extent were they achieved?

3. Some election workers have been complaining that they have not yet been paid by the JLP for working in Central Manchester, do you feel you have any obligation to see that they are properly reimbursed?

4. Do you feel that your public image has suffered any damage on account of your adventure into politics?

5. Do you agree with the charcterisations of some of your detractors in the JLP?