THE EDITOR, Sir:
MY GOOD friend Gary Spaulding, in his 'Respect to 'Foggy'' (Sunday Gleaner, October 13, 2013), appears to be having foggy memories of both Seymour 'Foggy' Mullings and Ruddy Lawson, former People's National Party (PNP) MPs.
There is no political record to substantiate the view that Lawson entered representational politics about the same time as Mullings..
Mullings' career started with his victory in the 1969 by-election in South East St Ann, following the resignation of Dr Ivan Lloyd.
Lawson began in local government politics in 1974, when he was elected PNP councillor for the Lluidas Vale division of West St Catherine (actually replacing Fitz Jackson's dad, Baldwin E. Jackson) and became mayor of Spanish Town in his first and only term as a parish councillor. His election as MP in 1976 came over seven years after Mullings was already a member of the Lower House.
It is also incorrect to state that Mullings won the South East St Ann seat that he transformed into a PNP stronghold in 1972.
With the greatest of respect to the memory and tenure of Seymour Mullings, South East St Ann became a PNP stronghold long before Foggy left his field of land surveying and the keyboard of his jazz piano. That seat was built for the PNP by the outstanding service, hard work, and vast popularity of its first member, Dr Ivan Stewart Lloyd.
In more than 24 years of representation (1944-1969), Dr Lloyd's winning margins in seven contests averaged 6,648 votes (50 per cent more than Mullings' average), which set the stage for South East St Ann as the strongest ever rural seat for the PNP and the only one in Jamaica that has never been won by the JLP in a straight JLP vs PNP contest.
To Mr Mullings' credit, he kept the course well with his own quiet, good-natured style so aptly described by Gary, somewhat reminiscent of his predecessor, and built on the party's strength in the area, so that both Aloun Assamba and Lisa Hanna also became grateful beneficiaries of Dr Lloyd's legacy.
Which explains why, as Ruddy Lawson observed, Foggy neither had to lift his voice nor to indulge in pork-barrel politics to get elected, election after election. Indeed, some people believe that South East St Ann was PNP even before the PNP was formed!