Growing Disquiet Within The Ranks Of The Governing JLP
- March 5, 2023
Word is, many Labourites within the Leadership ranks of the JLP are expressing their dissatisfaction with the Leadership style of Party Leader and Prime Minister, Andrew Holness. And some observers are saying the Disquiet being expressed by party officials and Cabinet Members is simply a reflection of the on-the-ground disquiet that has been growing for some time now and has taken on the role of a movement in the last few months, with a growing number of Party elders and Senior ranking members calling on the Party to ditch Holness, as they see him as a Liability, going into the next elections.
According to sources within the JLP, the announced postponement of the Local Government Elections that were due in February but were postponed until February of 2024 is a sign of the disquiet as these sources say, JLP supporters across the board have become disaffected and were not prepared to go out and support the Party at the local government polls, as they think party leader Holness and the party have been hijacked by special interests and have sidelined the party workers, stalwarts and hardworking activists, in favour of those who have never been in the trenches, but are now the ones being rewarded with plum jobs, appointments, and contracts.
The litany of complaints against the party leader says the Party Headquarters is like a “Dead Yard” these days; as he no longer attends the expected weekly standing committee Monday meetings at the Party’s Belmont Road headquarters; And with the party Leader not attending; the officers and leaders of the party are no-shows as well, robbing the disgruntled of a place to vent.
They also complain that the Party seemed to have aligned itself with the Anti-People Forces in the Country, and they site the recent passage into law of the New Road Traffic Act, as one such example, as they say, the new laws unjustly targets and penalizes the small man; with onerous fines and the threat of Jail time, for what some say are minor traffic infractions; whilst major crimes go unprosecuted and or unrecorded.
According to one of the disaffected Party second-tier leaders, the recent SSL debacle, that exposed the theft of Sprint Icon Usain Bolt’s funds, only served to expose the JLP, as he contends that it appears as if some who served at the FSC, were aware of the shenanigans at SSL, and they distanced themselves from the FSC and The SSL and left Bolt holding the Bag.
A fact he points out that does not sit well with most Jamaicans, who, he asserts, think Bolt should have been protected, just like how the Prime Minister was.
And then there was the question of the Contractor General report on the Prime Minister’s handling of the Education Ministry Portfolio when he was Minister. Sources close to the internal party discussions say so concerned were some party leaders that a meeting was indeed convened at the Stony Hill residence of a Longtime party member and ranking Holness supporter, to discuss ditching Holness, in anticipation of the national and international blowback from the news that Holness would be referred for prosecutorial consideration for breaches of the Corruption prevention act.
According to sources who assert they were indeed present at this meeting that never happened, the meeting was like a powder keg, with conversations becoming so volatile and hostile, at least one Cabinet Minister, threatened to ‘beat the Fuck’ out of another Minister The Source continued that the Prime Minister’s Trip to Caricom was fortuitous in that it gave the hostile factions to cool-off. But the Source continued that the harm the Prime Minister’s History and Leadership style was doing to the party, made it impossible to gloss over the cracks now widening into chasms within the ranks of the disaffected that even when the call went out that party-Leaders; Cabinet Members, etc. should come together to present a united front to welcome the Prime Minister back from the Bahamas. Post Caricom. few ranking members of the party responded.
This source insists that Holness’s hold on the Party’s leadership grows more tenuous with each passing day, and asserts he survives, due to the fact that the Party has not yet identified a consensus replacement candidate. But insists that both Holness and the Party have grown complacent, falsely comforted by the parliamentary majority, and so no longer listens to or are in touch with the voters and or JLP supporters and or the Party’s officers.
The fear is, according to another dissenter, is that there’s growing consensus that the Party leader is not a consensus-builder and seems devoid of national focus, to harness the talent, wishes, and aspirations of the people and channel it for the greater good; and this is beginning to dawn not only on the wider voter population but on a number of JLP supporters, including the “Die-Hards”, with many now expressing their disaffection by stating it will take more than a miracle for them to turn out and vote for the JLP in the next Local Government or General Elections And he says if this were to manifest itself, it stands to reason that the JLP loses.
And as A parting shot, he says: Remember, Where Mark Golding is now, in terms of his political standing within the PNP and the Electorate generally, is the same place Andrew Holness was, going into the 2016 Elections, And remember Portia Simpson Miller, was more popular then, than Holness is Now!