A few months ago, all bets were on the fact that if Andrew Holness were to step aside and vacate the posts of Party Leader and Prime Minister, then his most likely successor, would have inevitably been Rhodes Scholar; and Finance Minister, Dr. Nigel Clarke.
In fact there was at least one school of thought that Dr. Clarke’s ambition was way bigger than that of succeeding to the Office of Prime Minister,, as it was being said he would have been more comfortable with a post to the World Bank; IDB, IMF, or even the UN, but certainly, not anything as parochial as that of being Prime Minister of Jamaica, and remain in the backwaters of the international currents.
But that was 3-months ago, before the JLP stocks fell so sharply, not just with PNP and Independent voters, but with hardcore JLP supporters, who now, largely view Dr. Clarke, alongside Prime Minister Andrew Holness, his wife, MP and Deputy Speaker of the House, Juliet Holness, as public enemies number 1, 2 and 3, and not necessarily in that order.
You see, the talk of replacing Andrew Holness as Party Leader and Prime Minister, was on the JLP Agenda, way before Dr. Clarke’s souring of the mood of the voters with his protracted and haughty negotiations to try and settle the Public sector wages. At that time, Dr. Clarke was being proffered as the only viable and sensible alternative to Andrew Holness; as the party’s Backers, seemed to have given up on Andrew’s leadership as unsalvagable; and with Chris Tufton, being considered a late-non-starter, for failing to step up and 2 years earlier, when he was first approached, those backers and some international partners saw Tufton has lacking in the required testicular fortitude, to not only stage a successful challenge to Holness but to also be a successful Prime Minister. So he was dismissed as of no consequence.
But here we are again, back on the banks of the river, watching the bodies of our enemies floating by, as Nigel Clarke’s handling of Public Sector Wage Negotiations; and that hefty pay package he marshaled through for politicians, has ruled him (Clarke) out of contention, and brought back Tufton in play. At least that’s how the play is being lined-up at this time.
Mind you, not that Andrew Holness is planning on going anywhere, anytime soon, as he would rather be seen screaming, kicking, and fighting, than giving up the Premiere political office in the land. With some saying ominously if we think his appointment of so many former Army officers to cushy positions, including former Police Commissioner Ellington, who resigned under a cloud of suspicion and disgrace but was quietly placed at the Maritime Institute as a Lecturer; plus the recent announcement by current Commissioner Major Anderson, of his intention to fast-track the elevation of nearly 500 Police personnel, from their current ranks, up the totem pole, is anything but a sign that Holness is preparing to do battle to hold unto the office of Prime Minister, at all and any cost. The proviso is, unless the US step in to intervene, due to the fact that many of those now serving in the current administration, appear on the US Federal Law-enforcement agencies’ radar, and have been for years. May be the only buffer Jamaica now has to push back against Holness and his Cabal.
For many observers, the problem facing the Country is more petrifying than is being acknowledged, as they contend, that any political challenge to be faced by Holness, can’t be good for the Country, as there seems to be no policy disagreement and or demarcation, between Holness and any potential challenger. So any challenge would be nothing but a grab for power, to install a different ‘Leader” to disburse the spoils, and the Country would continue to bleed for years as the new political elite would spend their time in office enriching themselves and their cronies, who will undoubtedly be looking for paybacks via kickbacks because they would be the ones funding the challenge if any were to be staged.
So, the best case scenario for the Country would be for the PNP and its current leader to get its act together – With the Leader making some strategic alliances, to forge some kind of united front; create and publicize a new covenant with the people as a policy platform, that highlights, regeneration, and rebirth, as a policy platform to reduce and prevent crime, and stop the spiraling murder rate, as its main focus, for its short and long term strategies, in the hope that this will energize the electorate, causing them to reengage, and go out and vote for the preservation of what little is left of our democracy; to preserve Jamaica for their off-springs and their off-springs and the creation and preservation of generational wealth, to avoid the internecine factionalism, that now bedevils Haiti.
Barring a political re-purposing by the JLP, veering off its present course of political grandstanding on a foundation of corruption and ineptitude; and or A Message of Hope and re-development from the PNP, the exodus will only be amplified, and hasten the death throes, of this Island Nation.
The JLP having crassly monetized the vote in the 2020 general elections, has set the stage for massive voter withdrawal from the process unless they are induced by cash incentives. And until those so swayed come to realize that they have indeed sold their future, and that of their children, and are largely responsible for the shambolic state of the education system, the very poor state of most of the roads across the country; the horrible state of our hospitals and other healthcare facilities; and the reduction in possible employment prospects, are as a direct result of their shortterm gluttony that resulted in the parliament being populated by under-educated, and under-qualified, and criminal elements, that degraded national institutions, offices and shat on the Constitution, on the altar of convenience because they sold themselves, and their children short, for the price of a meal, and as a result has left the Country teetering on the brink of total collapse, or, until the JLP Pulls back from it craven self-serving agenda, then we are firmly on the highway to self-annihilation…