It’s 4:08am and insomnia is kicking my ass. #Abuse So, I decide to write this blog post, long overdue but timely.
In a few weeks, Jamaicans will know if Audley Shaw will officially campaign against Andrew Holness for the leader of the Jamaica Labour Party. While the general consensus is that he will, we wait with bated breath. These are my opinions of the two men, not that it should matter to you.
Andrew Holness served as Minister of Education in the Golding cabinet. For the time he served, he did prove himself to be a competent leader, controversial at times but able to manage the affairs of his ministry. The teachers I spoke with at the time hated his guts, but were timid to speak out against the leader. Dudus-gate happened, which rocked the party and Golding named his successor, the transformational Andrew Holness. During that deliberation, youth and young was on everybody’s lips. It was inevitable, Andrew Holness seemed to be the right fit. Coming in after Golding, who was smart, confident and possessed prime ministerial leadership qualities, sure Holness could rival the PNP’s Portia Simpson-Miller at the polls. After all, he was cut from Seaga’s cloth. I still blame Holness to this day for the state of the country. Why? He called an election to get his mandate from the people, and we know that bid failed. The bid failed because no one knew Andrew Holness, and even today, Jamaicans still don’t know who Andrew Holness is.
We do not know his positions on important issues…(I am not referring to free market issues)
He does not seem to have a hold of the party which he leads…
He claims he is a transformational leader but lacks the skills to be just that…
What I do know, is that his kids are home-schooled…which is absolutely wrong for a leader of a country, but I digress.
We do not know if Holness really wants to be the next PM of Jamaica…I say that because, he has been a weak Opposition Leader, crippling the party’s popularity and he has been absent. Missing in action!
Andrew Holness is not the leader of an NGO fighting for credibility. Holness is the leader of the Opposition in government. If he says he is having a press conference, a media briefing or whatever, there is a microphone ready to record his bangarang. As a leader Holness is weaker than Portia Simpson-Miller. Say all the bad things about PSM, that lady fights when she has to. Being the leader of the opposition is not your time to be silent, or figure your way through, this is the moment you prove to the nation you still have the gusto to be the ‘big man in charge.’
Andrew Holness is just tweeting with his initials at the end of his tweets. Why? Because his throne which he thinks should be his forever, is being challenged. I am pleased there is a leadership battle on the way because, this is a discussion we need to have. Who in the JLP is ready to deliver modern-day leadership for Jamaica?
Put Andrew Holness up against all the possibilities in the PNP and he loses the next election. Put him against Peter Phillips, Paulwell, Lisa Hanna, even PSM and Holness loses. He does not have the mass appeal that the Jamaican public can connect with. I was fortunate to attend a birthday party with the Opposition Leader and you couldn’t tell if he was still in Gordon House or at a party. When you look at the dynamics of the Jamaican electorate, Holness does not begin to inspire enough. I don’t think Jamaicans can relate to Andrew Holness. Seriously, who would you have a beer with Holness or Shaw? I am still on the fence for Holness, if he is the winner of the leadership contest, (which he might because he will fight hard) he will have a lot to prove. I don’t get the feeling young Jamaicans get his vision or believe in him. or are willing to.
Andrew Holness at his best
Audley Shaw’s meteoric rise in the JLP was not overnight. If there could ever be a credible challenge to Holness’ throne, it would have to come from ‘man a yard.’ At this time, the JLP needs a leader who can win at the polls, someone with the passion and confidence to fight for the Jamaican people and someone who is willing to make use of the opportunity not only to create bangarang, but also to offer leadership in the best interest of the country. Jamaica is ‘too blessed to be stressed’ to use Golding’s words. Shaw is the man who some believe was incompetent to lead the Min. of Finance but turned out to be nothing short of amazing. This is a leader who has a grasp of his duties and has the uncanny ability to make the dumbest among us understand his work.
In my mind, Shaw is the right man for the job. He can claim to be the ‘real’ transformational leader. When Shaw is fired up, people listen, people will be inspired and believe in Jamaica again. Can we do it in the leadership race? Does he have the right team around him to make it happen? All these questions plus more, play a part in winning a leadership race.
My expectations in this leadership race:
1. That the wives will play a role in helping the delegates understand who these men are. It is time wives and husbands of politicians in Jamaica, take the platform microphone and speak.
It will be interesting to see which candidate uses the wife to make that case.
2. A leadership race based on substance.
3. An official leadership debate.
4. A leadership race that does not focus on the personalities not on the ballot.
5. Those handling the candidates campaign image will get it right.