Lighten up and lay off Ken­isha Allen

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION & COMMENTARY -

MICHELLE BRAD­SHAW, writ­ing in Monday’s Gleaner, was very hard on Ken­isha Allen, who was one of the Ja­maica Labour Party rep­re­sen­ta­tives in the most re­cent lo­cal gov­ern­ment de­bate. Claim­ing that she made “an ass of her­self”, and mak­ing snide ref­er­ences to ‘class’ and ‘IQ’, she re­ally went to town on this young lady.

First, let me say that I dis­agree with the ‘ex­perts’ who as­sessed the per­for­mances and had neg­a­tive com­ments on just about ev­ery­thing. They were judg­ing by the rules ap­pli­ca­ble to de­bat­ing com­pe­ti­tions de­signed to judge for spe­cific speak­ing skills. I think the most im­por­tant re­quire­ments are clar­ity of speech and ar­gu­ments, quick think­ing, tone and body lan­guage, and per­sua­sive speech. Us­ing these as a yard­stick, where was she lack­ing or mak­ing “an ass of her­self”?


Op­po­nents could not find what but­tons to push be­cause she was calm, her fa­cial ex­pres­sion was neu­tral, and she ap­peared con­fi­dent. This was quite un­like oth­ers who ap­peared to be get­ting an­gry, thereby con­vey­ing weak­ness to their op­po­nents.

A word to the coaches: The an­cient greats – Aris­to­tle, Cicero, and that lot – were all on the same page when they claimed that lev­ity should hold a place of promi­nence in the rhetor­i­cal ar­son of ev­ery speaker de­sirous of charm­ing an au­di­ence. A good speaker should also mas­ter ex­ag­ger­a­tion and ab­sur­dity. Ms


Allen clearly has and did when the event seemed sorely short on hu­mour.

What the as­ses­sors failed to recog­nise was that the pri­mary ob­jec­tive of the par­ties was to score points with prospec­tive vot­ers and not with de­bat­ing coaches.

Speak­ing for my­self, I was quite im­pressed with this young lady. Babsy seems to be do­ing some­thing good. GLENN TUCKER glen­ Stony Hill

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