PNP spin doc­tors can’t white­wash Por­tia

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION & COMMENTARY -


THE RE­CENT rev­e­la­tion by the po­lit­i­cal om­buds­man, Donna Parch­ment Brown, that Op­po­si­tion Leader Por­tia Simp­son Miller ac­knowl­edged that the com­ments made in her ad­dress to party faith­ful in St Ann were re­gret­table is, in­deed, wel­come.

But there is a big­ger pic­ture to this whole af­fair that’s of se­ri­ous con­cern to, and has im­pli­ca­tions for, the po­lit­i­cal process. It re­gards the will­ing­ness of prom­i­nent party mem­bers to de­fend an ob­vi­ous wrong, at all cost, in the in­ter­est of the party, de­spite glar­ing ev­i­dence to the con­trary.

The com­ments made by Mrs Simp­son Miller, which, con­tex­tu­ally, could be con­strued by all who had viewed it on na­tional TV as a threat to in­cite vi­o­lence, has been crit­i­cised for, among other things, an awak­en­ing of a relic of our past – the kind of pol­i­tics that has caused the death and dis­lo­ca­tion of many be­cause of their po­lit­i­cal af­fil­i­a­tion.

To fur­ther ex­ac­er­bate the sit­u­a­tion, the videog­ra­pher who filmed the event has re­ported that his life has been threat­ened by thugs who, ev­i­dently, are seek­ing to sup­press press free­dom. This is why such ac­tion should be se­ri­ously con­demned and not be taken lightly.

In light of th­ese re­cent devel­op­ments, it is in­con­ceiv­able that per­ceived per­sons of in­tel­li­gence, such as Dr Day­ton Camp­bell, who was re­cently on CVM TV, and An­gela Brown Burke, who was on other me­dia plat­forms, were seek­ing to spin the in­de­fen­si­ble as a mis­in­ter­pre­ta­tion of their leader’s state­ment, and, in the process, in­sult­ing the in­tel­li­gence of the Ja­maican peo­ple.

I am not at all sur­prised, though, at their re­sponses, as both, in the re­cent past, have them­selves been the sub­ject of con­tro­ver­sial state­ments for which we have not had an apol­ogy, and one would have thought they would have learnt from their mis­steps.

The fact that Mrs Simp­son Miller has ex­pressed re­morse for her ac­tions and has promised a state­ment on the is­sue is a wel­come first step. I hope we will never have a re­cur­rence of such out­ra­geous be­hav­iour. ER­ROL MCLEISH er­mar­lii16@hot­ Greater Port­more St Cather­ine


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