Was it the other way around or . . . DID KE DE­STROY JADI AN ? NY

The Star (St. Lucia) - - FRONT PAGE - By Lucia H. Best

She seemed for a time the per­fect mouth­piece for Kenny & Com­pany. A gap­toothed ever-smil­ing belle from the south, ar­tic­u­late, easy on most eyes, loaded with charm and quick–wit­ted - that was the im­age she pro­jected to TV view­ers. When she first burst on the po­lit­i­cal scene as the face of New Labour, few among the youth of this coun­try, re­gard­less of po­lit­i­cal lean­ings, were in­clined to re­sist her invit­ing em­brace. Ja­dia Jn Pierre-Em­manuel, truly the Kenny An­thony ad­min­is­tra­tion’s not-so-se­cret weapon. She eas­ily out-per­formed the UWP’s pub­lic re­la­tions per­son­nel. Darn­ley Labourne was sim­ply no match for her. Not only were his de­liv­er­ies slow and tired in com­par­i­son, when it came to com­pet­ing with Kenny’s siren of the air­waves, poor Darn­ley just never stood a chance. If it might be said, Ja­dia was a head -turner, al­ways the heads turned in her di­rec­tion and away from Mr. Labourne who was no­body’s idea of eye candy.

Ja­dia had her own per­sonal story of strug­gle and tri­umphs: a teen mom who later mar­ried her baby papa and earned her­self a univer­sity de­gree. She was the to­tal pack­age, and almost ir­re­sistibly per­sua­sive. If she cooed about her leader’s at­tributes, whether or not sugar-coated, few were moved to dis­agree.

The Labour Party re­turned to of­fice in 2011 and be­fore long the prime min­is­ter’s feisty press sec­re­tary had be­come one of the nation’s most fa­mil­iar faces, thanks to her reg­u­lar TV ap­pear­ances. The pub­lic quickly formed the im­pres­sion that in Rick Wayne’s eyes she was, well, “hot”. Rick, who was seen as a large thorn in the side of Kenny An­thony, made no se­cret of his ad­mi­ra­tion for the PM’s press sec­re­tary. The jour­nal­ism gi­ant could not get enough of the “gap-toothed” ball of en­ergy. He soon started re­fer­ring to her as “Da Jade”, a tag that was quickly picked up by one and all. By most, any­way. When she ef­fec­tively swat­ted an anti-SLP mos­quito, Rick wrote that her vic­tim had been “Ja­di­arized!” But, as in touch with the pub­lic pulse as he is, Rick Wayne had to have dis­cerned the chang­ing pub­lic at­ti­tude to­ward Da Jade dur­ing the last few months be­fore the elections; at least not long af­ter she re­signed as press sec­re­tary to as­sume here new role as the SLP’s com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor—a eu­phemism for pro­pa­ganda ma­chine.

No one will deny Ja­dia had played a ma­jor role in pulling youth vote the SLP’s way in 2011. But some­where on the road to Elec­tion 666 Da Jade grad­u­ally pro­jected an un­flat­ter­ing im­age of her­self. The mag­net had be­come a vote re­pel­lent, es­pe­cially to the young. Doubt­less her leader’s at­tempt to dis­miss Allen Chas­tanet as “a fail­ure” and “a dis­as­ter” dur­ing a 2014 press con­fer­ence started the land­slide. The re­peated dec­la­ra­tions that the 2016 elections would be a war “between the Labour Party and the Chas­tanets” fur­ther shook things up. But with the elections around the cor­ner and the “dis­united” UWP ap­pear­ing to have buried its dif­fer­ences and get­ting it to­gether again, the SLP leader seemed to lose it. The re­sult was among the most dis­gust­ing elec­tion campaigns Saint Lu­cians had ever ex­pe­ri­enced. And it seemed Ja­dia echoed the worst of what her boss said. In­stead of seek­ing to soften the worst ex­am­ples, she pub­licly en­dorsed them with her own even more vi­cious at­tacks on the Chas­tanets.

There is a com­mon be­lief that if an in­di­vid­ual im­merses him­self long enough in neg­a­tiv­ity, that in­di­vid­ual will him­self epit­o­mize neg­a­tiv­ity. Whether or not she re­al­ized it, her fans started de­sert­ing her in droves. You had only to read the re­ac­tions to her Face­book post­ings to see the writ­ing on the wall. It seemed that all along Ja­dia had been wear­ing a mask that cov­ered her true self. And the un­masked ver­sion was any­thing but pretty. It still is shock­ing the dam­age Ja­dia did to her own im­age on SLAPS– Saint Lu­cians Aim­ing for Problems, al­legedly in­vented by the prime min­is­ter’s wife.

Be­fore count­less on­ceador­ing eyes, foxy Ja­dia changed to diva Ja­dia and then to a dragon spit­ting fire from ev­ery ori­fice. Her ver­bal as­sault on her own fa­ther, whom she de­clared not up to Alva Bap­tiste sta­tus and un­de­serv­ing of a seat in par­lia­ment, may have been the fi­nal straw. Many saw Ja­dia as throw­ing her own fa­ther un­der a bus driven by Kenny An­thony, with Bap­tiste in the pas­sen­ger seat - the fi­nal nail in the SLP’s cof­fin, per­haps.

Saint Lu­cians are fam­ily-ori­ented and in their eyes blood is truly thicker than po­lit­i­cal dirty wa­ter. There is no tol­er­ance here of a daugh­ter who would sac­ri­fice her fa­ther on the al­tar of pol­i­tics. We know where Kenny An­thony and his apos­tles now find them­selves. It re­mains to be seen where his gap-toothed and rouged-up cre­ation ends up.

I, for one, can hardly wait to find out, although I think I know where that once pretty head will come to rest!

SLP com­mu­ni­ca­tion di­rec­tor and former press sec­re­tary to former prime min­is­ter Kenny An­thony, Ja­dia Em­manuel.

Former prime min­is­ter and SLP leader Kenny An­thony with his former press sec­re­tary Ja­dia Jn Pierre Eman­nuel.

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