Sun | Sep 22, 2019

Gordon Robinson | PNP leadership no-deal Eggxit?

Published:Tuesday | September 10, 2019 | 12:09 AM
Peter Bunting conceding defeat on Saturday night. File
Peter Bunting conceding defeat on Saturday night. File

Cawn’t sey mi neva dida warn yu!

Encouraged by messages from the Ministry of Health (and, well, Nice), I conducted a scientific study on wholesome dietary requirements.

The results have proven (oops) that raw egg splashed on one’s face is neither Health(y) nor Nice. There’s more. As you grow older, the best way to appear youthful is to allow all signs of old age to fall away. Like hair, teeth, etc! But the problem is thereby compounded if any of the raw egg should fall on top of your head. It simply slides off into your face, presenting you with more to lick.

Speaking of licking (not to mention things that fall with age), this brings me to the political swordfight between two Peters. One Peter thrust hard, and the other couldn’t stand firm enough to parry, thus ending up with a sticky head. This time, the Peter with egg sliding off his head was Peter Bunting, who found himself both licked and licking as he made what Brits might call a no-deal Eggxit from PNP leadership.

In my September 1 preview (‘Whither PNP?’), after predicting Peter Phillips’ victory, I wrote: “The sole issue should be, where will Peter Phillips, steady in the betting and trusted to keep a steady hand on the PNP wheel, take PNP after this bruising, debilitating contest? Who will travel with him?”

Why is the onus suddenly on Phillips?

But, like Nixon, who never removed his shoes during the Vietnam War, some ‘political analysts’ refused to smell defeat. Phillips delivered an appropriate victory speech after a post-election interview in which he was asked if he intended to extend an olive branch to Bunting. As he honestly and frankly replied, why should he? Peter Phillips didn’t start the war. Phillips didn’t begin on the fundamental platform that his opponent had done NOTHING to transform the PNP since becoming leader. Phillips didn’t announce that he didn’t believe in the most basic requirement for PNP membership, namely, democratic socialism.

Why is the onus suddenly on Phillips to extend an olive branch to Bunting, who stubbornly refused to agree to an early election and then campaigned against Phillips throughout Jamaica for three months, all but destroying the PNP’s chances in any upcoming general election? Phillips isn’t the one who repeatedly told Jamaica that the PNP can’t win a general election against the JLP.

It seems to me the onus is on Bunting now that delegates have again rejected his outrageous claims and anti-PNP policies. ‘Analysts’ keep repeating that Peter Phillips hadn’t been authenticated by a delegate vote before now, but that’s false. In 2017, Bunting announced that he’d challenge for leadership but, after consulting with PNP delegates, admitted that delegates told him it wasn’t his time. So he withdrew. If that isn’t the same as, or very adjacent to, a delegate vote between the two, my mother was a man.

Let’s be real and stop sounding like Christian soldiers expecting the persecuted to turn the other cheek. Peter Phillips has turned so many cheeks to Peter Bunting over the past two years, he’s in danger of earning the condemnation of yet another Peter (Espeut). On each occasion, his cheeks have been slapped away and his work undermined. Now HE must extend an olive branch? C’mon, man!

What Peter Phillips did (in post-election interview and speech) was to extend an olive branch to Bunting’s supporters who made the vote so close. What Peter Bunting needs to do is pause, try introspection, and decide who HE is and what HE believes. If he doesn’t believe in democratic socialism, PNP ain’t for him. If he’s prepared to commit to PNP principles if he’s willing to sincerely accept Phillips as the sole leader mandated to unite the party and take it into the next general election ON THOSE PRINCIPLES and support Phillips 100 per cent, in my opinion, the onus is on Bunting to light a candle, sing a Sankey, and find his way home.

Peace and love.

Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com.