Sat | Jan 23, 2021

Mark Wignall | Choosing the wrong man

Published:Sunday | October 11, 2020 | 12:06 AM

Jenny was a mere 16 years old, and as she described herself, totally unexposed to the ways of the world. Which made her the perfect prey for 30-year-old Jeremy, a street side vendor in one of the most bustling small towns in the southern side of the island.

Jenny’s father had 17 children, and she wasn’t quite sure where she fit in that numbers game. It never really mattered to her. In quick time, Jeremy had captivated her and had her exactly where he wanted her - listening to him, believing in him.

At 18, he convinced her to move in with him. For some strange, miraculous reason, the relationship survived for six years. “Wi neva had any problem,” she tells me.

Then suddenly, it all went downhill she says. At some stage, according to Jenny, the situation changed radically. Disrespect in their usual discourse became the order of the day. It became painful for her just to get up and live out an entire day. According to her.

Then one day, over the course of a week’s spatial juggling, they were occupying separate rooms. A month after, she moved out.

In early May of this year, at close to midnight, she was alone at home when he came over. As men are wont to do in such situations, he began pleading with her and begging her to return to him and forgive him for his errors. According to her.

She told me that she told him that the relationship was finished. She began to receive threatening messages on her phone. Not from him, she told me, but from women who she believed were set up to intimidate her while making him seem to be a man in demand.

In the same month of May, he came over and it went downhill fast. He grabbed away her phone and used it to slam her hard in the face. He reached for a knife, stabbed her in the chest, the belly, and sliced her on the nose. She fell to the ground and saw as he turned back towards her, and then he fled. She spent a month in the hospital in the parish capital.

“Is the boyfriend I was living with at the time who took me to hospital.” Three days later, she gave a statement to the police at a well-known police station in one of the busiest urban centres in the parish.

“He keeps on calling my phone and threatening me. I feel so stressed, Mr Wignall. Anything you can do to help me.

“So why would he be threatening you after you have made a report to the police? It makes no sense to me unless he is a highly connected bad man,” I said.

Last Thursday, I made contact with the detective involved in the case. “In this parish, Mr Wignall, people don’t tell police anything. This is a weed paris, and those people don’t talk. I agree with you with what the lady has said that he has been seen, but every time we attempt to get near him to take him in, he eludes us with the help of the community.

“Anyway, wi soon grab him.”


One of the cardinal rules in politics is never apologise for what you were when you were on the path to becoming what you are.

There will be times in a person’s life when he will be much less than he would want the public to believe he or she ever was. It’s a part of our humanity, but it is never tailor made for politicians when they are asked to bare their souls in the weeks before others not so kind to them lay it all out in the sun on a sheet of hot zinc.

The race for People’s National Party (PNP) president seems to be taking a course of more comity and less divisiveness. I like that even though I know that there are many holdouts in the PNP who have convinced themselves that they will be in a long drought of opposition fever.

Last week, I suggested that in me finding favour with Mark Golding over Lisa Hanna I was pushing a man that was more like Peter Phillips, a man I saw as the heavy albatross that brought about the PNP’s failure to take off at the political runway.

This begs the other question. With Lisa Hanna as the PNP’s front runner in the race for PNP President (according to polls), does she show more in common with Andrew Holness than Golding reflects the electoral emptiness of Peter Phillips?

It seems to me that what the PNP needed in its grand effort to acknowledge that the party needs a big-tent renewal was first, the removal of Peter Phillips who was never going to admit to his own electoral weaknesses.

On that basis, what I am seeing in Golding’s early all inclusiveness is his skilful attempts to show Lisa the way, and who knows, even invite her in to learn a few things. It could be that at this early stage of two front-page personalities in the PNP showing us their motion, the big positive is that the most recent negative - Peter Phillips - is no longer there.


We know that party politics requires that grown men and women are often moved to physically degrade themselves and provide their grandchildren with memes for life.

Mark Golding is an uptown brown man who just happens to be a very rootsy character. But he, led by his rootsy, downtown makeup, must know that the uptown brown man stepping out of his Kingston 6 enclave will never cut it as a dancer. To downtown rhythms?

I can really understand that Mark Golding knows that one step forward, two belly jiggle will not necessarily lead to his political demise at this stage as much as it will earn him points for his ability to laugh at himself.

It is not purely comedic or pandering to the people. It is playing to see what sticks, sells, and reaps political rewards.

Go for it, Mark! I am willing to laugh.

- Mark Wignall is a political and public-affairs analyst. Email feedback to and