CaribZone Commentary: Aubrey Campbell –Monday, February 29th

Gentle folks, today is the last day of the second month of the New Year. And in the context of Jamaica, the start of chapter eighteen in the storied political development of our beloved island nation.

Following last Thursday’s general elections, the seventeenth such since 1944, a new prime minister will be sworn in on Tuesday, with key ministers taking the oath of office during the week.

I am still searching for a reason(s) to celebrate the outcome of the election and until I do so, the sparkling cider – I’m not an alcoholic – will remain on ice.

Like I posted in the weeks and days leading up to the most pivotal election yet in the nation’s history, I would not be surprised at the results, either way. And I am, four days past, and still not. It was going to be a close race and so said, so done!

Like St. Vincent and the Grenadines and unlike Grenada, Jamaica is split right down the middle, Orange Socialist on one side and Green Laborites on the other side. At least, that’s what a 3 seat majority seems to suggest.

As a matter of fact, that is not so anymore and I stand corrected. There were more pictures of supporters or dare I say ‘sympathizers’ of both major political parties walking hand in hand, side by side, in town and country than what John could read ‘bout!

Some say it showed political maturity. The ‘CON-spiracy’ theorists have a different, more radical view. With party loyalty as we know it, on the decline due to empty promises and disenchantment, support was on sale for a dime a dozen.

Sam Sharpe Square did not have 50K strong this time around and vendors of all description and perfume, turned Half Way Tree Square into a gran’ market! Stories of Jamaicans having two sets of ‘uniform’ cannot be far-fetched, either!

“Everybaady haffi eat a food”.

When the campaign took a break for the Christmas and New Year holidays, the opposition JLP was still not seen as a viable alternative, so how come, with just 48 percent of the voter turnout, they are the new government?

Well, here’s why. Smart politicking inside and good campaigning outside. Notice, I am not saying great or brilliant. For once, the always feuding laborite family, buried the hatchet and rallied behind their leader, the same leader who like his predecessor, almost committed political suicide by his handling of the ‘senatorship’ of two of his colleagues, one of whom now fit the profile of a prodigal son!

The integrity of the leader would be called into question and building a big, bitch house in Upper St. Andrew on a meager Parliamentary salary, would not serve him well, either!

Big mistake! Every ambitious Jamaican aspires to live in a big house overlooking the Caribbean Sea!

But really and truly, The PNP fell on its own sword long before the real campaign started and were numbed by its own arrogance. Never in the history of the PNP has so much of its dirty linen been washed in the full view of the public and that spoke volumes as to who is/was in charge of the party.

No fewer than four of the nation’s future leaders, not just PNP politicians, got kicked to the curb, spat on and banished to the political wilderness. Do I need to name names here? The question here might be, how did Lisa Hanna survived the attempted take down?

Aubrey, see and blind, hear and deaf, kibbah yuh mout’. Let what is rumored remain just that, rumor! Her comrade brothers were not so lucky.

And the fact of the matter is that ‘young Jamaica’ took very careful note. ‘Memba mi tell you dat’. To hear Damion Crawford tell whoever would listen that he will be back was heart-rending!

The big, bigger, biggest disconnect came when the PNP made the ‘integrity’ of the opposition leader a campaign issue, in the process, refusing to acknowledge and understand the changing dynamic of the Jamaican electorate! A dynamic that points to youth and education.

To be fair, the JLP did some homework and the collective leadership of the PNP was caught coming out the bathroom, half dressed, over exposed! Read my lips, silly! They had no time to respond to the promise of a tax shelter provided in the 10-point plan, empty promise or not.

That’s the nature of Jamaica’s ‘politricks,’ which has given rise to this new, hydra-headed monster called scamming. To run wid it, we have to deal wid it! Are you with me..?

How dare you call Jamaicans fools when the previous seventeen chapters of our politics are littered with empty, broken, egregious promises?

And like I have said in this space so many times over, it’s a pity there isn’t a viable third party, because this most dysfunctional dynamic of our democracy, where we swap the black dawg for the monkey, will repeat itself.

Politics is cyclic. Where will you be five years from now? If you can’t answer, that’s not a problem. No problem, mon! Thanks to an articulate minority, Jamaica’s politics is at the stage where keeping an under-performing government in power, is no longer an option. If mouth won’t talk, fingers will! If you think SM is not a powerful tool, just check the scope of the posts since Thursday night. Some of them are not all that cute!

Don’t know much about history or clairvoyance and I don’t know if the tax plan can work, what I do know is that a new con artist is in town. To that I say, Eternal Father bless our Land!

RIP. Winston ‘Merritone’ Blake. Congratulations to the cast and crew of Spotlight. Finally!

That’s today’s conversation. As usual, I give you the last word. Share your thoughts, please.


  1. -Brian Wallace

    Brilliant display of engaging story telling my brother. I Learned a few things I didn’t know, like the big house built by the unnamed politikan.
    I don’t take sides…I am actually sick to the stomach of Jamaican politricks.

    So I read and stay out of arguing. One suggestion I heard that I liked. How about no more party politics and just one government. Sounds like a non-democratic situation, but I don’t know what else to hope for.

    Later bro.

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