Friday, December 30, 2011


Changing of the guard

It is with wry amusement I note Andrew Holness has gone the way of Vaughn Lewis and Arnhim Eustace. At least two of these men took over or were chosen to replace larger than life personalities whose names were synonymous with their respective nations. And as was to be expected after receiving the poisoned chalice they predictably led their parties to huge defeats. Two short months ago Holness was celebrated as the Caribbean youngest Prime Minister relegating my "sweetheart" Dominica's Roosevelt Skerritt to second place. Now he has the dubious record of being Jamaica's and possibly the Caribbean's shortest leader.

I feel a little sympathy for Holness who as we say was given basket to carry water. Bruce Golding, "smart" fellow that he was had to have seen the writing on the wall after the bungled Dudus coke affair. For months he and his administration dragged their feet on Coke's extradition going as far as contracting a US firm to lobby Washington to have the extradition revoked. Then in a turn of events they waged war against Coke and his supporters creating a tense standoff in the nation's capital.The JLP was never going to recover from that situation and as it turned out even a changing of the guard made no difference. Additionally,the JLP which held a slim majority was plagued by dual citizenship challenges against some of its members.

So the Jamaicans went back to Portia Simpson Miller, a leader whose educational background is not as brilliant as her competitors but one who has that something which draws people. It comes back to my view on how people seem to identify with a leader-the leader which would have made Holness,Lewis and Eustace non starters.I guess there is something about building a base and making your own political name before being asked to lead parties.Then again I am the furthest thing away from a political analysis but the irony of another short lived Caribbean Prime Minister is too good not to note.

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