One thing about most politicians is they prefer to be associated with good news rather than bad. So, it’s been interesting this week to watch the barbs ramp up about PM Holness, and whether he has been MIA (missing in action) while the pandemic effects of Jamaica have worsened, especially into 2021. If I were really interested, I’d track the minutes, hours, and days from the first needle prick to a full response. Well, one response appeared in the media yesterday, and the PM made clear that he didn’t feel he’d been missing, because he was “working behind the scenes”.
This muffled cri de coeur reminded me of a photo that was taken and published of the PM ‘working’ on a plane that purported to show him ‘working’ while on an official visit to China in 2019. First reactions, were funny, as the plane interior looked swish and many thought first that he was on a private jet; it was just first class on a nice airline like Cathay Pacific.
Of course, those shots need to offset the impression of a junket that some take when they seen politicians doing what looks like tourism, such as trips to the Great Wall of China:
The public also get confused when they see politicians doing what they call leisure. But, taking exercise is often seen as a good thing by most people. I’ve noticed how some politicians have played with the optics of their taking exercises; it sometimes backfires.
Many people don’t know how bureaucracy works so need relatable moments to convince them their tax dollars are being put to good use. Having been on the inside many decades, it helps to know that work often never stops for many in bureaucracies. Some would then say they should work all the time for the people. While many expect their politicians to be super human, they also want them to be relatable and like them. It’s a no-win situation.
But, it’s funny to watch.