The JLP has suddenly turned into Jamaica’s answer to an award-winning soap opera. I really did not think that the dust would settle fast, after Sunday’s show of love and unity once the leadership election results were announced. I did not see, however, that the unloveliness and disunity would spiral so fast.
Mr. Shaw gives the acclaimed leader “a free hand” by resigning his finance spokesperson post. All shadow ministers resign, so that the ‘free hand’ has turned into a ‘free bunch’. All magnanimity? Mr. Holness, as befits a man who believes that the result gave him a clear mandate, puts his mark on his new Parliamentary tag team and names Mr. Shaw again as ‘Mr. Finance’. But, wait! Mr. Shaw is audacious: he pens a letter to the leader saying “I cannot accept assignment as Shadow Minister”. Why? Because one of his supporters, Mr. Tufton–who had been a vociferous critic of Mr. Holness in the campaign, and could be called ‘Mr. Tuffness’, is staring at the chopping block. Mr. Shaw has issues that need to be dealt with first:
“The main issues are your expressed desire for ALL Senators to resign and the outstanding issue of the challenged legitimacy of the nomination of two Deputy Leaders.
It is clear to me that the reason for your desire to have the resignations of the Senators, is to allow for the exclusion of Dr Christopher Tufton and others who did not support you in the recent election.”
That is, course, pure rhetoric. If Mr. Holness really wanted to exclude those who had not supported him, why in Heaven’s name would he spend time nominating persons like Mr. Shaw? Hello!
But, of course, it puts the leader on notice that the leadership race might have been run officially, but it is still going on in the shadows–excuse my pun. This is a test. The first of many, I think. Can the leader lead? Can he withstand challenges direct and indirect?
Many believe that Mr. Holness does not have the stature of great JLP leaders, like Edward Seaga or Sir Alexander Bustamante. He is still ‘the boy’ in the eyes of many. He may be a boy, but he now gets the chance to show if he can be like David, and topple the Goliath who is still stalking him.