The People’s National Party is
Both men are former ministers of government under past PNP administrations.
In fact, both men have served as ministers of national security in different PNP administrations.
Peter Phillips is 70-year-old, while Bunting is 59-years-old. Past leaders of the PNP Michael Manley, Percival Patterson and Portia Simpson Miller all past Prime Ministers of that party were at Phillips’ age looking to exit the stage.
Asked about his decision to contest this challenge to his leadership at a time when past leaders were looking to retire, Peter Phillips told the interviewer he could not just walk away simply because someone thought he was old.
Insofar as age goes, it really does not matter, how old a person, is as long as they are able to coherently articulate policy directions which are cogent and representative of the future, not stuck in the past.
Having never sat down with either man to talk about their views, it is difficult for me to form an opinion of either, sufficing to say that the People’s National Party under its present leadership is still stuck in the hyperbolic leftist failed ideology of the ’70s.
With clenched fists and reference to each other as “comrades”, the PNP exudes vestiges of a time , progressives and educated Jamaicans want to put in their rearview mirrors.
Communism is a failed political ideology, so too is socialism. The Soviet Union and China were the two bastions of Communism in the 20th century.
Today, the Soviet Union does not exist, former states, with the exception of maybe one or two, are independent states which have largely adopted western-style democratic market-driven policies. Russia and China have both deregulated their economies allowing for market forces to provide wealth and opportunities for their people.
In actuality, not only has Communism failed, so too has the concept of democratic socialism.
It is to this sinking ideology that the present PNP under Peter Phillips has continued to tether itself.
To his credit, Peter Bunting is a younger leader who has credible private sector bona fides. Bunting is a wealthy former businessman whom I believe Is the better choice of the two, given his opposition to democratic socialism as a political direction.
The present JLP administration under the leadership of Prime Minister Andrew Holness is a party which understands,( to some degree) how the private sector is supposed to work for the betterment of the country.
The PNP seeming still struggles to understand that citizens are not supposed to depend on Government for jobs and or handouts.
A PNP under Peter Bunting in my estimation, will give our country two parties with bright young leaders who understand that the Government should not be an enabler but a facilitator.
It is with that in mind why I hope the delegates in that party select Peter Bunting to lead the party into the future and away from the old ways of the past.