The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) is ripping into two People’s National Party (PNP) politicians, accusing them of “disgusting, disrespectful, and potentially dangerous outbursts” on public political platforms.
In a release yesterday, the PSOJ said it had become clear that certain members of the political directorate either made no connection between their own public behaviour and the resultant indiscipline, coarseness of manner, and disrespectful antisocial activities of their followers or did not care about the consequences.
“The recent disgusting, disrespectful, and potentially dangerous outbursts by Messrs Basil Waite and Mikael Phillips on public political platforms indicate clearly that the People’s National Party is still training political dinosaurs,” the PSOJ release stated.
“Their unfortunate utterances represent the most regressive and ignorant behaviour that Jamaica had hoped to discard on the rubbish heap of our dark and shameful political history.”
Waite, recently confirmed as the PNP standard-bearer for North East St Elizabeth, last week apologised for derogatory comments made about Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) supporters as he addressed Comrades during a meeting in the parish.
Phillips, member of parliament for North West Manchester, has also been reported to have made divisive comments about supporters of the governing party, declaring that no member of the JLP could feel comfortable in his constituency.
“No Labourite can come ya and go on like North West Manchester a dem yaad because when we tek road, all boy haffi run weh and all gyal pickney haffi tek wey demself,” Phillips could be heard saying in an audio recording of an address purportedly made during his constituency conference on the weekend.
Yesterday, the PSOJ said that the behaviour of Phillips, in particular, was extremely disappointing as he is a vice-president of the PNP “and is someone who, hitherto, has expressed himself to be aware of the consequences of permissive and slack leadership in a society which is not anchored by strong moral principles or established cultural strictures against violent language and behaviour”.
The PSOJ said that its president, Howard Mitchell, was once again cautioning the political directorate that the nation’s fragile investor confidence, which he noted has recently shown growth and improvement, was immune to neither the negative impact of arrogant and vulgar behaviour nor to outbursts that incite and encourage contempt and hatred for others who hold different opinions.
Mitchell suggested that the manner in which Jamaica manages its politics was a reflection of all aspects of society, including commerce.
“We call on all Jamaicans who respect themselves and love our country to condemn and shun politicians who promote divisiveness and antisocial behaviour, whether in the heat of political platform conflict or in our Houses of Parliament,” he said.
“If the political directorate is serious about Vision 2030, this reprehensible behaviour should not be accommodated. They must be required to apologise and to forsake public speeches until they can comport themselves as leaders, not rabble rousers and demagogues.”