People’s National Party (PNP) Member of Parliament for Central Manchester Peter Bunting was not safe from criticisms of his own for comments likening Prime Minister Andrew Holness to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un.
Bunting, who was forced to sit out Tuesday night’s (August 25) spirited national debates, watched in seeming consternation as the trio of Christopher Tufton, Kamina Johnson Smith and Floyd Green from the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), repeatedly called on Holness in their presentations.
“I wonder if team JLP is obliged to mention the name ‘Andrew Holness’ in every answer? A little Kim Jong Un-ish #jamaicadebates2020,” he tweeted.
It’s safe to say the rhetoric was not lost on the Jamaican Twitterati, which got to work to chastise Bunting for the inflammatory remark.
The tweet and its immediate backlash triggered a fierce debate online, even as the higher-stakes counterpart continued on live television, as persons weighed in with polarising views.
For those who shared Bunting’s opinion, the feeling was the JLP speakers relied too much on the appeal and popularity of Andrew Holness, while not sticking to sufficiently respond to the questions at hand.
Others felt Holness’ repeated comparisons to brutal dictators on the part of the PNP were grossly unfair and out of place in a democratic society such as Jamaica.
While the rest refused to take the high road and slammed the seasoned MP for pushing a ‘misplaced and misinformed agenda’ ahead of the September 3 general elections.
More still, accused the former minister of being jealous as by their recollections, none of Team PNP – comprising Lisa Hanna, Dayton Campbell and Raymond Pryce – mentioned party leader Dr Peter Phillips once.
At the same time, each of the three presenters were more than willing to ride on the coattails of other former PNP presidents, including the late Michael Manley, as well as PJ Patterson and Portia Simpson Miller.
A similar comparison was made by then-President of the PNP Youth Organisation in mid-May 2019, when she referred to ‘rhetoric of a New Jamaica’ by PM Andrew Holness as evocative of past speeches by German dictator Adolf Hitler.
Tomlinson in interviews offered an unreserved apology, but still managed doubled down on the comparison claiming that for too long Holness had exhibited scant regard for the Jamaican Constitution.
What do you think, BUZZ fam?