Analyst says Peter Phillips found good middle ground with Shadow Cabinet

Dr Peter Phillips at right, Peter Bunting (centre) and Fitz Jackson during a church service in September following the PNP’s presidential election.

Political analyst Kevin O’Brien Chang says the cutting of doctors Angela Brown Burke and Dayton Campbell from Opposition Leader Peter Phillips’ newly formed shadow cabinet was inevitable.

O’Brien Chang told BUZZ that despite Dr Peter Phillips probably wanting to do more for the ousted spokespersons, he had to reward his #OnePNP supporters, as well as reach out to #RiseUnited Peter Bunting, Mark Golding and Fenton Ferguson.

“You can’t please everybody in politics. You try to [welcome] as many as you can and I think Dr Phillips found a good middle ground. The persons to include were Bunting, of course, and Golding. He also included Fenton Ferguson, who didn’t support him. Dayton Campbell and Angela Brown Burke, I’m sure he would have liked to include but you only have so much space,” O’Brien Chang said.

Dr Dayton Campbell axed from Shadow Cabinet.

He said Phillips had to consider the people who fought by his side during the PNP presidential challenge in September and backed him at a time when it was easy to cross over to the Bunting camp.

‘It’s a pretty good indication that he does want unity.’

— Kevin O’Brien Chang

“The most important thing for Dr Phillips right now is to show party unity. The public doesn’t want a divided party; if you’re divided in opposition, in government you’ll be chaotic. It’s a pretty good indication that he does want unity. He didn’t do enough at the [PNP annual] conference but he’s started on the path. Let’s hope he continues,” he added.

Political analyst Kevin O’Brien Chang.

O’Brien Chang argued that going forward, the PNP still has the task of convincing the Jamaican electorate that it deserves to be reinstated in Government.

He added: “The shadow cabinet alone cannot win a general election; the PNP needs to start coming forward with some good ideas. One of the disappointments of the [presidential] race with Bunting and Phillips was that there was nothing to say, ‘Hey Jamaica, these are our ideas to make the country better’. You can oppose the Government, but you have to put forward alternative policies. Why should the public vote for you?”