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Dr. Peter Phillips Back In Parliament

Breaking Jamaican News

Photo: Dr. Peter Phillips


April 22, 2020 | By Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie |

Will Phillips’ Health Hold Up?

The Opposition Leader Dr. Peter David Phillips is back in Parliament after undergoing major surgery to remove stage 3 colon Cancer. Phillips 70 underwent surgery on March 23 to remove cancer and underwent Chemotherapy. His doctors advised that he had a good chance at recovery … well enough to soon return to office.

Stress

Due to the stresses of his job as Opposition Leader we think he has returned to work too quickly. Of course we have no medical training so our assessment cannot and should not be taken seriously.

Independent Medical Advice

We had consulted with a 18 year veteran of the medical profession who advised us that Dr. Phillips’ chances of recovery was good, but at his age and based on his perceived life style he should take it easy. Will he resign and hand the reigns of the 81 year old PNP to a younger and fitter person?

Dr. Phillips narrowly fought of a challenge for the presidency of the PNP hearing MP Peter Bunting 58 by 76 votes or 1: percent from 3000+ delegates voting late 2019.

General Elections

General Elections are constitutionally due by 2021. The calling of same is the sole prerogative of the PM. We are of the view that if social distancing guidelines can be established then Holness should call the elections at the earliest possible time.

Opposition In Disarray

From all indications despite their leadership contest that returned Phillips as leader all is not well in turmoil. They are not, in our view a viable Opposition. They are in disarray and the governing JLP should seize on this perceived weakness to retain power. Why allow them to regroup? Politics has been described as the “art of the possible”. When your opponent is down, you should do everything to keep them down. Why try to play church? Leave morality to the religious leaders. Politics is not a Sunday School Affair.

Opinion Polls

The last opinion polls held gave PM Andrew Holness a commanding lead over Dr. Phillips and the Opposition. Were it not for the COVID 19 pandemic there would, in my perspective, an election now. The PM in my view still commands a favourable approval rating. His handling of the COVID 19 pandemic has won him much commendation. He should move before the outbreak spreads further.

This is our reading of the political landscape. We offer no apologies for our pragmatic approach. Holness based on his performance and the views expressed in social media deserves a second term. The economy has done well and unemployment prior to COVID 19 was 7.8 percent. Crime figures are encouraging. Trending down. This unemployment report is a record for Jamaica. Why wait? Delay is danger.

We wish Dr. Phillips good health and continued mending.

This is our perspective. Feel free to disagree. What is yours?

Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is Senior National & International Correspondent for Vision Newspaper Canada.

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