‘Mi nuh fraid’

COBBLA, Manchester — Opposition spokesman on national security Senator Peter Bunting says regardless of criticism he will continue to verbally attack the Government for its failures.

“Well, you know, if I could borrow some words from the former leader and prime minister, Portia Simpson Miller. Mi nuh fraid a nuh man, nuh gyal, nuh weh. Whether you own media company, whether you a private sector ginnygog, whether you a G2K… I will continue speaking truth to power on behalf of the people of Jamaica,” Bunting declared in an address at the People’s National Party’s Manchester North Eastern constituency conference on Thursday.

The constituency conference was held to endorse Ethnie Miller Simpson who is vying to challenge Manchester North Eastern Member of Parliament, the JLP’s Audley Shaw.

Bunting’s reference to the young professional affiliate of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), Generation 2000 (G2K), was obviously in response to that organisation’s recent call for him to resign as shadow minister and from the Senate.

G2K and the JLP’s youth arm Young Jamaica, had questioned the issuance of gun licences — while Bunting was minister of national security — to a prominent St Elizabeth businessman who has been charged in relation to the illegal importation of firearms.

Bunting, who while addressing a constituency conference in St Elizabeth on Sunday, had urged the Government to apologise for allegedly misleading the country before seeking political consensus on crime, said he remains undeterred.

He had criticised Prime Minister Andrew Holness’s appeal last week for the Opposition’s support in tackling crime.

“We called out the hypocrisy and the media run with the licks on Monday. Dem run wid it on Tuesday. Dem run wid it on Wednesday, so today [Thursday] now his allies in media and elsewhere start fire back,” Bunting said.

He said the PNP stands firm in representing the interests of those in need.

“Those who own the big businesses, the hotels and media houses, don’t need us to advocate for them — it is those who work on six-month contracts for 20 years straight that don’t have any of the protections of the labour legislation that Michael Manley put in, that need the People’s National Party to speak on their behalf,” he said.

He added that the country’s brain drain (migration of people with special skills and expertise) is centred around people looking out for their families.

“The teachers are abandoning schools in droves — not because they wouldn’t want to stay, but the conditions that they are being asked to serve under. You cannot sacrifice your own families for that,” he said.

He pointed to graduates of The University of the West Indies, Northern Caribbean University, and the University of Technology, Jamaica as examples of young people leaving Jamaica in search of opportunities overseas.

“You saw the release that we are number two in the world in terms of brain drain so it is not just the teachers — it’s the nurses, the police officers… the graduates of UWI, NCU, UTech. Some of the most entrepreneurial people will be the ones who are also leaving. Don’t blame them, they are not cowards,” he said.

“They are looking out for their families to whom they have the first responsibility,” he added.

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