That’s what all the people say
You’re riding high in April, shot down in May
But I know I’m gonna change that tune
When I’m back on top, back on top in June
I said that’s life
And as funny as it may seem
Some people get their kicks
Stomping on a dream
But I don’t let it get me down
Cause this fine ole world, it keeps spinning’ around🎵🎵
(That’s Life, By Frank Sinatra)
The PNP’s Dr Dayton Campbell is in a spot of bother. With events going from bad to worse it is now a clear and present danger to this iteration of the PNP and the nascent leadership of Mark Golding.
Campbell is accused by teenage girls of sexual misconduct, thus giving Karen Cross leverage in her assertion that the former MP for St Ann North Western is a paedophile.
One of the main protagonists of the ‘Rise’ cohort of the PNP, Campbell vociferously denies all allegations and protests his innocence.
But is this enough?
Indeed it is not.
He must unequivocally establish that he did not do these dastardly acts and must reveal exactly how he knows these young girls in question and what exactly is his relationship with them. Have they ever travelled in his car? Have they frequented his home? Have they ever travelled with him to Kingston or accompanied him during his obligations and duties to the party?
Campbell needs to provide answers and fast.
The onus is on him to prove what they say is an injurious fabrication and is perhaps part of a scheme to discredit him and sully his reputation.
He has filed a defamation lawsuit against Karen Cross but Campbell cannot rely on scoring legal points. He may very well be hung, drawn and quartered by public opinion condemned to political Hades. He is literally in a fight for his life and that of the PNP.
Campbell should be working night and day to exonerate himself. It is not enough to simply leave at: “I reject in the strongest of terms, recent and ongoing allegations made against my character.”
He has to see to it there is no credence to these young girls’ lurid claims. Heaven forbid that videos start appearing or other graphic imagery that would nail him to the cross. He has to corroborate where he was and what he was doing at the times he is alleged to have behaved inappropriately. Can he get other people to vouch for him?
Looking from the outside in, one gets the impression the momentum is with Karen Cross and that it is becoming an uphill battle for Campbell with him continuing to lose sympathy.
Today it is easy to be condemned by social media, a refuge for the inane and unsubstantiated. Dr Dayton Campbell rather than placing the onus on his accused to provide the evidence, must grab the bull by the horns making a concerted effort to destroy these claims with facts
She said you were with her on ‘Friday the 13th at 2:00 pm at the Mahoe Hotel’. That cannot be because I was at my surgery attending to patients and I have people who can swear to that.
The PNP firebrand has labelled Karen Cross a “political mercenary”. It does no good throwing brickbats at her when your very political survival is at stake. You can always level epithets once you have proved your innocence. What should be emanating from you right now is unadorned facts.
The PNP has so far stood behind him and its leader Mark Golding has lent his support much to his detriment. If Campbell should ever get out of this mess, he will owe him big time!
Six months into Golding’s tenure, the PNP is still not making its presence felt. Now it may very well be that it will take at least a year before Golding can spruce up the machinery and oil the cogs, but he has to make his impression felt. This Campbell contretemps is a headache both Golding and the PNP can do without as it seeks to win back Jamaicans.
The #MeToo movement is now here in Jamaica and a week doesn’t go by without some ghastly atrocity committed against women coming to light.
The George Wright video asked questions of the JLP government and it was handled poorly. Dr Dayton Campbell’s plight is a gift from the political gods. In prison child abuse and sexual molestations of minors is seen as the lowest form of degradation bringing wrath and terrible retribution—so too with the Jamaican public.
The question that is now being weighed is what is more heinous, the physical abuse of grown women by a man who should know better or the sexual exploitation of young girls who have not yet reached the age of consent?
The JLP has played it beautifully and has its foot on the PNP’s neck…and it’s a heavy foot. Campbell must play his part in removing that foot.
When the scholarly, erudite and urbane Trevor Munroe joins the chorus that recommends that Campbell should step away from the party and his duties until there is clarity on the case and justice prevails, it’s best to take serious note.
Now is the time for Dr Dayton Campbell to come to the aid of the party.
The PNP cannot afford for public perception to determine that each of the major political parties are as terrible as each other—corrupt, misogynistic, culpable in the abuse of women, morally ambiguous, self-serving – a den of thieves and miscreants.
Already Karen Cross is calling out Mark Golding as weak and ineffective, a man of straw. Acts of defiance and disrespect will only increase and grow louder if not cauterized and dealt with firmly.
Mark Golding will have to now show what he is made of. Ominously for him, Lisa Hanna is quietly gone about her business demonstrating states craft and bolstering her image. It may be too early to challenge Golding this year but certainly next year if things don’t change and members shortcomings and failings are exposed, Hanna may be in a better position to have another stab at securing the leadership of the PNP … and she will have the support to take her over the line this time as stalwarts draw the conclusion that Norman Manley’s party will be in opposition for a very, very long time.
Andrew Holness may well be a grey-haired man entering the evening of his years before he leaves the stage.
Golding and the PNP must take care not to see the words of Alfred Tennyson’s famous poem “ Ulysses” come to pass and define what befell them in the second decade of the twenty-first century – a party that became a spent force less than a hundred years after its formation.
“We are not now that strength which in old days
moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are
One equal temper of heroic hearts
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield.”