Opposition Leader Mark Golding continues to elicit mixed reactions for a video uploaded on his official Tik Tok account, where he boasts of his effectiveness as Justice Minister.
Golding, in the 25-second video released on Sunday (June 6), assured he was “always working for the people” as he sat back and showed off a few of the 121 pieces of law reform passed in his tenure as Minister of Justice under the Portia Simpson-Miller administration.
The message, delivered on the soundtrack of Wayne Marshall’s hit single Go Hard, was largely lost on many social media users, who felt that Golding, in his attempt to appeal to younger Jamaicans, was trying too hard to be “cool”.
I for one, share this view, as it was difficult to go through the video and not cringe.
However, I must be clear, this isn’t about ‘uptown gentrification’ as some have argued, rather the People’s National Party (PNP) leader trying (and failing) to find his footing.
Don’t get it twisted either, the video in itself was fine, and there is nothing outright wrong with using dancehall to appeal to the masses—as the time-tested formula has been tried and proven effective.
Social media is a very interesting microcosm of Jamaican society, where for the majority of its users, who are young and apathetic, it can be somewhat underwhelming to see a Member of Parliament and party leader rocking off-beat to a catchy song.
In their words, not mine, it gives off “major dad vibes”, and that can mean anything from a badly timed joke to secondhand embarrassment, which is where the Golding video falls.
Hear me out for a minute…
First and foremost, this is NOT a competition.
It bodes well for our democratic process that the PNP is trying new methods to reach young Jamaicans.
The question that needs asking, however, is does it have to look and feel so forced?
I understand why so many immediately questioned whether it was real and honestly, I laughed for a bit. Then cringed. Heavily.
Mark is a sensible, competent financier-turned-politician, and it would be better if the PNP played to his strengths, not have him overexert to be something he is not.
Mind you, this comes from the same PNP who slammed Andrew Holness’ social media savvy as “PR”—now doing a poor job at PR-ing Mark.
This is a party, based on public perception most importantly, that is still at odds with itself. Don’t even get me started on that puff piece about Golding’s beard, which dropped just hours before the Tik Tok video.
There is plenty of room for improvement; take the comments, reactions and criticisms then galvanise around them and keep trying.
At the end of the day, it’s the effort that people will remember.