More political intrigue in Old Harbour last week. But for once the cause of the commotion was not the sitting MP Everald Warmington of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), but the local councillor, Esworth Frankson.
Frankson has been the local JLP councillor for quite some time but last week officially cross the local government floor and joined the governing People’s National Party (PNP). “Judas” in the eyes of die hard JLP supporters here. But a brave decision by Frankson given that Old Harbour has been a JLP stronghold for a sizable part of its political history.
Frankson affectionately known by many as “Kojak” is a born and bred Old Harbourite. Well known as half decent footballer during the 1970s & early 8os “Kojak” moved on to be a successful bookmaker and businessman.
Frankson explained that one of the reasons why he left theJLP was his strained working relationship with the local MP Warmington. Now that is not hard to believe given Warmington’s volatile reputation both at in local and national politics .
In one of Warmington’s latest outburst the MP said
[“If you don’t vote, you don’t count, and you can’t ask for government benefits when you refuse to participate in the governance of your country. I don’t know how others perform, how others work, but in South West St Catherine dem have to vote to talk to me, nuh care how yu sick and need it, nuh care how the old lady on the crutch; you didn’t vote without an excuse, you don’t talk to this member of parliament,” ]
Many local JLP suppprters are very angry at Frankson’s decsionto jump ship. Speaking of ship the PNP government must be delighted by Frankson’s move to join their ranks. Given that China’s planned investment of over $US1 billion to develop a logistic transhipment Hub that will be situated by Goat Island and the nearby surroundings of the Old Harbour and Old Harbour Bay area.
Old Harbour has been one of the fastest growing towns in Jamaica in the last 10 years. The creation of the logistics hub is no doubt going to transform Old Harbour’s infrastructure and commercial landscape even further. Would the PNP prefer having their own MP and local councillors in place there rather than the JLP – when the hub investment programme is officially launched? Given the PNP have been doing all the leg work to get the Chinese investment on board I think yes. Because as the say in Jamaica – “money a go run“.
So one can expect “Kojak” to receive an influx of public funds from his new comrades to fix the roads etc to shore up his reputation and ensure PNP can officially win the seat at the next local government elections.
As one female PNP supporter in Old Harbour said yesterday “I didn’t hate Kojak before, Kojak hated me…….he loves me now”