No, not like the similar sounding disease that affects cattle, but the urge politicians often feel to say things that embarrass themselves and offend the very public they are attempting to win over.
Or perhaps they just made a mistake.
People’s National Party (PNP) General Secretary Donald Buchanan, a politician whose tongue is frequently drawn, was especially unfortunate. No lesser figure than his boss, PNP President and Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller scolded him from a campaign platform on Sunday, following his remarks about the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) being “retarded”.
We selected a few more gaffes from the current campaign:
“… dem will hold yuh down … An’ tek it!”
- Roger Clarke, PNP candidate for Central Westmoreland warns supporters at a Party rally in St. Elizabeth last weekend about rival suitors for voters’ affections, the JLP.
“Roger Clarke is a sorry excuse for a human being … I have a message for him … if your virginity remains intact, please rest assured that it will remain that way because we would never rape anything like you.”
- JLP Mayor of Kingston and St. Andrew Desmond McKenzie assures Mr. Clarke that his party are in no way desirous of him.
“On the 28th, me ah give dem a whipping.”
- PNP candidate for Western St. Mary Delano Franklyn has an intellectual reputation. Listening to Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller’s election date announcement, Mr. Franklyn would have noticed that she is fond of the number seven, of which 28 is a multiple. However he should also have heard her announce August 27 as Election Day. JLP candidate Robert Montague probably won’t remind him.
“You nah go fin’ Bruce Golding lay down in a bed with the opposite sex.”
- An earlier attempt by Mr. McKenzie to reassure voters about the sexual behaviour of the JLP. Given Mr. Golding’s stated anti-gay stance this was an obvious error, which his Party colleague corrected.
“Gangsta fi Life!”
- PNP candidate for Northern Clarendon Horace Dalley got a little overexcited on a campaign platform with microphone in hand when he chose to imitate the refrain popularised by deejay Mavado. This might be viewed by some as a Freudian slip about the political system given recent violence and the widespread belief that both political parties are tainted by associations with gunmen.
“Put a ‘X’ beside the head.”
- Don Foote, JLP candidate for Eastern Westmoreland was trying to encourage people to vote JLP at a rally earlier this month. He would rather have said “beside the bell”, which is the traditional symbol of his Party, rather than encouraging people to seek affinity with that of the PNP.
Perhaps you have your own suggestions for inclusion? Add your comments below …