Comrades warned to cool it

The People’s National Party (PNP) is embarking on a unity push days after a senior member of its leadership wrote to a veteran party member and accused him of being part of a small team actively strategising to “bring down” the party’s President Mark Golding.

The person who is leading the push, former PNP General Secretary Maxine Henry Wilson has warned her Comrades that without unity the PNP will be in serious trouble.

“The public can’t believe that you have the capacity to lead if internally you can’t even talk to each other properly. So, the work that the party has to do, and is doing, has to be brought to the fore and the disunity has to take a back seat.

“… It is not going to disappear, but we all need to have a larger purpose around which we are revolving,” Henry Wilson told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

Her comments came after the officers of the PNP, in a late night media release on Monday, said that they have a common commitment to work together to ensure that the party continues on its mission of building equality and social justice.

“We know that if we are able to work together and build trust and unity among ourselves and the wider party, the PNP will be a formidable and unstoppable force,” declared the party’s 13 officers in the release.

The PNP members have been involved in bitter infighting since last year, following their crushing defeat in the September 3 General Election and the subsequent resignation of Dr Peter Phillips as the party’s president.

Subsequent to the November 7, 2020 election of Golding to replace Phillips as party leader, a Unity Committee was established inside the party with Henry Wilson at its helm and given a mandate to bring the Comrades back together. But, so far, that has only moved the overt fighting into covert snipping.

The PNP officers, in Monday’s release, declared that they would work with the Unity Committee and the wider party to deploy regional unity builders/moderators to address issues that arise from time to time and hinted that action could be taken against those who fail to follow the rules.

“The executive has activated that party’s Internal Affairs Commission and its Disciplinary Committee to take the necessary steps to forge harmony and cohesiveness that a strong organisation requires, and to ensure adherence to the party’s constitution and code of conduct,” said the officers.

Henry Wilson agreed that more needs to be done by the organs of the party to enforce internal discipline.

“We have to have organs that are effective, not just things for people to put on their resumes when they are ready to run for office. I have spoken to the chairmen of both committees, they have been established. It is now just time for them to start doing their work.

“We have to have something that binds us together. It can’t be who put the last post on social media denigrating your own Comrade [and] denigrating leaders. It is a hard context in which we find ourselves, but the PNP has to get back to its principles, and I think that is causing the fissures that exist,” declared Henry Wilson.

She argued that the party’s organs which should be enforcing discipline and codes of conduct have not been functioning as designed and that is an area which the Unity Committee is seeking to address.

“The officers are going to have to lead the unity process, and we have to believe that unity is imperative. That is why I am glad that we have reached where we have reached now.

“The next step is for us to bring the other organs of the party into the process but at the same time we have to make sure that people at all levels of the party… that they believe in the unity. They have to believe that this thing is bigger than an individual and therefore it is worth preserving, and at that rate we are going it can’t be preserved.


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