Mon | May 25, 2020

Danishka Williams | Why I back Peter Phillips

Published:Friday | August 23, 2019 | 12:00 AM
People's National Party President Dr Peter Phillips greets a supporter on his arrival for the party's 80th anniversary conference at the National Arena in September last year. Phillips will be challenged for leadership in two weeks' time.

It is my firm belief that Dr Peter David Phillips is the right man to lead the People’s National Party (PNP) into the next general election.

In footage that has been manipulated, I said, “We have to continue the renewal process, and if you look on one side, those who are rising are rising out of the party, and all the Comrades on this side are staying in the party.” Since being posted on social media, several Rise United supporters have questioned my loyalty.

As a young delegate in the People’s National Party, I have done my own evaluation of both campaigns by weighing the capacity of both teams that seek to make up the leadership of our organisation. This evaluation was a holistic examination of the teams and not so much specific to the individual leaders for the simple reason that no one man can run a political organisation based solely on his values and beliefs. An organisation of this magnitude requires a team of people committed to the mission of the party.


I am comfortable with the structure and plans offered by ONEPNP and have thrown my support behind Dr Phillips because it’s clear to me and many of my peers that those backing him are people of vision who intend to stay, work, and sacrifice time and energy for the party to secure ultimate success for Jamaica.

For me, it was unfortunate that a significant number of those who stood under the banner of the opposing team are either retired or are going into retirement. That is, they have made it clear that they will not be offering themselves in the upcoming general election. Derrick Kellier, Ronald Thwaites, Noel Arscott, and Robert Pickersgill are among those on the Rise United team that are retiring. Note that I am in no way seeking to impute the decades of service of those individuals, but it is my understanding that the leadership challenge was premised on youth and forward thinking, something that the opposing team has not offered.

Their team also comprises members like Jennifer Housen, who walked away from her assigned seat prematurely. Finally, the man from Hanover, Ian Hayles, while thumping the Bible and spewing bile, has no delegates to help neither himself nor the party.

As such, I remain unconvinced that the opposing team has the ability to move the party forward, and as a member of this noble movement, I believe that it is not only my duty to support a team of substance and vision, but my right to do so.

My hope is not only to see, but to aid in transmitting significant change and growth to the People’s National Party and the nation. Our internal policy positions must serve the entire organisation and not just a few of its members. As such, we must revere our Constitution and always act in accordance with it.

My hope is to see the growth of the movement and membership through targeted recruitment and continuous enumeration and the sharing of political wisdom to ensure that all will know the history and duty of every Comrade and the People’s National Party.

My hope is to see the strategic and calculated efforts of said movement and members to return the People’s National Party to state power so that it may fulfil its duty to the Jamaican people. By employing our best talents in the jobs that most suit their capabilities and nurturing their growth by investing in those talents, we will ensure that we always put our best foot forward in representing the people of Jamaica.

Danishka Williams is a PNP delegate, acting chairman for the Norman Gardens division in Kingston East and Port Royal, and VP of the PNPYO. Email feedback to