Comrades plead for unity
More than a week after North West St Ann Member of Parliament (MP) Dr Dayton Campbell unleashed a verbal tirade on fellow Comrade Lisa Hanna, a first-time parliamentarian is warning People's National Party (PNP) members not to allow the party to disintegrate, saying that the focus must be on making Jamaica a prosperous nation.
Dr Winston Green, MP for South East St Elizabeth, told party supporters at the Central St Mary constituency conference in Highgate on Sunday, that the PNP must be mindful of the impact of self-inflicted wounds.
"We have to be careful as members of the People's National Party that we don't look like them. They have a thing of bickering and disunity, we have to be careful," Green said.
While he did not mention the unflattering comments made by Campbell about Hanna, the Government backbencher made it clear that he thought a line was crossed.
"As a minister, as a member of parliament, she is a regional chairman. Comrades, when you have a ministry like that and doing a great amount of work for the youth of this country, when you still carry out your regional responsibility, when you still have time to be in your constituency, comrades, respect is due," Green said.
"This is not nuh beauty without a purpose," he said further, adding that Hanna has been "working and has a future in the People's National Party".
"Let us be careful about what we say," he added.
Campbell had criticised the leadership of Hanna in her South East St Ann constituency and Region One, which takes in six constituencies in Trelawny and St Ann.
"Dis a PNP, dis a nuh Miss World," Campbell had declared in a thinly-veiled attack on Hanna.
Hanna, who was at Sunday's meeting, said she has forgiven Campbell.
Fellow St Mary MP Jolyan Silvera told the party supporters that the country would be doomed if the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) were to be re-elected to power. Like Green, he said unity is important.
"Let us stick together, let us remember our purpose. We know that the People's National Party is the only vehicle that can take Jamaica forward. Let us remember that it is our duty to carry Jamaica into the future," Silvera said.
"All of us now have to put our energies to fight the Jamaica Labour Party. All of us now have to throw away all the little cass cass and all the little suss suss... We must mek the PNP win. We have a duty to this beloved party to carry it to victory when the Comrade leader calls elections," he added.
Amid what appears to be simmering tensions, the PNP hierarchy last Friday held a meeting with all first-time MPs to caution them about public utterances being made. Silvera, who attended that meeting, told Comrades that "we must bring back respect for each other".
He warned: "If we don't do that we are going to lose the core principles on which this party was built on. We have to start show love for each other again and we have to look out for each other. If we don't do that we are going to lose our way."