Letter of the day | Too much ‘youthful exuberance’ from PNPYO
THE EDITOR, Sir:
The recent ramblings uttered by the president of the PNPYO have brought into sharper focus how uninformed many are about the mainstream operations of the People’s National Party (PNP). After listening to the YO’s reason why deputy general secretary Luther Buchanan should resign, it has become troubling that such serious allegations can be leveled against an individual without merit. The trend is worrying and creates cause for concern.
In light of these allegations, let me attempt to bring clarity to the information as misrepresented in the public domain by the PNPYO president.
In 2006, Luther Buchanan became Member of Parliament (MP) for East Westmoreland and shortly thereafter vice chairman for region six, with direct responsibility for organising.
In the general election of 2007, region six outperformed most regions by wrestling East Hanover from the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and later won two council seats (Hopewell and Chesterfield divisions) to gain control of the Hanover Parish Council.
In 2008, Buchanan joined the PNP secretariat as deputy general secretary in charge of organising as part of the team under the stellar leadership of Peter Bunting as general secretary. By 2011, the synergy and energy were evident within the PNP, along with other variables such as messaging and unity; the party won the general elections by a landslide victory. The effect was replicated in the local government election in 2012.
When Paul Burke assumed responsibilities as general secretary, his management style was clearly different to that of his predecessor. His deputies seemed to have had less responsibilities, the operations appeared chaotic and less targeted. We all know the result; we lost the 2016 general elections and subsequently the local government election. The party has struggled to return to winning ways since then, having lost crucial seats, including the recent loss of East Portland and South East St Mary, even though we had two attractive candidates.
When there became a clear vacancy for the post of president, Buchanan stepped back as deputy general secretary to campaign for Peter Bunting in his bid to become party president. There was no challenge, as Bunting did not advance his bid for presidency and Buchanan returned to his post as deputy general secretary.
DEVIOUS AND MISCHIEVOUS
To my absolute knowledge, Buchanan was never returned to the substantive post as “DGS with responsibility for organizing”. Under the Peter Phillips led PNP, he was given oversight for two constituencies – East Hanover and South St James only.
Therefore, for him to be criticised as a non-performer and further call for his resignation is both devious and mischievous. The DGS is the only Member of Parliament in Westmoreland to have retained all his council seats in the last local government elections.
Based on these accomplishments since 2006, can the YO president honestly say Buchanan is a non-performer?
The PNP, like no other party, should clearly understand the concept of “youthful exuberance” and we are heartened that the youth of the party are making valuable contributions to the processes within the party, but these contributions must be made based on truth and merit.
No one person can fix the problems within the PNP at this time. What is required is strong leadership to attack some of the very issues highlighted in the YO’s 21-point document. The party needs the correct blend of leadership, youth and experience to tackle the issues at this time.