Gary Spaulding, Senior Gleaner Writer
STRICKEN BY internal criticisms of leadership crisis, the top brass of the People's National Party (PNP) is today expected to be confronted by lingering resentment and discontent from some Comrades at its private session at Jamaica College.
PNP Chairman Robert Pickersgill conceded at a press conference that there was some dissension in the camp but the party was "on top of it and we will not saying anymore".
Pickersgill said the party's president, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, will give the rallying cry to delegates after Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips and PNP General Secretary Peter Bunting make presentations at the private session.
Passion is expected to be unleashed throughout the day when leaders field questions from delegates.
Many party faithful are in agreement with political analyst Richard 'Dickie' Crawford that the PNP seems to be going through the motions of much of the old politics and not seeming to be grappling with the governance problems and issues in the society.Crawford contends that the reality and gravity of the problems in the world - and in Jamaica - have not been seriously and honestly communicated to the people.
He stressed that a vision and programme for their participation in tackling the problems have not been worked out, so people are drifting, waiting and asking Simpson Miller to say something.
With some Comrades holding the view that the Government is floundering, delegates are promising to hold the party leadership accountable.
Some stalwarts say they will be asking the PNP leadership about the reason for "a stifling lethargy" that has permeated the party less than a year after it won a general election in convincing fashion.
Others pronounced that the leadership of the PNP is panicking under the pressures of the problems gripping the party.
One parliamentarian expressed concern that PNP supporters are so disenchanted that his colleagues can identify many of them among every protest that has taken place in recent months.
"The PNP seems to have lost its soul over the last eight months," said one clearly dispirited Comrade. "I am planning to ask the leadership of my party what they plan to do about it. Have we ceased to care?"
Another well-known delegate told The Gleaner that this is the first in many years that she would not be attending the conference. "There is just no vibes," the PNP loyalist said.
Delegates told The Gleaner that Comrades would be attending today's private session in a combative mood as the PNP goes into a conference in which explosive issues from East Rural St Andrew and West Central St James are far from resolved.
"The private session will be heated because nuff man nah hold them tongue," one parliamentarian told The Gleaner. It's true, a lethargy has taken over the place."
Party insiders say the failure of the PNP Secretariat to address the issues in the two constituencies, in which the members of parliament are at odds with their councillors, reflect a lack of decisive leadership that has affected the party.