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Comrades fuming ... They don't want Joan Gordon-Webley in their camp

Published:Thursday | July 9, 2015 | 7:16 PMGary Spaulding

THE PEOPLE'S National Party (PNP) seems set to explode with members, blind with rage and on a collision course with the leadership, following disclosure that old Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) stalwart Joan Gordon-Webley is now in the camp of the comrades.

Furious PNP supporters have made no attempt to conceal their fury as they took to social network to vent over the inclusion of the controversial political figure, who has had her numerous run-ins with PNP supporters over the past 35 years.

The PNP has confirmed that it has received and approved an application for membership to the party by Gordon-Webley, at its executive committee meeting.

Former president of the People's National Party's Youth Organisation (PNPYO) Junior Rose, was one of those clearly not amused.

"I guess if yuh a nuh Labourite, yuh nuh attractive to di PNP hypocrisy ... Mi seh mi waah run fi VP (vice-president) fi PNP and (the) people act like I am committing a sin. But if mi did inna G2K and JLP, the sky is the limit in the PNP," said Rose in a Facebook post that attracted scores of endorsements.

He told The Gleaner: "I am the least of the apostles, and while it is important to review the request of an applicant, in life, sometimes perception is greater than reality.

Added Rose: "We have seen persons joining the party with no ideological change, inadequate political education and personal agendas, who are then elevated to sensitive positions and then turn their backs on the party in the down times."

At the same time, he said the party has persons who are groomed and schooled in its fundamental tenets and are qualified and capable, who could occupy that post and they are overlooked. "It is wrong," he declared.

First-time parliamentarian Dr Dayton Campbell refused to split hairs as he spoke with The Gleaner. "I have a concern as I have expressed before about the 'labourisation' of the PNP," he said.

Campbell said he was opposed to the fact that disgruntled Labourites were 'automatically parachuted' into the PNP without undergoing any form of orientation as to what the guiding principles of the movement are.

"I believe that we need to stick to our core values and, therefore, those who represent us must be au fait (with them) and subscribe to the values of egalitarianism, integrity and putting the interest of country first," said Campbell.

He added: "I have no problem if the individual has the Damascus Road experience and is converted. Then I welcome them with open arms."

However, Campbell said that he has a difficulty if former JLP members jump ship simply because they have a problem with an individual in their party.

Campbell and Rose are not alone. Facebook posts were brimming with anger as comrades threatened to take the leadership to task at the next meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC), the second most powerful organ in the PNP behind the annual conference.

A leader of the PNP social network programme, Careen Small, said of the approval of Gordon-Webley: "If that happens mi stop vote ... sick of the 'labourisation' of the PNP."