Tue | Oct 19, 2021

Letter of the Day | Why the about-face on PNP renewal, Lisa Hanna?

Published:Friday | July 5, 2019 | 12:00 AM


In the aftermath of a shocking and painful loss at the polls on February 25, 2016, Lisa Hanna, member of parliament for South East St Ann, was among the first to publicly comment on the ­electoral defeat via her social-media pages. The call was an urgent one for ‘renewal’ – a word that drew the ire of Comrades from top to bottom.

Ms Hanna’s one-woman renewal campaign went on for months as she dominated headlines across all media with a message that her beloved party simply wasn’t ready to hear. She charged that Comrades should not be afraid to upset the status quo.

But their disapproval of her renewal campaign was made loud and clear when she dared to seek election for one of the four vice-president positions at the party’s annual conference. Rejected, Hanna retreated.

Flash-forward to 2019. It’s been three years since renewal died. At least, to onlookers, it did. The brave woman who was the face of ‘renewal’ is now the face of the status quo. So vociferously so, one would think she was a presidential candidate for ‘One PNP’ and not Dr Peter Phillips.

Is it that Ms Hanna is now satisfied that the People’s National Party (PNP) has been renewed or is renewing? Was her renewal campaign targeted at Portia Simpson Miller? The only major thing that has changed since then is the party leader. But Phillips, then campaign director, lost that election as much as Simpson Miller, with his refusal to debate and his focus on Mr Holness’ house.

And so we humbly ask the beauty queen, are you no longer interested in renewal? For it seems that your strength is only to be found when it comes to who should lead.

Many see you as a possible Comrade leader and admired your bravery in demanding change for a party set in its old ways. But now we are confused.

We saw you as beauty with brains. We thought you wanted renewal – a change that Phillips has failed to deliver in three years at the helm. Surely, you couldn’t be seriously suggesting that the PNP continue along this path?

To put it mildly, we are disappointed. As a matter of fact, we would rather you throw your hat into the ring than become the face of the very status quo you once admonished.