The article “It’s a shame the PNP allowed Lisa Hanna and Hugh Graham to go their separate ways” by Al Edwards piqued my interest with its reference to Doris Kearns Goodwin’s instructive 919-page tome, ‘Team of Rivals‘, which I consider to be one of the most remarkable works on the immediate political aftermaths of the American Civil War.
In the book, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer/historian Goodwin portrays how political rivals can come together and work towards a common goal, which is an example that Edwards uses to discuss the imminent departure of two prominent comrades, Lisa Hanna and Hugh Graham, from the People’s National Party (PNP) in Jamaica.
Edwards argues that their leaving will negatively impact the party’s chances in the next general election and suggests that the PNP needs to be more cohesive and forward-thinking to secure a victory.
The author proposes that the PNP should have re-seduced Hanna into the fold and utilised her abilities rather than view her as a rival. Edwards suggests that Hanna and Mark Golding should bring together their respective “strengths” for the benefit of the PNP, as was done with Tony Blair and Gordon Brown in the UK’s Labour Party.
This Team of Rivals approach emphasises the importance of embracing the diversity of thought and bringing together individuals with different perspectives and skill sets to achieve a common goal.
However, the article lacks a detailed analysis of the reasons behind Hanna and Graham’s departures from the PNP, and whether their departures were due to irreconcilable differences with the party leadership or other factors. Moreover, the author does not acknowledge the potential implications of the PNP’s losing the next election, and whether Hanna would be the right person to lead the party in that scenario.
In addition, the article misses the point that President Lincoln’s political genius had space to perform possibilities with rivals because the personalities he chose to work with were empaths. The evident lack of narcissistic and entitled personality traits in Gordon Brown or Tony Blair, and for that matter, in America’s Team of Rivals William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, Edward Bates, or Abraham Lincoln, is not considered. People can be repulsed by any reek of entitlement in leaders, especially in Jamaican political calculations.
Therefore, while the article raises some interesting points, it could benefit from a more nuanced analysis of the current political landscape in Jamaica and the PNP’s internal dynamics to support its argument effectively.
Dennis A. Minott PhD is the CEO of A-QuEST-FAIR. He is also a renewable energy specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the oil and energy sector.
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