JM | Nov 2, 2020

Lisa Hanna should keep calm and carry on

Al Edwards

Al Edwards / Our Today

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Lisa Hanna, candidate for the presidency of the People’s National Party, cannot afford to be distracted by slights and whispers.

It’s coming down to the wire and tempers are frayed.

In five days’ time, it will either be the erudite Mark Golding or popular Lisa Hanna who goes on to succeed Dr Peter Phillips as president of the 82-year-old People’s National Party (PNP).

What was supposed to be a civil and sober contest is turning out to be a vicious dog fight with supports on each side showing their fangs. The fractiousness and divisions within the PNP are clear for all to see and whoever wins has one hell of a job on their hands to bring the party together.

Lisa Hanna has repeatedly said that the level of antipathy thrown her way is disconcerting. Some of her ardent supporters put this down to “bad mind”, jealousy, envy of her beauty and resentment of her good fortune.

There may very well be that element, but Hanna must be mindful that these accusations are leveled at her fellow comrades and they may not take too kindly to them. These are the folk she will need to ensure the victory.

 Now in the home straight, she cannot afford to be distracted by slights and whispers. She has to leverage her undoubted national popularity in winning members of the party over and reiterate how she intends to bring it together and make it once again the pre-eminent political party of this country.

To take on the naysayers is an expenditure of too much energy and time and there is a bigger prize that needs her undivided attention.

Mark Golding has never positioned himself at the forefront of the party. He has worked quietly and assiduously for it with very little fanfare. The party and the country are getting to know him and they like his levelheadedness, personability and unwillingness to participate in mudslinging.

In a few short weeks, he has gained significant momentum and comrades are coming to his side. This is ominous for Hanna and she will need to focus on that. There is no doubt that Golding is closing the gap with each passing day.

Better for her to strike a conciliatory tone, make the case why she would make the  better leader of the party at this time in its history and explain how she can take Jamaica out of the doldrums it has languished in for decades.

There are many within the party and a swathe of the country who hold the opinion that she can challenge Andrew Holness and win with an army of young voters at her back, making a better fist of it than Dr Phillips. This should give her confidence and should foster a positive mind set for the presidency contest.

To get into a fighting match with her detractors  means going into the darkness and makes her job that much more difficult should she win.

Golding is sounding like a statesman and his quiet gravitas is appealing. He remains above the fray – not for him the lion fighting off a pack of cackling hyenas nipping at his back.

Hanna is always elegantly attired and coiffured. That elegance must transcend everything. Don’t’ let those Louboutins get dishevelled by stepping in muddy waters.


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