PNP cracks on show

PNP cracks on show

Firebrand Councillor Venesha Phillips slams new president

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

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IT appears the unity being sought by the Opposition People's National Party (PNP), following its leadership contest earlier this month, continues to elude the 82-year-old organisation as Councillor Venesha Phillips (Papine Division) on Sunday unleashed a fresh salvo of accusations against the party's new president, Mark Golding.

Phillips, a backer of losing presidential candidate Lisa Hanna in the November 7 internal poll, blasted Golding in a series of posts on social media, after he posted a picture of himself and Hanna suggesting that the reconciliation process had begun.

“Respect and Unity. No matter what. [Comrade] Hanna I look forward to working with you to rebuild our party. All hands on deck.#TogetherWeAreStronger,” Golding's caption stated.

But Phillips viewed the post as disrespectful, while alleging that Golding is yet to meet with Hanna for discussions and argued that had his opponent been a man things would have been different.

The firebrand councillor, in a scathing criticism of the party leader, said he “engineered the demise of the PNP”.

“I still can't get over the [ WhatsApp] message that said they need to find a way to operate without being detected,” Phillips said of leaked messages attributed to members of the Peter Bunting-led Rise United Camp in which Golding featured prominently during the run-up to last year's leadership challenge to Dr Peter Phillips.

The messages are said to have indicated a plot to undermine Dr Phillips.

Describing Golding as “backra masa”, a colloquial term for a white plantation owner, Phillips said she would not fall in line or “kissbutt”.

She said some Comrades, who she described as field slaves, have chosen to ignore the “skulduggery” that was evident in the leaked WhatsApp messages.

Phillips said, too, that Comrades have sold their soul to Golding and company, a “misery” she does not intend to be a part of.

Describing herself as the conventional type, Phillips said she does not intend to lick Golding's boots, as others have been doing.

“I find it offensive,” she fired.

Her assault came only days after Golding pleaded for unity as he met with PNP councillors in St Catherine East Central ahead of local government elections due by February.

“Comrades, we all know that the party has been suffering from these little internal negative feelings — some of it going back some time, some of it more recent — but I think everybody in the party recognises that for us to regain the strength and power of the People's National Party we have to change that culture. That culture is destructive; that's a culture that is weakening the party in the eyes of the Jamaican people and in reality,” Golding said as he argued there was no future in disunity.

“All of us have to think wisely and say what it is that we need to do to make the party strong again. It must be about focusing on what the party needs. The party definitely doesn't need for one Comrade to be tearing down another Comrade, especially in a public space,” Golding added, while declaring that there are avenues for discussions internally.

“…All I'm really asking everybody to do is just respect the office of the presidency and let us put the weight of the party behind all of the organs, all of the offices of the party and move forward together. If we do that Comrades, our future is assured. There's nothing to stop us from having a great future other than ourselves,” he said.

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