Will the PNP Ever Recover To Become A Viable Opposition?

December 5, 2020 | By Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie |

It is no secret that Norman Horne supported Lisa Hanna for PNP president.  Was his latest antics a plot to embarrass the newly elected president Hon. Mark Golding?  This is the most significant appointment made by Golding since being elected on November 7, 2020 less that a month ago.

Dr. Peter Phillips the immediate past president and Opposition Leader had appointed Norman Horne as a Senator. Horne made it very clear publicly that he would not allow himself to be sworn in until the results of the contested presidental elections between Lisa Hanna & Mark Golding was concluded and a winner announced.

“I want to give the newly elected president a free hand to appoint who he or she wishes to be in the Senate as Senator”

Dual Citizenship

Norman Horne declared in a radio interview on Nationwide News Network (NNN) monitored by Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie. Continuing Norman Horne, a big businessman and former treasurer of the PNP had ambitions to enter the presidental race. Somehow he changed his mind.  He is believed to be a US citizen and therefore has dual citizenship.  It is not immediately clear if our Constitution would make him (Horne) eligible to serve as a Senator anyway.  He also said:

“Our democratic traditions demands that all appointed Senators resign to give the new leader a chance to select whom he or she as leader wants to serve” Horne said inter alia. This about turn is shocking if not scandalous to say the least. This hold out by using this alleged debt owed by the PNP to be settled is a newly contrived condition. Is it really?  This condition was never even hinted at in that very public interview done before the PNP internal presidental elections held on November 7, 2020.

Does the spurned Hanna have a hand in this alleged plot to embarrass Mark Golding?  

As the once viable PNP sink deeper in the cespool tank, the 64 million dollar question is will they ever recover to be taken seriously or rather be seen as a government in waiting?  Venesia Phillips, unsuccessful candidate for the PNP in the September 3, 2020 General Elections, has reacted to the Norman Horne/Bunting drama.

 “It hurts to see the back stabbing and things being leaked to the media from  PNP sources.”

It was a rather outspoken Venesia Phillips who is known to never hide from the media reacting to this latest drama in the PNP. The noted PNP operative sounded quite concerned yet sincere. She appears to be really hurting. Her apparent hurt is understandable under the circumstances. The PNP needs to settle down. Too much turmoil of late.  Is Mark Golding, Opposition Leader having sleepless nights?

Shaving Cream

A senior PNP member was recently overheard saying that the PNP situation is akin to being in shaving cream up to one’s neck. A noted Colypsonian popularized the term “shaving cream” aka to effluent.  To be up to one’s neck in effluent is a serious state of affairs to say the least. This is reminicient of the late Isaac Hayes’ song “I stand accused” in this noted ballard the writer penned a line which goes like this:  It is like being in quick sand, the more you wiggle the deeper you sink”. It is my ,further perspective that this classification by Hayes articulates apply the dire situation the 82 year old PNP finds itself in.

How Deep Will They Sink

If they have sunken deep to their neck in shaving cream then can we declare without any chance of contradiction that the PNP has reached that point of no return? The very thought of them drowning in effluent bodles the mind. We would not want to wish that to even our worse enemy.


Power Corrupts …

In Jamaica our form of government calls for a viable Opposition to create the checks and balances so we can be said to be fully functional.  The 49:14 landslide in the September 3 General Elections by the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) led Andrew Holness is cause for concern. Dictatorship is quite a possiblity. Too much power concentrated in one side of any political system is never a good thing. This is not to say that the JLP would abuse their dominant position, but we should take no chances. It is a well known fact that ‘Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

To return, if I may to Hayles’ delemna. He is accused of lusting after his friend’s woman. That is not acceptable, but in the scheme of things that pails in comparison to the dire straits the PNP finds itself.  So embarrassed they were that up to six hours after the Horne/Bunting drama they were still bunkered down unable to face the media.  From General Secretary to Party President Hon. Mark Golding or anyone in a senior position.  Shell shocked you may say? If so, why not?

We are sitting at the edge of our seats with patient expectation as to what else will be revealed. Trust me there is never a full moment. Which other piece of the PNP dirty linen will be washed publicly?

Supreme Court Ruling

To clearly understand what is unfolding today as it relates to Senate appointment … one has to step back.  In a nutshell the Constitutional Court, a division of the Supreme Court in Jamaica had ruled that Andrew Holness had breached the Constitutional rights of then JLP Senators Arthur Williams and Christopher Tifton when he asked them to pre-sign letters of resignations which he would keep and could draw on should he wished to pull the plug on them.  This is insurance should they fail to fall in line.  This matter was taken to the Constitutional Court who ruled that such a practice is unconstitutional.  It was a big blow to Holness who was then Opposition Leader and JLP leader. His held a Constitutional office and as such should be upholding the Constitution. This pre-signed scheme did not start under Holness. He inherited this practice but the validity of such a scheme was never challenged in court.


The GG and politicians in general have been very careful how they deal with Senate appointments since that court ruling.  How will this matter of the Senate appointment in the PNP will be resolved is anybody’s guess.

Since Norman Horne was not sworn in as a Senator, can he hold the PNP to ransom it indefinately by refusing to write to the GG?  What will be the PNP’s next more?

Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is a keen watcher of politics, a veteran journalist with an international exposure

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