JA POLITICS: Don't Destroy Lisa Hanna! Elders say PNP must make use of Hanna's national popularity

  Sunday, September 20, 2015    
THREE veteran members of the ruling People's National Party (PNP) are peeved by what they believe is the unwarranted pressure being placed on Member of Parliament for St Ann South Eastern, beauty queen Lisa Hanna.
In an interview with the Jamaica Observer last Tuesday, the three bemoaned what they consider the short-sightedness of the party in allowing what they described as a "bright, young talent with tremendous national appeal" to be pushed against the wall by leaders of the PNP.
A supporter from St Ann South Eastern welcomes Member of
 Parliament Lisa Hanna shortly after her arrival for the private
session of the PNP’s 77th Annual Conference yesterday at the
 National Arena in Kingston. (PHOTO: BRYAN CUMMINGS)
The three, who spoke on condition that they are not identified, want Hanna to be, instead, encouraged to prolong her life in politics and project what one sees in her as "uncommon talent and ability".
"How can you be treating Lisa that way?" one said. "This woman is the third most popular politician in Jamaica. Are we to say to Jamaica that, although she is a favourite of the people, some delegates of the party do not want her, and as a result she cannot play a role in politics?"
The popularity tag that the veteran referred to was recent opinion polls which placed the minister of youth and culture high on the list of politicians who enjoyed favourable ratings nationally.
She has been thrown in the top four alongside Leader of the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party Andrew Holness, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, and Finance and Planning Minister Dr Peter Phillips.
Hanna also has a considerable following on social media, with around 100,000 contacts and followers spread across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the most by any local politician.
But she has not enjoyed a close relationship with Simpson Miller of late, nor is it perceived by the veterans that she is liked by PNP General Secretary Paul Burke, and Burke's influential wife and PNP Vice-President Angela Brown Burke.
Hanna's critics cite comments that she made about the party leader, which reached the ears of the alert Simpson Miller, as one of the reasons for the strain in relations.
Physically challenged or not, this PNP supporter was adamant that
 she had to attend the conference.
But that is something that has happened before with other people, and they have been pardoned, another veteran argued.
"I don't know what Lisa has done that others before her have not," he stated.
"You can call the names of people who have bad-mouthed Portia, including KD (Knight) and Peter (Phillips), yet they are not being squeezed out of their party responsibilities. more

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