Now it gets interesting. it seems that Joan Gordon-Webley may have committed political suicide. Mrs. Gordon-Webley, a long standing member of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), applied for membership of the ruling People’s National Party (PNP) and is in danger of being turned down.
Herein lies the main reason for the rejection. Hardcore PNP members are angered by a statement she made in the run-up to the 2011 elections, when she called the current Prime Minister a “Jezebel.” That statement has not been forgiven by most.
A person moving from one party to the other is usually welcome as a triumph over the opposing party, especially leading up to a general election, as is now the case. The fact that Mrs Gordon-Webley’s application is being snubbed, shows how deeply those wounds have cut.
If her application is rejected, it could spell doom for the career of the former NSWMA boss. if she returns to the JLP, she will be looked upon as a traitor and a comrade-at-heart. Before that, she will again have to apply for membership of the JLP. She can also apply to the lower tier of the PNP through one of its groups, if the lower level leadership permits it.
This move may just signal the end of her political career. This would be sad for a woman who has so much energy and so much to offer her country. It is going to be interesting to see what choice she makes if her application is actually rejected.
From The Observer – Joan Gordon-Webley Is Out
FORMER member of the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Joan Gordon-Webley is set to have her application for membership in the ruling People’s National Party (PNP) turned down by the officers of the party, the Jamaica Observer has learnt. PNP officials would not confirm the the latest development, but sources inside the hierarchy stated that a meeting of the party’s officers, set for Tuesday at the organisation’s St Andrew headquarters, will go ahead with the recommendation of the National Executive Council (NEC) to reject Gordon-Webley’s application.
This followed the decision by the party’s executive committee in late June to allow Gordon-Webley membership — a move which was met with fierce resistance from a large section of the party, many of whom are influential figures.
However, a majority of NEC members who met in a stormy meeting last month end in St Andrew denounced the move by the executive and directed the secondary body to reconsider its decision. The NEC is the party’s highest decision-making body outside of the annual conference.
“It will merely be a case of rubber stamping a decision by the NEC not to admit Mrs Gordon-Webley into the party,” one senior PNP executive told the Sunday Observer yesterday.
“The NEC put it mildly by asking the executive officers to re-look at the situation… in effect, it was a directive from the NEC that the decision to give her membership ought to be rescinded,” the official said.
Gordon-Webley served as the JLP’s member of parliament for St Andrew East Rural between 1980 and 1983 when she defeated the PNP’s Perry Stultz, a last-minute candidate for the previously declared candidate and incumbent MP Roy McGann, who was shot dead in Gordon Town square a few weeks before the bloody poll.
At the time, McGann’s death marked the first time in Jamaica’s history that a candidate and sitting MP had died violently.
After a stint in the Caribbean island of Grenada, Gordon-Webley returned to her homeland and got back into the JLP machinery, eventually running, unsuccessfully, as a candidate in the 2007 and 2011 general elections. Before that she served as executive director of the National Solid Waste Management Authority when the JLP was in power between 2007 and 2011.
PNP General Secretary Paul Burke could not be reached for a comment yesterday, but Deputy General Secretary Raymond Pryce, who is also MP for St Elizabeth North East, confirmed that a meeting was set for Tuesday night, but would not go into detail as to what would likely take place.
“The matter was discussed at our last meeting and was put off for next Tuesday, August 11. Until then, the situation regarding her membership remains the same. Anything beyond that would be speculative,” Pryce told the Sunday Observer.
A split developed in the PNP when it emerged that Gordon-Webley had been granted membership, with one side claiming that she should be forgiven for negative statements made against the PNP and its leader, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, whom she had referred to as a “Jezebel”.
Ironically, PNP insiders said that it was Simpson Miller who supported the idea of having Gordon-Webley in the party’s fold, with more support coming from stalwarts including Burke, his wife Angella, the mayor of Kingston, and MP for Kingston East and Port Royal Phillip Paulwell.
But at the opposite end, others were like fire-spitting dragons, claiming that no way should the former Labourite be allowed a seat in the PNP’s pavilion.
Former Prime Minister PJ Patterson, his one-time chief advisor and former senior advisor to Simpson Miller Delano Franklyn, Speaker of the House of Representatives Michael Peart, young turk Dr Dayton Campbell, and senior NEC member Alston Stewart were among those vehemently opposed to the new acquisition, some saying that it would do the party more harm than good to have her in the line-up.
The latest snub will not mean that Gordon-Webley cannot get involved with the PNP though, as she is entitled to apply through one of the party’s groups and may be accepted if the lower-level leadership so desires.
Curated from The Jamaica Observer