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Keith Joseph is out of his place! – St Clair Leacock

Keith Joseph is out of his place! – St Clair Leacock

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Major St Clair Leacock, a vice-president of the New Democratic Party (NDP), says if the party wants to take disciplinary action against him, he will not defend himself.

“If they want to bring disciplinary action against me, I not even going to waste my time to stand before a committee to defend myself; if they ask me to leave, I leave, and I find something else to do with my time,” Leacock said, while speaking on BOOM 106.9 FM yesterday.

Leacock, who called into BOOM’s OMG in the Morning radio programme, hosted by Dwight “Bing” Joseph, said that politics is not the only thing in life and if the NDP wants him to leave, he will simply, just leave.

He had called the programme to voice his displeasure over statements made by social commentator Keith Joseph on Nice Radio over the weekend.

According to Leacock, Joseph said he was the weakest link in the NDP and that he must show commitment to the NDP.

Joseph’s comments came a few days after former president of the NDP Arnhim Eustace rebuked Leacock in a statement read on Nice Radio, stating that he was troubled by Leacock’s public expression of displeasure that Israel Bruce, the NDP’s candidate for South Central Windward, had again been overlooked for appointment as a senator.

“In politics you take a lot of beating, but it is very difficult to listen to Keith Joseph admonishing me and of all things to make a determination that I am the weakest link in the NDP and asking me, St Clair Leacock, for a commitment of the NDP.”

He is of the opinion that Joseph was doing the bidding for others, as he does not speak without prompting.

“You think the people of Central Kingstown are stupid that they can’t see through me. The work I do on a weekly basis is exemplary”, stressed Leacock, who added that he does hard, laborious and dedicated work.

“I am ahead of every single one of them in the New Democratic Party in terms of membership, including Arnhim Eustace and Dr Friday,” said Leacock, who noted that he has been associated with the NDP for over 40 years and even lost his job at the St Vincent Electricity Services (VINLEC) because of his NDP membership.

He said that he is one of a few NDP politicians that has won his seat by huge margins and one of many NDP members who has made huge sacrifices and continues to do so.

“But you define me as a weak link and asking me for commitment, you Keith Joseph asking me for that?” said Leacock, who described Joseph “as out of his place”.

He said that last week, when Eustace was admonishing him, it hurt, as in his opinion, Eustace came at him for saying something that should be said and something that made sense, “that Bruce should be a senator.”

He said that he stands by his position, as Bruce has been a part of the party for a very long time and while he was only selected as a candidate two years ago, does a lot of work in his constituency.

“What happen, goat bite him?” questioned Leacock.

Leacock said he feels extremely disrespected by the NDP and apart from overlooking him for leadership of the party last year, persons encouraged senator Zita Barnwell to run against him for a vice-presidency position.

“How can a party defend itself when they putting up Zita Barnwell to run against me as a vice-president? What has been her mark in the Parliament of SVG? asked Leacock.

He added also that last year around this time, party members were asking the former NDP senator Jules Ferdinand to be leader of the NDP.

“They can throw me out if they want; I am getting upset about it. What is the party position? Anyone else but Leacock? Is that what they are saying? What more sacrifices must I make for the NDP? What more commitment do I need to have? Is there anybody to tell them stop, enough is enough, Leacock is important to the NDP?” said Leacock with a barrage of questions.

Seemingly angry and frustrated, Leacock said that in the last general elections, he was at every public meeting when Eustace was not in the best of health, carrying the banner.

He said everything that the NDP’s leader Dr Godwin Friday is doing now for the NDP, he did for the last 17 years under Eustace, while being one of Eustace’s most loyal supporters, but he was still overlooked to take over the reins of the NDP.

“And it is painful to my family, to myself…my children said to me, just imagine if you were doing for us what you are doing for the NDP…my brother in England asked me why I am not getting out of this,” Leacock said, adding that persons have asked him if he doesn’t have anything else to do with his life than to stay in a party that overlooks him.

Leacock said Friday has his work to do and he is willing to give him the support he needs, but Friday has to do his own work.

He said that he has stayed away so Friday can emerge and put his own brand and stamp of authority on the NDP, which he has a right and is entitled to do.

The Central Kingstown Member of Parliament said that nobody has been more frontal in addressing Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves in and outside of Parliament than he, but the NDP wants him to be a “pit bull” in times when he should not be.

He said that in his opinion, the NDP has no respect for him and he does not want political office so bad that he takes the insults.

“I know when I am not needed and if I am not needed, I pick up my bag and go and find some other life to live and do something else.

“I know that the people of Central Kingstown appreciate me and until they signal me, I will soldier on, but nobody is to speak down to me in that kind of way and feel that I am obliged to accept their kicking. I am not”, said Leacock.

He said that he could have done something else with his life, like finish his law degree and doctoral studies and spend time with his family, but he did not, and he thinks that some of the criticisms are personal and professional jealousy.

He added that politics is not a part-time business, but some persons feel that the NDP can obtain office by coming alive two and three weeks before an election.

The Major said he has been very vocal at NDP meetings, in an attempt to improve the party, but he is not being listened to.

“We cannot, if we want to get into office, make stupidity a science. We have to be firing on all 15 pistons, not five, not six, nor seven, nor eight…anybody who feels that I am easy picking and they will wash their mouth on me and I turn away and turn the other cheek just to be in their good books, they have another think coming,” stressed Leacock.

He went on, “You don’t like me; you ask me to leave your party; I will leave and make room for others.”

Leacock said that he has been told in the past that he can leave if he wants, as the party can win without him.

“I simply wish the NDP the best. I hope that they apply wisdom and understanding,” said Leacock, who added that he wants to feel a sense of appreciation, as he has made his mark and is still available.

He said that he will never turn his back on his people, but time will tell what he will do.

Going further, Leacock opined that he cannot win his seat as an independent candidate and thinks that only Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves or Sir James Mitchell could accomplish such a feat.

He said that while he is sure that the NDP can hold on to the Central Kingstown seat, he thought that he had done enough to replace Eustace as leader, but apparently, he was wrong.

“I still feel that I can still provide the best leadership (of the NDP), but I have to respect the decision. I will not do anything to undermine Dr Friday, but I will not sit down and see people do stupidness,” stressed Leacock, who thinks that if the NDP goes into another election in the state they are currently in, they will have the same issues, as the party still does not know what they did wrong in certain constituencies.

He said at this point, he is taking a small break from the spotlight to focus on his cleaning business.