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Should Eustace consider some grave digging?

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Dr. Richard A. Byron-Cox 09.APR.09

It was probably the unruly, abusive, arrogant and ultra fines mandati conduct of the hooligans in the Cato Labour Party government that convinced James Mitchell he must be the only man rat in his NDP. Probably it was the realization that with the exception of the likes of P.R. Campbell, his Cabinet was packed with empty vessels and political numskulls. Perhaps it was just the nature of the man to be the absolute ruler. Whatever it was, this Gulliver’s disregard for his Lilliputians reached its zenith with the imposition of Eustace, then a political novice, as leader of his subservient flock.{{more}}

Eustace did the right thing and legitimised his power through elections. However, he remains a Hamlet, constantly shadowed by the ghost of this hand-me-down power he accepted. And now it seems like “jumbie le’ go” season is in full swing in the NDP, as all Tom, Dick and Harry have turned the party into a haunted house, giving Eustace bare horrors. Aptly, a Frankenstein has assumed leadership of this pack. But not to be outdone, a hitherto politically dead taxi driver, doltishly confusing chauffeuring and leadership, insists that Eustace take a backseat and hand him the wheel, all but giving the impression that the NDP is a hearse heading down Cemetery Hill at breakneck speed. The tale becomes more frightening if not absolutely gruesome, with stories of private wakes being held where through the magic of Frankenstein, the long embalmed emerge from their tombs planning to catch Eustace in the dark, and so effect the transformation of the NDP into a political morgue.

Now all of this could be lightly written off as simply NDP strange internal democracy in action. But one could only come to such a conclusion if one has little or no interest in the future proper functioning of our British bequeathed democracy, our political system, and ultimately proper governance of this land. The NDP is the parliamentary opposition -and hypothetically if not realistically- the only visible alternative on the horizon to the present government. With the self-evident challenges SVG faces as regards survival not to mention development in this tumultuous world; it’s imperative that the NDP not be reduced to a circus of competing clowns. “With things brown,” the majority of the electorate demands economic, not comic relief. But with this public washing of their dirty laundry, the NDP do not appear credible pretenders, much more genuine contenders for the people’s trust.

If some radio talk were to be believed, covert plans are afoot to ignite total mutiny against Arnhim’s leadership, or lack thereof some would argue. His pronouncements, decisions and positions are daily publicly challenged by some NDP poster boys. Arnhim seems incapable of performing an excision of these spirits, flying around by night on their brooms, sparing no effort to sweep him away. He staunchly refuses to get his hands dirty, but some grave digging must take place. It is either he stakes them in their tombs or they continue with their digging to bury him. But his hope that he will forever evade the vampire teeth of those who prowl by night “jumbeing his scene” -as we say on the block in Sharpes- is pure illusion. He has been in this business long enough to know that party politics is war using other means. Just ask Ralph, Ken and Stalkey.

And returning to king James. It was evident from morning that he sees Arnhim’s “New Times” as rejection of the King James Version of the NDP. His elected abdication Arnhim misread as total surrender of the kingdom. And so the night of the long political knives, which some are adamant began on a beach in a sister isle, is now on in earnest. It appears that Eustace has back peddled somewhat and is now willing to accept virtually dead donkeys (that the people had earlier put out to pasture), back into what is a political horserace (Ralph is a thoroughbred stallion). The alternative that all hell might break loose, and Frankenstein waking more political dead to haunt him; and, king James doing a Compton to complete the coup de grace, is probably too nightmarish for Eustace to countenance.

Most crucial to all this is that the country might well be two heartbeats away from a general election. We know that Ralph has already been divinely instructed as to the date. Therefore, it’s evident that the NDP should be solely focused on being battle ready. Instead, it appears somewhat of a ragtag bunch, with fractional infighting its central preoccupation, as the leader fights to keep his inheritance. The party having a race to run is shooting itself in the foot, while providing limitless ammunition to a prime-ministerial Gun to attack its leader who they are busy disarming. Ralph is patiently waiting. Let them self-destruct. He will do the mopping up and gather the spoils once the electorate delivers the deathblow.

In my view, it is absolutely necessary that parties practise and actively encourage internal democracy. But what seems to be happening within the NDP is a concerted effort to treat Eustace like bruise-e-back, totally discrediting him in the eyes of the public. Party democracy and freedom to disagree must never be confused with disloyalty, contempt for the voice of the majority and orchestrated anarchy. Eustace must determine whether he should dig some graves and bury the dead before these corpses bloated with self-importance, and an insane craving for power explode, resulting in the people reading the final rights of his party, come the next general elections. And on a personal note, SVG is no cemetery, neither is it a circus. Consequently, those applying for leadership are hereby advised that corpses and clowns do not qualify and would not be considered.

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