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Eustace – Show real leadership


Tue, Oct 5, 2010

Editor: Desperation seems to have spun the New Democratic Party (NDP) out of control. Arnhim “Mr. Clean” Eustace needs to show real leadership NOW and save the good name of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Even though the election campaign is not officially on, mounting pressure from the governing ULP seems to have several NDP candidates and party operatives – those we refer to as “political prostitutes” – misbehaving on a daily basis.{{more}}

We have heard of allegations of inappropriate criminal behaviour involving minors. We have heard of allegations of violent outbursts involving weapons. Then there was Son Mitchell and his blasphemous statements and insults on Vincentians. We have had Dinky Balcombe being removed as a candidate, without any explanation from Party Leader Arnhim Eustace. Why was already chosen and announced candidate Balcombe dropped? The public should be told.

Recently, the ULP held a public meeting in Sharpes, in the constituency of Central Kingstown. NDP candidate for the area, St Clair Leacock, turned out to the meeting and eventually placed himself at the edge of the platform, within touching distance of the ULP speakers. Leacock, a few days later during a television interview, gave the explanation as wanting the ULP Candidate, Elvis Charles, to watch him squarely in his eyes, because he (Leacock) had paid Charles’ educational costs over a period of time and he (Leacock) could not understand why Charles was challenging him in Central Kingstown. Imagine the violence and disorder Leacock’s childish hehaviour could have caused.

Unacceptable behaviour

There have been other incidents reported on radio talk shows which point to unacceptable behaviour coming from NDP candidates and other party operatives, including those on radio talk shows. However, the recent public statement from candidate Burton Williams calls for his immediate removal as a candidate of the New Democratic Party (NDP); Not just a mere condemnation in the exercise of damage control.

Here is Burton Williams, a senior Cabinet Minister in a former NDP administration, making the following remarks: “I hear my friend Dr. Lewis talking about a meritocracy you know, I don’t disagree with him, but I want you to understand that despite of the fact Dr. Lewis talking about a meritocracy, I want you to understand I am talking for Burton Williams tonight.

“When we in government, I want you to understand parson say ‘christen yuh pickney first.’ I looking after NDP supporters before I look after any Labour Party supporter.

“I talking my mind plain, because when you work and toil, when you work you must be paid. I ain’t paying nobody who don’t work for me. They have to go look for who they work wid fuh get paid. So meritocracy can come, but I looking after all yo fuss and I want Curtis (Bowman, NDP Candidate for Marriaqua) to understand he looking after you all first you know…He looking after you all first…”

Advocating victimisation?

Now, how can a government representative, who is not just elected a representative for the persons who vote for him, but those who vote against him, as well as the entire population, make such stupid remarks to advocate full scale victimisation?

In the past, we have heard this very remark coming from other NDP members who are now candidates for the upcoming elections. We have witnessed several cases of political victimisation under the former NDP government of Mitchell and Eustace. There is certainly a pattern here, which points to victimisation as an unwritten philosophy and practice of the New Democratic Party.

This philosophy threatens democracy, good governance, peace and good order in our nation. Mr. Eustace cannot just gloss over these actions. He should immediately launch a full scale internal investigation into the utterances and conduct of candidates, nominated by the party to contest the general elections, as well as hosts of NDP radio shows. The world is listening and watching.

If Mr. Eustace was serious, the statement he (Eustace) made on the NDP “New Times” radio programme on Monday, would have been made on the very radio station, the very next morning (Saturday). He would have followed the lead of Senator Cummings who, to his credit, took to the platform at the very meeting and roundly condemned and rebuked Burton Williams.

In the interim, Eustace needs to take swift and decisive action to remove Burton Williams as a candidate of the party and order Son Mitchell not to appear on another party platform in our Christian society.

Eustace claims to be “Mr Clean” – the man who advocates a “kinder, gentler” society. He now has the opportunity to show Vincentians and the world he has some leadership qualities.

Wade Kojo Williams

Note: Wade Kojo Williams, Sr., is a former Member of Parliament and Deputy Speaker in SVG.