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Whither the NDP and Mr. Eustace?



Editor: My ULP and NDP friends have dared me to write again about the issue of leadership style of Mr. Arnhim Eustace. My apparent preference for Mr. Eustace has labelled me as putting party before country – well, that label is wrong. I am not a member of any political party. I admire certain attributes of Mr. Eustace regarding his reluctance to personally engage in gutter politics and his apparent grasp of issues relating to practical public finance.{{more}} I must admit that his choice of senators is somewhat confusing, but the decision has been made and we all will have to wait and see whether the NDP benefits from that decision. What is, however, of concern to me and many persons on the ground is the fact that Mr. Eustace did not consult the members of the party’s executive before choosing and publishing the names of the Senators. There are many who do not agree with that style of leadership and the old allegations of being spiteful, vindictive and cold hearted are beginning to raise their ugly heads again.

There are political tremours currently pervading the atmosphere which impact negatively on Mr. Eustace’s leadership style and which may well adversely affect his credibility as a leader far greater than initially anticipated. It seems obvious to many that Mr. Eustace has very little regard for the electorate in the countryside. Apart from ‘Rasum’ Shallow, who hails from Marriaqua, no other member of the NDP has been given the opportunity to serve in the House of Parliament as a Senator for the ten years or so that Mr. Eustace has been in charge of the NDP. Sadly, that omission has not been looked on favourably by many NDP supporters. The rumours that Mr. Eustace is threatened by the brilliance of Dr. Linton Lewis continue to take foothold and where there were doubts in that regard those doubts have now been removed.

Mr. Eustace has to work extremely hard to endear himself to the people on the Windward side of the island. Since the general elections on 13th December, 2010, support for Mr. Eustace’s leadership in the countryside has come into serious question. If after ten years Mr. Eustace has not been able to gain the trust and admiration of the majority of the people on the Windward side of the island it is difficult to see how over the next five years he will be able to capture their hearts and imaginations. I must admit that because of my preference for Mr. Eustace, I will like to see some improvement in his support as leader in the countryside, but realistically it does not seem likely over the next five years.

For those of you who believe that I am not objective, I hope that this letter has set the record straight. I have respect for Mr. Eustace, but you have been able to convince me by the overwhelming evidence provided in discussions with progressives and intellectuals that his credibility as a leader is severely challenged. Mr. Eustace is well advised to immediately pull the best of his candidates together and be far more democratic if the NDP is to remain a force with which to reckon. The NDP needs to be firing on all pistons over the next five years. It does not redound to Mr. Eustace’s benefit to exclude those who can make him and the NDP a potent political force. Constructive criticism is healthy, whether they are made publicly or privately. Mr. Eustace needs to take those criticisms in their stride and should do nothing to provide an avenue or excuse for persons to continue to describe him as vindictive, distant or cold hearted. To do otherwise is to commence the journey into political oblivion for the NDP.

Forster Mc Caul