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NDP taking wrong course to regain power in SVG

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04.MAR.11

Editor: Last year’s knife-edge election results have left NDP supporters smarting to the point of absurdity. Misleading parallels are drawn to that of the social and political upheavals of 2000. Although the dynamics are significantly different, the brain-thrust of the NDP has unwisely chosen to replicate the modus operandi of year 2000 ULP.{{more}} As a result, patriotic Vincentians have to subject themselves to the nuisance of protest actions in Kingstown designed to topple the government.

Whilst the present seat allocations are similar to that of 1998, the popular votes (55%) then were secured by the Gonsalves-led opposition ULP. The masses at the time, including the teachers, nurses, police et al, were rooting for change. Contrary to popular NDP opinion, it was the “in yo face” arrogance of the Minister of Finance that prompted the series of strikes leading up to the road block saga and the Grande Anse Beach Accord. It is, therefore, misleading to propagate that the ULP government ousted the NDP through a road block revolution!

Isn’t it an insult to the SVGTU, NWM, CTAWU and other interest groups for NDP propagandists to credit the 2000 unrests to the present Prime Minister? Can Vincentians easily erase the pivotal contributions made by the Fitz Jones-led Teachers’ Union? It is fair to state that the then Opposition Leader was politically astute enough to cash in on a political bonanza. With power-brokers like the teachers, nurses and police on his side, this savvy politician craftily manoeuvred and manipulated the situation. The rest is etched in the annals of Vincentian history.

The one seat majority held by the ULP tantalizingly dangled like a carrot at the mouth of a deflated and politically confused Opposition Leader. His promise to intensify protest actions until fresh elections are called only serves to maintain his party base. These cries have failed to capture the imagination of the progressive masses that have since gone back to work. This continues to manifest itself in their futile attempts to close down capital Kingstown.

In the interest of national development, Mr Eustace and his crestfallen NDPites should have licked their wounds and gone back to the drawing boards. Instead of manufacturing reasons to destabilize the government, it would have been prudent of the Opposition to bide their time and wait for a legitimate cause to mobilize the masses. Tough decisions such as Eustace’s demitting the Opposition Leader’s Chair should have been taken. After-all, should a leader who led his party into three successive General Election defeats have the moral authority to lead?

The defeated NDP should have made a retrospective move to tone down the rhetoric by changing the emphasis of its New Times programme. The programme mainly serves to besmirch SVG’s good name, especially to the Diaspora. Trying to compare Glen Jackson, the consummate professional, with the excuse used to host the New Times programme is like comparing cheese and chalk. Mr Lynch’s disrespect of the office of Prime Minister has sunk to an all time low since 13th December, 2011.

Make no mistake, the NDP has a lot going for them, but I am afraid that in their present state of mind, fortunes will be squandered. The meticulous Anesia Baptiste adds spark and class to their machinery. However, politics is a nasty game as was seen in the PM’s successful attempt in rushing through the Amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code which was passed at 11:58 pm on Friday, January 28, 2011! So much for Anesia’s Sabbath and Dr. Friday’s whining of the government’s disrespect for religion. My advice to Mrs Baptiste, though, is to serve her people with genuine cause, and God will take care of the rest.

In closing, I must agree that there was no need for the haste in rushing through the contentious bills being debated in parliament. However, one cannot help but appreciate the intentions of the Prime Minister in plugging up any leak that could drip his fragile government out of office. Some may see it as political cowardice, but Comrade, you really are a cagey veteran!

Collin CA$H Haywood

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