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Diary of an Ingrate [Chapter 8] Candidate Selection Debacle 2005

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Fri Mar 21, 2014

by Frank . Da Silva

“…The responsible thing for the NDP to do is to set up some damage control mechanism or spin control, but to sit back and do nothing as they are accustomed to, is not only wrong, it is shameful. This approach has been practiced much too often and the results have been the same. Look at the fallout from the following: James Mitchell – no respect, [Alpian] Allen, Monte [Roberts], Jerry [Scott] [Curtis] Dennie, Israel [Bruce], [Carlyle] Dougan, [PR] Campbell, Burton [Williams], [Barnard] Wyllie and all the others – disrespect,” Scombo John, January 5, 2007.{{more}}

If Scombo considered the situation in 2007 to be “no respect” for Sir James, what is Scombo’s opinion on the following: “I must say that I have come, over recent years, to regard you as an acolyte of the ULP…you have become an anachronism…Sir James, your arithmetical shills have deserted you”. In case you missed it, Sir, they are excerpts from an open letter to Sir James, which was widely distributed to the media, written by Arnhim Ulrick Eustace. Now that you are President of the adjutant foreign arm of NDP your opinion surely counts. But maybe, like others who have had their conversion, feels that Arnhim Ulrick Eustace is much improved since as recently as September 2011, you too may opine that he is vindicated.

Scandalmongers

In last week’s chapter it was stated there was confusion in eight of the 15 constituencies, but the fact is Marriaqua, particularly Rasum Shallow had his dose of – you said it Scombo – disrespect. The misadventure of leadership was in nine constituencies – not eight. So before we move on to underhand dealings to erase the candidacy of Mr John in South Windward, let us pay a visit to the treatment of the late candidate/Senator Rasum Shallow.

In mid-2005, we began to hear all kind of negatives about Rasum. Again, as in the case of Curtis Dennie, Israel Bruce, I will not – indeed cannot, since some having no relation to fact – were downright defamatory. As usual no call was made to Rasum. He was not questioned by any official of the NDP but his name was being tarnished – he was, among other things, hanging around and doing things with disreputable youths. But according to Rasum, he was advised to cultivate a relationship with the youths. Israel stated the same thing. He had made the unfortunate suggestion that Sir James be consulted on difficulties in following parliamentary procedures. He was told bluntly that the further away he stayed from Sir James – the better. It was fatal.

The die was cast. The people of Marriaqua were told to find a new candidate. Because I had listened to Ralph Gonsalves pointing out that all the women in parliament were on his side of the house and realised he was going to make it a campaign issue. The case for the inclusion of some women in the upcoming election was made. I was called to help the people of Marriaqua convince a woman to become the candidate. One NDP official advised that I stay out. I did not. The journey was made on a Saturday just before dark. I had to make inquires to find the lady but by Monday it was on radio that I was in the area. Much to my displeasure, I later learned that Rasum was totally disregarded – I mean not a word.

During the campaign, Rasum was silent but that did not stop the scandalmongers. He was accused of taking money and campaigning for the ULP while he was being paid a senatorial salary by the NDP. NDP spokesman, EG Lynch, issued an apology to avoid the consequence of defamation.

Outright lies/meanness

Scombo John came from New York ready to play ball. He sent thousands on campaign paraphernalia. He was ratified by the Central Committee and the date for his launching announced. His was supposed to be the next launch after Cummings, but enter Brian Alexander. I was called to accompany him to Stubbs to observe a new selection process. I declined. All sorts of manufactured stories which had not derailed him before surfaced. The issue of his citizen was raised as a disqualifier.

When questions were raised about the cancellation, the public were told outright lies – on radio the postponement blamed on damage that was done to the sound system at Cummings’ launch. Funny thing is the wind blew down the speakers earlier on the day of the launch. The launch of Cummings proceeded unimpeded.

Scombo journeyed to the US Embassy in Barbados and was given a green light. Our constitution allowed dual citizenship. The NDP never raised any issue about the citizenship of Louis Straker – a lowly resident of Layou, Gary Stewart, sought legal advice. In Scombo’s case it was merely a rouse. Lenny Daisley, my cousin [according to his mother] was chosen. Three weeks before, he was described by Arnhim Ulrick Eustace as a liar from whom he wanted to hear nothing. There were over three dozen persons present when the declaration was made.

Leacock called for the throwing “overboard” of Scombo if he did not endorse Lenny. Scombo departed for New York, what he did with his supplies of printed T-shirts, is not known. Lenny was launched at Biabou playing field. The person – a Scombo supporter – slated to introduce Lenny did not show. I was the substitute.

And Scombo might want to add the names of Lenny Daisley, Cameron A. D. Balcome, Rishatta Nichols, Anesia Baptiste and Ernesto Cooke to his castoff/disrespect/meanness list – all casualties of Arnhim Ulrick Eustace’s leadership style.

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