KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – A former South Leeward representative has warned constituents against “a very subtle evil” as the ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP) makes inroads there.
Former works minister Jeremiah Scott, who quit politics in 2001 after 22 years, said in Campden Park on Saturday that while a Labour candidate only got 120 votes against him in that community, that number has increased to 400.
“We got to turn back the tide. We have to take back the government and take back the country by storm,” Scott said at the official opening of area representative Nigel “Nature” Stephenson’s constituency office.
He said that the ruling Unity Labour Party, which lost the constituency to the NDP in 2010 after almost ten years, was making progress in South Leeward even as road he built while in office between 1984 and 2001 are in disrepair.
The roof of the community centre in the area has not been repaired after it collapsed six years ago and youngsters are “trekking going up to the mountain trying to make a living,” Scott said, in an apparent reference to the illegal cultivation of marijuana.
“Campden Park will never get anything from the ULP government. You know why? Ralph has sworn that he will teach you all a lesson in here. And he means it,” Scott said in reference to Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves.
“Remember that in Nature you have somebody who will take and articulate your problem. He has done it already. He ain’t go to power yet but give him that power and you will see the difference,” he said of his protégé, who was elected in 2010.
Scott said that while he was in office for 22 years, Sen. Douglas Slater of the ULP who represented South Leeward for almost ten years is receiving a larger pension than him.
“And alyo ain’t saying anything ‘bout that. Not a thing bout that. You know why? You like it so,” he said, adding that under the NDP “things will come back to a life where you are based on meritocracy.
“In other words, you will get what you work for. And you will be paid on time. Because right now, everybody working but nobody getting pay. In other words, you are slave to your own type,” he said.
“This party has come a long way and under the astute leadership of Arnhim Eustace, we will get where we have to go,” he said of the NDP president who has led the party to three consecutive electoral defeats.
PM has ‘evil plan up in his head’
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said earlier this month that he plans to lead the ULP into general elections due in 2015, in a bid for a fourth consecutive term.
“I personally, if I was in his boat, I’ll be ashamed to say I coming back as prime minister. Ashamed! But if he could now say he going run a forth time to lead the party, he has an evil plan up in his head and I want you to know that whatever plans he making, we got to supersede those plans by making sure they don’t work,” Scott said.
“So when the time comes, I want you remember what NDP says. … And when we are finished, it must be Nature, Nature! It must be 1,000 to one votes. We can’t give them 400 votes in here again,” he further stated.
“The stupidity of this government in what they do will cause them to lose bigger than they expect. People are feeling too much of pinch in this land here now … and they are behaving like regardless of what they do, Campden Park people stupid and Vincentian people stupid and … they will still vote them in.”
But Scott said he would traverse the constituency to ensure that the ULP does not win in South Leeward again.
“It cannot happen again. Be warned! Be warned! The evil before you is very subtle. It is not a not an easy evil, it is very subtle evil,” he said, claiming that the ULP buys votes.
“When you get the $200, it is yours, it is yours to keep. What they give to you is yours. … You take that money and make sure you vote for Nature,” he said.
Nature’s ‘political father’
Scott, who ULP General-Secretary, Sen. Julian Francis has described as “the best representative South Leeward ever had”, further said that he would “subject myself to the job of investigating and inspecting” Stephenson’s work.
“Every person needs to have a teacher and Nature might be young as a parliamentarian without the necessary experience but I am there to lend whatever guidance God can give him.
“Whatever he needs in that respect, if he wants it, he will have it. If he doesn’t want it, I will give it to somebody else.
“But the point I am making is, always know that Nature is not alone. It is Nature and Jerry Scott together. And if it is Nature and Jerry Scott in here, I don’t see how Labour could win Campden Park or win South Leeward again. Almost impossible,” Scott said.
Stephenson, speaking at the same event, described Scott as his “political father”.
“If you think that Jeremiah Scoot did great things for you, well, just think about the combination between my political father Jerry Scott and the natural one. Just imagine what we will be able to do collectively for the people of South Leeward,” he said.