I am wondering how legitimate a claim does Mr Cummings really have with this Chair-Gate. With all this talk about employer this and that by Cummings, one is forced to ask, is there no other specific protocol within the House rules that Cummings could point to in making his case rather than these generic claims of an employer’s responsibility?
The NDP has not gone nuclear on this issue and it appears that Mr. Cummings is fighting this battle by himself. Is this a sign that Cummings’ claim is not as strong as he may want folks to believe?
I cannot understand, how the NDP, as a party, will allow one of its elected and senior members to be treated like floor cloth by the Speaker and stay virtually silent in their corner. If Mr Cummings, as he claims, is entitled to have proper seating for his condition, then the NDP should make this an issue and show their collective outrage if certain conditions are not met. On the other hand, if the claim by Cummings is a frivolous one in the grand scheme of things, then the leadership of the NDP ought to instruct Cummings to stand down and seek alternative redress.
But this half-a..e kind of approach by Cummings and the NDP is the sort of thing that caused them the last election. You either put up or shut up. This chair-gate issue is emblematic of a wider systematic weakness of the NDP machinery. It would appear that everyone is doing their own thing at the moment and there is no tactical cohesion as to how they tackle any issue.
Cummings is on his soap-box crying for a chair; Eustace is on his soap-box crying about the economy; Leacock is on his soap-box crying about every and anything; five days a week, various NDP members are on the air waves, talking people to death; meanwhile, NDP as a political party is floundering in the political wilderness with no apparent strategic nor navigational guideline to reach the promise land.
Now, allow me to share some ideas that have been percolating in the far recess of my mind for some time. Here is my road map for the way forward for the NDP. I hope folks take it and the above-mentioned chair-gate, in the spirit it was meant, i.e., in the immortal words of the Black Ebou, “I ain’t fraid”.
1.Cut the New Times talk radio programme from five days to three days, e.g. Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
That way, when folks come on the radio, they have something substantial and meaningful to speak about.
2.Have a moratorium of sorts on the Airport, in the sense of stop talking about the airport unless you have really worthwhile information to give to the public. Leave all the alternative plans for later on in the campaign. For now just relax and let Gonsalves hang himself with the airport.
3.Someone mentioned this before, utilized social media as much as possible. President Obama set the template for all future politicians on how you use social media to get your message to those younger voters — and even older ones too!
4:Get Ernesto Cooke off the radio — talk about buyer’s remorse. Glenford Prescott, with a fire and brimstone persona, with a penchant to tell it as it is, is the man for the NEW TIMES.
5.Get a female voice to replace Anesia and Vynnette. Margaret London has already been abandoned, much to the chagrin of many supporters of the NDP. All this testosterone driven outreach is not making for good optics. There is an urgent need for some oestrogen within the party.
6.Make a genuine effort to address the needs of the sporting public and stop with the pandering of a National Stadium or Aquatic Centre. Speak of access to more playing fields; speak for instance, to the implementation of a nation-wide coaching system to get our athletes performing better at overseas competition etc.
7.Show a much more vibrant passion for our culture and entertainment sector through well structured policies and not some going-through-the motions pandering. How can we improve our Carnival, maintained our culture, our identity as Vincy?
8.Stop talking with water in your mouth on particular issues, such as reparations. This is politics, you either support it or you don’t. There is no room for equivocation. “We talk about reparation for lands stolen and so on. I understand all of that; I don’t have [any] problem with the principles surrounding that. But whether you’re going to get anything anywhere in the near future, in the medium term and in the long term, is another issue” Yo’ see what I mean?
9.Go brave: show some support for any popular programmes or project that the ULP have implemented (Airport included — this is where the alternative plans come into full focus). The idea here is to show some political maturity and at the same time ingratiating yourself to some die hard ULP voters. The end result a more united country.
10.Do not for one moment, ever never, entertain the idea of bringing James Mitchell on any rostrum to address NDP supporters. Eustace should symbolically drive a political stake through Mitchell’s heart anytime soon by publicly stating that James Mitchell is no longer welcome on any NDP rostrum. The day Eustace does that is the day folks will stop questioning is leadership.
I am almost certain that I am not saying anything new here but I expect some will dismiss what I am saying as simply the ranting of a fanciful Vincy in voluntary exile — and they would be absolutely correct.
The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].