November 27, 2013.
An Open Letter to Sir James Mitchell
Dear Sir James,
I was not at all surprised after our successful convention on Sunday, to hear you make your usual negative comments about me, and the New Democratic Party. All NDP supporters and the general public now expect that from you. As far as you are concerned, without you the NDP can do nothing right. I must say, that I have come, over recent years to regard you as an acolyte of the ULP, activated, particularly when our party’s message is resonating with the people.
I was amazed at the depth to which you descended, indicating that our Convention’s Guest Speaker Ms. Luzette King would have been compelled by you to tear up her ULP party card had you been on the platform. I found your statement infantile and in poor taste. We in the NDP have made it clear that we have a big tent and all persons regardless of party affiliation are welcome. This is our policy and the hallmark of the type of Government we shall form when we take office
For several years now, you have not attended our party convention, despite being invited on all occasions; we invited you because of the substantial historical role you played in our party. You indicated that for this convention, you regarded the invitation from General Secretary Allan Cruickshank as coming from “hypocrites.” Now that you have expressed your position on this matter, we will act in accordance with your wishes at our next convention. We do not wish you to be uncomfortable in the company of hypocrites.
You have also indicated that you have not heard from me. I wish to point out that I, as Leader, have not heard from you, anything but public criticism and derision, of myself, and the NDP.
Curiously, these past years past years, where our nation has teetered on the brink of economic collapse, you have chosen consistently to say almost nothing in criticism of the ULP administration that led us to the edge and lacks the capacity to turn back now. Instead, you point aim, always, at the NDP.
In your usually negative, post-convention comments, you indicated, “it would be a disaster if next time around Eustace loses his seat; we had a real struggle last time to make sure that he kept his seat.” That is a lie. My margin of victory in East Kingstown last timearound reached to 467, an increase of 310 votes over the previous election- a tripling of my lead. What did you have to do with that result? Nothing. Indeed, during the last election, we had difficulty with your unacceptable comments relating to Almighty God, for which you were asked by me to apologize, and did. Sir James, you, may well have cost us votes. I quietly observed that you had become an anachronism.
You indicated that over the years, presumably since you left, the NDP has been slumping in the vote. That is also a lie. In 2001, the NDP received 23,841 votes and lost to the ULP in that election by 9,091 votes. In 2005, the NDP got 25,734 votes and lost to the ULP by 6,272 votes, and in 2010, the NDP got 30,568 votes, and lost to the ULP by 1,531 votes. Sir James, your arithmetical skills have deserted you.
We both know there is more to be said, but the issues that confront Vincentians take priority. I must return my full attention to the cries of the unemployed, the single mothers, the struggling farmers, our battered tourism, failing healthcare, our crumbling economy and those challenges which we in the NDP are being asked to face on behalf of a hurting population.
Have a Merry Christmas,