A farmer demonstrates in Kingstown during the NDP’s protest march on July 31, 2014 (IWN photo)

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not represent the opinions or editorial position of I-Witness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected]

The Issue

On Thursday, July 31, 2014, at a very poorly-attended rally in Kingstown, following upon an even more-scantily supported protest march, the opposition New Democratic Party’s Vice President, Mr. St. Clair Leacock, delivered himself of the following bit of nonsense.

“From hereon, with a one-seat majority, Ralph, the New Democratic Party is not cooperating with you on anything, save and except for the general elections.”

On a plain rendering of those words, I feel sure that the ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP) would be pleased with the promised NDP cooperation for the forthcoming general elections, thus facilitating a fourth term in office for the ULP.  I take it, though, that what Leacock really wants is the holding of early general elections.

(Scroll for I-Witness News video)

False Predictions

The simple fact is that since the NDP’s ejection from office on March 28, 2001, it has been calling repeatedly for general elections sooner rather than later.  When the actual elections came in December 2005 and December 2010, the NDP lost.

Since the general elections of December 2010, the NDP has been predicting imminent elections.  On the night after the elections of December 2010, the NDP’s leader Arnhim Eustace, predicted elections within six months.  Two days, thereafter, he predicted that the ULP government would not last one year.  After the passage of one year, Eustace predicted general elections before the end of 2012.  When quizzed about his repeated false predictions by the media, Eustace lamely conceded the obvious: That his predictions thus far were wrong, but he persisted in averring that the government would not last beyond 2013.

Well, we are now in August 2014 and the ULP government is as entrenched as ever.  The ULP’s five-year mandate expires in December 2015, less than 16 months away.  So, the NDP no longer makes any prediction; instead, its leaders, following upon a calypso by one of their activists, endearing request: “Ring the Bell, Comrade”.  With under 300 persons in a “Ring the Bell” march and about 450 persons (including non-partisan on-lookers) at the “protest” rally, the NDP was hardly in a position to demand anything.  Thus, their plea: “Ring the Bell, Comrade”. “Plea” comes from “please; and “Comrade” is the affectionate name for Ralph!

This gentle plea reflects the NDP’s recognition of a singular fact: Only the Comrade could ring the real bell, the meaningful bell.  Patches, Eustace, and Julian Francis at a calypso tent, are all engaged in entertainment; and the NDP lady with the yellow bell at EG Lynch’s funeral service, while disrupting a religious assembly, was unwittingly tolling the bell for the NDP’s defeat!  The NDP’s plea is in fact an assertive ULP slogan: “Ring the Bell, Comrade”!Labour2Win”!

Tactics of Non-Cooperation

We come now to St. Clair Leacock’s foolish bombast: “Non-Cooperation with the ULP government”.  This wholly unwise tactical declaration follows upon Leacock’s recent arrogant outbursts, to wit: “I am fed up with the repeated nonsense of Parnel Campbell and Sir James Mitchell.  I say to them: Stop it; I am fed up!”

But who cares whether Leacock is fed up? Who is St. Clair Leacock to dictate to the likes of Parnel and Sir James?  Is Leacock not getting more than a little beyond himself?  This man needs a reality check!

The simple fact about the NDP’s declaration of non-cooperation is that it has been in effect since July 27, 2007.  On that day, Eustace wrote Ralph a letter discontinuing all cooperation with the government on the constitutional reform process unless four things happened: (1) Rodney Adams resigns as Supervisor of Elections; (2) Rodney Adams publishes his Report on the 2005 Elections; (3) ULP removes its election billboards; and (4) Julian Francis explains how he knew the number of Syrians who voted for Michael Hamlett in 2001 and himself in 2005.  These were the ridiculous items of contention for the NDP, sufficient in its view to adopt “non-cooperation” as a tactic.

Since July 27, 2007, the NDP has been in a “non-cooperation” mode with the ULP government.  So, the NDP cannot suspend cooperation when none has been in existence for seven years.  The evidence abounds.

Unthinkingly, the NDP has now publicly pushed itself into a political corner.  It has made it plain that whatever good proposal or law the government initiates in the people’s interest, it would not cooperate! The NDP has now made plain and open what it has hitherto tried to hide: That it is not interested in good governance or the people’s welfare; it is interested only in the quest for power at all costs.  Non-cooperation is a tactic to nowhere sensible, progressive, patriotic and caring.

In the aftermath of the disruption of Lynch’s funeral, and amidst the church leaders’ sensible call for “political reconciliation”, the NDP’s response is NON-COOPERATION; “WAR” IN THE NORTH, SOUTH, EAST AND WEST! As Frank Da Silva would say: “There you have it, folks”!  At one stroke Leacock has put politics in St. Vincent and the Grenadines into an arid no-man’s land of Hamas and the Israelis in Gaza.

NDP’s Real Frustration

The NDP’s real frustration stems from its weaknesses and lack of popular support.  Its weaknesses lay in an absence of a coherent vision and philosophy; threadbare policies and programmes; poor organisation; a profound disconnect with real people; bad candidates; and dismal leadership.

The context of this frustration is its sinking feeling that it ought to have won the December 2010 general elections.  After all, it had the 2009 Referendum wind at its political back (56 percent to 44 percent of the vote); and the economy was reeling from the fall-out of the global crisis, with a minus 4.8 percent in aggregate economic decline (2008-2010).  In the immediate post-2010 elections hubris for the NDP, Leacock himself stated that the NDP needed “fresh legs at the top”.  But that was only a partial and personally self-serving analysis.  Nevertheless, the legs are less fresh, older and staler now than in 2010, including those of Leacock.

Meanwhile, the ULP’s political programme of renewal and refreshing of personnel and ideas, is evident; it is paying dividends.  Despite the natural disasters of October 2010, 2011, and 2013 (plus a drought in early 2010), real economic growth for the 2011 to 2013 period inclusive is now at an aggregate of 4.9 percent, above the decline of 2008 to 2010, inclusive.  The data show economic growth for 2011-2013 as follows: 0.3 percent for 2011; 1.5 percent for 2012; and 3.1 percent for 2013.  And there is a further pick-up in 2014 thus far. St. Vincent and the Grenadines is performing much better than the OECS average.

Last October, 2013 the renowned pollster Peter Wickham of CADRES found that there was a 2.5 percent swing of popular support to the ULP over the figure for the 2010 elections.  Wickham concluded that this would deliver a further two seats, at least, to the ULP.

Even more alarming for Eustace’s NDP was the finding that 61 per cent of the population wanted Ralph to remain as Prime Minister and 31 per cent wanted Eustace.

LABOUR2WIN

So, with everything on the uptick for the ULP, the mantra is: Labour2Win! The handful of discredited people around Eustace and the “internet crazies” are leading the NDP over a political cliff!

Hans King

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaDYhZkjkVI

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].

10 replies on “NDP’s non-cooperation: a tactic to nowhere”

  1. This is the reason why SVG hasn’t gone anywhere, we have people in high offices who care to much about what other people are saying than doing their jobs. Ello, Vincentians are suffering, people are dying like flies from pressure, even young people in there best years are dying from pressure. People cannot take it anymore, don’t you all understand that. This is not a game fellas, these are real Vincentian lives that are being lost at the alter of divisive politics.

    This thing you all are doing might be working for a few, but the majority of people are suffering. This Hans King guy is paid thousands of dollars a month to talk and write commess, so I don’t expect anything better from him. But there has to be a time when you have to put a stop to this nonsense. You all have became quite wealthy over the years, so what else do you all want? The country doesn’t have anything left to give. Muddawuk man, someone would have to pay for all this wickedness. God don’t sleep

  2. Francine Mc Dowall says:

    Congrats Hans King.

    I hope many other ULP supporters will now follow your lead in writing pro-ULP and pro-government articles.

    Whenever we do not take the lead, we allow lesser mortals to dominate the scene.

    For too long have we permitted the NDP blow-hards the opportunity to influence public opinion.

    The story of the education revolution must be told. Computers for all students and universal secondary education for all as well. University degrees could now be obtained right here, at home now.

    The story of the hosing revolution should as well. Which other government has built 1,000 houses for our low and no-income citizens?

    Look at the commercial building boom since the ULP took the reins of government since 2001.

    We have moved from 7,000 registered motor vehicles on our roads to over 26,000 today.

    St Vincent is the only OECS state to not have 3 years of negative economic growth, AT A TIME WHEN WE ARE BUILDING OUR INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT.

    And let them chew on this as well. We have the least debt to GDP ratio in the OECS , too boot.

    So bang them Hans !!!

    1. So Francine McDowall quotes “We have moved from 7,000 registered motor vehicles on our roads to over 26,000 today.”

      Is this a good thing considering the size of our country and roads. Discounting the traffic problems, what about the environmental impact? Why is this something to be proud of?

      While I have my political views, as we are all entitled to, the article is simply a PR piece and serves no real purpose. It is heavily biased.

      The writer should have provided a concise, factual and non subjective article. To end the article by referring to the opposion supporters as “internet crazies” removes any weight that it may have had.

      While I can appreciate that as a nation we are rather passionate about out political affliations, those who are eleceted to represent us should also remember that the general populace is more educated now – we care more about the way our country is run than maybe our parents and grand parents did. We want to ensure that we have a country worth living in.

      Talk to us about things which matter to us and which will matter to our children. Please stop behaving as though we, the people, who exercise our democratic rights, are idiots!

  3. Isaacs Franklyn says:

    It is obvious to me that this is definitely not the same Hans King who wrote the previous posting on this site. This is so poorly constructed that it is bordering on garbage. The quality of composition will not obtain a D grade at CXC level. Man, you are so grossly overpaid!!!

    Was it not Ralph who started with “On Your Mark”? Did he get as far as “Get Set’ before he realised that things are not going to be so good for him and the likes of Julian? They both know […] where they will end up. That 1 million US$ cash deposit alone will take care of that. But there will be a lot more. Wait and see. Ralph is making a mess in his pants frequently now. What will become of him? Nothing good; and not many people will be sympathetic.

    So Hans, let’s continue the chant……Get Set!!….Go!!! You don’t really need any help from Patches. Ralph will have to do that soon anyway, because the economy is coming to a screeching halt.
    Now may be a good time for you to try and make a run for it Hans. […] Excited yet? And Brian Alexander did not tell me a thing. Promise. So keep everything in their holsters.

  4. Peter Binose says:

    Its so funny as I was reading this piece I decided after a few paragraphs that it was written by Gonsalves, then by the time I got to the end I was fully aware that I was a 100% correct.

    Stop it, every time you do something like this, which is a form of lying, unlike Pinocchio its not just your nose that is growing, its affecting your whole body which is inflating..

  5. Well written piece, continue to provide great articles so we out here can have a clearer understanding of what’s going on at home.

  6. Hans, ask Ralph to ring the bell if you are certain of victory. Let me just rephrase one of your comments: You wrote, “That it is not interested in good governance or the people’s welfare “.You probably should have written: “That it is not interested in good governance or the people on welfare “. Let’s face it Hans, the entire island is on welfare, including many ULP supporters.
    The 2013 stats you quoted are outdated, because things have changed. I predict all the seats on the Leeward side will vote NDP. This will take away the one seat advantage ULP holds. The incident at Lynch’s funeral shows the tide is turning. Add the Central Leeward farce that selected Jomo to the ULP ticket against the wishes of many ULP supporters and you have a rebellion on your hand. That’s why Ralph cannot ring the bell now. I believe the stats show he’s losing and losing badly.
    You are blaming everything and everybody, except Ralph, about the booing at the funeral. Thank God the people acted this way, instead of going the way of Hamas and Israel. If that situation happened here someone may have used any means necessary to silence Ralph. We don’t have suicide bombers – not yet at least, and we don’t need any. We have the ballot, although it’s rumoured there is hanky-panky taking place.
    I must agree with you on your rebuttal, rebuke or whatever it was to St. Clair Leacock. I also disagree with the statement. I find politicians on both sides say things without thinking clearly. I wish they would stick to the issues the people bring before them, instead of including non-essential gossips. By the way stop trying to jail people for booing Ralph. Where I am from we didn’t boo, we stoned you out of town. Things might have changed, but don’t push that envelope too far because frustrated people can and will do anything.
    One again if you and Ralph are so sure you have the people on your side, “then ring the bell”.

  7. Hans, the NDP never co-operated with the Government. in 2001 when the Comrade made the famous “Together- Now” announcement Mr. Eustace rejected it. Can’t you remember that? From that time on all they were doing was opposing . When you oppose changes to the constitution it speaks volume.

  8. I just don’t understand. It seems that every conceivable tactic tried by the NDP fails or backfires.This party defies all political logic. One thing though, they get some marks for persistence, or is it folly ? I would suggest a new tactic for Leacock, Eustace and some of the others, “RETIREMENT”. Not every politician is politically savvy. Ask Sir James. Maybe he could help. After all, desperate times call for desperate measures!

  9. Urlan Alexander says:

    How come that the exact words uttered by Ralph, some as recent as the last press hugging, find there way into an article written by Hans? The real Internet Crazy is feeling it and he is coming out of his hiding.

Comments are closed.