Stephen Pollard, an activist for the ruling Unity Labour Party, took to the streets of Kingstown on Monday calling for the removal of commentator Frank Da Silva from hosting a programme on the party’s radio station, Star FM.
Pollard’s one-man protest followed an article by House Speaker and ULP member, Jomo Thomas, in his weekly column in The Vincentian newspaper last week, in which he called Da Silva “a loud, foul-mouthed radio bully, an intellectual dwarf, and a political prostitute in search of a home”.
Thomas, who was a candidate for the ULP in the December 2015 general elections, accused Da Silva of being opportunistic.
He said that for many years, Da Silva played music in an NDP fete and excoriated Gonsalves, ULP and anyone who even whispered the word star – the symbols of the ULP.
“Then the loose cannon’s boss broke with the NDP, better put, the NDP foolishly broke with its founding father. Frank did not wait for the command to jump. He proclaimed himself Gonsalves’ partner,” Thomas wrote.
In his response on his radio programme Friday night, Da Silva said that he had repeatedly said that if he had to vote for someone with a heart, he would cast his ballot for ULP leader, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves many times but not once for outgoing leader of the opposition New Democratic Party, Arnhim Eustace — a man whose praises he once sang.
Da Silva also asked what is it that he wanted or got from the ULP to trigger Thomas’ accusation that he is opportunistic.
“This sounds like an intellectual debate? Eh?” Da Silva said.
Meanwhile, ULP general secretary, Sen. Julian Francis, speaking on his weekly radio programme on Tuesday, called on both men to stop their bickering, even as he noted that Thomas is an ULP member, but Da Silva is not.
Francis called on Thomas to tone down his commentary on Da Silva and further called on the former ULP senator to learn to take licks, adding that Frank is not paid for his advocacy on behalf of the ULP.
Da Silva’s became critical of Thomas, after the outspoken commentator said in his column that the government undersold lands at Mt Wynne-Peters Hope, accepting EC$7 million for 36 acres of land sold to Canadian investors.