The two vice-presidents of the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) says that the party must do what is necessary to convince the electorate that it is ready for government in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Member of Parliament for Central Kingstown, Major St. Clair Leacock, told the party rally in Layou on Saturday that governance is there for grabs and its candidate must be prepared to put in the work or get out of the race.

Roland “Patel” Mathews, who is into his second term as Member of Parliament for North Leeward, speaking after Leacock, echoed this sentiment, noting that he came to politics since he was a university student and has been in opposition for almost two decades. 

Leacock restated a point that he has made several times since being elected in 2015 for second term, telling party supporters that this is the last time he will be in opposition in the Parliament.

“At this stage, I believe that in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and certainly in the New Democratic Party, you have good hold and understanding of who the major is and what he represents and what is my commitment to the leader of the party, to the New Democratic Party, and what I feel in my own heart for St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I am in no doubt, absolutely no doubt that in a real sense, at this time in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the people are actually ahead of the political parties.”

Leacock said that from the ULP side, “the people are fairly determined that they have had enough of that political party”.

And, from the NDP side, “they are clear that they are ready for a new government in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” he told the rally, which was called at the end of the trial in the two election petitions the party has filed, challenging the outcome of the vote in Central Leeward and North Windward.

“So, it is there for the grabs. And it is for us in the New Democratic Party, as indeed we are, to present ourselves to you not just as the government in waiting, but as the party that can’t wait to be in government,” Leacock told party supporters and media audiences.

“If you know me and you know me well, I am restraining myself, because I don’t want to say certain things,” he said as some members of the crowd shouted, “Let it out!”

“Yuh wah me say it?” Leacock responded. 

‘run on all 15 pistons?’ 

Leacock continued:

“This is the last time I will be in opposition in the Parliament of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Let me make that absolutely clear. It is the last, last time I am sitting down in the opposition bench in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”

He said that this means that whenever the election is called he is “giving it my all”.

“It is not just me working. I ain’t worried about me and I ain’t worried about Central Kingstown. Maybe you all don’t want me to come up here you know,” he said, apparently in response to a member of the crowd.

“It means that we have over 35,000 people who are waiting for us to do the work that has to be done to ensure elections,” Leacock said, adding that he is a serious man when it comes to politics.

“And we have to run on all 15 pistons in the New Democratic Party to seek government for our people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” he said.

“That’s what I am going to be assured of and I will be extremely hard on every single candidate in the New Democratic Party to deliver victory for the New Democratic Party. If that’s not the mission, get out of the race; straight and simple.

“Our people have suffered too much and I ain’t speaking halfway. We deserve it, we are working hard for it, our people want it and we must deliver it.”

Leacock suggested that thing will change once the NDP comes to office.

“I’m under no doubt that with a New Democratic Party government, life will be better in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Like that. Easy, easy like a Sunday morning. Easy, easy like that. That’s the confidence that your Major has in himself and in the president and in the leadership of the New Democratic Party. We will start government from the bottom up and we will deliver a better St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“So, tonight, all I have to do is wish you well and say to my brothers and sisters in the New Democratic Party, let’s go for it, let’s give the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, I didn’t say NDP; let’s give the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines what they deserve: the good and the best government.” 

‘This is our time’ 

Meanwhile, Matthews told the rally that the only way to ensure that the Unity Labour party does not “show its ugly head again, is to come out in your numbers and overwhelmingly vote for the New Democratic Party”.

He urged persons to ensure that the young people in their homes are registered to vote and to check that their ID cards are not expired.

“We have to do these things in order to counteract all that is happening. This is our time, people this is the time of the New Democratic Party to control government, in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” said Matthews, who was returned to office in 2015 by a 12-vote margin.

“This is the time for the New Democratic party to ensure that at every household, somebody should be working, this is the time for the New Democratic Party to introduce a national health insurance programme. This is the time for the NDP to pay for all your child’s CXC, this is the time to ensure that proper funding goes to the Book Loan Scheme. And the only how, Vincentians, we can achieve this, is with this man as your prime minister, “Matthews said, and lifted up the hands of opposition leader Godwin Friday.

“We have to ensure that your people are given the best living standard possible. Only the new democratic party can give that to you.” 

19 years in the wilderness 

Matthews said that his party is ready for government and this is last time in opposition.

He also asked Member of Parliament for the Southern Grenadines, Terrance Ollivierre to stand with him.

“This gentleman and I, we have the unique advantage. We were at university in Trinidad and Tobago when we were called to serve the people. We know the risks involved but we put our country first and we come forward,” Matthews aid.

In 2001, Matthews and Ollivierre returned home to contest the election for the NDP. Ollivierre was elected but Matthews would not win his seat until almost a decade later, in 2010.

He told the rally:

“For 19 years we are in the wilderness because we want to make things better, and I am telling you, I want to repeat, I want to reiterate what my brother, Major said, tonight, this is our last time in opposition. We are ready for government. But in order for us to do so, we must have the support of the people. You are critical to the New Democratic Party effecting the change that is necessary. “

6 replies on “Governance there for the grabs — Leacock, Patel”

    1. A CHANGE TO WHAT …………GO 20YRS BACKWARDS ??? KMT!!!
      ANY CHANGE FOR THE BETTER THE PEOPLE WILL SUPPORT BUT UNFORTUNATELY NDP IS NOT IT ……..THEIR DECISION MAKING IS DETRIMENT TO THEIR INCOMPETENCE ,,,,,,CASE AND POINT ;

      INTENT TO PARTNER WITH CHINA
      NO FOREIGN POLICIES OR CONNECTIONS
      SELLING OUT STATE LAND FOR THEIR OWN RICHES .
      ONE DIMENSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN THE SOUTH OF THE COUNTRY ONLY .
      PROMISES TO PAY FOR CXC AND HEALTH CARE PROGRAM AND CUT TAXES SAME TIME ……..IMPOSSIBLE .
      OFFERS NO BLUEPRINT FOR FORESEEABLE DEVELOPMENTS TO SECURE JOBS .
      NO ECONOMIC PLANS TO CUT OR STABILIZE DEPT.
      FAILED ELECTION PETITION AND NO CONFIDENCE VOTE

  1. C. ben-David says:

    It it surely time for a change.

    But a change to what?

    It makes no sense to change if the change is like shifting the deck chairs on the Titanic.

    Our ship of state is full of leaks — high unemployment; higher underemployment; high cost of living; low worker productivity; growing imports and declining exports; agricultural and fishery declines; growing personal and government debts; high business closures; high out migration of our best and brightest; stagnant mainland tourism; etc. — but the shipwrights in waiting would not be able to do much more than patch a couple of holes.

    If a mental giant, workaholic, and charismatic leader like the Comrade could not lead us to real prosperity based on substantial economic growth in nearly 20 years in office, how could the mental midgets, layabouts, and empty blowhards leading the ULP ever do so?

    Why is this so? The same answer I have been giving for years. We are destined to be a relatively have-not country forever because we have little intrinsic potential for substantial growth, a fact that few “patriotic” (read “naive”) Vincentians are willing to accept, including the thousands of Vincentians in the diaspora who have had to flee their beloved homeland for this very reason.

    1. I agree with your description of how things are in SVG C. Ben. I also agree that Ralph is an intelligent man, however, most agree that he does not have the intelligence to lead the country when it comes to economics. This stems from the fact that he never got an education in economics. HE GOT AN INDOCTRINATION! You cannot spend a country into wealth. You cannot borrow a country into wealth, nor can you tax a nation into wealth. Ralph Gonsalves certainly has it all wrong. Government cannot create real jobs, only government jobs that mean taxes have to be increased to pay thier salaries. All his spending and borrowing has led to his astronomic increase in taxes, which discourages investment and therefore jobs.

      Government can only create an environment whereby the private sector can create jobs and thereby create revenue for the government. Unfortunately Gonsalves has no understanding of this or economics in general.
      All of us see how much you hate the NDP and how much you (misplaced) admire Gonsalves but at the same time expose his vast economic incompetence.

      Godwin Friday at least proposes to lower taxes that would increase incentives to expand the Private Sector and jobs. I remember when he proposed this and Gonsalves was so steaming angry, he came out against Friday with a vengeance! Obviously you do not trust the NDP and believe there is no hope for SVG but we all agree it is time for a change and the only change that proposes the right solutions right now is Godwin Friday.

  2. I was a student in Diamonds when they had the shift system at the Diamonds primary school ..problem is we Vincy have short memories and could barely remember our last meal sometimes..if it’s the will of the people then go ahead and put NDP in power..I don’t have any confidence in this bunch of talkers..but if the people want them..so be it

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