Prime Minister Gonsalves has told supporters of his Unity Labour Party to prepare for a short election campaign as the party seeks an unprecedented fifth term in office.
And, as he did in 2015, the prime minister resorted to an agricultural metaphor, saying that it is short rope that cases livestock to accidentally strangle — “heng”, in local parlance.
Gonsalves told the ULP virtual campaign rally on Thursday that over the last two weeks, following the release of soca artiste Rondy “Luta” McIntosh campaign song, “Ring De Bell”, party supporters has been clamouring for him to “to declare the election date and to romp home in victory five-in-a-row”
The prime minister said that in response to the call of party supporters, he had told them to get “on your marks”.
“I will shortly advise our comrades, our supporters, the labour family, to get set. And when I give that advice I will request of you to await patiently, soberly and wisely for the bell-ringing injunction to go to the polls,” Gonsalves said.
“Please do not hurry me yet. I am asking something instead of the Labour family: be fully prepared; be fully prepared. As the son of a farmer, as a man who raised cattle and goat myself, as a man who represents a farming community, it ain’t long rope that does heng cattle; is short rope. And the short rope would appear not too long from now.”
Gonsalves, however, said that before he gets ready “with the short rope to heng the metaphoric NDP cattle, I am asking the labour family to be fully prepared”.
In yet another speech, he asked party supporters to shelve their displeasure with his government until after it is re-elected to office.
“…now that you are on your marks, I don’t want to hear any grumbling about this or that. If in the family of Labour there are issues to be dealt with — and there are always issues to be dealt with — let us get over the democratic imperative of the election. We have a fine record, a splendid record; we act in your interest always. You have trusted us, and you can continue to trust us. So I don’t want to hear any grumbling,” Gonsalves said.
“I want you, everyone in the labour family, young and old, and those in between, to put your shoulder to the wheel and let us deliver a historic licking to these backward people who comprise the leadership of the New Democratic Party.
“Instead of expressing a frustration about this or that I want you to do instead, count our blessing, count your blessings because they are many, because the Labour blessings have touched every single household in this country.
“The labour sunshine has been on every household, labour and NDP and no P. I want us to count our blessing, country your blessings one by one and see what labour, under God’s guidance, has done for you, for all of us, for our nation,” the prime minister said.