Central Kingstown MP, Major St. Clair Leacock says he is fully trained to handle the security of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
He told the New Democratic Party (NDP) “Hope Rally” in Georgetown, on Saturday, that with him as minister of national security under an NDP administration, “Your security is secured.”
Leacock, an NDP vice-president, said that party leader, Godwin Friday “has whispered in my ear” that he would serve as minister of national security under an NDP administration.
“It begins there. It begins there by someone who knows what is about and who understands the mission and purpose of this great institution, the New Democratic Party, that the first responsibility of any prime minister and of any government is to secure the people of his or her country,” said Leacock.
“And in the Democratic Party, we hold that responsibility very close to our heart. And we make a solemn promise we will protect you; we will defend you and we will take full responsibility for your safety and your security.
“We do not have to present to you a case and or an argument that in a small two-by-four country like ours, … 17 homicides within the space of three or four months, 17 homicides too much.”
Leacock was speaking mere hours before the country would record its 18th homicide this year, when Eric Conliffe, a 47-year-old electrician, of Kingstown Park, who was shot and killed sometime around 2 p.m. in Upper Middle Street, where he was doing electrical work inside a building.
“I was reminded to say while I’m in this neck of the woods, that is not just the homicides but because we are significantly in the farm community, the question of praedial larceny is equally important to our hard-working farmers who could no longer afford to lose on their investments.”
“Tonight, is not the opportunity for me to highlight the vexed question of crime because it comes in all forms and fashion. When in 20 years, you can destroy a bank, and if your work is not finished, you turn and destroy your national insurance scheme, that in 10 years your security, social security, will be in jeopardy, that, too, is a crime.
“When in a small country like ours, you have one who has overstayed his time and has had 25 years thereabout in government and asking you for another 25 for his son, that, too, is a crime.
“When you are in a country and near 50% of your young people are unemployed, that, too, is a crime. When you are in a country, and you cannot have empathy for the human suffering of your people, that, too, is a crime.
“When you are in a country, and your people are suffering daily and every Monday morning, you’re on an aircraft in somebody’s country, telling them how to run their business, that, too, is a crime.
“And when you are in a country … that you can leave and go to your neighbours and say to them bold-facedly and unashamedly that you do not believe in opposition, that is a huge crime.
“And that crime is worse when you were making a statement that you do not believe in opposition, have been in more opposition parties in the history of St. Vincent and the Grenadines than any other one. That is the greatest of crimes.”
Leacock addressed the rally crowd and media audiences “as citizens of the world … not of St. Vincent.
“Because it is one of the ambitions of the New Democratic Party that our people see themselves as world-class, not confined, not restricted, not in any narrow space by any political party, any political leader, but be able to self-actualise and be what they can be.”
He told the nation’s youth that the party wants to indicate “in no uncertain terms that under a New Democratic Party government not only will your lives be better, but your lives will be more secure”.
Leacock, who is into his third five-year term as MP for Central Kingstown, said that it is because of his skillset that Friday has tasked him with the responsibility to take care of the people of SVG.
“It is because this New Democratic Party has a serious skill set. And I happen to be one of them. And I’ll share this with you tonight as I leave the platform: trained by the Barbados Regiment; trained by the Trinidad and Tobago regiment; trained by the Guyana Defence Force; trained by the Jamaica Defence Force, a diploma from Venezuela and a qualified army officer of the first battalion of the Royal Canadian regiment.
“That’s yours truly, fully prepared; a past commandant of the Cadet Force, a past commander of Auxiliary Police Force, you are in safe hands. Indeed, in the New Democratic Party’s team, you are in the best hands. Your security is secured. Stay solidly and vote for Dr. Godwin Friday and the New Democratic Party,” Leacock said.
Saturday’s campaign-style rally comes halfway through the Unity Labour Party’s fifth consecutive five-year term in office.