NDP leader condemns Williams’ statement
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September 28, 2010
NDP leader condemns Williams’ statement

Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace has strongly condemned Burton Williams’s public statements that the New Democratic Party (NDP) will have to take care of its own first, if it wins the general elections.{{more}}

Williams, the NDP candidate for South Windward in the upcoming general elections, found himself in hot water after making the comments at a NDP public meeting at Carriere last Saturday evening, in response to comments made earlier that evening by Chairman of the NDP Dr. Linton Lewis.

“I hear my friend Dr. Lewis talking about a meritocracy you know, I don’t disagree with him, but I want you to understand that despite of the fact Dr. Lewis talking about a meritocracy, I want you to understand I am talking for Burton Williams tonight.

“When we in government, I want you to understand parson say ‘christen yuh pickney first.’ I looking after NDP supporters before I look after any Labour Party supporter.

“I talking my mind plain, because when you work and toil, when you work you must be paid. I ain’t paying nobody who don’t work for me. They have to go look for who they work wid fuh get paid. So meritocracy can come, but I looking after all yo fuss and I want Curtis (Bowman, NDP Candidate for Marriaqua) to understand he looking after you all first you know…He looking after you all first. Everybody will get look after… Everybody will get look after,” said Williams.

However, Eustace, speaking on the NDP’s New Times radio programme yesterday, said that this view goes against the belief of the party.

“The NDP says that it is in the interest of all, not just one political party,” Eustace said.

“As leader of the party and also on behalf of the executive members of the party, we have constantly indicated that we need to look after the interest of all people in this country, not people of any particular party,” he continued.

The Opposition Leader stated this has always been the position of the NDP.

“It should not matter whether you are ULP (Unity Labour Party) or NDP; we do not support the wholesale and continued victimization of NDP supporters on the basis of their party affiliation.”

Eustace contended that there were more incidents of victimization under the current administration.

“I therefore unequivocally and in the strongest possible terms, condemn the statement made by Mr.Williams,” Eustace said.

“It does not reflect the policy of the New Democratic Party (NDP) which is based on inclusiveness – it is based on the need for equal opportunity, fair play and justice for all citizens and we stand by that,” he explained.

Eustace further stated that the country could not develop by having one set of people performing all the tasks.

“Merit is important and we have been stressing the importance of the need for it,” Eustace said.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves upon his return from a trip to the United States weighed in on Williams’ weekend gaffe.

At a press conference held at Cabinet Room, Main Administrative Building, Gonsalves yesterday said: “But what I also say is this, if parson only christens his pickney first, his church would be very small and that is what is going to happen to the NDP church.

“It fine you know. Go ahead Burton, go ahead Eustace, christen your pickney first and you’ll see that your church would be the smallest church, using the word church in a metaphoric sense.[It] would be the smallest church, political church in the history of this country,” said Gonsalves, adding “let them go ahead.”(DD/HN)