PM wants all hands on deck
December 15, 2006
PM wants all hands on deck

ULP ministers who find their jobs too taxing should simply find something else to do!

That was the straight talk from Political Leader, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves as he addressed the 13th convention of his Unity Labour Party (ULP) last Sunday.

“We need unequivocal, wholehearted, commitment,” Dr Gonsalves declared.{{more}}

Celebration was the order of the day at the St Joseph’s Convent in Marriaqua as the ULP sought to refresh and energize and deliver so that they could keep their political lead. And not even the continuous downpour of rain could dampen the mood. In fact the only dampening occurred when the meeting hall was hushed in reflection and oozing with painful expressions as they remembered former party front-liner, the former press secretary to the Prime Minister, Glenn Jackson.

“This year I felt the loss of Glenn,” the Prime Minister said at the beginning of his speech.

The evening session was a matter of formality as the elections had no mystery at all, with each of the four positions being retained by the incumbents unopposed. These were Political Leader, Dr Ralph Gonsalves, Deputy Leader Sir Louis Straker, General Secretary Julian Francis, and Assistant General Secretary Juliet George.

The morning’s celebration was noticeably tinged with caution as party revelers were constantly reminded by their leaders that refreshing and reenergizing was crucial to the party’s continuous success.

Jubilant Unity Labour Party supporters applauded every moment they could, as their party leaders spoke to them.

When he addressed the convention, featured speaker, Antiguan Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Harold Lovell said that there is a new trend spreading across the CARICOM sub-region where political parties were building close relationship at all levels.

He stressed the importance of a merging together and a developing of a strong, united approach in dealing with several issues including the fight against crime.

“We must have a collective approach to solving problems,” he said as he added the necessity of a pooling of the sub-region’s human resources. That is, according to him, if they are to be sustainable, relevant and effective in their efforts of growth and development.

As he declared his support for Dr Ralph Gonsalves and his ULP administration he said that he identified with the ULP administration from his Antiguan context.

“We both had to clean up a mess that was left after a very long time, we had to overcome a history of bad Government,” he said.

For his part, Dr Gonsalves commended the resolve and commitment of the ULP supporters. He reminisced about the occasions that they showed willingness to rally around the cause of the party in the midst of terrible weather conditions.

“I have had a greater love and admiration for you that words cannot describe,” Dr Gonsalves told his jubilant supporters, who ate up his every word.

He also warned his supporters to look out for unscrupulous businessmen who would try to raise prices on items that they shouldn’t, using the Value Added Tax (VAT) as an excuse.