September 7, 2010
Burton told – too late to apologise

It’s too late to apologize.

This is the message that the Unity Labour Party (ULP) campaign team took to Calder on Thursday, August 26, as the Party’s speakers slammed the comeback of Burton Williams, the former area representative for South Windward.{{more}}

The meeting, held outside Vincent Thomas’ residence was also staged to endorse Frederick Stevenson, the ULP’s candidate for South Windward in the upcoming General Elections.

Blasting ‘Apologize’, a song by One Republic featuring Timbaland, the ULP had their supporters shouting passionately, “It’s too late to apologize, Burton”.

“Tell Burton it is too late to apologize. He could apologize to Mitchell, he could apologize to NDP, but its too late to apologize to the Labour Party,” chanted Saboto Caesar, one of the ULP’s young guns, who will be contesting the South Central Windward seat against Addison “Bash” Thomas of the NDP.

Caesar’s comments were in reference to an apology that Williams made to Sir James Mitchell, founder of the NDP, 10 years ago and his public apology to the NDP on Sunday, July 18, at the Opposition’s 32nd convention at Democrat House.

Sir James demanded the apology during the convention, stating that it was necessary that Williams issue it before he could get his support.

Williams in turn apologized for running against the NDP in 1994 after a fall out with Sir James, the then Prime Minister.

The fiasco which resulted in Williams’s apology began in 1994 after his handling of a health situation.

Williams was demoted from his post as Minister of Health and placed under Sir James’ “wing” as junior minister without portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister.

At Thursday evening’s political meeting, Caesar told the crowd that their friends and neighbours may be upset with them during this election period, but they have to come out in defence of their Party and the generations to come.

“What the ULP has done under Comrade Ralph, no other political party will ever come close to that record,” said Caesar.

He expressed that with the turnout that he was seeing at the ULP’s second political meeting, he was confident that two years from now when the Argyle International Airport is formally opened, Stevenson will be their delivering remarks on behalf of the constituents of South Windward.

“This is a time for representation, Burton is misrepresentation,” shouted Caesar.

Host of the meeting, Rene Baptiste, said this is the 21st century and it’s unbelievable that the NDP “would go down and resurrect something that dead and bring it to ballot paper”.

At his turn at the podium, Stevenson spoke about his Party’s accomplishments in government during its two terms.

He spoke of development in tourism, the construction of the new Biabou Police Station, the development of the Stubbs Playing Field, the construction of the Windward Highway and the incumbent’s pursuance of the “Education Revolution”.

Luke Browne, another of the ULP’s young guns who will be coming up against seasoned politician Arnhim Eustace in East Kingstown, said some people are only interested in getting into office, but they’re not interested in effecting change. Eustace is also the Political Leader of the NDP.

“I sense change in Stevenson,” said Luke.

“I think that we could look at this juncture in our history and reckon that the gains that we have made could be threatened if we do not take the appropriate step, if we do not rally with the Unity Labour Party and deliver election victory in the next General Elections,” said Browne.

Stevenson also received endorsements from Political Leader of the ULP, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, and Cecil ‘Ces’ McKie.

Gonsalves said the 39-year-old Stevenson is based in the Office of the Prime Minister and he was proud to have him work there. He said he is confident that Stevenson could bring the same skills to the constituency of South Windward.

“Burton has been rejected by the people,” said Gonsalves.

Williams represented the constituency of South Windward from 1984 to 1994. (HN)