News
February 4, 2014
Frank Da Silva would like chance to unseat Daniel Cummings

Following his attendance at the Unity Labour Party’s 20th annual convention on Sunday and the star rated welcome he received, Searchlight posed the following questions to the card carrying, former frontline member and prospective candidate for the Opposition New Democratic Party, Frank Da Silva.{{more}}

Q. What prompted your attendance at the ULP’s 20th annual convention on Sunday?

Da Silva: I knew it would point out the difference between the ULP supporters and the Eustace and Crew Party [ECP]. If I had shown up at the last ECP convention, I would have been booed because of my open pronouncements on Eustace as leader.

Q. Your arrival was announced with much fanfare by the convention chairman and your presence given special mention by the political leader. What are your thoughts on this reception?

Da Silva: Did not ‘answer number one’ succinctly answer that question? It was what I expected. And by the way, nobody in the ULP knew I was going to attend, so all were taken by surprise. Their response, therefore, was totally spontaneous. For most of thirteen years, my differences on a number of political issues with Ralph E Gonsalves have been well documented. But I want any individual to find anywhere where Ralph Gonsalves has ever spoken ill of me or encouraged persons to speak ill – call me names and not rebuke them.

Q. Was your attendance a signal that you plan to throw your support behind the Unity Labour Party in the run up to the next general elections?

Da Silva: Knowing what I know and what all have seen coming from Eustace and Crew, particularly St Clair Leacock and Daniel Cummings, I cannot see how I can continue to support them – to participate in helping to inflict them on SVG. It must be a case of supporting the lesser of two evils (metaphorically speaking). Eustace and Crew have shown that they are unquestionably the greater evil. Look at the treatment of Anesia Baptiste, Rishatta Pompey Nicholls, the as yet unpublisized indifference to E G Lynch, and the “out-of-place” open letter to Sir James Mitchell and I might add Ernesto Cooke. They are not James Mitchell’s NDP. In 17 years in office Sir James never fired a single member of his inner circle – not even Marcus DeFreitas. To continue to support the ECP is to lend succour to all those.

Q. Did your attendance also indicate a full severing of ties with the New Democratic Party and how do you expect the party to respond?

Da Silva: I have not attended a convention since 2006. I attended that convention merely to support the reelection of Jeanne Ollivierre as general secretary. After the vote and she lost I have not gone back. In war the surest way to defeat is to become predictable to those you oppose. Eustace and Crew Party is not known for anything other than its predictability.

Q. How would you describe your relationship with the leadership of the New Democratic Party, and how do you rate the party’s chances in the upcoming elections?

Da Silva: Truly I wish fervently that people would resist calling them the NDP. As to the chances of the ECP in the next election, note how many voices and the calibre of those voices you no longer hear in support. I’m sending you an email I sent to some of them a few weeks ago, feel free to publish it along with the names to whom it was sent.

Q. Would you consider joining the ULP’s slate of candidates?

Da Silva: An interesting question. Never say never. I feel so strongly about the removal of Daniel Cummings I might, just to defeat him. To stone a place of worship and then to be unrepentant, to break the law, to confess, to promise to do so again, is not what we want of any person in our parliament. What kind of message are we sending? But you say Frank you opposed some of the policies of the ULP, how would you adjust to that? I also opposed policies of the NDP, like the idiot fund for Opposition MPs or the equally idiot proposal to pay CXC fees for all and sundry and I remained opposed to the construction of the vegetable market, just to name three. None of my disagreements with Ralph champs Eustace’s sickening ungratefulness. Whatever the outcome I hope the ULP picks a candidate for West Kingstown with whom I can campaign.

Q. What has been the public reaction since Sunday’s event?

Da Silva: I went to the convention well anticipating the ECP reaction. It has been true to form. I have even been labelled a dog on FB, I have been told. The surprise is one hundred percent welcome by every member of the ULP. Apparently, they understand that you can catch more flies with molasses than with vinegar [metaphorically speaking lol].

Q. Parallels are already being drawn between your attendance at the ULP meeting and last December’s attendance by ULP card carrying member Luzette King at the NDP’s convention. How do you respond, and would you have torn up your NDP party card (assuming you have one) if asked to do so at the convention?

Da Silva: Parallels between Frank Da Silva and Luzette King? Luzette King said she did everything to remove the NDP from office. Ms King apparently thought that would have been enough to secure her a regional post. But using Linton Lewis’ own benchmark – Meritocracy, which his party has not embraced – Ralph Gonsalves said she was not “possessed of the required temperament”. She became a keynote speaker in the face of Anesia Baptiste and Rishatta Pompey Nicholls. Anyone in this country thinks Frank Da Silva would do that? I fight for others not myself. I have a party card but I have not paid dues since the departure of Jeanne Ollivierre. It is worthless.