Our Readers' Opinions
January 31, 2014
Diary of an Ingrate [Chapter 4]

Fri Jan 31, 2013

by Frank E. da Silva

“Those who have been baffled for years and have asked the question….Why? They now have an understanding of what went on in broad daylight.” [Email from a reader, 01 25 14]

“Accepting the view that a man believes in the goodness of his party, he is afraid to question some of the apparently dictatorial actions lest he give comfort to the other side. Indeed party hacks often tell their supporters that the party is not perfect, it has serious faults but to bring them up for serious discussion is to rock the boat and enhance the chances of its rivals. Similarly, most politicians realize that they have a good thing and resent the efforts of ‘upstarts’ who attempt to break into the system and threaten to upset it by spreading education among the masses.” [Dr Kenneth John, The Vincentian, 01 24 14]{{more}}

“Of course, some of us will never really know the answer to this because politicians regardless of the ideology adopted, regardless of their success or failure in politics, tend ultimately to adopt an approach that at once suggests openness to the electorate – on one hand – while insisting on secrecy among its membership on the other. But as the old people say ‘what do they have to hide’ – what do they have to hide from the electorate? Is this not the same electorate to whom they are constantly appealing for votes? Then why do they hide things from them. The answer to that- if you can get one – be must the crux of the matter.” [Keith Joseph, Just Another Look, 12 02 06]

The intention this week was to begin with the excerpt of Mr Keith Joseph but in last week’s edition of The Vincentian we were presented with a godsend – an irresistible godsend – by Dr Kenneth John. According to Dr John his piece was written forty years ago but apparently Dr John now finds it relevant to our time – I agree. I find it apropos to the Diary series. He offered a reprint to Jomo Thomas among others and published it for the rest of us. I am, particularly, drawn to the use of the word “dictatorial” and its possible connection to the Leader of the Opposition.

You learn last week that in 2005, Mr Jerry Scott was summoned to the office of the Leader of the Opposition where he was told by Arnhim Ulrick Eustace (AUE) he did not want him as a candidate. Was Arnhim Ulrick being dictatorial?

Here is what the constitution of New Democratic Party says about candidate selection: Article 18 (1) Whenever the Party shall have occasion to select a candidate to represent the Party at an election, the following provision shall apply.

(1)(i) Where there are identifiable and functioning Party Groups in the constituency but no Constituency Division has been organized, the President shall invite such Party Groups to hold formal deliberations upon such matter either in his presence or among themselves and to inform him of their choice or choices subject to any guidelines the President might suggest…

On what basis was Mr Jerry Scott debarred by Mr Eustace? But Jerry was not alone. One Constituency Division in Central Kingstown resigned after their selection, St Clair Leacock was rejected twice by Arnhim Ulrick Eustace. A new Constituency Division was formed which again submitted Leacock’s name. Arnhim Ulrick Eustace refused to budge until the intervention of Leacock’s neighbour, Douglas De Freitas (aka The Pontiff) – the owner of the radio station that carries the Party programme – journeyed to the home of AUE to argue (?) his neighbour’s case. I got a call from Leacock early the next morning: I am in. Leacock commented further: Good enough to be Public Relations Officer but not candidate. He resigned as PRO and was chastised by the Grenadian when he lost in 2005 because “Leacock did not understand the value of that position”. As an aside, was the person who ran in W St George in 2010 not the PRO?

You think Leacock was alone? There was Norrel Hull of Central Leeward – still 2005, the only name selected by the Constituency Division.

Entry: Central Committee meeting

This meeting is to ratify the candidates whose names have been sent to me. I will not present Norrel Hull’s name. His candidacy would not be announced at the impending convention.

Author’s note: I asked why Norrel Hull’s name was not put forward.

AUE: I have my reason.

Me: Namely? If we do not name him at the convention then we should not name anyone. He will be ridiculed.

AUE: I did not come here to change my mind. [It was not put to a vote, with forty persons present I was the lone dissenter. Not even Hull spoke for himself. And Louis Straker had a blast: They have no respect for Norrel Hull. They don’t want man who … ee pants….]

NDP constitution Article 18 (1) (b) Where there is a functioning Constituency Division [as distinct from Party Groups only] the President shall follow the procedure laid down… save that in cases where a person receives the support of at least three-fourths [75 per cent] of the members of the Constituency Division, the President shall [not if he chooses] submit to the Central Committee for ratification the name of such person only.

Author’s note: What say ye, Kenneth John? Dictatorial? Me? An Upstart? And Keith Joseph, Why do they hide things from the electorate…? Does Arnhim Ulrick Eustace have an obligation to tell the electorate why he was so determined to keep St Clair Leacock out?