Our Readers' Opinions
March 7, 2014

Candidate selection 2005 Debacle

by Frank E da Silva Fri Mar 7, 2014

Diary of an Ingrate [Chapter 6]

‘When members of a political party witness wrong doing within the party and fail to condemn, resist and advise against it, they are as guilty of contributing to the very destruction of the party by their inaction and silence as by their active support.” [Grenada: Island in Conflict, George Brizan]{{more}}

One Saturday a few years ago, someone brought a book to me as a loan. I opened it randomly as I am wont to do with any book, and there was the above quote on page 417 blaring at me. I did the obvious – I rushed to my computer and saved it for all time. My cousin, the late Teacher Leonard Providence had, since the sixties, instructed me that anything I read that impressed me should be saved. I wonder if the loaner ever read the book and what if anything resonated with her? [No, it was not the Prophetess.] This was, rather, a person who

played a major role in the shenanigans in West Kingstown and prospective candidate named Curtis Dennie.

Masterfully inept

We keep hearing the mantra from the sycophants of Eustace and Gang Party (EGP) and particularly Arnhim Ulrick Eustace, about his leadership skills which have taken the party from three seats to seven and from forty per cent of the vote to forty-eight per cent. No credit is given to Jeanne Ollivierre’s or EG Lynch’s yeoman task for thirteen years. Jeanne is not heard of and EG is only mentioned in passing. In fact, three EGP officials confirmed that Arnhim Ulrick Eustace opined that they had no obligation to EG when he took sick because he was being paid a salary. Such ingratitude, but more on the ingratitude to EG later. Now we turn to the role of the masterfully inept and indecisive leadership of Arnhim Ulrick Eustace.

As stated earlier, when the candidate selection process was about to commence, Eustace summoned Jerry Scott whom he had solicited to challenge PR Campbell for the chairmanship of the then NDP to dictate to him that he did not want him to be a candidate. This was, of course, contrary to the constitution of the party. According to Arnhim, he did not want any candidate “based on their popularity”. The Grenadian was used as keynote speaker of the NDP convention to reinforce the point: Older members of the party should step aside. Jerry was gone and confusion setup between Nigel Stevenson and Vynette Frederick. NDP failed to gain the seat.

Shut Frank up

We have already noted the two-time rejection of St Clair Leacock. Eustace’s acolyte-in-chief, Brian Alexander, tried his level best to convince me to end my support for Leacock with all kinds of trumped-up charges and comparisons between Leacock and a Unity Labour Party candidate. I was even given the Prep School story. “If that were the case then one was cancelling out the other,” I persisted. Leacock called to thank me when Eustace relented after the third attempt. At the ratification, in my congratulations to him, I cautioned Leacock that his mouth was likely to get him into trouble. “Only my friends could tell me that,” he responded. At the celebration of the hundredth anniversary of his alma mater, the Grammar School, Leacock gave a speech not about the school but “self, self, self”. I was critical. “It was time for somebody to shut Frank up,” Leacock responded. Leacock has not only had to apologize to Ralph Gonsalves through his lawyer but to Arnhim Ulrick Eustace.

Acolyte at play

Then there was the middling in West St George. Linton Lewis was encouraged to move east to make way for Kingsley Layne just in case Norrel Hull in Central Leeward did not budge. As stated earlier, the people of Central Leeward sent up only the name of Norrel Hull, but Eustace refused to put forward Hull’s name – again in direct contravention of the party’s constitution – hoping perhaps to convince the selectors in Central Leeward. They did not oblige.

In West St George, Linton was beaten by about 1,100 votes in 2001. The NDP candidate in East St George was defeated by over 2,000 votes yet people were telling him he could do better in East. He was told the numbers did not add up; to stay put. Kingsley Layne was imposed on West St George. His campaign was poor, but knocked about 500 votes off Mike Brown’s numbers. Huge numbers did not go to vote.

In addition to the above, there were the Rasum Shallow, Scombo John/Lenny Daisley and Israel Bruce/Brereton Horne debacles, all of which were caused by Eustace, with his acolyte Brian Alexander playing a prominent role in the John/Daisley affair. We will get to the details later – Scombo’s in particular because of the elective nonsense being raised about Camillo Gonsalves. But now on to Curtis Dennie and Daniel Cummings of “stone church” fame, Belle Isle land fill fame, CWSA’s environmental fee – now 11 dollars on your water bill, and one of the pioneers in the attempt to export Big Gut water.

“Now as fate would have it, I am no longer at the Water Authority and I am at liberty to speak out even more openly now on this and any other issue.

“And I make the point before, as long as I am Daniel Cummings, a citizen of SVG no one is going to silence me on any issue and as always my conscience – my conscience – is what guides me. I am not interested in narrow partisan politics. I am interesting in national development.

“Any party that, in my mind, is doing something that is inimical to the future of this country will feel the wrath of my voice and whatever influence I have. That remains my fundamental philosophy and I believe every citizen has a right to do that.

We are seeing a society where people because they support a political party tend to go along with anything the party comes up with and this is so unhealthy for our development. In a small, struggling society like this, people must be allowed to speak freely and candidly on any issue. It has nothing to do with which party you support; it has everything to do with wanting to see the best for all of us as a people and as a country…. Daniel Cummings.

To be continued next week.