Tit for tat, butter for fat, you kill my dog, I will kill your cat. This is what Vincentian politics is all about. It is sad but the lives of Vincentians are placed firmly in the hands of politicians and political parties, who spend their time trying to score cheap political points on each other; as they cater to the fancies of the community they are so desperately trying to represent. Unfortunately, this weird phenomenon says a lot about the mentality of my people; which I can sum up in one word: Shameful!
It is also unfortunate that St Vincent and the Grenadines (not so much the Grenadines but St Vincent) are full and overflowing with political opportunists, men and women who have no scruples, no standards; whose values are based on capitalizing on the next opportunity to exploit the system and the people. These opportunists are always hopping from bandwagon to bandwagon looking for the next handout. I am convinced that some of these people are addicted to freeness (a hand out) and attention.
It is not hard to tell that Arnhim Eustace and the New Democratic Party (NDP) have Ralph Gonsalves and his Unity Labour Party (ULP) on the ropes, helplessly defending themselves from the political blows that are being dished out, leading up to the soon to be announced date of the general election. Evidence of this, was put on exhibition recently at the parties’ national conventions.
At the NDP convention, which was held in December 2013, Mr Eustace had an ace in the hole in the person of Luzette King. Luzette, who is a card carrying member of the Ralph Gonsalves-led ULP, which currently holds a one-seat majority government in St Vincent and the Grenadines. Like me, Miss King has long been disgusted by Ralph Gonsalves and the unprofessional, unscrupulous manner in which he plays with the lives of Vincentian, his lack of dignity, morality and a list of other unflattering qualities that make him an inappropriate leader.
Miss King, a card carrying member of the ULP, delivered a speech at the NDP national convention that had the ULP leadership and diehard supporters running for shelter, hiding their faces and hanging their heads in and for shame. Their only defence was to secretly deny that Miss King is/was a card carrying member of the ruling Unity Labour Party, but the evidence is there and the evidence is clear.
Being the poor competitor and a man who is void of strategic planning skills, Ralph Gonsalves went to the ULP convention with what I considered a “two of clubs” in the hole: in the person of Frank DaSilva. Frank is known as and has also proven to be aimless, loose cannon that fires only blank shot. Like most cannons, Frank DaSilva makes a lot of noise, but the artillery he expels are those that are used for cosmetic purpose: to create a show, a decoy. Of course, Gonsalves did not give Frank the podium for fear his instability and unpredictable or his loose-cannon syndrome may have inflicted injuries to the very people he was trying to help.
Ironically, this is the same Frank DaSilva who has publicly denounced Ralph E. Gonsalves and the way Gonsalves operates, who has also expressed his refusal to ever be led by PM Gonsalves for many obvious reasons; now Frank DaSilva has suddenly decided that PM Gonsalves can now lead him. The questions that is foremost on my mind is: has Gonsalves changed the way he operates? Has Gonsalves changed his value system and his oppressive behaviour? When I last checked he did not.
This led me to ask a second question: does Frank Dasilva’s word mean anything to him? It will be interesting to know what the motivating factor was that moved Frank to bandwagon jump once again. The fact that Gonsalves could have publicly identified Frank at the convention as an ally, with the assurance that this loose cannon will not prematurely fire or backfire later, was because Frank DaSilva’s presence at the convention was preplanned.
This inquiring mind would like to know who negotiated Frank’s alleged party switch. What were Frank’s demands? What was the ULP’s offer to him? And what was the final deal agreed upon?
Unlike Miss King, Frank received a hideous mention by the prime minister, who took a few seconds to highlight his presence at the convention and a Facebook photo opportunity after. Frank Dasilva’s presence at the ULP convention was supposed to be Ralph Gonsalves’ masterstroke, Frank Dasilva’s presence was suppose to give the ULP a one up on the opposition. Ralph Gonsalves and the Unity Labour Party cannot really be serious, is Frank the best they can do?
Who is Frank DaSilva? I will confess, I do not know Frank DaSilva personally, but I got to learn about him over the years. I can remember a few years ago, while Frank was functioning under the umbrella of the New Democratic Party and was given a radio talk show on NICE Radio, I tuned in to listen to his program after hearing others speaking of his program, five minutes into the unnecessary and empty shouting that was laced with arrogance and no substantial message, I stopped listening and never listened to his program or anything he had to say after that day.
The truth be told, Frank DaSilva has not proven himself to be an asset to any political party in St Vincent and the Grenadines or St Vincent and the Grenadines. Now, was Frank DaSilva’s presence at the ULP convention a masterstroke or a strategic error?