The New Today
Editorials

The Uncle Tilly factor!!!

THE NEW TODAY is urging the influential players within the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) not to pay lip service to a letter which appeared in last week’s edition of our e-paper under the headline banner, “Bring Back Uncle Tilly.”

This letter was written by someone who is very familiar to us as a long-standing associate of the Congress party and who was very engaging in a conversation with us about that letter.

After studying its contents in detail and carefully, the question which came to the fore was the following: Who in the NDC at the moment can go before the Grenadian people and win or gain their confidence?

It is our understanding that at least three persons on the current NDC Executive are actively trying to position themselves to run for the post of Political Leader at the upcoming convention of the party.

There could be a fourth person if the former leader and ex-Minister of Finance, Nazim Burke finally makes up his mind to have another run for it in order to position himself once again with an eye on the Prime Ministers’ job in the country.

However, the reality of the situation facing the NDC is that the upcoming election might be the most important in the history of this country’s future and should not be left to chance and hope that the electorate is fed up with the incumbent and will automatically vote him out of office.

It just doesn’t happen like that in politics. NDC is up against a leader who will do anything and everything to hold onto that very important seat on the 6th Floor in the Ministerial Complex in the Botanical Gardens.

It is our view that “Uncle Tilly” is far more popular and trust-worthy among “The Masses” right now than current Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell, Adrian “Persuader” Thomas, Nazim Burke, Leo Cato and Phillip Telesford.

It is time for the NDC as a party to face the reality that in its current dilemma and construct, it will not be able to defeat the ”Green” Machine which is indeed beatable if the right conditions and atmosphere are created in the country.

History will recall that several years ago, the United Workers Party (UWP) in St Lucia faced a similar problem to what NDC is facing and had to turn back to the veteran statesman, John Compton and bring him out of retirement to save the day for the party and country.

Mr. Compton accepted the call and was able to lead his party to a crushing victory at the polls against the powerful St. Lucia Labour Party (SLP).

The UWP was sensible enough to realise that none of those vying for the leadership of the party then in opposition was acceptable to the St. Lucian populace and went back on the drawing board and approached Compton to come and save the day for the party.

THE NEW TODAY will ask the question once more to the leaders of Congress: Which one of the current members can at this stage win the confidence of the people and beat Dr. Mitchell and NNP in an election?

The NDC has wasted too much time since the last election in terms of failing to get the party on a sound election footing for the next poll.

After its defeat in 2018, THE NEW TODAY in an editorial suggested to the party that it should look to the future in terms of “New Forces, “New Strategies” and “New Thinking” but this was apparently pushed under the carpet.

The party has not made the strides that it needed to do in the past three years and continued to allow itself to be lead in terms of strategies and tactics by the same set of people who were in charge and suffered the back-to-back 15-0 defeats in the last two general elections.

The NDC is also lacking in vision and has failed to capitalise on the tremendous asset of the former Prime Minister who brings priceless credibility to the NDC brand like no other living senior party member.

There was much talk about reform of the NDC Constitution and one of the fundamental things that should have been done is to create the position of President of the Party so that “Uncle Tilly” could have had a platform from which to operate to help sell and push the ideals of the party.

Too often we hear the saying: “Where there is no vision the people perish”. The conditions are such that NNP can easily be beaten like in the 2008 election as the 2018 clean sweep at the polls was nothing but a pyrrhic victory by the incumbent as Covid-19 has truly exposed PM Mitchell as clueless and visionless.

THE NEW TODAY is convinced that the NDC under the leadership of Tillman Thomas will be able to put together the right team to mount the rescue mission for the sake of Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique.

The political tide in the country is not in favour of Keith Mitchell and NNP at the moment as the people are showing signs of wanting change but Congress has to get its act together and present itself as a visible alternative.

Dr. Mitchell is doing everything possible to lose an election and the signs are becoming clearer each and every passing day that he does not care any longer.

The most recent is the assault on the investor in Parliament along the lines of race and the lack of statesmanship who provided concrete evidence that he was operating at the level of the Fish Market and not in the sacred and noble halls of our Parliament.

Time is fast running out for NDC to get it right and become a viable opposition waiting to get into government but “Uncle Tilly” can save the day as he is the only one in the country at the moment who can make that badly needed difference and bring that trust that is so badly needed right now in the country.

The others within Congress need at least another three years to be properly developed and to prove that they are ready for leadership at the national level.