(Basseterre, October 21, 2013) “Magnificent” is the only word that can capture the showing and impact of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) on October 18th when the “Labour Train” roared into West Basseterre, to the tumultuous roars of the thousands making it clear that the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party and the people of the Federation are ready – ready to move forward and teach Labour’s opponents a lesson: that they will not be moved. And that is that the only legitimate path to Government is by hard work and winning a place in the people’s hearts.
Denzil Douglas, the dynamic and tireless political leader of the party, wowed the crowd with his trademark blend of facts, figures, humor, and drama – at one point showing Labour’s symbolic bell to the pumped crowd, and asking whether they wanted the bell to be rung (interpretation, whether they wanted the elections to be called that night.) Beyond that, however, he talked about his Government’s New Habitat 500 program in housing; agriculture; renewable energy; sustainable development and a host of other hot-button issues – including his pledge to make St. Kitts the first sustainable island state in the Caribbean – and the world.
Speaking right before the Party Leader, Konris Maynard, the constituency’s new candidate, had his list of particulars after first revving the crowd into a most joyful place with the playing of a verse or two of his Calypso hit “Going By The Breath”, before ticking off an impressive list of his many ideas for making Constituency #3 the vibrant and cohesive place that he knows it can – and deserves to – be: afterschool programs involving retired teachers; a revitalized, constituency-wide “Village-o-Rama” festival; scholarships for primary schools pupils; support for the small fishers, farmers and others who have an abundance of ideas and are ready to work, but need just that first push to get started, among others.
Marcella Liburd, Norgen Wilson, Glenn Phillip, Asim Martin, and Vance Gilbert were all there – exposing, with great specificity, the glaring internal contradictions within the Unity construct – like the CCM being both for “unity” AND for secession, at the same time. In addition, reminding the crowd that in war one raises a white flag as a sign of surrender, Liburd ensured that the Kittitians will forever see Unitiy supporters, dressed in their trademark white, in a new and amusing light.
Drew was dynamic, drawing keen analogies between the ailing patients he sees as a physician and the state of Constituency 8 after the departure of the last Labour candidate three years ago. He also talked about the many changes he has brought about in the constituency simply as a result of his energy and community support – even before having been elected. And Gilbert, the candidate for Constituency 7, was equally compelling, outlining the ways in which the current Representative has neglected the Constituency, and ways in which he will correct these instances of neglect. He also contrasted the “personal interest preoccupations” of the current representative with the committed, community-based approach for which he (Gilbert) has been know all his life.
The established SKNLP Ministers and candidates – Martin, Liburd, and Phillip – had also stepped forward to bat earlier, confidently specifying their accomplishments in their constituencies and ministries, together, SKNLP slate proving one thing above all else: The SKNLP has a phenomenal blend of youth (Wilson, Gilbert, Drew, and Maynard), and experience (Douglas, Martin, Liburd, Ghost, Carty, and Skerrit). And overlapping all of this is a dynamism and competence that is seen in no other political party in St. Kitts-Nevis today.
It inspires the young and comforts the old.
It is what we call a winning combination.