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THE PLP ISN’T BLIND DEAF AND DUMB TO CERTAIN REALITIES

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viagra usa help times;”>There is a great deal of patience that is required to be a member of a political party.  It is not unlike being the part of any group.  It takes a lot of giving up of self in order to survive.  Yet since 1953, view the PLP has survived as a political party.  Its founder H. M. Taylor got fed up once the Pindling generation took over in earnest and left in disgust.  He pronounced as he went out the door that he had created a monster.  He returned to the PLP and his protégé made him the Governor General in his later years. Greg Moss  MP take note.

help times;”>A lot of harsh words were said by H. M. Taylor but once time had passed, it seems all was forgiven and the road they trod led unto reconciliation.

The now leader of the PLP Perry Christie trod another road.  The late Sir Lynden had plucked him up as a lad from law school and ultimately anointed him senator, MP, then Deputy Leader and then Prime Minister.  Along the way, he was dismissed as a Minister, left the PLP, and had to spend five or so years in purgatory but in the end he was back and anointed the leader and Sir Lynden’s successor.

His friends say that in those years he refused to say anything of a harsh or irretrievable nature about Lynden Pindling or the PLP because he knew one day he would want to come back to lead.

Fast forward today and the wind is at his back, with those pushing with the wind to their advantage at getting him to leave.  There is fomenting in the party but nothing that you can hear touch and feel.  Just speculation in the newspapers and in social media but nothing of a tangible nature, whispers in the dark.  Hushed tones behind closed doors and people not wanting to speak on the phone.

 Succession planning in the Caribbean and in Africa is a dangerous business.  Just ask Carl Hudson Philips ( well you can’t because he’s dead and never became Prime Minister)  who tried to go up against the late Eric Williams of Trinidad  even when Mr. Williams had said he was leaving ‘.  Mr. Philips was the first of a number of Caribbean politicians who found out that not every good bye is gone.

Two of Mr. Christie’s colleagues have announced that they are ready to lead the PLP and succeed him.  One went further last week to say to the press that Mr. Christie could not be beaten on the convention floor and so the reality was that  he ( a minister)  was loyal to him (the Prime Minister) and that he would not run for leader unless Mr. Christie was leaving.  Fair enough.  Spoken like a true PLP and a loyal solider.  The alternative is if you want to run, you take the example of B. J. Nottage who resigned from the shadow cabinet once he made that decision in 2009 to run for leader.

Contrast the words about loyalty by the Minister to the vitriolic and scoffing reaction of the Chairman of the PLP about Raynard Rigby, a PLP in good standing, who told the radio audience and press last week that he was thinking of putting his name in nomination for leader of the party when the 1st November convention comes up.  The party’s constitution allows it.  Anyone can run for leader. He did not say anything which was unlawful, immoral or disrespectful but for his sins he was told that he didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell and that  he would not be hired as a lawyer to  represent the present Chairman’s cat.   Tough words.

A more thoughtful or considered response could have been that as a young Bahamian, of poor and humble background this was the kind of young man or woman that the PLP wanted to encourage. The Chairman didn’t think that he could win but as a PLP, he ( Mr. Rigby) was entitled to try.  But in the game of “for keeps” no such gentle and reassuring words came.  Had those gentler  words or some of a similar kind been said, it might have played better to the marginals who often tilt the election the PLP’s way. But hey we have never run for office so what do we know.  Remember what Mr. Christie’s friends said that while in purgatory, he refused to say anything harsh or unkind about the PLP or Sir Lynden because one day he knew he wanted to lead the PLP.  One day, life being what it is, Mr. Rigby could be all of our bosses.  Stranger things have happened.

It is a difficult business then succession planning in this Caribbean politics.  If you are ambitious and you are attempting to press your ambition, the response to Mr. Rigby is what awaits you and that is probably the least of it.  There is plenty more in the arsenal.   The alternative is to sit and wait.  If you sit and wait, you will be an old gray ass man or woman before you ever get your chance.  In the meantime, those waiting will get the sense, the panic that their chance is passing them by and they believe that they will never get a chance to put their ideas forward.  

So it has been 20 years since the crowd pulled an Eric Williams on Lynden Pindling and persuaded him to stay on beyond his time.  Twenty years since the lesson of “it is better to go when they are calling you to stay as opposed to begging you to go” was being trotted around. Twenty years since the lesson was learned that no matter how people call for you to stay,  the mark of the true leader is the ability to know  when it is time to go and  only he can override those loud voices saying “ Chief do not go”.  You can ask the congregation of St. John’s Native Baptist church how they made the similar choice as the one in 1993 of the PLP to their greater detriment.

The PLP will have a great and interesting convention, long overdue.  Its great value will be that at last we get to actually sing from the same hymn sheet.  What a glorious time it will be but celebrating is one thing, governing the country beyond 2017 is the larger aim.

As the late P Anthony White would have opined: “for what it’s worth”

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