One can choose to undress the NDC publicly or to dress them up properly so that they are ready for the wedding as worthy guests! In Matthew’s gospel, a man was thrown out of a wedding reception he had been invited to because he attended improperly dressed. So, the form of dress signifies readiness and suitability, as well as respect for the host. Applied to the politics, the NDC supporters and other voters are not interested in you pompously occupying a seat in a room (not pink) at Mt Gay. Instead, they are praying that you would be worthy of occupying the seat of authority in the Cabinet room of Grenada.
The more they look at your conduct and omissions the more they see self-pleasing behavior. They are asking themselves whether you really care about them. Unfortunately, a growing number are starting to envision you as a nuisance fringe group or as ‘Yellow Ashes’! They are not happy! Having already mangled the pure heart (party symbol) they are seeing a party that does not resemble the one established by George Brizan and Tillman Thomas! They have been proud of their party since 1987. They believe that you owe them a duty to be serious about the politics and that you must shift your thinking, the terms, and the theatre as a matter of urgency. Show that you understand the mission and your readiness to offer Grenada a national leader and good leadership.
The first step on the journey from Mt Gay to Mt Royal is to be taken by the leader. Others must follow orderly behind. No one should put his/her feet in the path of the leader!
Accordingly, the first layer of dress for the NDC is the election of a new leader. Franka’s exit must not be met with a grab for power! Sadly, that is the unfolding evidence. While some busy themselves with that selfish enterprise, they are cheating their followers and the public of the opportunity to have the best possible leader through NDC. Seemingly, they wish to take turns at being party leader, going nowhere!
The NDC hierarchy would do well by demonstrating that they understand the Grenadian culture and the place of the leader in local politics. They must also be clear that there is a difference between ‘leader’ and ‘leadership’. The leader is a powerful ‘cultural engine’ with the capacity to energize, excite and inspire the people. Leadership is the output (impacts and effects) of his/her efforts, and which may be achieved with the contributions of the team.
The leader is the one around whom the story is told in high and low places across Grenada; the one on the lips of the young and the old. He/she is the one whom the people embrace in a relationship whether real or symbolic.
Let us address this issue of ambition straight- forwardly. First, it is human to be ambitious. Second, in the context of party politics where the mission is to form the Government, ambition ought to be tamed by judgment and wisdom applied to the greater good. Third, the price of blind ambition is paid not just by the ambitious, but by well- wishers whose expectations are preempted and whose dreams of seeing the end of NNP never leave their pillows.
As things stand, the NDC hierarchy should understand that Grenadians know that they have lost their latest leader. They are expecting a new and credible leader to be found. In the meantime, all that is needed is to issue statements in the name of the party and not seek to put a face and voice on show. That is uninspiring and hopeless! The NDC Executive has a duty not to let down their followers. They must also understand the difference between the solidity of national purpose and the fragility of personal glory!
So, what is the essence of the ‘leader’? He/she must have stature (standing, confidence, strength, good character) and the common touch; is inspiring and developmental; is appealing and relatable; and is of sound judgment. Enjoying the respect of the people is particularly important, as is name recognition and familiarity among business leaders. It is not about perfection, but about a person of substance, suitability (fitness for the times), and sincerity.
The critical transition from party leader to national leader will require the presence of many of these qualities, not in equal measure, but in good measure, plus a willingness to learn and to take advice.
Any mix of four hundred delegates can elect a party leader. That is easy! The ultimate test is whether that party leader can attract forty thousand voters to bring victory to the NDC! The leader must lift and carry the Party and members must not have to ‘fight’ for their leader! Any such ‘fight’ will guarantee defeat! Just ask Victor!
Incidentally, evidence of the ‘non-leader’ he is was recently advertised by poster whereby Victor would lecture the Women’s Arm on “Understanding your Party’s Manifesto”! Really? Which elections is he preparing for? The 2018 Manifesto carries the stigma of defeat and cannot be recycled for success. Self- glorification is not a characteristic of a good leader. No one who offers blindness can lead the people! Keep the door closed! And put guards at the gate!
One is confident that all those whose NDC credentials need no washing and long for electoral success will associate themselves with the thrust of this Letter. Pay heed!
Two additional layers of dress will be needed. The first is ‘New Age Politics’, and the other is ‘A PR engine’. These will be addressed in subsequent Letters to the NDC hierarchy.
Pray for the humility to accept constructive criticism. Amen!
William Brian Joseph, the Patriotic Vine.