SVG

Baptiste’s view is ‘fundamentally flawed’ – NDP chair

NDP chair, Dr. Linton Lewis.

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Chairman of the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), Dr. Linton Lewis, has denied telling sacked senator, Anesia Baptiste, that the party’s Strategy Committee couldn’t pass the policy on religion it approved last week.

Baptiste said at a press conference Wednesday that Lewis told her after the policy was adopted that only the central committee of the NDP could make such decisions.

But Lewis said on radio Thursday that Baptiste misunderstood his comments.

He said he told Baptiste that while the central committee makes policy, what the meeting last week adopted was a prohibition.

He further said the discussion at the meeting last week was “healthy” and he participated in it fully and supports the outcome.

Criticising religion can side line citizens and is against the objects of the NDP, Lewis said.

He said that in a private telephone conversation with Baptiste after the meeting he encouraged the 31-year-old politician to abandon her objections to the policy that NDP candidates and potential candidates should not publicly make adverse comments about religion.

Baptiste said the policy was unconstitutional, claiming that it infringes on her rights and freedoms and accused the NDP of being undemocratic.

“If we weren’t a democratic party, she would not have had the opportunity to rise,” Lewis said, noting that Baptiste, who joined the NDP in 2009, was elected as assistant general-secretary in 2010 and was appointed a senator in 2011.

Lewis, a lawyer, said that Baptiste’s position on the policy is based on a “fundamentally flawed premise”.

“I said, ‘Leave it alone. Drop it.’ I said to her, ‘Madam, perception is reality in politics,’” Lewis said in recounting the private conversation with Baptiste after the policy was adopted.

“I begged her to forget it and she was adamant … I saw where the danger was going to be,” Lewis further stated, adding that Eustace did not make the policy decision unilaterally.

Lewis is the second high-ranking NDP executive member to publicly endorse the decision by Eustace to fire Baptiste last Thursday.

Central Kingstown representative St. Clair Leacock, one of the NDP’s two vice-presidents, has also endorsed Eustace’s decision, which was made after consultation with the party’s top brass.

Lewis, in his weekly appearance on a radio programme, cited philosophy as he spoke of the importance of learning to be part of a system even as one strives for change.

He spoke of a philosopher’s urging of self-distrust in an effort to prevent irrationality and prudence in all walks of life.

Discussion is important in organisations, and so is following a consensus when one is reached, Lewis said.

Baptiste, at her media briefing, spoke of the intimate dealings of the NDP as she called for Eustace and “the old heads” to resign from leadership, saying that the party “needs to be reconstituted with young blood”.

But Lewis — who many think is well poised to take the vacant senate seat — said that even when he was accused of being a friend of Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, he “held fast to the principles of my party and I didn’t wash my political linen in public”.

Former senator, Anesia Baptiste (File photo by Oris Robinson).

Speaking of the 11-page letter that Baptiste wrote to Eustace, in which she objected to the policy and said she would not abide by it, Lewis said:

“She ought not to have done what she did.”

He said that at Baptiste’s three-hour press conference Wednesday, “it was passion rather than wisdom that we heard”.

According to Lewis, while those opposed to the NDP politically will gain mileage out of Baptiste’s statements, they won’t respect her and would consider her untrustworthy.

“They will say they can’t confide in her,” Lewis said, even as he sympathised with “the most unfortunate position in which she finds herself” and wished her “all the best in all her endeavours”.

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Discussion

18 thoughts on “Baptiste’s view is ‘fundamentally flawed’ – NDP chair

  1. Kenton, are you accurately reporting this guy? He is all over the place. It was not a policy; it’s a prohibition; oh, it’s a policy?! What is he really saying? Can you tie him down to firmly stand for something? It cannot be both, by his ‘qualification.’

    “… an effort to prevent irrationality and prudence in all walks of life…”???

    I would have thought that as a trained lawyer and official Party Chairman, proferring advice or counsel to his political colleague, that he would have helped her delineate the legal aspect of the matter, since that was the salient point she was standing on? Why does/did he abandon any attempt, even, at this, and resort to some nebulous ‘philosophical’ discourse? Why the recourse to weak personal appeal, when that would be the very last gambit to convince this highly cerebral offended member, seeing she was positing a legal-constitutional dispute?

    Did your interviewee remember to advise/warn his riled party senator, that he personally, professionally and politically, stood to gain, should she fail to amicably resolve the matter with the eminent Opposition Leader and the party, BEORE, DURING, AND/ OR AFTER HIS TENDING HIS ADVICE, COUNSEL OR CONVERSATION?

    If ULP’s JULIAN FRANCIS AND LEFTIST LAWYER, ‘JOMO’ THOMAS, WERE STILL MERELY “JOKING” AROUND IN THAT OTHER ARTICLE, ALL WELL AND GOOD.

    But, if they really left the humour aside, and you accurately quoted them later on in the article, then they are all wet. Mr. Francis would uncharitably consider it his rabble-rousing task to perpetuate as much dissembling as he could on the matter. But, ideology aside, ‘Jomo’ Thomas I presume to be a lawyer. Why the inane statement that the NDP policy has nothing to do with the [national/ independence] Constitution? And, a further statement that supports your blurb headline, which nevertheless is totally inaccurate in the law.

    On the contrary, the party policy mentioned in the imbroglio has every thing to do with the written [or unwritten] constitution of the NDP.

    Again, also, the party policy mentioned in this intra-party dispute has everything to do with the SVG INDEPENDENCE CONSTITUTION. I stand utterly surprised that ‘Jomo’ Thomas, a professional lawyer, would join Julian Francis’ malicious snickering to say otherwise.

    Mr. Thomas, you disappoint me. Please review and revise your erroneous statement, done in concert with the prejudiced Francis, merely doing the propaganda bidding or agenda of his rival ULP political bosses. Marxists cannot be objective, even in matters of the law? I naively used to think otherwise.

    I-Witness’ space limitations may not permit me to extend this arguement at this time. Suffice it to say that I have tremendous respect for Mr. Eustace and his ancestral line, some of which I am familiar with. I find Mr. Eustace a quite decent man, a rare commodity in contemporary politicians.

    I do not at all support, endorse, and even approve of Senator Anesia Baptiste’s religious preferences — nor Mr. Eustace’s, for that matter. BUT, I would give my life to defend Mrs. Baptiste’s right to hold her convictions.

    I challenge Mr. Francis and ‘Jomo’ Thomas to give of their time, and of their ample largesse, good socialists that they are, that they have acquired over the past 11 or so years, to finance the legal challenge that they have suggested Senator Anesia Baptiste to launch against her perceived discriminatory and unconstitution dismissal.

    If you two are sincerely not being merely malicious, prove it. Put your money where your mouths are, and let’s see if the charming Mrs. Baptiste is not more than willing to take up your challenge in turn,

    Or. do you only favour unequal challenges, political patronage, cronyism and largesse?

    Do you guys play cricket? You now have the ball. Your turn.

    Posted by STEVE__HUGGINS | April 26, 2012, 23:19
  2. DE FOWL COB MASH UP LOL

    Posted by Jason | April 27, 2012, 01:28
  3. LINTON WOULD BE HONOURED TO ACCEPT THE SENATORIAL APPOINTMENT FROM EUSTACE. HIS RHETORIC MAKES HIM THE IDEAL POSTER BOY FOR NDP.

    MRS BAPTISTE HAS PROVEN ONE THING: THAT SHE IS CONSISTENT IN HER DEFENCE OF THE FUNDAMENTAL AND INALIENABLE GOD GIVEN RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS ENSHRINED IN THE CONSTITUTION. SHE IS BEING OSTRACIZED BY THE RANK AND FILE OF THE NDP BECAUSE SHE IS COMMITTED IN HER FIGHT AGAINST ANY LEGISLATION OR POLICY THAT INFRINGES UPON CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED FREEDOMS. THIS IS THE CRUX OF THE MATTER.

    THIS “MERITOCRAT” LINTON WHO WOULD LIKE TO BE RECOGNISED HISTORICALLY FOR PILOTING THE PHILOSOPHY OF MERITOCRACY AND WOULD LIKE TO BE KNOWN FOR BEING OTHER THAN AN EXXCEPTIONAL WINWARD ISLAND BATSMAN IS TRYING TO CAST SHADOWS ON ANESIA’S CREDIBILITY BY INSINUATING “REASONABLE DOUBTS” IN HER REPORT OR ACCOUNT SO THAT HE MAY IN TURN SEEM TO BE THE ‘BALANCED ONE’.

    PERHAPS LINTON IS DESERVING OF THE APPOINTMENT BECAUSE HE CERTAINLY WON’T WASH HIS DIRTY WARDROBE IN PUBLIC AND HE ‘HAS’ BEEN IN THE POLITIDAL WILDERNESS FOR A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF YEARS. HIS PRIVATE ‘RALPHIAN’ TECHNIQUES ARE THE STUFF OF INTRIGUING POLITICAL CHICANERY.

    WE MUST UNDERSTAND THAT LINTON LEWIS IS THE ONLY PERSON WHO CAN REALLY RECONSTITUTE THE NDP INTO A NEW ENTITY. HE IS THE ‘RALPH’ OF THE NDP AND AT A STRATEGIC MOMENT THIS MINI-ME RALPH WILL LEAD THE NDP TO A LASTING VICTORY.

    ANESIA’S TIME HAS NOT YET COME. SHE HAS NOT BEEN BRUISED ENOUGH.

    IN THE NEXT POLITICAL EPOCH THE ULP WILL HAVE RUN ITS COURSE AND REACHED THE LIMIT OF ITS LIFE EXPECTANCY AFTER THE DEBILITATION OF COMRADE RALPH, THE POLITICAL BATTLE WILL THEN BE BETWEEN ANESIA’S OPPOSITION PARTY AND A RECONSTITUTED NDP UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF THE RIGHT DR. HONOURABLE LINTON LEWIS. WHAT A DAY OF REJOICING THAT WILL BE. HALLELUJAH

    Posted by F.U.D.Z. | April 27, 2012, 07:57
  4. F.U.D.Z., ah see that yuh really, really, enjoying yourself.

    The basic law of the land, the SVG CONSTITUTION, 1979, empowers the Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition to recommend for appointment or nominate TWO unelected [‘Nominated’] Members, ‘SENATORS’, to our glorified “senate’ in the unicameral parliament, the SVG HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY. The OPPOSITION LEADER is also authorised thereby to adise the GOVERNOR GENERAL on the revocation or withdrawal of any such appointment(s), should such eventuality be occasioned.

    The highly respected ARNHIM EUSTACE, N.D.P. President and official Opposition Leader, HAD the power to “appoint” or nominate Mrs ANESIA BAPTISTE as SENATOR, via the mostly ceremonial Governor General. Eustace, as Leader, also has/had the power to revoke or withdraw such appointment/ nomination, should that he find that necessary, via the Governor General.

    That is INDISPUTABLE, normally. But, other factors may be operative here — changing the legal complexion.

    Yes, technically, the grounds on which SENATOR BAPTISTE may object or challenge the Opposition Leader, charging violation of her natural rights, could conceivably bring up cause or grounds for legal action. Her case would be much stronger, though, in the hypothetical circumstance where she had been formally/ officially expelled from membership — were that the situation. The PARTY would have had to have failed to follow its own set and usual procedures. Admittedly, to challenge on a matter of violation of the PARTY rules, due to proven discrimation which would in turn also violate the SVG 1979 Constitution would prove a tougher task — but quite do-able. It is still technically or legallly possible, however.

    The additional consideration that the NDP Rules or PARTY CONSTITUTION had no such previous stipulation or prior Party Statement — and the indecently hasty manner in which it was seemingly ‘manufactured’, could give additional cause of action and legal grounds for challenge. The divisive matter of conscience or religion, the religious preferences of other Strategy Committee members attending, and the route through which the charge(s) were first brought against Mr. Shefflorn BALLANTYNE, and/or, subsequently, SENATOR BONADIE, would seem a bit compromising of the Party Executives’ position.

    Some level of discrimination, on the grounds of religion and conscience may very well have been present in that tumultous Strategy Committee meeting, and among those “leading members.” The apparent absence of Mr. S. Ballantyne from the said meeting, in which his allegedly offensive remarks were disavowed, and an apparent follow-up meeting, at which the objecting SENATOR BAPTISTE was presumably absent and/ or uninvited — would seem to indicate some level of anger, intolerance or bias.

    Did the STANDING COMMITTEE have the legal/ constitutional power to have its precipitate “Prohibition” on religion construed as, or in place of, a “POLICY” on Religion — without due procedural recourse to a full meeting the NDP EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, properly NOTIFIED and CIRCULARIZED, and with adequate/ due TIME given for objection or defence of affected members?

    The POWER to NOMINATE “SENATORS” are derived from the SVG National Independence CONSTITUTION, 1979.

    Though the Opposition Leader may nominate person(s) [2] to such office(s), he is duty-bound to abide by the said SVG CONSTITUTION, 1979, and the LAWS OF ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES, if not also any relevant section of the NDP’s own rules or constitution.

    There may conceivably be instances when an Opposition Leader could be found in violation of such Laws and Constitution, if only technically — whereby cause for legal action may potentially arise. If the NDP were found to be in violation of its own rules/constitution, an aggrieved member may properly seek and procure legal remedy from the duly constituted national court(s).

    To be found in violation of a member’s inalienable rights in precipitately sacking that member or expelling them from membership, on juridically prejudicial grounds, could provide cause of action, as the Leader or National Executive may possibly be found in violation of the CONSTITUTION and REVISED LAWS of SVG.

    ALL THIS NEEDLESS disputing would have been so easily avoided if the NDP had a STANDING ORDER or POLICY that members below a certain level or not in certain Public Relation positions, should not pronounce, in public situations or the MEDIA, on OFFICIAL PARTY POLICY in really sensitive areas, such as RELIGION,, RACE, etc., — EXCEPT in all cases they preface their remarks with a sort of ‘disclaimer’, or otherwise make it ABUNDANTLY CLEAR that in offering those personal remarks, they were NOT SPEAKING ON BEHALF OF THE PARTY, but merely airing their OWN or personal views. And, that their remarks should not in any way be taken as representative of official party position or official policy.

    Of course, any smart, properly ambitious politician would gladly do or say things that would be palatable to their constituents. All discerning politicians would do nothing to disorient, offend, or alienate any interest groups, pressure groups, or any others in his constituency. A friend of all, an enemy of none. Be all things unto all men, politically speaking.

    “I would like it to be abundantly clear that the opinions or views I propose to express here are my own personal views and opinions, and do NOT in any way constitute or represent the position of my party or its official policy. I am proferring these ideas as a means of furthering discussion and facilitating communications, as a means of fully interacting with The People.”

    That would have aborted any likely attempt by the Copycat comrade to throw oil on possibly troubled waters, and politically incite discord and dissembling. The R. C., SDAs,, Thusians, and Evangelicals all have more christian things in common than is to be found in ATHEISTIC COMMUNISM or COMMUNIST ATHEISM. Don’t let your ideological nemesis succeed in dividing you politically, religiously, socially or personally.

    Reluctantly, I must award one up for the LOCAL AND REGIONAL COMMUNIST SUBVERSIVES. They have sown confusion, publicly, and infiltrated us enough to have won this solitary battle in their unrelenting psychological warfare. We, my fellow Vincentians, were caught napping. In how many other instances, have they been provoking and trapping us into furthering their nefarious ideological agenda? The Marxist-Leninists are the ONLY ONES who should be rejoicing at this procedural mis-step which was allowed to gravitate into an intemperate set-back.

    Posted by STEVE__HUGGINS | April 27, 2012, 15:25
    • Mr. Huggins you are correct and very much on target with your award. I for one am astonished at the multitudes that are brain dead to Ralphs’ commmunist agenda and it’s destructive consequences for SVG. The most recent event in this equation being the announced so called “loss” of all data by fire of the recent census records. Observe very closely the targeting of the ‘youth’. Every youth that turned 18 yesterday, today, and tomorrow is known. For example the recent ‘black – tie/ evening wear, young people award event in central leeward. Even Julian and the puppets were well jacketed. Just last week the announced 50 cents a square foot ‘sale’ of land to residents of Layou. Observe closely the ulps voting numbers of past in that constituency town.
      Don’t be taken by that “next epoch the ulp would have run its course and reached the limit of its life expectancy bs”. Even with the debilitation of Ralph, the ulp will be running by a directorate ‘to fulfill the legacy of Comrade Ralph.

      Posted by Dr. Bernard Mills | April 29, 2012, 10:24
  5. Actually Jason if Linton gets appointed,it will be a big boot up the @$$ of the ulp

    Posted by Joe | April 29, 2012, 13:07
  6. Errata:
    I stand corrrected: “… Governor General BALLANTYNE…” Glaring typo. Steve.

    Posted by STEVE _ HUGGINS | April 29, 2012, 14:38
  7. Mr.r Bernard Mills, are you the TREASURER of the NDP?

    STEVE_HUGGINS, you actually MADE an ERROR…a MISTAKE or should I say a TYPO?

    Posted by VINCYPOWA | April 29, 2012, 23:44
    • Yes, VINCY POWA. You are correct in that practical point. Error acknowledged. I stand corrected.

      Nothing deliberate about it, of course. Not intentional, you would agree.

      That, however, doesn’t support your substantial error in disseminating false propaganda on a deliberate, planned, concerted basis, directed at subverting SVG in favour of backward ATHEISTIC COMMUNISM and COMMUNIST ATHEISM as to be found in the KIM’s NORTH KOREA, MAOIST CHINA, and SLAVE-STATE CUBA, brutalized by the DESPOTS via the LENINIST controlled one-party CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY.

      THAT error, my countryman, does not include PREACHING MARXISM-LENINISM THROUGHOUT THE CARIBBEAN AND NOW PRETENDING, DENYING, AND HIDING THE TRUTH — and telling lies to cover my political behind.

      THAT error, my fellow Vincentian, does not include CAMPAIGNING EVERY WEEK IN THE NATION NEWSPAPER in BARBADOS, against the erudite, brilliant, former Chief Information Officer, and being solidly whipped by him. Then denying, suppressing, and hiding the FACT that that was my main arguement : to overthrow the representative democratic system in the WEST INDIES, and VIOLENTLY IMPOSE THE COMMUNIST— MARXIST-LENINIST SYSTEM.

      I never advocated that it was the ST. VINCENT LABOUR PARTY AND ITS BACKERS WHO DESTROYED SUGAR IN ST. VINCENT. And, then, attempt to suppress and hide that FACT from the good people of SVG, especially the woefully disappointed members of the main SVLP, who have been duplicitously hi-jacked by the local Communist junta.

      VINCY POWA: I never taught “Seven Proofs God Does NOT Exist” to very young, pliable, plastic minds at a CHURCH SCHOOL, unknown, unapproved and unauthorised by the PARENTS OF THOSE CHILDREN, the SCHOOL STAFF or ADIMINISTRATION, or the PROPRIETORY CHURCH AUTHORITIES. I did discover later on , though, that the one-sided ‘proofs’ were dishonestly taken from a paper which actually put BOTH SIDES of the arguement, and in which it was ABSOLUTELY PROVED in the source, that GOD DOES EXIST. Sorry, POWA, I wasn’t the one who cherry picked and crookedly FOISTED ON THE UNSUSPECTING CHILDREN AND STUDENTS only the side of THE ATHEIST in the arguement. Unethical. Dishonest. Anti-intellectual. Atheistic. BUT WHY FOIST YOUR SKEWED ATHEIST ON THESE YOUNG CHILDREN, WITHOUT DEBATE OR DISCUSSION. One-sided. Prejudiced. Bigoted.

      No, my friend, it was not me write up that rubbish on the black-board. Look somewhere else.

      You see, my mistake, admittedly, was not due to any deliberateness, or nefarious agenda. And, I shall strive to correct it. I will sometimes need to remind myself of it, by way of continuing avoidance and correction. I wont attempt to suppress it, or delete. Lay we all aim at that, O.K.?

      Yes, I am not at all surprised that I do make errors. But, I wont make the error of engaging in any false communist propaganda, marxist-leninist infiltration, or backward Russian style subversion of SVG or the Eastern Caribbean.

      Thanks, again, VINCY POWA, for notifying me of my recent error, above. Good to know. And, thanks for being so neutral, enough benign, about it. Though that makes me a bit id quizzical. I truly appreciate your gesture, though. Yet, please excuse my penchant in spouting this extended side-bar. Keep the discussion going.

      Posted by STEVE+ HUGGINS | April 30, 2012, 12:53
  8. The age of anesia baptiste is over,just like Ralph she relied on emotion,the ndp is just going to beat the ulp over the head with facts,tag team beatdown,you have the loudest people in parliament leacock cummings,the man who hits with the facts uppercutting the pm every session of parliament,followed by Friday and Linton the voice of reason/discourse…Ralph lucky he own the speaker,and could turn down the volume everytime facts are being presented…I can’t wait until the ulp loses to see the books of national properties,just as I can’t wait to see william wise’s testimony and the forensic accountant reports… I hope when the ndp wins,they make the ulp people stand trial: “When did you become aware that the ulp was a ponzi scheme?Did you know where the moneys were going?Are your lands/Vehicles and other assets a result of this ponzi scheme? “

    Posted by Joe | April 30, 2012, 01:13
  9. Linton needs to go to pariament to explain why making your son Ambassador isn’t meritocratic,or making your cousin both a senator and giving him a powerful portfolio over people like Saboto Caesar who actually won seats,Julian couldn’t win a seat if courts was giving chairs away ….so the pm was like “have a seat next to me” l.o.l

    Posted by Jahu | April 30, 2012, 01:20
    • JAHU!

      Which “COURTS” yuh say you was going to, again???

      Posted by STEVE)_ HUGGINS | May 1, 2012, 15:52
  10. Thank you for your generous comment, Dr. Mills. The local ‘socialist orientation’ guerillas are often clapping their hands in glee at our general lack of perception of their continuous, unrelenting psychological warfare against our polity. The hijackers of the old Labour Party are working overtime in “consolidating” their near-total “gains” in that former arch-enemy party.

    Virtually every hullabaloo in our community has been excited or incited by the presumed master Leninist agitator, and they are getting bolder and cavalier spreading their discord abroad, too. Who initially poured oil on the troubled sands in the recent fire in a tea-cup?

    I was never satisfied that the recent fire was “accidental”. I have noted that happening once too often. It follows in a long line of politically convenient accidental fires, ever since the 1959 COTTON GINNERY FIRE and the early 1960s PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT FIRE. All of these, and many subsequent ones, were all too convenient. Neat and tidy wrap up of political ‘business’ of corruption. To date, not one politician or operative has been charged in any of these crimes, er… ‘accident.’

    Thanks for the timely heads-up and projection. The Copycat has never abandoned THE AGENDA, despite his duplicitous bamboosling of Mrs. Nora Peacocke about some undefined ‘socialist orientation’ “non-capitalist path” which was supposed to be his non communist about face. A VINCENTIAN MASTERPIECE IN DECEPTION. She wouldn’t believe me.

    Again, I appreciate the valued notice and comment.

    Posted by STEVE _ HUGGINS | April 30, 2012, 01:55
  11. STEVE-HUGGINS, I have tried to hammer home the hijacking of the Labour Party by this bunch of Marxist scum for years.
    But recently I have personaly come to the conclusion that the party was sold to the Marxist scum, they paid money for it.

    What really gets me is that people believe this is the old Labour Party, its not, its a bunch of Marxist scum that could never of taken power or formed a government without the cloak of Labour to hide their communism.

    Folks need to understand that this is not the old Labour Party that their mothers-fathers and grand parents supported. This is a Marxist-Leninist led party, with the potentiality of becoming a vehicle to put Gonsalves in power as a dictator.

    Steve, thanks for your brilliant post’s, we needed some inteligent help on here.

    Posted by Peter | April 30, 2012, 23:55
  12. Thanks for your comment, Peter.

    Posted by STEVE_ HUGGINS | May 4, 2012, 09:26
  13. HOW MUCH MONEY DID CLICO GIVE TO THE ULP?

    Posted by PETER | May 7, 2012, 12:35

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