The St. George South constituency branch of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) government is not taking too kindly to the manner in which former Minister of Foreign Trade and The Environment, Glynis Roberts took her exit last Thursday from the Cabinet of Ministers.
Roberts’ not surprising resignation left Prime Minister Tillman Thomas in charge of a Cabinet that now comprises only six elected Members of Parliament from the July 2008 general elections.
The female MP is known to be a close ally of attorney-at-law, Peter David who resigned as a Minister of the Congress government some three months ago citing fundamental differences with the Prime Minister and the fiscal and economic policies being pursued by the four-year old administration.
In a strongly worded letter sent out to Roberts over the weekend, the new Chairman of the NDC Constituency branch in the south of the island, Halim Griffith dropped strong hints that the resigned minister can expect to be treated like an enemy by supporters.
According to Griffith, the branch members do not expect to see Roberts attending Sunday’s crucial NDC annual convention in which Prime Minister Thomas is expected to regain control of the National Executive of the party from David and chart a new course forward for the impending general elections.
Following is the full text of the OPEN LETTER TO HON. GLYNIS ROBERTS from Griffith:
September 22, 2012
Dear Mrs Roberts,
I write you in your capacity as Member of Parliament for the Constituency of South St George, on behalf of the Executive of the Constituency Branch of the NDC.
I have also been asked by numerous members and constituents to associate themselves with this letter. Please know that this letter takes issue with all aspects of your resignation from the Cabinet.
You will know that your election to represent the people of our Constituency also carried with it an expectation that you would serve in the Government, should the NDC win the majority of seats. In fact, you enjoyed the benefit of this second privilege up until your very indecent and indefensible decision to resign on September 20, 2012.
There has been widespread consternation among the constituents that you were happy to apprise certain political “friends” of your intention to resign, while not coming to those who elected you until after the fact. It should not shock you to realise that those few friends do not live and vote in the South and therefore can contribute little to your political relevance and survival.
As a matter (of) absolute clarity, you must know that the vote given to you in 2008 did not carry with it a power or the freedom to either misdirect yourself or act in concert with others to bring down our Government. This may well surprise you, but we of the South, have given you no authority to mash up the Government.
Your conduct is therefore highly abusive of the confidence which had been placed in you to represent us. That confidence has now been squandered in a selfish and disgusting manner.
The fact that you have not resigned as MP means nothing to the constituents who see your action as intended to contribute towards the fall of our party from Government. Simply put, Madam, you will not be able to separate the two issues, because they cannot be separated.
Last Thursday evening, you hosted a meeting at the Woburn Pre-school. You were surrounded at the head table by persons who have publicly declared their hostility to the Prime Minister and his Government. In fact, Chester Humphrey is on record as being determined to ensure that our Government serves only one term.
Chester’s conduct and that of Mr. Arley Gill, whose tone and mood can best be described as that of a frothing ‘frillster’, were so despicable that even you, if you are able to have quieter moments, would concede, were unfit for public consumption. However, it may well be that such indecency and generally low standards of discourse are very unlikely to cause you any trouble.
Just a few weeks ago, you were unable to give a definitive answer when you were asked by constituents at a branch meeting, if you were willing to work under the leadership of Hon. Political Leader and Prime Minister, Mr. Tillman Thomas. On a second occasion you were coerced when questioned again to say “yes”.
Evidently, we now know that your answer was untruthful and designed to mislead the members into endorsing you.
Two weeks ago, you participated in elections for a new Constituency Executive. As we know, that vote did not go in your favour. But it was very telling, disrespectful and undemocratic of you, not to even congratulate the newly elected Executive.
What is equally distressing, is that on that very evening that you were pretending to vote on NDC party business, you had already made up your mind to opt out as a member of Government. This conduct raises fundamental issues of CHARACTER on your part.
When word broke of your intention to resign on Monday of this week, you told the media various things. You spoke of it as rumour, you said it was “neither here nor there with you”; you said you might run as an independent candidate; you said you do not know who you would be running for; and much more.
On this evidence, the members of the Executive of the Constituency Branch are of the firm view that you have publicly abandoned and discarded your obligations as an NDC representative.
The fact that your name appears in an e-mail now in circulation, in which you appear to have been assigned certain tasks towards the formation of a new Political Party, is reasonably reliable evidence that you are no longer with the NDC.
In the circumstances, the Executive of the South St. George Constituency Branch can find NO reasonable, prudent or justifiable basis for your attendance at the upcoming NDC Convention or our monthly NDC meetings since you certainly do not represent our Party nor share our core values.
We are embarrassed and utterly disappointed. This is not what we voted for nor envisaged that we would receive from your representation. As you know, the electorate in the South are an intelligent, proud and respectable people.
We offer you our prayers in your new political endeavours.
NDC South St George Constituency Branch