Has the CCM Thrown in the Towel?


Their leader, Hon Vance Amory, was as late as Monday November 12 saying that they will take the matter of the Nevis Island Assembly election to court, following Premier the Hon Joseph Parry’s announcement that he had advised the Governor General to dissolve the Assembly. 

He too has not been reading the judgement, as in its deliberations the Court never addressed as to how the seat would be filled. That was left for the Constitution to kick in, and kick in it has.

But come Tuesday night November 13, on VON Let’s Talk programme, a top CCM activist, Mr Theodore Hobson QC, who says that he is not a member of the executive but only considers himself as the party’s legal counsel, said that they were ready to go to the polls.

In an uncharacteristic rebuff of their leader’s contention that he wanted to go back to court to force Premier Parry to announce the date of the election, Hobson said: “It is a very difficult decision for us and I think it is up to the people of Nevis what they want to do. If they want to go to court, then they must finance it.”

His pronouncement took another CCM activist on the same panel, Mr Conrad ‘Niah’ Liburd, so much by surprise that he retorted:“I think that CCM has a lot on their hands up right now. I don’t like the feeling that I get from listening to Mr Hobson which is he seems to be throwing his hands in the air and saying he don’t know what to do.”

If you think he had hit at Mr Hobson hard, you are wrong. This is what the other CCM activist, Mr Elton Marcus Hull, said: “I am very, very disappointed in the statement that Mr Stanley, I mean Mr Hobson made tonight.

“One, on Saturday night I went to a CCM meeting that was not, and I repeat that was not, the impression that was conveyed on the platform by all the speakers that went up there. That was not, and I am saying to you, the day that we stop letting the court interpret the Constitution, is the day that we as a society will go to hell, excuse my language.”

However, when the other CCM activist, Mr Edric Stanley called for the CCM to boycott the forthcoming island wide election, there were strong murmurs of ‘no’ in the background. So what are they telling us?

A caller to the programme said: “I was very disappointed with this initial presentation from Mr Hobson. I believe the CCM should press on and take this matter to court, find out as much as they can, they need to find out what the Constitution says about the decision that they made.”

It was the Deputy Leader of the CCM, the Hon Mark Brantley, who laid it on the table in black and white, and confounded the CCM activists further, when he called to the programme and told them:

“The only refuge the CCM Party has had in the past is the Court. The Court is there certainly for all of us, but the Court as we all know, is also a proposition which requires money, resources and time.”

He ended by saying, “Thank you Webbo, and may God bless all of you and I hope to have this conversation continue tomorrow, as we get ready to go back to the polls.”

I want to believe that by continuing the conversation ‘tomorrow’ he meant on his programme, On the Mark hosted on Wednesday nights also on VON Radio. However, on that Wednesday, November 14, it was the Hon Alexis Jeffers who hosted it and Brantley did not even call to his own programme.

It was clear that while the leader of the CCM was talking of going back to court, and getting support from the CCM activists that appear on the Let’s Programme, Ted Hobson and Mark Brantley, who are lawyers by profession, had decided that going to court was not the best way out.

Why does it appear as if the two lawyers are reading from a script different to that being read by Vance Amory and the CCM activists? It is instructive to listen and analyse part of the question that was put to Hobson by the host of the Let’s Talk Programme, Mr Evered ‘Webbo’Herbert on that Tuesday evening (November 13).

Herbert: “Mr Hobson, might I ask then, in light of what you just outlined and explained, and being a senior counsel, listening to you explaining that, is it not reasonable to conclude, or ask the question, how effective is the legal system in terms of the administering of justice….?”

Mr Hobson, who was recently awarded the prestigious title, QC, gave a rumbling answer, but what comes out as of interest to those with legal minds and all persons dearly concerned with the political future of our island Nevis is what I have quoted here below:

“In relation to whether the court is equipped to deal with these kinds of situations, the Court as you would know, Webbo, because I think you followed it, the Court is a very busy Court. It is an itinerant Court. It moves from country to country, certainly their Court of Appeal.

“But the question is…. (he stammered a bit and then continued).. We, we (he did not explain if he meant Nevisians or CCMers) were very fortunate, we were very fortunate to have had this matter (election petition) settled, and it is not even fully settled yet within the matter of a year.

“In Dominica there is a case that was tried, petition that was heard before, before our maters came on and up to now, I think tomorrow (Wednesday Nov 14) they are starting the Court of Appeal Session there.

“So, you know, we were very fortunate in having a very strong Chief Justice, he in no longer there, who knows Nevis and of course you know, in my view must have assisted in getting these matters before the court.”

As I said last week, I do not want to open a can of worms by trying to make an attempt at interpreting what Mr Theodore Hobson QC meant above, and I still insist that it calls for people of goodwill, including those in Dominica, to try and find out exactly what he meant.

Going back to the imminent election on Nevis, it appeared that Alexis Jeffers had been briefed because on the On the Mark programme the next day (November 14), he literally threw a tantrum as he explained how ready he was for the election.

Instead of the two letters he had boasted to have written earlier, he now talked of having written more letters than Apostle Paul.

But did he tell lies in his bravado? He talked of the several letters that he wrote that he never received any reply, including some to the then Supervisor of Elections, Mr Leroy Benjamin.

However, available records show that in his capacity as the parliamentary representative for St. James Parish he did write a letter to Mr Benjamin on February 20, 2012. I will not get into the details of his letter.

Records further show that Mr Leroy G. Benjamin, signing as the Supervisor of Elections, replied to Jeffers’ letter on March 8, 2012. I too will not get into the details of that letter as well.

Let me end with this: There is this popular saying which advises one that it were better if one kept his or her mouth shut and let people think that he or she were a fool, than to open it and remove all doubts.

On November 14, the Nevis Island Administration Public Relations Department released a story headlined: ‘Guilty verdicts against two paedophiles on Nevis rewarding, says Social Services Official’.

As soon as it hit the internet, a rabid CCM activist, Mr Clinton Swanston, posted the following on the SKN List: “This crap cannot be a typo or basis mistake. It shows both in the headline and the press release itself.

“All along the imcompetence and lackings have been a stand out, yet! no sign of improvement after 6 years on the job. What were the qualifications? Cannot be worse than this. “Paedophiles” Not even a spell-check can help at this time.”

Here is poor Rodclint, as Swanston calls himself on the SKN List, writing in poor English and poor spellings (see how he spelt the word incompetence above) to suggest that the hard working staff at the Department of Information could not spell the word ‘Paedophiles’.

They went to school and read well. Why bring partisan party politics here? Is Mr Swanston suggesting that if the CCM were to return to government that they would teach those writers a better way to spell words that have alternative spellings?

We are of British training and that is how the word is spelt by the English. Americans spell it as ‘Pedophiles’. Will he, therefore, also say that ‘paediatrician’, ‘labour’, ‘centre’, ‘organisation’, ‘traveller’, ‘harbour’, or even ‘programme’ are also misspelt because they have not been spelt the American way?

Mr Swanston, how would you spell ‘Diarrhoea’? In UK English, that is how they spell it, but Americans would spell it as ‘Diarrhea’.

Is it that that Mr Clinton Swanston is suffering from a serious bout of verbal diarrhoea and that he needs to plug it? Not even your fellow CCMers will help you with that.

Sometimes it is better to keep one’s mouth shut, or stop putting out articles when one does not fully understand the subject he or she is writing about.


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