Fortunately for Dr. Denzil Douglas, the four term Prime Minister for the Caribbean nation of St. Kitts and Nevis, he found such qualities in Deputy Prime Minister Sam Condor, who for the past 16 years has demonstrated to the comrades of the Labour Party and the country generally, that he has been both loyal and dedicated to the cause of the ruling party and the government.
Some would even argue that Condor had proven himself to be the Prime Minister’s closest comrade in Cabinet and at no time in the discourse of his duties, since 1995, did he give his boss any cause for concern about the depth of his support, even at his own expense at times.
Now, according to some political pundits and supporters of the Labour Party, instead of Condor being rewarded for his reliable aid to Douglas, the Prime Minister has “thrown him under the bus” and made to feel the weight of the Labour “Heavy Roller”.
What once was obviously a very close professional and personal relationship, between Condor and Douglas, now seems to have been destroyed beyond repair, during the past month. Though observers have been warning for years, especially since 2004, that the two leaders were not getting along, many dismissed the notion that Condor was not being treated with respect by the Prime Minister.
The latest episode that has made it clear that the rift between the two is widening rather than mending, was on Thursday, 29th September, 2001, in the National Assembly, when Condor rose to his feet to provide what is called a, “Personal Explanation” though for some it was sounding more like a declaration of war was about to be made. Douglas sat through the speech, making every effort to avoid displaying any hint of discomfort. But he was extremely uncomfortable as was exposed in his voice later when he introduced a bill for debate.
Condor declared, “The records will show that I have been pro-active, inclusive and progressive in my approach to leadership within my various Ministries.”
He continued, “And so, one was at a loss to understand the rational for the Re-allocation of the Portfolio, (of National Security), with immediate effect; at a time when such an important tool, as the Anti-Gang Prohibition Bill, was being piloted through the Assembly, by me, as Minister with responsibility.
He then reminded the speaker that on the 31st of August 2011, an address made by the Prime Minister, which was replayed twice on Thursday 1st September, twice on Friday 2nd September and Saturday morning.
“It was my submission Mr. Speaker that this begged for a response,” said the minister.
He went to say that the explanation proffered by the Prime Minister and the entire mode and atmosphere conjured- up in the Assembly, when the Prime Minister tried to defend his actions, was most unacceptable; and caused much disgust among many constituents and other citizens and residents alike.
Condor therefore admitted that the constant repeats of Douglas’ address on the government station pushed him into action to defend his name.
For some, it seemed like Douglas was sending a message, not only to the nation but to Condor.
According to Condor’s statement in the Assembly, “he did get the message, and that is why he decided it was time to break the silence and provide a response.
“It was in light of this, that I approached ZIZ, in the usual manner, seeking to give my side of the story. It is public knowledge, that I was denied access to the National Station, for no justifiable reason,” said Condor.
“And again I just want to remind this House and the country, that I served on two previous occasions as Minister of Information, and so I am aware of any protocols and procedures that presently is in observation, and I want to say that I violated or broke no procedures or protocols,” said Mr. Sam Condor.
“I am of the considered view that denial of access constitutes serious disrespect and disregard for a senior member of government and parliament. I wish to note that I am the second highest elected official in the country and one of the longest serving members of parliament alive. I therefore think it is appropriate that this forms part of the record of this house. I am grateful for the tremendous out-pouring of love, respect and encouragement, from every strata, section and sector of society, which have been an under girding factor which have served to fortified my will to go on,” said the Constituency #3 Representative.
But Condor admitted, “That incident, added “insult to injury”! I was immediately offered airplay by a number of Media Houses; and next morning, made a broadcast on Winn-Fm.”
He said the recent developments have caused great concern to our people, at home and abroad. According to him, “Some have even been reduced to tears.”
In a very moving twist to the statement, Condor shared his thoughts, indicating that the lyrics of Evita’s famous song, “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” came to his mind recently, during one such episodes.
The former National Security Minister asked the indulgence of the Speaker, to voice the re-arranged Lyrics of a verse and chorus of the song.
It somehow had to happen
Things have to change
Wasn’t meant to spend all my life waiting
While unacceptable conditions remain unchanged
So I choose Freedom!
Insisting it is time for something new
But nothing was altered at all
I really expected it to.
Don’t cry for me St Kitts – Nevis
The truth is I’ve never failed you
All through the dark days
My entire existence
I’ve kept my promise
Between us there’s no distance
There is nothing else I could think to say
All you have to do, is look at me
And know that every word I say is true.
Those are powerful words from a Deputy Prime Minister and former National Security chief; especially the first part. “Things have to change said Condor. Wasn’t meant to spend all my life waiting, while unacceptable conditions remain unchanged.” What does he mean by that?
Is this connected to rumours that Douglas could be removed as leader of the Labour Party and as a consequence the office of Prime Minister? Or does it mean, he Condor, and perhaps one other government parliamentarian, may give support to a Vote of No Confidence and state their preference for an opposition member to assume the high office? What does it mean?
Others are also wondering what was meant when Condor said, “So I choose Freedom!” Is it that he intends to resign? It sounded like he was about to when that line was read in parliament.
The Deputy Prime Minister has also left many to ponder on the following lines: “Insisting it is time for something new…but nothing was altered at all… I really expected it to.” Condor is both street smart and also possesses the formal academic acumen. So one has to ask, what was he expecting to change?