At a recent event held to mark the official opening of the New Democratic Party’s South Central Windward newest constituency office, MP Daniel Cummings compared the developmental paths of the incumbent MP Saboto Caesar and MP hopeful and Opposition Senator Israel Bruce.
“Tonight I want to look at two contrasting stories. I want to look at a young man who, through the agricultural programmes of the New Democratic Party, was able to go to school and become a lawyer. And who, for a number of years, has been given the responsibility to oversee agriculture in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.” Although Caesar, who also serves as Agriculture Minister was not named, his schooling and career path mirrors that of the unnamed “young man” in MP Cummings’ comparison.
“But lo and behold after so many years of dismal failure in agriculture, they’re waiting until now – on the eve of an election that would kick them out – they coming now to tell you about agricultural change, about food security; after years of doing nothing, after years of squandering opportunities, after years of overseeing the destruction of arrowroot and the nonexistence of exports of bananas to the UK.
“I want you to contrast that with a young man, a young man steeped in youth organization; a young man who has been one of the pillars of the youth movement in this country; a young man who knows what it is to earn a living and to work hard for it; a young man who has put himself through school to become a lawyer and who has been championing the cause of a number of victims in this country through the legal system.
“Senator Israel Bruce is poised to be on the winning ticket of the New Democratic Party, to transform the lives of the people particularly in this his own constituency.”
Cummings underscored his comparative analysis with a declaration of heightened impatience to welcome Senator Bruce not just as the elected representative of South Central Windward but also as “one of the Ministers in Dr. Friday’s government.”
The 68 years old West Kingstown Member of Parliament, also known as the Water Man due to his long-lasting stint at the Central Water and Sewage Authority, tabled one revenue earning proposal while noting that the constituency wide landscape lends a comparative advantage to its successful implementation.
MP Cummings said, “I am suggesting to you, from my basic understanding of the topography of this area, that tree crops should be a significant component of the agricultural produce from this area. Whether they be citrus like you used to do or whether you go into more exotic things like sour-sop and all the things that go with that.
“There are tremendous opportunities around the world not just for shipping out sour-sop alone but talk to my colleague – my own represent from Central Kingstown – he’d remind you of what the possibilities are of adding value to the fruits so that you, when you produce your sour-sop here and all the fruits, you can carry them to a facility that would process them into quality pulp that can be exported for which you can get good money.”
The two term MP continued his extended endorsement of Senator Bruce, a former educator.
“So tonight my colleague and my friend Israel is not only cutting loose. He’s going to cut loose all of the chains that have held this constituency in bondage. He’s going to open up the opportunities for the hundreds of young people who are coming out of school and can’t find meaningful employment because he’s going to be part of a team that is going to revive the economy of this country. The economy that has been destroyed by a bunch of vagabonds, a bunch of jokers who illegally occupy –”
The trained Civil Engineer and Environmental Scientist promised last Saturday’s largely virtual audience that the team of which the perspective SCW Member of Parliament would be a part plans “to bring back transparency, accountability [and] productivity so that everyone who performs well would get due rewards.”
Cummings, also a trained businessman, widened his narrative toinclude the “dismal performance of the worst kind” that “we are experiencing.”
He said, “could you imagine that people will come to you in the heart of a drought when there is no prospect of getting water for wetting plants in the heart of a drought they would come and present you with seedlings.
“That is what they’re doing with this programme they call PRYME. We have an environment where people who have businesses have to close them because the economy is so bad. But what they doing saying that they’re offering people incentives to create new business at the same time that the existing businesses cannot survive, when nobody has money to pay for these goods and services that these new businesses are going to produce.”