by Whitfield Mason
EVEN allowing for the theatre and drama of every election campaign, the latest stunt by Lennox Linton’s United Workers Party has been relegated to the low depths of political desperation.
Even before this week’s release of an online video, suggesting that some international agencies might be investigating the Dominica Prime Minister, it is clear that the largely inept attempt at a political campaign by the Linton led UWP was getting nowhere.
The UWP, unable to showcase itself as a viable alternative to the Dominica Labour Party has in fact regressed, rather than inched forward, under Linton’s stewardship.
For all the sins of the incumbent – real and imagined – it has repeatedly proven to be a better bet to the UWP.
Linton has failed to take any advantage of the dangers a party seeking a fourth term faces because he has largely focused on issues motivated by pettiness and spite; and not issues that are fundamental to the survival of people.
At this stage in the campaign, it is hard to see the one big bold policy idea the UWP has put forward for people to consider when they go to vote within months or weeks.
We would like to concede that there might have been a method to UWP’s madness by attacking the CBI, and by extension, especially the successful housing program.
There would obviously be shortcomings in any endeavour, but by any measure, these have been success stories of the incumbent government.
The government’s argument is not that these things have been perfect, but that they have worked for the benefit of the people. When you see how real people’s lives have been positively affected by both, it is indeed a strong argument to make.
These two things are perhaps the biggest hindrance to a UWP election – and so they being targets might be understandable to some extent.
A successful CBI program, with its inherent benefit to the wider society and government’s ability to deliver services to people; and the empowering and satisfying nature of the housing program, are strong advertisements for why Dominica should stay the course.
Linton has systematically tried to raise concerns about both, hoping to sow confusion and doubt, and hoping to get the benefit of that intellectual chaos at the polls.
To an extent, that is all fair and good, when the UWP fails so miserably in other key electable indicators – including the quality of its leadership and the team it has been able to put forward.
A government as the DLP that has been in power for so long – will not only have successes – but shortcomings, and even failures. That is the very nature of the beast of governance.
But a rival party must show that it can not only pounce on these “shortcomings” – but be able to offer a more feasible and realistic alternative way forward.
It is on that second element that the UWP has failed badly.
The widely-maligned video is a perfect example of the bankruptcy of ideas that has taken over the UWP – a virtual cancerous sore that is the consequence of flawed advice and bad leadership.
Having run out of ideas – and now woefully running out of time – the UWP inadvisably reverted to this stunt that it tried on social media this week. It has now so backfired, that every UWP man jack is seeking to distance themselves from it.
It is like watching people trying to run out of a burning building; only that this one is with full comic effect.
The UWP and its agents have deliberately tried to impose a distasteful and despicable lie on the unsuspecting Dominican population at home and abroad, in furtherance of its claim of a missing 1.2 billion dollars.
If ever anyone is to fathom, that through poor management, bad accounting and even malfeasance, that someone money might be missing – the figure in and of itself is an incredulous number. It is something that does not seem to be plausible, just simply on the face of it.
Linton and his team always came to the argument with a credibility crisis.
That crisis turned into a full-blown PR disaster this week, that may have fatally sunk, once and for all, Linton’s attempt to become Prime Minister.
Bookmark this spot, because, in review months and years from now, this week shall be remembered as the defining moment in the ongoing election campaign.
When I first saw the now-infamous video, it immediately struck me that it featured Loretta Lyn, a former US Attorney General, who has been out of office for more than two years now.
Then there are some not-so-clever amateurish edits of video and audio that made it clear that the Prime Minister being purportedly talked about had nothing to do with any leader in this hemisphere, let alone Dominica.
The splashed on BBC World logo, only perpetuated the fraud.
One online article described it as “a miscalculated attempt at undermining the government.”
The article further stated: “Supporters of the Opposition are resorting to blatant, and indeed shameful, fake news tactics – likely encouraged by Lennox Linton’s intellectually dishonest EC$1.2 billion accusation.”
When Linton first trafficked his 1.2 billion dollar idea during the budget debate, he would have taught that he was opening up a good campaign wicket that could sink the government.
The UWP’s self-inspired smoking gun has now shot its own campaign.
Over zealousness and desperation are dangerous concoctions. Now, this drunken enthusiasm might have finally fatally sunk Linton and his dreams.