Honestly Speaking radio show moderator, Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline has urged Opposition Leader, Hon Marlon A. Penn to make official the death of the National Democratic Party (NDP) instead of constantly complaining across the media and in press conferences.
“If you all are leaders, this is a time to show your leadership skill… you don’t come on and whine all the time about… Unless we are going to funeralise the National Democratic Party Government, the Leader of the Opposition and his party if you want to lead, show your prowess,” Skelton-Cline said on the Tuesday, January 28, 2020, edition of his radio show.
Stop Complaining – Skelton-Cline
In a direct appeal to Hon Penn, the man of the cloth urged the NDP, “Say we are coming back, say yes we have a misstep here… we are alive and well, but short of that, we have to assume the thing is dead,” he said.
On Tuesday, January 21, 2020, Hon Penn said he was ‘truly disappointed’ that Sixth District Representative, Hon Alvera Maduro-Caines had crossed the floor to join the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Government, led by Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie without first consulting the NDP.
"This decision [has] come out of deep thoughts and prayers over a prolonged period. I have not been made any promises or offers... nor have I asked for any. I simply want which is best for our Territory and I believe that what is best for the BVI at this time, is for all patriotic Virgin Islanders to be working together," Hon Maduro-Caines said as part of her Monday, January 20, 2020, announcement to abandon the NDP.
Since then, the Opposition led by Hon Penn has launched a vicious tirade of criticisms against the government, starting at a press conference the following day where the Opposition Leader was quick to tell the media that he had ‘moved on’ from Hon Maduro-Caines.
Other Opposition Members, including Hon Julian Fraser RA and Hon Melvin M. Turnbull; however, shared a difference in opinion, noting that some discussion ahead of the exit would have sufficed.
Hon Penn, through his statement and reaction, had subtly confirmed the suspicion that the NDP was caught off-guard regarding Mrs Maduro-Caines’ choice to exit the party; a decision that may have shaken and weakened the core of the NDP.
‘Let’s set a date for the funeral’ – Skelton-Cline
“If it [NDP] is dead, let's funeralise it, let’s set a date for the funeral… then let some viable party come up because in any democracy you’re going to need a strong viable second or [a] third party, that’s who is going to make us strong, that’s what democracy is all about,” Mr Skelton-Cline said.
He said, therefore, the Opposition complaining at press conferences and in the media and even making a promise to go back into the past to investigate NDP spending is not the easy forward but rather the focus should be on the future.
“Brexit is happening, financial services, economic substance, there are so many big-ticket items that we need to be concerned about and yet are expending so much effort and energies… fighting each other when the fight is not amongst each other,” he said.
‘We deserve better,’ of the Opposition, Skelton-Cline told his listening audience, while underscoring that the real fight is with external pressures.