By Jomo Thomas
Frank Da Silva is a loud, foul mouthed radio bully, an intellectual dwarf, and a political prostitute in search of a home. Frank Da Silva has no core values. He is a false prophet on the hustle, a menace to civil discourse. The sooner PM Gonsalves and the ULP leadership acknowledge this fact, the better it will be for the party and our country.
Frank Da Silva is an evil, bitter man, so corrosively destructive in the use of the public airways that he cannot be a force for good in St Vincent and the Grenadines. The market place of ideas is not always hospitable to civilized discourse. So Da Silva may exercise his right to spew his divisive, putrid, toxic bile and venom for some time.
However, Da Silva is demonstrably such a dark blot, such a deep stain to all that is noble, just and civilized that it is bafflingly incomprehensible that Da Silva will be accorded such pride of place on Star Radio. Glen Jackson will turn in his grave if it is ever revealed to him the depths to which his Shake Up program has sunk. The ULP cannot remain woefully and wilfully ignorant to the deep harm Da Silva is doing to the party and the Vincentian body politic.
Therefore, this column is not about Da Silva. It is with absolutely, with no reservations, directed to the leadership of the Unity Labour Party. The party has a choice. It can take a narrow battering ram, electoral view of the role and usefulness of Da Silva and in the process lose its soul, or it can cut its losses now, hold Frank by a short leash and feed him with a long spoon.
Why is Da Silva so dangerously bad for ULP and SVG?
Imhotep, the wise African scholar said ‘He who knows that he knows little knows the most.’ Da Silva violates this rule of personal limitations at every turn. He knows it all. He is the font of all wisdom. He and he alone, with a beguiling, opportunistic genuflection to his puppet master, James Mitchell and PM Gonsalves, whom he once criticized mercilessly, must have the last word on anything. No the only word on everything.
For many years Frank played music in an NDP fete. He excoriated Gonsalves, ULP and anyone who even whispered the word star. Then the loose cannon’s boss broke with the NDP, better put the NDP foolishly broke with its founding father. Frank did not wait for the command to jump. He proclaimed himself Gonsalves’ partner. The switch was seamless. It was remorseless. As the loose cannon, echoing a sage, said then ‘any intelligent man has a right to change his mind.’ But this only applies to him because he is the sole ‘intelligent’ man in SVG.
Every ULP official he once vilified and demonized is now lionized. All of their ‘sins’ were forgiven. Any astute observer knows that Frank Da Silva has zero political influence. He never was and never will become a deciding voice in electoral politics. At best he can hold the ULP base together, but ULP does not need Frank. If the ULP drops him tomorrow, Frank will die a slow, lonely, painful political death. Why then would the ULP make Frank its central radio voice?
The ULP, like the NDP has a base that is as solid as granite. It proved it convincingly in the 2010 elections. It was coming off a deep referendum deficit, Frank Da Silva and James Mitchell, with wind in their sail, could not help the opposition to victory. In 2015 the ULP share of the popular vote as well as its margins of victory increased. The size of the defeats narrowed. The entire country showed a clear and distinct trend towards labour. Frank’s role was miniscule. What then is his real purpose except to lead a nasty chorus to a hyperbolic hell?
Only Jesus Christ is left.
Frank is a human wreaking ball. The only person who has not come in for Frank’s wrath is Jesus Christ, at least not yet. The NDP leaders and supporters are swathed like flies, religious leaders, business people as well as ordinary citizens are vehemently attacked, the distinguished lawyer, and ULP friend Tony Astaphan, is a jack ass. Peter Wickham, the celebrated political scientist and pollster is berated and should be banned never to set foot on these shores again, Dr Richard Byron Cox, United nation’s diplomat, so widely regarded that he tours the world advising on how we can save the planet from the ills of climate change, is pilloried, all because he expressed a difference of opinion regarding what is happening in Canouan. Has the ULP leadership listened to the galvanizing force and persuasive power of Dr Cox’s defence of Gonsalves and the ULP? It is absolutely mind boggling that the ULP will associate itself with such an attempt at carnage.
Frank Da Silva, the global warming denying, Donald Trump republican supporting buffoon has morphed into a thought police. Even members of the ULP youth arm as well as other party faithful, stronger, and far more influential than Da Silva are cursed, scowled at and abused for expressing their displeasure with Da Silva’s outrageous behaviour on their party’s radio.
Frank Da Silva chews on yours truly for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert in a lying, slanderous, distorted diatribe about my positions on fundamental issues of policy and governance. Da Silva repeatedly accuses me of being responsible for homicide, the death of Edgar ‘Cookie’ Cruickshank. My only retort to date is that Plain Talk ‘cannot be captured, bought or sold… While some want to become, I am.’
The most frightening and absolutely unbelievable thing about frank’s scatter shot approach to political discourse is that the ULP leadership allow him to go unchecked for so long on Star Radio. If ULP leaders think that Frank is more respected and influential than those members and supporters whom he lambastes on radio at every turn, it must answer to his call for expulsion and other sanctions. If it does not put a gag order on Frank Da Silva, it risks alienating persons with respect and influence, sullying in record and putting its future in jeopardy.