*Editor’s note* The views expressed in this post are not necessarily those of DNO or our partners.
Why didn’t Hon Lennox Irvin Linton make it to the top office?
Honorable Linton became political leader of the UWP at possibly the worse period in history to be an opposition leader. First, the excessive financial resources of the Labour Party, presumably buttressed by alleged contractual arrangements with sitting government officials of Venezuela, then China, and subsequently the unconscionable milking and exploits from a deliberately ill-managed CBI programme, made financing the challenge by the UWP a case of David vs Goliath.
Secondly, there has been the effective de-spiriting of our constitution and laws by the Labour Party administration for political and commercial gain, including effectively blocking electoral reform, media deprivation and manipulation of the judicial process.
Added to these two significant situations, there are several other less obvious reasons why Dominica did not have the privilege to be led by Hon Lennox Linton.
- Changes in Dominica’s moral compass.
- UWP’s past governance and various internal challenges.
- The effective demonizing campaign of the Labour Party.
- His personality – modest, honest and unwillingness to deal with personal attacks.
- The people’s gullible non-critical approach to propaganda.
The Dominican Electorate’s gullibility in its non-critical approach to propaganda
At the end of the day, this made it. I have often heard people say that they would never vote for UWP led by Hon Linton. More often than not I would challenge the pronouncers for their reasons and ask “why?”
Most often, many persons, including readers here, do not have a clear or decisive answer – they really don’t why they should not. It is a sign that some propaganda has worked effectively.
However, a few would volunteer some reasons often from the propaganda:
- He is not educated. I do not know that Hon Lennox Linton ever paraded his educational exploits to the public. However, a simple web search of Hon Linton would reveal that he “was trained as a broadcaster at the University of Texas Austin.”
Put that knowledge aside, how does one rationalize that Colgate Palmolive, an international corporation, continued to engage an “uneducated” man in its senior management executive team for many years? What is very interesting is that he was already on the DCP’s senior management team while it was still predominantly owned by the Nassief’s. Mr Philip Nassief knew his worth!
It is a fact that at any one point, Hon. Linton had more management experience and education, formal and empirical, than the Prime Minister.
With all the Prime Minister’s accolades, it is very interesting that he did not consider himself educated enough to engage Hon. Linton in one properly moderated public debate. In fact, the Prime Minister’s educational achievements do not even allow him to accept requests from even persons like me, with far less educational and analytical competence than Hon. Linton, to be a guest on his radio show or any public educational experience such as electoral reform.
Hon. Pierre Charles had no formal university education but the record will show that as a leader, he was able to decisively deal with the economic depression of Dominica in the 2003/04 era including the engaging of able technical advice and persons to steady the ship. In contrast, the current university-educated captain has not shown any competence in starting to reverse the country’s economic woes. Much more than formal education is necessary to be a good leader.
(ii). He is not friendly. There are different personalities in life and all are important for a balanced society. Wolves do wear smiling sheep clothing. Some persons may equate friendliness to a sly-dimpled smile, unaware that it may be a cover for malicious intent of destructive potential, devoid of goodness.
Seriousness is not criminal. We don’t have to laugh and smile about everything, even while we are losing our jobs.
(iii) He has not done anything for Dominica. Really? The extent to which the average Dominican is gullible and vomit verbal trash is unbelievable. There are seemingly educated persons who speak as if the country’s taxes are divided between the government and opposition. Only the government is able to legally spend the country’s money on matters approved by parliament. Under our laws Parliamentary Representatives should not have access to government funds unless it is an approved head under the national budget.
The reality is that anything that ought to be done – any failure in development – is the responsibility of the governing party, not the opposition.
Does one have to be a member of a governing political party to do anything for Dominica? Those given a national award but who were not in government – are we to conclude that they got it by fraudulent means: Dr Bernard Sorhaindo, Irvin Shillingford, etc? The superhuman efforts of Hon Linton’s investigative works, and the personal costs to himself and probably his family in those endeavors, are recorded in history and the hearts of the honest. For these alone, our highest National Award would be elevated if he would deservedly been awarded it for his contributions in that area.
His personality. It’s a personality trait that seeks the good and not destruction; hence it is rare for people like this to waste life answering the shallow or wicked. But there are many times when one has to engage the deceitful and expose the stench which erupts from the pigsty.
The gentleman that Hon Linton is often keeps him from presenting anything but just the facts, without any malice or personal attacks or laced self-seeking glorification, something very rare in our politics today.
He apparently was able to instill this deportment in his party, something erroneously considered as weak, but nonetheless at great political cost and sacrifice.
The effective demonizing campaign of the Labour Party
The German Nazi had a propaganda mantra, “A lie repeated often enough will gain belief”. The advisors of the Labour Party and the Prime Minister utilized the skills of the Far-Right German Nazi dictator, presumably one of their mentors, in effectively deceiving a major section of the Dominican public.
Dominicans are a people who trust its leaders and expects them to tell the truth on serious matters. Our governance norms even bestow sitting parliamentarians the title of “Honorable”, a glaring misnomer in today’s political climate where rogues abound.
Immediately after the election of Hon Linton as party leader, the Labour Party went on a relentless campaign to discredit the person of Lennox Linton. This campaign continued relentlessly at tremendous financial costs for well over three months, and still continues to this day.
There were no governance issues or substantive personality deficiencies or questionable traits in these demonizing campaigns. There was not a real comparison of the attributes of the two political leaders. It was simply relentless efforts at disparaging.
It goes to reason that if the Labour Party spends all this time and resources to discredit one man, they have, and continue to recognized that in this man there is someone greater and more suitable to hold the office of the Prime Minister than the incumbent, than what the Labour Party has. So, in their reasoning, he must be destroyed at all and any cost in order to keep focus on the Labour Party and its leader.
Unfortunately, Mr Linton and the UWP underestimated the damage that could be caused, and never lunched either a counter offensive or proper defense. The result is that name-branding like “uneducated”, “unfriendly”, “traitor”, etc, became, for a significant some, synonymous with Hon Linton. It has been an effective, though notably evil, strategy.
Memory and Perception of UWP’s past governance and various internal challenges
The perceived arrogance for the four-year UWP administration did not help either the party or Hon Linton when he took the reins. What are repeated often stays in minds as history and truth.
UWP, was given a chance to govern when the people had enough of the DFP. Unfortunately, their political inexperience and possibly naivety which were manifested by symptoms of an excess of arrogance and overconfidence, overlaid by an effective campaign against corruption, led to its removal from office.
Added to that are the several internal wounds including the: 1. Crossing of the Floor by Loreen Bannís, former deputy leader Julius Timothy, and Joseph Isaac. 2. Public laundry by certain senior members, or those who the public perceived as senior respectable members which, owing to the standard of Hon Linton, only what needed to be said would be said, leaving much food for the insatiable political criminals.
Of course, the desire of several other opposition parties and their leaders for office did not help the cause of unity in purpose. Impatience of those sidelined by government or deprived of public assistance, and those of a more militant nature, also made his journey more difficult.
Changes in Dominica’s moral compass
Notwithstanding that any corruption during the UWP administration is a harmless ghost of what exists today under the Labour Party administration, the campaign against corruption helped unseat the UWP but does not seem to impact fatally the fortunes of the Labour Party. We need to look inside to see how we have become so individualistic, selfish, mendicant materialistic, uncritical of information placed before us, and a pessimistic people with no zeal to prosper, and rather oblivious to the fact that we are being led on a path to be re-colonized.
The accommodative silence of many of our religious leaders has been a great contributor to moral decay, as “an imprudent silence may leave in error those who could have been taught. Pastors who lack foresight hesitate to say openly what is right because they fear losing the favor of men.”
Probably much of Dominica has decided it wants an anarchistic dictatorial monarchy rather than striving to preserve its freedom and democracy.
So, has it been a lost opportunity?
Every journey of good persons is a step in goodness which together, can be a path to right living, freedom, equity, justice and peace.
It is a very reflective time for Dominica – not a day to be sad or rejoice. Dominica is better off for this light in the darkness of our political sphere and is eternally grateful for a true son of the soil. The efforts of Hon Lennox Linton have not been lost by his resignation. On the contrary, it has created a paved path for another honorable individual to move into place to secure the fortunes of this beloved country.
But we must be vigilant, patient and astute as a people. Democracy cannot exist with veiled opportunity to make uncoerced choices amoung the good, rogues, and indifferent.
But let us not be complacent, fierce wolves are waiting – and they elegantly model sheep’s clothes.
 “He is also a former President of Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce and former employee at the Dominica Coconut Products and Colgate Palmolive Dominica where he served as Corporate Communications Manager, Human Resource Director, Customer Service/Logistics Director and Supply Chain Manager” – http://www.caribbeanelections.com/knowledge/biography/bios/linton_lennox.asp
 “Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth”, is a law of propaganda often attributed to the Nazi Joseph Goebbels.
 From the Pastoral Guide by Saint Gregory the Great, pope.