’30strong’ over at the Progressive Minds site has initiated discussion over there on the UBPs continued lack of a leader almost exactly a month since the election. Vanz has very kindly initiated the same discussion over at the Bda Sucks site by alerting its regulars to the PM discussion. It seems that this discussion has caused Christian to defend the UBP over on his site.
I personally do side with some commentators over at Progressive Minds that it is suprising that the UBP doesn’t appear to have had a ‘Plan B’ or other contingency plans in the event of (a) losing the election; (b) losing their leader in the election or (c) both. While Christian is theoretically correct that until Parliament resumes in February the UBP really doesn’t need its leader in place. This is true, but really, it doesn’t look very good and hints at a larger malaise within the Opposition. It is no secret that the UBP machinery and its support base have been left bruised and demoralised by the results of the December election. There have been public calls, both from within their Party itself and from its general support base, for the Party to dissolve itself, that the Party can no longer win an election and it would be better for a new Party to arise.
My feeling is that the UBP is still going through a severe crisis over its very existence, and this, combined with its limited choices for the Leadership, have hampered any progress towards resolving this issue. I am imagining hushed conversations about which direction forward for the UBP among its membership and despair about the potential leader.
The night of the election itself, on leaving the polling station where we had been barricaded in observing the poll count, we got the news that Dunkley had lost. At that moment I told my friends who were with me that Mr. Richards will be the next leader of the UBP. I was laughed at and told that that was impossible, the UBP wouldn’t do that. I still stand by my prediction, and it does appear that he is now the most likely contender.
I personally believe that John Barritt would be the UBPs best choice for a leader, and stress that he is one of the few UBP MPs who I think commands genuine respect across the political divide. Alot of people say that the UBP cannot win an election with a white leader; I think this is mistaken, but I can understand where the belief originates. I actually believe they have more potential for success with a white leader than with a black one, but perhaps thats just me.
The longer the UBP wanders about leaderless the greater the sense of demoralisation and despair amongst its membership and support, and the greater the chances for increased movement towards split-offs. I am suprised the UBP hasn’t began regional townhall style meetings of its memberships, or a national convention at that, in order to thrash these issues out. Or perhaps they have and are just doing an incredible job of keeping mum about it all. But whatever they’re doing I don’t think its instilling much confidence within their support base, and that is unfortunate.
As to the rest of Christians post, I found it to be quite uncharacteristic of his usual blogging and was disappointed by its, well, reactionary tone and advice on how the UBP should operate in the coming period. I feel that he may have overreacted, but am sure he will return to form shortly.