Photo Credit: Clifton Skelton/BVI Platinum News
Recent headlines have been buzzing with the preparatory news of the Territory’s two main political parties, but it has been announced that the United Party, under whose banner the late great H. Lavity Stoutt became Chief Minister, is promising yet another resurgence, stating “new brooms sweep clean, but old ones know the corners.”
The United Party was last elected in 1983 and since 2014, one of his founding members, Conrad Maduro has been announcing a return. This announcement was made once again on June 30 by party supporter Ulric Scatliffe, during his A Look at the Community program on ZBVI.
Scatliffe’s comment was in response to a caller, who queried why there has been little update on the party’s plans. In response, the show’s host announced that the United Party is trying to attract interested persons.
“It is the intention that the United Party be revived and get people who are dedicated, committed and want to give a contribution to this country. They are welcome to be a part of the United Party, because the ones [political parties] we have been having now have not been giving justice to the people; and we feel that if we can get a group of people organized well through the District Committees…we can bring about the change that is necessary to run this country,” Scatliffe stated.
However, many in the community have suggested that perhaps the United Party has become out of step with the current political climate and territorial needs. These views have apparently been aired to Scatliffe, who addressed such concerns in his announcement about the party’s interest.
Scatliffe said, “What the people have been saying and the people are all of us, is that the country has outlived the United Party. My answer to that is new brooms sweep clean, but old ones know the corners, and these are sayings that you can’t get away from.”
He further suggested that the comments are a result of lack of knowledge of the party’s history.
“A lot of the generation of today does not understandits doctrine or discipline, and I think that is why they stay away from it. The history of the United Party is very rich and I think Mr. Maduro is planning to come back with some more information to get this out to the public so they can understand, because the United Party cares for the people they believe in integrity and democracy.”
“All that they have done everyone has benefitted from it. The United Party when it was formed had the first Chief Minister...,” the party supporter further noted.
He also said that the United Party introduced the IBC legislation, which is the foundation of the financial services sector, and also developed the Development Bank now known as the National Bank of the Virgin Islands.
In addition to the United Party, the Territory was also served by the VI Democratic Party, which research says only held power in the Territory once.