I read Ms Sheila Holder’s letter in response to Dennis Wiggins about the need for the Alliance For Change (AFC) to be more of an activist party in between elections if it wants to be seen as serious about changing the political landscape.
Dennis Wiggins is right. The AFC is not engaging in militant politics. Ms Holder’s lengthy letter to Wiggins which leaned towards giving reasons why the AFC is socially active and engaged in petty reactive politics sounds like a party desperate to prove its relevance, not openly inclined to criticism and seeing the need for going on the defensive.
It is not good enough to boast of 6000 members, a weekly newspaper column, website and fundraisings when none of these things have transferred to any meaningful activism at the grass roots levels or delivered results. It is also not good to talk about the political culture of people not being interested in politics in so called non- election seasons. The AFC as the party which campaigned on changing the political landscape can find issues that can ensure grassroots mobilization all year round. For example there is the issue of VAT and electricity. The AFC must go after these issues and stop the soft middle class campaigns through columns, press releases, website and fundraising. That is where the transformation will lie and the AFC needs to pay heed to Wiggins’ letter and get off the feeling of always being on the defensive.
The masses who are struggling daily to eke out a living do not have time to read newspapers, go to the internet much less attend fundraising. The AFC needs to get out of middle class political mode and go to the streets and interact with the grassroots by engaging in meaningful projects that impact on the lives of the impoverished.