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Oppression of the poor has replaced colonialism

Oppression of the poor has replaced colonialism


Fri, Oct 21. 2011

By Ivan O’Neal – Leader and Co-founder of SVG Green Party

Can we truly celebrate independence in SVG when oppression of the poor has replaced colonialism?

Our lands are being taken and sold for mass tourism, but these lands should be kept for the children of SVG. A Green government will ban the sale of crown lands to non-Vincentians.{{more}}

Our fish is being taken by Taiwan, but this fish should be nourishing our people. The billions of dollars that Taiwan has gained from selling our fish could have made Vincentians prosperous.

Vincentians have to work hard and pay taxes to maintain our country. Meanwhile, the rich of Mustique and Canouan Resorts pay no tax and enjoy the benefits for free.

Our children are being robbed of an education and a prosperous future. The 2011 Common Entrance Exam results were the worst in our history, with over 1016 children of the poor and over 56 per cent of boys being left behind. The CEE result is so disgraceful that the ULP regime is afraid to publish the results by individual school.

Keeping people in poverty is a form of oppression. People have no freedom to enjoy life when they have no money and little education. There is no independence for the poor when they are chained to a life of poverty.

Many Vincentian citizens live daily with overwhelming fear and distress about high water and electricity bills, the costs involved in sending children to school and the struggle to put food on the table to feed their children.

On 13 October 2011, an old lady from new Montrose fainted and collapsed to the ground near the electoral office. Myself and other good samaritans had to take her by van to the Kingstown hospital emergency unit. We couldn’t get an ambulance. The lady said she only had cup of bush tea that morning. ‘No bread, no bread’ she said. This is oppression.

To truly gain independence, our people need the skills and education that can enable them to live a life of prosperity. SVG needs a proper world-class education system in which all children can get a university education.

The ULP regime has wasted taxpayers’ money on building a jail, when instead we should have a university. It seems that they prefer to offer the children of SVG a future of confinement, rather than education. With a proper education, the children of SVG would have real independence, by being qualified to seek high-paid jobs anywhere in the world.

Brunei gained independence from the UK in 1984, fifteen years after SVG gained independence. Brunei has since built 10 universities and institutes of higher education. Universiti Brunei Darussalam was established in 1985, only 1 year after independence, and the second university was established in 1988.

Two universities in 4 years, compared to the ULP regime’s 1 jail in 10 years. What a joke!

Under the ULP regime, SVG is becoming an economic graveyard. To truly celebrate independence we need a Green economy. We need our own university, renewable energy and an economy that creates revenue and jobs. We need prosperity for all. With God’s blessings we can achieve real independence.