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They don’t want me to ring the bell – Gonsalves

They don’t want me to ring the bell – Gonsalves


Thousands flocked to Colonarie last Tuesday night for the Unity Labour Party’s (ULP) political rally, perhaps not as much in celebration of the nation’s 36th anniversary of Independence as to bear witness to the Prime Minister’s rumoured announcement of the date of general elections.

Although Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves did not deliver the date as anticipated, he did hint that it would be called on a date soon after November 1.{{more}}

Speaking to his audience, Gonsalves said: “You have trusted me with this party and this government for 15 years, and I want you to trust me to choose the right time. I am in the best position to make the right judgment to whether I have every single thing ready and in place to take us to a historic fourth term victory!”

He added: “After next week Sunday, I tell you, any morning you get up, you could feel it that that is the day!”

Gonsalves explained that he would not call the general elections before the execution of the benefit concert (Sunday, November 1) intended to raise funds for the people of Dominica, which was ravaged in late August by Hurricane Erika.

“I don’t want election politics to cause any difficulty with the concert… I want us to be there in our very large numbers on Sunday night at Victoria Park to support Dominica, because we have to look out for our brothers and sisters when they are in distress,” said Gonsalves.

“When we are in distress, we want others to lend a helping hand to us.”

The Prime Minister went on to point out that before the ULP kicked off its series of political rallies, the New Democratic Party (NDP) had been frequently calling on him to “ring the bell”.

“For the last five or six weeks, you ain’t hearing it. In fact, now they quiet. The last thing they want me to do now is to ring the bell!”

He added: “They frighten; they quaking in their boots! And I will give them a little bit more time to sweat.”

Gonsalves once again touted the ULP as being the better choice to lead St Vincent and the Grenadines to bring about further development and advancement in addition to what his administration has already achieved.

“In order to become a leader, you have to be possessed of a special quality of love which links you to the people; you must have an understanding of the real world. And you must have a profound caring.”

Gonsalves mentioned some of the progress that he and the ULP have made on issues such as education, the development of the nation’s youth, taking care of the elderly, poverty and hunger reduction, and housing for the disadvantaged, among others.

“This is a party and this is a leader which, despite whatever weaknesses they may have, whatever limitations they may have, they have immense possibilities and strengths deriving from love, understanding, applying the heart for wisdom, knowing that there is a hope of a better future…”

Gonsalves also spoke briefly about the 14-point plan for SVG and Vincentians that he announced during his Independence address earlier that day.

The Prime Minister also levelled scathing criticism at the Opposition party (NDP), claiming that it is “falling apart” and it is fast approaching a situation of “each man for himself”.

“You think it easy after you get nominated, and you know there is no turning back, that every morning you get up, the certainty that you are losing gnaws on your brain!”

He elaborated: “Cummings tries to tell you how bright he is as an engineer, but when he speaks, he goes out of his area of expertise and pretends to be an expert in everything. Eustace tells you that he is a brilliant economist, but he has written nothing and he has run no business. Leacock tells you he is brilliant, but I don’t know at what; and so, too, Linton Lewis. All of them tell you they are brilliant, but I advise you this – there are two kinds of brilliance: a brilliance which blinds and a brilliance which illuminates!”

Gonsalves said that the feeling of the people across SVG that has been conveyed to him is that the NDP is going to be “wiped out”.

“They are going to lose all the seats on the mainland, and we are going to take the Southern Grenadines, and Friday is under pressure in the Northern Grenadines!”

The Prime Minister also had stern words for lawyer Kay Bacchus-Browne and media and marketing consultant Jerry George.

Gonsalves noted that Bacchus-Browne had recently asserted that the Government should not charge nationals money for crown lands that they have been squatting on for over a certain period of time – a claim he dismissed as “rubbish”.

“She so dotish. She read the Crown Lands Act?” he questioned.

Referring to George as a “fella… who poses as a journalist,” Gonsalves dismissed his claims that the Prime Minister’s Independence speech was “cynically using people”.

“I am not allowing people who are not important in this politics to detain me… I am dealing with the policies!” he insisted.

“You might say what you want about the Unity Labour Party, but one thing I tell you, there is not one single person here or around the Labour Party who has the skill like some others have to thief milk out of cocoa tea!”

Other speakers at the rally were Camillo Gonsalves (candidate for East St George), Deborah Charles (candidate for West Kingstown), Saboto Caesar (parliamentary representative for South Central Windward), Luke Browne (candidate for East Kingstown), Montgomery Daniel (parliamentary representative for North Windward) and Sir Louis Straker (candidate for Central Leeward). (JSV)