PM pens book on SVG’s Labour Movement
Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has written a book on “The political economy of the Labour Movement in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG)” and on June 4, hosted an event to present the book to the public.
Speaking at the ceremony to mark the launch of the 333-page book, which includes a detailed analysis of the Labour Movement in SVG, was Chester Humphrey, a Caribbean Trade Unionist and President of the Grenada Senate, as well as lawyer and activist David Comissiong of Barbados.
Humphrey lauded both the book and its author extensively. He advised that the book was a very important piece of reading, “but particularly so for my fellow trade unionists, because the book qualifies the experiences of the Vincentian working people, along the long trajectory and march that we have made as a people from pre-colonial times into the colonial period, the immediate post colonial period, and independence, and the construct of a new National Democratic State.”
Comissiong was also of the opinion that the book was crucial, and that it was one for the Trade Unions and the trade unionists.
“It is a politician’s book, in fact I would say it is a political animal’s book, written by a lover of the cut and thrust of competitive politics. It is full of detailed information and analysis of elections and election results in St Vincent and the Grenadines,” he commented, while giving his thoughts through a book review.
In summary, Comissiong states, “He’s giving you a detailed examination of the entire history of this country, told from the perspective of the working people, of their organizations both their trade unions and their political parties.”
The Prime Minister indicated that he has been writing for publications for 47 years, starting in 1972, and that this recent addition would make the sixth book that he has written in the last seven years.
“I am very conscious that at 72, I don’t have many more years on earth and I have a lot of things that I want to say and I want to say them a way…I say them in Parliament, I say them on the public platforms… but I want to say them calmly inside of books, so that young people can read and study,” he explained.
The Prime Minister said that he wants persons to read the book because he discusses and analyzes the question of leadership in our context, “and of course, made the point that leaders make history, but only to the extent that the circumstances of history permit them so to make.”
He also indicated that there is a section in the book that he is hoping women will read, on women in trade unions and politics. “You have to be careful that we understand how the role of women has evolved and don’t buy wholesale some theoretical perspectives from North America and Europe,” he opined.
Gonsalves indicated that he is not finished writing, and that there is more to come.
Many persons, including many dignitaries, stood in line after the launch to have their copies, $40 a piece, signed by the Prime Minister.