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‘Dance with Ralph but keep your principles high’

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EDITOR: Why is it that we completely negate our knowledge of an individual whom we have known for all of his or her life if someone begins to besmirch their character? Why is it we accept character assassination as true even if we have known the victim to be an outstanding citizen? Why do we give credence to the rumours when we know that the people making these accusations are seriously flawed themselves, have made similar charges against others which later proved to be untrue.{{more}}

The case of Lennie Daisley comes to mind. I, along with friends and family, have known Lennie from the time he was a child. I knew his mother and his headmaster father. This is a family of high character and they are outstanding citizens of St. Vincent. Lennie’s father was a strict man of high moral fiber; anyone close to him knew his friendly but no-nonsense character and he ensured that all of his children followed suit. And I know that Lennie made him proud because he followed his father’s high standards, did not compromise on principle and accepted no excuses for lack of high quality. Lennie has proven to be an outstanding professional in an area of endeavour critical to our progress.

Having known all of that, a couple of his long-term “friends” are now questioning his integrity. How do we let these things happen? How can we have a proper society if we wink at these abuses because “our leader” says it is so? Can we trust our friends to defend us?

Now is not the time to start questioning the person you have known to be of high moral character. This is the time to speak out, let your voice be heard, support the victim, do not abandon him to the victimiser because once he has succeeded in destroying the first victim his appetite is enlarged for doing it over and over again and when he gets to you there will be no one there to defend you since you never stood up for those you know; do not accept this. Reject character assassination, reject the person who repeatedly does it. Dance with Ralph but keep your principles high; don’t contaminate them. We cannot let politicians ruin the good name of others so their own diminished moral standing may by comparison not look so bad. Realize that “a culture is made or destroyed by its articulate voices,” says novelist Ayn Rand.

Instead of besmirching the characters of others, and diverting the public’s attention from the real bread and butter issues, Ralph Gonsalves needs to be answering serious questions about his stewardship of this country for the last 5 years. In the 2001 elections he said he had a plan for bananas, what exactly did he do? Arrowroot export was to have given us another significant source of income, he was going to get us markets for our produce, he said he would have provided another 2000 jobs; where are they? He said he had a plan for industrialization of St. Vincent, have you seen it? He had a ground-breaking for the library and the sports stadium, where are they? He had government take over the Call Centre because he knew how to do it, what is the state of the Call Centre today? Jobs are leaving the U.S and going all the way to Asia, why have we not prepared ourselves to get some of those? We are next door to the USA. Where is the Chicken Hatchery, the Coconut Bottling Plant, Big-Gut Water Project, all of the promises. He said he knew how to bring tourists to SVG, how many have you seen over the last 3 years? Oh, I forgot, they are staying away because of 9-11, staying away from here, but not from Grenada, St. Lucia, Barbados…. Why was he unable to exploit “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie to get more tourists here? Does he have a clue how to do that, does he listen to the people who do? Does he listen to anyone? Where is the cheaper oil from Venezuela he talked about within his first few weeks in office? Does he have the right philosophical inclination to lead this country in a reasonable path or does he still think that he is the natural inheritor of Maurice Bishop of Grenada? How is it possible to spend $1.4 million on the George McIntosh building? Forty or so motorcycles from the Taiwanese for the police department, where are they? Etc. etc.

We need answers to his handling of SVG over the last 5 years, not character assassination, no diversion, we are not two-year-old children who cry out for food and care and you put on some music and some character assassination to distract us. Well, are we???

Dexter Lewis, DMD.

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