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Much ado about nothing

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9.FEB.07

Editor: The release of a prisoner by the Mercy Committee who had completed his sentence barring two months has created much talk mainly among circles opposed the ruling ULP Administration. The government claims that it was an act which has to do with national security and therefore must be given the benefit of the doubt.

In addition, the fact that the Prime Minister took Mr. Eustace into his confidence and explained to him the reason for the release, is evidence that the government has nothing to hide. (We must remember that this sort of accommodation was never given to the opposition when NDP was in office).{{more}}

Our readers must not forget that this is not the first time prisoners are released in St. Vincent. The NDP under Sir James pardoned and released Todd and Line, two Americans who were jailed here for drug offences. But on these things the NDP suffers from amnesia. I would love the NDP to compare and contrast both releases and see which of the Administrations acted in the national interest.

Editor, if the government can be faulted on this release it is in the fact that there are a few more prisoners who could also have been released. For example Grantley “Brams” Bramble – one of our better maths teachers who was jailed for rape could have been pardoned and perhaps a couple more whose rehabilitation is good and who would have been recommended by the prison authorities to the Mercy Committee.

The fact that the release has generated such talk primarily by opposition forces has shown that the government is doing something right.

Politics would warrant that the opposition seeks to cloud the real issues with something of lesser importance and one can understand that in the cut and thrust of politics but the listener/readers must not be fooled.

This ULP Administration has done well and is doing well. It is interesting to note that the NDP forces have blown up the prisoners release at the same time that Dr. Gonsalves has gotten a significant reduction in the Ottley Hall debt. Ottley Hall was a mill- stone around the necks of Vincentian people. The monies wasted there by the NDP could have built us 10 Secondary Schools or partly funded the International Airport. Oh, the lies we were told, some presidential yacht called Estranka and such garbage.

Let the inquiry unfold.

The real issues that are before us, Editor, are: the International Airport at Argyle, something every Vincentian both at home and abroad longed for and something which the NDP knows will seal their doom where getting back into government is concerned.

The bridge over the Rabacca Dry River. The NDP through Sir James proposed a tunnel. Imagine a tunnel through loose Rabacca Sand – what nonsense!

The Education Revolution – every child having access to full Secondary Education. Record numbers of our students and professionals entering University. Many young people being trained as nurses, others being trained as teachers facilitated by the YES Program. The jet airport at Canouan. Soon our people can fly directly to Miami or New York from Canouan.

The Vision Now Program which many Vincentians across the political divide embrace. Expensive operations done free of cost. Let the NDP continue to castigate Cuba it will get them no where. Long live the Cuba – St. Vincent friendship.

The entire Windward Highway from Fancy to Kingstown is being rebuilt. The government housing project is the best ever in our history.

Clearly, Vincentians are better off under Dr Gonsalves and the ULP. The progress is there for all to see. It follows therefore that the rise in opposition chatter, hatred and disrespect stem from a deep seated fear that they will never see government again so they seek to divide, sow hatred and disrespect, and cloud the real issues with nonsense such as the release of a prisoner when the bigger picture is there for all to see.

Let’s go forward fellow Vincentians. We must not commit our children’s future into the hands of hooligans and haters of God. This Country is on the cusp of an Economic take-off and they must not be allowed to stop it.

Thomas Burke

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