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Sir James’ statement a disgrace

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03.DEC.10

Editor: Recent comments by the founder and the person still considered by many as the de facto leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP) have taken the political campaign into the realm of the ridiculous.{{more}} Sir James Mitchell called a Nice radio programme to condemn the Secretary General of CARICOM Sir Edwin Carrington for (1) visiting St. Vincent and the Grenadines during an election campaign and (2) making the following statement of praise, and I quote “preparedness, resilience and resourcefulness of the peoples of St Vincent and the Grenadines and St Lucia, which allowed the two CARICOM member states to regroup within days after a hurricane swept through the islands, leaving in its wake death and destruction.”

He termed as disgraceful Sir Edwin’s action, and one could only speculate that had Sir Edwin not tendered his resignation effective December 31, a Sir James/Eustace led administration would certainly be calling for his head. I remember vividly a recent similar tirade by Sir James at another sub-regional icon, Sir K. Dwight Venner, in which he literally blamed the financial crisis on Sir Dwight and called on him to be fired. Sir Dwight’s strong support for the divestment of shares in the St. Vincent and the Grenadines National Commercial Bank would clearly result in an adversarial relationship between a Sir James/Eustace led administration and the current Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB).

In the case of Sir Edwin, the reaction by Sir James and certain talk show hosts on Nice Radio should send a frightening message for any perceived slights directed at the NDP. Quite frankly, I can not understand the hysteria to a statement praising the resilience of all the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. He also questioned the timing of the visit as if natural disasters and the responses to them are influenced by political events. The responses must by necessity be timely.

The persecution of Sir Dwight is even more confusing as the NDP vacillates between blaming Sir Dwight and Prime Minister Gonsalves for the global financial crisis and the resulting fallout now badly affecting the Caribbean, including St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

What these two incidents should indicate clearly to all right thinking Vincentians is that an NDP Administration would show a remarkable intolerance for dissenting voices or perceived slights, and mass victimization could well be the order of the day. The persistent calls by the NDP of victimization carried out by the ULP, coupled with the now infamous remark by Burton Williams that “Pastor must christen they pickney first” could very well see us witnessing the proverbial “pot calling the kettle black” in full display as a Sir James/Eustace administration engage in mass regional and local victimization.

Vincentians, we go to the polls on December 13 to elect a government to guide us over the next five years. Please think before you vote.

John Edwards

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