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Straight talk on this and that

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Fri, Oct 14. 2011

Editor: More than 37 years later, still no local government:

Since the 1974 General Elections, successive governments, starting with the Labour Party Government of (late) Robert Milton Cato, promised to reintroduce local government in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).{{more}}

As I recall, it was one of the main planks of the Labour Party 1974 election platform. Ten years of Cato’s Labour, 17 years of Mitchell’s NDP, and another 10 years of Gonsalves’ ULP, still no Local Government system in SVG.

Successive governments have always included Local Government responsibility in Cabinet Portfolios. In other words, we have always had a Cabinet Minister of Local Government, but (save and except for the one-man Kingstown Town Board), no local government system in place.

Why is it taking so long to reintroduce local government in SVG? What is causing such difficulty to place some governmental powers into the hands of our local communities?

If there is no local government, shouldn’t we remove the designation from the portfolio of the Cabinet Minister?

Racist Remarks Indeed

Jerrol Thompson, Hans King, PM Gonsalves and others on Shake Up – hosts and callers alike – who tried to defend and support the racist, insensitive comments recently made by Agriculture Minister Daniel owe all Vincentians and Caribbeanites an apology.

I honestly believe Daniel intended no racism when he got carried away at the recent Sandy Bay public meeting.

No racist intent, Comrade. But the remarks were indeed racist and insensitive. A pathetic public display of a lack of consciousness, if you ask me.

In all fairness, Gomery is human and has feelings and emotions. He was obviously hurt by the reference to his Carib heritage, by a protesting farmer, a few days earlier. However, as a veteran public official, Gomery ought to know those remarks are unbecoming a Minister of the Crown.

A retraction and apology would have put the matter to rest. It is being kept alive by some who could never be accused of being voices of reason.

Come off that scene

An individual, using the handle “goodstudyluck”, last week commented on a recent piece by Kenton Chance in Caribbean News Now (caribbeannewsnow.com).

“goodstudyluck” stated in part: “… Are you even in St.Vincent and the Grenadines? Aren’t all these posts a matter of hearsay or what I heard on the radio, but did not witness?”

Is “goodstudyluck” for real? He/she sounds very much like Julian Francis, when he told this writer, in June 2009: “You do not know what’s happening in SVG, because you are not on the ground”.

So again I ask: Had Kenton Chance been in Barroualie at the time the unfortunate remarks were being made in Sandy Bay and had he written the very article, would he have been asked: “Are you even in St Vincent and the Grenadines”?

Some need to put their brains in gear before they put their fingers on their computer keyboards. Like press briefings of the Prime Minister and others, the Sandy Bay Public meeting was broadcast LIVE on Star FM Radio and aired around the world via the Internet. Whether Chance was in Sandy Bay, Barrouallie or Taiwan, he was hearing the same live broadcast at the very same time the “first-handers” were.

This is not what hearsay means, “goodstudyluck”.

Will “goodstudyluck” and others make the same comments about a New York Times reporter – based in New York – who writes stories and “op eds” about events in Libya and other African countries, with files from international news agencies or his colleagues posted in those countries?

Come off that scene man!

Wade Kojo Williams, Sr.

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