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Dilemma (making a choice between two equally undesirable alternatives)


by Matthew Thomas (19/10/2013)Fri Oct 25, 2013

Jomo Thomas by his writings and utterances seems to possess clarity of thought on many issues, but is equally murky in his concept of the socio-political life of this country and of his own standing in the society. The following excerpts from his writings, among other things, will support my argument.{{more}}

1. Maia Is Fundamentally Right (Jomo Thomas: The Vincentian)

“Secondly black citizens have so many harrowing stories relating to its blackness that we feel compelled to suppress them. I tell mine all the time. First day of school, my earliest memory, Sister Catherine, the Head Mistress, inquired of my mother whether I was her child. Mom answered yes, to which the educator replied. ‘He is black’, and with emphasis, and ‘he is ugly too’.”

2. Of Politics, Race And Class (Jomo Thomas: The Vincentian 23/09 2005)

“Two examples will illustrate my point. I was and remain opposed to the appointment of Margaret Ferrari as our Ambassador to the UN. Her race has nothing to do with the decision. Ferrari comes from one of the most elitist of families. Her life training and experiences make her unable or unwilling to understand, articulate and defend the aspirations of a predominantly African population. Similarly I am opposed to Victor Hadley as chief of National Properties Inc. In the early 70’s, progressives waged major battles against Victor Hadley for the manner in which workers were treated on Hadley estates. His attitudes were akin to those practiced on the slave plantation that, to place him in charge of the patrimony of the nation nags at the very beginning. The two are too far removed from the daily lives of ordinary Vincentians to justify their selection to these top posts.”

3. Race, class and politics in SVG (Jomo Thomas: The Vincentian 10/02/2012)

“In SVG, the near white Mitchell and white Gonsalves have dominated our politics for most of the post Independence years. Why this is so? SVG remains the only country in the English speaking Caribbean where politics is still dominated by a white man as leader of the governing party and PM of the country… To what extent is the vitriol of Mitchell and Gonsalves contributing to the failure of strong black leaders to emerge, preserve and triumph?

“Mitchell gained notoriety with his famous put down of nationals: Vincentians have breadfruit mentality. Gonsalves’ put down of sections of segments of the black population, particularly his political opponents, are now legendary: ‘Bush will not see Eustace if he and Eustace were walking down the street at midnight’, ‘uncultured and untutored’ ‘chattering nabobs, etc.

“To what extent are these statements… calculated as mind-bending techniques intended to work on the psyche of the population? Are these insulting political darts intended to make us less confident in ourselves or intended to convince the black majority that they lack the intelligence to lead our country through good and bad times?

When we join Gonsalves and use words like dotish, silly and lazy to describe Eustace, are we not perpetuating the myth of black leaders as unintelligent?”

4. Building an Opposition (Jomo Thomas: The Vincentian 21/05/2004)

“Pragmatically though, the ULP leadership remains enslaved to the old time political style… Why is PM Gonsalves alienating different sections of the society with one rancid comment after another? Yesterday, some of us were unschooled and uncultured, others are chattering idiots. Now another section of the society is described as ‘dishonest, vindictive, untruthful and malignant’… On this issue PM Gonsalves failed the test of leadership. The bitterness and discord serves no one. Our country loses because the opinions of many concerned citizens are locked out, disregarded and discarded.”

5. An idea whose time has come (Jomo Thomas: The Vincentian 25/01/2008)

“Not since the UPM challenged the old order in 1979 has there been such a buzz for something new… The country is heading for a dead end… People expected the ULP government to have an honest conversation with them. They voted for change, transparency and accountability. Instead they are getting more of the same. Vindictiveness at the highest level is unparalleled; and the police and security forces brutalize and spy on the people. Satisfaction of the people’s needs takes a back seat to those of the local and foreign elite.

“Many of the ULP initiatives are useful. However, its leadership’s recklessness of thought and action coupled with its elitist and overbearing governance posture drive many into intellectual, ideological and political rebellion. The core of the problem comes from the fact that the leadership of the party and government is fundamentally undemocratic. The leadership expresses rhetorical disdain for autocratic polices, but, remains the living embodiment of this tendency.”

6. Politics on a razor’s edge (Jomo Thomas: The Vincentian 24/10/2008)

“When the PM lambasted teachers and labeled them incompetent, ungrateful, and greedy, teachers and workers gained a good lesson that old style politicians see people as potential votes, rather than real flesh and blood people with basic needs… The large problem for Gonsalves is that he has taken to believing that he is indispensible… His way of doing business is that principles, coherent governance and even ideology must always be sacrificed for political expediency, no matter the cost to the public good…There is no precedent in the modern history of SVG for what passes for governance under Gonsalves. There is a complete lack of policy apparatus. Civil servants and other state employees are used, abused and discarded… Look at SVG closely. Where politics strong arms everything, you end up with grinding economic problems, runaway cost of living, a brutal tax system, unemployment and other maladies that breed hopelessness and helplessness…”

The Paradox: Jomo appointed ULP Senator on 19/09/2013

It is inconceivable that a man with such conviction can now join such a leader and grouping.

Immediately on becoming Senator, however, Jomo follows in the footsteps of Massa Ralph, according to the following:

(1) “Jomo takes legal action against Junior Bacchus: $50,000 demanded for compensation:

“Within two weeks of becoming a ULP Senator, lawyer Jomo Thomas has taken a similar position to that of his ULP leader, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves.” (THE NEWS 4/10/2013)

(11) “lawyer Jomo Thomas calls lawyer Connel a moron.” (THE NEWS 11/10/2013)

(111) Senator Jomo Thomas says, Principal of the St. Joseph Convent Kingstown is immoral.

“The Principal was marshalling the students… That kind of immoral misuse of young girls…”

(Jomo Thomas, UNRENDERED, 13/10/2013)

(IV) Jomo attacks the character of two medical practitioners:

Earlier this year, Jomo Thomas, on his IKTV PLAIN TALK, launched a venomous attack on the character of two local practitioners; one a Gynecologist and the other a Dentist, virtually charging them for criminal negligence. As one listened to Jomo pontificating, one may have sworn that Jomo was reading from a Court document. To the contrary, Jomo had absolutely no evidence to substantiate his claim. Thus far there is no evidence of a lawsuit brought against him for slander. Just like his Massa Ralph, Jomo believes that he must have a free tongue, but everyone else must shut-up.

Calma Balcombe Principal, St. Joseph Convent Kingstown

It was with great distress that I sat and listened to Jomo Thomas on 13/10/2013, on the IKTV programme UNRENDERED, slandering Calma Balcombe, as he said: “That kind of immoral misuse of young girls.” I had the good fortune of knowing Calma within days of her birth. She is the daughter of the late Benedict Balcombe and Eulice Balcombe, nee Charles, of Lowmans WD, both excellent individuals and parents. Her maternal grandparents, the late teacher, William Charles and his wife Alva, also deceased, were a family unit par excellence in the Lowmans WD and wider community. Calma is thrice blessed to have been molded in such an environment. By Calma’s own standard, it is easy to discern that she is from good stock. Calma, herself is a staunch Anglican, but she has created history in being the first non Nun to manage this prestigious Catholic girls’ school for over 11 years and from all indications she is doing a wonderful job.

Lawyer, Senator Jomo Thomas loses interim injunction

Senator Jomo Thomas has lost his perceived case against the St Joseph Convent and the Ministry of Education for the following reasons:

1. The Attorney General Judith Jones Morgan said in her submission: “several material facts were not disclosed by the applicant (the child’s mother) when she applied to the Court for the child’s to be reinstated at the SJCK. ‘When an ex-parte application is made to the Court, there must be full disclosure of all material facts.’ ” (SEARCHLIGHT 11/10/2013)

2. The Principal of the GHS, in a letter to the CEO, said that when the child’s mother visited her on 18/03/2013, she told her: “I have no intention of importing ill discipline at GHS.” (SEARCHLIGHT 11/10/2013).

Clearly, Jomo’s life appears to have been caught in a dilemma. He may need the use of a calibrated instrument to help him find his level.