Thirty years wasted since Independence
October 23, 2009
Thirty years wasted since Independence


by Ivan O’Neal
Leader and Co Founder, SVG Green Party

When the SVG flag was raised in October 1979, we all stood to attention as the Royal SVG Police Band played our national anthem ‘St Vincent land so beautiful, with joyful hearts we pledge to thee, our loyalty and love and vow to keep you ever free’. Everyone dreamt of positive gains to be derived from independence, but those dreams have not materialised.{{more}}

It is quite humiliating for Vincentians that a serving Prime Minister who was accused of alleged rape and sexual assault while in office could be so short-sighted or indifferent to plan the opening of a prison to celebrate thirty years of independence and not a university. Is the PM telling us in his own way that that is all we deserve?

And then in the same vain to go on television and tell the nation that the new constitution is written so criminals cannot escape hanging. What profound humiliation that incarceration and automatic hanging of poor people are the priorities of the ULP regime after thirty years of independence! There is no empirical evidence to show that hanging reduces crime.

If ever there was a time for change it is now. Our country needs innovation, creativity and vision to build a green economy driven by science and technology to create jobs for all. Free university education should be the given to our nation to move us forward.

SVG has become more dependent under the ULP government. For the ULP government to spend 120 million dollars on a road from Fancy to Kingstown when there is not a single factory in SVG shows that the government’s vision is a short sighted one. The ULP’s capital expenditure is focused on non revenue creating projects. The implication of this is the cultivation of a dependency culture. SVG is blessed with an abundance of indigenous resources; for example, fresh water per capita, SVG is ranked with Canada, yet we allow our liquid gold to go to waste daily.

Fast economic growth driven by human capital development, exports, and science and technology must be the pillars for sustainable development in SVG.

We need a fairer society with fairer taxes. And, if it means a rich person loses a dollar to tax, but a poor person gets a university education and lifetime of opportunity, then SVG Green Party will make that choice. The first few years in a child’s life are the most important and a Green government would make sure every child gets what they need to develop to their full potential.

SVG needs leadership from a party with real passion and real compassion. Fellow Vincentians, let us have faith in creativity and innovation and utilise our indigenous resources to create employment opportunities for all and well needed revenue to move our country forward with positive gains. May God bless us and may God’s blessing shine over our country.