August 21, 2012
Hair’s not the point – Eustace

Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace says Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves should focus on this country’s problems rather than people’s physical attributes.{{more}}

Eustace’s comments, on his weekly radio programme yesterday, came after Gonsalves said last week that his having hair was no reason to demit office.

Gonsalves, speaking in Sandy Bay, where his Unity Labour Party government on August 13 distributed letters for plots of land, said some state employees say he should go.

He said these same state employees have benefitted from his administration’s salary increases, 100 per cent mortgages, and university scholarships for themselves and their children.

“When ah hear them say ‘Ralph nah do nuttin and ah want him come out.’ Wha’ happen? You want me come out because ah ha’ too much hair pon me head,” Gonsalves said in dialect.

“Yo want baldhead man? Tha’ could be the only reason. But I don’t see why yo’ should have anything against hair pon me head and pon me face. I ain’t ugly,” he added.

But Eustace said yesterday that the prime minister “seems to spend a long time on whether hair was on my head …

“… with all the difficulties that people in this country are facing, you really believe we have time for all this type of stupidness (nonsense)?” said Eustace, who is almost completely bald.

“I mean it is so puerile. It is insulting the intelligence of the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines,” the East Kingstown representative further stated.

“What we need is to deal with the issues that confront us and see how we can get our nation back on some proper footing.”

Eustace cited International Monetary Fund figures in saying that the local economy declined in 2011 — for a fourth consecutive year.

“… and that’s what the prime minister is dealing with,” he said of the hair comment by Gonsalves, who is also Minister of Finance.

“We should be talking about solutions to our problems. Not the physical attributes of any individual, but what his government and him can do to improve the lives of people.

“… The question is, are the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines better off than they were last year? No! They are worse off. That is the reality, that is what we have to address. Not my head!” Eustace said.

He said Vincentians are no longer interested in discussion about people’s physical attributes.

“Our people have gone past that now,” he said, adding that the nation needs programmes and polices that ensure that citizens have a better standard of living.

“But no, you deal with trivia, things that are not important, trying to keep people’s mind off things that are important. But they have to live, they have to eat and they have to send their children to school,” Eustace said on New Times, sponsored by his New Democratic Party.

“But the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines has some responsibilities in that regard and they should live up to them, rather than talking a lot of nonsense and crap all the time,” Eustace said. ([email protected])