Our Readers' Opinions
September 28, 2007

Why does the opposition continue its mock battles


EDITOR: Last Thursday, September 21st, 2007, the opposition NDP was in perfect sync with the ULP administration on the three Bills which came up for consideration, namely:

1. The Supplementary Appropriation (No. 12) Bill of 2007;

2. The Customs (Control and Management)(Amendment) Bill; and

3. The Electronics Transactions Bill.{{more}}

The Supplementary Appropriation Bill was essentially to bring to account EC$21 million in spending on the Canouan Jet Airport. These monies were already in a special account as part of the US$15 million which was borrowed before for the construction of this Airport. There are no cost over-runs. Matters are proceeding smoothly and ahead of schedule; thus the need for more monies for 2007. The Airport is now scheduled for completion by December 31, 2007.

As Prime Minister Gonsalves pointed out, by 2011, the ULP administration, in a 10-year period, would have built a Jet Airport in the Southern Grenadines and an International Airport on mainland St. Vincent. These achievements are surely most remarkable. As the P.M. said, they constitute vital infrastructural building blocks for a modern, competitive post-colonial economy.

The second piece of legislation, the Customs (Amendment) Bill is an innovative measure to allow the introduction of the advanced technological information system known as ASYCUDA++. This, when put in operation

by October 1, 2007, would modernise Customs, improve efficiency immeasurably, assist importers, and consequently more revenue. It is a wonderful development, and is part of the Government’s programme of making government more efficient, effective, and accountable.

The third law, the Electronic Transactions Bill, is to provide a modern, comprehensive legal framework for electronic transactions in business, government, and individual activity. Again, it falls within the framework of building a “modern, competitive post-colonial economy”. Dr. Jerrol Thompson, who piloted this Bill, was absolutely brilliant in his parliamentary discourse. He is on track with the government’s strategic quest. I can understand why the PM stated sometime ago that Dr. Thompson is “arguably the brightest person in the Cabinet”.

The last Parliamentary sitting had its usual share of picong, but shorn of its adversarial politicking the Opposition lined up behind the Government in supporting its strategic path for the development of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The question thus arises: Why does the Opposition find it necessary to continue its mock battles, and through some spokespersons its persistent misrepresentation of Government’s policies on Nice Radio, and downright untruths? The Comrade made that very point in the House and quoted aptly an old man, a Mr. Doyle, from the Comrade’s youth days: “Show me a persistent liar and I will show you a thief”.

The NDP ought to realize that this old saying resonates with people; thus, they must be more responsible and let their spokespersons be truthful on radio.

Sincerely yours

Thomas Burke