Our Readers' Opinions
May 31, 2011
Lynch and NDP deliberately misleading people

31.MAY.11

Editor: Journalism and the media must always strive for truth and

honesty.

Every talk show host has received false information which at that time they believed was true, but if they deliberately try to fool and pull wool over people’s eyes, then this becomes a dastardly and dishonest act.{{more}}

Both political parties proposed Laptop projects and each expected to encourage supporters to seize the opportunities and educational benefits. However, now the ULP Government is distributing Laptops, the NDP, as with the light bulb project, is again encouraging people to refuse and deny their children the opportunity, simply because NDP did not do it first.

Last Tuesday, I listened to a recording of Edwardo Lynch reading an article he claimed was just sent from Reuters. When Lynch read out that Portugal was only distributing Laptops last month and they started to sell Laptops to the public last week for only US $69.25 (US $70), he concluded that as SVG got 2,000 since last year before elections and is distributing them this month, then the Laptops we had received must have been built in Venezuela, rather than Portugal, and therefore inferior. Having read a similar article several years ago, this prompted me to find the electronic file and I discovered that Lynch had deliberately misled the nation. The article he read was written almost three (3) years ago and was clearly dated “Fri Oct 3, 2008 1:22pm EDT”. Check www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2331731,00.asp which also stated “the computers also went on public sale in Portugal last week for 285 Euros” (US $394). Lynch butchered the article by deliberately omitting this and other lines or adding words and infringing the copyright in a crude and callous attempt to mislead. He succeeded in fooling Linton, Burton and Anesia, who repeated the falsehoods in Dickson.

Portugal has an elaborate 3 scales distribution scheme which is based on family income. For poorer students who qualify in scale 1, the laptops are free. In the second scale, the computer are sold at 20 Euros (28 USD) and the third scale 50 Euros (70 USD), while in stores or for export the price is US $394. The 30,000 Laptops for SVG, valued at over 32 Million EC dollars, are free for all Vincentian students. Lynch’s attempt to hoodwink people has further cemented a perception of dishonesty and in an era where anyone trying to misquote the Internet will have thousands of persons able to double check the accuracy of the information within seconds and on this occasion Lynch was caught red-handed.

As early as May 26th, 2009, when the Prime Minister and I launched the Universal Service Fund at the NIS Building, all the providers and stakeholders were present and, surprisingly, so was St. Claire Leacock, a Senator at that time. The PM revealed he was “searching for finances to have computers provided to students at fairly generous terms and in some cases so generous that it would be very difficult for people not to have computers”. Senator Leacock listened intently.

ºFurther: (1) In 2008, the PM had met with Anibal Antonio Cavaco Silva, President of Portugal at the UN. (2) In April 2009, the PM visited Portugal, Madera and was introduced to the Magellan Laptop project. (3) In Sept. 2009, PM Gonsalves again met with the Portuguese PM Jose Socrates at the UN. (4) December 2009, the Portuguese Ambassador and experts came to SVG with an Intel Classmate (Magellan) Laptop being built in Portugal and held discussions with officials of the Ministry of Telecommunications and left one laptop for evaluation. (5) June 17-21 2010, Ambassador Camillo Gonsalves led a UN delegation to Portugal and continued the Laptop discussions. (6) December 6th, 2010, a team of experts returned to SVG. It was not until the July 18th, 2010 NDP Convention that Arnim Eustace first revealed plans to provide laptops in the medium term, only to Secondary Schools. Two days later the PM displayed the Portuguese Laptop and reminded persons of his previous statements at the USF Launch, his agreement with Portugal and the progress made to deliver Laptops to Vincentian students.

The NDP still claims that the ULP stole the idea when Senator Leacock and others were at the USF Launch and could easily correct this notion, or maybe he told Eustace the idea. However, this is not about who did it first, it is about boosting our children’s education. The NDP has resorted to discouraging supporters from accepting the Laptops and even damaging them. They claim these attractive, robust, student-friendly Intel Classmates, with 1.66 Gig Hertz dual core process, 1Gig-Ram, a whopping 160 Gig Hard drive, wireless Internet ready and a camera, are inferior and that the contracts which Parents are asked to sign, to discourage willful damage may not be valid. They are wrong!

Jerrol Thompson