Our Readers' Opinions
December 4, 2015
SVG: a ‘failed State’

Editor: “It is when you are at your lowest ebb that He will lift you high and make you soar on His wings.”

That is a quote from no less a person than my deceased grandmother, Mrs Eilleen Williams. God rest her soul. She wrote those words to me in a letter while I was at university and feeling somewhat down.{{more}} That was about 20 years ago but the words comfort me today when I consider the position of my blessed homeland, St Vincent and the Grenadines. Can anyone doubt that we are now at our lowest ebb? When I first heard the honourable St Clair Leacock describe St Vincent as a “failed State”, I thought it a somewhat harsh statement, but the more I consider the reality of our situation as Vincentians, the more I am inclined to agree with him. Indeed, how could I not agree,

…when students in one of our top secondary schools are sitting on their desks for lack of chairs;

…when a patient who gets cut by a rusty bed at our main hospital must have his relative buy antiseptic ointment at a nearby store to treat it;

…when our top cop is comfortable having the confidence of only one half of the population;

…when our citizens feel the need to hide behind a pseudonym to express their views publicly;

…when senior civil servants can run roughshod over our civil service with impunity;

…when some of our major roads leading to some of our main places of interest are in such a state of disrepair that tour operators have been forced to cease visiting them;

…when, despite years of complaints by proprietors of these places of interest, no repairs are carried out;

…when a multimillion dollar local business could be wantonly destroyed by its own Government on the flimsiest of grounds;

…when we have become so hardened and so immune to the crime and violence in our society, that a murder hardly raises an eyebrow anymore;

…when our citizens, confronted with immoral and base conduct of those in authority, can reject objectivity and ignore, or worse yet, excuse such conduct in the name of politics;

…when the Leader of the Opposition’s actions in relation to a former NDP supporter can be viewed as disloyal, instead of as demonstrating a zero-tolerance approach to dishonesty by whomsoever, whether within or outside of the NDP ranks;

…when those who beg are now more often not those dressed in rags;

…when we have some of the most fertile soil and yet cannot sustain our banana industry or any agricultural industry;

…when public servants exercising their right to protest can be regarded as undermining the Government;

…when a student can excel academically and yet be passed over for jobs because of political affiliations;

AND when we can see and feel and know that we are in an economic crisis, but still need convincing that an economist is better able to get us out of it than a lawyer.

Zhinga Horne Edwards