Our Readers' Opinions
February 23, 2016
The Prime Minister and the Press

Editor: I’ve been paying very close attention to Dr Gonsalves, since long before he gained the position of the Prime Minister. I have been doing so because he is knowledgeable, trained and highly motivated and he seemed promising. Most Vincentians know or read about his exploits; back in those days, some Vincentians were afraid of him because of his type of politics. Others understood him for what he stood for. There is no doubt in my mind that he meant well, but sometimes I wonder if Dr Gonsalves has a problem with communication, especially when dealing with members of the press.{{more}}

He always wants to have his way. I have had my share of problems with him when it comes to his press conferences. When I ask questions, he thinks I’m not qualified enough to question him and that’s why I stopped attending his press conferences.

But I find them to be quite entertaining and very interesting, especially when he is being asked questions by media workers and journalists. The main purpose of having media workers at a press conference is so they can do their jobs and a part of their jobs is to ask questions. But it appears that Dr Gonsalves thinks one should only ask him leading questions. Recent events have shown that it is only when one asks questions that support his government that answers are given, but when questions are asked about his government’s shortfalls he gets upset.

Dr Gonsalves must remember that he is the Prime Minister and he must find ways of informing us with factual information. The question many Vincentians are asking is why Dr Gonsalves gets so upset with the press when he gets cornered?

Dr Gonsalves appears to know everything!

I’m wondering if Dr Gonsalves think, that attacking the media workers is productive. The way he went after SVGBC is frightening and extremely surprising. SVGBC is full of impartiality when comes to reporting and that’s what expected of them. When it comes to reporting, they should be fearless, regardless to who or what they are reporting about.

Dr Gonsalves is extremely weak when dealing with criticism; he is of the opinion that he must not be criticized.

“Well, you don’t have all the answers, Doc!” Not everything is in your grasp; no man knows all. You have to understand that the position you hold as Prime Minister is one with high expectations. As the head of government, you must expect criticism; it comes with the territory. It’s the manner in which you deal with the criticism which is important. Criticism is used to build others’ character and to help one work on issues; it’s not used to degrade one’s intellect in any way.

Dr Gonsalves needs to demonstrate leadership when dealing with the press. Is it fair to say that some media houses are intimidated by Dr Gonsalves? It appears that he takes them for granted; is that so?

I’m disappointed in recent times by the way Dr Gonsalves dealt with some journalists. I’m writing from experience. I once wrote an article entitled “Breakfast with the Prime Minister” and he took me apart for my writing.

Some questions for Dr Gonsalves: Should the press be afraid of you? Why do you keep attacking some journalists and media workers? Information, combined with facts, should come from the Government so, why is it so difficult to obtain information about health care? I’m expecting our Hon Dr Ralph Gonsalves to lift the standards when dealing with press and media workers and houses. I’m writing this out of respect, but I’m highly disappointed with the attitude shown to journalists and media workers by the Hon Dr Ralph Gonsalves. I’m hoping in the future he respects the jobs of the media workers.

Kingsley De Freitas