Our Readers' Opinions
September 18, 2020
Should politicians demonstrate statesmanship?

EDITOR: Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves is making an effort to reach out to Vincentians via NBC Radio. I took the opportunity to call NBC Radio Station when the Prime Minister was on air and I expressed my views and asked questions about our country’s position on certain issues.

I asked questions about the Fisheries Complex in Owia, the Geothermal Project which is currently at a standstill and about the state of our economy that appears to be going nowhere!

These issues are affecting Vincentians and we deserve to ask questions about the Government’s plans on dealing with these issues.

Dr Gonsalves always says that he is the Prime Minister for every square inch of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, but if that is true then as a Vincentian I should have the right to question him about my country.

Madam Editor, I’m wondering if you heard the exchange of words I had with the Prime Minister on NBC radio. If you did not, then I’ll just say it reminded me of the encounter I had with you after I wrote an opinion in this paper, or an earlier exchange I had with Mrs Eustace at the now decomissioned E.T Joshua Airport at Arnos Vale, which this paper reported on, just to give you an idea of the exchange I had with the Prime Minister.

Is it wrong to ask questions about issues affecting our country? As a citizen I’m truly worried about where my country is heading. Could you imagine asking questions about your country resulting in abuse from certain
persons and in my opinion that is not democracy.

Dr Ralph Gonsalves, as Prime Minister, is expected to answer and give clarity on issues pertaining to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It’s definitely not right for him to be abusive to anyone for asking questions!

Let me remind the Prime Minister that he keeps saying citizenship is the highest office one can hold, or did he forget that, as well as the answers to my questions?

While Prime Minister has a right to be robust, it should come with some statesmanship. From where I am sitting, he did not demonstrate diplomacy. It was very frightening to hear how the Prime Minister spoke to someone who has a different position than him and that’s very unprofessional.

I’m using this platform to express my frustration about how I was dealt with for asking questions about the country and expressing a different view. You may say that sometimes I am controversial with my opinions, but it is my opinion and don’t we all have that right? Our country is so divided by politics it’s blinding us. If you criticize the Prime Minister/ULP some will say that you are anti-ULP and an enemy of progress and that’s not necessarily true. It’s our birth right to inquire into issues that affect us.

Madam Editor, is freedom of expression still allowed in St. Vincent and the Grenadines? Should we just sit around and allow persons to do what they want without being questioned? Should we encourage those persons in authority to abuse and treat us with contempt? Should we sit and keep quiet and only speak out when it affect us? By that time it may be too late to speak out.

I’m fed up with what is taking place in our country, where some will try to destroy others in the name of politics. They will use words like bitch, childish, idiot, boy, pig, dotish, backward, stupid, foolish, dunce, blight and double tongue, all because you may share a different view on issues in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Madam Editor, thank you for allowing me space in the newspaper for this article. I appreciate it.

Kinsley Defreitas