The week that was
March 24, 2015

Two weeks ago, Sir Louis Straker was languishing in political exile. His handpicked protégé, Maxwell Charles, had stopped calling for advice.

His beloved Labour Party was in the middle of a youth movement, full of fresh faces that weren’t around or didn’t remember his work to build the ULP and unseat the NDP in the late ‘90s. He wasn’t sitting at the right hand of the Prime Minister, like his old(er) partner in knighthood, Sir Vincent Beache.{{more}}

What a difference a week makes! Trying to quell a divisive battle between would-be ULP candidates in Central Leeward, Gonsalves pulled a shocker out of his bag of political tricks, and lured Sir Louis back into the fray. Now Straker is literally “Central” to the party’s interests: It might not be a stretch to say that the party that wins Central Leeward wins the next elections. NDP candidate Exeter has so far failed to excite, but the real question is whether Sir Louis has enough left in the tank to rekindle his glory days as an active, energetic MP.


In a difficult economy, the frustration of unemployed youth can boil over in all sorts of ways. It’s worse for those who have “done the right thing” by studying hard to get their A-levels and university degrees. After their years of work, a difficult job market can be a rude awakening.

So, it was hard to miss the pride and joy on the faces

of the scores of SET workers that were selected for well-paying one-year internships in various government departments.

These SET interns – and the lower paid, less qualified YES workers – gain invaluable experience that hopefully “sets” them up for a permanent job in the future. It also softens the blow of continuing economic sluggishness in SVG and worldwide.


One minute you’re the presumed ULP standard-bearer for Central Leeward and the next minute you’re yesterday’s news. Maxwell Charles walked into his candidate selection meeting as the incumbent and reputed choice for the 2015 elections. An unexpectedly strong public challenge from Dunstan Johnson and his supporters caught Charles and the party establishment flat-footed. The ULP, which prides itself on settling in-house conflict quietly, moved swiftly to quell the Johnson-led rebellion, and Charles was the unfortunate victim of friendly fire. But there may be something to Straker’s claim that Maxwell was too laid back to fight for constituency interests. The truism “nice guys finish last” was never more fitting.


Spare a moment to mourn the death of Argyle Cow, who was minding her own business when a minibus cut her down in the prime of her life. There is no way that she can be blamed for her death. The Argyle bypass road is straight and flat, with excellent visibility both ways. A full-grown cow is hardly a nimble speedster that darts unexpectedly across roadways. The damage to the minibus tells the tale of yet another operator driving too fast and risking the lives of Vincentians. Argyle Cow will never truly know if the grass was greener on the other side of the road, for she never made it across. She suffered the further indignity of being hastily butchered on the roadside where she fell. But her death would not be in vain if it leads to greater controls on our lawless and dangerous minibus culture.

If I had a question in SVG Parliament … I’d ask the Prime Minister if his parliamentary gloating about “righting the wrong” of Toussaint’s sweetheart Canouan land deal was worth the subsequent judicial smackdown he received for the illegal re-acquisition of the property. Legal experts say that if the Comrade hadn’t testified against himself, Toussaint wouldn’t have a leg to stand on. Now he’s standing on a stack of cash.

Media Watch!

Campden Park’s Ju-C has bravely re-entered a beverage market saturated with sugary Trini alternatives. More power to them. But the media campaign for its so-called “energy drink” – Village Ram – is offensive.

The Mighty Sparrow’s 1960s hit of the same name was a tongue-in-cheek celebration of machismo and sexual promiscuity, but Ju-C’s campaign lacks any of that subtlety. Ju-C’s apparent ‘Drink this and have sex with lots of women’ theme, visible in newspapers, the Internet and on passing vehicles, is playing to the worst stereotypes. The Village Ram ad campaign completely contradicts the company’s “It’s A Vincy Ting” catchphrase, which tries to capitalize on local pride. There are better ways to make a dollar.