The week that was
September 1, 2015

Parents of the 44 girls who fell just short of acceptance to the Girls’ High School are all smiles this week after the Government made good on its pledge to accommodate those students in this year’s incoming Girls’ High School class. Those parents, and their daughters, were the unintended beneficiaries of the GHS’s inexplicable decision to grant admission to two girls who placed 149th and 159th in the entrance exam, despite the school’s commitment to accept only the top 120 finishers.{{more}}

The fact that all 44 students between the 120th and 159th place accepted the belated offer of placement in the GHS is further proof of the stupidity of reaching past more qualified scholars to pluck well-connected children from the lower ranks.

Kudos to the Ministry of Education for not taking the easy route and simply expelling the children who placed 149th and 159th – after all, it’s not their fault that their parents tried to beat the system. Space might be a little cramped in GHS for the next five years, but we know a few happy parents who won’t be complaining.


Saboto Caesar and Roland “Patel” Matthews lob their fair share of political grenades back and forth at each other. They are their respective parties’ spokesmen on agriculture, and they seem to have very different views of the current state of agricultural production, not to mention the way forward. Which is why it was so heartening to see Saboto and Patel jointly supporting a motion for a “Parliamentary Front Against Hunger and Undernourishment” in SVG.

While older politicians in the Parliament seemed to be unwilling and uncomfortable participants in this rare show of bipartisanship, Caesar and Matthews were warm, cooperative and complimentary of each other. In election season, no less! Maybe there is hope for the next generation of political leaders, after all.


The SVG Teachers Union wants to agitate on behalf of anti-government teachers who the Union believes were treated poorly by the state: No problem there. It’s the job of a union to defend its workers’ interests. The problem is in the timing and the target of its full-throated advocacy for Elvis Daniel, Addison Thomas, Kenroy Johnson and Otto Sam. Those individuals – three teachers who quit their jobs to contest election as opposition candidates, and one loose-lipped malcontent – are so politically radioactive that they might as well have yellow “caution” signs painted on their foreheads. So why wait until the political election season to refocus on their cases? Do they think this is the best time to galvanize popular support or spur state action? And why attack the Government all over again when the culprit this time seems to be our notoriously slow court system? Fool ah talk, but fool nah listen.


Everyone who’s complaining about what a terrible job Venold Coombs has been doing recently as president of the SVG Football Federation should be grateful that he isn’t a doctor. Imagine a Dr Coombs, witnessing patients choking to death, and diagnosing them with “hiccups.” That’s essentially what happened last week when president Coombs saw hiccups within the Federation, when everyone else sees an organization strangling itself with greed, hatred, egotism, mismanagement and backstabbing.

With Vincy Heat facing Aruba this Friday, and potential home-and-away games with the mighty USA on the horizon, this is precisely the time for the Federation to stop the squabbling and focus on the big picture. Coombs is a wily veteran of political infighting, and can no doubt personally survive the calamity unfolding around him. But it will take more than the Comrade’s three uncommissioned fire engines to put out the fire engulfing Vincy football.

If I had a question in SVG Parliament

…I’d ask the Speaker if he would allow Arnhim Eustace to re-do his schizophrenic contribution to the debate on the Geothermal bill. Eustace started out sounding positive about geothermal energy and the plans to exploit it, only to suddenly veer off and condemn the legislation near the end of his presentation. Everyone can become confused and lose their train of thought – particularly the elderly – but Eustace should have an opportunity to clarify his bewildering rant.

Media Watch

The Unity Labour Party seems to be out-rallying the opposition New Democratic Party by roughly four rallies to one. The ULP is also outstripping the NDP in the convention and press conference tally.

Doesn’t anyone in the media find this odd? Is the NDP divided? Underfunded? Or simply keeping its powder dry? Is the ULP confident? Desperate? Or does it require more time to fire up its base supporters? Instead of simply reporting what happened at the most recent rally, maybe someone should investigate the whys and hows of campaign tactics.