The week that was
October 20, 2015

The Unity Labour Party celebrated its 21st birthday in fine style this weekend. First, Camillo Gonsalves and Saboto Caesar hosted two “office re-brandings” in Calliaqua and New Grounds that each drew close to 1,000 supporters. Then, the party threw itself a birthday party in Layou, complete with fireworks and top local entertainers. The Layou rally was easily the largest political meeting so far of the young campaign season. {{more}}

Whether you love or loathe the ULP, it’s hard to argue with success: For the 21 years of the Party’s existence, it has been in power for 14. Also, it has won three out of four elections – and won the popular vote in the one election that it lost. It may be too early to predict the outcome of the upcoming elections, but the ULP faithful certainly seem confident of that the Party will continue its remarkable hot streak.


Residents of Bequia finally have a quality medical facility on-island, with the opening of the Port Elizabeth Health Complex, a $1.3 million, 16-bed facility with Emergency, Paediatric and Maternity wards.

The Health Complex should help to make improved health care more accessible in Bequia and other Grenadine islands, where people often had to make the arduous journey to St Vincent to obtain even basic health care. Sometimes nighttime emergencies had to wait until the following day, when the morning ferry made its scheduled trip north. The Health Complex is an important step forward in making sure that quality health care is within reach for all Vincentians.


Oswald Robinson, president of the Teachers’ Union, is scrambling to explain what might be the most spectacular failure of industrial action in the history of SVG.

The Government is saying that only 20 per cent of teachers heeded Robinson’s call to strike last week. Robinson claims that the number of strikers was closer to 40 per cent. But even if you accept Robinson’s dubious claim, it still means that 60 per cent of teachers ignored his attempt to force the Government to accept his wage demands. Worse, it seems that almost half of the Teachers’ Union’s executive also disregarded their president’s proclamation, showing up for work alongside the majority of their colleagues.

If 60 per cent of your membership and half of your executive are ignoring you, you have no legitimacy. Whether his motives were noble or self-serving, the numbers say that it’s probably time for Robinson to step down.


Jomo Thomas’ South Leeward campaign HQ was engulfed in flames last Thursday night, with the wooden portion of the building completely consumed in the fire. Thankfully, no one was injured in the blaze. Given the silly season that we’re in, rumours and theories abound – from NDP arson, to ULP arson, to electrical flaw, to lightning strike from an angry God.

Hopefully the blaze is just another tragic accident in a recent spate of unfortunate fires, and not a troubling sign that this year’s election campaign is moving to a desperate, dangerous phase.

If I had a question in SVG Parliament

…I’d ask the Leader of the Opposition why his team refused to submit any questions to be answered in yesterday’s sitting of Parliament. Is it that the pressures of the election campaign kept them from formulating hard questions, or that the Government is running so smoothly that there was nothing to ask?

Media Watch

SVG doesn’t have celebrity journalists of the type that are popular in the UK and USA. But clearly there are a few here who seem intent on creating a personal brand, which would naturally drive buyers or mouse-clicks to their product. There are two types of celebrity journalist – the ones who are nakedly partisan, and popular with only a small segment of the population, and the ones whose fame is based on a record of credibility and trustworthiness. Would-be celebrity journalists should choose their path to fame carefully.