The week that was
December 1, 2015

We’re at the height of the political silly season – next week’s edition of TWTW will be an all-politics edition – but there is still space to sneak in some non-political good news:

Our annual Chatoyer Endurance 10-K road race – billed as “the world’s most challenging 10-K,” is gaining international respect and participation. This year’s gruelling run through the mountains of North Leeward attracted runners from Kenya, Cuba, Martinique, Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago.{{more}} Despite gripes about the course’s many steep downhill descents, the growing international support of the event means that distance athletics may yet grow and continue in SVG after the ageless Pamenous Ballentyne hangs up his well-worn running shoes.


Week 3 of the election campaign went to the incumbent Unity Labour Party – narrowly. Mainly off the strength of a humongous rally at Calliaqua, the ULP squeaked past the NDP in the all-important “biggest crowd” sweepstakes. But the NDP’s London and Barrouallie crowds were impressive in their own right, and the NDP supporters are far more energized than their ULP counterparts, who may be tiring after a long campaign. However, other than the cancellation of the ULP’s ambitious Owia rally, the ruling party had no major missteps. The NDP on the other hand, had Cummings on women, Leacock on race, and soca artiste Fya Empress – who was supposed to headline the NDP’s youth rally – appearing instead on a ULP stage. It’s starting to look like the ULP may have peaked two weeks too early, but as of now, they are still ahead of the NDP by a nose.


Race should not be a taboo topic in Vincy political campaigns, and Prime Minister Gonsalves also doesn’t get to choose how race is injected into politics (Reparations, Dominican Republic vs Haiti, etc). It’s also worth noting that SVG has been governed for most of the last 30+ years by men who are considerably lighter skinned than the majority of the population.

But, by any measure, St Clair Leacock’s clumsy and manipulative race baiting was reprehensible. After expressing his dismay that so many Black Vincies were following the ULP (which, by the way, is fielding Black candidates in 13 of the 15 seats), Leacock went on to talk about getting off of Gonsalves’ “estate” – clearly divisive racial imagery in a country shaped by slavery.
He then ridiculously compared Gonsalves to cult leader Jim Jones, suggesting that only a cultish mentality would keep Afro-Vincies in the ULP fold. You would think that the NDP would distance itself from this type of talk, but instead, the party doubled down on the rhetoric, with Eustace’s daughter Maia demanding a Black Prime Minister for SVG. After this divisive display, Afro-Vincies Baptiste and O’Neal may be better suited to the post than her dad.


Daniel Cummings is not exactly known for sober reflection and good judgment. But even by his volatile standards, his performance on BOOM FM’s political talk show was shocking. When he wasn’t calling the Commissioner of Police a “jackass,” he was launching disrespectful attacks on the people of Cuba, the Supervisor of Elections, and women in general. His dismissal of women candidates as “window dressing,” coupled with other NDP candidates’ comments that it is unnecessary for women to offer themselves as representatives, flies in the face of feminism and common sense. The ULP only has one female candidate, and there are rumours and innuendo surrounding the Prime Minister’s dealings with women. But, after hearing the NDP’s cave-man perspectives on women, the ULP seems positively enlightened.

If I had a question in SVG Parliament

I’d ask the Leader of the Opposition to help me make sense of three facts: (1) Dougie DeFreitas and St Clair Leacock threatening to politically attack Gonsalves’ daughter Isis and demanding that she stay out of the political fray while (2) Eustace’s own daughter Maia is the featured speaker on NDP platforms and (3) Eustace’s wife is allegedly profanely threatening people not to mention Maia’s name in their political commentary. I’m confused.

Media Watch

Burns Bonadie’s decision to air a secretly recorded tape allegedly of Jennifer Eustace’s profanity-laced tirade against him made for an exciting half-hour of radio. But should any ULP activists really be playing secretly recorded tapes for political gain, given the predicament that their own leadership currently faces on the sex-tape matter?