The week that was
December 22, 2015
Best week ever


It’s Christmas! Back pay was paid early; shopkeepers and vendors are overrun with customers; church pews are full; Nine Mornings is in full swing; carollers are making their way through the villages; and all of your long-lost relatives are back home bearing gifts and tossing around Yankee dollars and British pounds. For all but the most hardcore political animals, election fever has subsided and everyone is just Vincentian again, celebrating The Season.{{more}} For the first time in seemingly forever, Civilised Society is having its Best Week Ever, as unity and festivity are the orders of the day, and the political grinches and are being largely ignored. If you ever wondered if there was more to Vincentian life than politics and division, grab a ponche-de-crème in Heritage Square, sit back, and let the Christmas spirit remind you what’s great about SVG.


Parnell Campbell, QC has evolved in the public eye, from swashbuckling young lawyer to charismatic politician to controversial attorney general to his latest incarnation as religious pillar and wise elder. His recent sage advice to the NDP – that it is an “extremely bad idea” for them to boycott parliament as a form of election protest – was the type of level-headed, unbiased commentary that SVG needs more of. Campbell could also be forgiven for saying a smug “I told you so” to those who voted against the Constitutional reform process that he led back in 2009, since all of the complaints in the 2015 elections – from the Prime Minister’s power to call the election date, to the absence of female candidates, to a lack of independence of the Supervisor of Elections, to the role of the Governor General – would have been fixed by the rejected Constitution.


This is the week that Vincies around the globe make the pilgrimage back home for some black cake, Nine Mornings, and a ‘piece a pork’ for the Christmas. Last December, Dr Rudy Matthias, CEO of the Interna­tional Airport Development Company, promised the nation that it would be Vincentians’ final Christmas without direct flights from New York and London. But here we go again. The familiar tales of lost luggage, baggage fees, overbooked LIAT flights, missed connections, and in-transit immigration harassment are already being told by frustrated travellers. Yes, a LIAT landed at Argyle in early December, but what everyone wants to know is when the Jet Blues and British Airways will be touching down. Let’s get a realistic estimate this time, Dr Matthias.



Venerable newspaper columnist and NDP cheerleader Dr Kenneth John is a great writer and a respected citizen. But he’s a terrible political prophet. Last week, due to some sort of mix-up with his editors, John suffered the indignity of having his traditional election forecast appear in the newspaper two days after the actual elections were held. As usual, Dr John predicted a landslide victory for the NDP. As usual, the actual results were vastly different. Instead of eating a little post-election humble pie, Dr John lambasted the victorious ULP for “open bribery, a kind of lumber, galvanize and cement and raw cash,” and declared, contrary to his bold and certain prediction of a week earlier, that it was “surprising” that the “ULP could only claim an 8:7 victory for the second successive time.” Wait, what?

If I had a question in SVG Parliament

…I would ask Arnhim Eustace why Vynnette Frederick continues to enjoy immunity from any party discipline or internal sanctions. Her recent online rant against the Supervisor of Elections, whom Frederick called “idiotic” and “technostupid,” is simply the latest in a series of actions that are either incorrect, ill-advised or borderline illegal. For a Party leader who bills himself as a “kinder”,

“gentler” “Mr Clean,” the leeway he grants to Frederick is bewildering.

Media Watch

After another five years of weekly newspaper columns, Ivan O’Neal’s Green Party managed to muster a grand total of 77 votes in the 2015 Elections. In other words, the Green Party got one vote for every three articles it published in the newspapers over the past five years. The newspapers that granted the Green Party this weekly space free of charge must now ask themselves whether O’Neal’s ragtag bunch is really worth the investment. Clearly, the columns are either unread or unpersuasive. If the Green Party continues to earn free newspaper space, then so too must Anesia Baptiste’s DRP, which collected exactly twice as much support as the Green Party. And if we’re up to four free columns in the paper, two of which are by fringe parties, then newspapers shouldn’t ask why they’re becoming less and less popular.