Hearts of Charity donating gift bags for children of Chateaubelair and surrounding areas
The annual “Talent Behind the Wallsâ Christmas concert, which features prisoners currently serving time for a variety of crimes, is still going strong in its 46th year. The concert is always a huge success, and the quality of the talent on display is a reminder that the prisoners should not be defined by their crimes alone. Itâs not just talent locked up behind the walls, but people â mothers, fathers, brothers, sons and friends. As a concert, “Talent Behind the Wallsâ is great, but the sad part is that beyond the annual show, our prison system is still designed to punish, instead of rehabilitate, our talented, yet misguided young offenders.
WORST WEEK EVER:
Just two weeks ago, Arnhim Eustace was telling anyone who would listen that the NDP would refuse to be sworn into office. At a media event on 12th December, Eustace promised his supporters that the victorious NDP candidates “would not be sworn into office, neither will we go to Parliament until this matter is resolved.â On top of that, Eustace declared that “to go to Parliament would be to concede [the election], and we are not conceding.â
Lo and behold, just 11 days after his big and bad talk, Eustace did an abrupt U-turn, meekly informing his followers that he and his team would, indeed, be attending Parliament and be sworn in, “strictly for technical reasons.â These “technical reasonsâ apparently have something to do with Eustaceâs fear that repeated absences from Parliament could lead to a series of by-elections where NDP candidates would have everything to lose but nothing to gain.
The problem with Eustaceâs flip-flop is that the law didnât just change to make his team vulnerable to by-elections. The law has been that way forever, and certainly was that way when he was grandcharging two weeks earlier. It points to Eustaceâs willingness to shoot off at the lip before getting the necessary facts or advice. Just like his Parliamentary boycott fizzled before it started, we wonder if his promised election petitions will also evaporate before his “unmistakable proofâ of vote rigging makes it into a courtroom.
We donât envy Colin Williams, the Director of Public Prosecutions. Many of his decisions fall into the “damned if you do, damned if you donâtâ category. Take, for example, his pledge to bring charges against Nice Radioâs Douglas DeFreitas and others for spreading “false news likely to cause fear or alarm.â No rational person can dispute that deFreitas and his cronies were reckless, almost to the point of insanity when they took to the airwaves to announce that the elections had been stolen and called their followers out into the street to, essentially, prevent a duly elected government from being sworn in. It was political scaremongering and demagoguery at its worst. But, despite what the law books said, was it a crime? And if so, was it a crime worth prosecuting? DeFreitasâ rants brought a couple hundred angry people onto the street for a few hours, but, ultimately, nothing bad happened. The DPP may have a legal case against the Nice Radio goons, but he may end up making buffoons like DeFreitas martyrs in the cause of free speech, an honour that Dougie certainly does not deserve.
If I had a question in SVG Parliament
Iâd ask what to call Arnhim Eustace after he is sworn in. Can you be called “Leader of the Oppositionâ if you refuse to concede that your party is, actually, in opposition? Is he going to try to sit in Ralph Gonsalvesâ chair on the Government side of the House? Maybe we should call Gonsalves the “officialâ Prime Minister and Eustace the “unofficial, self-declared Prime Minister.â Would that make everyone happy?
Is Nine Mornings too early or too boring for better media coverage? Here we have this unique Vincy festival, now over 100 years old, and the media barely pays attention to it, beyond a few generic-looking crowd photos. If we canât get excited about our own cultural distinctness, how can we expect anyone else to? If the festival has gotten boring, letâs fix it. If itâs still enjoyable, please, tell us all about it.