The week that was
December 29, 2015
Best Week ever

Hearts of Charity donating gift bags for children of Chateaubelair and surrounding areas

As usual, the Spirit of Giving enjoys a good week during the Holiday Season. Whether it’s corporations like Digicel bringing Christmas cheer to children with special needs; Diaspora-based Vincies and groups like Ann Jones-Cupid or Hearts of Charity giving back to the Louis Punnett Home or children from Chateaubelair;{{more}} or countless other small acts of kindness and charity by local churches, community groups and generous individuals; we all seem to remember the needy and less fortunate at Christmas time. Since we have managed to stretch the political season well beyond the once-every-five-years election cycle, maybe we can also extend the Christmas Spirit past New Year’s Day, so that our generosity can have a lasting impact on the lives of Vincentians in need of a helping hand.


The annual “Talent Behind the Walls” 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. It’s not just talent locked up behind the walls, but people – mothers, fathers, brothers, sons and friends. As a concert, “Talent Behind the Walls” 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.



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.” On top of that, Eustace declared that “to go to Parliament would be to concede [the election], and we are not conceding.”

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.” These “technical reasons” apparently have something to do with Eustace’s 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 Eustace’s flip-flop is that the law didn’t 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 Eustace’s 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 proof” of vote rigging makes it into a courtroom.



We don’t envy Colin Williams, the Director of Public Prosecutions. Many of his decisions fall into the “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” category. Take, for example, his pledge to bring charges against Nice Radio’s Douglas DeFreitas and others for spreading “false news likely to cause fear or alarm.” 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? DeFreitas’ 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

I’d ask what to call Arnhim Eustace after he is sworn in. Can you be called “Leader of the Opposition” if you refuse to concede that your party is, actually, in opposition? Is he going to try to sit in Ralph Gonsalves’ chair on the Government side of the House? Maybe we should call Gonsalves the “official” Prime Minister and Eustace the “unofficial, self-declared Prime Minister.” Would that make everyone happy?

Media Watch

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 can’t get excited about our own cultural distinctness, how can we expect anyone else to? If the festival has gotten boring, let’s fix it. If it’s still enjoyable, please, tell us all about it.