The week that was
April 5, 2016

To quote Darren Sammy, the two-time skipper of victorious World Twenty/20 Windies squads, “West Indies are champions!” After a hat-trick of Twenty/20 World Cup victories by our Under-19 boys, our women and our beleaguered men’s team, the West Indies’ mastery of cricket’s shortest format must now be accepted as a fact. Vincentians nation-wide, like Caribbean nationals across the region, were on the edge of their seats as the men’s squad entered the final over requiring 19 runs.{{more}} Rookie Carlos Brathwaite improbably responded to this moment of pressure with four sixes in the first four balls of the over, and the cricket fans from Jamaica to Guyana went wild in celebration. It was a victory that the region sorely needed.

But Captain Sammy did more than simply lead his band of underdogs to a second world championship in four years. He also delivered a riveting post-game speech that killed any hope that the bumbling West Indies Cricket Board may have had about claiming credit for the recent successes. Sammy slammed the Board’s incompetence and its indifference, while bigging up the players, coaches and CARICOM leaders who have been challenging the Board’s clueless president, Dave Cameron. Sammy’s men, and his post-game comments, reminded us all of the strength, courage and determination of our West Indian people.


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The sport of swimming is increasingly a family affair in SVG, with the Halbich brothers ruling the open seas and the Joachim clan dominating the pools. Last week, the Shné Joachim and her little brother Alexander proved that their local dominance can be replicated in regional pools, as both medalled in the recently-concluded CARIFTA Swimming Championship, which was held in Martinique. The Joachims earned a bronze and two silvers in the breaststroke, the family specialty. With the recent investment in a new Aquatic Centre at Shewsbury House, and a resurgent interest in swimming among young Vincentians, we have high hopes for Vincy swimmers in the future, even beyond the Halbich-Joachim dynasties.


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At some point, the law of averages suggests that Arnhim Eustace will have a good week. This isn’t that good week. Even when he gets good news – like when the Court refused to accept the Government’s request to toss his election petitions – that good news comes with the promise of even worse news in the future. According the the Court, the only thing wrong with the Government’s application was the time and place that it came before the judge. If the Government brings the same application in open Court at the beginning of the election petitions hearings, it is “bound to succeed.” In other words, the NDP’s election petitions aren’t going anywhere. They just got a stay of execution.

To add insult to injury, after Eustace’s broadcast request for his supporters to converge outside the Courthouse to hear the judgement, fewer than 100 die-hards bothered to heed their leader’s call to arms. It’s one thing when the Court doesn’t want to hear you. It’s quite another when your own supporters have tuned you out as well.


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Judy Richardson may have all sorts of valid points in her dispute with Felix “Crab” Thomas over their living arrangements. Mr Thomas may indeed be the rum-drinking, irrational, misbehaving old man that she portrays. But there is absolutely no justification for the public and violent physical abuse that Ms Richardson meted out to Mr Thomas in Calder last week. In an incident caught on tape and circulated widely online, Ms Richardson can been seen slapping and kicking the elderly man while he is on the ground and crying out for someone to help him. Ms Richardson is much younger than Mr Thomas and is significantly sturdier as well, to put it mildly. You have to wonder if the giggles and gleeful online comments would have been similar if the video showed a strong young man beating up an old woman. Domestic abuse and elder abuse are real and serious crimes in SVG, and must be rejected, not celebrated. To no one’s surprise, the victim of the abuse is now saying that he forgives his abuser and wants no further police action. But that forgiveness, whether coerced or genuine, should not give anyone the idea that physically attacking elderly people is OK.

If I had a question in SVG Parliament

…I’d ask why Parliament is bothering to meet today. With a slim agenda and no urgent bills to pass, there is no real need to convene a meeting. It seems as if the Speaker might be trying to rush through the six sittings of Parliament necessary to kick the boycotting Opposition out of the House. In SVG, we’re accustomed to Parliament passing laws, not passing time.

Media Watch

Talk radio loudmouth Dwight “Bing” Joseph is facing a half-million dollar defamation lawsuit from politician Ben Exeter and his always-busy team of lawyers. What’s interesting about the lawsuit is not the facts, but the coverage of the lawsuit in social and traditional media. The same people who are traditionally up in arms and claiming press intimidation when the Prime Minister sues a media house have somehow managed to applaud Exeter’s litigious approach to media. Does anyone in SVG say anything that isn’t coloured by political perspective?