The week that was
April 19, 2016

A week after the nation’s best schoolboy and schoolgirl athletes found glory at various inter-school games, last week was the turn of our budding brainiacs to be recognized. Abigail Scott was lauded as this year’s top overall student, after the Girls’ High School alum recorded a stunning 15 grade one passes at last year’s Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations.{{more}} Scott was joined by former Thomas Saunders student Jeremiah Augustus, who copped the prize of Top Male Performer. The Girls’ High School once again waltzed home with the prize for best overall CSEC results. Overall, national CSEC results improved slightly over last year, though there is still lots of room for improvement and consistency nationwide. By recognizing our best and brightest, we hope that other students will buckle down and emulate Abigail and Jeremiah’s examples.


It’s not often that a cow grabs our attention, but this week saw the birth of Ja-C, a 72-pound calf, who is SVG’s first product of an artificial insemination programme that began nine months ago. The calf was named “Ja-C” in honour of Jamaica and Cuba, which contributed the semen and the expertise to get the insemination programme underway. SVG, which recently ramped up its export of cattle to Grenada, and has plans for greater regional export, needs to “beef up” its stock of cattle and improve the genetic diversity of the local population. With the birth of Ja-C, we hope to see more Vincy farmers exploring the possibility of livestock rearing as a viable business. Of course, to make beef farming more attractive, you need more than some cute new calves. You need an effective programme to combat praedial larceny and the animal thieves that are striking our rural communities at will.


Cuthbert Victory was viciously attacked last week. Two people pushed him into a gutter and held him there, while a third person poured a pot of scalding liquid over his body. The liquid literally burned the flesh from Victory’s body, leaving large skinless patches on his back, chest, arms and face. Like so many other recent cases of crime and abuse, the entire incident was caught on video by onlookers. The attack was shocking. What was even more shocking, however, was the identity of the attackers, and their reported motives for their brutal act. Mr Victory was pushed, held, and burned by a popular pastor and his family! The pastor, who reportedly has his ministry in Mesopotamia, did not deny responsibility for the attack. Instead, he said that he was engaged in “spiritual warfare” on behalf of God. Those shameless comments are indistinguishable from the fundamentalist intolerance that motivates ISIS and other Islamic terrorists around the world. The Bible says “judge not, lest ye be judged.” We hope that the court’s judgment is swift and severe for this crime. Let he that is without sin throw the first pot of boiling water.


Trust Arnhim Eustace to find a dark cloud in the national effort to make sure that no Vincentian goes to bed hungry. The recently-created “Zero Hunger Trust Fund” envisages using a special tax on mobile phone calls to pay for efforts to eradicate hunger in SVG. The Fund is managed by non-partisan civil servants and business leaders. You’d think this was a good thing. However, Eustace, still smarting from his party’s election defeat five months ago, has refused to nominate anyone to the board of the Zero Hunger Trust Fund, as the law permits him to do. Eustace’s reason for boycotting the initiative is basically the same reason he has for boycotting parliament: if he’s not prime minister, he’s not participating in anything, however worthwhile. There is hunger and there is hunger for power. Unfortunately the trust fund only addresses one of these problems.

If I had a question in SVG Parliament

I would ask the Prime Minister if the Government’s failed prosecution of businessman Adrian Deane on charges of human trafficking was based on real facts, or on a desire to curry favour with the American authorities that were threatening to punish SVG for not doing enough to fight human traffickers.

Media Watch

Is there a relationship between the media’s uncritical relationship with Flow and Digicel and the number of advertisements purchased by the telephone service providers? It seems that our newspapers, radio airwaves and online news sources are blanketed in advertisements from Flow and Digicel. However, despite a steady stream of complaints from consumers, the media has generally taken a “hands-off” approach to those companies. Is this lazy journalism, or are the advertising dollars buying silence?