The week that was
May 31, 2016

Better late than never: Back in 2014, in the wake of the devastating Christmas Eve floods, the Government collaborated with budding entertainment moguls Luke Boyea, Alex Barnwell and Gamal “Skinny Fabulous” Doyle in hosting a benefit concert to help in the reconstruction effort. The money raised by the concert was to go towards rebuilding the Maternity Ward of the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, which was badly damaged by the floods.{{more}} Last week, Boyea and his companions handed over a cheque for $185,000 to help pay the contractor who was in charge of the new Maternity Ward. Although it took a ridiculously long time to hand over the money – the $100K raised by a similar local concert to benefit Dominica was delivered within a couple months – we’re glad that the money was used for its intended purpose. We also hope that Skinny Fabulous and Minister Camillo Gonsalves – the common denominators in both the Christmas Eve and Dominica benefit concerts – don’t wait for another disaster to organize more first-class charitable events for worthy causes.


Women’s cricket doesn’t command much attention in the consciousness of the average Vincy sports fan, just like its sister sport of women’s football. But our female cricketers and footballers are quietly becoming regional powers. Last week, SVG won two thrilling limited overs encounters with Grenada, winning by two runs in the first match and a single run in the second. While Team SVG dropped a T/20 match to the Spice Islanders, we played exciting, high-quality cricket throughout, and demonstrated nerves of steel. Here’s hoping that our male cricketers, who are in Grenada for the Windward Islands Tournament, take their cue from their sisters’ stellar performances.


Another day, another unfounded claim from Arnhim Eustace. Remember the one about 250 double-voting Vincentians? Well, let’s add to that his new tale of 250 Cuban voters. Eustace’s brief speech at his party’s Sion Hill Rally last week was notable only for his suggestion that every Cuban working on the Argyle Airport was granted citizenship by the Government, and that over 250 Cubans were eligible voters in the December 2015 elections. The Permanent Secretary responsible for citizenship matters has already branded Eustace’s claim as rubbish, and will hopefully refute the allegations with hard data. This latest claim is right in line with Eustace’s usual hysteria about invading Venezuelans, Iranians and Cubans, and his constant paranoia about electoral skullduggery. It’s also another troubling window into the mind of a man who is either so gullible that he believes anything, or so cynical that he will say anything.


St Clair “Jimmy” Prince had his first bad week as Minister of Education. First, his Ministry rashly banned school fairs and field trips nationwide, as an overreaction to two unfortunate deaths at school-related activities. The hearts of the Ministry officials were no doubt in the right place, but the proper response was not a unilateral law against fun and field trips. The Minister is already backing down in the face of predictable parent and teacher outrage. To add to his bad week, Minister Prince has to defend officials who say that the crumbling Canouan Government School is safe, against the Teachers Union, independent engineers and the general public, who don’t need a degree to understand that massive cracks in the building are not a good thing. Minister Prince’s background in media should serve him well in his efforts to put this rough week behind him.

If I had a question in SVG Parliament

…I’d ask the Minister of Legal Affairs and the Attorney General if their defense in the electoral petitions cases is to prove that the Government is far too incompetent to manage election fraud. All that was needed for the cases to be heard last week was a notice printed in the newspaper, but someone, somewhere, botched that simple task. If the Government can’t even win a case that the judge has already predicted they will win, how could they rig an entire election to secure victory?

Media Watch

The economic ratings agency Moody’s has marginally upgraded SVG’s credit rating, suggesting that the national economy is turning the corner. The Government is, predictably, crowing about their upgrade. But last year, when Moody’s was saying that the economy was in the toilet, the Government claimed that Moody’s didn’t know what it was talking about. Instead of just reporting the Moody’s rating, shouldn’t the press be confronting Government spokespersons with their previous attacks on the agency?