The week that was
June 7, 2016

All hail the Queen! Nikianna Williams bested seven other beauties to claim the coveted title of Miss Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The native of Diamonds village was easily the class of the pageant, winning best swim wear, best evening wear and best interview. An aspiring child psychologist, Nikianna’s title will now give her the opportunity to pursue her career dreams. The pageant itself was plagued with all of the issues that usually bedevil CDC events, but since the Miss SVG show is the unofficial start of the Carnival season, we’re willing to look past the logistical issues and celebrate our beautiful and talented new queen. Well done!{{more}}


The governing Unity Labour Party once again proved its ability to out-mobilize its opponents, drawing over 1,000 loyalists to Campden Park for their most recent party convention. The Opposition, on the other hand, held a march whose attendance was too robust to be called a failure, but well short of what any objective observer would call a success. PM Gonsalves’ address stressed that he is serious about transition, putting his followers on notice that he will not be leading the ULP into the next elections. However, with only six months between their election victory and the convention, it was dispiriting to hear Gonsalves already teasing/threatening that a fresh election poll may be right around the corner.

Annual elections may be an exciting diversion for Gonsalves and Eustace loyalists, but what we really need is for the people we elected to do what they’re supposed to do: govern.


How the mighty have fallen! Once upon a time, Dave Ames, the head honcho of the Buccament Bay Resort, was a big man in SVG. He had easy access to the Prime Minister, he was granted Vincentian citizenship, and he was allowed to play fast and loose with the tax man and other local creditors. Today, with legal nooses at home and abroad growing ever tighter, Ames’ clout ain’t what it used to be. Clear proof of Ames’ declining importance was SVG immigration officials treating Ames’ son, Matthew, like a common illegal immigrant. Officially, young Ames’ was denied entry into SVG last week because he didn’t have a work permit. But many are wondering why, all of a sudden, his lack of a permit is an issue. Now that the British High Court is taking the extraordinary step of coming down to SVG to hear a US$70 million claim Dave Ames has brought against his auditors and accountants, we have to wonder: will the claimant, and his son, be granted permission to enter SVG and attend the trial? Or will they be deported at ET Joshua?


Poor Queen Elizabeth II. Just last month, she was celebrating her 90th birthday at Windsor Castle. Last week, she got SVG’s belated birthday present: a new law that removes her name from any oaths of allegiance made by Vincy officials. Once upon a time, the sun never set on the British Empire, and men and women of all races and background swore their loyalty to Her Majesty and her heirs. Today, the once-vast Empire has been whittled down to a mere 16 “realms,” and SVG, one of the tiniest of those realms, has lost the appetite for public acts of subservience. The change in the law, like the oath itself, is mostly symbolic. But some symbols are important, far-reaching, and long overdue.

If I had a question in SVG Parliament

… I’d ask the Prime Minister to spell out in detail his plan to address the recent increase in violent crimes, especially gun crimes. The leadership of the Police Force seems either complacent or helpless in the face of these acts. The Prime Minister has a responsibility to provide the leadership – either himself or through the Police Force – to help Vincentians feel safer at night.

Media Watch

In the endless cycle of breathless he-said/she-said reporting that masquerades as journalism in SVG, hardly anyone is confronted with their inaccuracies, contradictions or bold-faced lies. That’s why the Midweek edition of the Searchlight was a breath of fresh air. After Eustace claimed that the Government was acting suspiciously by secretly introducing new ID cards to schoolchildren, the Searchlight pointed out that the Government has been far from secretive, and even had press conferences on the issue. Hopefully this will encourage other media houses to call our loose-lipped leaders to account.