The week that was
August 9, 2016

As any resident of a tiny country knows, there is nothing quite like the rush that you get when you see your flag prominently on the world stage. This week, local swimming star Shne Joachim flew that flag proudly, and well. Joachim – making her Olympics debut as “Izzy” instead of her better-known local name “Shne” – blasted out of the blocks in her 100m breaststroke heat and led the field at the 25-metre mark. Alas, the young mermaid faded down the stretch, and placed 7th, with a time of 1:17:37.{{more}} Shne’s time put her at 38th in the heats – not fast enough to move forward to the semis, but a promising start for the teenaged prodigy and a strong opening for a country that is just beginning to explore its vast swimming potential. We hope that Shne’s performance will inspire her and other young people to fly the Vincy flag even higher in four years’ time.


It’s been a while since Anesia Baptiste has managed to get her name in the newspapers. The leader of the Democratic Republican Party, which was a non-factor in the 2015 Elections, is best known for clashing with authority, being a poor team player, and her unshakeable commitment to your “fundamental rights and freedoms,” which she believes must be protected at all costs (unless you happen to be a “sodomite”). Because of these characteristics, the recent bassa-bassa over the Government’s proposed Cybercrime Bill was tailor-made for Mrs Baptiste’s special brand of self-righteous advocacy. After being invited to participate in the parliamentary committee that was amending the bill, Mrs Baptiste predictably butted heads with the Prime Minister and took to the media to reprise her role as chief obstructionist, which she played to great effect during the 2009 Constitutional Referendum debate. As usual, Mrs Baptiste has a couple of valid points and a genuine belief in the righteousness of her cause. In a country starved for genuine political opposition, this can get you on a few front pages for a few days. We hope, however, that Mrs Baptiste learns the other political arts, like negotiation, persuasion and consensus building, so that her career will realize its early promise. If not, it may be a few more years before she drifts on to our front pages again.


What’s going on in Rose Place? The seemingly sleepy community is apparently awash in drugs, guns and illicit cash. Also, if police are to be believed, Rose Place is also home to a pistol-packing, cocaine-concealing, ganja-grabbing grandmother, who was swept up with six other suspects in a door-to-door raid last week. Ever since the infamous “Operation Vincy Pac” marijuana crackdown in 2009, there have not been many major police operations targeting specific communities. Maybe our new Commissioner of Police plans a different approach. If Rose Place is a hot spot for illegal guns and hard drugs like cocaine, law enforcement has an obligation to intervene. But the obligation extends to other Government departments, like education and social welfare, to ensure that Rose Place residents have options beyond a life of crime.


Another day, another vehicular accident in North Windward. Over the weekend, one more minivan went tumbling off the road just past Sandy Bay, sending almost 10 people to the hospital. Thankfully, no one died this time. The accident was a troubling reminder of last year’s Rock Gutter tragedy, when a minivan plunged into the sea and cost the lives of seven school students. We have to ask: What’s the problem in North Windward? Do we need better infrastructure, like guard rails and street lights? Are the minivans poorly maintained, or recklessly driven? Are the roads themselves dangerous? Whatever the case, we have to identify the causes and come up with workable solutions. North Windward is too small to make this type of accident an annual occurrence.

If I had a question in SVG Parliament

We’d ask the Prime Minister to explain how someone’s address makes them a criminal suspect. While everyone was concerned with the potential rights of offensive Internet posters, the Royal SVG Police Force executed a search warrant that apparently allowed them to search all persons, vehicles and buildings in the entire community of Rose Place. We wonder what the response would be if police conducted this sort of unconstitutional dragnet in Cane Garden or Queen’s Drive?

Media Watch

In the run-up to the 2015 General Elections, Prime Minister Gonsalves promised Vincys in the Diaspora that they would be able to fly home directly to the Argyle International Airport to see the USA play Vincy Heat in a local World Cup Qualifier. With the match less than a month away, the Airport is still clearly under construction, and there are no announcements of new deadlines or confirmed airlines. The media should be actively monitoring this story and exploring the reasons for the delay. Instead, Drs Gonsalves and Matthias are getting a free pass. We believe in and support the Argyle Airport Project, but we’d like to know what’s really going on.