The week that was
September 20, 2016


In an effort to snatch triumph from tragedy, quick-thinking residents of Fitz-Hughes tried to save a precious life, after a newborn baby was apparently tossed away like garbage into a pit latrine. When discovered in the pit, a few residents thankfully sprung into action, which is more than can be said for the nitwits who thought that it was a better idea to stand back and record the drama on their mobile phones. Diving into the foul-smelling pit, the baby was retrieved, and for four days, the precious soul fought for his life at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, until he could fight no more. The questions of how and why an innocent infant ended up in a toilet must be answered, and the perpetrator punished for taking an innocent life. But we must also celebrate the courage and decisiveness of the baby’s rescuers.{{more}}


Kay Bacchus-Baptiste must be one terrific lawyer. As the attorney of choice for NDP activists who’ve run afoul of the law (and the spouse of choice for one NDP electoral candidate), you can forgive Mrs Bacchus-Baptiste for imagining political conspiracies and biases everywhere she looks. The myth of a proud party under siege by a corrupt PM and his henchmen is, after all, deeply ingrained in the NDP psyche. But how does Bacchus-Baptiste use her paranoia to scare magistrates out of court by requesting recusals for any matter involving her clients? Last week, Bacchus-Baptiste demanded – and got magistrate Zoila Ellis-Browne to recuse herself from a case involving Nice Radio loudmouth Duggie De Freitas. What was the magistrate’s perceived conflict? Well, according to Bacchus-Baptiste, the fact that Ellis-Browne is married to a man who last stood for an election as a ULP candidate back in 2005 makes her ineligible to hear any case that involves political matters in 2016. Never mind that magistrate Ellis-Browne was never a candidate, or that her husband Mike Browne stayed far away from all political events in the most recent election. Apparently, if a man campaigned for the ULP back in 2005, his spouse is to recuse herself from matters of this nature. 

Bertie Pompey has been intimidated by Bacchus-Baptiste’s hot air, but the recusal disease seems to be spreading. At this rate, it’s becoming a habit. Soon lawyers will start thinking that they have a right to pick the judge who they think will give them the decision they want. That’s bad for the judicial system, and bad for justice.


If this were a horror movie, the empty graves at the Bellevue Mt Grenan Cemetery would be a telltale prelude to a night of terror at the hands of undead zombies. But this isn’t a horror movie, it’s real life in SVG. The late Agnes Gonsalves and Ruby McMillian were each laid to rest over 30 years ago. Now, their bones have been dug up, and their grave sites are empty. What’s going on? Is crime so bad now that it can reach beyond this mortal plane? It’s a slippery slope: One day someone is stealing wreaths from tombs. Next thing you know, people are stealing the graves themselves. It almost makes you wish Jumbies were real, to haunt the lives of those who disturbed these ladies’ final rest.


Poor Carlos James. In a week when he was trying to get some positive media attention through his association with a scholarship programme for North Leeward Community College students, all anyone wants to talk about is his epic Facebook rant against the authorities who shut down Arnos Vale’s Chill Spot restaurant. James is a ULP parliamentarian, so some of the interest is the kind that is generated when a politician seems to break ranks with his party. But, more than that, people are talking about James’s choice of media (Facebook) and words (“just plain stupid”) to vent his feelings. Did James feel compelled to go to social media after some internal complaint was ignored? Was he angry because of his love for Chill Spot’s grilled pork? Or was this simply a botched attempt to cast himself as a maverick voice of John Public? Whatever it was, it backfired. Even strong supporters of Chill Spot proprietor Garth Lance Oliver are saying that James’s comments aren’t helping their cause.

If I had a question in SVG Parliament

I’d ask the Minister of Transport and Works if his Government is keeping track of just how many minibus accidents are happening each week in SVG. The latest is the overturn of the minibus “Skully” in Biabou, which sent passenger Annesley Roban to the hospital with two broken arms. As the list of accidents and close calls grows, the question lingers: What is the Government doing about it?


Media Watch

Another week, another treatise in the newspaper from Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. After his lengthy article on Taiwan-China relations a few weeks ago, the PM was back last week with a five-page dissertation on CSEC results. We have to ask: Is a newspaper the best medium to distribute these long policy documents? Even though everyone is seeing them, is anyone actually reading them? It might be better to pen a short article, that lots of people read, rather than a long one that everyone ignores.