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From left: Political activist and social commentator, Jomo Thomas, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, Chair of the National Heroes Selection Committee, Rene Baptiste.
From left: Political activist and social commentator, Jomo Thomas, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, Chair of the National Heroes Selection Committee, Rene Baptiste.
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KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, April 29, IWN – Political activist and social commentator Jomo Thomas resigned from the National Heroes Selection Committee on Thursday in protest against a speech Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves delivered on national heroes one week earlier.

“I am convinced that the Prime Minister’s presentation has made our work superfluous,” Thomas wrote in his resignation letter to chair of the committee, former culture minister Rene Baptiste.

“His (Gonsalves’) talk was a good one and added much to the debate, but it has irreparably coloured and influence the debate particularly since PM Gonsalves is the head of cabinet, which makes the final decision as to who our next hero or heroes will be,” Thomas wrote.

The resignation came in the wake of Gonsalves’ lecture on the topic “The Making of a National Hero: The Law and Practice in St. Vincent and the Grenadines”, a large section of which was dedicated to making a case for this country’s first prime minister, Milton Cato, to be made a national hero.

The lecture was the third in a series organised by the University of the West Indies Open Campus.

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Historian Dr. Adrian Fraser and social commentator Dr. Kenneth John has made cases for George Augustus McIntosh and Ebenezer Theodore Joshua, respectively.

Gonsalves was initially scheduled to speak on the topic “National Hero Status: Consideration for McIntosh, Joshua and Cato”, but changed theme amidst protest from former parliamentarian Parnel Campbell Q.C. and social commentator Renwick Rose, among others, who argued that Gonsalves, as head of the Cabinet, should not advocate for any person(s) in particular to be made heroes.

But critics of the prime minister also say that while he changed the topic of the lecture, he still presented his arguments for Cato as a national hero, a point Thomas made in his resignation letter.

They have also said that the move to elevate Cato to national hero is a political one, intended to please the Labourite segment of the ruling Unity Labour Party ahead of the next general elections, constitutionally due in 2015.

But Gonsalves, who has criticised Cato in his speeches and writings in the past, has repeatedly argued that while he is head of the Cabinet, he is entitled to an opinion and that no candidate for national hero should be disqualified because of political calculations.

Thomas, in his resignation letter, said he “sat in the audience and eagerly wanted to challenge [and] rebut many of the points made by the PM as to why former Prime Minister Milton Cato should get serious consideration for the honour of national hero.

“But I kept my silence for the simplest of reasons: as a member of the National Heroes Committee I thought it would have been inappropriate and wrong for me to support or oppose any nominee.

“How then could it be right for the Prime Minister Gonsalves as the final arbiter of the selection process to weigh in on the debate with what was essentially a determined lobby for Robert Milton Cato.

“For the foregoing reasons I find no useful purpose in me remaining on the National Heroes Committee. I enjoyed working with you and the prestigious group of individuals who make up the committee and wish you well as you continue your work,” Thomas wrote to Baptiste.

The selection committee now comprises former minister of culture, John Horne; former speaker of the House of Assembly, Monty Maule; historian and teacher, Curtis King; Aubrey Burgin; Press Secretary to Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, Hans King; Edgar Adams and Rene Baptiste.

19 replies on “Jomo Thomas resigns from Heroes Committee in protest against PM’s lecture”

  1. Now here is a man of integrity. I need not say more, but individuals with such strong character and integrity is sorely lacking in our political system. I now hope the others will follow suit on the same principle, if they have any.

  2. The whole committee should resign if they have an ounce of integrity. Jomo is late to the game…but at least he is doing the right thing.
    Of course he should stand down…Gonsalves is acting as judge juror and executioner…How can the man with the ultimate power to decide on a nominee, is now putting forth is own choice for nomination? Who will or can overrule Gonsalves? It was always a total farce once Gonsalves inserts himself in the process of nomination. But at least better sense prevail and we can now look forward to a nomination process, seemingly untainted by the specter of political shenanigans…we hope.



    Gonsalves didn’t change the topic…he just CHANGE THE TITLE!!! Good one Ralph, just when I thought you were doing the honorable thing…you prove too much of a political animal to let this chance slip by. Well, lets resigned ourselves to the foregone conclusion…MILTON CATO WILL BE OUR NEXT NATIONAL HERO.

    I have no deep seated qualms about giving Cato or McIntosh or any Vincentian the title of National Hero…at the end of the day the elevation of these men, do not change one f’king thing in the daily lives of Vincentians. I just see this exercise as a tool for politicians like Gonsalves to use for political expediency. Like I mentioned before, Gonsalves involvement in this dialogue has tainted the whole process; given the fact that he has the ultimate power and influence to decide who gets elevated to National Hero status.


  3. There is a way to fix this mess and remove Gonsalves out of the process. Add the names of all of the nominees for national hero to the Election ballot in 2015 and let the voting public determine who will be their HERO. Case solved.

  4. Politicians should not even be considered as hero’s. They are elected by their electorate to do whatever is good for their supporters and society in general. If they do that, even in an outstanding way, that does not make them hero’s, I have never heard of anything so preposterous as what is going on at the moment at the behest of Ralph Gonsalves. Having a socialist committee to judge which past deceased socialists are to be put forward as hero’s.

    What rubbish is this that we Vincentians are being fed?

    Now if a politician offers their own life in exchange for that of a hostage, that is a hero, because that is not their job.

    If a politician stands in front of a child to knowingly shield them from a bullet or cutlass, that is a hero, because that is not their job.

  5. Why is Jomo Thomas surprise about Ralph’s action? I don’t live in SVG, but even I know that nothing moves unless/until Ralph say so. He should have known that the exercise was futile from the beginning. Parnell saw this coming when he rebuked Ralph earlier and I have to congratulate him on the stance he took. Let’s see if the others have as much balls as an ant and resign.
    My question is what has Cato done for Vincentians? Folks I am not referring to SVG, but Vincentians. Next they will soon include Nancy and Ralph (the biggest jokers to govern SVG).

  6. patrickferrari says:

    Bravo Jomo, bravo. Ten times, bravo, lad. (The truth be told, I am not surprised. Not even a little bit.)

    Now go and teach that to Julian Francis (the Tenders Board deal to start with), Hans King, Glen Beache, Allan Alexander, Montgomery Daniel … aw, forget it. Just say plenty others.

    I have more to say, and will, in another place.

  7. So what if Ralphie puts in his two bits, and says whom he thinks should be his choice for national hero?
    That does not change the game. Ralph does not have the last say in this matter, regardless of his position on the committee, or for that matter as head of government.
    On the other hand, does Ralph have a say in this matter? Yes he does, as much as all Vincentians.
    It appears to me that this is turning out to be some intellectual charade, with no grass roots participation in sight. When are we going to hear from the masses about their choices for national heroes? Or maybe they do not give a darn.
    Jomo’s resignation from the committee is a childish act. Jomo like all the others who oppose the comrade, should write their own papers and give their presentation like the comrade, and see who would care…I bet you no one would.
    I for one think that George McIntosh and Ebenezer Joshua should be our next National Heroes.
    They were to me the people’s man, not Milton Cato…but the latter should be recognized and given some other honors.

  8. Eric, what exactly the CHILDISH DECISION by Jomo has to do with STRONG CHARACTER and INTEGRITY??

    Eric, here is your CHANCE to EXPOUND on your claim instead of PUSSYFOOTING around it.

  9. Jomo’s decision to resign from the National Heroes Selection Committee is nothing more than an exercise in BRATTY behavior on his part.

    Jomo, it seems, is saying that persons on the committee do not have a MIND of your THEIR OWN, thus Dr. Gonsalves’ speech, for example, on why Milton Cato should be considered for NATIONAL HERO status is going to compromised the ABILITY of the NATIONAL HEROES SELECTION COMMITTEE to do their work, DISPASSIONATELY and PROFESSIONALLY.

    Jomo, you are acting like a CRYBABY.

    It is clear to me that Jomo came to the realization that Dr. Gonsalves’ speech was so detailed, POWERFUL and PROFOUND that he felt that whatever agenda he had going into that exercise would failed.

    The SAD part about Jomo’s CHILDISH decision is this; he will be unable to make the kind of COMPELLING CASE on behalf of his choice for national hero status that Dr. Gonsalves made on behalf of Milton Cato.

    Frankly, I am glad that Jomo resigned, because his contribution on the committee would not have been one of a personal agenda. Therefore, I am happy that Dr. Gonsalves’ POWERFUL and MULTI-LAYERED SPEECH pushed him down the road of resignation.

    That said; I am willing to bet my last penny neither Jomo nor anyone who agrees that Milton Cato should not be considered for national hero status would NEVER EVER debate Dr. Gonsalves on this issue. It is that REALITY why many of them can only go on the airwaves or the newspaper to voice their childish reasons for why Milton Cato should not be considered for national hero status.

    Jomo, I dare you to challenge Dr. Gonsalves in a one on one debate on this issue.

    By the way, why is Jomo not saying that ET Joshua and George McIntosh should not be nominated for national hero status?

    Dr. Kenneth John and Dr. Adrian Frazier are both on the National Heroes Committee, and they have made compelling cases as to why George McIntosh and ET Joshua should be our NEXT National Hero, so how come Jomo did not say he is resigning because these two men have “irreparably coloured and influence the debate” on who should be our next national hero?

    Fellas, like Jomo, need to LIFT their INTELLECTUAL and PROGRESSIVE game, because they are just making themselves out to be a SPOIL SPORTS.

    In other words, his decision to resign has more to do him feeling he cannot rise to the POWERFUL, THOROUGH and COMPELLING level in opposition to Cato being considered for national hero status as achieved by Dr. Gonsalves in support of him being considered.


  11. The kind of attack that VINCYTHESTINKERPOWA makes on JOMO THOMAS shows just what disgusting politics the ULP MARXIST regime are willing to play to support GONSALVES when he is attacked, and in this case rightfully so.
    The usual nasty names in an attempt destroy and belittle JOMO, just as if he was the enemy, he gets the same treatment.

    Here are some of the names that STINKERPOWA uses when describing JOMO:

    VINCYSTINKERPOWA, is a paid collaborator on this particular site, paid by the ULP regime, to attack any thing or anybody that may expose the truth that will damage the regime or GONSALVES its leader. Right or wrong really does not matter, an attack will be made, as can be seen in VINCYSTINKERS preceding blog. Of course an attempt to destroy JOMO’S reputation or credibility would have to be approved by the fat man, as a fellow Marxist and usually a friend and supporter of the ULP JOMO would have to be an approved hit for political destruction. VINCYSTINKER is a GONSALVES political hitman on these sites, he does as he is told and instructed, no mind of his own because it was sold it to Saint Vincents Obiman.

    Having said all that I do not approve of JOMO THOMAS any more than I approve of RALPH GONSALVES, they are both of the same ilk.

    But in this case Thomas showed his superiority to Gonsalves politicaly, when he had the political spunk to resign from the hero committee. Which in my view is a group of people owned, and orchestrated by their puppeteer master, Gonslaves, who pulls their strings and operates their minds. Thomas resigned because he was not under the control of the puppeteer, he knew what Gonsalves did was wrong and I believe he probably without success tried to reason with Gonsalves about the matter, only resigning after he got no results. The committee is really a sham. a group of people put together who the puppeteer master thought he could control, people who would be yes men and woman [Red Rene], rubber stampers of whatever person Gonsalves decided was hero.

    As for VINCYPOWA, he is just a nobody, who uses a false name and comes from a cyber world where much of the cyber scum are located. He is just the hatchet man.

    You may remember I recently posted this, which I found on the internet:

    Verbal abuse, physical abuse and emotional abuse all come from a need to control.
    It is that need to control that, is the main factor in the destruction of relationships and our society in general.

    Those who have feelings of fear, worthlessness, inadequacy and shame that turn into control freaks. Their feelings of their own self-worth are tied to how well they can get others to bend to their whims and to follow their orders. They have a driving need to get control of their lives, which means controlling circumstances, and people.

    Control freaks have a low tolerance for any kind of emotional pain. Especially feelings of shame, fear and rejection of what they believe to be right and wrong. In fact many such freaks do not know right from wrong. When something happens in their life to bring forth these intolerable emotions they find ways to cope and normally their coping skills mean abuse for those around them.

    Here is a list of coping skills a control freak might resort to, in order to get their way.
    Yelling, screaming, using degrading and demeaning language.

    Calling people nasty names and attempting to destroy them by the power of control.

    Believing themselves to always be right.

    Interfering in the livelihoods of those who they cannot control, often attempting get them dismissed from their place of employment.

    Believing and telling others that only they can succeed in completing a project, projects or even the planning of projects.

    Blaming others for all that is wrong, even when the wrong is clearly their own fault.

    Awarding those who submit to their control.

    Administering spite and malice to those who oppose their control.

    Talking for hours to explain a simple matter that only requires a yes or no answer, or a simple and short answer. A need to control the listener, group or audience.

    Rape and sexual abuse of those close to them and even to strangers, is manifestly a control trait.

    Shutting down and not talking or responding to the need to discuss the problems.

    Withholding affection, financial help or anything else they think you need from them.

    Hitting, shoving, punching, kicking.

    Control freaks are usually cowards who look to others under their control for protection.

    Each of the above behaviours is an attempt by the abuser to tranquilize the intolerable emotional pain they feel when feeling out of control. Instead of looking internally and trying to figure out why they have such negative emotions they bury the pain, live in denial of it and distort the reality of their behaviours. How often have you heard an abuser blame the person they abuse for their actions? It is easier to blame someone else for bad behaviour than to admit they need help and to face those painful emotions head on.

    VINCYPOWA, you are totally under his control, under the spell of the Vincentian Obiman.

    Politicians should not even be considered as hero’s. They are elected by their electorate to do whatever is good for their supporters and society in general. If they do that, even in an outstanding way, that does not make them hero’s, I have never heard of anything so preposterous as what is going on at the moment at the behest of Ralph Gonsalves. Having a socialist committee to judge which past deceased socialists are to be put forward as hero’s.
    What rubbish is this that we Vincentians are being fed?
    Now if a politician offers their own life in exchange for that of a hostage, that is a hero, because that is not their job.
    If a politician stands in front of a child to knowingly shield them from a bullet or cutlass, that is a hero, because that is not their job.

  12. I don’t think the PM should have any say in who our heroes are. Rene Baptiste is so arrogant she may just elect herself. Lately our PM has stated that too many concessions are being granted. Apparently he wants there to be no incentive for anyone to operate a business in St Vincent. Import duties are astronomical already. Average duty in the USA is about 6-7% In SVG average duty is about 40-60% and that % is also on shipping costs and insurance (even if you didn’t get insurance you have to pay duty for it, an example of LEGALIZED CORRUPTION SVG STYLE). Then you have to pay Customs service charge, then a “tailgate” fee, then a Customs Broker fee,… in all, when you pay 40% you actually pay about 100%, then, getting rid of concessions??? WOW! that will really make businesses want to “spring-up” in SVG. We can’t forget to mention all the new taxes and the increases in existing taxes! No wonder Gonsalves has created a Failed State, with a failed economy!

  13. By the way Cowhead, brother Colin has given away your secret for the second time, gets loose mouthed when at dinner overseas.

    The IRS thanked me for the information and although they never said as such, I am sure you are being fully investigated.

    From a banking contact I am told they have already been in contact with all the Kingstown banks asking for details of all transfers from the USA to bank accounts. So your behaviour has not only affected you, it will catch up all those American/Vincentians who are not paying US tax on money they deposit in SVG.

    Well done Cowhead, well done. You have brought the house down on everyone.

  14. Reds under the beds, yes there are reds under our beds. Red Ralph and Red Rene with a Red committee making red decisions on past red scum bags.

    Just the same thing that happened in in the time of Red Russia, making a National Hero’s of Stalin, then the award became known as the Stalin hero award, ‘Hero‘s of the Soviet Union‘. This award was given to people during their life time, not just after their death. It was given to just about everyone, everyone that is who was a rank and file member of the communist party. Sea Scouts, cosmonauts, Pilots, Military people such as Marshals, Generals, fighter pilots, party leaders, in fact anyone who did an outstanding job as party members.
    Stalin himself introduced rape into the Russian military, Russian soldiers were encouraged to rape in whatever country they marched into, it gave the army [known as the Red Army] an advantage of being feared.

    Stalin himself was responsible for approximately 20 million deaths, including up to 14.5 million needlessly starved to death. At least one million executed for political “offences”. At least 9.5 million more deported, exiled or imprisoned in work camps, with many of the estimated five million sent to the ‘Gulag Archipelago’ never returning alive. Other estimates place the number of deported at 28 million, including 18 million sent to the ‘Gulag’.

    Now is that what you call a hero? well it was in communist Russia.

    The Red Chinese have the same system of awarding communist party members as the Russians.
    Chairman Mao, Mao Tse-tung, is a Chinese National Hero.
    Historians describe him a dictator whose administration oversaw systematic human rights abuses, and whose rule is estimated to have caused the deaths of 40–70 million people mainly through starvation, forced labour and executions, placing his rule at the top of the list of most people killed by democide in human history.

    Now is that what you call a hero? well it is in communist China.

    Yes we all know that our past politicians never did any of those things, but I contest, even if they had, we would still be considering them as hero’s. Stalin and Mao are hero’s in the eyes of some of our current Marxist-Leninist red rat scum bags here in the islands.

    We must stop this crap of making politicians National Hero’s. They saved no one and did nothing heroic. Just there job, and not very well at that.

  15. Our pseudo national hero, I believe will be his choice, not ours, not the committees.

    Pseudo = artificial, bogus, counterfeit, fake, imitation, pretend.

    Yes the people put forward as National Hero’s carry all of those titles when it comes to heroism.


  16. PATRICK FERRARI, you wrote “Bravo Jomo, bravo. Ten times, bravo, lad. (The truth be told, I am not surprised. Not even a little bit.) Now go and teach that to Julian Francis (the Tenders Board deal to start with), Hans King, Glen Beache, Allan Alexander, Montgomery Daniel”.

    Patrick with due respect I think your analysis is disjointed. JOMO THOMAS resigned because of what someone else did, he couldn’t agree with what Gonsalves quite wrongly did, and opted out of the usual Marxist solidarity at any cost, and took the brave step of dumping the committee.

    All the other people who you listed, who I personally regard as scum, they are alleged to of done something themselves that decent people consider wrong. If its true what they did, they should in all common decency have resigned on being exposed. In fact in normal times, or under the leadership of a respectable leader, they would of been called into the leaders office and given the option of resigning or being fired.

    But these are not normal times, and these are not normal political behaviours or practices by the ULP leaders. In any other country they would of been thrown out on their ear, but here, anything can happen. Because decency is not a part of this Marxist regimes vocabulary or criteria for proper behaviour. The behaviour of people in my view is an emulation of the ULP party and its government leaders.

    When you have a leader who has been accused by 5 different women, charged with sex crimes by two of them, yet did everything possible not to have these cases tried. A man with a dirty mouth, who uses dirty indecent gestures to citizens, who calls citizens outrageously indecent, improper and untrue names. This behaviour anywhere else
    would not be tolerated for one moment. The price of this man staying in power is that he does and says what he likes, and in return he allows his own appointees the same privilege. That is why the ULP allow him to do exactly as he wants, say what he wants and allows him to do what he wants, without any control whatsoever on his actions.

    Patrick, Jomo Thomas resigned for what another and others did to £iss him off, different scenario.

    You may also notice all those people who you name got better jobs after they were accused, which I believe was a reward for sticking with the regimes solidarity policy.

    A politician will do anything to keep his job – even become a patriot.
    William Randolph Hearst

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