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Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves gestures as he leads government officials and the media on a tour of disaster areas on the Leeward (western) side of St. Vincent. (IWN photo)
Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves gestures as he leads government officials and the media on a tour of disaster areas on the Leeward (western) side of St. Vincent. (IWN photo)

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves has been criticized for his assertion that human beings and nature are warring against each other.

“His expression we are at war with nature is a fiction. We depend on nature; nature feeds, clothes, waters us,” Oscar Allen, chairman of the People’s Movement for Change (PMC) said at a press conference on Wednesday.

(See also: Video– PMC criticizes PM Gonsalves’ handling of Christmas floods)

Gonsalves spoke of a war between nature and humans as he addressed a press conference on Monday about his government’s response after the devastating trough system on Christmas Eve, which claimed nine lives, left three persons missing and extensive damage to infrastructure and agriculture.

“The particular aberration which has happened is one which should bring us together, to recognize how we deal with and manage nature,” Allen said.

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He further said that he was struck by Gonsalves’ “disposition to be the man who is handling this.

“Now, that’s his right as our Prime Minister, but, at a time when the evidence is clear that it is something beyond the normal mandate of a prime minister, it is something extraordinary, then, I think I would fault him in this extraordinary affirmation that he alone, with the contacts that he can make, can rebuild St. Vincent and the Grenadines — he and his government,” Allen further said, adding, “That’s not true.”

12 replies on “PM’s ‘war with nature’ is a fiction, says PMC head”

  1. Patrick Ferrari says:

    I made a post on this war thing earlier saying that “Ralph does not think on his feet.” And he doesn’t. I simply meant that he should not have used the metaphor “war with nature” and compound it with “soldiers” because people would use them literally – for political gain. The same thing they are accusing him of doing.

    Which one of us thinks that he meant that he is going to take the SSU, round up volunteers, arm them with guns, jump in the jeeps and pick ups and drive into the night to shoot the rain and wind and the clouds? And the Gods of the weather should they get in the way.

    No Peter, Ralph is not a modern day Canute. Neither is he a mad scientist trying to control nature; nor a fanatical religious leader spoiling for a fight with God; nor a Chavez trying to do both.

    Comrade is a politician doing what they do best – using metaphors.

    What is the bigger sin, Ralph’s use of a metaphor, or pretending that the metaphor is literal – for political gain?

      1. Patrick Ferrari says:

        My point exactly. I speak for myself. I put my name to what I write. I am in the telephone directory (458 4708). My cell is 493 8883. My email is [email protected]. I live in Indian Bay, just below the Villa Lodge Hotel, first house on the right facing the beach,. Besides my container tractor, TT716, I drive a small white Chevy pick up, TL36. I can be found.

        You warned me to “watch yoself.” Watch for whom? A yellow-belly hiding behind a pen name?

  2. I have seen nothing where PM Gonsalves says he is tackling this alone. Everything he has said so far points toward him urging national togetherness to fight the impact of the disaster. Where does the PM say he is doing this alone. Instead, maybe PMC Chairman Oscar Allen’s comments are fiction

  3. Mr FERRARI, were these metaphors as well or were they words that were uttered by a man who cannot speak on his feet, perhaps we should not listen to anything he says off the cuff.

    I am here to finish the work of Maurice Bishop.

    Show me a liar and I will show you a thief.

    I sometimes tell lies.

    If I work Obeah I only work Obeah for the Lord.

    We are at war with nature.

    If what he says cannot be relied on to be the truth, to be fact, then can anything he says be taken as the truth or factual.

    By the way I remember some weeks ago your reference in you newspaper article about the log in the drain, about your warning of what would happen, and now how what you wrote has come true. Perhaps the cause of much of the airport flooding. I am sure they follow what you write pretty closely, shame they are unable to take any advice whatsoever.

  4. There is the biggest trough we have ever experienced due to hit SVG next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

    Its well on its way moving at 25 mph from the West African coast.

  5. Peter, you are becoming so predictable and waste that no one takes you seriously anymore. Show us you have more substance than the bile you exhale. People like you make others run away from the NDP. For the NDP sake, you need to change your ways and be more critcally constructive.

  6. Patrick Ferrari says:

    Youthman Peter, a metaphor is a figure of speech in which a name or descriptive word or phrase is transferred to an object or action different from, but analogous to, that to which it is literally applicable. – Oxford.

    Quoting you, “I am here to finish the work of Maurice Bishop” is a concrete commitment – not a metaphor. “Show me a liar and I will show you a thief” is a very old English saying and has nothing metaphorical about it. “I sometimes tell lies” is an honest admission of a fact. Again it is concrete and it is not a metaphor for anything. “If I work Obeah I only work Obeah for the Lord” is also a concrete statement. A person admitting to his practice. Again nothing metaphorical there.

    “We are at war with nature” is metaphor by which a concrete concept (war) helps us to understand a relatively abstract concept (the problems nature dealt us). It assists thought by evoking a visual image. Ralph’s “war with nature” is a metaphor but I suppose, since we cannot change a fact, then change the eyes with which you see the fact.

    Politicians love war metaphors. Ju Ju’s “war chest.” J Edgar Hoover’s “war on crime.” “War on drugs.” Bush’s “War on terrorism.” “Culture war.” “War on poverty.” “War on graffiti.” And on and on.

    Yes, the log in the gutter above the ETJ Airport caused the flooding at the airport. That’s concrete. But the log in the gutter is a metaphor for what caused the devastation of the Christmas rains. The Government is the log in the gutter, hence, it explains why so many logs appeared out of “nowhere” over the Christmas flooding.

    It does not matter if you are a nincompoop and don’t do your job, all you have to do is to wear Red and forget about the job. Red is all you need.

  7. OZBORNE, It would be a lot easier if I was NDP, but I am old Labour, remember the party that existed before it was sold to the Marxists? ULP is not Labour it is rank communist.

    FITZ OSBORNE, are you Marxist? would you join a new party called Real Labour? a party void of Marxist control and leadership. A party based on honesty, decency and truth. A party that didn’t allow family dynasties to take over and rule our land as if its their personal plantation? A party that respected rule of law for all not just applied to the working class, but also to regime leaders. A party that would never allow rape rallies and leadership worship. A party that would never tolerate lies and filth from its leaders, not allow hate, spite and malice and downright nastiness to be inflicted on any section of the countries citizenship.

    Seeing your blind support for exactly the opposite that you bring to these comments, I doubt you would ever be able to conjoin your beliefs to the decency that I describe.

  8. Patrick, thanks for the comprehensive contact info. Did you realize that that surname is the equivalent of the Enlish/’Anglo-Saxon surname “Smith” ?

    Let’s hope that I don’t experience a recurrence of the recent submit problems with this post. Cheers to all in Vincy.

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