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Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. (IWN file photos)
Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. (IWN file photos)

That was the response of Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves to a reporter’s question about whether he (the PM) erred when he made a statement that some persons have interpreted to mean that educational tourism can outstrip the contribution of bananas in its heyday to the Vincentian economy.

“This is an industry (education tourism) which can bring us more money than bananas brought us in the heyday. It wouldn’t have the wide base as bananas in the heyday had, but in terms of the dollars, the knock on effect and so on and so forth,” Gonsalves said at a press conference on Sept. 1.

He made the statement as he wrapped up a presentation on the joint contribution to the economy of the four medical schools here and an English Language Institute to be established at the Community College.

Related: SVG to teach Ecuadorian teachers English

Speaking at a press conference last Tuesday, Gonsalves noted that Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace had said that in 2007, the 300 medical students generate EC$38 million to the economy.

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“Of course, the multiplier was always a little too high, but he wanted to dramatise the position. So, he said it’s 38 million,” Gonsalves said, adding that there weren’t 300 medical students in the country at the time.

“Well, clearly, if that is the case in 2007, in 2014, with 700 [students], it will be in the region of 90 million [dollars] at least,” said Gonsalves, who is also Minister of Finance.

“And then when you add another 200 students who are coming from Ecuador, teachers to learn English language here as a second language, we see we have a growing industry and I made the point and if they listened the tape I was talking about and the whole concept in which I was talking, is that I said that what is coming with the 200 — with the Ecuadorians — will be as much as what we are earning now from bananas,” Gonsalves told the most press conference last week.

“In relation to the revenue from the banana industry and compared to the revenue from the English learning institute and the medical facilities, are you saying — for the record sake — that it was a mistake that you made; it was an error, when you said heyday?” the journalist asked.

“The point about it is in 1995, bananas was in its heyday. I was talking — I was describing a process, which is taking place in the banana industry, and a process which is taking place in the educational service industry. I’m making the point that if you are looking at 200 students here for the Ecuadorian — how could 200 students bring you what a hundred million used to bring you in 1992? Because, the 200 students are not going to be able to bring you that,” Gonsalves said.

“If you take the 700 medical students and the 200 [Ecuadorians] and others which are coming, you notice an industry which is growing, an educational industry, which could, as a growth industry, we could rival what we have in bananas. Because the highpoint of the banana industry was 1992, the year just before the 1993 single market and economy in Europe, when England joined it, and then you began to have a decline, slowly, then sharply,” he said.

“That’s the only point that I was making in relation to an industry that had a high point and was in decline because of the market conditions and in the market regime, and another industry, which has the potential of rising.

“I mean, it seems to me to be a very straightforward issue,” the prime minister said.

But the journalist noted that the prime minister had said in his press conference on Sept. 1, that education tourism can generate more money than banana made in its heyday, but subsequently said more money than banana generates now (about EC$5 million annually).

“I am not a moron. You will concede that I am not a moron? Therefore, if I told you that 700 students will bring a certain level of resources to the country — that’s the medical students, and 200 will bring a certain level, how could anybody conceivable think that I would say that 200 students coming here from Ecuador can bring into the economy a 100 million dollars?” Gonsalves responded.

“That’s the point, Mr. Prime Minister,” the journalist said. “All I am asking is if you are saying yes, you are admitting that you made an error?”

“I am not saying it is an error,” Gonsalves said. “All I am saying to you is that you are not listening to the process of the discussion which I had and it’s only someone who will think that I am moronic will ever believe, will ever consider, that 200 students coming in from Ecuador could bring in what a hundred million brought in from bananas. I never said that. You listen to the entire presentation as I was explaining it.”

“You never said heyday?” the journalist asked.

“I said heyday, I said heyday, but I was making reference not to any specific year. I was taking about a process with the decline of the banana industry, and a process here, where there are possibilities not yet arrived, but in the process of movement. But, if you want to express the position that I was or am moronic in that analysis, you can do it,” Gonsalves said.

11 replies on “‘You will concede that I am not a moron?’ — PM Gonsalves”

  1. I am confused. My head’s hurting. According to what I just read, Ralph said the banana industry was in its heyday in 1995, then later said 1992? I am going back to bed…too early for this.

  2. Clement Percival says:

    Here we go again!! The man is just phenomenal in practising the art of OBFUSCATION!! What does this mean? It means seeking to confuse by trying to hide a point inside a great pile of …. let me say…… well.. let’s say GARBAGE, which is a much longer word that the one I really want to use!

  3. Here we go again, its all about knowing right from wrong, simply answering a question without dishing out verbal abuse and trying to embarrass the questioner.

    Gonsalves as far as I am concerned is a moron, every time he is asked a question instead of answering in a friendly and responsive way, he turns the question into an argument.

    This is his method of putting a control on the press, repressing the press.

    The belittlement of the questioner and attempt to make that person appear as a fool in front of his or her peers, other journalist’s. Wo for them if they write something that he disapproves of, phone calls to the editor. The press is stifled and controlled by fear.

    I consider this man to be just downright nasty and evil minded.

  4. In watching broadcasts on local TV and Internet I have been dismayed at how obsequious the media is when questioning the PM.

    Always afraid to ask tough questions and cowed down when their questions are challenged. They never follow up phony answers with even tougher questions because they never prepare themselves for any followup. With the exception of Kenton Chance and one or two others, Vincentian journalists are a bunch of lazy, incompetent, third rate hacks.

    No wonder the PM went ballistic when confronted by the BBC Panorama team. It was first time he ever had to confront real in-your-face journalism.

    1. Clement Percival says:

      No, Mike Gray. Gonsalves has gone past the dialectic in his utterances. You know, thesis, antithesis, new synthesis? Therefore the seeds of destruction of the thesis being embodied in itself? He is now in the realm of Goebbelism! Recall Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda master? Also, if one goes back and reads Lenin on Propaganda, one will begin to understand the Gonsalvian approach. It is a curious blend of Lenin and Goebbels. Maybe that is where the true dialectic of Gonsalves lies.

      1. National SOCIALISM [i.e., NAZISM].- – – as practised by NAZI Germany and the mad man Adolph ‘Hitler’ – – – MASS MURDERER.

        ‘International’ SOCIALISM [i.e., COMMUNISM] – – – as practised by COMMUNIST (‘soviet’) RUSSIA with mad men Vladimir ‘Lenin’ and Joseph ‘Stalin” — — MASS MURDERERS. Chinese mad man ‘Mao’ Tse Tung [aka ‘Zedong’] — MASS MURDERER; ‘pure Communist’ CAMBODIA [aks Kampuchea] with its nutcases “lead” by its mad man POL POT – – – MASS MURDERERS.

        COMMUNIST GRENADA [aka ‘Revolutionary’ Grenada] led by an ass-ting and a coase man – – – MASS MURDERERS, too ? Oh, Fort Rupert ! Oh, Rastafarian GULAG ARCHIPELAGO ! Oh “WUTLISS” Vincentian wannabe MARXIST-LENINIST, ” ‘scientific’ socialist”, “SOCIALIST ‘orientationi’ COMMUNISTS, “dialectical materialist” inflitrating, subversive ‘revolutionary’ “politicians”

        National SOCIALISM mixed with RELIGION [i.e., FASCISM] — as practised by Italy’s mad man Benito MUSSOLINI — the MASS MURDERER satanic INVADER OF The Land of ETHIOPIA and first SOCIALIST OVERTHROWER of His Majesty HAILE SELASSIE i, Ras Tafari – – – before the Royal Emperor returned with Anglo-Saxon [British, American, Canadian, Australasian] and Western European help and EXPELLED HIS DEMONIC FORCES from the ancestral land of Kush.

        SOCIALISM developed in its so-called modern form by German-Jew Karl Marx ON THE INSTRUCTIONS OF THE OFFICIALLY SATANIST GROUP, calling itself “The League of the Just” – – – by TWISTING the intellectual theories of Hegel and forging STUPID hodge-podge with the UNPROVABLE, ancient religious dogma, DIS-PROVED “theory” of organic ‘evolution’ – – – as plagiaristically published by FAILED ministry student Charles Darwin, whose father previously taught the same errant lies and whose grandfather had previously publised a ‘scientific’ tract on it – – – rushing to pre-empt HERBERT SPENCER with his SIMILAR publication of supposed ‘evolution’. Half-educated jack-asses with piqued axes to grind.

        Secular Materialism + German Rationalism + Darwinian Evolution + Mis-applied Hegelian DIALECTICAL MATERIALISM + VIOLENT OVERTHROW OF Traditional GOVERNMENTS

        Equal The sure, sure DESTRUCTION OF ANY SANE POLITY.

        Communist HIGH PRIEST vladimir “Lenin”: “RELIGION [and morality] IS THE OPIATE OF THE PEOPLE”.


  5. Lets not forget PM Gonsalves’ admission in Parliament that he lies sometimes?????? What we do know is that a liar most of the times, does not remember the last lie he told. Way to go PM!


    What comes out of a man’s mouth, comes out of his heart and – – – IF WUTLISS AND MORONIC marks that man as DEFILED . . .

    The old folks say: “Manners and behaviour carry you through the world.”

    Well, guys – – – Manners and behaviour truly begin at home. In deed, words and general attitude.


  7. “I am not a moron. You will concede that I am not a moron?”

    Correction, you are a lawyer, as well as a moron. I mean really and truly is this guy for real? SVG already had a medical program that was making good money what happen to that? Why must this guy always talk nonsense every Monday morning? Now we have another pie in the sky. Oh and Geothermal come coming in 4 years. I mean where does it end?

    I Blane Shoy am going to run for office and if you elect me, I am going to build a space ship so we could take a vacation to mars. I am not going to say how I am going to build the space ship or if it’s even possible, but just put me there and it’s space we coming. That’s what this guy does,just make stuff up with no substance, with no shed of reality. Thank goodness Mr Eustace is a serious man, because lawd knows we can’t take anymore lies.

    Every single industry in SVG dying, what would you call that? The Government barrow money from the NIS to pay the NIS isn’t that the workings of a moron? I can go on and on, but I will just say to start sharing out your lumber and cement. Because not a soul believe you are smart anymore. That ship has long sailed.


  8. The general consensus from the internet crazies as they fight their way through the smoke, is that he is a moron.

    Sorry old dingbat, but you are a moron hailing to the forthcoming mort of your Unity Marxist Party the ULP.

    You know that he includes even those using their real names as internet crazies. Any one who has a different opinion or view, or disagrees with him or anything he says, even if you disagree with lies or false information.

    He cannot stand any truthful attack on him and describes what people write as lies and falsehoods, the truth is like a silver bullet to him, like a wedge driven into his heart.

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