The habitually empty Kingstown cruise ship terminal.

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not represent the opinions or editorial position of I-Witness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

The slow, twisting, and potholed road leading to the completion of Argyle International Airport (AIA) has been a deceptive route we have foolishly been taken down by our “smart man” Prime Minister. We have already built two white elephant airports, a regional facility in Bequia and an international jetport in Canouan, islands with far more tourism potential than the mainland but have learned nothing in the process, not even what a chronically underused Arnos Vale airport and Kingstown cruise ship terminal portend for AIA.

Nor have we learned anything from the flourishing demand-driven private sector tourism industry in other Caribbean countries.

Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest travel and leisure company, will welcome guests at its newly developed Amber Cove cruise ship terminal in the Dominican Republic, a tourism powerhouse if there ever was one, beginning in October 2015. The Corporation financed the project on its own at a cost of $US 85 million. How likely is it that any similar hospitality project, even with 100 percent government financing, would ever grace our mainland, especially when our existing cruise ship terminal is empty most of the time?

A typical Dominican Republic beach.
A typical Dominican Republic beach. 

Meanwhile, our neighbour, Grenada, just recorded a 19 per cent increase in arrivals from 2013 to 2014, almost equally divided between cruise ship and stay-over visitors .

Our numbers in both categories have been stagnant or in decline for years.

About the only redeeming feature of our foolish and wasteful AIA project is that it may be eco-friendly (http://www.caribbeannewsnow.com/topstory-New-airport-in-St-Vincent-to-become-second-most-eco-friendly-airport-in-Eastern-Caribbean-25613.html). But this only highlights the amount of environmental neglect under this and previous regimes. Do we really expect tourists to sunbathe on the beach at Layou shown below?

Pretending to be eco-friendly began in the 1980s with the Sir James Mitchell government’s seeming aversion to mass commercial tourism, neatly summarized by the slick promotional slogan, “St. Vincent: The Natural Place to Be.” The Mitchell government even declared the 1990s as “the decade of the environment”, another empty slogan.

All this eco-tourist rhetoric only served to mask the fact that as hard as we might try we could never hope to match the number of holiday visitors to nearby Barbados or St. Lucia by pretending to reject the mainstream 3S large-scale tourism model of sun, sand, and sea. Sun and sea we have in abundance but our black sand beaches have no appeal to tourists and little to our own people, most of whom have not gone to the sea in years.

But our non-3S sector is just as limited. With no lakes to boat on, no rivers to swim in, no hot sulphur springs to bathe in, and only a few remote waterfalls to shower under, all we can offer is lots of inaccessible forest land and a semi-active volcano, hardly the basis for much eco-tourist interest. Still, small-footprint tourism was beginning to take off around the world during the 1980s and seemed to offer some hope for boosting our mainland visitor numbers, so the Mitchell government jumped on the eco-friendly bandwagon.

The results have been less than impressive, partly for of all the reasons I have already given in these essays (poor tourism promotion, few natural wonders that would attract large numbers of eco-tourists, relentless environmental neglect and degradation, inadequate site development and maintenance, etc.). Combined with the self-limiting nature of eco-tourism in sensitive locations — the more footprints on the ground, the more damage to fragile forest, river, and mountain environments — there is not much hope for large and habitat sustainable eco-tourism increases on our mainland.

St. Vincent Island will long be a bush-league travel destination in so many other ways as well — a place where daytime offers little amusement, entertainment, recreation, or duty-free shopping and nightlife offers mainly ear-splitting and tuneless karaoke — yet we pretend that we can be a major league holiday player with this foolhardy airport project.

No better example of both our inability and unwillingness to compete with regional festive offerings that appeal to tourists and locals alike was the decision in 1976 to move our traditional pre-Lenten Carnival celebration to the end of June because so many international visitors and many of our own people chose to attend the more lavish and better organized Carnival in Trinidad. Rather than working to improve our own product, we simple gave up and chose a date when there would be no other competition. This does not speak well to our motivation or ability to succeed in the competitive holiday market.

This is not to say that we don’t have some excellent amateur and semi-professional singers, musicians, and ensemble groups. But with almost no clean, elegant, spacious, and well-equipped indoor and outdoor venues for them to showcase their talent and make a good living performing nightly before the thousands of young, party-loving tourists that AIA is promising to bring in, all the talent in the world matters not a twit.

There is a simple lesson here from these and other examples: when the hospitality sector repeatedly shuns the same commercial opportunities for hotel, resort, and attraction development, even after decades of rich tax and other subsidies because of stagnant visitor numbers and little tourism potential, but the Prime Minister stubbornly (though shrewdly) refuses to accept “not interested” for an answer and proceeds to build a bogus airport bound to end up costing at least one billion $EC, the tax-paying public should be afraid, very afraid.

But few Vincentians seem to fear the tragedy this phoney show-port adventure will bring us. Even our aged faction of pseudo-intellectual left-wing activists who used to shout “tourism is whorism” now mindlessly and hypocritically proclaim that a lot a foreigners looking for a nice time the 4S way — sun, sea, sand, and sex — will be our economic salvation. As I and others have repeatedly said, if SVG had the tourism potential to support an international airport, it would have been built decades ago.

In another laughable statement, the CEO of our tourism authority, Glen Beache, has just declared that, “Our new Argyle International Airport is going to transform the tourism industry, making SVG one of the most sought-after and ‘green’ destinations in the eastern Caribbean”, implying that two megawatts of solar-generated electricity would be sufficient to bring in thousands of new visitors to gaze in awe at our bargain basement airport.

Ironically, our declining agricultural sector, which has also been full of ups and downs since the late start of large-scale sugar plantation agriculture in the last decades of the 18th century, still has some intrinsic advantages (apart from the free solar energy) — that the hospitality industry lacks: a farmer can always eat his figs when the main overseas market disappears. Or she can try another export crop, switch to growing more food for local sale, or raise more animals for home or regional markets. If all else fails, the land can always be leased, rented, sharecropped, or even sold to someone better able to utilize its potential. After all, thanks to Almighty God, mainland St. Vincent is a veritable Garden of Eden, a land blessed more than most with huge swaths of fertile land and more than enough sun, rain, and varied elevations to grow all manner of tropical plants and sustain all types of livestock. So our farmers have lots of life-sustaining options, even if they will never get rich utilizing them and even if countries with lots of small farmers are poorer than those with very few .

No better proof of the fearless resiliency and exceptional work ethic of our people when confronted with a real economic opportunity is the way thousands of poor young men took to the hills beginning in the 1970s to grow ganja — a extremely profitable though illegal plant — to enhance their economic well being.

Not so for the hospitality sector which has only one option: get more customers or face economic ruin. Our country is a virtual graveyard of derelict small hotels, guesthouses, restaurants, sports bars, rum shops, amusement parlours, and the like, many of which have changed hands time and again, with the same result. To be sure, there are thousands more acres of idle land in SVG than there are cultivated plots. But even idle land has intrinsic value. As the old people say, “land na rotten”: it just keeps or increases its value while getting more fertile as the years pass, a continual source of “interest payments” for generations to come.

Small-farming would never lift us out of our lower middle-income status but at least it will keep feeding us; dependence on international tourism and its unstable low-wage seasonal jobs will do neither while crushing us with debts and operating costs that will be impossible to service because we would never get enough visitors to make the AIA project worthwhile.

The reasons we will always have few mainland tourist customers should be plain to see for any Vincentian who has travelled. But relatively few Vincentians have ever left the mainland except for a brief day-trip to Bequia’s ho-hum Port Elizabeth. This is not to denigrate the largest of the

Grenadines islands. Bequia has several attractions to offer tourists including white sand beaches and a lively Easter Regatta which hosts thousands of mainland and overseas visitors and which recently celebrated its 34th anniversary.

Still, most of our citizens, even those who have attended the multi-faceted Regatta, seem totally oblivious to the mainland’s countless tourism shortcomings, including the filthy, ramshackle, and depressing neglect of our city, towns, villages, beaches, roads, paths, and rivers, something most of them tend to take for granted as the natural state of the “Natural Place to Be.”

The nasty, sand-mined beach at Layou, adjoining the loading jetty for the town's destructive stone quarry.
The nasty, sand-mined beach at Layou, adjoining the loading jetty for the town’s destructive stone quarry. 

***

ENDNOTE

This is the twelfth in a series of 15 essays on the folly of the proposed Argyle International Airport.

The rest may be found at:

  1. Get ready for a November election!
  2. Lessons for Argyle Airport from Canada’s Montreal–Mirabel Int’l
  3. Lessons for Argyle Int’l Airport from the cruise industry
  4. Lessons from Target Canada for Argyle Int’l Airport
  5. Lessons from Trinidad & Tobago for Argyle Int’l Airport
  6. The Dark Side of Tourism: Lessons for Argyle Airport
  7. Why Argyle Won’t Fly: Lessons from Dominica
  8. Ken Boyea and the Phantom City at Arnos Vale
  9. Airport Envy Vincy-Style
  10. Fully realising our country’s tourism potential
  11. Airport without a cause

***

C. ben-David

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

26 replies on “The unnatural place for an international airport”

  1. Fellow Vincentians,

    I have been skeptical about the AIA previously, its a serious accomplishment and you have to embrace it ! There is no point shouting foul as you wont stop it in fact its almost built – Well done to the government as they got it this far. This is where you have to make a desicion, be positive and shout what SVG has to offer the ill informed tourist. I live in the UK I do get back every year and am amazed at how SVG has improved in the last 10 years. Go to Barbados and see their infrastructure is quite literally falling apart now. The bulk of the tourists are drying up because the high airfare from international locations has reached a point where tourists just don’t travel to unknown locations. If we in the UK Google SVG we invariably find articles on drugs and reporters shouting in the most foul way about the behaviour of people in office. Listen, and I am being serious here – you need to find a way to change the perception of SVG NOW. YOU need to make it a nice place to visit. The entire image of Kingstown needs to be uplifted – cover the open drains, encourage more street sellers to sell tourist products – Mac-Snacks you had the right idea years ago well done to you. Vincentians look to the other islands and take the best ideas from them – If you want to make SVG a success in these hard times then you have to make the effort to improve the island but be quick do it NOW. Improve the attitude of the people.

    Imagine that first “larger” aircraft landing in SVG with tourists – I suspect they will be people like me coming home so will have some idea of where they are going and what here is to do. If the tourists get off the aircraft and find an island bogged down in shouting at politicians and nothing for them to do, then by the time they get home and start writing online negative reviews, then your worst nightmare will come to pass. No more tourists.

    Develop the tourist infrastructure but you must move fast. Get things in place now to give the tourists something to do and places to visit. You will not get a second chance at this if its not right and the tourist sees its not right and they go home and shout it out on the reviews online – These internet reviews have widespread power to influence.

    The AIA is the start but you cant delay the infrastructure in SVG – get it ready NOW. I cant stress this enough you need the initial tourists to go home and say “actually SVG has something to offer tourists”

    A couple of years ago I brought a friend from the UK to stay in SVG at my parent place which is very nice – He was dissapointed at what he found generally and ended up in Grenada then Barbados which he went back and shouted about the tourism friendly infrastructure and attitude in those places. About SVG – he never said much around me. Yes – I did send him over to Youngs island each day and he liked that. I tried. No one else went or was willing to go.

    This alone speaks volumes to me. To people who have never travelled who have no idea about how things are done on the next main island are seriously misinformed “Build it and they will come” is not the end of the story – far from it.
    The pirates of the caribbean could have been something to shout about but the original feature are all but gone now. Rebuild them as that is a huge selling point. I know they were built cheaply as props and sets, not built to last so rebuild them correctly and make them last. I don’t need to hear who owns the land and is not maintaining them….. Compulsory purchase by the government and make them right for the tourist. You should know that this as fact. These are the countrys assets make them count for something.

    I don’t want to appear negative – In fact I am SVG greatest advocate in the UK. PLEASE PLEASE do your bit. Make it a great place to stay and people will come. I was going to say it will become a starting point for the yachties – but i know they currently have abandoned SVG mainland too. Get them back !

    Where people congregate provide bins and regularly empty them – its the worst thing to see bottle caps and litter scattered all over the floor of a supposed beauty spot. Again think of the tourist if you have got them that far make the place presentable. Its not a “natural place to be” if bottle caps and litter become the norm. This news travels fast.

    I dont expect this to be printed – I could carry on but I dont want this to make me appear bitter and twisted. I plea to you vincentians you need to act now make SVG a nice place to visit and perhaps we will see the potential of tourism become a reality. If you push your hands in your pockets and say its someone elses problem – then we are all doomed as nothing will change. No money will circulate and slowly the business will fail and an ever decreasing circle of negative returns will follow.

    You are moving in the right direction – keep moving. Build on and be positive for all of us. Why not pick up that piece of litter and bin it when you can – Its a small thing and it really does help. Its an attitude leap and it does count.

    Here’s hoping SVG…. COME ON

    1. I am in total agreement with everything you say!! It is about time we get over the ingrained negativity in our region and embrace change and the possibilities for improvement. The airport is a reality. So make it one to be proud of.

    2. C. ben-David says:

      Nowhere have I ever claimed that a small population does not warrant an international airport. All I have ever said is that the mainland of St. Vincent does not have the resources — natural and human — or tourism potential to support an international airport.

    3. C. ben-David says:

      Thank you for your comments, nearly all of which parallel those I have been making in this series though from a different perspective.

      But it is naive to expect ordinary citizens to clean up our nasty environmental without government direction and assistance. There have been many citizen-based (mainly young students) who have tried to clean up the local environment over the years but these are hard to sustain without government resources.

      But you miss — or choose to ignore — my central hypothesis: the AIA has nerver been meant to attract more tourists; it has been meant to attract more voters to support the ULP, and in this way has been a tremendous success.

      I also believe that will all the initiatives you have discussed, there will still not be a significant increases in holiday visitors for all the reasons I have posited in these 12 essays.

      As for the charge that too many of us are too negative about the mainland (note that I deliberately exclude our charming Grenadines), my reply is that we are just being realistic about our tourism prospects which are actually quite poor.

    4. I was trying to listen to you until you tried to compare our infrastructure to Barbados. Come on man, you could ever compare SVG to Barbados in infrastructure? Barbados is a first world country in infrastructure. Everything to telecom to roads, hospital and schools. You made some good points after then but that was a high hill to climb for me.

      1. C. ben-David says:

        Blane, it is noy me but the many people in SVG, including government officials, who believe we have the tourism potential of a country like Barbados which can only be unleashed by building an international airport.

        Please carefully read what I have said:

        ” … as hard as we might try we could never hope to match the number of holiday visitors to nearby Barbados…”

        What I said — meant to say if I didn’t write clearly enough for you — is that the government and much of the public seem to feel that we can be another Barbados, which I deny would ever be possible.

        Also, they feel that building AIA will marginalise Grantley Adams International Airport which I also strongly deny: as long long people fly to SVG, they will have to fly through Barbados, partly because of Barbados’ first-world infrastructure.

  2. C. Ben-David

    In answer to your query on another thread, Abaco has about 110,000 tourist visitor arrivals annually.

    So despite the small size of the local population, there is high demand and usage of the international airport, which is currently serviced by Bahamasair (Nassau), SkyBahamas (Nassau), American (Miami), United (Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale, W. Palm Beach), Silver (Orlando, Ft. Laud., West Palm Beach), USair (Miami), and some new airline has just started a direct flight from New York.

    So it is simply wrong to assume that a small population size does not justify an international airport. Marsh Harbour airport is very busy and constantly adding flights, which in turn benefit the community by increasing visitor spending in hotels, marinas etc.

    If you look at Nassau’s new airport, though it cost $410 million, not one penny came from the taxpayer. That is because, if done right, PPP (public private partnerships) can divert all of the cost of a vital infrastructure project onto the end user. The management company collects fees from users (passengers), pays itself and invests in the running of the airport.

    If Nassau (with a population of 250,000) can justify a $400 million airport, and Marsh Harbour (with a population of 20,000) can justify a $30 million dollar airport, it is OBVIOUS that SVG with 100 plus thousand can justify the airport underway at Argyle.

    1. C. ben-David says:

      Nowhere have I ever claimed that a small population does not warrant an international airport. All I have ever said is that the mainland of St. Vincent does not have the resources — natural and human — or tourism potential to support an international airport.

    2. C. ben-David says:

      No private-sector developer in his right mind would ever have constructed this airport without 100% government funding.

      How can you compare a relatively wealthy country like the Bahamas to a poor country like SVG in terms of justifying an airport?

      1. I am comparing population size as justification for an international airport. My point (which you keep missing) is that concentrating upon tourism and other international services is what MAKES a country successful. It is not a by-product of success.

        To date, SVG has been misguided in not constructing the infrastructure that is necessary to spark demand in the tourist industry. Now that it is doing so (and both Gonsalves and the opposition appear to agree on the need for an international airport as a part of this) it is disheartening to see so much criticism and negativity that appears aimed at maintaining the status quo.

        You continuously belittle the attraction of mainland SVG as a destination. But how on earth will that ever change if the country gets no exposure to potential travelers? How can you reverse this if it remains one of the least accessible destinations in our region?

        All I ask is that you give it a chance and see if a project of this kind can help to spur real development in the tourism sector. Constantly attacking it can hardly help.

      2. C. ben-David says:

        Momoyama, as I keep saying it is demand that pushes supply in the hospitality industry, not the other way round. Yes, there may be a latent demand that is unleashed when the supply emerges, as was the case in the early days of Las Vegas. But these are usually one-off efforts — there was no other legalized gambling in America and the early legitimate entrepreneurs and mafia recognized that the demand was there — and don’t apply to the very mature and highly competitive Caribbean tourist industry.

        SVG does not need an international airport when it is already well serviced by three nearby international airports which are themselves chronically underused even during the high season. To be sure, most Vincentians want an international airport in the same way that an alcoholic wants another drink. To satisfy these urges will only add to drunkards and airport-addicts miseries.

  3. Too many negative comments in public. Send these comments to the leaders and try to engage them in dialogue. Have you done that? If you have not done so then what are you trying to do bad mouth the country by saying negative things. You need to offer a solution to each negative comment because you seem to have all the answers. you don’t seem to be patriotic.

    1. C. ben-David says:

      1. The leaders are well aware of these comments.

      2. I don’t have any answers.

      3. These are not “negative comments” they are hard facts.

      4. I am not “bad mouthing” the country; I am just presenting the evidence about AIA and our tourism potential.

      5. THey are the ones who are not patriotic by building a useless airport bound to choke us to death.

      1. Dat Dutty Dastahd says:

        Who is “us” i really doubting ur a vincy. If your a vincy you are a really poor example of one.

  4. @C-Ben David I guess that was a misunderstanding I was replying to the fella AngusL when he was trying to compare us to Barbados.

    1. Hi Blane,
      Comparing SVG to Barbados… Thats exactly what the tourist will do – be prepared to tell them SVG can’t compete and put your hands in the air and surrender. Aim higher. I/We all know SVG is whole different proposition but thats the point – it’s the differences that will make it stand out. Its not the same as the other islands. I travel through Barbados every time I go to SVG and spend a few days there each time. Drive up the west coast of Barbados and despite their exclusive hotels they have built apartments everywhere. The coastal view has become such a horrible mess with the concrete monstrosities poking up right on the sea line. I have been to the bigger islands in terms of tourism as have most of you. I can tell you this – Antigua, St Kitts, Barbados to me they all look and feel the same. Been there seen it done it. I want something different. Do you see what I am saying. If you are not going to the likes of Barbados for the beaches please tell me what is there for the tourist. A tour up the west coast in a boat – we have the Grenadines – come on no contest. Shopping perhaps – I don’t want that and I can get that here in the UK and more. Think of SVG as a blank canvas. Its raw – yes but it has all of the ingredients to be great, different.

      Ok, I accept I should have been more specific and say I was mainly referring to the road infrastructure in Barbados. Yes the main highways are great there but thats due to the flat nature of Barbados. It lends itself to road building. Some compliment that is. Get off that main road and you would be surprised at how bad their potholed roads actually are.

      I have been to many nice restaurants in Barbados and guess what – I see SVG lobster on their high priced menus too. If you think a tourist goes to Barbados for the exciting scenery there…. No way. Please tell me where it is and I will go back looking for it too. Even the sea view is just a plain flat horizon. Its boring. Get to a good vantage point in SVG – easily done. and take a look south across to Bequia and beyond, are you kidding me. Now thats a view to appreciate.

      A surprising thing to me is whilst in Barbados at night I regularly see many lights on in a house and all of the doors wide open and the thing that gets me every time is how few bugs fly around the bright lights. Weird, but do that in mainland SVG and I bet you will be running for the Baygon can in seconds.. nature!

      As a Vincentian even though I live in the Uk I will shout SVG all over Barbados…. Its a good thing I didnt put my name in here or they wouldnt let me in next time.

      C-Ben David please don’t see this as an attack on your articles. That is far from the case. We all have something to say and for me its limited as to where I can express myself. We do need to promote SVG. Yes, it needs work and I hope that the government also act and do it quickly.

      Consider this SVG has black sand beaches… OK, walk across that beach barefoot and you will probably have to run to the water, I do… Hotter beaches. The sea-water temperatures are also a good few degrees warmer as a result of the black sand. I’m a scuba diver and have dived with a computer that proves this. It should be seen as an asset I know it may not look like a dream location a black sand beach but its different. Just get in the sea with an opened coconut and relax.

      SVG has a wealth of naturally grown produce. Don’t dismiss this its an asset. How much food is imported and I do mean food not sugar loaded poison? I bet not as much as Barbados.
      The drinking water quality in SVG is second to none in the caribbean. I have heard many a tourist mention how soft their hair is after washing it in plain svg tap water.. I am being serious.
      You try convincing me that Barbados has a good waterfall other than when it rains hard and the roads flood. Or, the shower in the bathroom. Been there and seen that.

      The trails around the soufreire are a lovely place to go for long soul searching walks. Similar in Vermont. Have you ever walked around Barbados (why in fact would anyone do such a thing? ) and managed to pick a fruit and eat it…. Thats a rare thing if you have. You eat a mango over there and I bet it has been well paid for. Look around SVG…
      Its the tourist SVG is reaching out to, right – thats the whole point of AIA. Please dont get hung up on slip ups in what we say. No-one is perfect. Last year I picked up a few of my parents old friends from the Uk. They were cruising the caribbean and stopped off in SVG. They got to my parents place and headed straight into the fruit trees in the garden. They fell in love with SVG and always sing its praises back here in the UK. They are Jamaicans and have stated that if they were to go anywhere else to live they would make a straight line for SVG. This is what we need. Its not all about big buildings and perceived wealth.
      SVG has resources that are there they just need a brush up to make them classy.
      For years I have been taking locals to Fenton for cook outs… Up the mountains in Congo valley. The rivers and waterfalls – I have filled a basket with crayfish and fresh water lobster in a stream you could span with your two hands well up in the mountains, they were tasty too. I have caught crabs in the mangrove after it rains with claws so big that they can lock around my wrist. I have been buzzed by a kingfish that looked longer than me whilst snorkelling in Villa with my kids. Yes we had a camera and got a picture too… I know the stuff is there and technically for now I am a tourist. Please open your eyes guys there is more to SVG than obviously meets the eye.

      I guess your article inspired me to write something – thank you.

      Think on this SVG has a mountainous terrain – how big would it be if you could pull it flat 🙂

      1. excellent comments. Do they really have crayfish and “freshwater lobsters” in SVG??????? If so, that alone makes me want to go back there.

        You hit the nail right on the head about what makes a country attractive. I have been to Barbados maybe 5 times and SVG once. The latter stands out MUCH more than Barbados as an experience that is not conventional and predictable.

        I am also shocked to hear anyone describe Barbados’ infrastructure in glowing terms! I have honestly been few places with worse, more potholed roads.

      2. C. ben-David says:

        Nice comments. Wish I could find some crayfish whichb have been made nearly extinct due to over-harvesting.

        Yes, we have a very beautiful island, despite all the environmental abuse, but the mainland will never be a big tourist destination for all the reasons I have repeatedly given.

        Most tourists are over out of shape, most are over 40 in age, many are overwieght — these people will never want or be able to climb the Soufriere.

        Scuba diving and snorkelling (which I do) are very limited due to limited coral formations.

        Also, none of you comments justify the construction of an international airport.

  5. David, perhaps you haven’t noticed that the three critics of you letter of comment, are previously unknown on this site. Peacemaker, Momoyama, AngusL

    I doubt they are real, more than likely ULP propagandists.

    David you are the real patriot, it’s by not speaking that things never get rectified, things get worse. The more we accept all the crap without mention, the evil, the wrong doings, the rubbish beaches and so called tourist sites, everything is deteriorating, everything is getting worse.

    We must continue to speak the truth, telling the truth is not badmouthing, the truth is the truth, its the act of a true patriot.

    1. C. ben-David says:

      Yes, Peter, I suspect that momoyama is not a lawyer practicing in the Bahamas, as he claims, because he seems to be too preoccupied with our country’s airport for an outsider and cannot possibly believe, if he has any sense and travel experience and is actually resident in the Bahamas, that we could possibly come anywhere near duplicating the Bahamian tourism experience on our hardscrabble and tourism-limited mainland.

      On the other hand, there was a recent letter from “Outsider” posing a tourist unhappy with her holiday experience here (I say “her” because my minor linguistic background says so). The letter sounds phony from beginning to end and was probably written by an NDP fanatic.

  6. Who really gives a “beep” about Con’-bent David’s “dislike for we Vincy homeland” and all those “negative” remarks and the AIA “thumbs down” essays!! Maybe only Kenton @ IWNSVG and the other NDP’ites! Yeah, post this if you bad nah by any chance!
    “HURRY UP AND DONE with your negativity… Bend-up David. Struups, you are a Punk!”

    1. Vinciman, what hurts you most of all is that you know full well that I am the furthest thing from an NDP supporter because you well remember what I wrote in my very first piece in this series:

      “Led by a dour and ineffectual man, riddled with internal dissension, plagued by lacklustre candidates, lacking concrete and detailed classical liberal solutions to our growing economic woes, terrified of criticising the man-made mirage at Argyle, the NDP is a weak alternative to the current regime. Above all, ordinary Vincentians want their politics served with a little pepper sauce. Mr. Eustace has none to offer them.

      Absent these deficiencies, the Gonsalves-led government would have been rejected in 2010. Their on-going presence means that the Comrade, a superb sophist and brilliant political campaigner if there ever was one, has a better than even chance of retaining power [in the next election] even as his mirage at Argyle slowly fades from view.”

      I don’t support either party. I only support my beloved country and my oppressed people.

      My only motive has been to reveal what I believe to be the truth about the AIA folly.

      And what is your motive?

    2. C. ben-David says:

      Pa you be, Vinciman?

      If you are really a big man, as your pseudonym proclaims, please act like one by refuting what I have written with contary facts, analysis, and logic instead of attacking me personally (its called an ad hominen attack — which is a sign of someone who is afraid or unable to argue about evidence and ideas, not a quality that any big man should be proud of.)

      I would be the happiest man in SVG to be proven wrong because no real Vincie would want anything else than to see our country and people prosper.

      I will offer all the truly contrite aplogies in the world if AIA brings in the 200,000 passenger promised by your hero Cecil McKie in the next two years and this is met by the construction of new hotels and resorts to accomodate them.

      Maybe I’ll even get a job as a bartender or yard boy!

      Pa you be Vinciman?

      1. C ben-up David you’re toying with the wrong person. Vinciman will never lower his standard to punks like you, in offering up any refutation to your rubbish; I call it like I see it and you’re what I said you are, a PUNK…don’t doubt it!

        Now let us take a look at some of your spoken (written) words and see if I’m wrong in my assessment of what punks look and sound like.
        Here is C-ben David’s impression in his own words, of his (so he says) “beloved country (SVG) and oppressed people”…
        (1) “Too bad so many of our people are not conscious enough to understand or apply their implications not only to AIA but to their daily lives”.
        (2) “What a joke! Most Vincentians can barely speak proper English. Most have very poor reading and comprehension skills, not to mention inadequate reasoning abilities. And don’t even mention spelling and grammar, as seen in most postings here. And all this from persons who have gone to school for years”.
        (3) “The Venezuelans have nothing to learn from us dunces”.
        (4) “Ecuador has nothing to offer SVG except bananas which we don’t need. Offering technical support? These poor, Third World countries are masters of building structures that collapse after a few years killing many of their citizens during and after construction. Looks like the halt helping the lame”
        (5) “SVG passport not good enough to wipe her (his wife) backside with. Don’t get her wrong. She loves SVG or we wouldn’t return every year in our retirement. Rather, she is just referring to the fact that she won’t waste her money buying a passport that has no real value or use compared to the passport from her adopted First World country. Can you blame her? Shouldn’t you forget about getting a “useless” passport when you have the most valued and respected passport on the planet: a passport from Canada.”
        (6) “But SVG is not a civilized country, it is backward Third World non-entity and anything goes in the dirty world of party politics… we are not ready to join the community of civilized nations”.
        (7) “Given what I know about this ill-fated project (Argyle Airport), anyone who contributes would have to be a complete fool or mentally derange.”

        To crown it off, if we were to pull out #2 where he says how we’re so “dunce” and can’t “spell” etc, how bright and how much a speller is C ben-David after reading his comments and noting these misspelled words:
        (a) Contary (contrary)
        (b) ad hominen (ad hominem)
        (c) Vincie (Vincy)
        (d) aplogies ( apologies)
        (e) accomodate ( accommodate)
        (f) lacklustre (lackluster)

        So as I said before, see what a PUNK C-ben David is and how he wants me to prove what? Sorry I’m no jackass like you ben-up David! No thanks …”beep” off!

  7. C. ben-David says:

    What Vinciman seems to fail to realize is that his ad hominem attacks merely serve to strengthen my arguments by showing that he can’t counter what I am others have written with sound rebuttals and has to use personal attacks instead.

    Nor does he seem capable of realising that he only proves my “negative” and “unpatriotic” assertions that many of our people still remain dunces regardless of how many years they have attended school or how many diplomas they have accumulated.

    In fact, some people are beginning to believe that I-man am actually the Vinciman who has created a make-believe straw man alter-ego only to make my views more credible. (Or maybe Vinciman is actually our very own Peter Binose!).

    To turn the old adage on its head — With enemies like Vinciman who needs any friends.

    Lord have mercy on us all!

    1. Some people expose their stupidity of knowing and saying everything bad about SVG, and in the end run into VINCIMAN. C – ben David is one such fellow.

      I don’t know of any well defined rules here on how people should comment to OPINIONS; someone clue me in please! I’m commenting the way I see things. And right now I’m saying C ben-David’s comedy of essays is a set of dumb “COMEDY OF ESSAYS”! PERIOD! Every man should have a business, but not every business hath a man.

      The role of all Vincy men is to be MEN and not C-ben David. Let SVG MEN be true and all others “beep” off. And Vinciman says that C ben-up David is a punk. PERIOD!

      A Vinciman is a lover of all things Vincy, and C ben –David doesn’t add up in Vinciman book. This is nothing personal, only if C ben David makes it personal; and C bend avid, sorry ben -David gets personal. He say’s my country “sucks”. Now that’s personal! He even thinks that our people are all “dunces”, (he says, he aint regret what he say; and without naming, he says a Governor General thought so too… “a nation of all dunces”).
      A governor General!!? Now that’s personal.

      Is this the same C ben –David that says our country passport aint “beep”? Not good enough to wipe his wife’s backside? And she prefers to use a Canadian passport. Whatever that means!

      Is this the same Uncle ben- David that said ‘we aint “white” enough to be amongst the Canadians’ or whoever’? Or was it black?

      Anyhow! He says’ we aint civilized enough to be amongst the civilized’. Whatever that means!

      Is this the same C ben-David that speaks out against the “African Reparations Movement”, who calls us “beggars”? Or is that ‘neggars?

      Why would I or anyone want to be, much less listen to C- ben David. In my book C ben David needs to “beep” off. “I’m saying C ben-David’s comedy of essays is a SET OF DUMB “COMEDY OF ESSAYS”! PERIOD! AND C BEN DAVID IS A PUNK! PERIOD! I don’t have to point out why anymore; I let others do that for me.

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