The son of a retired priest has lashed out at Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves over what he described as unwarranted criticism of his father, saying, “Comrade remember dat ‘blood thicker dan water’”.
Junior “Soca” Jones, son of retired Anglican priest, Ulric Jones, said in a Facebook post on Tuesday that Gonsalves has “over the past few weeks … succeeded in losing an admirer and a friend in me (where politics was not necessarily the driving force)”.
“Your constant assault on my FATHER, as a result of your lack of content in regards to your speeches has become an example to Vincentians as to what you have left to offer our country: NOTHING,” wrote Jones, who is based in New York.
He said he and Gonsalves have been “Comrades and Compradres over the years but you seem to believe that every body (sic) first obligation and first port of loyalty should and must be to you”.
Jones’ statements were in an apparent response to parts of several speeches that Gonsalves have made recently, in which he spoke of “a priest” who, he said, wants to become Governor General, should the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) win the next general elections.
In a speech in Caratal, Georgetown on Monday, Gonsalves said there is “some real anger” among some of his political opponents on social media, who, he said, “mek up things, they cuss, they misbehave, they bad minded.
“There are some NDP people, they bad minded, they are auditioning for jobs. They want to move from Internet crazy to ‘Your Excellency’. I don’t know how many ambassadorial posts they could get. Eh? Yo’ have to put them aside; Yo’ have to put them aside and you have to focus on the power of love, not the love of power. You have to deal with answers, not anger,” Gonsalves said.
“We have to have respect. They come in Georgetown and defile the Anglican Church at Lynch (sic) Funeral,’ Gonsalves said.
His comments were in reference to the booing and ringing of bells that erupted inside the church last July as persons protested against Gonsalves’ delivering a tribute at the funeral of his one-time friend, turned political foe, Eduardo “E.G.” Lynch, a former spokesperson for the NDP.
“And Eustace sat down and said nothing. There was a test of leadership posed in the house of the Lord and Eustace failed that test,” Gonsalves said.
“There’s a man there, a man of the cloth who want (sic) to be Governor General, an NDP man, who is a priest or at least was a priest, I don’t know. He want (sic) to be Governor General and the Lord gave him a test and he failed it in the house of the Lord,” Gonsalves said.
Fr. Ulric Jones officiated at Lynch’s funeral, but did not attempt in any way to quell the loud outburst when Gonsalves was called to the podium to deliver the tribute, in keeping with the request of Lynch’s family.
“Mr. Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves it’s time for you to come up with a new speech for Vincentian people,” said Soca Jones, on whose radio programme Gonsalves has appeared annually since 2009.
“You want ‘four inna row’ but for four speeches inna row yo talking de same insignificant bs dat the nation is fed up of hearing,” said Jones.
Gonsalves’ Unity Labour Party is seeking a fourth consecutive term in office in elections expected this year ahead of the March 28, 2016 constitutional deadline.
“Four Inna Row” was part of the party’s theme for its annual convention on April 19, and seems to be one of the slogans that it will use in the election campaign.
“Why are you so obsessed with Revd. Ulric Jones..The nation’s business should be much more important. Is it that you are depending on your usual deflection of issues to win this next election,” Jones said, adding that he will be the first to admit that Gonsalves has “plenty charisma”.
“Yo good on that. But hear nah…14 years of charisma aint carry we no way. Forget Ulric Jones and tell St.Vincent wha yo going do fo dem,” he further said, adding that he, personally, has stopped listening.
“Remember you have told me on live radio since 2009 and every year after that, that the airport gonna open ‘next year’ as in 2010,2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)…. I aint got no problem with things not happening on schedule but I am now convinced that every time you said ‘next year’ you knew you were telling a lie. Tek my advice and talk to the nation straight and tell the whole ah SVG to wuk wid yo and leh we mek it happen. STOP MEK FALSE PROMISES,” Jones said, adding that Gonsalves has been “a colossal disappointment”.
The EC$700 million international airport at Argyle has missed several completion deadlines since 2011, and is now slated to open in October 2015, a deadline that some observers say is unrealistic in light of the scope of work that remains to be completed.
Jones said he is convinced that his post will come to the attention of the Prime Minister, and used it to offer some advice to the nation’s leader.
“Ah know nuff people gonna copy and paste this post fo you so yo could read it, so in summary lemme tell yo sumpn: Tek care ah we country and stop involve yoself in dotishness”.