The Unity Labour Party’s candidate for North Leeward, Carlos James, has accused residents of some of the traditionally richer areas of St. Vincent of not wanting the government to help poor Vincentians.
James made the accusation at a ULP rally in Chateaubelair as he painted “a narrative of Labour love, reflected through its policies over the last 14 years”.
He said that the ULP administration has spent more on social welfare programmes, including Public Assistance, which has increased from EC$10 million annually in 2001 to more than EC$25 million in 2014.
“What that says to you is that the elderly, the poor and marginalised, the vulnerable, many of them who are from North Windward and North Leeward, where we have the highest … level of poverty, we have increased the budget to take care of these elderly and poor people,” said James, a first-time candidate.
He said that when the ULP took office, extreme poverty was over 25 per cent, but it has since been reduced to 2.9 per cent.
“Comrades, what that is telling you is that you have a government that loves poor people.”
He also mentioned the Lives to Live Programme, under which the government constructs bathrooms and toilets inside the houses of poor Vincentians.
“When we put on toilets and bathrooms on houses for a man like Arnold Cyrus, a blind man from Troumaca, Mr Murray, who had a stroke in Fitz Hughes, Massy in Petit Bordel, who is disabled from a stroke, when we put bathrooms and toilets onto their house, the NDP upset…
“Comrades, what the ULP is doing, it is doing for you, the people of North Leeward and the poorer class of people and the marginalised people in this country,” James said.
“You see, the NDP, comrades — I see Luke Browne here but he is not a part of what ah going tell yo’ — they sit in their little groups and have coffee overlooking Bequia in Cane Garden and up in Queen’s Drive and Ratho Mill and they complain about the government spending too much money to help poor people and spending too much money to send poor people children off to universities. They want more of the money to come to Kingstown for the business class,” said James, whose primary residence in St. Vincent over the last decade or so has been Cane Hall.
James said that the ULP spends money to enrich the poor and marginalised and ensure a better standard of living for them.
“But the bunch of elites, who have Arnhim Eustace on a string like a puppet, they are the ones who are most disgruntled. Not the poor people who are getting the help. And we have to recognise and understand that. If you don’t vote for Labour, you allow them people in East St. George, in East Kingstown, in Queen’s Drive and those people in Cane Garden to benefit more than the people of North Leeward and North Windward.
“I know Luke Browne probably would not like to hear me say that. But the people in Malla Village and those in Murray’s Village who going vote for him agree with me too.”
Browne lives in Cane Garden and seemed to have been surprised by James’ statement.
“We have to ensure that the ULP stays in office so that it can continue its mandate of pro-poor policies and policies that benefit the poor and marginalised,” James said.
Correction: An earlier version of this story said James’ primary residence in St. Vincent over the last decade or so has been Queen’s Drive. It is actually Cane Hall.
It’s easy to spot a politician desperate for votes. They are the ones spouting rhetoric about ‘class warfare’ instead of addressing how to improve the poor economy or the high level of unemployment.
These idiots believe that the more people they put on poor relief is a good thing. SMH!
Give a man a fish you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime. ULP, please teach them to fish and farm. Give a hand up, not a hand out. Where is the humanity in keeping people beholden to you for the rest of their lives? No one wants to spend every day holding out their hands to you like the beggars you want them to be.
Mr. James: I am afraid of politicians and aspiring politicians like you. You are a member of the SVG population that you accuse of being rich. And most people do not become wealthy by magic. Many of us earned whatever little wealth we accumulate. As for Luke Browne, I know his father. Theo Browne started out as a secondary school teacher and worked himself up to the position that he enjoys today.
People like you are instilling envy in poor people just so that you can be elected. Then you enrich yourself by raping the country’s treasury.
Mr. James, SVG you will do yourself and your country a service by encouraging poor people to put their efforts into developing small independent businesses, pursue education, strengthen their families, adopt healthy and responsible living standards, etc instead of using divisive and dangerous rhetoric for selfish means.
Of course, the ULP has lost it way. We need responsible and forward-thinking leadership in SVG.
According to Carlos James, Comrades … you have a government that loves poor people.
Actually, what the ULP loves are people so dependent on the party for their livelihood that they are forced to vote ULP in every election.
To hell with doing the hard work of stimulating economic growth to enhance the well being of all Vincentians. Do the easy work of begging and borrowing money overseas to enhance dependence on economic handouts.
This has been the PM’s most brilliant masterstroke: increase the party’s vote by increasing dependency.
If ever there was an idiot. How the hell putting people on welfare is good for them and the country? Take away the people means of providing for themselves and then you can control them, that’s what being happening in SVG. Sad thing a lot of people are going to agree with that foolishness.
That Poor Relief increased by 250 percent between 2001 and 2014 should be matter of shame, not pride, for it starkly shows how poorly our economy performed during that period.
The point everyone is missing is that in those areas he lists and other areas those people who he describes as rich as if that is a crime, they each employ 1.75 persons. There are about 9000 home owners that each employ 1.75 persons every week, thats approaching 16,000 persons employed. The home owners therefore are up there as one of the top employers in the country.
Then along comes a pratt in a red shirt and would like all those people to be unemployed and to live on the love of the ULP, which means they would starve.
I have never heard any private employer complain about the government helping people except those that complain about the election bribery and fraud that is carried out under the cloak of help. Goods, money and hardware given to ULP supporters that do not need such items.
Easy. Easy on the parrot messenger. The idiot is dutifully reciting the message. Do not belittle the man sings for his supper. I am not suggesting you like or accept the tune, but it isnt his.
Its really brave of this man to hit on this topic. It is indeed fact that some of the so-called high class do not want good for the poorer class of people. Based on what I read here, its quite clear that I Witness news omitted a lot so in order to get a fairview of what this man is saying you have to watch the Video. So I did.
He made some solid points. It is true that a lot of opportunities are now available for the low and middle class people. It is nolonger the rich that gets the chance to go away to study or get High position jobs in SVG. The fact is the poorer class of people dont get recognition until they have reached the high positions. That’s when they become important.
I remembered growing up in Sandy Bay, We were extremely poor but my mother made sacrifices to ensure I got an education. In the year I completed Common Entrance I was denied entry in to GHS because my parents was not from the elite bunch. So I was placed at the George Town Secondary. Never the less I worked my way up and I was later able to secure a scholarship.
While I was dating an individual from one of the said places that were mentioned, it is then it became clearer of how classism exit here in our beloved SVG. I remembered the comments made from his social circle, “Why date a girl like her who have nothing to offer you”, ” She is from a poor family” He will never choose a girl like you over a girl who have qualifications” etc. I realized i had to proof to them that i am just as capable of reaching the same places they are or higher. Even his parents did not like the idea of us being together. So I left his ass out went off to study and made something of myself. Sad thing about it they lost everything and they now have to endure what its like being poor.
The moral of the Story: Wah horse reach donkey can reach.
I must applaud the Government for all that they have been doing to lift the poorer class of people. Only those who were in the situation can understand and appreciate where Carlos James is coming from. This man has a bright future ahead and I wish him well.
I hope this bright boy listen back to this crap.If ULP has reduced poverty by so much why is the poor relief list increasing and why do they see it as such a great achievement?How many strong healthy persons who can do hard and would rather work for their own money are on that list?Mr Educated lawyer man, the more people on welfare means that a country is not doing well economically and that is what your PM wants.He wants people to be dependant on his hand outs so that you all can go on a platform and brag about who aryo give this and that.So much for this education revolution eh.By the way which one of the groups do you belong to?The poor or the rich who owns the big mansions?
So, in order to win votes, Carlos James is starting a class warfare; Its now the ‘haves’ against the ‘haves not’ and vice versa.
These comments are unhelpful and divisive.
He is saying that people in Ratho Mill, Cane Garden, etc do not want the govt to help poor people. Really?
How many of these people actually came from a poor background themselves?
How many of them have friends and families from a poor or less fortunate background?
How many of the current ULP candidates live, or lived, in the communities of have families living in these areas?
How many of these residents employ other less fortunate Vincentians in their businesses and even their homes?
Does Carlos James think that the measly welfare payment is enough to maintain a home with children who need to travel to school; need clothes and food each day and still pay bills? And by the way, having an increase in the number of people who are dependent on state hand outs is nothing to be proud of. Instead, the government should be ashamed of itself.
These sort of comments are just ignorant.
What is Luke Browne and the other ULP Candidates going to say to these same people when he try campaigning in these areas? What never mind Carlos, he was just trying to win votes? I suppose that he is out to win by any means necessary regardless of the damage that it does to the chances of his fellow party candidates.
People like him is why the country is in the state that it is. Encouraging hatred and separation instead of togetherness and community spirit.
I really do hope that Carlos James does not win a seat in Government because the last thing that we need as a nation is people like him making decisions that affect us all. Because if he is already trying to create an us and them country and he is not in a position of power, just imagine what it will be like when he is in Government.
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