The Unity Labour Party (ULP) government is like an abusive partner who speaks about love when the abused party is ready to leave the relationship.
So said New Democratic Party (NDP) senator, Vynnette Frederick, at the party’s rally in Keartons on Saturday.
Frederick, the NDP’s spokesperson on gender issues, said that the ULP is betting on youthful Vincentians to give the party a fourth consecutive term in office.
“And young people, the ULP is betting that they could hold on to you, bamboozle you, get you to the polls and pull out your vote.
“One thing they are correct about, the young people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines will also be responsible for electing the next government that will lead St. Vincent and the Grenadines and that government will be an NDP government.”
Frederick said that the ULP is the only government that many young Vincentians know, and they therefore regard many untoward realities as “normal”.
“So the hard time that you and your parents are feeling, the kind of schizophrenic government we are having, you been thinking that that is normal, because it is the only thing you know,” she told the rally.
“So you feel it is normal that the roads can’t get paved. It’s normal that they don’t have a psychiatrist in the Mental Home. It’s normal that health care gone to the dogs. It’s normal that you study hard and you can’t get a job. It’s normal that you can’t get your ends meet. That is what this Unity Labour Party wants you to think.
But I want to tell you something. The government is behaving like an abuser,” Frederick said.
She said Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves came to office in March 2001 talking about “Together Now!” and it sounded good.
“But over the years, the licks that we been feeling as a people and the cussing, our noble civilisation is now ‘chattering nabobs’, the ‘uneducated rumps’, ‘dutty dogs’, ‘the dry head girl’, and, of course, me — ‘the snotty nose girl’. You remember that one?
“… We getting cuss left, right and centre from a Unity Labour party government behaving like an abuser.
“They don’t have any drugs for you, but their son fed up get wuk. He started out as a crown counsel, move up to ambassador, move up to senator, minister and now they now want to pole-vault him, parachute him and land him in East St. George, but no sankie nah sing so,” she said of Gonsalves’ son, Sen. Camillo Gonsalves, who is also Minister of Foreign Affairs.
“This is not a monarchy. And we not down for no dynasty,” Frederick said.
“This government is behaving like an abuser. They tell you … their budget is not about creating jobs. You ever hear more insanity from a government? After cussing you and tell you … the worst, they turn ‘round and tell you we love you. Labour love.
“They love you. You can’t feed your family but they love you. You can’t pay your light bill but they love you. They cut off your water because you are not regularly employed to pay your bills, but they love you.
“But tell me, if this is Labour love, I have a question for them, DJ,” Frederick said as the DJ played “Tell me if love so nice”.
Tell me why it hurt so bad”, lines from Jamaican artiste Junior Kelly’s “If Love So Nice”.
“If love so nice, why is it hurting the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines so bad? The abuser likes to keep you helpless and dependent. They don’t want you to be independent,” Frederick said.
She accused the ULP government of campaigning on the idea of giving more “Poor Relief” when the people say they want more jobs.
“They don’t want to keep you independent. They want to keep you helpless.
“The abuser does live in he own bubble, eh. His life nice and he ain’t see your reality.”
She said healthcare is substandard “but they could fly out on a plane. They could even carry a nurse when they going and do that, but they love us.
“They want to keep us dependent on them, looking for the hand-out, instead of the hand up. They have one kind of justice for them, and a different kind of justice for we.
“And sometimes, the Justices feel that they have a need to say that we need to be grateful, something that frightens me when you expect justice to be untainted and to be fearless in this country.”
Frederick told party supporters that there is VAT on locally grown food, making unhealthy food more affordable, even as the government says there is a “wellness revolution”.
“And leh me tell you. Things bad, the economy in the toilet. And ladies, listen to this: unemployment going down the drain and hear what they telling you. Come see me, come talk to me, let’s see what we can wuk out. Leh me see if ah could run something.
“Now, I have heard the stories of early morning meetings in high offices where things happen to women. Ah want to say to you young women out there, it is not acceptable, it is not normal, it is not desirable for a boss of any business, whether it is a country or a country store that they running to ask you to compromise yourself, your values, your principles, to exchange sexual favours for employment or opportunity.
“That is not normal, that is not acceptable, that is not love; that is abuse,” Frederick said as she instructed the DJ to play Singing Sandra’s “Die With My Dignity”, a calypso that encourages women not to perform sexual favours for financial assistance from men.
“This government is behaving like an abuser, not just of the people, but of the women.
“And let me tell you something about an abuser. When they see that yo’ standing up, when they see that yo’ really done with them, that you leaving, that you walking out, that the thing done, it mash up, we ready to go from them, is then they start to sweet up.
“They coming with gift, they coming with the galvanise, the lumber. The thing that couldn’t build for a year, they building it fast, fast. They want [to] cut the lawn, they coming with the gifts for you, like the abusers that they are.
“What they couldn’t do in 14 years of kicking you around, they want to do it in one day. They want you to believe that the giver they are now, the love they have for you is really who they are.
“… It’s almost like they want to marry you over again, even though we in the divorce court and we only waiting on the ballot paper to serve it on them with the X for the key, they coming with the bribe,” Frederick said.
“But when they abuse yo’ and yo’ decide yo’ done with them, no amount ah love talk, no amount ah gifts, no amount ah wedding bells, no amount ah sweet up could change the fact…” Frederick said.