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]. 

“Labour Love” was the slogan used by the Unity Labour Party in the campaign for the Dec. 9 general election. However, I wonder how many of you are really getting the “Labour Love” now after the election and now that the country is so hard.

My information is that the Farmers Support Company (FSC) is in trouble. One person was calling Agriculture Mobile Unit stations on Friday, Feb. 19 to tell workers that the same Friday is their last day at work at the Agriculture Unit in Orange Hill, Dumbarton and New Grounds. All this was done without proper notice, and no pay.

The ones that joined the Company last will be sent home and the older workers will be sent back to their various positions held before they were transferred to FSC. Comrade, is that Labour Love? People have families to support in these hard economic times. They have loans, mortgages, hire purchase arrangements, water to pay, light to pay, food to buy, plus they have children to send to school and now they are being sent home without even knowing where their next meal is coming from. Most people live from month to month because the salaries are so small; nothing to save and now you take that away from them. How are they supposed to pay their bills with no income? Most of them are single parents who rallied around the Minister and the entire ULP on a whole, but now they have been put on the back burner. Do you take a good look at the weekend papers and notice the amount of properties banks foreclose on and put up for sale? People are losing they jobs daily under this Government and cannot pay to keep they properties and it’s not because they live above their means but simply because their source of income has been taken away.

Families are left homeless and going to sleep hungry at nights. But the ULP is bragging about having increased Poor Relief and the number of persons on Poor Relief. This simply shows that the country is in serious turmoil and no one seems to care, as long as their bread is buttered.

The things that politicians do just to get votes or to be on the winning side and then forget who put them there! The Ministers go around in the constituencies every four years fooling the people just to get votes, and after election, you can’t even talk to them.

Minister Montgomery Daniel will always remain a man of integrity and someone who listen to the cries of his people. This man you can go to his home anytime and he welcomes you. If he can help, he will help; but if he can’t, he would say up front, ‘I cannot help you’, and people understand. Minister Daniel continues doing the work that God has sent you here to do.

Other representatives need to take a page from your book and understand the people put them there for a reason — not to be a “YES MAN” while knowing to themselves that nothing can be done, or that they cannot help you. Stop fooling the people. It has gone too far now. If you can’t help, say so. People would appreciate you more for it.

One MP in particular, because it is his last election, it seems like he doesn’t care about the people anymore.

According to one source, a young lady has been taken for a fool and a good ride. The young lady was sent to a department of that MP’s ministry two days before the December 2015 election as an election gimmick. At the same department, workers tend to sit all day long as there is nothing to do, but every fortnight they receive a salary. She has not got paid since starting to work.

The source also said that the young lady was interviewed by the Minister at his office in Kingstown where she was told to start work at the same office in Kingstown, but she was embarrassed when she showed up for work that day and no one knew who she was or was expecting her to start work; not even the PS knew anything, as no information was passed on to him by the Minister or his secretary.

The young lady went back home and the Minister visited her home and she confronted him and he, in return, told her it was a misunderstanding at the Office and he called a young lady at the office to take her personal information which was already given on two separate occasions and mention to the lady in his Ministry that the young lady will start to work on the Dec. 7, 2015 because there was a misunderstanding and also she will get paid for the month of November that she didn’t get to work.

Now, the young lady cannot even get to pay her bills or even buy food. Is this the kind of people who we need to represent us? Yet when you talk, you are victimised, and even get laid off from your job and all this happens to the ones who supported and rally around the ULP — people need to survive the same way you are. As a gentleman commented on the South Central Windward Facebook page, “Your bread done butter and others need they bread butter too”.

It is time for victimisation to stop. If someone is qualified for the job, give it to the person, but don’t give it to someone because there are related to the PS or the Minister is friend with the parents or friend with the individual or they get the work because of party benefits or the family is rich and all children including parents are working within Government ministries while the poor man’s family struggles, cannot get a work and all six children are sitting at home with good qualifications and nothing to do because they don’t know any Government ministers pull a string for one of his child to work. I understand that the Government cannot provide jobs for everyone, but yet while the poor struggles to make ends meet for his families, they are being victimised by those in high authority pulling the rag from right under their feet.

The election campaign was all about what young people can expect in the next five years concerning the providing of jobs and other things but the one that catch me the most was how much each minister professed to care about the interest of the young people and no one being left behind but it seems like they forgot to mention the part where young workers who have family to support are being sent home and young workers are working for months without a salary.

Young workers are about to be evicted from properties whether by bank or landlords because of no income while they are “working”. Young workers have to beg for bus fare to travel and to buy food to eat and be at work every day but no salary, while they are “working”. Workers who get released from Orange Hill without pay journey to Kingstown to the Office of FSC just to get payment. They come from Mt Grenan, Diamonds, Dumbarton, New Grounds, Georgetown and Sandy Bay almost every day, only to be told that the cheques cannot be signed until Cabinet releases money. Banana farmers can’t even get paid, but friends of the well-positioned are getting paid from FSC just to sit at home, drive high folks or trade in gossip.

One state company paid people to work on the election campaign, under the guise that they had done work for the state.

Van drivers who also worked for the election in the South Central Windward are among those who still haven’t got paid for they services rendered. Pay the people! They too have bills to pay.

Concerned Citizen

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].

13 replies on “Really feeling the ‘Labour Love’…”

  1. I could write a book about the topic this article addresses but Kenton Chance does not publish my comments that are more than a few sentences long.

    Generally we should all notice that Ralph does not care about SVG, he cares about the wealth and luxury he and his friends and family can get from exploiting the country. He only does enough to get himself reelected even if it eventually includes terrible austerity in the form of taxes and now lay-offs.

  2. My chronic complaint with these anonymous complaints is that they are, well, always anonymous.

    If you have been victimized to near death or starvation, please stand up and tell us who you are because there is nothing more they can do to you, except sue you if you are lying, which they won’t do because you are penniless.

    If you haven’t been paid for months or been arbitrarily sacked or forced to have sex in exchange for a non-existent job, then get together with your peers, contact the media, and hold a press conference detailing your evidence.

    Hiding behind a pseudonym after your oppression has already occurred — and when you can’t be even more abused by the state than you have already been — lacks credibility.

    Give us the names, times, dates, and particulars and then maybe the rest of us will believe you. Only then may conditions change for the better.

  3. David I just cannot sit here and stay quite at your increasingly stupid comments without saying something about it.

    You yourself hide behind a pseudonym, Why? Because you fear personal repercussions against you or your family, your extended family and even your close friends and associates may suffer because of things that you say or write.

    It doesn’t matter if what is written is 101% true that can only make the writer more at risk from spite malice and pure evil actions against him/her.

    Remember David much of what you write may or may not be true, much of what you write is often your own opinion, and only that an opinion.

    It is up to the reader to disseminate what he reads and check elsewhere to see if there is any truth in what has been written by such an anonymous writer.

    Had I written this letter in the way that it is constructed I am sure Kenton would not have published it. But he has and that is a matter for him he must know who wrote it and may well have asked the writer some questions.

    I just wonder if it was written by Minister Montgomery Daniels himself because I can think of no one who would write such things about him except himself. I wondered if he wrote this in the hope to bring the problems to light without getting the flack from Dr Salt himself. If he did he has made a good job of writing in such a semi illiterate way.

    David for you to tell this man to do what you yourself are afraid to do is pretty nasty on your part. David why not investigate what is written, see for yourself if it is true.

    Kenton you must know if there is feedback on any of the content from other sources?

    1. Yes Peter, all true. And in regards to Kenton: he does not put-up even half the comments I write. It is mostly too critical of Ralph I suppose. Apparently Kenton loves Ralph, just like Vinciman. I will probably start visiting other Caribbean sites and skip I-witness from now on since Kenton seems to not respect my opinion 80% of the time. He can instead embrace Vinciman

      1. Lostpet:

        iWitness News will not approve or publish any comment that we deem to be defamatory or might open us to legal implications. The laws of defamation in SVG are significantly different from those in North America.

        Kenton X. Chance
        Executive Editor
        IWN

      2. Lostpet I cannot agree with all that, Kenton Chance has his own health to take care of you will not do that for him. He has to be careful on what he publishes because it is him that gets sued not you because you are a lostpet pet.

        So for the good of his health and to stay in business he has to walk a tightrope, what he publishes he has to edit to what he believes is right and will not get him into trouble.

        Perhaps he is sometimes over cautious but that’s his prerogative and if you want to come here you have to accept that, or don’t come here, or start your own online media site.

    2. C. ben-David says:

      Peter, you completely missed my point. I did not refer to those people who see and can prove the wickedness, illegality, political patronage, and victimization going on all around them who are afraid to use their real names because of the repurcussions.

      I referred to people who have already been abused by discriminatory job loss, the curtailment of benefits they should be receiving, sexual exploitation, etc. who really have nothing more to lose but who are still afraid to blow the whistle on their own victimization.

      I have never been personally victimized or marginalized, largely because I have no income or position and little property in SVG to be victimized over.

      But I still feel and regret the generalized victimization we all feel when our country is being run into the ground for electoral gain.

      I am an empirically based social scientist and have been trained to be skeptical of any undocumented assertion, including the many you have made in the past without presenting a shred of evidence.

      For example, where are your photos of all the trucks, their contents, and their destinations you say were lined up at the Arnos Vale depot day and night to deliver building materials to bribe voters during the recent election campaign?

  4. David you know these people would never do that. Victimization is tops on this government’s agenda. Many people walked into that situation blindly and I can’t sympathize with their plight now. They have been fooled for 14 years with promises that never saw the light of day and yet they continued to believe those lies. They had an opportunity to change the song, but they continue to sing the same old tune. So what do they expect now?
    The poor relief list has increased and taxes have increased to pay the new-comers on the list. The government has no ideas how to create jobs. No new businesses are on the horizon because of victimization. Ralph imposed taxes on boat engines imported by Howard: Guess who have to pay $1000 more to but that engine – fishermen. Is this how you encourage job creation? If non-ULP supporters venture into starting businesses; the government comes up with bogus laws and ideas to close them. Bigger Bigs is a typical example of this evil practice of the government. You have to be a government arse kisser to start a business and be successful.
    If Montgomery Daniel has all these qualities listed in the above article, then why is he allowing his people to suffer? I don’t buy his excuse that he cannot do anything to help the people in his constituency. Louis sent in his resignation and many people in CL constituency received envelope containing money. He can make the same demands and get help for his people. His fight should be for his people and not for Ralph to get his son in position to take over the reins of ULP.
    The story about the young girl is not new and has been going on long before the election. It appears that Vincentian women can be easily fooled and probably fits right into the category of “3 for 10”.
    I have to go along with the old biblical saying, “let the dead bury the dead”.

  5. C. ben-David says:

    Here are some hard facts: I passed by a neighbour earlier today who has three pretty unemployed daughters in their late teens to mid-twenties. I asked where they were and the mother blithely and unselfconsciously replied that they were “all about taking man.” (My own long term observations suggest that this was a valid observation.)

    This is now the main labour activity (call it “Labour Love” brothel-style if you like) under this regime for thousands of our young women: Ralph’s failed economic policies has made them good for nothing else but picking fares!

    1. That is terrible! Our PM does not see what his economics is causing people to do. I thought it was bad that the largest industry in SVG is Street Vendor, but prostitution may actually be bigger. Dealing drugs is a big industry too. It makes you wonder where SVG would be today if the government(s) beginning some time in the Mitchell years supported industries instead of just supporting themselves.
      Sad thing is that most Vincentians do not even realize it!

    2. C.ben David, You are an intelligent person that expresses himself very well and has a lot of respect with all who visit this site. I request that you write an article on our economic situation and how it can be rectified by implementing changes such as lower taxes and duties, to create investment incentive instead of discouragement and emigration and financial misery. Singapore’s economics is a 180 degree contrast with SVG. They are export dependent and we are import dependent. They were also a British colony and poorer than SVG. Why did they get Lee Quan Yew and we got the dummies?

      1. C. ben-David says:

        I am no economist but here are a few suggestions:

        1. remove VAT on all raw produce — agricultural and otherwise — to lower the cost of living and give people more money to spend and invest in productive enterprises.

        2. strictly enforce the tax code, a move that would more than make up for any VAT loss on unprocessed items.

        3. reduce the VAT on locally produced items (e.g., bottled peanuts, jams and jellies, etc.) by 50 percent to encourage more local consumption and reinvestment.

        4. reduce the size of the civil service by at least 25 percent — mainly through attrition but also by removing incompetent and lazy individuals — without any loss of service by increasing efficiency via increased computerization and the elimination of useless or redundant units and practices. (This would be done with the help of experts from abroad.)

        5. stop work on the international airport at Argyle and find more productive uses for the incomplete project such as the site of a large teaching geriatric teaching hospital and associated nursing home for the elderly directly connected to or even fully integrated with the existing medical schools.

        6. Build a new cruise ship terminal at Port Elizabeth, Bequia, to replace the underused one in Kingstown.

        7. Expand E.T. Joshua Airport to support international aircraft carrying 150 passengers.

        8. increase education in the trades and service sector to serve the thousands of students wasting time and learning nothing attending our secondary schools.

        9. enhance admission standards at the community college by admitting only the brightest students to study in areas in which there are actual or potential employment opportunities in SVG.

        10. most important of all, introduce accountability, transparency, and separation of powers legislation (to make the civil service and other bodies immune from partisan political manipulation, as they now are) for all politicians and senior civil servants, coupled with freedom of information legislation to ensure public access to government finances and national economic performance. (For years there has been no publication of the Digest of Statistics, a disgraceful practice meant to hide the true state of our economy and society, a disgraceful practice if there ever was one).

        I invite others with real economic and technical expertise to comment or expand on these and other ideas.

      2. C. ben-David says:

        Forgot to mention that I would also:

        11. sell Vinlec and CWSA (under strict conditions to protect against price gouging via an independent price-regulation commission agreed upon by all parties, etc.) to the private sector, where they would be far better managed, using all of the money from the sales to retire as much of our national debt as possible given that low interest rates suggest that this is the ideal time to do so.

        12. privatize as many government functions, programmes, and agencies as is feasible in a democratic country to make them more professional, efficient and cost-effective than they currently are, provided that the government reserves independent and arm’s length (i.e., non-political party motivated) oversight over them.

        Though a radical idea for a society stuck in the same tired old groove all the time, this would include the prison (whose functions are increasingly being privatized elsewhere at great savings and efficiency to the taxpayer) and many ordinary police functions such as traffic regulation, patrolling (which is rarely done anyway except in Kingstown), and the launching of complaints, reserving primary functions for a new and highly trained national security force.

        After all, private security firms are already carrying out some of the functions the police used to do but at a much lower cost.

        13. institute a strict means test for all people currently on Poor Relief to assure that no able-bodied or sound-of-mind people under the age of 65 or those whose families are already supporting them are receiving welfare. Alternatively, institute a work-for-welfare public works programme combined with job training to ensure that those able of body and mind personally contribute to the support given to them by the rest of the citizenry.

        Overall, my 13 points call for a smaller, smarter, and more efficient government with far less control over our lives.

        Don’t bet the farm that either of the two political parties will soon sign on to these proposals because as good as some of them might be for our country and people, they would only serve to reduce the power, privileges, and prestige of the ULP and NDP.

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