Tuesday, 17 October 2017 01:59:06 (AST)
 

Opinion

Jomo Thomas beats PM Gonsalves over the head

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 news.iwitness@gmail.com

Jomo Sanga Thomas, speaker of St. Vincent and the Grenadines House of Assembly. (Photo: Alberto Borrego).

Jomo Sanga Thomas, speaker of St. Vincent and the Grenadines House of Assembly. (Photo: Alberto Borrego).

I read and re-read the column in The Vincentian newspaper of Oct. 7, 2016 by Jomo Thomas. I must admit I was knocked sideways by what he wrote and must voice my admiration and acknowledge his courage in writing what he wrote. Among many other things he certainly noted that the land at Mount Wynne was being sold to0 cheap.

It’s my belief that much of what he wrote is a rebuke to PM Ralph Gonsalves, the regime, and dynasty.

Jomo Sanga Thomas is a lawyer and spent much of his professional life in the United States.

He is speaker of the Vincentian House of Assembly and was given that position by Gonsalves to try and tame him and get him under the control of the regime. Why was that seen as necessary?

Because in 2009, in a televised address, Jomo Thomas said “the leaders of the ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP) are “cynical and reckless” and their actions “represent a clear and present danger” to the country”. That I believe was a direct reference by him to Ralph Gonsalves.

Jomo Thomas, at the time, was the General Secretary of the People’s Movement for Change (PMC).

He went on to say, “Vincentians should, therefore, begin to think and look beyond Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves for leadership of the state”.

After ranting about the NDP and ULP leadership, he went on to say, “Gonsalves and his team are guilty of nothing short of political treason”.

He said “the ULP looks at all of SVG’s problems in political rather than human terms” and “this modus operandi hamstrings SVG and makes it harder to advance the country”.

Thomas went on to say the country would have been in a better position if the ULP “placed country above self and people before politics… The ULP leadership cursed and fought with the opposition rather than fight for the unity was necessary if constitutional reform was to be successful”.

So you can understand why Gonsalves put him on a committee or two, made him a senator and last December gave him a run at teh South Leeward seat (fully well knowing he could not win it). When the new Parliament was constituted, to keep Jomo on the leash, Gonsalves made him Speaker of the House to which he has proved an excellent choice.

But this week, once again, it is obvious that Jomo has very different political and personal morals to the members of the ULP government.

Writing about the unions in Saint Vincent, he wrote, “There is no denying that the world [Saint Vincent] has changed, but these are changes for the worse. The consciousness of the people, which built up in the 1970s, has eroded, trade union organisation and solidarity have waned, community love and togetherness have given way to a backward and selfish individualism” [destroyed by Ralph Gonsalves].

He went on: “With this kind of change, who in their right mind will give up their principles for such an empty shell? Who will want to stop being their brother’s keeper because of a few dollars more? Well, not me”. Jomo is obviously complaining strongly about the treatment of the people and letting the regime know he has not been bought after all.

“If poverty has fallen in our land, we must still recognize that too many of our brothers and sisters cannot keep body and soul together on a daily basis”.

“There is no denying that the world has changed, but these are changes for the worse. The consciousness of the people, which built up in the 1970s, has eroded, trade union organization and solidarity have waned, community love and togetherness have given way to a backward and selfish individualism”.

Mentioning health care and education but pointing out the failings he said “it will be remiss of us to forget that many children of the poor, repeat classes and fail to graduate from school, and even more poor families suffer in pain and die because they do not have the wherewithal to see the doctor or pay for the curative drugs that are badly needed”.

This is very clearly a note that the people are suffering at the hands of the ULP.

“Although many of us have grasped the opportunity and moved into the middle class, we cannot forget the large swath of our people, especially youths, who do not have jobs, or are grotesquely exploited by their employers”.

“We are moving along rapidly with tourism, even though evidence abounds that these islands get less than ten cents of each tourist dollar. We have the experience of the Buccament Bay Resort where employees work long hours and don’t get paid their full ages on a timely basis. We have the sad case of Buccament Bay Resort boss, David Ames, who stole over $8 million of our people’s money.

“Yet, we move deeper into tourism. We sell lands at Canouan at great inconvenience to nationals, where mostly rich white people enjoy our beaches and treat our people like garbage”.

“We sold prime real estate at Mount Wynne for a fee that is far too low. When these lands are sold, they are gone forever. Two thirds of Canouan was given away by Mitchell’s NDP. This government has sold prime tracts there and in Bequia. Mustique has long been gone. Union Island is up for grabs. Mayreau is also being sold”.

Now if that is not a dressing down of the regime and a pulling to task of the dynasty I do not know what is. That is why I wrote somewhere else recently that Gonsalves would want to punch the wall when he read Jomo’s column.

I would think under normal circumstances Gonsalves would want rid of him and dish him up a big helping of spite and malice. But Gonsalves has to be a little frightened of Jomo because Jomo outclasses him to a great degree and he is a danger to Gonsalves politically. In fact, he might be described as a hazard.

According to the Constitution, the Speaker of the House cannot just be dismissed willy-nilly.

24 (2) if a person who is not a member of the House is elected to be Speaker he shall, by virtue of holding the office of Speaker, be a member of the House.

30 c. if he is removed from office by resolution of the House in favor or which there are cast the votes of two-thirds of all the members of the House excluding the Speaker.

So to remove him if he has committed no offence under the constitutional rules takes two-thirds of the whole House in a ballot to do so. So, comrade Gonsalves, as they say, “Crapo smoke your pipe”.

The shame is, Gonsalves thought he had bought Jomo lock, stock, and barrel, but all he got was the wrapping; the content is still where it has always been — in Jomo’s heart.

There is much more to read and for those of you who have not read what he wrote in the Vincentian, I recommend you do so right now.

Please do not think for one moment that I agree with everything Jomo says, writes and does, he is still an old-fashioned type of socialist; the kind I do not like very much.

I keep in mind what Jomo said in Cuba in April 2016:

“Cuba is an important example. I always tell the Cuban ambassador in St. Vincent and the Grenadines that I am a Cuban, because I recognize the profound importance of the Cuban Revolution for the world”.

He went on to say “And even if one does not agree with all Cuban socialist ideas, the fact is that the Cuban Revolution has accomplished much and as the guerrilla Commander Ernesto Che Guevara said, what they fear is the example.

“Reactionary forces fear the example of Cuba and its Revolution, which I embrace and love, as throughout my entire life I have been a revolutionary”.

Peter Binose

IWN Conversations

8 thoughts on “Jomo Thomas beats PM Gonsalves over the head

  1. C. ben-David says:

    All you have shown is that:

    1. Jomo is a self-serving hypocrite, a sanctimonious mewling quim who sold his soul to the Devil for a few pieces of silver (a Senator’s salary and a Speaker’s stipend, if there is one) and the status and legal referrals that his House of Assembly position bring.

    2. The first thing Jomo would do if he had the power would be to turn SVG into a Marxist workers’ paradise along the lines of Cuba, Venezuela, the former Soviet Union, and Maoist China, yet you praise him to the heavens as some latter-day Pharisee.

    3. You have no understanding of or respect for journalist or academic protocol and integrity. By taking whole chunks word-for-word from a single source (had you pasted the whole piece, you would have achieved the same results, since your commentary offers nothing of merit) as opposed to a sentence or two here or there, you are guilty of the “theft of intellectual property” for which The Vincentian newspaper should hold you to account. (By the way, others have charged you with this offense in the past, and with the more serious ethical breach of deliberate plagiarism.)

    My poor, hapless “Internet crazy” friend, Peter, the only one you ever “beat over the head” is yourself so I promise never to make you look small again because doing so is like stealing a lollipop from a pickaninny.

  2. peter says:

    So David you have decided to continue along the path of spite, malice and hatred towards me.

    There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that you are mentally sick. What I did is most certainly not classed as plagarism. According to other writers on another media site that is exactly what you do all the time, everything you write is based on other peoples work.

    My comments are on what Jomo wrote himself not what a journalist wrote it is from his own column and then I recommend and link the column in the Vincentian. So I have credited both Jomo and the Vincentian, at no time have I pretended that his words or writings are my own.

    David your decision to try to hurt and destroy me only shows the readers just how evil you are. I know and you know that everything that you are doing is based on sheer jealousy. You have attacked a number of writers in this way and I have commented on that.

    As for your promises everyone knows your promises and your word are worthless, you made the same undertakings to other writers.

    Perhaps your jealousy is triggered by an inferiority complex. An inferiority complex that may have arisen as a result of some kind of defect either physical or mental. For instance a low IQ, poor physical fitness or appearance, physical disablement, speech defects etc.

    I do not know. because like many cowards you hide your real self from view. You hide not because you fear political punishment because you do nothing anti ULP or comrade political in fact you are a regime and dynasty supporter. You hide yourself out of pure cowardice so as you can spitefully attack people and fear their retribution.

  3. Vinciman says:

    Oh David, “why be so hard on Bro’ Jomo…” After all, he is our “Mr Speaker” “plain talker” so what you expect. Who started this whole thing with “much reluctance” and ended up with “much denounce-ance” ( ah made that up) for not doing his homework properly, his research? Wasn’t Jomo. Jomo was “misled” like so many by Matthew, Peter, NDP et al from the beginning until comrade PM, as usual, straightened things out. Jomo loves his SVG and always wants to be of some help, so what? (How about yourself?).

    Therefore, your # 1 is just plain wrong.

    # 2 …not a bad idea but we doing it Vincy style.

    # 3 … Yeah man! Yeah man! I have said that, proven that over ‘n over but “NOBODY LISTENS”.

    Word of the day: “Tis better not to set the tongue loose but to curb it, not to have edges that catch, but to remain untangled, unblinded, unconfused is to find balance. And he who holds balance beyond sway of love or hate, beyond reach of profit or loss, beyond care of praise or blame, has attained the highest post in the world”.

    Jomo me brother, “nah bodder with dem”! “…Give your heart to Christ and read more Marx!
    “The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it”. I concur!

  4. skeckpalmer says:

    David, I once called Jomo a Judas and mentioned several of the things you have quoted, but I realized later that he still has some good feeling for the poor people in this country. That’s why I defended him when Julian went after him about the vendors in the market place. I also said he would be the only one to challenge Camillo when Ralph steps down. So Peter is not all wrong with his assessment of Jomo’s situation. Politics is a game and we are seeing it played out in this situation.
    Ralph though he would have a silent Jomo, but he barked up the wrong tree. I also penned the idea of the NDP retaining Jomo as speaker if it had won the 2015 election. I did it because I observed some qualities in him that could steer SVG in a more united and caring way. Many ULP supporters are calling him a traitor because of the views he’s expressing even after becoming speaker, so all is not lost with Jomo.
    I don’t think the paper can win a case against Peter because he gave it credit for the article. Many people, including me, use other people’s works to express a point. I use IWN material on several occasions. I never said it was mine and I always allow Kenton’s voice to be part of the material or I mention where I obtained the material. Peter also asked readers to view the original material which is exposure and advertisement for the newspaper.
    I use lots of songs in many of my videos and YouTube would advise me about copyright materials. However they also added that it’s ok because advertisements will also appear on my video. This is free advertisement for the artist and the song. I was blocked some years ago from using Bob Marley’s songs, but now I have no problem.
    I realize you and Peter are not the best of friends but I believe you both are writers with very important material to offer your readers. Hence I think you should be more respectful of each other’s views. Be critical of things you believe are inaccurate, but back it up with facts. Ironically, you are both accurate with many of your assessments of the AIA. So where is the beef?
    Sorry Kenton for the second posting. I wish there is a way that I could remove the original when I review it and find mistakes.

    • C. ben-David says:

      Many thanks for these comments but please read the second instalment of Jomo Thomas’ “The World Has Changed” published yesterday (http://thevincentian.com/the-world-has-changed-pt-p11814-110.htm) on global income inequality without a word on inequality and corruption in SVG to see what a hypocrite he actually is. To put the old adage on its head: “With enemies like this, the ULP doesn’t need any friends.” Traitor my foot!

      My reply, just posted there, is:

      OCT 22 • “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, sir. Income inequality in SVG is higher today than when the ULP first came into power in 2001. Not true? Well dispute the assertion if you can. You won’t be able to because your government is the most secretive in the history of our country. One of the first things your government did when it came into power was to stop the publication of the annual Digest of Statistics, an invaluable source of information about so many features of our society and economy. We don’t know and can’t find out the net worth of our Prime Minister, a man who (along with his cousin, Julian Francis) is one of our leading one percenters but who, unlike the leader in many civilized countries, is not obliged to disclose his wealth and put his money in a blind trust before assuming office. We have no enforceable, arms-length freedom of information legislation, no impartial and binding transparency and accountability legislation, and no conflict-of-interest legislation. And you talk about other countries!”

      Please also read the excellent comment from my best Internet friend, Vinci Vin Samuel, on the same site.

      • peter says:

        C-ben-David you really are a nasty piece of work. But you know that and thrive on being nasty and being able to bully and frighten people.

        I cannot be frightened and I cannot be bullied, being subservient to people like you is what made so many of our predecessors slaves.

        I have said this before you are not an internet policeman or the editor of the media sites you visit yet want to tell the writers and the readers how to behave, how to write, what to write and to obey your commands. Well I have news for you which I am sure you already know, you are not an internet policeman or an editor or a regulator despite you so badly wanting to be all of those.

        I have some kind of relationship with editors, some know who I am and we get together and wine and dine. Some local editors I do not do that with because it puts them at risk and therefore puts me at risk.

        All editors from time to time say I cannot post something and I accept their decision without any argument or attempt to change their minds. Some editors I give confidential evidence to regarding certain things I write to give them comfort. That does not mean that because you say so I should name my sources and put those people at risk.
        Where I can I give evidence and route of evidence but that is my choice to withhold or publicize such evidence.
        Your kind of writing David is based on writing something for a degree a format that tells all and gives all bibliography that is what you are or at least what you purport to be. We have no way of knowing what you are, a garbage collector, toilet attendant or something a little further up the chain [or down the chain]. We do not know if you live in the UK or not, if you live in a subsidized council house or a flat. We do not know if you are a Vincentian or if when you say you are here you are living in a board house or a fishermans hovel somewhere. Your cattiness actually makes me wonder if in fact you are a man, or even a real man if you are a male, real men just do not behave like you do.

        Your behavior of attacking me is not about what you would like the readers to believe. To start with you are a dreadful liar and a coward, full of jealousy hatred and spite, which makes you act maliciously towards not just me but other writers and more recently readers who have questioned your behavior.

        If you do not like what you see or read on the sites where you visit go elsewhere, stay away because these sites obviously are not for you. If you cannot behave like a real man then go and get some gender treatment for gender dysphoria.

        Your writing is full of pulling down just for the sake of pulling down the Argyle Airport; it’s not really about what is wrong and how to put it right. It is about you personally not wanting an airport, whilst I and most other readers actually want an airport. In my case I write about what is wrong and what has been done wrong and what it requires to put it right, if that is possible at this stage.

        I write about many things not just the airport, I write for several media houses and newspapers with the same and different name for some publications, sometimes only described as a contributor. I get paid from a number of media houses. My work is posted and published in the US, UK and throughout the Caribbean, even Africa. I write three to four stories or articles every week and have written thousands of them. Some of my work is used on radio news stations and on the ticker on Caribbean Weather TV channel. You have written 38 things on Argyle airport which are nothing more than personal views which you present as fact and throw up a whole load of twaddle to try and prove that you are the professional, but you’re not David, you are a want to be.

        I have tried to be nice to you at times, because usually people like you have a nice side to them and I have reached out for that. But you are so eaten up with nastiness that you cannot be helped back to normality, you cannot be brought back from that dark hole you have dug yourself.
        The person who you describe as your internet friend, Vin Samuels is one of the Worlds nice people he is a decent man who can say what he likes and use his own name without fear of people like you. He has made good in the Diaspora and is proud of his achievements like any decent person is proud of Vins achievements, but not you, you had to slag him off about his achievements. You still attack Vin like you attack Markie Spring, both people who are far superior to you in their behavior if not in every aspect of life. You attack people without knowing them or ever having met them, you did the same recently when you slagged off someone’s restaurant business, never having eaten there or knowing anyone who had. You have an obsession with me and stalk me and my writings wherever and whenever you can. Making nasty and untrue assertions about me and what I write, why? Because you are a jealous coward who cannot control yourself and have no respect for what is right and what is wrong.

        David this is not about me it is about you, may I suggest you go and get some treatment as soon as possible. I was reading a paper today that links the kind of nastiness that you display with dementia.

    • C. ben-David says:

      Many thanks for trying to play the honest broker.

      The root problem of my many issues with Peter is that for the past two years or more whenever I have asked for documentation of his more outlandish claims, he has either obfuscated, equivocated, tried to change the subject, claimed his identity would be compromised, or been plain hostile to any suggestion that he might not be “accurate” in what he has written.

      In exaggerating, embellishing, distorting or fabricating “evidence” he has done much harm to a cause we both share (as you correctly point out).

      In particular, he could easily be called a “useful idiot” actually working for the ruling regime since much of what he writes can so easily be dismissed as groundless and laughable propaganda.

      I have repeatedly told him that the truth about SVG is stranger than any fiction so cleave to the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. But my contact entreaties to do so have fallen on deaf ears because Peter simply has no interest in the truth. his sole mission is to vilify a regime that I am convinced has done some real or alleged harm to him in the past, perhaps by blocking an appointment or some other dispensation he thought he deserved.

      Simply put, Peter has a grudge against this regime which has nothing to do with trying to discover the truth about their actual shortcomings — and believe me, the Ralph Gonsalves regime has many shortcomings and much to answer for.

      What this means is that although Peter and I are on the same page in stating that this regime has done a lot of bad things we differ fundamentally and irreconcilably on the need to provide accurate, credible, and verifiable evidence supporting these wrong things.

      I may have written some erroneous things myself (though no one has told me what they are) but have always strived to back up what I have written with actual evidence. Peter, on the other hand, is simply an anti-Ralph political agitator and for this reason alone must be dismissed as an honest and honourable critic of the regime.

  5. peter says:

    Kenton I am sure you know how damaging your sitting on my reply to C.ben-David is. In fact I am quite sure if I had written such a set of comments you would never of published them.

    Even the wording is disgusting, do you really not know what the word ‘quim’ means?

    Seeing as you allowed him a prompt posting of his attack on me I would at least expect a prompt posting of my reply.

    David has attacked a series of writers on ‘Caribbean News Now’ with the result of losing writers and readers.

    For instance when he attacked a writer called Markie Spring a well known Vincentian in the Diaspora he attacked the man and not the article. When I asked him why he did that his reply was something like “because he is weak and I am strong”.

About iWitness News

iWitness News is the leading source of daily and breaking news and current affairs information from and about St. Vincent and the Grenadines. We were founded in February 2009 by Kenton X. Chance, a career journalist and adhere to the highest standards of journalism.
PositiveSSL