by Solomon Daniel
I read Oscar Allen’s article titled “The launch, its moment missed”, published in the Searchlight newspaper of Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017 (scroll for Allen’s article). The main subject of his article is the Argyle International Airport (AIA) and how the Unity Labour Party (ULP) is not developing it correctly.
I have to ask this question in the context of his article: “Is Oscar Allen really serious?”
Let me say from the start that I endorse Mr. Allen’s view that the Opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) should be fully on board the AIA project. However, I energetically reject his analysis especially when he consistently and biasly seeks every opportunity to bury the ULP government. The AIA is just one example. After all, Mr. Allen has made it clear that he has no intentions of recognising publicly nor privately the good work of the ULP-led government. Over the past 15 years, he remains true to his intentions. This is why the public must take his words with a grain of salt and don’t easily believe him when it comes to his bias critiques of the ULP government.
It is one thing to constructively criticise but it is another kettle of fish when criticism originates out of political mischief, hate, desperation and backwardness. This is exactly what the NDP has been doing especially since 2001. It steers extremely far from constructive criticism but instead focuses on political mischief and backwardness. How sad that Oscar Allen has embraced this political madness from the NDP.
Just where was Mr. Allen when the NDP was condemning the Argyle International Airport? Where was Mr. Allen when one of his heroes, Luzette King, begged for a tsunami to destroy the airport and by extension a large part of SVG? Where was Mr. Allen when the NDP mouthpieces went so far as to pray to God that the airplanes that landed at Argyle on Feb. 14, 2017 should crash and by extension killing precious lives of Vincentians on board? Where was Mr. Allen when the NDP leaders ridiculously mocked the efforts of the ULP in building the AIA? Where was Mr. Allen when the NDP ridiculed the internationalist workers from Cuba and Venezuela who worked to build the AIA? Mr. Allen said absolutely nothing against such backward and reactionary politics peddled by the NDP leaders and supporters. Shame on you Mr. Allen!
Generally, Mr. Allen stubbornly and unrighteously refused to see that the NDP’s backwardness is pushing the ULP-led government to react to and resist this backward politics practised by the NDP. This is true for his approach to the AIA, in the sense that he experiences great discomfort in recognising that the ULP government has done any good in the building of the AIA. Allen’s analytical and intellectual skills go into a very deep sleep when it comes time for him to point out the NDP’s profound backwardness generally and AIA particularly.
Mr. Allen, up to this point since 2005, cannot find it in his soul to say good things about the AIA. How can such a person ignore the good things about the AIA? Well it is the ULP building it and he is always blind to anything positive about the ULP government. Never expect Mr. Allen to act like a true Christian, that he says he is, and accept the truths about the good initiatives of the ULP government.
Mr. Allen has demonstrated since 2001 that he sees the NDP as some Moses ready to take SVG across the Red Sea away from the dangerous Pharaoh call Ralph Gonsalves. For Mr. Allen, the NDP can do no wrong despite the numerous evidence of backwardness displayed by this bunch of reactionaries and right-wingers in the NDP. Mr. Allen is in bed with these backward elements in our society even though he portrays himself as progressive, a leftist, and holier than everyone else.
Even Vincentian children know that the NDP is backward, corrupt, incompetent, and dislikes when progress takes place in SVG. But oh no, not Mr. Allen. It is clear he has a deep-seated bias against the ULP, especially Dr. Gonsalves. Despite all the positive and successful initiatives by the ULP-led government, Mr. Allen does not recognise these good initiatives. He ONLY recognises the negatives and hides the positive. On the other hand he praises the NDP’s foolishness and he encourages the NDP to continue with its backwardness.
Mr. Allen, be a true Christian and condemn the madness of the NDP before they come for you as Dr. Adrian Fraser normally warns us about. But then again you do not care so long as the ULP is the target of the false truths, alternative facts, mischiefs, and lies. Wheel and come again, Oscar Allen. The gods are watching your lack of respect for truth and your high level of acceptance and embrace of the NDP and its backwardness, and reactionary and right-wing politics. The GODS are watching!
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]
The launch, its moment missed
By Oscar Allen
(From Searchlight newspaper, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017
After more than a decade of toil and troubles, the light near the end of the struggle called for a shout of triumph, a celebration. In fact, the two-day sigh of “we’ve done it” last Monday and Tuesday sounded almost like a call to worship at the new stone, steel, glass and technical altar at Argyle. To the call, thousands responded, and along with guests from at least four continents, the occasion provided a great moment to benchmark progress, unity and history in St Vincent and the Grenadines. Fourteen persons, including two women, mounted the stage, on Tuesday, Feb. 14, and from the first, Reverend Adolf Davis of the Methodist Church, to the last, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, I think they gave of their particular best in a four-hour acclamation.
It is tempting to examine what the speakers offered to us on this occasion, or even to suggest that other more significant persons were omitted from the platform — in retrospect e.g. a worker, a homeowner and Hon. Dr. [Godwin] Friday [Leader of the Opposition]. That is understandable and instructive. What inspires a comment, however, is the tone of the conversation at Argyle. To be more precise, the AIA project evolved in a pained and hurting moral and political context and I heard only one of the eight local speakers touch it in a helpful way. Others glossed it over.
To recall the context, there have been at least six cases and causes of discontent and hurt in the course of the AIA project. As a result, acknowledgement, repentance, reconciliation and redress are needed to be part of the launch in these six instances. The abuse from the AIA project include: injustice to homeowners, contempt of opposition parties, breach of the nation’s unity, avoidance of financial accounting to people and Parliament, unacknowledged technical shoddiness and party balkanisation/misappropriation of the society’s project. While the project was ongoing, the project leaders hurled invective, insult and vituperation at innocent enquirers, appropriate criticism, critical opponents and patriotic persons concerned for unity. It was as if all mouths must be sealed and all tongues chained unless they were singing praises. It was strange too, to hear over and over again, even at the launch, that the international airport was entirely built with resources from outside SVG, as if we, the citizens, did not bear any burdens!
The launch was a moment for explicit confession of fault and appeal for pardon and peace. The New Democratic Party (NDP) leadership with its off and on and off position on the airport project came on board unequivocally at the end, naming the airport inclusively as “ours”, and pledging to help make it work. They seem to forgive the errors and failures to give account that they opposed in the past, with faith that such conduct will not take place in the future. I hope that the critics in the NDP are asking themselves this question: Since they did not invite us to speak at the launch, will they invite capable persons from our community to sit on the AIA Inc. Board to govern the airport, or not? Will we be a part of “making it work” from the inside?
THE DISCORDANT TONE, THE MISSED MOMENT
In the voices of Hon. Camillo Gonsalves and Hon. Louis Straker, the tone of mischief and enduring hostility coloured their addresses. Other speakers in the persons of Dr. Rudy Matthias, Mr. Garth Saunders and Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Ralph Gonsalves said that we missed deadlines, we made errors and had technical glitches and lost time (my summary).
That kind of general statement, coming at the launch, struck a warming tone. It was Dr. Matthias who started that refrain and it is well recorded that when questions, criticism were raised and errors pointed out, this gentleman usually replied with personal attacks and defensive barbs, unusual, or maybe not. He would soon be leaving the heat and his turn to the left was welcome.
But it was Mr. Saunders who put a kind of moral perspective on this tone of voice from these speakers. It was a hope dashing perspective. To paraphrase “In any project of this magnitude, it is impossible to avoid delays, missed deadlines, technical faults and financial problems. These are all part of the terrain we must traverse.” From that perspective don’t look for an apology, don’t expect redress, look for the same performance tomorrow, that precedence is the pathway we will follow. There was no damage; there will be no reconciliation. He didn’t say it, but I translate all that to mean, “Let’s praise the Lord.”
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].