Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. (iWN file photo)

The Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines will launch, next year, a sports initiative intended to turn the nation’s youth away from crime amidst what Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said is a decision by some to become “armed entrepreneurs”.

In his address to mark the nation’s 39th anniversary of independence from Britain, on Saturday, Gonsalves said the programme will be a companion to the 10-year-old Pan Against Crime initiative.

He said the comprehensive sports programme will be conducted in conjunction with a sporting organisation interested in so doing.

He said that two national sporting organisations have raised the matter so far with him.

The announcement came in a speech in which the prime minister told the nation “it is painful and sobering that despite our immense progress in material and non-material terms, a small number of persons, mainly young males who are wholly unrepresentative of our nation’s young male population, have chosen a life of crime, especially violent crime”.

He said these persons have chosen to invest in “low-end but dangerous gun violence and have become ‘armed entrepreneurs’, living illegally off the fat of the land, making absolutely no contribution to the country’s development, sucking from it, and preying on innocent law-abiding people of all walks of life”.

Some persons who should know better make excuses for these persons and their criminal conduct, the prime minister said.

He said these “ridiculous excuses” come close to “bizarre justification”.

“The simple fact is that neither the society nor the economy commits violent crimes; it is the individual; that is where the responsibility lies,” he said, adding that there is no reason for any person in SVG to be violent toward another or to rob anyone.

“There are enough opportunities and support systems for anyone who considers himself or herself disadvantaged.  Sensible people do not buy into this so-called ‘disadvantaged thesis’ as the cause of crimes,” Gonsalves.

He said it is important to note that most of the violent criminals are not truly disadvantaged.

“… they are greedy and covetous; they refuse to work;and they take some selfish pleasure in using violence against other persons. Yet, we must seek to rehabilitate them even as the legal system addresses the appropriate punishments”.

The prime minister said it continues to be the policy of his Unity Labour Party administration “to be tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime”.

The coercive and other apparatuses of the state are doing their jobs, he said, but added that crime-fighting demands the practical support of all, including the family, the school, the community group, the church, and the media.

“What we do not need are cynical political operatives and some less-than-thoughtful radio hosts who tilt at the proverbial windmills and make absurd excuses for the violent criminal, but who, at the same time, traduce unfairly the solid and risky anti-crime efforts of the Police.

“Fighting crime and criminals in a liberal democracy is not always easy but our liberal and democratic values must always be maintained in this fight against violent criminals. To be sure, the tiny band of criminals will never win.  On this fundamental matter, the government and people are ever more determined to constrain and defeat crime and criminals.”

Gonsalves said that, his comments notwithstanding, SVG is “overwhelmingly a peaceful and secure part of God’s earth.

“Let us bolster further its peace and security against the handful of violent criminals.  Emphatically, we must not be dumb and soft on crime; and we stand askance from those who are playing smart with stupidness on this issue of crime.  We must strive for peace on earth; and it begins with you and me, as the popular hymn avers,” he said.

10 replies on “Sports Against Crime to help fight ‘armed entrepreneurs’”

  1. Urlan Alexander says:

    Absolutely fart! Every year the number of murders increased averaging over 30 per year. Since the ulp is in office well over 500 persons have been murdered. However, if the ULP and Ralph doesn’t see the criminals are getting the upper hand well lord help us! Every year he spits words like a wordsmith and the masses gobbles them up and nothing changes for the better. A lot of so-called intellects will now come to this space and praise him . Look out

  2. This speech is full of contradictions which is typical of the PM, most of which would never be recognized by our duncey population which is why he can get away with often talking rubbish.

    Isn’t it interesting, for example, that a man who claims to be a collectivist and is calling for a collective response to crime would hold an extreme libertarian position on crime: it is the individual criminal who is totally responsible for his behaviour implies that our people are living in a socio-cultural vacuum. Crime is born and nurtured in the family, friendship networks, and neighbourhoods which is why places with very similar economic conditions have wildly different crime rates and vice versa. Likewise, societies with high anti-crime value systems have low crime rates and vice versa. Our people is simply far more expecting and tolerant of crime than other people in other countries, a feature rooted in our slave-society heritage, as I will detail elsewhere.

    Still, much of what he said was accurate, especially his barely veiled criticism of the opposition’s simplistic and exaggerated assertion that economic factors are the overwhelming driver of crime rates.

    Also, a sports against crime initiative is a good idea even if it again contradicts the PM’s individualistic explanation of crime.

    1. Sounds like you start out saying his speech is full of contradictions and you otherwise support it all the way, and again you are against the opposition…(as usual), and supportive of PM Gonsalves, (as usual). You yourself are more full of contradictions than even Ralph Gonsalves. Your motto is: “do not support the NDP even if in full agreement with them on many occasions but support DREGs even if not in support”.

  3. Concerned citizen says:

    How can we educate our young people away from the crime model to accumulate wealth and self sufficiency? I have deliberately started this piece with a question that I consider pertinent to the malaise that is affecting our youth which is aided by a lack of opportunity in our current economy.
    If you look at the number of students who migrate towards Law in our island which is already over populated with lawyers, a profession which in my opinion does not contribute anything towards the economy, we must wonder if our educational model is fit for purpose at this stage in our development. I believe that more emphasis should be placed on the sciences as well as business. Students should be well grounded in information on starting and running successful businesses by concentrating on entrepreneurial courses which should be mandatory. Unless one is a CEO of a major company, or very lucky, it is unlikely that individuals will rise to the level of controlling their destiny by working for others, the only way to have a chance of doing so is to start and run your own business. We all know that a large number of businesses fail within the first two years of start up, mostly due to lack of training in all aspects of running a business. A good way to reduce this attrition rate would be, to include business training from a young age in school. This training should include elements of global trading (the country cannot move forward without foreign currency earnings). We most certainly do not need more lawyers or other professions which do not earn foriegn currency through exports. Financial help to students by the government should be dictated by the courses students wish to pursue, with our limited funds been applied to careers which will enhance the economy of our country, we do not need any more non contributing professions. I do know that parents will push children into professions which enable bragging rights “Oh my son or daughter is a lawyer or accountant”, but do these professions advance the country economically (it is my belief that a few of these professionals do not even pay the taxes that they should)? I do not profess to having all the answers, so I put these comments forward as suggestions for a more robust debate on our educational system, and what can be a way out for our youth.
    If we walk around town we can observe street traders selling sodas cheek by howl, a great deal of them do not make enough to make ends meet. If they were truly business orientated they would see that more could be earned by collectively setting up a small enterprise selling these items from say a booth with each person having a responsibility (purchasing supplies directly from the producers, selling, transportation etcetera), this would also go some way towards improving the appearance of our city.
    Another useful idea would be for successful businesses to give back, by providing mentorship to young people on running a business so that the learning curve is flattened out thus reducing the likelihood of failing.
    We can all see problems in our society, but the most helpful situation would be that we not only see problems but can work towards advancing solutions.

    1. Good points! We have lawyers coming out of our ears as well as vendors. You can also say we have few technicians, people that can design and build things. All those people going overseas for education but we always have to call in experts when it comes to bridges or tunnels. That is why we have few or none. You are right, Lawyers do not directly contribute to the growth of the economy. Just look at the economy! it seems to be designed not to grow. If you have a great idea and do not have a large sum of money it will go nowhere. the government will not support it. the only chance you may have depends on who you know and what party you support. Customs Duties are way too high. If I import a machine to do something other countries already have that machine because they have lower Customs Duties and can make products for less…Not in Vincy!

  4. Is this a case of clothe stealing by Ralph Gonsalves when he first made his so-called commitment? See here for one Tony Blair’s attire. Was it stolen by a foreign individual later? What do you the reader think?

    ON THE RECORDTONY BLAIR INTERVIE DATE: 4.7.93
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/otr/intext92-93/Blair4.7.93.html

    Tony Blair is tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime. In an article for the New Statesman from 29 January 1993, then-shadow home secretary made the case for talking about punishment and personal responsibility.
    https://www.newstatesman.com/2015/12/archive-tony-blair-tough-crime-tough-causes-crime

    “anything you can do I can do better”. But could Tony Blair really deliver. He has a slogan
    alright, “I’m tough on crime and on the causes of crime”, but is he really as
    tough as that makes him seem?

    http://www.britishpoliticalspeech.org/speech-archive.htm?speech=201

    Leader’s speech, Brighton 1995 Tony Blair (Labour) Location: Brighton, England.

  5. Having underfunded sport and allowed fields to fall into disarray nation wide now he has decided to use the NDP initiatives because he has none of his own.

    Everything that Gonslaves hasn’t done is the cause of the current crime wave with youth out of control and police also. Thats the rot we have to endure..

    Prime minister Ralph Gonsalves charged and accused of sex crimes. Commissioner of Police Colin John accused of beating a prisoner, also accused of sex harassment. Both men have denied those accusations. Neither of these men stepped down whilst the matters were properly investigated. I fact I am not sure any of those matters were ever properly investigated. Neither were they suspended at any point despite the fact that lesser government employees with similar accusations against them were sent home whilst investigations took place.

  6. Sorry, Mr. PM, we should play spots while the criminals rob our homes and have their way? I can’t even imagine what that looks like. I figure that hunger creates crime. So free-up some of the taxes so that people can afford to eat good food, as you do. The point, by C Citizen(above) about the young men migrating, is true. That is very fundamental to the current situation. The effect is that young women become single mothers. The Incumbent is all over the place like he frightened. But, this is a serious issue. Dr. Friday would be a more open and democratic leader but right now he needs all the help that he can get. A lot of things got to be done better than now. Starting with cleaning up the image of the SVGPD. The cops are charged with protecting us. if they were doing a good job there would have been a lot more criminals behind bars right now. But, now the cops have joined with the criminals and that is because of government corruption. They are wicked and evil and don’t know that they are wicked and evil. XXX fight down Evil.

  7. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Comments by Dr. Ralph Everard Gonsalves the Prime Minister who is also Minister of National Security The prime minister said it continues to be the policy of his Unity Labour Party administration “to be tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime.” He also said his party already created ‘Pan Against Crime’ ten years ago to control crime [he actually thinks that has worked rather well]; now he has announced a new initiative called ‘Sports Against Crime’ which he firmly believes will bring crime under control when finally introduced in 2018.

    What kind of fools does he actually believe we all are. When the NDP had carried out walks against crime and lack of employment he was so angry and thought that was rubbish. What on earth is wrong with this mans mind?

    Why not do something he knows all about, sex against crime, where everyone stays at home and crime comes to a standstill because everyone is at home. Even someone else’s home.

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