Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. (iWN file photo)

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves is listing himself among the five persons in St. Vincent and the Grenadines who, over the past 50 years, has done the most for the nation’s poor and marginalised.

“Now, if I may just dispense of this. I believe that if you go across St. Vincent and the Grenadines, persons who are alive and you want to select five persons over the last 40 years, 50 years, who have contributed immensely to helping the poor and working people of all classes, but particularly the poor, the working people, the marginalised, the dispossessed and also in the Caribbean, issues dealing with reparation and wider afield with Africa, I would say that if you put up one hand with five fingers and you’re looking for five persons, I think that most people in St. Vincent and the Grenadines would put Ralph name among that five,” he said on Sunday.

Gonsalves was responding to what some have termed a racist comment by Noel Dickson, a candidate for the New Democratic Party in the next general elections.

In a Facebook post, Dickson, who also represented the NDP in South Windward in the 2015 election, said:

“the Portuguese ruler in SVG has his bewitched knees on the back and neck of our blessed land and as a result, most of our people can’t breathe. As black people, the time has come for us to vehemently resist this in the next general elections”.

Speaking on radio on Wednesday, NDP president and Leader of the Opposition Godwin Friday distancing himself and his party from the comments, saying those are not sentiments that the party espouses.

“Is not the sort of comments that I encourage? I don’t bring race and appearance, everybody, we are all Vincentians. I don’t question people motive when they want to come into public life because I know what it takes to do it, irrespective of which side you are on. It really is difficult. And people do things that are bad policies, they may make statements that are wrong, they do things that are wrong and I focus on those aspects of it,” Friday said on Hot 97 FM on Wednesday.

He said that while it is entertaining sometimes to say certain things, “we have to keep it within the bounds”.

He however said that comments should not be magnified “into a mountain.

“It is a comment that is not in keeping with the One Vincy, the One Nation, which is what we are. We espouse that, not just in St. Vincent, but the world,” he said, adding that he would speak with Dickson and the party would discuss it in its caucus telling members “sometimes, we have to be more guarded in some of the comments we make because some people may misinterpret it…

“I always believe that people have good intentions, they are good-willed and sometimes, if we err, then I certainly would point it out,” Friday said, adding that he would have a discussion with Dickson about removing the post.

Dickson has since removed the post.

Speaking on WE FM on Sunday, Gonsalves said:

“It may be that Noel Dickson is unsophisticated and not sufficiently nimble that he misses what the mainstream NDP is doing and found himself out on a limb.”

The prime minister, however, said that the NDP also referenced George Floyd’s death in its weekly column last week and used the police officer knee as a metaphor for leadership in SVG.

“In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Unity Labour Party (ULP) regime has wrapped its tentacles around the necks of Vincentians forcing them to scream, ‘We can’t breathe’,” the NDP said in its column.

Gonsalves said:

“Now, this is a government which has given the people of this country universal secondary education, which has expanded housing facilities in unprecedented terms, health facilities, infrastructure including the international airport in Argyle, and you can go on, which has lifted the living standards of the people, which has taken the right position on COVID-19 strategically, have a package of social consolidation, social safety net support and economic recovery and stimulus for all categories of persons, from persons who push cart right up to the farmers and fisherfolk and everybody in between.

“When you do something like this … in an opportunistic way, pull a slogan which, first of all, you are trivialising and demeaning the people’s resistance in the United States, that’s the first thing you are doing. The second thing, you are applying it in an entirely erroneous manner only for your opportunistic sake and leaving the institutional racist structures in the United States which give rise to the death through the action of a policemen of George Floyd and then you go further again in the case of Dickson by compounding it by saying the man who is running the enterprise which made people can’t breathe is a Potogee man name Ralph,” Gonsalves said, using the dialect word for “Portuguese”.

He, however, said that if he does not make it among the five persons over the last half-century who have done the most for poor and marginalised Vincentians, he would be in the top 10.

“And if you were to go to your hands and toes, my name certainly will be there and I don’t have to recount my own history of struggle in relation to some petit bourgeoisie types and who are stuffed with right wing ideological positions and who are really in the business for self-advancement rather than the interest of the people as a whole,” Gonsalves said.

The prime minister said he knows what he dedicated his life for and to, adding that what he is doing is not and has never been a part-time activity.

“Persons would say that because I spend so much time on it I love power. Well, if I love power so much and I was inclined to be totalitarian, why didn’t I lock down?” he said, referring to a national lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Why didn’t I use draconian Chinese methods? Why didn’t I have state of emergency to take away people’s fundamental rights and freedoms, including the rights of habeas corpus? Why didn’t I impose curfew? And all of them were asking me to do so.”

Gonsalves said that there are structures in place for resolution where there is injustice.

“And you have a government and you have a prime minister who is resolutely against injustice and resolutely against oppression and resolutely against victimisation. But none of that, in any way bears on the issue which we are addressing in the United States, which is one of institutional racism and where you have a historic tendency for the police authority to be killing a lot of black people because they are black,” he said.

17 replies on “PM puts himself among top 5 who’ve done most for SVG’s poor”

  1. When Bush will see you and not seeing the anothet person in the dark of night, is not that racial talks? At your age go and take good stock of your life and health.

  2. Urlan Alexander says:

    Haha! Conradee the most divisive leader since conquest and settlement looking for recognition. Take out the politics, what have you done for the poor Ralph? Include the politics you use the taxpayers own money to victimise and divide this once blessed nation. It’s best you take a test man.

  3. People of St.Vincent and the Grenadines do not give Gonsalves another term as PM.

    He has been Prime Minister for 18+ years and our country looks like a village in rural Africa. While the ULP big shots are living in luxury the working class people are catching hell.

    People of St. Vincent and the Grenadines where else have you seen a PM lasting 20 years (children have grown up and have children themselves and have known nothing else) if not in one of those semi dictatorships where the masses suffer. And where people live in unspeakable conditions.

    There are other people in SVG with better ideas for the development of this country than Gonsalves could ever dream of.

    DON’T BELIEVE A WORD GON-SLAVES SAYS. UNLESS YOU WANT TO WASTE YOUR LIFE INDER THE JUK OF EGOISTIC NARCISSISTIC IDEOLOGIES AND A LIAR AS LEADER.

  4. The praise of men is utterly worthless, even worst is one’s Self-adulation. What matters for sure is how we stand before him who gives us that privilege to serve in the first place. So how does the actions and behaviour of this man stacks up before him whose eyes searches even the soul of men?

  5. By top 5 for the poor and working class he must be talking about sexploitation, poverty, substandard healthcare, police brutality, racial discrimination; all of these have drastically increased under that guy.

  6. This is a government which has ensured that the majority of Vincentians can only afford to buy bread and rice and this has led to a very drastic
    rise in non communicable diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes. This government is also taxing the poor and indigent to death. Think the PM in all his enthusiasm forgot to mention these two important issues. Unemployment is at an all time high also.Who is the Cumrod trying to fool?

  7. Calliaquaman says:

    Two words: Repatriation and Reparations

    What little you have given or offers it is called Repatriation . It is from our Taxes and treasury not from your estate .

    Reparation: You should give more to us because your ancestors have stolen alot from the slave trades which passed down to this generation. Do not boast You are still slaving .

    My two cents.

  8. Did he say he is against oppression ,victimisation and injustice. Bigger bigs and all other who were victimized by the powers that be are you hearing this…well I cant believe am reading this…

  9. Bill Johnney says:

    I am in total agreement with Dr. Friday and all sensible Vincentian should distanced themselves from such comments. Noel Dickson, this is not the kind of tactics that will get you elected, you have to be smart and charismatic. People like you will never be able to walk in the print of Gonsalves steps much more to get in his shoes. I personally believe that Ralph will truly be in the top five of all past leaders in SVG who has really look out for the poor. So Noel, for God in heaven sake, go tell ah seat with your shitty talks.

  10. sociologist says:

    I am so happy vincentians are realising the paradox and insincerity of this leader….institutional discrimination is one of the most subtle bacteria in our little sunshine island. #icantbreathe

  11. You should be very ashamed to label people under your watch as poor, your duty should be to bring these poor and indigent black people who you love so much , their lives should be like that of your family and friends. It appears all you want from them is to vote for you. Thank God, everything is only for a time. You studied them that much, you think that they have no moral. Hurry and get out we face.

  12. Nathan Jolly Green says:

    There are more poor people than ever before in the history of SVG. More on poor relief, more out of work, more leaving school and no possibility of being employed, more debt than at any time in the history of Saint Vincent, ever.

    Giving out the building materials and trinkets, sending our kids to study in Venezuela and Cuba where they starve and are at serious risk.

    Why on earth are we standing for all this?

  13. The ComeRAID should not be worried about a single slur against him. After telling us we would have to come to the trough and going down in the gutter with a popular radio announcer, wutless dutty dawg and Carib women love plenty……stop living in your head ComeRAID.

  14. Ricardo Francis says:

    Ralph Gonsalves, the pharaoh leader is a narcissistic hypocrite and oppressor.

    There are so many who have felt the oppressive and victimizing behaviour of the Pharaoh leader.

    Ralph wants to keep voters poor, and DEPENDENT, so he has a political narrative to sell his political garbage.

    Ralph Gonsalves was borne with a SILVER SPOON in his MOUTH, and chats a lot of garbage to get votes. Ralph Gonsalves has never lived in poverty.

    I am very fearless and courageous.

    I shall not and shall never surrender and or waiver my believes, now and or in the future.

    Ricardo Francis, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in Waiting and in the Making

  15. Under this p.m. we are going into socialism and communism the both are the same bondage my people your God given freedom is gone look at who your prime minister idolizes Fedel Castro , Hugo Chavez socialism mean bondage to you S.V.G

  16. where are the Christians on this?

    All the good in your life comes from Christ and all the bad comes from you. Your righteous deeds are filthy rags. You deserve nothing, but Christ allows you to breathe. If you must boast, then boast on what Christ did for you on the cross. Humble yourself and let someone else praise you. Do all things for the Glory of God not to show off. If someone does praise you, then remain humble.

    1. Jeremiah 9:23-24 This is what the LORD says: “Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches. But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the LORD who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things. I, the LORD, have spoken!

    2. Proverbs 27:2 Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, and not your own lips.

    3. Isaiah 64:6 We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind.

    Mediavine
    4. Matthew 6:2 So when you give to the poor, don’t announce it with trumpet fanfare. This is what hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets in order to be praised by people. I can guarantee this truth: That will be their only reward.

    5. 1 Corinthians 13:3 And if I donate all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body in order to boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.

    Boast in God alone

    6. Galatians 6:14 As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died.

    7. 1 Corinthians 1:31 Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the LORD.”

    Mediavine
    8. 2 Corinthians 10:17 But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

    Pride

    9. Proverbs 29:23 A person’s pride will bring about his downfall, but the humble in spirit will gain honor.

    10. Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes dishonor, But with the humble is wisdom.

    11. Proverbs 8:13 All who fear the LORD will hate evil. Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance, corruption and perverse speech.

    12. James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the Lord’s presence. Then he will give you a high position.

    13. Psalm 25:9 He leads the humble in doing right, teaching them his way.

    14. Proverbs 18:12 Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor.

    Bible example

    Mediavine
    15. Luke 18:11-14 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people–robbers, evildoers, adulterers–or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

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