Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. (File photo)

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves has dismissed the suggestion by former prime minister Sir James Mitchell that Vincentians will vote the Unity Labour Party out of office because they are “fed up ah Ralph”.

Gonsalves, speaking on NBC Radio on Wednesday, one day after Sir James made his assertion on Boom FM, said there is “no such swing” against his party, as it seeks a fifth term, as Sir James’s New Democratic Party began experiencing in 1998.

Sir James said the same thing in 2001, 2005, 2010, 2015. And he was wrong in each of them and he would be wrong in this one,” Gonsalves said.

The former prime minister had said that an NDP poll had shown that Opposition leader Godwin Friday had outstripped the prime minister and his son, Finance Minister Camillo Gonsalves on “likeability and integrity”.

“… they always talk about polls; we do our polls to,” Gonsalves said, adding that Sir James probably realises that the NDP, which he founded, is heading for a fifth electoral defeat, and  sixth election in which the ULP hold the majority of votes.

“And they realise that if you now go and get a sixth defeat in popular vote and a fifth defeat in seats the NDP will have to do like what The News’ editorial, I have been advised, suggests to them last week.

“The News editorial suggests to them that they should take the option like LIAT, dissolve, wheel and come again,” Gonsalves said, citing the weekly, which he repeatedly claims to have not read in years.

“And when you get the editor of the News to reach that conclusion, though he would have come to that conclusion from a specific matter, you get — look Sir James has been a distinguished leader of this country and he has led the country for quite a long time and I am not going to pour any cold water on any contribution which he has made,” Gonsalves said of Sir James, who was prime minister from 1984 to October 2000.

“But the truth of the matter is this, where the swing appeared against him in 1998 –against him,” Gonsalves said, repeating, “against him” with emphasis, “there is no such swing against Ralph and the ULP. And they can try all the propaganda they want to try.

“Sir James is coming with that because we are a few months away from the election,” said Gonsalves, who has said that elections will be held by year-end, ahead of the March 2021 constitutional deadline.

Gonsalves, however, said that when the NDP loses again, Sir James would chide the party for wasting, fighting the election petition in court, five years that they should use to organise themselves.

“Does anybody know what the NDP stand for anymore? … On a big foreign policy issue, Sir James is in agreement with me to keep the relations with Taiwan. That’s a big issue but he continues to support Friday who is arguing to dismantle this relationship with Taiwan.

“The point about it is this, when you dismantle the relations with Taiwan, you are recalibrating on a number of things to the detriment of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“Then they want to sell passport and citizenship. That is the only policy they have. Then we know where that is leading, that is not sustainable. All what we are doing in fisheries, in agriculture and in tourism.”

Gonsalves said Sir James had said he was sorry that he did not do something about airport development during his 17 years in office.

“You could be in power for 17 years and don’t build even a jet airport on St. Vincent much more an international airport? And he turns around in his autobiography and criticised Eustace that Eustace let it sink in the Taiwan Strait.

“Let Sir James come out. That’s all right. He has been a veteran in this business; so is Ralph. Currently, in actual politics in this country, I have been a political activist in the region for 52 years,” Gonsalves said.

Gonsalves said he is in electoral politics for 41 years and is the longest serving parliamentarian currently.

“And Sir James doesn’t like this when people said that Ralph is the longest serving Prime Minister in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I don’t have any ego thing on these matters and I respect Sir James and I wouldn’t be unduly critical of him, but when he come into the arena and I know a number of them would get nasty and nastier, but you can bring anything you want, my record is there and the vision of the Unity Labour Party is there”

He said Sir James told the NDP after the referendum victory in 2009 “be careful, referendum ain’t general election and Ralph is a hard, hard nut to crack.

“If he think I was hard in 2009/2010, I am harder now to crack. So they can wheel out who they want to wheel out, but I am telling you, the ULP is going to do better than the last time, both in percentage of votes and in seats. And when that happens, the NDP, I don’t know where they are going to go,” Gonsalves said.

16 replies on “‘No such swing against Ralph and the ULP’ — Gonsalves”

  1. Ndp supporter, Sir James is dead right we are better of with Taiwan. When it comes to foreign policy. The issue with a Taiwan will be an albatross around the neck of the Ndp. They simply are not listenin to VincentIan voters on the issue of China v Taiwan . This is sufficient for me to switch my vote to the Ulp in the next election . It is time to correct this flaw or revisit this issue before the next election . What we are saying we are better served by Taiwan.

  2. Jacque Cass says:

    The 2000’s belonged essentially to Ralph Gonzalves. It is in this era, the most important in the history of Independence SVG, that Ralph became transformed from the “intellectually gifted” and cunning politician into the pragmatic but overtly vainglory national leader. No English-speaking Caribbean personality wielded more power over a section of the region, as nationalization of assets, extensive electoral fraud, political repression, party paramountcy, cult activities, IMF/World Bank intervention, mass migration, and Gonzalves’s own “cooperative socialism” all became tenets of a political landscape substantially reflecting the leader’s dreams.

  3. Me too dread, “Ah fed up ah Ralph” too! Bway ah well fed up widd im an im family run regime! Dem ah daag we out yoh nah see!

    Look yah, see how im frend ah Venezuela ah daag out de people dem over day too! Dem man day musah sick ena dem head dread fo waar hool onto power all ah fe dem life!

    Nobaddy else matter but dem dread. Dat caar be right. So wah? We nah people too? Ah waay meck dem ah big up dem selfe so?

  4. Hashtag Prince says:

    SVG will give Ralph one big surprise. …a package with the words. ..
    THANKS FOR THE LUMBER….BUT TAKE YOUR TEAM AND GO…
    TIME FOR CHANGE!

  5. As is true with politics everywhere: Some like one person, some like the other. The difficult part is being objective. Most people know that Ralph Gonsalves is challenged in Economics. The state of the country, (more than just the roads) after all these years indicates the proof is in the pudding. It is also true that Ralph Gonalves did a fantastic job during the Corona Virus scare. Putin of Russia usually does everything better than most all countries but Putin may have done even worse than the USA in that respect. Ralph Gonsalves does seem to do well in Geopolitics. If the NDP want to get into office they will have to go after Gonsalves’ weakness, his very poor philosophy of economics. Someone said that everything he touches economic, fails, such as LIAT and the people of SVG. It may depend on perspectives. Some people have done well these past years, (maybe not the unskilled poor). I am however grateful that Ralph Gonsalves did not impose a lockdown during the peak virus days. I am not sure if the NDP would have done the same.

  6. As is true with politics everywhere: Some like one person, some like the someone else. The difficult part is being objective. Most people know that Ralph Gonsalves is challenged in Economics. The state of the country, (more than just the roads) after all these years indicates the proof is in the pudding. Maybe he just needs to change his priorities. I will admit he does some things EXCEPTIONALLY WELL! It is true that Ralph Gonsalves did a fantastic job during the Corona Virus scare. The Economy stayed open, even as the global economy failed in many respects .Putin of Russia usually does everything better than most all countries and checkmates the bad intentions of the USA. but Putin may have done even worse than the USA in respect to the virus. Ralph Gonsalves did great during the virus crisis and does seem to almost always, do well in Geopolitics. If the NDP want to get into office they will have to go after Gonsalves’ weakness, his very poor philosophy of economics that encourages, perpetuates and intensifies poverty and discourages investment and therefor jobs. Someone said that everything he touches economic, fails, such as LIAT and the people of SVG, although he personally seems to do well financially. It may depend on perspectives. Some people have done well these past years, (maybe not the unskilled poor). In spite of the hostility against him, even Bigger Biggs has seem to have done well. I am however VERY grateful that Ralph Gonsalves did not impose a lockdown during the peak virus days. I am not sure if the NDP would have done the same.
    I have been suggesting that government changes policy so that EVERY BUSINESS EVERYWHERE will want to establish themselves in SVG but, at least the ULP, like the former NDP instead maintain an environment whereby anyone would have to be stupid to think they can create a globally successful business in SVG….World’s highest Customs Duty, One of the highest Corporate Taxes, the former cost to get here on LIAT was the most expensive airline on Earth, etc…I could go on and on…
    I grew up in the neighborhood of Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks, Costco, and many, many more entrepreneurial enterprises and it SHOCKS me that government(s) here creates an environment where it is guaranteed that nothing (except maybe crony) enterprises cannot and will not ever come to fruition.

    Will any key figure in government here ever learn to think?…or do they just not care about prosperity for others, only prosperity for those at the top in government?

  7. I like to compare SVG to Singapore in the early 1960s. The difference is that we are FAR BETTER positioned to create a “shiny city on the hill”, but for some reason government either does not want to do that or maybe does not have the mental ability to do so. Singapore had to contend will vast corruption. We have low corruption in SVG, so that is not an obstacle. Singapore was VERY FAR from the biggest market on Earth, (the USA) so had big shipping costs. We are relatively close. Singapore has virtually NO NATURAL RESOURCES. Ours are very good!…agriculture, fishing, and much more! Singapore even has to import drinking water (we have that in abundance). Government seems to use thier power try to make prices as high as possible, believing that in doing so, increases thier portion of the pie. Any business has to BEG to Papa for a TEMPORARY concession and go through MOUNTAINS of paperwork for a slight reduction in the astronomical Customs Duty charges to bring the cost down from Astronomical to just very very high. Still so high in fact that there can be NO HOPE of exporting unless to other local countries that also have poor and backwards economic policy that guarantee poverty.
    Will we ever get a political leader that has the AUDACITY to say that they will set up a system where we will one day be sending remittances to the USA instead of the other way around?
    The unemployed can be seen as a resource. These people are free and available to be trained and encouraged to be productive and financially take care of themselves. I am very shocked that government cannot figure out how to lead the horses to water and encourage them to drink. I often hear that the government criticises the private sector for inactivity but I thought our leaders are supposed to lead. Instead the government just wants to take all the credit for the good and place blame for what does not happen. It does not happen because they have created an environment of HIGH COSTS guaranteeing it will not happen.
    Look at the SEVERANCE PAY situation. A business fails because of financial reasons. Does anyone thing that a financially failed business has the funds to pay tens of thousands in severance pay? Such a thing does not exist in most countries, not the USA or Germany at least. IT TELLS ME TO NEVER HAVE A BUSINESS THAT HAS MANY EMPLOYEES BECAUSE IF IT FAILS I WOULD HAVE TO COME UP WITH A FORTUNE JUST TO FAIL!… even after paying years of NIS…ADD INSULT TO INJURY!

    If we think like losers we will always be losers.

    These are just my opinions. There are many brilliant people that leave comments on this site, that have also experienced economics that work instead of our consistently failing policies in SVG. Many politicians read this information. It is up to us to wake these people up to reality or we will consistently have a CHAZ or CHOP country that is perpetually dependent. Is that what we want? Anyone can run a country that way.

  8. Kittana Albert says:

    People better learn to appreciate what they have cause wether Ralph ,Friday or who ever else is in power things will not get any better People better take a real reality check and understand that it is God who places the leaders in their wether naturally or spiritually by choosing them or allowing them to be there .

    He has a purpose for it and no body or anything I mean nobody or anything will be able to remove them till He is ready His purpose must be fulfilled .we better do as God tells us to we must pray for our leaders we must not criticize and run them down ,this is one of the reasons why it does not matter who we vote for and who gets in power it always gives us a back lash .
    Cause we are not humbling ourselves and praying and seeking the face of God we are putting our attention on who really has no power or no say in anything cause it is God who has the power and the final say in everything .people better up and put their trust in God instead of human beings .humans will fail God doesn’t .

    1. Kittana, you are saying we should not even vote, We do not need to, because God decides.
      Maybe we should not even work because it is all in God’s hands, right? We do not even need to get food because the lord provides, right?

  9. Who cares about how long Mitchell and Gonsalves have been in politics? We need positive leadership that will produce real economic gains rather than more of the same unsustainable initiatives that SVG has seen over the last 4 decades.

  10. By the way, Sir James and PM Gonsalves, could you kindly point to the private sector SVG companies in which you have invested your millions earned from politics in SVG?

    What factories have you invested and promoted in SVG?

    What Research and Development initiative have you fostered to discover solutions to our socio-economic development?

    The AIA doesn’t count (although it is good for the country). That was financed with public money.

    SVG needs political leaders who will spur home-grown private sector investments … not rich people who seeks only to line their own pockets and that of their cronies while saving and investing their millions overseas.

    What initiatives have you started to promote confidence in the nation’s economy?

    Now, why should I invest in SVG while the people who enjoy the lion’s share of the nation’s resources standby idly while the economy goes to hell in a hand basket, so to speak?

    Mr. PM, someone once said that you said something like “Potogee know how to run business … Potogee know how to make money”. Why don’t you show us what business you can develop, finance and run profitably in the private sector?

    Sir James, other than your hotel in Bequia? What private sector business have you developed in SVG that employs 10 or more persons on an on-going basis?

    SVG needs positive leadership that goes beyond winning election to develop and promote private businesses that will pay private sector wages and pay taxes for the public welfare.

    Taiwan? China? who cares about their neocolonial designs on poor third world nations? Taipei and Peking are rightly concerned about their own national interests..

    Ivan O’Neal, where are you?

  11. Hi, remember that Vincentians not vote on issues like relations with China or Taiwan. These are abstractions which few Vincentians understand or care about. They vote for their last meal and trinkets. Ralf will try it every time until Vincentians choose to reject it. Remember that he said that he lost the referendum because he did not share out lumber, galvanize and cement. Also remember that we are in SVG today because the leaders accepted trinkets first from the Portuguese for our enslavement. We fail to learn the lessons from the past.

  12. I dreamt that the 2015 result was 10.ndp. And 5.ulp, what went wrong , God will tell us one day,
    The ten commandments still stands. My Zimbabwean friend always used a word_ Riig

  13. DemNahReadyFiDeWar says:

    Lol this guy acts like he gonna live forever ..better worry bout Corona catching yo old ass

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