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Former Prime Minister Sir James Mitchell, left, and Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. (iWN file photos)
Former Prime Minister Sir James Mitchell, left, and Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. (iWN file photos)
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Former Prime Minister and founder of the opposition New Democratic Party says polls have shown that opposition leader Godwin Friday outranks Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves and his son, Finance Minister, Camillo Gonsalves in “likeability and integrity”.

Sir James, speaking on Boom FM on Tuesday, said that Friday, who will face the polls for the first time as opposition leader, enjoys a positive image among the population at a time when the country is “fed up ah Ralph”.

“This election, the mood of St. Vincent is — tell me if I am wrong — ah fed up ah Ralph. Number two: recent polls, I know, have shown that Dr. Friday is ahead with likeability and integrity over Ralph and Camillo,” the retired politician said in one of his first radio appearances in months.

“In other words, people don’t have a negative view of Dr. Friday. And that, it’s not just a matter of ‘Ah voting fuh de Comrade again’ you know.

“Because, you see, it’s all in the context of COVID, it’s all in the context of fresher; it’s all in the question of choice. Even before COVID, people have been suffering in this country. And we know that. It is not Son Mitchell saying so. Whether you like me or not, you know things are bad in this place and it was bad before COVID.”

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Friday has been representing the Northern Grenadines since 2001 and became opposition leader in 2017, replacing Arnhim Eustace in that post as well as at the helm of the government.

He will lead the party in its fourth attempt to unseat Gonsalves and the ULP, since they came to office in March 2001.

“Leadership is always a big issue,” Sir James said when asked if leadership will also be an issue in the upcoming election, which the prime minister has said will be held by December, ahead of the March 2021 constitutional deadline.

“There are other components of winning an election. As I see it, leadership, number one; strategy, number 2; money, number 3; and the team. Money would only come if you have the good leadership,” he said.

The former prime minister said he was not the one who came up with “Ah fed up ah Ralph.”

“Is what I hear in the street? I hear a lot in the street.”

Sir James, was prime minister from 1984 to March 2000, but did not contest the March 2001 election when his party was voted out of office.

He said: “Strategy is overall policy and how you market your policy and how you present yourself, how you present the people and what you do when and all of that kind of thing”.

Sir James said that in 1984, he led the NDP to victory on “a negative vote”.

“And I won on a very positive note in 1989,” he said, referring to the only time in the country’s history that a political party won all of the parliamentary seats.

“There are two kinds of votes people do. They vote in a government and they vote out a government. … And it is always said that people throw out a government and it is always said that government never win an election, it’s the opposition that lose. That is one philosophy. Bear that in mind.”

In illustrating his point that things are bad in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sir James said a couple told him that they had met a boy outside their gate and asked why he was not going to school.

The boy told them he had nothing to eat so the couple went back inside and made him a sandwich and told him to go to school.

However, the boy asked them to wrap up half of the sandwich so he could take it to his mother, who had nothing to eat.

“That is St. Vincent,” Sir James said.

27 replies on “People ‘fed up ah Ralph’”

  1. Sir James you may be right in your analysis but dead wrong in uderstanding the psychology of the average Vincentian voter, who vote not on issues but things like family lineage and a belly full. You have forgotten that you have coined the phrase ,”breadfruit mentality ” to explain this phenomenon. Like it or not Ralph and Camillo are bound to be with us for a very long time.

  2. C. ben-David says:

    Vincentians are actually still fed up with Son Mitchell which is why they have voted against his clueless Party in the last four elections and why they will vote against another empty policy Bequia leader later this year.

  3. Peter Geswali says:

    Dutty bwoy, your are a disgrace to the human race, you destroyed SV, I know your are not too bright, you fooled the people, when there was a high rate of illiteracy in SV. Can’t you remember the state in which you left SV. You never had a healthy glass of water to drink, tank water is contaminated, so I can forgive you for your brain damage. What do you know about agriculture, you damn lame brain. Can you or have you ever attempted to dig a banana hole? Jack A, banana cultivation was a form of slavery, the white man Geest made all the money. Do you remember or you can ask, What was the price for a pound of banana during your tenure.You could not even control your house, that was a signal for the people but they were not to smart.
    Do you remember Carrots cultivation, it was more profitable than banana, Can I educate you about Agriculture and outlined step by step to you and other like Mr Coal Pit man Patel about farming. SV was backward under you and Mr Big Head Ugly Man Cato. RALPH IS THE MAN, HE HAS PROVEN HIMSELF ONE MILLIN TIMES ALREADY. YOU ARE JEALOUS. FRIDAY IS DUMMER THAN YOU.

    1. Kebrena Richard says:

      What about socialism and communism is this what you want for S.V.G bondage Fedel Fedel Castro / Hugo Chavez ideology really Man keep it respectful !

      1. Bill Johnney says:

        Kebrena Richards are you for real. SVG has enjoyed a very healthy relationship with Cuba and Venezuela for years now, even before the ULP and up to today we are not a socialist or communist country, so really what’s your argument? China is the biggest communist nation in the world and there is where your beloved NDP wants to take us, have you think about that. When the NDP have to go and take Sir James from his rest, then tell yourself that they are really desperate but the truth is, age is catching up with Sir Janes and he is really out of touch with reality. The stone the builders refused they are now trying to make him the head corner stone, the cast Sir James in the dumpster now they take him out, clean him up and wants him to be their savior but one really have to understand Sir James, the NDP is a party that he birth, raised and cherished and no reasonable person will want to see their brainchild godown in the history book as defunct but sadly though, at this stage, Sir James cannot help the NDP from the political dungeon. No one really take him seriously. I think what may help though, is for him to tell the Nation, what was his discussion with Dr. Ralph on that famous Grand Beach walk in Grenada in 2000

  4. Well from what we see in the diaspora, the ULP government has brought all the infrastructure like the last term under the NDP administration. I have always said, no party should be in power for more than two terms. All they would be doing is lining their pockets off of taxpayers back.

    1. Bill Johnney says:

      A. Browne you live in the Diaspora for too long, you need to take a trip toSVG and face reality. Get on the ground. People like you just stay in the diaspora and bang out your mouth without and meaningful contribution.

    2. Francis Byron says:

      My sentiment exactly . two terms for any government . After that two things happen. (1) they becom. Dishonest and (2) they ran out of innovative ideas .plain and simple .just saying

  5. Who is more a disgrace to the human race than to be accused of rape and will not do anything about it? Why is the disgrace not coming to Canada? Go and ask ugee . Shame

  6. St Vincent and the Grenadines was once called the bread basket of the Caribbean. She has been plundered by Greedy politicians, both from ULP and NDP. Dont tell me in this day and age Vincentians are still falling for that same trick, where at election time they would attempt to fix a few roads that we in horrible conditions for years. Notice i said attempt because as soon as election is over those roads and materials used in repairing them remain at at the spot. Election is over, the politicians got what they wanted…your X so everything stops until 4 years later. No money in the Treasury to employ you but as its election time the show up with lumber and galvanize. Isn’t bribery a crime. The law not doing anything about that,so if they offer you lumber take it. If they offer you galvanize take it,like my friends in Antigua would say ‘ Eat them out Drink the out and then vote them’. That being said I don’t believe any one party should be in power in any country for more than 2 terms, they would think that they are gods unto themselves. St Vincent and the Grenadines needs a new direction, new image and i dont think that none of the two major political parties can off the people that new direction. They have both been give lengthy terms over the past 30 years and they have both failed to advance the country. I have lived abroad for a number of years and when I see some of the products that are in abundance in St Vincent and are left to waste or to rot it makes me wonder what is the role of the ministers of Agriculture, and of Trade . A few days ago I went in a Walmart store and I saw them sell breadfruit that was roasted frozen and packaged. Being a Vincentians you know we not going to pass up an opportunity to buy breadfruit when you are not at home so I bought a pack just to try it out. I read the label and it said product of Santo Domingo. It tasted great but my point is I am sure we probably have more breadfruit than Santo Domingo why couldn’t the label say product of St Vincent. That is a small business that can be turned into a million dollars business for a company from St Vincent and there are many more such small industries that government can work on and turn into profitable enterprises for the country. So you see Government nor opposition party have done anything to help poor Vincentians. Hence the need for people with new Ideas,new thinking. We have a lot of brilliant you minds in St Vincent. Short answer a new Political party

  7. Let’s have a free and fair election and see who will win.
    No fake ballots, no padding of ballot boxes, no sharing of lumber, galvanise and cement, no Buju concert, no PRYME Grant’s, no 15-day voter registration period; nothing! Just call the election day and let’s go!!!

    1. Patsy I was told today by a lady she got building materials delivered in return for her allowing someone to vote in her and her husbands names.

      I am not sure anyone has ever raised this before?

  8. Sir james wants one of his hench man friends to get on the government so that they can messed up what Ralph and his party has achieve and steal what he did before he was ousted from his throne. Oh lord they not giving up.

  9. Caribbeanman says:

    Why so bitter Peter? You sound like a ULP boot licker with plenty to lose. Careful you don’t get a stroke come next election

  10. The hurtful thing is that if Labour Party did not give in to some people wishes on their second attempt, some of them will have never never been in that office. SVG would have been a better place.

  11. The country is in a terrible state,the country should be far more develop all we got is high unemployment,a big massive VAT,wicked vinlec,and spite if you dont support a political party your children cant get a job,too much old men running politics here we need fresh new faces who are more openminded,tourism far behind other countries,sometimes i wonder if some of these politicians ever travelled to other countries to see what tourism products they sell,so many products here and not even one factory,sometimes i have to wonder if they doing this to spite us,all we asking the goverment to do is create employment some how,too many young people on public assistance,and they cant come off,so what example is that showing,,,aii yai yai

  12. Some in SVG are forever reminding us about our most recent past and our forebear’s part in the pains of SVG, yet they are apt to ignore just how dysfunctional and stupid we have sure become, seeing how our present Prime Minister and his immediate predecessor, have used us bungling dysfunctional imbeciles to their own ends.

    Poor we!

  13. Peter why you think that you are doing IWI news and other readers justice by resorting to such name calling and descriptive words? Such narratives gives the reader very much of an insight to the intellectual capability of the writer. So do yourself a favor by not using this forum to display your difficency and arrogance. In addition, you are exposing IWI news to the possibility of a law suit.

  14. Quincy Roberts says:

    I am not a NDP and i am not a ULP but Nobody should be in power for life or as long as Gonsalves has been. St. Vincent and the Grenadines is better off if you have new blood and new ideas, this is how we evolve as a society. Also what happens when someone has to much power for to long of a country they eventually treat it like they own the country and forget that the people own the country and they work for the people and not the people work for them. I don’t know if Friday will be a better leader for St. Vincent and the Grenadines or if someone else in the ULP would be but a change is needed.

  15. Fidus Achates says:

    So much negativity here and deregotary remarks here.I am appalled to see how politics have stained some of you guys minds texting like this. I’m surprised that these comments were not filtered .Sad sad sad look at where politics have caused some of you guys minds to cuss so, shame shame shame. You guys are not better than none of those politicians because reread how you cursed at them. God have mercy on you guys please go and repent for such pitiful and shameful commentary. One is entitled to their own opinion but I don’t believe it should be so disgusting.
    Just an observer.

  16. Quoting BILL JOHNNEY “China is the biggest communist nation in the world” No Sir, China it is not a communist nation at all. So “How Did Communist China Become a Capitalist Superpower”? Watch what happened after Mao Zedong.

    China once was a Communist state under Mao Zedong but is now rather a very large Capitalist nation whose government is grossly totalitarian, viciously autocratic and very secretive.

  17. By the way BILL JOHNNEY “Why The Chinese Are Among The Best Capitalists In The World” is because Communism just doesn’t work and they know it!

    Perhaps it is easy to see why, after all these years of an ULP administration, so many individuals here in SVG is still sucking salt, and are unable to earn a well needed wage in order to support their hungry families!

  18. Kittana Albert says:

    I am saying to all of u who is running Ralph Gonsalves the P.M down and calling him all sorts of names that redemption drawers neigh. U all better repent do not put your trust in men but put it in God do not follow men but God whose report do u all believe is it man’s own or God’s own oh foolish people who has bewitched u that u may not obey the truth .

    Truth is no better days are coming not with Ralph ,Friday or any other Leaders we need to repent and turn from our wicked ways Be humble And seek God Then and only then will He heal our land it is not Ralph ,Friday or any other leaders that will. Heal our land it is only 1 source of healing He is God Almighty The only 1 who has the power to make or break He has the final say not The complainers and slanderers not the leaders And for you all mouths u all will face the consequences and the wrath of God it is only a matter of time who nah bawl will groan we need to pray for our leaders that God will change things

    Just look around and see what the corona virus is doing to the world All because we to wicked we call other people wicked when it’s we ourselves that are desperately wicked and evil we need to repent and turn to God If so that He May have mercy on us all cause we not going to get what we want anytime soon u all nah want PM Ralph u all better go fall down spread out and worship God seek Him cause worse is yet to come .

  19. Rhonda Dickson says:

    God help us all.He is still on His throne and still very much in control. The word of God says it is not in man to do right. Only He has power to promote and demote. Le’ts look to Him for the help we need .

  20. My name is Mr. C. James. My first and only vote was ULP, which I trusted very well. But some how the PM losing some focus on the country motives. But I will never put Sir James over PM Ralph. There are no comparison there. Sir james is the worst thing that ever happened to st. vincent. He came to tortola b.v.i and say, he saw the ship going down and he jump off and give it all to Arnhim Eustace, because he know Mr Eustace will never won election. If Sir James going to be Mr Friday advisor, I call on all vincentian not to vote for the NDP. Grenadines people don’t like the mainland people, They think they are not vincentians

  21. Bill Johnney says:

    C. James, I am in total agreement with you when you said grenadines people don’t like the mainland people, I experience that most recently. I was in a certain setting in the BVI not too long ago and there was a young lady from Bequia and the manner in which she was talking about the mainland people, I was shocked. I asked her where is she from and she told me Bequia so I told her she is still Vincentian and she told me again she from Bequia and she don’t like mainland people so I asked her what passport she have and then is when I shut her up. Mitchell right now is bad news, he felt that after many years that Vincentian forgot Ottley Hall but all Vincentian do not have breadfruit mentality as he echoed years ago, be have very long memory and we do not forget easily. He pushing hard now for his Bequia compadre to be PM but it will never happen. It’s just recently Friday start talking to James he used to passed his gate every day and not even hello now there backs against the mountain they gone and wake up James.

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