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Former prime minister, Sir James Mitchell holds up a bumper sticker on Boom FM on Oct. 13. (Photo: Boom FM/Facebook)
Former prime minister, Sir James Mitchell holds up a bumper sticker on Boom FM on Oct. 13. (Photo: Boom FM/Facebook)
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Former Prime Minister Sir James Mitchell says that the 2020 general elections are a fight for the soul of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“First of all, I think this is one of the most important elections in our history,” he said on Boom FM on Tuesday.

“And I have been through several and the tasks are enormous and, therefore, the choices are most important now,” said Sir James, who was prime minister from 1984 to October 2000.

“You need to have a government that is not vindictive, you need to have a government that will be fair with the people and you need to have a government that assess the issues.”

Sir James said that the big issues in the Nov. 5 vote are healthcare, poverty, and the climate of fear.

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“We cannot say with all the talk about independence that we have reached the zenith of freedom in this country. You cannot criticise the government, you cannot speak your mind and this is what is frightening a lot of people in the voting process.”

He said persons are saying, “I ain’t bothering with politics, I not into that because I don’t know what is going to happen to me.”

“And it is affecting even mature people,” the retired politician said, adding that this is worrying and this is why he considers the election as one of the most important in a generation.

“And people have to make a choice,” Sir James said.

He added:  

“Very simple, we have got to get our people to understand that this election, at this time of coronavirus, this time of pressure on the economy, this time of collapse of tourism, this time of collapse of our agriculture, it is rough stuff and what you vote for now, you will have to vote for many, many years”

Sir James said that the choice is “between more broken promises, complacency, and the self-interest of the governing party.”

He said that the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), which he founded 45 years ago, is an alternative.  

“We have performed. We have proven that we have performed,” he said of the NDP.

“We have a government that has been in for 19 years and the quality of life in this country has not improved and the fundamental thing is the people’s concept of themselves.

“We are not a free society and democracy is supposed to produce freedom, liberty; you should be able to feel free and you have a situation where you are not going to get business. The playing field is not level.

“Take for example, the government offered and built a number of schools. And all of them awarded to a Chinese company and one of them given to a local contractor, Marine and General, taken away and given to somebody else after they won the contract.

“I mean, what kind of country is this? How’re you going to have fairness? And we have to break that cycle. We have to get into a new direction. We are fighting for the soul of this country.”

Sir James said that under the NDP administration there was “a clear and unambiguous policy.

“We aim to create a property-owning democracy. We aimed to ensure that people have money in their pocket so that they can talk freely and we were developing a middle class.

“Look at the quality of the homes in our country, all over St. Vincent. There is no big difference these days between Cane Garden and Lauders, no big difference between Cane Garden and Keartons; there is a certain quality of life that we have produced but this element of fear.”

He said that fear has two components: fear for one’s well-being and fear of one’s life and society.

“When Prime Minister Gonsalves took over, he said one thing that I admired him for and he was absolutely right in it. He said he had been a lawyer dealing with criminals and he knows the mind of criminals and as a result he would be able to deal with crime. It didn’t seem as though his practice led to any results. “

In the radio appearance, a video of which was broadcast live on Facebook, Sir James held up a bumper sticker that read,   


Sir James said, and you see the man there with his yellow tie on?

“Blowing fumes out of his ears, and Ralph is in red,” the host commented.

Sir James continued, “And that is not all. After people get tired of that one, we have another one,” he said, holding up a bumper sticker that read, “ME TOO FED UP AH RALPH”.  

2 replies on “‘We are fighting for the soul of this country’ – Sir James”

  1. Since taking up office the ULP and its leadership has wilfully taken our small nation down a very sad path, a path more akin to Stalinist Russia, than aligning us with the British family of nations that created us. The result for us Vincentians is all the misfortunes and sadness that former Prime Mitchel have here described above. Some in the Gonsalves regime proudly tell us that their political philosophy is profoundly Marxist like Venezuela and Cuba in origin.

    However, the Marxist philosophy that some in the party are so proud to express, has been responsible for the much sufferings and death of countless millions and millions of individuals around the world since its inception by Karl Marx, of which Cambodia and Maoist China are but examples, not to mention todays Cuba and Venezuela.

    Moreover, what some of these same people are not aware of is this, that Karl Marks its creator was indeed a failed theology student whose parents were Jews and who because of the hostility that they experienced to their Jewish faith in Europe, is said by all accounts expressed interest in Christianity. Religion therefore for Karl Marx presented a severe challenge.

    Therefore, the Man Karl Marks, as a failed theology student, had made a very famous quote that reads; “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people”. Hence the hostility to Christianity by all Marxist.

    The renowned writer C. S. Lewis had this to say of them “Those who would most scornfully repudiate Christianity as a mere “opiate of the people” have a contempt for the rich, that is, for all mankind except the poor”. Yet the Marxist scorn is only for other people’s wealth and not their own.

    Indeed, the ULP and its leadership delights in telling us a gross lie. That lie is how they are the only party who champions the poor in SVG, yet the evidence is that they have single-handedly made the poor here very much poorer and their own cronies much, much the richer during their term in office.

    Like their friends in Venezuela, they delight in creating poverty so as to create dependency. although for themselves they dine sumptuously and delights in personal opulence. They are what could otherwise be called real champagne socialist!

  2. The problems of SVG and possible solutions have to be discussed more often than have been in the past. In public only political “big shots” like Mitchell have been allowed to do so partly because mant ard too afraid to be victimized if they open thier mouths. But this website gives us average people a chance to add input whether anonymous or not.
    Mitchell mentions a “level playing field”. Things were not level in his time as PM either. I hope his statement means he sees the situation as having EVOLVED to need more FREEDOM, (another word he used). How to do this….
    As he stated government today faces challenges never seen in our lifetime. ANY FUTURE SUCCESSFUL LEADER WILL HAVE TO THINK MORE LIKE AN ENTREPRENEUR THAN WHAT WE HAVE NOW! Business as usual is NO business at all.

    I suggest employing elements THAT COULD WORK IN SVG, we have seen used successfully in other countries or at other times in history, based on conditions. Certainly First and foremost:
    GET RID OF OUR STUPID CONCESSIONARY SYSTEM!!!!! This is unfair, not free and does the opposite of providing a level playing field. It has to be replaced with what was instituted in the USA at the very beginning. Just have fair Customs laws that apply equally to all whereby would-be entrepreneurs do not have to carry around mountains of paperwork to various SLOW, LAZY AND BIASED governmental offices, wasting valuable time and increasing the chances of getting told NO! based on human elements that have nothing to do with the possible success of an enterprise. Duties for machines and raw materials are WAY TOO HIGH in SVG and that GUARANTEES that our products cannot compete with other countries.
    WE DO NOT NEED PRYME GRANTS!!! Just think that if duties for all things that build this country are near zero, many of the intelligent ones will be able “go around” all the stupidity and start things that officials would have disapproved of. WITH OUR VERY STUPID SYSTEM, does any reader think that Elon Musk could have ever started anything in SVG?

    I have written before but Kenton has not posted it…that I come from an area that produced Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Boeing, Starbucks, Costco and many more prosperous start-ups. People I went to school with have products selling on the shelves in SVG. There is a better way to do things and it is about time we muster the courage and intelligence to make change for the better, no matter what party is in office.
    I suggest we…
    Institute elements that make prosperity inevitable and poverty impossible.
    Someone remove our chains please!

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