By Kenrick Quashie
When Ralph Gonsalves was Leader of the Opposition, he instigated the resignation of former attorneys general Parnell Campbell and Carlyle Dougan for infractions of far less significance than the ordeal involving Senator Ashelle Morgan.
He did so with the support of strong NGOs and civil society organisations and people like Audrey Gittens, Renwick Rose, Noel Jackson and countless others who have now seemingly left their mouth in their “mumma”.
To say that many other Vincentians and I are tired of the disregard for the rule of law and the unjust treatment of some fractions of society is an understatement. To put it colloquially: “As gard, mi fed up!” I am fed up of the silence. I am fed up of the hypocrisy. I hope that these former “champions of democracy” would ask themselves if this is the legacy they wanted to leave for their children and grandchildren. I hope that I am around to see how history records these events and the contributions of so many to the fall of what was once a fair and just state.
For those who cannot remember, the legacy that was created was for the support of an opposition that campaigned against injustice, corruption in government to now endorsing a government that stands behind a politician accused of rape, standing behind a Member of Parliament accused of using a firearm against a citizen who was in the sanctity of his home, standing in support of a diplomat accused of domestic violence in a foreign land, standing in support of a MP who has proven to us that he is unable to travel abroad for any ministerial meeting in all his years as a member of Cabinet.
I can list more.
If your first defence is to provide an excuse for all the things above, then I am talking to you. Your approach is always to come up with some excuse as to why the actions above don’t point to something illegal. I want you to separate illegal from immoral.
The blatant truth is that Ralph Gonsalves and the ULP have lost their moral authority. They are no longer morally fit to govern SVG.
The latest saga with Ashelle has also proven that Colin John is no longer worthy of the position of Commissioner of Police. Frankly, the Minister of Legal Affairs and National Security ought to resign also. But that happens to be the prime minister, so he is going to use this to make it a political argument rather than a moral one. Again, “Mi fed up!”
Gonsalves were he in opposition would have mobilised civil society to speak out and call for resignations. However, he has strategically dismantled civil society just like he tried to “strategically dismantle the opposition” (those are not my words in quotation marks, they are Ralph Gonsalves’).
I am waiting patiently for Cecil “Blazer” Williams and Renwick Rose to use their weekly column as they did then under an NDP government to call out Ralph Gonsalves and his out of touch administration.
My hope is that on Tuesday all of the unions, the churches and all right thinking Vincentians will join the picket line. Don’t just call for the resignation of Ashelle; do so for Colin John, do so for the Minister of National Security and Legal Affairs.
Imagine we claim to have the best prime minister in the region and we are doing worse than all other OECS countries.
Get over the hand-outs. Ralph Gonsalves has said he wants to use money out of his personal pocket to set up credit union accounts for our children so they can pay for their CXC and CAPE exams (interestingly the NDP said that it will pay for all those exams from the taxes paid at supermarket for basic items). When those in NCW utilise what is in Ralph’s pocket, what about those children from other constituencies whose MPs pockets are not as deep as Ralph’s? Are you really going to be so selfish and not think about your cousins and relatives in other constituencies?
How many more times must you continue to excuse the incompetence and neglect of ULP parliamentarians because you love Ralph? Get over it!
Yes, this is an article about the prime minister. He is the primary reason we are in a mess. He is the one in charge and he is the one who has to accept responsibility. Stop excusing him and say it’s the people around him. Trust me, he knows fully well what is happening.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines deserves better. We can do better! It is time!!!
The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].