Prime Minister Ralph has added his voice to the chorus of people who have criticised the Carnival Development Corporation and cable television station, VC3, two state-owned entities, for their failure to broadcast the Miss SVG 2022 pageant live.
The pageant was held this year for the first time since 2019 – as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
However, people overseas and even at home were denied the opportunity to see the show online, because it was not broadcast live under a pay-per-view arrangement, as had been done previously.
“The kind of issues which I see arise and take up so much valuable time over foolishness. So, we have a fantastic queen show with magnificent young ladies and we didn’t get the streaming right? CDC is not an empire unto itself nor VC3, nor the Tourism Authority,” the prime minister said.
He was speaking Sunday on WE FM’s “Issue AT Hand” on which Minister of Tourism and Culture, Carlos James, was the featured guest.
“Carlos, am I being too hard?” Gonsalves asked in a telephone call to the show, while James was in-studio.
“I think you’re articulating your point well,” James said.
The prime minister said that CDC, VC3 and the Tourism Authority are all enterprises “headed by men and women of tremendous quality.
“But sometimes, I don’t know, sometimes you just stay inside your little silo. If you do that, you’re gonna be left behind. That’s not the rhythm … of building a modern, competitive many sided post-colonial economy.
“And those contradictions, you know, will appear more and more. The more the post-colonial economy deepens, and we become more competitive. And those who don’t keep up, will get left behind and will be exposed.
“Stop the foolish nonsense, because there’s a lot of that which goes on.”
Gonsalves said he was not talking “about those who just negative and crab-in-the-barrel mentality, who want to pull down everybody for nothing.
“… I’m talking about things connected to life, living and production. I’m talking about things relating to new and better attitudes to work and management, and production. I’m talking about hard and smart work.”
Earlier in the programme, James said that the decision on whether to live stream was the CDC’s.
He noted that the CDC has experience “working with the production and the live streaming, as well as pay per view and whether or not it’s something that would have been profitable to them at the time”.
The minister, echoing an explanation he had given the week after the Oct. 29 show, said that when he made checks, he was told that the VIP tickets sold out before the show.
“But we were just a few hours from the event and we were not sure how the regular tickets are moving. And when they made the checks around, say two hours before the show, that’s when the persons who were selling tickets said, ‘Well, you know, hold on, don’t pick them up as yet because people now coming to purchase the tickets,” James said.
“And that was partly because they recognise that we all needed to get out of our comfortable homes and go into the park and support all the beautiful contestants who were in the event.”
He said that within the last two hours before the show, the CDC saw “record movement in terms of the sales of the tickets and it was well attended.
“And I did say to the CDC, ‘Well, you know, we have to look at our Vincentian diaspora community. In fact, persons were home for whatever reason, might have been, you know, not able to venture out at the park,” adding that “a bit more packaged, tighter production” of the show was streamed one week later on YouTube and VC3.