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ULP rally
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By Lavern King

At the ULP rally on Sunday night, one could not help but notice the glaring omission of critical discussions, especially those pertaining to women’s issues — a sector that remains deeply affected by ongoing societal challenges. Among the speakers, Keisal Peters stood out, not for the substance of her speech, but for the profound absence of it.

Despite being the ONLY female voice on stage, Peters missed a critical opportunity to address the pressing issues that disproportionately impact women in our society. The tragic cases of Precious Williams, 17, and the recent case of 17-year-old Kemeisha Haynes, whose untimely deaths sent shockwaves through the country, went unmentioned. Likewise, the disturbing trend of several young girls being reported missing received no acknowledgement.

In a setting where one might expect a champion for women’s rights and issues, Peters’ speech felt disappointingly hollow, reinforcing the fact that she adds little value beyond that of tokenism in the realm of representation. The absence of discussions on pivotal topics such as raising the age of consent only added to the disillusionment, leaving one to question the commitment to advancing meaningful policy changes that safeguard women and girls.

Orande Brewster’s presence at the rally culminated in a performance that lacked substance and impact. His contributions, or lack thereof, did little to clarify or advance the government’s agenda, leaving attendees and viewers wanting for meaningful engagement on the issues at hand.

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Similarly, Carlos James, serving as minister of tourism, provided remarks that did little to further the discourse or offer insights into policy directions or initiatives under his purview. The expectation of a strategic vision or at least some commentary on future directions for the tourism sector was met with silence.

Damion Crawford from Jamaica, best known for his misogynistic comments and his previous electoral losses, offered nothing of memorable consequence to the rally.

Camillo Gonsalves’ assertions regarding unemployment levels struck a particularly discordant note. Contradicting the reality faced by many Vincentians, his claim of low unemployment rates stands in stark contrast to the statistics. As it stands, St. Vincent and the Grenadines grapples with the highest unemployment rate both within the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States and in its own historical record. Gonsalves’ declaration that “numbers don’t lie” inadvertently underscores a truth he seemed keen to overlook — SVG’s alarming position among nations with the highest murder rates globally, a grim statistic that further exacerbates the sense of unease among its citizens. No strategies or solutions were proposed to address the escalating crime rate that continues to plague the nation.

Additionally, Gonsalves’ speech conspicuously omitted any discussion on the surging cost of living, a pressing issue that significantly impacts the daily lives of Vincentians. This oversight adds to the growing frustration among citizens, who struggle to reconcile the government’s optimistic narratives with their challenging economic realities. The failure to acknowledge, let alone address, such a fundamental concern further widens the gap between governmental rhetoric and the tangible needs of the populace, leaving many to question the priorities and effectiveness of the ULP in navigating the nation through these turbulent times.

The rally, intended perhaps to unify and galvanize, instead highlighted a concerning disconnect between the government’s representatives and the pressing issues facing the country. The rally served as a poignant reminder of the gap between political rhetoric and the lived realities of the people they are elected to serve.

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