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Opposition Leader Godwin Friday in a Jan. 9, 2024 photo.
Opposition Leader Godwin Friday in a Jan. 9, 2024 photo.
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People who cannot handle the truth should not be in government, Opposition Leader Godwin Friday has said as he slammed the government’s reaction to the billboard his party erected about homicides in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

We had this big furore about the billboards. You put up a few billboards, and suddenly people pay attention. So that says to me that the strategy worked,” he said on his New Democratic Party’s show on NICE Radio.

“It was intended,” he said of the billboard and suggested that the party decided to go non-digital at a time when people say that everything has to be accessible on the internet to have an impact.

“But you have so much stuff on your cellphone now and it seems that people don’t notice anymore. They just scroll through it as one of these shorts that you see all the time.

“But to put up a billboard that draws attention to the crime, the homicides in this country,” he said, adding that he was chastised because the billboard said there were 52 homicides in the country last year when there were 55.

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“… but even at 52, it is a record by a mile so let them come and defend that,” the opposition leader said.

“But instead of defending it, instead of coming out and saying, ‘Look, we’re doing something about it, we acknowledge it’, is the same approach,” Friday said, adding that he made that same point during an interview on Hot 97 FM a week earlier.

“It’s the same approach to just dismissing it as though it’s cheap politics, when in fact, it is affecting people’s lives.”

The opposition leader noted that the country recorded 408 murders between 2012 and 2023 and about three-quarters of them remain unsolved.

“You’re telling me that you have people committing murders and for years, seven out of 10 of them are unsolved, that inspires confidence in the system? That tells you that somehow things are hunky dory, that things are nice?”

NDP billboard
The NDP billboard at Gibson Corner.

Friday said that. is why the NDP put up the billboard, adding that it states a fact and does not distort anything.

And if you can’t handle the truth, you should not be in government. Because all you’re doing is mamaguying people. You really should not be urging people to believe that things are not what they are. To say that seven is greater than 10 doesn’t say that 55 homicides are not a record. Everybody knows that a record.

And the year before there was a record. And this year, there are 17 homicides or thereabouts already, and we hope that there are fewer because some people ask me about this, I said, I know the pain that it costs for families, lives that are disrupted,” Friday, whose cousin was among the people murder last year.  

These are people who die in the most horrendous and, it seems sometimes, pointless circumstances. So how can anyone take this as something as being normal, or somehow treating it as petty politics?

I do not. I really genuinely would like to see that this problem is brought under control. we are a free democratic society, we understand that there is always going to be in such a society people who will do things that are contrary to the norms, that are counterproductive but these are things that we as a society, we have to set a limit as to say what is tolerable? And this what we have now is not tolerable. We cannot accept it,” Friday said.

“We can’t say that ‘Crime they all over the place way yo expect me to do about it?’”

2 replies on “‘If you can’t handle the truth, you should not be in gov’t’ — Friday”

  1. In a recent statement a Jamaica Cabinet Minister questioned the Opposition Leader’s retention his dual citizenship. The relevance to the SVG situation is transparent. What follows is not the Minister’s direct quote, but a paraphrase, with applicability to the SVG situation: How does the Leader of the Opposition explain or rationalise that by retaining his Canadian citizenship, even after becoming Leader of the Opposition with the hope of becoming prime minister he, himself, has “one foot in and one foot out”? Why has he been unwilling to repatriate that foreign half of his citizenship? What is so precious about it that he does not want to readily give it up? “To thine own self be true.” Seriously, Mr Opposition Leader, SVG, what is the problem?

  2. Carlos James says:

    I dont know who is responsible for this idea of putting up those boards but whoever I tip my hat you you for I see nothing less than a master stroke at work , never mind the jackass talk for one jackass might just bit another hard , someone was bragging that a don tell them no election this year but these could be deemed election posters so the longer the election is put off the longer these posters will be up for the one day tourist to see and report back home ,the media have already done their job the posters are on the internet for all to read so if goons go and destroy them we out here and the tourist will be asking ” are they trying to hide the facts from us in a country where tourist are already afraid to see what night life there is to offer in a country with this crime rate and that police confusion ,just now when the caribbean is fully booked for this season svg included mainly because of wars and crime elsewhere , well done ( jackass Eh ? )

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