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I feel compelled to respond to an article published in NEWS784 on 06/03/2018, under the caption: SVG NEWEST INDUSTRY: “PULLING DOWN RALPH”. The Prime Minister is quoted as saying:
“I remember Matthew Thomas on an MNU platform criticize Sir James’ personal domestic life and went as far as saying, he has his concubine living with him in the Prime Minister’s residence.
“I took to the stage immediately following that and told those listening, I don’t share that view as leader of the MNU and am not getting into that type of discussion. Matthew was vexed with me but I told him you cross the line man.”
I acknowledge that I did make that comment. This was sometime between 1990 and 1992, in excess of twenty-seven years and I am even more proud today that I made such comment. Sir James Mitchell was fathering a girl child in the Prime Minister’s residence in a common-law union while his estranged wife and children were living in the family home in Bequia.
Nothing in that statement was meant to demean Sir James Mitchell. To the contrary, it was meant to pull him up. In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the law allows for common- law marriages. In such a union, the offspring share equal rights as in a wedded family union and the mother after seven years of continuous living, is entitled to equal rights as though she were legally wedded. This law was not however designed for a Prime Minister whose every existence including the air he breathes is provided by the State at taxpayer’s expense.
While I was critical of Sir James’s concubinage and never repeated the statement, Ralph Gonsalves on almost every rostrum was making fun of Sir James, claiming that a Rastaman was taking his place, while Louis Straker, now Sir Louis and Dept. Prime Minister was having a field day when he learned that Sir James had gone to Trinidad for medical procedures relating to his prostate gland. Louis was heard to be saying on many political platforms: “Oh Gad e garn go cut out e Suez canal”.
To chronicle the many opprobrious remarks that Ralph Gonsalves has levelled at the citizenry and others are legendary. To mention a few: this writer “is a worthless dutty dog”; Junior Bacchus, a well-respected teacher, Human Resource Officer, Community and Social Activist is “an Idiot boy”; Bassy Alexander, a Land Surveyor, Community Activitst, Social commentator, is” a dutty dog”; Vynette Frederick, a lawyer and MP; is “ a picky head, snatty nose gel and a shallow plate; MP, St. Clair Leacock “has a ghetto mind”;MP for North Leeward, Patel Matthews is a “yam-boy”; Elwardo Lynch, a radio talk show host, “is of the lowest common denominator”; public servants seeking an increase in salary, his response was, “They are a minority rump. They feel the economy doing well they come line up before the trough”. Only hogs go to a trough to be fed. He described Allen Chastanet, now Prime Minister of St. Lucia, as “a Castries mulatto”.
This kind of behaviour by Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves is very much akin to that ascribed to the Plantation owners as described by CLR James in his book THE BLACK JACOBINS. It is okay for Ralph Gonsalves, a Portuguese to use such salacious remarks about black people but for us to be critical of him, we become employees of the “PULLING DOWN INDUSTRY”. What other industry has he created in his seventeen years of office, besides “THE PULLING DOWN”? – Ralph’s Industry.
By Matthew Thomas