|Letter: Commonsense, my boy Ian|
|Published on March 13, 2013||
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I guess I struck a nerve with the letter “The Robusticity of Blind Governance II,” when Ian Francis jumped to defend the St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) government decision to build the airport. It seems commonsense isn’t so common when you are trying to defend an ideology and your comrade friend.
As promised, here are the answers to your questions, Mr Francis:
1. "Are you implying that the government of St Vincent should not build an international airport?"
Yes, they should not have built the airport based on the fact you all cannot answer the following questions:
A. When will the airport be profitable?
B. What would it take to make the airport profitable?
C. Who are the international airlines signed on to fly into the airport?
D. Would the people of SVG be subsidizing any international airlines flying into the airport? If yes,
E. What is the projected cost per year of this subsidy?
Additionally, there seems to be a coalition of the unwilling to build the airport, the global recession, four plus years of negative or no growth in SVG’s economy, and most of all SVG does not have the money to build it without wrecking the nation’s economy. To sum it up, this is the same government that said it was not possible to build the airport, then for political expediency turned around and said to the world there was a coalition of the willing to build the airport. For all intents and purposes, the funding to build the airport was never secured (major contributor Venezuela – no signed documents and we are still waiting on Mexico for the cement).
2. "Are you categorically saying that an international airport will be a burden to the people of St Vincent?"
Well, categorically it has already been a burden on the people of SVG. Have you seen the current state of the economy, the infrastructure (roads, buildings, etc.) and the healthcare system? So too is the $100 million borrowed to make the National Commercial Bank (NCB) liquid! In addition, the government has been suffocating the private sector growth by owing them over $40 million and counting for several years.
Besides, the government cannot pay their electricity, telephone and water bills. How many people in SVG have been disconnected from these services in the country? Have you that heard the VINLEC (the electricity company) scheduled areas to disconnect this week?
3. "Did the Maurice Bishop International Airport; the Hewanorrah Airport in St Lucia; the Robert Bradshaw International Airport in St Kitts or the Vere Bird International Airport in Antigua."
Mr Francis, your premise here is flawed. None of these countries attempted to build an international airport without securing the necessary funding. None did so in the wake of a financial crisis and during a global recession. None at the time had four years of negative or no growth in their economy with numerous years of deficit budgets.
However, SVG is currently pursuing the building of an international airport under the above conditions. Consequently, the national debt has more than doubled in the last 12 years, along with the loss of the government-owned supermarket and NCB.
Furthermore, Hewanorra and Vere Bird International Airports are former USAF bases that were refurbished. The Maurice Bishop International Airport was funded for the most part by the former Soviet Union, Cuba, Libya, Syria, North Korea, and other socialist countries in Eastern Europe.
As a Grenadian-Canadian, can you inform us about the loan dispute between Taiwan and Grenada over the Maurice Bishop International Airport? Who is collecting the judgment, Grenada or Taiwan? By the way, has St Kitts or Antigua defaulted on loan or bond payments in the last two years? Isn’t St Kitts one of the most heavily indebted countries in the world (debt to GDP)?
4. "What precisely are you saying to readers/ Should St Vincent build an international airport or just hang on to Arnos Vale?"
Mr Francis, there is a robusticity of blind governance in SVG and the decision to build the airport project in the face of a global recession, no signed document with many of the coalition of the willing to build the airport, and four plus years of negative or no growth in SVG’s economy highlights more of the blind governance in SVG. Good governance implies fiscal responsibility. This government has shown none in the face of all of the above reasons.
Mr Francis, it seems anything is permissible and legal as long as it is done under your socialist ideology or by your comrade friend. However, Charles Mackay did say, “Nations, like individuals, cannot become desperate gamblers with impunity. Punishment is sure to overtake them sooner or later.”
Commonsense, my boy Ian, commonsense! But somehow it seems commonsense isn’t so common with you, when dealing with SVG!
Peace and justice and get real.
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You've said that SVG had four years of negative growth, could you please provide the link to back up your claim. From what I've read and heard thus far, the economy had recorded a small growth. Since the ULP assumed office I can't recall the month or year, they couldn't pay civil servants their salary.
Vinlec has a right to take the necessary steps under the laws to collect the outstanding balance that's being owned to the company.
Over the weekend Vincentians welcome one of Jamaica's biggest "dancehall" artist, Mavado to Victory Park. The Park were packed with fans who came out to see their reggae star. Some even said that they are disappointed with his poor performance during the show.
To get on the inside it would have cost you between ($65 to 75) dollars. Couldn't that money go towards paying Vinlic? Look around the country and see how much Blackberry phones that is in circulation, then yet they'll complaint times are hard.
Latest info out of the UK pertaining to Harlequin Properties, the court had rejected a bid to freeze the company's assets.
How could this one missed you, you are a well inform person who neatly put together your words to entice the readers, but do you always speak the truth?
Hahahhahahhaha everytime i come on to this forum i get a laugh from Allan and Lenford and company.
Ah keep hearing this non-sense that the airport will not be profitable and it cant pay for itself. So as a practicing accountant with auditing skills i would like to ask the following questions:
1. How many or which road in SVG built by any government since independance has made a profit or paid for itself?
2. How many schools (Primary, Secondary, Tertiary etc.) have made a profit or paid for itself?
3. Has the ET Joshua ever made a profit or paid for itself?
4. Can you identify an airport in the entire world which have made a profit from operations or paid for itself?
I said it before and ill say it again, y'all are a bunch of grumpy old men. Go and eat your Oatmeal and watch re-runs of golden girls.
This is a very well-written and piercing response to Ian's questions. Nonetheless, your arguments about the international airport are rather futile at this time. Would you suggest that we scrap the international airport? Of course not!
While you have done the right thing in questioning the efficacy of the planning that created the decision to construct the airport, as any nationalistic Vincentian
has a right to do, the die has already been cast and we must go on to complete the project.
Let's forget partisan politics and character/personalitiy differences then ask ourselves: "What can Vincentians do to ensure that the Argyle airport is completed and go on to contribute to our national development?"
As you know, I am a big supporter of the airport, not necessarily a supporter of the ULP. I like the bold, fearless actions and Caribbean Civilization thinking of the Comrade, not necessarily all of his actions and reactions. However, regardless of the Comrade's motives, I still see a place for the international airport in the spheres of our national economic development.
You can write the book on the "Robusticity of Blind Governance in St. Vincent and the Grenadines" but I would prefer to see "The Investments in Vincentian Economic Development Infrastructure." This doesn't sound so catchy, but it is essential to our future.
By the way, I might have already pointed out on this site that investments in national projects such as the Argyle International Airport are not necessarily well evaluated under the normal profit and loss accounting. In the benefits and cost analysis we have to look to the backwards and forward economic linkages over a rather long period of time, say 20-50 years into the future. How can the Argyle Airport best serve St. Vincent and the Grenadines, despite any political benefits that the Comrade might receive?
You remind me of another rabble rouser from Bottom Town, The Honourable Comrade E.T. Joshua - a man who should be enshrines as one of our national Heroes this year. I can still hear him opening his meetings with the song:
"Oh Lord our help in ages past
Our hope for years to come
A shelter from the stormy blast
And our eternal home".
The rich people in St. Vincent branded him a communist because he worked to better the fortunes of the poor majority. But in my home he was a champion of our people!
You may in time become anothe Bottom Town champion of Vincentians!
LENFORD O’GARO, I love to read what you write because its factual and to the point. They will need to attack you now, just in the hope that no one will then believe you.
IAN FRANCIS, I have always considered Ian Francis as a jerk. He loved Maurice Bishop, and he loves all the Caribbean’s live Marxist’s as well. He supports left wing leaders even if they are right or wrong. He can be found scratching about all over the internet, writing crap in support of all the Caribbean’s Marxist scum. Likes to tell lies and likes to embroider and perpetuate other peoples lies.
What I suggest is that Ian Francis goes and lives in Venezuela, Iran, or North Korea, what on earth he is doing taking advantage of the Canadians good will and kindness I do not know. I would ship him out of there double quick time, least he damages a crop of young people with his crap.
FRANCIS the idiot boy, no not you Ian, there are other idiots you know. FRANCIS you frequently tell lies and this is another one of yours “Latest info out of the UK pertaining to Harlequin Properties, the court had rejected a bid to freeze the company's assets“.
If you do not understand what is going on in the Court, you had best hush your mouth, and stop behaving like a fool.
[“With regards to the Birmingham Crown Court case 3BM30141, the case was brought on behalf of 10 individuals under this case reference on Wednesday 6th March 2013. Within the substantive proceedings an application for a freezing order was made. The freezing order application was listed on the 7th March 2013 at 2pm. The judge postponed the hearing of the application until the 14th March 2013. The Claimants asked for an interim order for 7 days until the hearing on the 14th March 2013, the Court declined considering that until March 14th.
In the corridors of the Court, the parties reached an agreement on the 8th March 2013, when Harlequin agreed to pay the claimants in full.
The actual terms of the settlement are confidential. Procedurally, the Claimants lawyers will appear before the court on the 14th March 2013 to obtain an order from the court finalising proceedings, dropping the freezing application and all other proceedings on behalf of these particular claimants.
In other words the freezing order and claims against Harlequin will be dropped since Harlequin agreed to pay the claimants.
This is not a judgment by the Court, its an agreement by the parties“.]
You see JASON, you really must stop telling all the lies and childishly trying to twist the facts. Your just not intelligent enough not to be caught out with all your crap.
Now make an appointment to see GONSALVES and tell him you want to put your head where the sun doesn’t shine.
It was with great dissapointment I read Lenford. Brought the truism, "he that regard the wind will not sow and he that regard the clouds will not reap" to mind.
A while back I had the pleasure of reading the economic plan developed for St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the transformational pillar within that plan was tourism, and rightly so as most international bodies project tourism and service based industries and sectors to form the bulk of global development in the near future.
Can St. Vincent really compete on an equal footing for stay-over tourism without an international airport?
It is sad he only choose to focus on the limited area of the immediate airport facility while ignoring all the spinoffs to hotels, hotel suppliers, local restaurants and bars etc, etc.
I dare Mr. Lenford to compare pictures of the Grand Anse area of Grenada 25 years ago and today and see how transforming the Airport has been.
Also the squabble between Grenada and Taiwan did end up including landing fees, but other than that had absolutely nothing to do with the airport. It was a government loan and with the airport being a government owned facility, it fees was garnished to satisfy the judgement against the government, not against the airport which owed nothing. The fees just happened to be the easiest thing to grab from outside the country since the jurisdiction was the U.S. and some of the Carriers are based there and so would have to comply with court orders there.
Peter, the "GREATEST" of all intellectuals. You are a BOASTER and arrogant person. Your brains probably running low and needs to be check to see if any permanent damage occure.
Your contribution here is to only pull down the government, and criticize with out offering a single suggestion what so every. You are nowhere close to Ralph. What I've said about Harlequin came of the net, I didn't make up any thing. Most of the time I does my own research. Why should I lie.
JASON,JASON, you see that’s what happens when you repeat something that someone else writes or says without doing confirmation research. When you repeat someone else’s mistruths, they become your lies. You also need some basic understanding of the subject, very basic understanding even. When you have no idea whatsoever and just repeat what you read elsewhere its not good enough.
JASON, you wrote “Peter, the "GREATEST" of all intellectuals. You are a BOASTER and [an] arrogant person. Your brains [brain is] probably running low and needs to be check [checked] to see if any permanent damage [has] occure [occurred] “.
JASON, I would leave that kind of spiteful rhetoric to Ralph Gonsalves, he is an expert at insulting people.
Thank you anyway for your input, it is most amusing.
There is nothing bold or fearless by the comrade in building the airport. In our system of government, majority rules and the comrade has the majority in the parliament. None of his parliamentary members dare to stand up to him or vote differently to what he wants. He had the votes for it to pass the house.
Bold and fearless would have been the comrade bring the airport project to the parliament to be debated and for the funding to be scrutinized by the nation. In opposition, he complained about the Ottley Hall project not being in parliament and now he turned around and do the same thing. By him not practicing what he preach, I consider what he did a cowardice move!
Caribbean civilization thinking should be using commonsense! In our Caribbean civilization, people need to emancipate themselves from mental slavery. Vin you are buying into the nonsense. We expect better with his Caribbean civilization thinking!
On October 09, 2012 -- Moody's stated rationale for downgraded the rating of St. Vincent and the Grenadines was the economy has contracted for four consecutive years.
Sorry, if I offended you. But can you tell the world what’s the travel demand forecast looks like for SVG? How about the two nearest neighbors to SVG with international airports, St Lucia and Grenada?
Somehow, people have this flight of the imagination that by building an international airport, the economic woes of these small island states will magically disappear. Yes, an international airport can help but you need to have enough traffic into the international airport. Otherwise, you are digging a hole to fill a hole! Does it make sense to waste taxpayers hard earn money and a nation’s meager resources on building an international airport, only get one or maybe two international flights a week in the peak season?
Tourism is too cyclical and vulnerable to changes; for example, government instability or a devastating hurricane can affect tourism. Also, with the world economy still struggling, tourism is an iffy sector at best. Disposable income is still hard to come by many people in the USA, Canada, Europe and elsewhere. Thus tourism remains slow in the region.
Vin's Response to Pouie"
Pouie wrote: "There is nothing bold or fearless by the comrade in building the airport. In our system of government, majority rules and the comrade has the majority in the parliament. None of his parliamentary members dare to stand up to him or vote differently to what he wants. He had the votes for it to pass the house."
Vin's Response: The airport was conceived prior to the 2001 beginnings of the ULP administration. Most importantly though: "The project is in implementation stage, heading towards completion." Can't you bring yourself to accept that reality? Can't you put your intellectual powers towards developing positive ideas that can help our nation to complete this project successfully and then to utilize it to our betterment?
Pouie wrote: "Bold and fearless would have been the comrade bring the airport project to the parliament to be debated and for the funding to be scrutinized by the nation. In opposition, he complained about the Ottley Hall project not being in parliament and now he turned around and do the same thing. By him not practicing what he preach, I consider what he did a cowardice move! "
Response: I did not speak to the infallibility of the Comrade. All I stated was a personal observation that the Comrade makes bold moves at home and abroad. Do you know of any Vincentian leaders who have matched the actions of the Comrade on the regional and international stages? Notice that I did not speak about the ultimate results/consequences of his moves. Some might say he is a braggart who is great at brown-nosing. But I would rather see him brown-nose without fear in the promotion of SVG rather than acting stuffy and ignore opportunities to promote my homeland.
Pouie wrote: "Caribbean civilization thinking should be using commonsense! In our Caribbean civilization, people need to emancipate themselves from mental slavery. Vin you are buying into the nonsense. We expect better with his Caribbean civilization thinking!"
Response: "buying into the nonsense (Caribbean Civilization)"! Pouie I think your anger is destroying your ability to reason. Anyone working towards the integration of our small Caribbean nations is not working for nought or nonsense as you suggest. Oh how I wish more Vincentians and other Caribbean nationals would understand the vulnerability of our societies in their existing balkanized state and join the Comrade in promoting Caribbean devolopments in the context of "One Caribbean Civilization"!
My dear Vincy Pouie, please don't get me wrong. I am not a follower of the Comrade. I cannot bring myself to join any political party that is overly dominated by one person. But from my stance I can clearly see the good, the bad, and the ugly of politicians (the Comrade included), ordinary Vincentians (yourself included) and the events/developments in our homeland (the Argyle Airport included). Time and History have a way of dealing with the plans and schemes of humans. And, until we are able to accept our own shortcomings and refrain from spitting venom on others we will not be able to see the clear path to our own salvation.
Best regards, my Vincy brother.
Vinci Vin my brother, while the NDP looked into airport development (three different options) they were reluctant to go ahead and build the international airport. They instead took the advice of the consultants and seek funding to renovation ET Joshua airport. That’s called fiscal responsibility!
Check out the IMF’s, St Vincent and the Grenadines: 2006 Article IV Consultation, “Canadian consulting firm Marshall Macklin Monaghan (MMM) completed the most recent comprehensive airport study in September 1998 and argued against building a new airport and concluded that the only economically viable option was a limited renovation of the existing airport at ET Joshua.” The Ralph Gonsalves government then went ahead without any further economic cost benefit analysis for the airport.
Since 2008, I have been pointing out that the math did not add up. This was before we knew that the funding to build the airport was not secured. You want me to support the airport project, let’s have open government and good governance in SVG. Bring the airport project to the parliament and open up the books to be scrutinized by all Vincentians.
Please Vinci Vin, go back and read my letter of November 1 on this site entitled, “Charity beings at home.” We as Vincentians can’t continue to hide our heads in the sand and choose not to questioned the comrade’s nonsense of Caribbean civilization thinking, regionalism and integration. Vinci Vin my brother, “Charity beings at home!”
Once again, Dear Vincy Pouie, your point about whether or not to build the Argyle Airport is moot. We cannot go back and undo the project at this late point in time. If as you assert or imply "the project should not have been built" then the opposition and the populace of SVG are equally culpable as the Comrade and the ULP.
If this project was such a grievous mistake then the Hon. Arnhim Ulric Eustace, leader of the Opposition NDP, failed miserably in not marshalling the forces of the good people of SVG to kill the project in its infancy.
Although I have expressed the fact that attempting to kill this project at the point where it is heading towards completion stage is rather unthinkable,a pipe dream, let me nonetheless, ask you again:
1. What will we gain by scuttling the project at this juncture?
2. What will we gain by re-debating this project in parliament?
3. What is your plan B for the successful completion and operation of the airport?
4.What other infrasturactural project would you and perhaps the other political parties conceive/pursue to serve SVG in the absence of the Argyle airport?
Pouie, I consider you an intelligent person (no rhethoric) ... One who had raised questions in the past about Mitchell and his policies and one whom I do not think have a political axe to grind, consequently, I take your writings as efforts to help SVG and Vincentians to be better informed/educated when making national decisions. Yet, I think you are unrealistic in your current opposition to the airport project.The ship has left Port Arnos Vale and is in sight of Port Argyle. So, shouldn't we strive to put our intellects to better use.
By the way, as we head towards election in 2015 one wonders whether:
1. The comrade should stand for re-election for a fourth term, in other words, what can he do in another 5 year term that he couldn't do in 15 years? Finishing the airport shouldn't be a ticket to re-election.
2. Whether the Hon. Arnhim Ulric Eustace should lead the NDP into the 2015 election after losing 3 times to Gonsalves and the ULP. In fact, what is Mr. Eustace's vision for solving the problems of the nation?
3. Whether both the NDP and the ULP have a slate of candidates within their ranks that understand the problems of the nation and can present credible solutions to those problems
4. Whether the ULP and the NDP have learned any lessons about the futility of looking to external investors and international donors as politically expedient saviors of our nation's future.
If Vincentians are really suffering as we have been told, what must they do in order to reverse the trend of their misery? Electing a different party and PM will not be enough to put the nation on a positive move towards social and economic salvation. It may only prolong the recurring nightmare of the revolving door where political parties and their cronies benefit while they are in office while those who support the opposition are lefty high and dry....
Again, Best regards my Vincy Brother,
Come on my brother Vinci Vin don’t go down that road. How many times did the comrade lost elections as head or co-head of parties? Count back from 1979 with the UPM and MMU. How many times did he lose his deposit? Do we want to get into this type of nonsense? The race is not for the swift, otherwise the comrade would not have become PM.
In 2000 – 2001, the perfect storm was brewing in SVG (The ODD-thing, the 30% raise, the road block, the ULP and the Grand Anse accord). No one in their right mind expected the NDP to win that election (Sir James jump of the ship – Gypsy’s calypso “Captain the ship is sinking” sounds good here). Not to mention the fact that Mr Eustace had took over as PM less than 6 months before the elections.
In 2005, the comrade played on the people’s emotions and used the airport as the election ploy. Knowing fully that all the relevant studies said not to build the airport. Plus he did not have the money to build the airport.
Mr Eustace for his part asked the pertinent questions to the government about building the airport. Furthermore, he even had the company that did the base studies give an updated predictive cost (EC $1 billion plus) to build the airport.
In 2010, what was the rallying cry by the comrade’s party? Keep me there or the NDP would not finish the airport!
Mr Eustace has stabilized the sinking ship of the NDP and has brought them back to an 8 ULP -7 NDP parliament. His economic predictions and understanding has been on point.
Why are they so afraid of Mr Eustace leading SVG? Is it the forensic accountants? His no nonsense policy? Or some will end up in jail? My guess is all of the above plus his leadership will show up all the previous leaders.
If Mr Eustace or anyone else get there and do similar nonsense like the previous leaders, I will be here to call them out too!
My brother Vinci Vin, bring the airport project to the parliament now is not about debating the project. It is about open government and good governance.