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Letter: Jerry George misinforms on booing at funeral service
Published on July 28, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

Dear Sir:

Your news story dated Thursday July 24, 2014, under the bold caption: “St Vincent PM booed out of own constituency” is riddled with misinformation, misrepresentation, and falsehoods. Your reliance on a report from Jerry George, a well-known supporter of the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) and a wild, persistent critic of Ralph Gonsalves, does an immense disservice to your readers.

Let us state the facts:

1. Prime Minister Gonsalves attended the funeral of well-known NDP radio propagandist Elwardo Lynch which was held at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Georgetown, a town in the North Central Windward Constituency which he has represented in Parliament for 20 years since 1994.

2. The Prime Minister was personally invited by Lynch’s family to attend the funeral and to deliver a tribute. This invitation was issued because the family knew that the Prime Minister and Lynch had cordial relations going back almost 40 years, despite their controversies in the eleven-year stint of Lynch on NICE Radio as the NDP Spokesperson between 2001 and 2012.

3. The funeral was a national event which comprised mainly supporters of the Opposition from all over St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The bulk of the congregation was well-behaved, but a tiny minority in the back of one section of the church booed the Prime Minister. This minority did not include the constituents of Dr. Gonsalves’ North Central Windward Constituency. In the 2001, 2005, and 2010 elections, Dr. Gonsalves won his seat with 83 percent of the vote. Not even the most ambitious NDP fanatic considers that Ralph will not win by a similar size vote next time!

4. For over one week the NDP spokespersons on radio in St. Vincent and the Grenadines were calling on their supporters to boo the Prime Minister at the funeral. In this they were supported by the NDP’s “internet crazies” on social media. They orchestrated, planned and executed this wholly malignant behaviour.

5. Despite the threats of boos, and more, the Prime Minister went to the funeral as requested by the Lynch family.

6. The Prime Minister actually spoke at the funeral, despite the boos, even though he did not deliver his short prepared tribute. The tribute was read by him later that day on radio and subsequently published in a newspaper and on the internet.

The falsehoods of George’s report on which you relied can be seen from the following:

(i) The Prime Minister was not “literally booed out of his constituency”. Indeed, in the aisle of the church, dozens of supports hugged, kissed, and “mobbed” the Prime Minister.

(ii) The Prime Minister was not “literally surrounded by security”; and he was not “put into his car” by them. The Prime Minister actually mingled with people inside and outside the church and went into the vehicle by himself, as is normal.

(iii) The Prime Minister never sued Lynch on three times as George alleges. He sued Lynch on one occasion and obtained judgement against him and the radio station. The radio station paid the judgment debt, not Lynch. Ralph Gonsalves has stated repeatedly that he sued Lynch on that one occasion because Lynch involved Ralph’s elderly mother and young daughter in his defamatory utterances.

(iv) The Prime Minister was not “stunned by the reaction” as alleged by George. Indeed, the video footage showed the Prime Minister in a calm, dignified disposition and manner. He was an oasis of calm in a desert of unruly behaviour by a minority of persons in the church. The Prime Minister greeted, hugged, and waved to cross-sections of the congregants.

The unvarnished truth is that the opposition NDP has suffered a major political setback in its organising of the unruly, criminal conduct in the House of God and in its defence afterwards of that which cannot be defended. Actually, it is a criminal offence to disrupt a church service punishable by two years in jail. This minority of unruly NDP supporters left the church in an awful state.

The NDP leadership with their backs to the wall are busy criticising almost everybody who has denounced the unruly, disruptive behaviour in the church and the failure or refusal of opposition leader, Arnhim Eustace, to get up and seek to calm his unruly supporters who came substantially from his East Kingstown constituency.

The outspoken condemnation of the unruly, disruptive behaviour of the NDP supports has come from the following among other persons: Parnel Campbell, Q.C., member of the NDP and former Attorney General in three NDP governments; Father George, a distinguished and elderly priest in the Roman Catholic Church; Pastor Clarke of the Pentecostal Church; “Too Cool” Chris, a radio personality on Hot 97, who normally supports the NDP; and the Editor of the esteemed “Searchlight Newspaper”. Even a prospective NDP candidate, Dr. Jules Ferdinand, has labelled the unruly conduct of the minority of persons at the funeral service, as “inexcusable”. Lynch’s accomplished daughter has also expressed her disgust at this unruly minority in the church.

The NDP leadership are also criticising vehemently Sir James Mitchell, founder of the NDP and former four-term Prime Minister, for adverse comments which he made publicly in his tribute to Lynch at the funeral.

So, your report from Jerry George is largely propaganda stuffed with untruths, half-truths, and glaring factual omissions. Most of all, be assured the NDP is taking a beating on this issue. Do not allow yourself to be manipulated into turning Caribbean News Now into an unreliable, propaganda on-line site.

Hans King
Press Secretary to the Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines

PM Gonsalves jeered at EG Lynch's funeral

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Kay Bacchus Browne:

No amount of spinning the facts can alter the truth. It was a political miscalculation on the PM's part to attend the funeral and taunt the people by entering late behind the cortège grinning and greeting people as he entered the church. This enraged all present!

His political strategy mis fried !

Peter Binose:

I have carefully looked at the composition and wording of this letter last week. I have compared it with many letters attributed to Ralph Gonsalves and can unequivicaly confirm that this very letter was written or composed by PM Gonsalves.

Just Curious:

Having followed the link to the original article, it appears to have been "Republished with permission of West Indies News Network". Is that agency also considered "an unreliable, propaganda on-line site"? Or are all news outlets considered such when they publish material unflattering to Gonsalves, or any regional leader come to that?

Vinci Vin:

Dear Mr. King:

No matter how hard you try to justify the PM's presence at this funeral will you be able to undo the damage caused by his foolish decision to attend. It reminds me of the last days of Saddam Hussein when he boastfully proclaimed; "The People Loves Me!" In fact, in this matter, the PM is not only guilty of "Trespassing" but also of provocation and recklessness. While the PM's better instincts advised him to stay away, his paternalistic ego overrode his sense of decency and national dignity. Along with the performance of James Mitchell, the PM's presence and remarks will be forever remembered in Vincentian History as "The Jimmy and Ralphie Dog and Pony Show" at the Lynch's funeral.

While I am not a member of any political party in SVG, I find it refreshing that Arnhim Eustace and the NDP rose up to express their disgust at the PM on this occassion. For too long, the PM has acted as if he is the sole and ultimate ruler of our country while heaping disdain at the feet of the Opposition leader and the NDP. Unless he is in psychological denial, he should learn a lesson from this odious miscalculation.

Sometimes one has to fight fire with fire and let the PM taste the bitterness of the medicine that he administers to others. Whether Vincentians are ULP members, NDP members, Green Party members or otherwise, they are entitled to the same freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, freedom of expression, etc enshrined in our constitution.Whether a person is PM, Press Secretary of the PM, supporter of the ULP, or otherwise, that person and his posse hsas no right to marginalize, tyranize and muzzle the populace for their own aggrandizement ... and then have the gall to expect others to allow them to dance on the graves of the dead!

Vinci Vin

Brian Alexander:

VINCY VIN, I am forced to respond you your nonsensical response above.

You started off by saying THE PRIME MINISTER'S decision to attend EG Lynch's funeral was a "foolish" one.

That garbage is absolutely ridiculous!

First, THE PRIME MINISTER, like any other citizen, HAS THE RIGHT to attend any funeral in the country, as long as it is open to the public.

Secondly, Mr Lynch's family (daughter included) personally visited the Prime Minister at his office AND ASKED HIM TO ATTEND AND TO SPEAK.

Third, had the Prime Minister permitted that tiny minority to bully him into not attending the funeral, that would have emboldened them to do so, and worse, in future.

Additionally, if that tiny minority was allowed to have their own way, then no other ULP representative would have been able to move around freely IN OUR OWN COUNTRY.

I believe that BEFORE EG Lynch died, he and the Prime Minister had made their peace. The PM visited EG when he was hospitalized, AND he also did so when he was transferred to the Nursing Home.

On one of those visits, EG held the PM's hand and cried.

The PM NEVER did EG any wrong.

EG is the one who continually, perpetually, continuously LIED on the Prime Minister!

The PM, could have sued EG every week of the year, but did not!

The PM sued EG ONCE, when EG attacked the PM's MOTHER and DAUGHTER.

EG LIED PUBLICLY on radio when he said that the PM used Vincentian tax-payer's money to take his mother and daughter to Rome to visit the POPE! He was sued AND LOST!!!

EG NEVER PAID THE PM any money when the PM won that law suit!

Public funds were raised, and the offending radio station, NOT SO NICE RADIO, paid the amount due.

Vincy Vin, you LYINGLY say that you are not a member of any political party. That is not true, as any frequent reader to this blog would verify.

VINCY VIN, have you ever written any article or posted any item in support of Ralph Gonsalves or the ULP?

Look at your last paragraph in particular. Your extreme contempt for the Prime Minister is seen when you lyingly mention "the PM needing to taste the bitterness of the medicine he administers."

What is the Prime Minister supposed to do when he is attacked? Should he simply continue turning the other cheek time after time? Should he just allow the NDP or anyone else to take advantage of him?

Vincy Vin, in your second paragraph, you said that you "find it REFRESHING that the NDP rose up..." In other words, not only are you a DELUSIONAL NDP supporter, but you also condone the desecration of the church, drinking rum and beer there, the DEFECATION ON the bathroom floors, and the use of obscene language in THE HOUSE OF THE LORD!

Vincy Vin, just like your NDP colleagues, you are a damned delusional liar!


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