Letter: Prime Minister Gonsalves – a man who speaks indiscreetly

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Dear Sir:

The prime minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph E. Gonsalves, is a man with little or no control over his public and private utterances; in other words, he is a man who speaks indiscreetly. There is a word in the dictionary that is used to describe such people and that is: blabbermouth, which means one who speaks indiscreetly. We all know him to be a local blabbermouth, and once again, Ralph Gonsalves has put on display his inability to control his tongue and such has affected others. What is so unfortunate was, on this occasion, his uncontrollable habit has left the shores of St Vincent and crept across the water to Grenada.

Before I continue the discussion and lest I be called rude and disrespectful for referring to Ralph E. Gonsalves as being a blabbermouth, I will explain.

You must know, understand and come to terms with the fact that a word is not defined based on your opinion of what that word means, what is conjures in your mind or emotions when you hear such a word, how the word sounds, or what you think the word means. However, a word is defined based on its established meaning and usage. The dictionary definition of the word blabbermouth (yes, it is a word found in the dictionary) is: one who speaks or gossips indiscreetly.

I will provide evidence to show that Ralph E. Gonsalves, based on his elected office of prime minister, is indeed a man who has an inability to censor his tongue and he very often speaks as if he is an ordinary citizen. He often speaks out of turn and, in doing so, he causes those he speaks to and/or of public and private hurt, shame and embarrassment and in some cases endangers those people. It does not make sense to delve into and rehash such, for these events are widely talked about and published.

It is a common thing for countries and financial institutions, upon request, to grant loans to other countries that, for one reason or the other, are unable to meet their projected monthly or annual budgetary (fixed and variable expenditures) need. However, we never hear about such loans, because these administrative (nations and institutions) heads practice what is called professional and ethical courtesy. Such courtesies will not allow the lender(s) to leak, cause to be leaked, boast of or cause attention to be drawn to loans negotiated and granted. This is so because of the social, political and other impact the publicizing of such information can have on countries with extremely vulnerable economies and political regimes.

It will be important to note that even the mighty superpower and the most powerful nation in today’s world, the mighty United States of America, on a regular basis borrows monies from China to take care of its federal budgetary short falls. But you don’t hear China ringing a bell about this known and public fact.

I have known of numerous occasions when St Vincent and the Grenadines had to borrow monies from neighbouring islands and different sources to take care of the country’s budgetary need, when we were unable to financially do so. Yet such was not made public and the average man never had access to such governmental dealings. That is/was so for the simple fact of the professional and ethical courtesy that was practiced by our creditors.

Recently, after completing our “laundry”; after ensuring our “laundry” was properly “washed” and “pressed”, St Vincent and the Grenadines managed to scrape up enough money to offer her sister island Grenada monies to do the same and pay some of her public and civil servants. This act was indeed an admirable one for the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines to have done; being of help to her sister when she needed help. However, what was unfortunate about this was that, shortly after the ink on the agreement had dried and the monies were transferred, the entire world knew the Grenada government did not have enough monies to ensure all of the country’s civil and public servants would receive their monthly wages and St Vincent and the Grenadines had to lend them the additional monies they needed.

This lack of professional and ethical courtesy came with and at the compliments of Prime Minister Gonsalves, who it seems, even after two terms in the post of prime minister, still doesn’t understand the simple courtesies that go along with the post he now holds. He just isn’t getting it.

Sadly, St Vincent and the Grenadines’ benevolent act to Grenada was tainted by the action that followed. This led me to ask this question: what was Ralph E. Gonsalves’ motive for requesting that his cabinet approve a small loan to Grenada? Was it so he can beat his chest about what was done? Was it to convince himself that he is a better political administrator than his Grenadian colleague, who is by many years his administrative junior? Was it to convince people like me that he (Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves) is a good administrator? Or is it that he just doesn’t know any better?

The impact of such actions

With one wag (wag means to move briskly and repeatedly) of his tongue, Ralph E. Gonsalves unjustly plunged the new Grenadian administration into political uncertainty and they are now experiencing undue pressure from their constituents; he has weakened the constituents’ confidence in the government’s ability to administer the affairs of the country; but most of all he also managed to plunge the entire Grenadian population into a state of economic insecurity.

Do you think any experienced prime minister within the region, who finds themselves in a similar situation, will ever negotiate a loan with Prime Minister Ralph E. Gonsalves? Unfortunately for the Grenada government they are now suffering the bitter regret of conducting business with one who is so insecure and trifling.

In closing I say, may the love, grace, peace and the bountiful blessing of almighty God: Yahweh be with you always.

Allan Palmer

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