Fri 5th Feb 2010
It was mind-boggling to hear the PM reading a letter from an official at the Milton Cato Memorial hospital, during the closing stages of the 2010 Budget debate, outlining alleged pilfering of items from the medical stores.
The ultimate responsibility of the nation's finances lies with the Minister of Finance. He has the statutory responsibility to put accounting and control mechanisms in place, not only at the Milton Cato hospital, but in every ministry of government.
Proper inventory control of medicines is very important for safety and financial reasons. Therefore, for the PM to come into Parliament and read aloud a letter, giving the nation the impression that he himself is not ultimately responsible, is not only unacceptable, but shows that the PM does not know his responsibilities as Minister of Finance.
It is evident that Gonsalves is unable to put effective control measures in place. Gonsalves seems to think these accounting and control measures are the responsibility only of the hospital management, and he is in no way involved in this. Gonsalves' naivety in governance blinds his vision as to what good governance is all about.
He uses his prerogative and takes on too many portfolios to give the impression he is a superman, but he does not have the ability and experience to manage even one efficiently. Take the one dollar user fee to the Grenadines as an example. Because he is such a small thinker with a narrow vision, he introduced this tax to stabilise the SVG economy. It's only now become clear to him (yet everyone else knew) that this ridiculous fee cannot provide SVG with long-term economic stimulus or growth.
Whilst many disgruntled citizens protested outside parliament on Monday 25th January 2010, Gonsalves announced in his Budget address that the user fee had been discontinued with immediate effect - choking on his own vomit?
Clearly, it is the results of the recent referendum that he is fictitiously classifies as 'the little old woman from Bequia', who persuaded him to remove the user fee? Gonsalves is unfit to continue as PM of our country. The truth is that the administration of the user fee was costing much more than the revenue it was bringing in.
What the PM is doing in a very subtle way, is showing us that he has the power to enact and dis-enact at will, and not even his robots in Parliament can stop him from doing so. We wonder if it was even discussed with members of his cabinet before the sudden announcement. However, the people showed him on the 25th November 2009, who has the real power in this country, and this message will be repeated by the people whenever he calls general elections in SVG.
The PM is aware that he is in a political straight jacket. He knows that it doesn't matter how much he tinkers with VAT and the other tools of government, the outcome will still be the same. The people are fed up with Ralph and the ULP, because of all the hardship and pain they have made the people suffer and endure.
SVG needs a Green economy and Green government for jobs and prosperity for all.