Mon 24th Dec 2018


Christmas message from Warrant Officer Ivan O’Neal, Leader of SVG Green Party

Living environment too dangerous for social cohesion

Our destiny with prosperity or with crime and poverty is our choice at the ballot box at the next general election. We can perpetuate poverty or have a regime change with a higher standard of living in a safe living environment.

Christmas is about coming together and social cohesion. However, it is difficult in SVG to achieve a high level of social cohesion with such a high crime rate. Many people do not feel safe in their neighbourhood. Many people feel that their living environment is not peaceful.

For the past 10 years, the living environment of Vincentians, especially the poor, has been getting worse, because of the miserly amount of money and time the ULP regime has put in to preventing crime and tackling crime. This is a disgrace.

Going out in some areas in SVG at night is serious risk for some people as there is so much gun crime and other violent crime. Last year, 2017, was a bad year for Vincentians with murders reaching a record high of 42. SVG now has the fourth highest murder rate per capita in the world.

How can people socialise fully and communities function properly when the living environment is too dangerous to go out at night and sometimes too dangerous to go out in the day?

The murder rate in SVG has risen sharply under the ULP regime, and the violent crime epidemic appears to be escalating into a full-blown humanitarian crisis. The virtual collapse of our economy and the widespread poverty and unemployment in SVG, are significant factors in causing the high murder rate.

The consequence of the long-term economic and financial incompetence by the ULP regime has been a lack of investment in education, and an increase in the number of people that lack education. Many inmates in SVG’s jails have little or no education.

We very strongly contend that free, high-quality education from pre-school to university will have a long-term positive benefit to society and promote social cohesion.

There is a significant connection between low literacy and numeracy levels and repeat offending, particularly for males. Raising standards of literacy and numeracy will open the gate to positive thinking and make it less likely that frustration and failure will result in criminality.

According to SVG Green Party Leader Ivan O’Neal BSc (Hons.), MSc, MBA, the long-term lack of heavy investment in education in SVG is a major contributing factor to the high murder rate, as poor quality education does not open the gate to high paid jobs and a high standard of living.

To improve Vincentians’ living environment, a Green government will bring strong economic leadership and competent financial management. This will enable a Green Government to invest significant sums of money in to Vincentians’ education and community needs and create mass employment.

Merry Christmas and a regime change to Green for prosperity, a safe living environment and free, high-quality education in 2019.

Warrant Officer Ivan O’Neal BSc (hons), MSc, MBA
Leader and co-founder of SVG Green Party

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