KINGSTOWN, SVG (BreadFruit News) – Describing himself as the last of the Mohicans of surviving Prime Ministers of his era, this country’s second Prime Minister Sir James Mitchell boasted that it will take another Bequia man to rescue St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Mitchell who was speaking on BOOM OMG in the morning radio program earlier in the week said:
“Not my fault that two prime ministers are coming out of Bequia, coming to rescue St. Vincent and inspire some hope and from the same village.”
Dr Hon Godwin Friday who replaced Arnhim Eustace as leader of the NDP following his decision to step down in 2016 represents the Northern Grenadines constituency which Sir James represented in parliament during his long tenure in office.
The 89-year-old told host Dwight ‘Bing’ Joseph that he is in good physical and mental health having outlasted forty (40) other prime ministers. He said swimming and reading has helped to keep him fit.
In a wide-ranging interview pertaining to the upcoming general elections in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sir James decried the current administration for the spate of poverty in the country. He related that persons working in Mustique dislike going to the mainland due to persistent begging.
“Of course, we know the poverty of the people around the capital here. I was shocked, the other day in Mustique when the workers in Mustique told me that they don’t like coming up to St. Vincent on their days off because of the pressures that they’re under from their friends, family, want a work here and give me something.”
He said there is a poverty crisis in the country exacerbated by the large number of farmers who have given up production on the land to become security guards in Kingstown.
“there’s a lot of transformation, for example, people who use to be successful banana farmers are now in town as security guards and not making enough money to live a good life. Not with the quality they had as a farmer and what is more, why security is one of the biggest forms of employment in St. Vincent?”
“That comparison, I would like Dr Gonsalves to get a polling on that. Why is that poverty is such a big issue in this country?”
The NDP founder was adamant that he had not left the party after several public spats between himself and former leader Arnhim Eustace who stepped down in 2016 following four successive general elections defeats as leader.
Mitchell countered that he founded a democratic party and people had a right to deviate from the founding principles whenever they wish to but think that now is an appropriate time to “ prove to one and all that I am giving support to the party especially the leader.”