Towards the second half of the second decade of this century, the world witnessed and has since become afflicted with a disturbing phenomenon, the rise and proliferation of “fake news” and “alternative facts”. The frightening effectiveness of this phenomenon was evident during the 2016 USA presidential elections and has gained an ever-growing footprint in the body-politic of that country establishing itself as a dominant feature.
Sadly, our region that lies near the North American continent has not escaped the scourge of fake news and its impacts as we now see similar trends developing. Here in SVG, the opposition NDP, has wholeheartedly embraced with fervent and deliberate execution, the promotion of fake news and alternative facts. So enthusiastic are they, that they have gone beyond the mere distortion of information, to instead repeating the most outrageous lies, even in the face of facts that prove the contrary. Listening to their radio programs, their public meetings and even in parliament, their leaders can be heard contaminating information, inventing facts, and rewriting history, giving their version of events.
The proclamation in Parliament, by the MP for East Kingstown, that it was the NDP that established diplomatic relations between SVG and Taiwan, was a lie of the highest order, since the communique exists to disprove that with a simple search, but they continue undaunted by these realities. During the same sitting, the MP of West Kingstown could not contain his raw desire and proclaimed another lie, that the Windward highway project was conceived, designed, and implemented by the NDP, even though budget estimates prove differently. The result of such bold-faced lying is that some individuals who support the opposition have chosen to abandon the safety of evidence captured by their very eyes and instead listen to the fake-news, distortions and lies of the NDP.
The technologies available today, have made information readily available, thus even those who are shut-ins can still see images of the progress and development our country is currently experiencing, leaving none with any excuse to fall prey to lies. Where they say nothing exists, our eyes tell a different story.
The evidence rebukes their lies
Following the period of convulsion faced by the country, Comrade Ralph spoke to the citizens and residents of SVG about a time of respair, offering fresh hope for the future even as things were challenging. Comrade and the government were able to speak to the hope for the future based on the history of effective delivery of the ULP government over the last 22 years following other challenges such as Hurricane Tomas and the 2013 Christmas Eve floods. Remarkably, SVG was the only country in the OECS to record positive growth in 2021 and went on to record a strong growth of 6% in 2022, remaining on track to record 6% in 2023. Such strong performance after a very challenging period that included volcanic eruptions, something that no other country in the region experienced, speaks to the policies of our government, recognized by the World Bank to be decisive, and critical in safeguarding lives and livelihoods.
The oft repeated phrase of the opposition is that “nothing is happening in SVG” and this was the case as recently as the night of Saturday May 13, 2023, during their ULP-style rally in Georgetown. This statement is a clearly dishonest disregard for the reality in our country and an unsuccessful attempt so far as deceiving Vincentians. It was unbelievable that speakers commenting on health care could make such a statement, when a mere 7 minutes away by foot, is a multi-million-dollar complex that includes the Modern Medical and Diagnostic Centre that offers dialysis services and will soon offer MRI services neither of which were available previously in this country. The complex also includes the Georgetown smart hospital and clinic, both of which have benefitted from significant upgrades recently. It is beyond incredible that the NDP will address citizens who receive life-saving treatment at the Georgetown medical facilities and ask them to believe that this amounts to nothing.
The neighboring constituency of North Windward, presents an even more forceful rebuke of the NDP’s lies and constituents must be weary of those spoken of in the book of Isaiah (59:4), who “trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief and bring forth iniquity”. It is unfortunate that individuals in the NDP who are seeking the opportunity to represent Vincentians, have determined that lies and fake news are their only tools. Residents of North Windward, can see the improved access to electricity, the construction of the highway including the construction of the Rabacca Bridge as significant projects implemented by this ULP. Prior to the ULP, there was no secondary school in North Windward and as a result the denial of this basic and fundamental right to our students. It is this ULP administration with Comrade Gomery as representative that constructed the first secondary school in North Windward (Sandy Bay) bringing universal access to secondary education to those communities. Interestingly, when NDP politicians repeat that the ULP did nothing for North Windward, they must be denying the Secondary School that Senator John was a member of staff. Following the eruptions of La Soufriere, hundreds of homes were repaired, and to this date 48 new houses were built to relocate families whose homes were determined to be uninhabitable. The evidence is there for all to see, evidence of a government that is working on behalf of the people of this country, helping to improve lives and livelihoods, putting lives back together after disasters inspiring confidence in our government.
Our confidence in our comrades and our government is based on the evidence of the work being done by the ULP administration, and thus we have a fresh hope of continued development for our country. Even in the barrage of lies told by the NDP daily, we can offer a forceful rebuke, when we trust our eyes. Those who dwell in lies must understand, that we will not be deceived by their dishonesty since the evidence of progress and development is there for all to see. We will trust our eyes and ignore their lies!