Vinci Kallaloo was reliably informed that Nicole Bonadie-Baker, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education is in Cuba seeking medical attention.
Since the commencement of the new year, Ms Bonadie-Baker has not reported for duties. It has been rumoured that she may have suffered a serious mental breakdown. However, there has been no official word about her conditions. In fact several persons in the education sector are not aware that the head of the ministry has been out of office for nearly three months now.
Meanwhile, it seems as if Bonadie- Baker’s condition is such that it merits urgent medical attention in Cuba. Vinci Kallalloo will continue to update readers on the situation as more information comes to hand.
The Late Edgar Cruickshank
Vinci Kallaloo was reliably informed that Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister and leader of the Unity Labour Party is set to deliver the eulogy at the funeral of the late Edgar Cruickshank. Although there has been no public announcement regarding the funeral arrangementsa, it seems as if the PM is making it known every opportunity he gets. Some persons have even suggested that Gonsalves himself may have cajoled the widow and children of the deceased into letting him deliver the eulogy.
Edgar Cruickshank, a former supporter and foot soldier of the ULP, met his death in tragic circumstances on the night of Saturday December 6, 2014. He was at the time a part of the audience at a public meeting held by the NDP in Clare Valley. A car allegedly lost control and ploughed into the crowd killing Cruickshank and injuring 10 others.
This funeral will be of great interest. One is not sure whether it’s a ULP or an NDP funeral. In the months before his death, Cruickshank had reportedly renounced the ULP, a party he had support in the most flamboyant of manner since its inception. It is also reported that Cruickshank had now pledged his support to Nigel “Nature” Stephenson, the NDP candidate and incumbent in that South Leeward seat.
Will the hierarchy of both parties attend this funeral? Would the leader of the NDP be called upon to pay tribute? What about Nature? Would he too mount the rostrum.
Memories of the funeral of EG Lynch are still fresh. Are we destined for a repeat this time with the shoes on the feet of the NDP?
In any case, in one of his many rants, Gonsalves is reported to have said that he would NOT allowed what happened at Lynch’s funeral to happen to him again.
Nicole Bonadie-Baker, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education
Reports reaching Vinci Kallaloo indicate that something may be amiss in the Ministry of Education. Apparently, since the year began, the permanent secretary in that ministry has not turned up to work. There are rumours swirling about the place that the PS may have suffered a massive nervous breakdown. Efforts to confirm this have been futile. However, the unexplained absence of the good lady has raised a number of questions. Vinci Kallaloo will continue to monitor the situation and report accordingly.
ULP Hopeful for North Leeward, Carlos James
The question must indeed be asked: Who the hell is Carlos James? His name has surfaced as a potential candidate for the Unity Labour Party (ULP) in the North Leeward constituency. In fact, James is among three ULP hopefuls seeking to unseat incumbent Hon Roland ‘Patel’ Matthews of the Opposition New Democratic Party (NDP).
According to our understanding of the ULP’s candidate selection process, James is in a three way tussle with former holder of the seat Jerrol Thompson and teacher Lawrence Hooper. At some point, the North Leeward Constituency Council in consultation with the other relevant organs of the party and the ultimate blessings of the leader, will make a decision on whom they would like to be the candidate to face Matthews.
In the meantime, Carlos James conducts himself as if he is the candidate of choice. No! He behaves as if he is the elected representative for the area.
James shows up at EVERY official function and other events to make remarks. He demonstrates, in the process, utter disrespect, disregard and downright contempt for the duly elected representative for the area, Hon Roland ‘Patel’ Matthews.
Now, where was James when North Leeward was being wholly neglected by the ULP government? What does James say about the excessive conduct of the police in communities? How does James respond to the list of ULP failures in all of North Leeward recently highlighted by the representative, Matthews?
It seems as if James and some of his misguided supporters have taken to the social media to attack Matthews. This is so dishonest and unfair! James knows full well the the ruling ULP, his party is the ONE that has miserably failed the people of North Leeward. What has he said or done to help the situation?
Come election time, the people will remember who had been there for them. Was it James or was it Matthews? Time will tell!
Do you remember the last time the Catholics of this country rose up against the government? That was way back in November of 1999! The NDP was in office. Hundreds of Catholics took to the streets of Kingstown to protest against the dire conditions facing Catholic schools and the government’s failure to effectively address them. Less than two years later there was an election and the government came tumbling down. Catholics, it is surmised, went to the polls and voted them out with a vengeance.
The current crisis at the St. Joseph’s Convent School Kingstown (SJCK) presents a stark reminder of what happened in 1999. In the space of a week, teachers walked off the job; students bearing placards staged a vociferous protest. All of of this was against the actions of a newly appointed ULP government senator who filed law suits against the school and its key stake holders on the behalf of an ill-disciplined child and her misguided mother.
In all likelihood, other Catholic schools namely: St. Martin’s Secondary, St. Joseph’s Convent Marriaqua and St. Mary’s Primary could have taken to the streets in solidarity with SJCK. Indeed, this may still be an option if the goodly senator proceeds with his law suits against the Catholic educational establishment.
Hon Dr Ralph Gonsalves ought to be taking keen interest in these developments. He may recall that as a parent, he too joined the protest march of November 1999. It may be quite ironic if as prime minister the Catholic schools should lead a protest against his government all because of the vanities of one of the Comrade’s newest senator.
Dr Gonsalves can put an end to all this. He must neutralize this wild card senator and re-establish cordial relations with the Catholic Community. History must not be allowed to repeat itself. Remember, November 1999 marked the beginning of the end of the NDP in office. To this day, the party is yet to “catch itself”. Could it now be that the ULP is about to suffer the same fate?