BBC contacted PM’s office earlier than he initially said

  • “Are BBC Panorama journalists now the new Messiah trodding metaphorically from Galilee to Jerusalem for us lowly peasants and serfs to be energised in obeisance with welcome palm-leaves?” — Gonsalves to editor of Panorama
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves (File photo).

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves (File photo).

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, March 10, IWN — The two BBC journalists with whom Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves had an encounter in Barbados, contacted his office before Feb. 15, contrary to what he initially said.

This information was garnered from a letter Gonsalves wrote last week to Tim Giles, editor of the BBC programme, “Panorama”.

In the letter, Gonsalves expressed dissatisfaction with Giles’ response to his complaint about the conduct of BBC journalists Paul Kenyon and Matthew Hill during the encounter on Feb. 17.

Gonsalves had initially told the nation that the journalists contacted him for an interview late on Friday, Feb. 15 but he could not meet them because of prior engagements.

But, in the March 5 letter, Gonsalves said that after returning from a CARICOM summit in Haiti on the evening of Thursday, Feb. 21, he learnt that one of the BBC journalists had contacted his office on the afternoon of Thursday, Feb. 14.

Gonsalves said in the letter that he had a full day of meetings and engagements at his office and elsewhere up to late in the evening on Feb. 14.

“Strange as it may sound to you, I do not hang around my office waiting upon itinerant BBC journalists who happen to be in the land of my birth,” Gonsalves said in his letter to Giles.

“Are BBC Panorama journalists now the new Messiah trodding metaphorically from Galilee to Jerusalem for us lowly peasants and serfs to be energised in obeisance with welcome palm-leaves?” he further wrote.

Gonsalves further rebutted “emphatically” Giles’ assertion that on Feb. 15 Gonsalves had the telephone number and email address of the BBC journalists.

“I was not given them by anyone. In any event, was I required to track down the BBC journalists?” he wrote.

Gonsalves further said that while he knows one Rodney Gallagher, OBE well, Giles was “plainly wrong” in his assertion that Gallagher contacted Gonsalves on the evening of Feb. 13 after, according Giles, Gallagher met the BBC journalists.

“Very briefly, in a fleeting encounter, on Thursday, February 14th, Mr. Gallagher, told me that two BBC journalists were in St. Vincent and the Grenadines doing an investigative piece on Harlequin and he advised them to call my office for an interview.

“Mr. Gallagher never conveyed to me any message from the British journalists for me to contact them,” Gonsalves said.

He further asked if that is the way the BBC would threat British Prime Minister, David Cameron or his predecessors Tony Blair or Gordon Brown.

“Please, do not try to defend the indefensible,” he said in the letter to Giles.

The Prime Minister further said his three secretaries reported to him “the bullying, demeaning and insulting manner of the two journalists in their approaches.

“My secretaries are available to be interviewed on this by unbiased persons. Surely, only those with superior airs reminiscent of an out-mode colonial, baronial arrogance would think that rudeness and discourtesy are preferable to accepted norms of journalistic conduct,” he told Giles.

Gonsalves had initially written to the BBC about the “unprofessional approach” of Hill and Kenyon, who he accused of accosting him on board a landed aircraft in Barbados on Feb. 17, when they asked him to respond to an allegation.



5 thoughts on “BBC contacted PM’s office earlier than he initially said

  1. Hahahaahahaha. Sometimes I just have to laugh. Gunzieeeeeeeee lol, they catch yo good boi. Like I said time and time again, this man is nothing but a pappishow. He knew full well that they were trying to interview him but he was trying to run, why would the journalist come to barbados if they could interview you in Vincy? That doesn’t make any sense Gunzi, anybody with any common sense could see that you are lying. Now you have a bribery allegation to contend with in the UK and a rape allegation in Canada, rape allegations in Vincy (several) and all kinds of reported abuse of office and power offenses. Trust me Dr Ralph, the protection of your office will not protect you forever. As soon as you leave office, you are going to be in handcuffs.I don’t drink, but the day they lock you up, I am going to open a bottle of bubbly. Moon ah run till day catch um.

    Posted by saneblane | March 10, 2013, 16:16
  2. Mr Malaprop. You scare the British with your big words and colonial insults.

    Posted by Kay Bacchus-browne | March 10, 2013, 16:29
  3. Hold on a minute. Who says that anyone expected the PM himself, personally, to contact the journalists. What happens in other places (although, according to this report, apparently not in SVG) is that journalists contact your office and say X & Y, journalists from wherever would like to interview the Prime Minister about whatever subject, and they leave their contact details, which in this case,it seems, meant e-mail address and telephone number. A Secretary or a Personal Assistant takes the message, passes it on to the PM who says “Tell them I’ll be out of the country” or “Tell them my schedule won’t accommodate an interview before whatever date” or “Tell them that I’ll see them on Thursday at 4 p.m” The secretary then composes a letter or telephones to convey the PM’s wishes. If our PM does not have a secretary or assistant who can do that, or if he does not permit them to do that, then he is really NOT the equal of Prime Ministers Cameron, Blair or Brown; because I’m sure they don’t write all their letters themselves nor do they personally e-mail or telephone everyone who contacts them, even the ones to whom they want to give a reply.

    And how much noise is there on LIAT that you cannot hear what someone who has “accosted” you is saying? I frequently have quite intelligible conversations with fellow travelers and/or traveling companions while taking down my carry on luggage.

    Posted by Pat Robinson Commissiong | March 10, 2013, 17:51
  4. GONSALVES, as a semi inteligent man, why are you making yourself look worse in the minds of really intelligent Vincentian people.

    Its time to hush your mouth, just be patient and wait like we are all waiting, for the Panorama program.

    Who knows, you just may have the opportunity to add some funds to your retirement fund.

    We all have an open mind, how come you don’t.

    Posted by peterbinose | March 10, 2013, 21:57
  5. Of course the date changed, the first date given was untrue, an untruth, an unsustainable untruth.

    Knickers on fire.

    Posted by peterbinose | March 12, 2013, 12:57

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