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Eustace’s half pound of chicken back story draws ire

Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace (File photo).

Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace (File photo).

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, March 19, IWN — Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace received a tongue lashing on pro-Unity Labour Party radio talk shows and on social media for a story he repeated in New York on the weekend.

Eustace told a town hall meeting organised by the New York chapter of his New Democratic Party that he wanted to give a “follow-up” on a poor woman in Walvaroo, East Kingstown, which Eustace represents.

“The last time I was here speaking in this hall, I gave some examples of some of the difficulties ordinary people are facing in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I speak about the poverty and increasing poverty in our country.

“I told you in this hall a story of a lady of my constituency who had gone to a shop and I was in the shop listening to her dealing with the shopkeeper, as I do sometimes…” Eustace said.

He said the woman asked the shopkeeper to credit here a small onion, half a pound of chicken back and neck, and a pound of rice.

“And when she left, the shopkeeper told me that is for 10 people for Sunday,” Eustace said, adding that the three items were for the woman, her husband and their eight children.

“So, I said, ‘How you could divide half pound of back-a-neck between 10 people? You can’t.’ Only to find out that that what she did, they steam it and so on, put it in a muslin cloth and squeeze out the juice on top the rice,” he said to laughter.

“And just as you laugh here now, a lot of people laugh at that. A lot of people laugh for that last time,” Eustace said.

He further said that a week after he returned to St. Vincent, a woman who was in the New York audience contacted him and said she is also from Walvaroo and offered to send a couple of barrels for the impoverished woman.

The former prime minister said he thanked the lady and told her to send the barrels in his name.

“The reason why I did that was that it was not a free barrel and I know she wouldn’t have the money to clear the barrels,” Eustace said of the poor woman in his story.

He said he paid $400 to clear the barrels and asked a friend to deliver them to the woman’s house.

“Two days later, I went to her house to make sure that she had got everything. She said yes and she showed me some of the things in her little kitchen. I said, ‘But I thought is more than this the lady send.’ You know what she did? She shared them with her poor neighbours — 10 of them. She has since go far up in my estimation, anything she asks me to help her with, I will do it. She had great need but she shared with her neighbours who are in difficulty also,” Eustace said.

He said the story speaks also of the amount of sharing that goes on in this country.

“That is how some people survive certain times of the year. That is the level of poverty that we sometimes face and a lot of people face in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”

He further told the gathering that some person in this country can only afford to

send their children to school on “shift” — sending some on some days of the week and others on other days.

The story of the woman enraged some persons, who argued that Eustace, for political reasons was trying to make the country look bad.

Others spoke about the probability that the chicken and rice could be divided among 10 people, while others said the woman would have credited more and would have prepared the meal differently.

At least one person said that while such levels of poverty might not be widespread he believes there are instances where it does exist.

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Discussion

7 thoughts on “Eustace’s half pound of chicken back story draws ire

  1. I HAVE SEEN A HUNDRED TIMES PEOPLE BUYING 1 EGG AND HALF POUND OF RICE, CHILDREN, OLD PEOPLE, THE POOR AND HUNGRY.

    ON MORE THAN ONE OCCASION I HAVE PAID A SMALL AMOUNT AT THE CASH REGISTER WHEN SUCH PEOPLE JUST DIDN’T HAVE ENOUGH TO PAY FOR THEIR PITENCE FOOD RATION.

    TELLING THE TRUTH DOESN’T MAKE THE COUNTRY LOOK BAD, IT SHOWS THAT WE HAVE A GOVERNMENT WHO IS FAILING TO COPE WITH THE POOR AND THEIR WELFARE. THAT IS NOT THE FAULT OF THE COUNTRY, IT IS THE FAULT OF THE ULP GOVERNMENT, IT IS THE FAULT OF RALPH E. GONSALVES.

    THE GOVERNMENT AND GONSALVES MUST STOP TELLING LIES AND TRYING TO HIDE THEIR FAILURES.

    I WENT INTO IPA SAVE-A-LOT SUPER MARKET IN KINGSTOWN EVERY DAY OF LAST WEEK. PROPPED UP IN THE REFRIGERATED CABINET IS A NOTICE WRITTEN ON CARD “WE DO NOT SELL SINGLE EGGS” WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS THERE, ITS BECAUSE PEOPLE TRY AND BUY ONE EGG, LIKE THEY DO IN THE VILLAGE SHOPS, BECAUSE IN THE VILLAGE SHOP THEY CAN
    BUY A SINGLE EGG, THEY CAN BUY A QUARTER POUND OF RICE, THEY CAN BUY A SINGLE CHICKEN BACK, AND THEY DO JUST THAT. IN MANY CASES IF THEY BUY MORE THAN THAT WHAT WILL THE DO WITH IT, HOW WILL THEY STORE IT, NO REFRIGERATOR, NO MAINS WATER, NO ELECTRICITY.

    THIS I AM SURE THIS IS AN EMBARRASSMENT TO THE ULP, AN EMBARRASSMENT TO RALPH GONSALVES, BUT THERE ARE ALSO MANY ULP SUPPORTERS THAT FALL INTO THE CATEGORY OF BEING HUNGERY, BUYING TINY AMOUNTS OF FOOD.

    WHAT MAKES IT WORSE IS THAT OUR MIDDLE CLASS IS BEING FORCED DOWNWARDS AND MAY WELL MEET THIS STATE THEMSELVES. I BELIEVE IT IS A GOVERNMENT POLICY TO REDUCE THE WHOLE POPULATION, EXCEPT TOP PARTY MEMBERS AND CENTRAL COMMITTEE, TO A REGULATED FORM OF POVERTY. WHY? BECAUSE ONLY PEOPLE IN THAT POSITION WILL ACCEPT THE MARXIST SYSTEM WHICH WE ARE GRADUALLY BEING EASED INTO.

    RAPE, GUN MURDER, ROBBERY, BURGLARY AND ASSAULT ARE OUT OF CONTROL.

    DISAPEARED PEOPLE [Servant of the Lord], STATE APROVED MURDER [we will hunt them down until they exist no more], POLITICAL ASSASINATION [the PM told us that his press secretary was assassinated], STATE APPROVED POLICE BRUTALITY AND TORTURE [after doing just that police officers were given their jobs back] . POLITICAL HATE CRIMES [NDP members cars sprayed with paint damaging chemicals]. POLITICAL SPITE [people not helped after emergencies because they are not ULP members]

    LET THE WORLD SEE THE FAILURE OF THIS EVIL SOCIALIST GOVERNMENT.

    OUR COUNTRY IS STILL A WONDERFUL PLACE, ITS JUST THE POLITCAL SITUATION THAT IS WRECKING PEOPLES LIVES.

    “NO MAN’S LIFE, LIBERTY, FREEDOM, PROSPERITY OR PROPERTY ARE SAFE WHILE THIS ULP GOVERNMENT REMAIN IN POWER”

    Posted by peterbinose | March 19, 2013, 10:10
  2. “Some of you may want to play Sampson and pull the temple down on everybody’s head, including your own, because you may not get some lumber or galvanise. I warn you: do not do that; because it will be sackcloth and ashes for you under the NDP government.”

    It would appear that sackcloth and ashes sound more appealing for some folks given what they encountering under this ULP Government.

    Will the real Sampson please step forward…jah knows, this ULP Administration needs to be wipe out of office,
    yesterday.

    By the way, girl, did you hear Eustace on the radio, talking in NY about people eating back and neck chicken?..OMG…I will not feed my dogs such appalling food…if you can call it food…I feed my dogs steaks and leg quarters..[excerpt taken from viki leaks…conversation between Eloise Gonsalves and a Policewoman]

    Posted by Teacherfang (@Llijame) | March 19, 2013, 19:22
  3. WHY ARE WE SO UPSET OVER THE TRUTH, THE TRUTH MUST BE TOLD , I AM BELONGING TO A CHURCH THAT ASK US TO HELP A LESS FORTUNATE IN THE COMMUNITY AND I GLADLY TAKE UP THAT OFFER AND YOU KNOW WHY I DID BECAUSE I WAS ONCE THERE,I ATE MANY OF THE SALVATION ARMY 50 CENT PLATE OF FOOD AND HAD MANY OF THEIR CHRISTMAS FOOD BASKET, SO DOING THAT IS NOT ONLY THE RIGHT THING TO DO BUT ALSO THE CORRECT ONE ,WHEN MY MOTHER NEEDED HELP SOMEONE WAS THERE TO GIVE US THAT HELP , ON MY DAILY TRAVEL TO MY WORK PLACE ,I SEE SO MUCH POVERTY ITS ASHAME AND ALL WHO CAN HELP WILL NOT, ONE THING I KNOW WHEN WE ALL STAND BEFORE OUR HEAVENLY FATHER , WILL WE TELL HIM IT WAS BECAUSE THE POOR WAS SUPPORTING EUSTACE YOU DID NOT HELP THEM OR BECAUSE THE WERE SUPPORTING GONSALVES YOU DID NOT HELP, PEOPLE WE NEED TO LOVE MORE, JESUS SAYS LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS HE HAS LOVE YOU, I SHOP AT CHOICE MEATS AND THE MOST CHICKEN THAT SELLS THERE IS CHICKEN BACK, AND YES I DO EAT IT TO, NOT ASHAME TO SAY SO, GOD BLESS

    Posted by Isola Ollie | March 19, 2013, 20:51
  4. Telling the truth is not wrong, speak the truth and speak it ever, the back and neck story is real as real can be.
    How many times I was approached to pay for that item by people living within the area of my church on Sundays,or if I happen to to go to the supermarket after church….. which I should not, but it happens sometimes, and I am ask for monies to purchase same, the truth is the truth.

    Posted by Shirley Howard | March 20, 2013, 10:14
  5. THE MONEY SPENT ON BRAND NAMES AND CELL PHONES CAN BE USED TO BUY FOOD. MASH YOUR NEIGHBOUR AND U ARE SUED…BUY A NEW APPLIANCE U NEIGHBOUR BUYS A BETTER ONE..SHOWS N BOAT RIDES A MUST..WEAKLY NAILS N HAIR STYLES A MUST…KEN TURKEY N PITZZA A MUST..THE CHURCHES COLLECT RETURN NONE TO THE POOR…LOOK 360 DEGREES …..

    Posted by Junior Adams | March 20, 2013, 11:35
  6. I am told that up to 60% of people you see walking and talking on a cell phone, are in fact talking to no one. They are acting out a scenario, remember how many poor distressed Vincentians you saw talking to themselves, even holding two sides of a conversation. Well many of these phantom phone talkers are doing an upgraded talking to yourself. In fact I am sure that quite a few of these phones are not even connected to a service provider.

    The shame is that most of these people just don’t have anyone but themselves to talk to. They are eaten up with problems, no work, no money, no food, no future, just nothing, they don’t know which way to turn.

    Then you have a ULP politician taking a million US dollars cash in an old crocus bag to the bank, that really is something to talk to yourself about. You can talk to yourself for weeks about that.

    Posted by peterbinose | March 20, 2013, 16:32

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