shared with Times Caribbean Online for publication by Nathan ‘Jolly’ Green.
September 12, 2020.
A lie is an assertion that is believed to be false, typically used to deceive someone. The practise of communicating lies is called lying. A person who speaks a lie may be termed a liar. Lies may serve a variety of instrumental, interpersonal, or psychological functions for the individuals who use them. Generally, the term “lie” carries a negative connotation and depending on the context, a person who communicates a lie should be subject to social, legal, religious, or criminal sanctions.
Typically lies aim to deceive, when deception is successful, the listener ends up acquiring a false belief. When deception is unsuccessful, a lie may be discovered. The discovery of a lie may discredit other statements by the same speaker, staining his reputation. In some circumstances, it may also negatively affect the social or legal standing of the speaker. Lying in a court of law, for instance, is a criminal offence (perjury).
Aristotle believed no general rule on lying was possible because anyone who advocated lying could never be believed, he said. Although the philosophers, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Immanuel Kant, condemned all lying, Thomas Aquinas did advance an argument for lying, however. According to all three, there are no circumstances in which, ethically, one may lie. Even if the only way to protect oneself is to lie, it is never morally permissible to lie even in the face of murder, torture, or any other hardship. Each of these philosophers gave several arguments for the ethical basis against lying, all compatible with each other. Among the more critical views are:
1/ Lying is a perversion of the natural faculty of speech, the natural end of which is to communicate the thoughts of the speaker.
2/ When one lies, one undermines trust in society.
3/ A liar can never be trusted.
So why does the prime minister of a country render a stream of continuous lies to the people? Why is the leader of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines so mendacious? Why does Ralph Gonsalves tell lies, lots of lies? Perhaps if the people knew the truth about everything he does, has done and will do, they would oust him fast.
In Saint Vincent, there are so many brainwashed supporters of the Unity Labour Party they do not recognise the lies, and those that do would rather accept them as the truth.
For some of his lies punishment is deserved. But no one and no organisation, police, judiciary or even the people can punish him, or are unwilling to do so.
In most liars, the serious lies and falsehoods are usually told to conceal the reward or benefit the liar obtained by breaking a rule or explicit expectation. The liar decides before breaking a rule that he or she will if questioned lie to cover the cheating. In the case of Ralph Gonsalves, one is at a loss as to why he must lie at all. Every story he tells, even some agreements he signs, seems to have an element of untruth in them and are based on lies.
In Saint Vincent, the citizens have ingested so many lies by this man over the last twenty years, they are hardened to it. Many citizens expect him to lie; it has become the norm.
According to Gonsalves himself, he tells lies, he informed parliament and the people of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines he tells lies. He also told us if you show him a liar, he will show you a thief, what a self-condemnation that could be. But even those who support him and follow him, who rely on him for support financially deny his confession of being a liar. So, he tells the people he is a liar and that every liar is a thief, yet a section of the electorate cheer him on, how on earth can that possibly be?
The man has confessed to the world that he is a liar, yet he is still given quarter at all those places where such behaviour is unacceptable. The United Nations Security Council, should he be allowed to step foot in there? He is a lawyer, so remember he has said he tells lies, he has told lies in the past, he tells lies now, and therefore we can assume he will continue doing so in the future. As such a confessed person to make such a statement should that not be brought before the court every time, he sues someone or makes statements to the court? Perjury is the criminal act of lying or making statements to misrepresent something while under oath. Lying under oath disrupts the judicial process and should be taken very seriously. Being convicted of perjury for an ordinary citizen can result in severe consequences. Can a confessed liar be relied upon not to lie under oath, will taking the oath make any difference at all?
As a confessed liar, and having self-determined that a liar is also a thief, how on earth can the man be accepted in any department of government, as a lawmaker, as the prime minister, how?
This mendacious behaviour filters down to the minions under his control, other lawyers, every rank of the police, the judiciary. So, in Saint Vincent, we are in danger from lying lawyers, police officers, judges, and Members of Parliament from his party. Because if it is perfectly normal to behave as he does, as is told by Ralph Gonsalves, it must be OK for everyone else. That is why there are little or no consequences to his lies because everyone around him is capable of being a liar, a cheat, and a thief.
Remember the teacher’s contract; Ralph Gonsalves told the teachers that it was the best contract they ever had. When teachers came to enforce sections of the agreement, Gonsalves told them the contract was unenforceable against the government because it was unconstitutional and therefore illegal. He went on to say that he and others knew it was unenforceable when they signed it. Well to me that sounds very much like conspiracy to defraud based on lies and misinformation. The law supposedly looks to prevent an unscrupulous or evil person from taking advantage of someone who cannot make a reasoned decision when entering a contract. But apparently not in Saint Vincent.
The teachers expected honest, good faith bargaining during contract transactions. But misrepresentations occurred which they were unaware of when Gonsalves said something false and concealed and misrepresented the actual situation. When he said this is the best contact you the teachers have ever had, it was grossly untrue and admitted he knew both when he signed, and when he made the statement.
If this were a transaction in the business world deception is a severe offence and is punishable by imprisonment and would carry massive financial rewards to the teachers.
But Ralph Gonsalves can say and do anything he wants with no repercussions, no consideration by the DPP of anything he should do; the police would never dare to confront him, the rest of the people do not give a damn unless they think it directly affects them. But it does affect them, the results of lying and cheating are cumulative, and eventually, everything that Gonsalves says or does as prime minister of SVG has some effect on us all.
Has size and fatness got anything to do with being a gross liar? In the film Big Fat Liar, the story tells of a character whose lies become out of control to the point where each lie he tells causes him to grow in size. Currently, Ralph Gonsalves is the fattest country leader in the Hemisphere. Does that make him the biggest liar? Perhaps we should study that.
SVG has no Transparency legislation under Ralph Gonsalves; the honesty of transparency is when you share what you perceive to be the truth. Transparency is what others see as the truth. The truth they feel they need to know. While it is essential to be honest, Vincentians deserve more; they need truthfulness in leadership.
Honesty and truthfulness is the best policy; it is NDP policy, Dr Godwin Friday will always be honest and truthful with the Vincentian people. Under NDP, SVG will get the Transparency Legislation it deserves.
Gonsalves is unable to control himself, and no one else can take him to task. Those are two meaningful reasons to get rid of him at the next election. Let us try decency, let us try a leader that does not tell lies or cheat as he did with the teachers. The problem is we do not know precisely where the lies end and the truth begins. We do not know if anything he has told us, or what he has ever done are truthful and decent. Our alliance with leaders of other countries, are they based on lies and deception of the Vincentian people? Deals with foreign investors may even be questioned when you are aware of his past mendacious behaviour, spoken and contractorly.
Summarily voting for rogue countries in the chambers of the United Nations, is our support of such country’s leadership based on lies and cheating?
He must go, it is the only way we can resolve a return to truth and decency, he must go.