By Lloyd Noel
Whatever may take place inside the NDC party over the remaining months of this year, or however long the group may remain in control of our nation’s affairs, in the last year of its five years term in office, I just cannot see that group making any worthwhile impact on the voting population in time for the next general elections in 2013.
Lloyd Noel is a former attorney general of Grenada, prominent attorney at law and political commentator
If anyone had even hinted that those chaps, who came together in 2008 as a united group of dedicated Grenadians to try and save our long-suffering country from the gross mismanagement of what went before, could have descended to the level of disharmony and political chaos that has now infested the group as a whole, I would have objected very strongly.
On the other hand, a whole lot of our people are also saying that they are not surprised, because just as no animal could change its skin colour, those who have been indoctrinated under the 1979 to 1983 alien concepts of achieving power, and taking over control by whatever means, cannot make the fundamental changeover in such a short period of time.
The big difference between the period of the guns calling the tunes and all must obey, and the return to democracy and the people’s votes to gain power, is that the group which joined the NDC to gain power in 2008, the members thereof must go back to the people to get the said power renewed.
And in my very humble opinion – from all we have heard and seen coming from that group in the last two years especially – I cannot see the people voting in their favour in the near or distant future, to renew that mandate.
But what is also very disturbing and somewhat insulting of our people, by those chaps in the group who have by their actions and statements in public seem to be treating the people as though we are all imbeciles, and only they in their thirst and hunger for power know it all.
The statements by the PRO, Arley Gill, and the acting chairman, Pastor Standford Simon, seem to ignore the government chosen by the people, and elevate the NDC party as the organ in control of the state of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
They are even downgrading the leader of the party, who is the prime minister – and who the very party cannot change as leader while he is the prime minister of Grenada.
The damage already done to the party as such is in my view beyond repair, while the same group who entered the political marriage of convenience continues to pretend that they are still one group.
By the time you are reading this, the two factions of the NDC would have held two separate functions in two different areas – on the same day – but both professing to be celebrating the fourth anniversary since that historic victory in July 2008.
What will be of significant interest in the current political atmosphere would be which of the MPs attend whose function – the political Leader and prime minister thanksgiving ceremony in Gouyave, or the rebel St George’s Town MP and faction leader, Mr Peter David cook-up and fun day in La Tante, St David.
And even more interesting, depending on who attended which function on the 8th July, would be the numbers of supporters and from which constituency they came from. It was quite unusual, a few days before Sunday, to hear the St David’s MP, Hon Michael Lett, publicly supporting the fete in his constituency – in preference to the prime minister’s thanksgiving ceremony in Gouyave. A clear sign that the division was spreading beyond repair.
Whatever was said by whoever last Sunday in St David’s or Gouyave, the sentiments I am hearing from John Public, and the attitude of our many people who stop or call me to comment on the impasse, all point very clearly to the generally held opinion that the NDC, which came into operation in 2008 to contest the general elections of July that year, that political contraption has destroyed itself, and very obviously outlived its usefulness.
I fully agree with that opinion, and cannot see that group getting any support from the people in any elections – whether they go forward divided into two factions, or come up with any so-called compromised unification.
For all intents and purposes they have destroyed whatever good graces were built up in 2008, and in the last four years the government as such has done nothing of any major consequence to deserve a second term.
And what is even more disturbing to a whole lot of people, who fell for the promise that the wrongdoings of the NNP in their 13 years in office would have been duly investigated and charges brought to recover the reported millions of the people’s funds that did not go into the government treasury.
Some investigations were carried out we were told – but we are into the last year of the five-year term in office, and so far as is known not one of the suspects for wrongdoing has been questioned, never mind charged or asked to make good the missing funds.
And here we are into the last year of the group’s control of the reins of power, and the one very certain of the probable outcomes of any general elections in the next year or so, is that the eleven, or any majority of them, cannot again get the people’s votes to return in control.
On the contrary, in all the given circumstances as they now exist – because of the 2008 winners’ selfish behaviour among themselves, and the almost casual way they treated the people who voted them in office – the resulting non-performance, and the absence of any worthwhile achievement in those four years of control, I just cannot see many of them winning their seats again, to even form a credible opposition in parliament.
We are hearing nowadays of all manner of criticisms of the leader of the party and prime minister from his colleagues in the party and in parliament – and they all sound as though they are of recent vintage, of the last year or so.
The question therefore begs itself – what was then happening in the previous three years?
And my concern, therefore, is why did they all keep so quiet for so long? Was it because those with the ulterior motives to gain control misjudged the prime minister’s strength and his coolness under pressure and, by the time the true reality dawned upon them, to frustrate their motives and intentions – too late was their only cry, and the current chaos the only result?
A straightforward answer may never be forthcoming, but our people have to be the final judge and jury, and from their majority decision whenever the time comes there is no appeal until another five years have gone by.
In spite of all the foregoing, however, I cannot avoid adopting the only trustworthy, relevant and paramount national interest in the people’s favour – as I see it amidst all the ole talk, and fingers-pointing, and blame-laying by one side against the other – while the people’s interest and their good and welfare are going down the drain.
And that is those still in control must not be seen, or even thought to be, holding the people up for ransom, by prolonging the agony of not going back to the polls, in the distant hope that things may change to favour their chances as more time goes by.
As I see it, the damage is already done beyond repair – and no length of time, nor any future damage control of any magnitude can make any such significant difference to somehow change the outcome of what now seems to lie in store for the group that let down the people and forfeited their chances of gaining another term.
Now that is the group as a whole – but if they can come to a clear division, and let each side face the people as two very separate groups – that may be a different proposition.
In assessing the feedback from the three separate meetings held last Sunday, I will look at that scenario next week, before taking a break for the following four weeks.