By Lloyd Noel
We are moving speedily into the New Year – and whatever is in store for next year, in connection with our very uncertain political situation – but so far as the economic and employment areas are concerned, these are at a standstill with very little hope of any upwards movement anytime soon.
Lloyd Noel is a former attorney general of Grenada, prominent attorney at law and political commentator
The three front-line parties are on the move and making all sorts of noises about the way ahead – but nothing concrete about what can be expected if and when whichever one wins at the polls.
The recently formed NUF group are still very hush-hush about their actual membership – especially about those sitting MPs who resigned from the government of the NDC in the last year or two.
The other parties that have actually registered with the Election Supervisor are all very quiet and maybe waiting to see how the election playing-field levels out in the upcoming months. But if any of them is seriously thinking about contesting any seat at the upcoming polls, time is not on their side and action must be taken sooner than later.
This past weekend, the two major parties were out in the field, showing off their colours and heating up the election trail. In particular, the ruling party began naming its replacement candidates for those who resigned and were expelled at the convention, and exposing them to the electors.
Three of them in the parish of St George, with one more to be named for the said parish, to join the deputy leader and Finance Minister Nazim Burke.
Four newcomers to the polls in that parish where the rulers did have four winners in the last elections – but only Minister Burke repeating – seems a huge task to overcome by those in control.
The new party seems very reluctant to disclose its full hand of candidates, or maybe all those who are changing colours so soon after the convincing victory of July 2008 are not themselves convinced that the people are ready or prepared to support them in making such drastic changes.
Whatever the causes or the rationale in the current circumstances may be, as we move forward into the very unclear, and critical stages of our nation’s affairs in the upcoming six months or so, our people will be faced with some very serious and far-reaching decisions to be made in that period – and they will have to live with the outcome and the consequences in the ensuing years after “D” day.
But over and above that state of affairs, whatever the election outcome, the people are currently facing some very serious daily living conditions, and so far there are no expressed or published proposals to help cushion the existing effects.
Admittedly, the world economic problems have not helped our dependent people who have friends and relatives in the first world, and who have been accustomed to helping those here at home in times of need – but the problem is here at home and should be tackled right here.
The government seems able to borrow money, when it comes down to paying public servants for some months now – so why is it so difficult, to do the same thing to put some of those thousands of unemployed breadwinners back to work – even for periodic sessions to ease the tension?
The situation with a whole lot of ordinary folks, who depend on occasional employment to feed their families all over the Islands, is very rough and becoming much worse, if that is at all possible.
And the concern of a large cross-section of ordinary folks, who approach me on the issue to air their views, is that if some action is not taken to ease up the pressure on those folks, sooner rather than much later, the social and legal effects resulting therefrom could become intolerable.
So those still in control of the nation’s affairs, and responsible for the good and welfare of the people through the various ministries still existing, have a duty and very serious responsibility to ensure that some positive actions are taken, and helpful solutions adopted to ease the pressure, and thereby avoid the breakdown.
Yet despite the obvious chaos existing, as far as the living conditions of the people are concerned – and the daily problems facing the leftovers of the NDC group, who were so popularly elected just over four years ago with high hopes of coming on board to bring about all the required changes to make the necessary differences to our people’s lives -- the number one topic and daily news items island wide, are all about this or that or the other political party aiming to take over the reins of power to control our affairs.
And in that ongoing melee of big talk and more ole talk, the topics are not about what concrete plans they have to bring relief and make a difference, but at this ninety-ninth hour before the election bell rings, they are still squabbling over who is in charge, who is running in which constituency, and what exactly are they planning to achieve.
And as if the chaos of who was resigning or was being fired for whatever reason will continue to haunt those in charge up to the bitter end, we lately had the dismissal of Derrick James, from the position of Consul General to the USA.
A position he has been holding for over four years – but the prime minister and his limping Cabinet have only now realized that he is a US citizen and should not be holding that position in the USA; I ask you!
I suppose, as a close buddy of the ex-foreign minister (MP Peter David), who appointed him to the position, it must be feared he will be organizing the New York Diaspora in their fund raising ventures for the NUF, rather than the NDC in the upcoming general elections.
I see that other strange group calling themselves “Movement for Independent Candidates (MIC)” is also making noises about contesting the elections in 2013. I wonder how they will choose a leader, and whether that will take place before or after the voting booths are closed on elections night.
We have not been hearing anything about the Victoria, St Mark’s, based group that was supposedly re-organised under a new executive, in readiness for elections next year.
I suppose that, as the election heat start rising in the New Year, we will be seeing and hearing all those who are just bramblers, as opposed to those who will be submitting their nomination papers to contest the elections.
There can be no denying or ignoring the current state of affairs in our various parishes, island-wide, but the major hurdle facing us as a people is how or by what means we can overcome the problems.
So many negative aspects have been allowed to fester for so long that finding solutions to remedy those shortcomings would not be taking place overnight nor anytime very soon.
And therefore, while the waiting game continues, our people have to be prepared to make the sacrifice to survive these trying times, and hope and pray that there will be some better times ahead.