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Commentary: Law and Politics: The waiting game continues
Published on July 29, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Lloyd Noel

We are coming up to eighteen months since that clean-sweep victory at the polls in February last year, and those in dire need of the jobs and other promises made by the winners to achieve that second total victory continue to wait in great expectations.

Lloyd Noel is a former attorney general of Grenada, prominent attorney at law and political commentator
I have been out of the state on vacation in Canada for the past three weeks, and I met and had long discussions with many of our nationals now residing in that country.

Their concern and interests in the happenings taking place in their homeland and tri-island state were very noticeable and frequently expressed by the many I met and spoke with.

Some of them get this article in Canada, so I wish to express my appreciation for their welcome and kindness during my visit.

I have been picking up the news items in the few days since my return and I have noticed the roads maintenance and de-bushing gangs back on the job in the past week, and heard this is the third week since those workers have been rehired.

So at least that group, who have been waiting on some benefits from the many reports of funds in the pipeline from outside sources, have started to get some positive results.

For how long those workers will continue on the job, and how many more workers will be as fortunate, only time will tell.

But from the grapevine news coming through the various channels, there are a whole lot of unemployed men and women, with very pressing financial needs and family responsibilities, who are anxiously waiting and hoping that many more jobs and opportunities will soon become available.

There is some gossip making the rounds that those who have been working on the roads for the past three weeks or so will not be paid their wages until after the carnival celebrations next month.

And that scheme is intended to ensure that those workers who have children due to start secondary school after carnival will have funds available for school books and uniforms after the carnival fetes.

The idea sounds good, but those workers have not been working for many months, so they must also have other food bills and household bills to settle, and these have to be paid to ensure further credits down the road – so the situation has to be very carefully handled to maintain their credits.

What all the above is indicating – as far as the many promises of much better days were coming after the elections last year – must be that those were just nice-sounding ole talk to win the votes, but now cannot be fulfilled.

And now we have a whole lot of school-leavers, who finished school last month and joined the jobs-wanted queue – but with very little hope of finding any type of jobs anytime soon.

From that background it must mean that the economic outlook is rather grim, and some improvements are urgently needed to help in bringing about some relief.

Those in the driving seats who made all those fantastic promises of better days ahead, once the people voted them back in control of the nation’s affairs got even more than they canvassed for, with total control and not even one MP to oppose anything they propose, or put on the agenda for immediate action.

The many ministers and senators and other government officials are all receiving their salaries and allowances for the jobs they are doing but, after almost 18 months in those jobs, the result or benefits in the interests of the people who put them in those positions are not forthcoming.

And from all appearances and the absence of any reasonable explanations, or assurances of where and how we are heading by those in control, the people who put them there based on their promises in the campaign are being seriously let down with no visible signs of any improvement anytime soon.

The situation is becoming intolerable and some means must be found by the controllers in improve the conditions, or things could get out of control in many areas.

There are lots of ole talk and nice-sounding phrases coming from the controllers in public forums but nothing concrete is resulting from those exercises and things just continue to remain as they were before.

That state of affairs cannot be in the people’s interest, and better judgement must be exercised by the controllers to help in turning things around.

The emphasis nowadays seems to be on the subject of our constitution reform, and the date for voting to bring about the changes has been fixed for February 10, 2015.

The biggest change required by those in control is the breakaway from the Privy Council in England and our tri-island state becoming a republic, with a president as head of state in place of Her Majesty the Queen in the UK.

In place of the Privy Council, we would be joining the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as our final court of appeal.

What Grenadians have to remember is that once we make those changes and leave the Commonwealth, there is no return to that group.

As for the CCJ itself, only three of the states in the Caribbean are members thereof, and while the Privy Council costs us nothing as a court of appeal, we will have to pay for membership of the CCJ and the judges thereof.

Leaving the Commonwealth of Nations and becoming a republican state is perhaps even bigger than when we moved from colonial status to independence, and our people have to think very deeply before they vote in favour of such a move.

I cannot see the advantages for us as a republic but i could very well understand where the controllers are heading with the provision of a president for life in place of the Queen as head of state.

The decision is up to us all as a people and we will have to live with the outcome.
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I look forward to reading the commentary written by Llyod Noel with the hope that I would some how learn something new and rewarding.

My aspiration is not been realised since these commentaries are literally the same. It's like Noel is afraid or to timid to address the issues in a forthright way.

With all due respect for Noel his commentaries lack substance with the reader unable to get the jest of what Noel is trying to say. He leaves the reader in thin air.

This administration has been in office for 18 months and is a complete failure. Its a big government with over twenty ministers and permanent secretaries yet nothing substantial is happening in the country.

In almost every article for the pass 18 months Noel speaks about the de-bushing program and workers. Its like Grenada is a slave plantation. Nothing substantial on any policy the government can implement to create sustainable jobs for the many unemployed people. Almost 60% of the young people are unemployed but not a word on that. Maybe its time for Noel to put down his pen and enjoy his retirement in peace. The young people are looking for hope and these articles don't give then any.

As is relates to the idea that the wages of the de bushers will be paid to them at the end of the carnival season makes it even more slavish. Is the government deciding to tell workers how to use the monies that they worked for ? In the modern day and age what we are seeing is a subtle form of communism.

The nation is looking up to people like Noel for guidance on the issue of constitutional reform. He has just skirted around the issue. Grenadian deserved much better from Noel and also from the NNP.

Winston Strachan:

Cannot agree more with Grenadianclass. The comments by Mr Noel appears to be repeats; repeats and repeats - nothing new.

While I have some sympathy with the government; it is time ministers get off their backsides and start serving the people that supported them at the last election. It is time we start to see some delivery on their promises.

We need to cranes is the sky providing people with construction jobs and providing our youngsters with hope of getting a real job in not in the construction but in the businesses that are likely to take place in the construction once complete. We need real jobs for our people of all ages. This old policy of taking on a few lucky people to carry out de-bushing as it is called is out of date. If someone works for the government he or she should be employed properly with a regular job not piece meal jobs also, we want to see people give a days work for a days pay not work for two hours and expect to collect eight hours pay. This nonsense must stop.

Give our people hope, provide them with real jobs or create the environment that would encourage investors to invest in Grenada and provide jobs and opportunity for our people.

We want decent healthcare; we want to see the cost of electricity reduce to an acceptable level or on comparative terms with our neighbours. We want to have drinking fresh water 24/7 throughout Grenada. Why have we got to undergo cuts in services? It is time the Water company invest in proper provisions to supply a sustain service to Grenadians. We want the government to provide good quality housing for people in areas of need. We need improved transport infrastructure in areas of the country to encourage investors to start up small and medium company businesses. We need a program to help protect our historical buildings and gardens so we can attract more tourism.

Why is our government barking on the constitutional change? Is it to take our people minds off the continuing poor state of the economy and the failure of government to fulfil promises made at the last election? Why such a small island with just a over one hundred thousand inhabitant want with a President? Why do we need to burden ourselves with the cost of a Caribbean Court of Appeal. Our people are burden enough with the extra cost of taxation which we are told is to help to reduce our national debt and get the country on an economic growth path even if it means starving to achieve this now the government is asking us to fund a President and foreign judges in a so called Caribbean court as well. What the hell is this government thinking? Who is advising these people? I will be voting no to the proposed changes to the constituent. I will make sure that I am in Grenada to vote.


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