By Lloyd Noel
The controllers’ total responsibility of the nation’s affairs is steadily moving on, as the months go by – but so far the people who voted them into that position keep on waiting and hoping that some positive changes would come before much later.
Lloyd Noel is a former attorney general of Grenada, prominent attorney at law and political commentator
Before the elections last year, all the talk was about investors coming to our shores to provide jobs for the unemployed – and I am very sure that was the promise that brought all fifteen candidates into Parliament to control the nation’s affairs.
Eighteen months have now gone by, with nothing to indicate any movement that the said promise is still on the table.
But in place of that promise – and the expectations of the thousands of unemployed men and women, anxiously waiting and looking for some sort of jobs to earn a living – we are now faced with the breakaway from the Commonwealth and the Privy Council, and joining the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as our final court of appeal.
And to achieve those changes we have to amend our constitution, so now the process for so doing is ongoing, and lately it was announced that the date for voting to bring about the changes has now been moved from February to March 2015.
But now that the campaign promises of those major investors coming to our shores to provide all the thousands of jobs for our people who were unemployed have not materialized and the time is running out, we are now hearing of investors coming to open hotels or whatever with gambling casinos as the attraction.
And the excuse or attempted apology by the controllers to our people is that Grenadians will not be allowed to go into those hotels as clients or customers.
There can be no doubting that the campaign promises that gained the government absolute control of the reins of power are simply beyond their ability to achieve in the months ahead, or even in the distant days of their term in control.
In these circumstances, therefore, I can very well see and understand their zeal and anxiety to adopt alternative measures to try and make some urgent amendments.
But casino gambling – with or without our local people being allowed to participate in such places – is surely not the proper alternative.
The trend of thought or behaviour by those in control seems to be to opt for any mode of operation that may attract so-called investors to come in and provide jobs.
That pattern of behaviour must be opposed and objected to – even by some of those who are members of the controlling group.
I do not know whether the entire team is in favour of the breakaway from England and the Privy Council, but they all seem to be going along with the proposals and the constitutional reforms.
If they all remain quiet about the casino proposals, then it must also mean that they are in favour of the plan and see nothing wrong with it.
The people who voted for the entire team to take control of the nation’s affairs at the last elections must have done so because they felt those then in control were not performing as they should, so we needed to change the team.
That does not mean that the winners can do as they very well please, and even those among them who disagree with certain actions or decisions have to remain quiet and go along with it all.
That is not the basis on which they were elected to take complete control, and they all have a solemn duty and very serious responsibility to act and perform in the interests of the people and the nation as a whole.
It is all very well to act and take certain decisions that can be reversed and or changed as time goes by and the situation so requires.
But when major decisions are taken like, for example, breaking away from the Commonwealth and abolishing appeals to the Privy Council, and now granting permission to build casinos in hotels for gambling – with or without permission for Grenadians to participate – these cannot be reversed and the people as a whole will be the losers.
So whether the controllers are removed from office at the next elections, our people as a whole will be the sufferers whether they supported the actions now being considered or not.
I heard a discussion on TV in which the members of parliament were discussing a topic relating to changes in our constitution and, although the government had put forward the changes, certain MPs of the government were expressing a contrary opinion and I was very impressed.
The proposed changes were adopted since the government controls all the seats – but it showed that all the 15 members were not on the same page on the topic involved.
Carnival 2014 is behind us, but by the next occasion in 2015 a whole lot of changes will be in our system that will affect our standards and living conditions for years down the road.