By Lloyd Noel
No group in organized society has the right to act without regard to the interest of the whole of that society – and because that is what’s happening, and has been for some time now, we are in the critical state now existing all around us and daily becoming much worse.
Lloyd Noel is a former attorney general of Grenada, prominent attorney at law and political commentator
And the horrible incident at Happy Hill Secondary School – where a young girl stabbed a young man to death inside a class room, for whatever reason – must convey to those in control, as well as those aspiring to take over the wheels of power, that the whole atmosphere being created by their actions, and their statements as leaders and public figures, must be sending the wrong messages.
While it is appreciated that political parties are concerned with getting their plans and ideas forcefully into the public arena – so that at election time the majority will choose the one over the other – it must also be accepted and fully understood and implemented that no group in organized society has the right to act without regard to the interest of the whole of that society.
It is understandable and not unreasonable to expect certain groups in society to favour one political party over another, for whatever peculiar reasons they may have in the given circumstances. But at the end of the day, all those who live and work and make some contribution to the operations of that society are entitled to do so in peace, and without undue obstructions from the powers that maybe in control.
We in these Isles have seen, and encountered, and suffered a whole lot more disadvantages and distresses than all our neighbours in the English-speaking Caribbean, and even further beyond in the wider community.
But for some strange reasons, we tend to forget so quickly that sooner or not very much later we find ourselves almost back in the same conditions we were so eager to get rid of not so long ago.
As am writing these comments on 19 October – that notorious date in our political history way back in October 1983, when the then Revolutionary Prime Minister, the late Maurice Bishop, and seven or so of his loyal cabinet members, were executed on Fort Rupert (now Fort George) in St George’s; and many more of the supporters who followed the cabinet members to the fort – which housed the headquarters of the PRA – were also killed, either by bullets or from jumping over the high walls around the fort – it all comes back to memory as though it was last year.
And then it was also members of the PRG inner circle – in rebellion against the leadership of Bishop – who were doing their own thing in an attempt to take over control of the state of Grenada, Carraicou and Petite Martinique.
They seemed to have succeeded for a few days, but then the US President Ronald Reagan, in consideration of the US citizens as students of St George’s University, sent in his troops to rescue us all, from prison at Richmond Hill and Hope Vale Camp, and also Grenadians who were prisoners in their own homes, as well as the students.
The rest is still ongoing history, as some groups and individuals every October keep up the cry for information about the bodies killed on the fort, although the story was they were all burnt at Calivigny.
But when thinking about crisis in society, the dates and times of 13 March 1979, 19 October 1983, and 25 October 1983 all stand out as historic landmarks that are unbeatable.
Although the events of those times from March 1979 to October 1983 were far more dramatic and devastating than anything we have experienced since those days of horror, many critics of the last six or so years would still like to argue that we are no better off now than we were then.
Unemployment and the economy in general are almost at rock bottom, a minority government in control of the nation’s affairs, and the very Parliament that the same revolutionary government had abolished is today suspended indefinitely – so that no MP or political party could constitutionally challenge or question those in charge of the nation’s affairs in the Houses of Parliament.
Of course, those in control of the reins of power have a limited time-span to remain in occupation – but the question begs itself, in that if they decide to go the full term, up to October next year, what would be the state of the economy and thousands of our people living conditions by then?
By the looks and sounds of possible developments, in the near or more distant future that could make some difference to a few workers livelihood, there are still some hurdles to overcome before any of the projects get underway, so it is not anytime soon.
And in the current conditions now prevailing island-wide, what are the alternatives facing the people?
The crisis now existing in the society is affecting a whole lot of people in very different ways – and a large number of those affected simply do not have the means, or the ability to make any difference.
And it is precisely because of that shortcoming, in so many of the victims as it were, that even those who can make ends meet to ease the pressures and the burdens are becoming possible victims, because of the frustration of the helpless ones who are unable to cope.
Some things have to give way or someone or group or institution must intervene to bring about a much speedier solution to this impasse that those now in control seem bent on prolonging for as long as they have some authority so to do.
A lot of onlookers can see why the desire to stay in control up to the bitter end, because they feel time will help them to get one or two projects on stream, and in so doing that will persuade many doubters to choose the same team again, albeit with many new faces to replace those expelled.
But in my humble opinion, and from talking with a whole lot of concerned citizens, who are under serious pressure to make the scarce dollars meet their needs, getting the one or two projects on stream will make no difference, to the feelings built up over the past four years when very little was seen to get done.
The feelings seem to be much more in favour of ending the current pressure as soon as possible, and giving people the freedom to choose a new team as they see fit – and keeping the projects on hold to begin the next term, should they be successful at an earlier polls.
As we come to the anniversary of October 25, 1983, when the US forces came to our people’s rescue from house arrest, and detention at Richmond Hill Prison and Hope Vale Camp, it all seems in 2012 like it was 29 years ago, when the very few with power had control over the great majority for four-and-a-half years, and had to be removed by force.
The crisis we are now facing is hurting a whole lot of innocent people – but we just have to wait and hope that good sense and belated care and concern would sooner rather than later come to our people’s rescue.