By Hudson George
I think I am the most honest Grenadian who writes articles about the political situation in Grenada, even though supporters of the NDC party accuse me of being a pro NNP sympathizer. However, I will continue to analyse and expose the political tribalism in Grenada politics and the role some of our journalists play to promote divisions and hatred.
Hudson George has a BA in Social Science from York University, Toronto, Canada. He has been writing since his early teenage years and now contributes letters and articles to a number of Caribbean newspapers
I read Hamlet Mark’s article (Grenada ruling party's election campaign may be in trouble. February 1, 2013), and it is no hidden secret that the editor and owner of Caribupdate news is a supporter of Peter David’s breakaway faction that lost the power struggle to take over the NDC party and government. Mr Mark wants Nazim Burke to lose his seat in this upcoming general election, so that Peter David will resurrect from the political grave and take full control of the newly formed NUF party.
People who read Mr Mark’s article and are not aware of the political situation in Grenada might think that he is a supporter of the opposition NNP but he is not. However, all Grenadians who are interested in politics know that Mr Mark is not a supporter of the NNP party and he has no political interest in joining the NNP organisation. Therefore, he is just playing media politics by saying that Nazim Burke is facing stiff competition from the NNP candidate.
Basically, I think it is time for all this petty political tribalism to stop and journalists who are sympathizers of political factions should try and use their journalistic skills for more important issues that need to be addressed. If the NNP wins the election on February 19, 2013, it is expected that Mr Mark will start attacking Keith Mitchell, Gregory Bowen and Anthony Boatswain, as he did in the past when the NNP was governing the country.
In addition, the Grenadian people know that Mr Burke and Mr David are lawyers by profession and they can always make a decent living without participating in politics. And, as a matter of fact, Mr Burke is also an economist. Therefore, he can practice law and teach students at St George’s University if he chooses to.
The personal conflict between Mr Burke and Mr David is not a national issue and it should not be highlighted by media persons as a national issue. The NDC party that won the July 8, 2008, general election was not united from the beginning and all the top political figures that are involved in the present political conflict had an idea of what they were involving themselves in, when they chose to get into frontline politics.
It is no hidden secret that Nazim Burke and Peter David have the same political ambition to become a prime minister of Grenada in the future, and it does not make any sense for the ordinary citizens and journalists, who are looking for something in the political scheme of things, to promote the divisions and create more political tribalism. Grenada is a small country, with too many wannabe political leaders promoting their personal agenda while unemployment is very high and the people want jobs.
In addition, political conflict between two gentlemen is nothing new to Grenada’s political culture. The original NNP that was formed after the US invasion of Grenada in 1983 had three other potential leaders, even though Herbert Belize was the political leader presented to the Grenadian people. And soon after the NNP won the election and Blaize became the prime minister, there was a split in the party.
Grenadians can remember fully well, when George Brizan, Francis Alexis and Tillman Thomas defected from the NNP party and formed the NDC party. Keith Mitchell stayed in the party and sometime after he then challenged Mr Blaize for the leadership in a convention and won. Therefore, the best thing for Hamlet Mark to do is advise Peter David to come out from hiding and declare himself leader of the NUF, rather than staying in the shadow of Glynis Roberts and using her like a robot machine.
It will be very difficult for Peter David to attract nationwide support, even if Nazim Burke loses his seat in this upcoming election. Presently, Mr Burke is in a better political position than Mr David and the only person that can defeat Mr Burke has to be a member of his own party, if there is a vacuum for leadership in the NDC party and someone decides to challenge him at the party convention.
Presently, I think that Peter David is taking advice from persons who do not have any political idea of western style democracy. And after the votes are counted on February 19, 2013, I hope that our journalists will stop inciting political divisions. I think it is time to end the political tribalism.
Unfortunately, the tribalism will continue and it will not be a big surprise if the NNP wins the election and Mr Mark diverts his attention towards Keith Mitchell, Gregory Bowen and Anthony Boatswain, as he did in the past, because his main interest is to promote Peter David.