By Hudson George
The majority of us Grenadians have a common political problem that we must try hard to rid ourselves of. We tend to organise ourselves in various political organisations and always willing to defend political values based on tribalism, rather than dealing with issues in a genuine way. However, by so doing, we tend to make comments that are too harsh against our opponents and sometimes those comments send out a wrong message.
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.
These days we have intelligent persons writing articles about the political confusion and senseless infighting within the ruling NDC party, but they are not explaining to their readers why the government is still functioning, even though the prime minister do not have a majority support in parliament. Some of them are telling their readers about a junta takeover in government, others are writing about coup d’état in parliament. And all these sorts of stories seem to be no different than when parents tell their children about the Bogeyman and Santa Claus nonsense.
Basically, with all the nonsense and infighting going on among the top leadership members of the ruling NDC party, there is no junta government running the country and no coup d’état took place. The last coup took place in Grenada on October 19, 1983, when Maurice Bishop was deposed and executed in a military barracks in the heart of the capital city St George’s.
Presently, what is taking place in Grenada is that we have a government that is very weak. Some elected members of government rebelled against the prime minister’s style of leadership, but the constitution allows the prime minister to hold on to power by asking the governor general to prorogue parliament, even though the prime minister does not have the support of the majority of elected members of parliament.
Presently, the way it is now, the only force that can command the prime minister to call an early election is the masses of Grenadian population, if they take to the streets and demand that the government should step down and a new date must be announced for fresh elections. However, these days, our youths in Grenada do not have that kind of militancy as the youths in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
Presently, Tillman Thomas can call himself the luckiest prime minister to govern Grenada so far, because this present generation of youths is being caught up in negative media culture coming from North America and Jamaica. They do not have that kind of national revolutionary sprit in them and, with that political consciousness lacking among the youths, the political squabble for power and control continues among the so-called intellectuals within the ruling party.
In addition, the rebel faction that organised itself within the ruling party to depose Prime Minister Tillman Thomas, does not seem have that strong support nationwide. They are not able to create a political climate for a popular uprising, because a large section of people within the Grenadian population had already predicted that the government will not complete the five year term in office. In addition, some members of the rebel faction are already known for creating political confusion, whenever they are in any sort of alliance with other groups that do not share the same political ideas and values with them.
With this kind of political climate we are experiencing, we can very well say that Grenada is in limbo, even though I do not believe in reality there is such an existing place as limbo, with souls of the dead suffering. However, Grenadians are divided and they are suffering. On the other hand, some of our journalists who are involved in the political melee are not working together to educate the people. They prefer to join in the factional fighting and use their media outlets and writing skills to promote and instigate the political tribalism.
Personally, I believe we must be more open minded, whenever we are discussing this present political conflict, because we are supposed to be a Grenadian people who want to see the best things happening for the country. Therefore, we must avoid making comments for the political climate to look worse than what it is presently. We must be aware that there are some lawyers who are elected members of parliament and they understand the laws and constitution, therefore we must not allow them to mislead us for their political benefit. As it is, it is blatantly clear to see some of our journalists are being used by professional lawyers who are politicians in the ruling party.
In addition, it is very important that we should learn a lot from this political conflict that is going on, so that we will be wiser next time and avoid voting for any political party that has too many lawyers. Our political history shows us that the most stable political parties that governed Grenada in the past did not have many lawyers as elected parliamentarians. However, in this present NDC government, the main leaders of both factions fighting for domain of the party are lawyers.
There are many intelligent professional individuals in the country that can do a lot for Grenada politically and they are lawyers. Presently, Grenada needs a stable government with parliamentarians who will not misuse the house of parliament as a court house to argue for selfish gains, but to debate issues that are best for good governance.
Additionally, there are too many outdated 1970s former high school radicals still involved in Grenada politics. Unfortunately, they have not grown politically from their adolescent high school days, as when they were fighting against the Eric Gairy regime. However, they are still visible, preaching the same old political nonsense that does not fit today’s political culture for nation building and social change. They are stuck in the same kind of political rhetoric from forty years ago. Basically, it is time for us to tell them we do not want to hear that old political rhetoric anymore and it is time to move Grenada forward, in a world that is globalised.
It is time for us tell them that they are same vintage radicals who fought against the Eric Gairy regime and then became the rulers and oppressors during the People’s Revolutionary Government era from 1979 to 1983. It is time we tell them that the history they left behind is not pleasant to read. Therefore they cannot be radicals again, because they came into power as radicals and they lost power as oppressors. It is time we tell them they were not liberators and there is no need for us to recycle them anymore. Their student days’ era as radicals cannot come back. It is time we turn the page and move on.