By Hudson George
I read Lloyd Noel’s article (The IMF to our rescue
, March 25, 2014). Basically it seems as though Mr Noel believes that the IMF money can save Grenada. On the other hand, he did not stick to this topic, as he gives some information about Grenada’s history in terms of the past economic activities before and after Grenada’s independence. In particular, he mentions about the Eric Gairy and Maurice Bishop different styles of government, even though he did not make an analysis about whether or not the majority of Grenadians are richer or poorer today.
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
Personally, I do not think that the IMF can help Grenada’s development in terms of creating prosperity. It can only help the government to remain stable with the millions of dollars loan. The IMF loans cannot change the mentality of the way the majority of citizens think. The political culture in the tri-island state is based on tribalism, whereby most citizens put party loyalty above unity and nation building. However, the sad thing is that the politicians are not the ones who are suffering economically. They are all educated people who have a profession that can help them put food on their table, when their political career is over.
Based on what I gathered from Mr Noel’s article, he seems to believe that the IMF loan is something as a rescue mission, similar to the way he always praises the US army for invading Grenada on October 25, 1983. And if I am correct with my analysis, it seems as though Mr Noel’s is thinking similar to People’s Revolutionary Government faction that overthrew Maurice Bishop on October 19, 1983, and was hoping that, if the US army had not invaded Grenada, they would have been successful with the type of regime that they wanted to imposed on the Grenadian people.
However, I have been reading Mr Noel’s weekly articles and, based on the contents of this last article he wrote, most likely he was expecting to see some kind of political turmoil in the country, with Grenada Union of Teachers president Lyndon Lewis calling for a strike if the government is not able to pay teachers their back pay and increase in salary that they are entitled to.
And based on what I heard in the interview Mr Lewis gave on Sunday, January 26, 2014, on Grenada Broadcast with host George Grant, who operates his Sunday radio programme as an opposition propaganda medium, where the callers to the programme are 99% anti government supporters, I guess that Mr Noel is sort of disappointed that the IMF will give the government the loan.
Most likely, Mr Noel was expecting that Mr Lewis would call a teachers strike against the government because Mr Lewis does not take the same political stand as the other influential trade union leaders, who seem to make to be compromising with employers in these rough economic times.
In addition, even though I am not living in Grenada, I am a born and bred Grenadian and I understand the way most Grenadians think. However, although Mr Noel is much older than me, I think he has not made a political life review as yet. During my youthful days, I remember listening to Mr Noel addressing political rallies in 1973. Those days, he was a New Jewel Movement political activist, leading demonstrations against Eric Gairy’s plans to make Grenada an independent country. Presently, I am very much disappointed with Mr Noel’s political reasoning, knowing that he was involved in campaign to shut down Grenada, in order to prevent Eric Gairy from becoming Grenada’s first prime minister.
I can only assume that Mr Noel did not make it his duty to contact Mr Lewis and sit down with the young ambitious comrade and give him some sensible advice about the positive and negative effects trade union leaders can have on society, when political motives are part of the conflict. I am not too sure if Mr Lewis is aware of Mr Noel’s past history as a political activist within the New Jewel Movement that was part of the Committee of 22 that was an alliance movement formed in 1973 to oppose Eric Gairy.
The Committee of 22 was an alliance movement made up of all organisations opposed Gairy’s GULP government taking Grenada to independence in 1974. The alliance movement was made up of trade union leaders, capitalists, communists, socialists, interchurch council, Grenada medical association, Grenada law society, plutocrats and urban high school students.
Additionally, although Gairy became the victor against the Committee of 22 during the course of the struggle, when some leaders broke ranks and the strike came to an end a few weeks before independence, the various organisations remained anti-Gairy. In the 1976 general election, the Herbert Blaize GNP party formed an alliance party with New Jewel Movement led by Maurice Bishop as the leader. The Alliance Party won six seats and Gairy’s GULP won nine seats. The election was a close call for Gairy’s regime, as a large percentage of younger voters voted for the Alliance party and Bishop became the official opposition leader.
On March 13, 1979, the New Jewel Movement led a coup under the leadership of Maurice Bishop and toppled the Gairy regime from power; and formed the People‘s Revolutionary Government. Mr Noel was made attorney general but after a short period of time he became an open critic of the revolution. Mr Noel was locked up indefinitely by the revolution. He remained in prison until the US army invaded Grenada in October 1983.
However, I am not blaming Mr Noel for opposing the revolution. Based on my personal observation and experience with some of the top the People‘s Revolutionary Army officers, it was blatantly clear to see that they created a sort of urban elite clique and, if the revolution had not crumpled in October 1983 after Bishop was executed, rural Grenadians would have become second class citizens and sub-servants of a urban based government. Therefore, most likely Mr Noel must have rebelled against that type of political prejudice. Most likely he must have seen the leaders of the revolution were trying to introduce a new brand of internal colonisation on the masses of people in the tri-island state.
However, even though I respect Mr Noel as a man who stood up against the evils of the revolution, I am kind of disappointed with him, as he seems to lack the vision of today’s global politics. I beg Mr Noel to encourage young Grenadians to be more creative, if he really cares about the nation’s future. It is high time for Mr Noel to come to the realisation that the Gairy and Bishop regimes are now history. The banana industry is also part of our past history and Grenadian traffickers trading local products to Trinidad and Tobago came before globalisation took control of our Caribbean region. The big question Mr Noel must ask himself is: Is the majority of Grenadians richer or poorer today, as material things become more the basic necessities of life?