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Letter: Grenada's NNP has yet to deliver
Published on August 19, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

Dear Sir:

Many Grenadians thought that the New National Party would not be able to overcome the test of generational change. Some thought that the NNP would have been destroyed by 2013, given the difficult conditions there were face with after so many negative criticism and scandal, the party was not finished, but came out with so much strength that they won the general election overwhelmingly.

Today as we face the future, the New National Party is to answer the expectation of the Grenadian people who have given them their backing and have set on them their hopes. The way ahead can’t be other than to continue working with the people and for the people, to mold democracy with order, progress and improvements that all Grenadians desire.

But has the NNP success deepened our democratic vocation and our hopes for a better nation? Is the NNP really the alternative for the Grenadian people because of its pledges to different economic politics which care for the people, because they say we are at the forefront of political reforms and are they acting based on fundamental principles of solidarity with the people?

About development in the country. They often discuss how much effort they devote to instilling a sense of integrity at their institutions. They boast that their integrity and reputation depend on their ability to do the right thing, but is that accurate or are these high-minded words just may largely still be lip service. We are seeing a culture of silence, there’s an unwillingness to speak out, to address the domestic violence crisis in Grenada, the unemployment crisis, and the health care crisis, all in need of urgent attention.

We can become imitators of Mother Theresa to abuse and neglected women and children, a tornado of determination and compassion. We can become tireless advocate for children and women in a world that is dark and dangerous, and unforgiving, and unfriendly and unrelenting. A world that literally chews up and devour innocent kids.

One of the biggest lessons we can learn about saving children and women in Grenada is that we first have to somehow save them from their fears. We have to give them the assurance of how smart they are and how good they are and how much they have to offer this world, and how much we believe in them. There is a world out there that most of us have never seen and will never see.

A street life filled with dead ends, and abuse, and terror and relentless pain. It’s not the physical pain, they feel that worries us although the hunger and sickness they carry are almost enough to destroy any kid. It’s their inside that breaks our hearts, the fact that they are emotionally destroyed.

To those kids living in overcrowded shelters, the real world is so harsh, so unforgiving, so devoid of hope and love and compassion, that they must create another fantasy world just to survive. Given where some of these kids have been, and what they have seen, and how they have been hurt, it makes perfect sense for them to separate themselves from the real world, because their fantasy world is the only place they have ever known peace and contentment. Either we save them or the world will forever lose them. Their situation is that precious, our responsibility to them is that serious.

And as long as there are people like you with loving hearts and generous spirits, we know we will succeed. In my country of Grenada, we need a bigger crisis center for battered women and children. We are urging Keith Mitchell, the prime minister who promised to deliver during his election campaign, to focus on lifting children not some children, all children, homeless women out of poverty and inspire them to pursue their dreams.

Together we will carry on our mission, the critical work of helping exploited abused young children in Grenada from despair to opportunity and hope. Grenadians are so good at dispensing love and respect, our children would be able to thrive and to learn what for many are extremely difficult skills, how to trust, how to accept care and kindness, how to respect and value themselves. There can be no greater legacy of love.

Delma Thomas is the person responsible for that portfolio, yet we have one crisis shelter for battered and abused women and children, which is overcrowded. When you think it couldn’t get any worse with all the crooked politicians that were ousted by the former prime minister we ended up with NNP politicians who have not made any improvements so far. It is well past time for those we elected to represent our interests to knock off the ideology and brinkmanship games. This is not a responsible way to govern.

I don’t know what it is that it will take for Grenadians to wake up, smell the roses and set the standards as high as possible for elected officials. Just look at who we have representing us in parliament. The people and their campaign ads allowed the people of Grenada to think that they are as much about looking good politically as doing good legislatively or prosecutorially. If the PM is going to trumpet his job-creation, wouldn’t it be better to wait until he has something to show for it?

One thing we know for sure is that change is certain, progress is not. Progress depends on the choices we make today for tomorrow and on whether we meet our challenges and protect our values. We have so much that needs to be fixed and governments at all levels for whatever reason or motivation have no money. The government must step away from the brink; stop the gridlock and work to make progress. If they don’t, a train wreck is inevitable and Grenada will continue to suffer.

What the people want is an economy whose strength can be felt in all corners of the nation. Mitchell has remained vague on what his government is doing to help Grenadians find job, and he has not reveal any new details since the election. Mitchell has yet to express a clear economic philosophy. I don’t know if he really has it in him to inspire Grenada anymore.

The NNP government is clinging to an unworkable economic system, while the social services crumble and with them, the people’s sense of communal duty. Grenadians are enduring severe economic hardship as the NNP administration has reached and surpassed its 100-day mark. The economic situation has remained the same as when the NDC were in power.

It is obvious that they did not meet their self-imposed deadline for employment, health care, education packages. Politicians know how hard it is to integrate the many disparate demands, choices, and activities they pursue and face every day. Some of them live with nagging voices questioning the choices they make and with loads of guilt, whatever their choice; history has finally caught up with reality.

What will it take to put a person eye to eye with the truth, the truth that our country and people, caught up in its ruthless ambitions and moral decay can learn. We need to remold society by redefining what it means to be a human being in the twentieth century. What we need in Grenada is a new politics of meaning. We need a new ethos of individual responsibility and caring. We need a new definition of civil society which answers the unanswerable question posed by both the market forces and governmental ones, as to how we can have a society that fills us up again and make us feel that we are part of something bigger than ourselves. But who will lead us out of this political and spiritual vacuum? The answer is all of us. There is nothing patriotic about hating your country.

Women and children in Grenada also suffer from inequities in our health care system. Where is the government motivation to work on reform? There has been no improvement so far, Grenada’s Prime Minister Mitchell in his frequent travels abroad needs to emphasize issues relating to women, health care, education, human rights, the environment and grassroots efforts such as micro-credit to jump-start our economy.

Tour hospitals and use innovative approaches to expanding health care to children and families and visit schools, especially those educating girls. In setting like these, he can learn about the local culture and reinforce the message that Grenada’s prosperity is linked to the education and well being of girls and women. Our hospitals have no medication to provide to the sick patients in their care. That is shameful, it’s a disgrace.

You promised to take care of our sick citizens, you promised to alleviate the Grenadian people problems, but it has taken a back-row seat. Your focus is not on keeping the lights on our people, Mr Prime Minister you need to rise to the occasion. The truth, however, is that by failing to deal with our short-run mess, we’re turning it into a long-run chronic economic malaise. And if you think about it for a minute, you realize that this is a vicious circle, in which a weak economy leads to too-low inflation, which perpetuates the economy’s weakness. And this brings us to a broader point: the utter folly of not acting to boost the economy, now.

Mr Prime Minister, by allowing long-term unemployment to persist, we’re creating a permanent class of unemployed Grenadians. By letting short-run economic problems fester we’re setting ourselves up for a long-run, perhaps permanent, pattern of economic failure. I am still confident that your government would get its finances in order.

You and your government need to work around the clock on ideas to generate economic activities and job creation. Our success thus far is not showing our capacity for achievement. The stressful economic times we are facing in Grenada and the last five years of dysfunction in Parliament have created many challenges for us to meet, so we must continue to aim high and work harder. The people of Grenada deserve nothing less; it’s time to deliver.

Helen Grenade
Reads: 7135

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