The fact that we are here today debating raising Grenada’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It’s a sign that the New National Party government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we must now depend on ongoing financial assistance.
The economic problems are intensifying, and Mitchell is paying little heed to economic growth. Mitchell won the election and in his victory speech showed that he lacked any interest in debt reduction, nothing about how to increase sluggish economic growth. The NNP government is a government of takers. Without courageous leadership, Grenada will never muster the fortitude to reform and control borrowing.
Everyone knows that this program is unsustainable. Mitchell will let the problem worsen and leave the mess to his soon-to-be successor. Grenada has never faced such economic problems. The massive debt Grenada is incurring will likely never be repaid. Once it dawns on Grenada’s creditors that repayment becomes tentative, things will get very interesting. No one can predict when the financial tipping point will occur. But Mitchell and his NNP will multiply our debt.
Under such conditions the recession will worsen, and where we go from here is anybody’s guess. The unemployed will grow, incomes will continue to stagnate, and whether it gets even worse hinges on interest rates. The ensuing chaos might well usher in an end to Grenada as we know it.
Mitchell has not spoken out about the dangers of debt and the cost of interest on the debt. Mitchell does not know how to keep a pledge. The current mandate is very fragile. The NNP is government is faltering and soon, with some major adjustment, the NDC will be back, better and stronger, and ready to work for the people. Lasting mandates must be earned; the NDC are just off stage.
Mitchell created this debacle, but there is no equivalency of blame today. As a bonus, a successful deal might lessen public cynicism about him. We have many hot issues facing our country; we have the NNP government infringement on our free speech; let me add another, we have a major segment of our population that lives in an apathetic, myopic state.
I argue that the national debt is the only issue we should be focused on. Forget multi-tasking. If we don’t reverse this cancer, the country is truly doomed. We can’t allow the borrower in chief to splinter our resolve. We must stay on point. When Mitchell speaks to the nearsighted segment, he tells them he will deliver. There is a fiscal tsunami heading our way and fast. Please tell your elected officials we need meaningful jobs, we need deliverance, and you will thank them for making the right choice to preserve our country.
Increasing Grenada’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here’. Instead, Mitchell and his NNP government are shifting the burden of choices today on the backs of our children and grandchildren. Grenada’s NNP government has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Grenadians deserve better. What only might have been true in 2008 is clearly and unquestionably true today.
It is well known that throughout our recent history, many con men have come to our shores with bogus projects, purportedly for the benefit of our people and government. Some have failed, others have got through; one of which was a so-called financial package for Grenada, attempted by TNP in 1989. Under this scheme, a group of Washington-based consultants was asking for half a million US dollars, upfront money in order to obtain a loan of US$300 million for the government of Grenada. Thanks to the directors of the NIS, who refused to lend the TNP government the US$500,000 up front, the plot failed.
This same group and others like it have conned other Grenadian citizens, who are too ashamed to let their names be known. Con men prey on one class of clients only -- individuals, organizations or institutions that are in desperate need and seemingly faced with no alternatives -- as they are finding with this weak incumbent government.
Anybody with basic commonsense would realize that a government that cannot even maintain its existing hospital (with no debt load) is just not the type to be capable of building, equipping and maintaining a new one with a massive debt repayment commitment.
What the people of Grenada are observing is deliberate callousness -- the NNP strategy to pauperize and marginalize them. What happened to the various oaths that the prime minister and every member of his cabinet swore to uphold and defend? Since the inception of the NNP government, the lives of our people have been rather painful, financially. Ideas and attitudes are changing in Grenada; people are becoming disillusioned with what they are seeing. A deteriorating environment, an increasingly widening gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots”
What we need in Grenada is a new, strong, effective leader, maybe a woman, with vision; one who is committed, well informed and has the resources to act; able to capitalize on key resources at home and abroad, experienced, ready to govern effectively and efficiently, capable of improving conditions and creating jobs for the people, honest, opening new areas of opportunities for Grenadians businesses, ready with a game plan to stay current on global development, capable of representing Grenada at home and abroad, prepared to improve agriculture and tourism, consideration for the people of Grenada and believing in our country’s future.
It is imperative that Grenada finds strong leadership to take us forward. Grenada’s success will only be accomplished with strong and honest leadership, a strong economy and a strong Grenada. The strength of Grenada will be measured by the strength of the people and the leaders. Our children deserves a better Grenada; we need a system that is closer to the people and invite them in.
We need accountability and communication from our politicians in order to build a better Grenada. The way I see it, the only solution is a new government with an excellent effective plan, and strong leadership is the only choice to take Grenada beyond this present situation. In Grenada, we need to review our laws and eliminate any and all vestiges of discrimination; there should be an increased awareness of any sympathy for women and children’s rights. Women continue to experience all kinds of stereotyping, lack of encouragement in seeking their individual goals. Much work remains to be done.
The people of Grenada are distancing themselves from Mitchell and his NNP government, whom some are coming to see as divisive. Mitchell is a colossal failure as prime minister. There are two tiers of justice in this country. There’s one for the NNP government and there’s one for the rest of us. The truth of the matter is Mitchell represents the tier where he can escape prosecution.
The office of the prime minister requires trust. This office requires leadership. People want to know that, when a political party promises to deliver, they will. The party has not made a difference in people’s lives in Grenada; they have not spoken to the issues. It’s not about putting out a press release; it’s actually about passing legislation. Not legislation that will benefit the prime minister but legislation that will benefit the Grenadian people.
The people are losing faith in the NNP government, because they have no integrity. It’s not going to be easy; it’s going to be a stretch. Consumers are struggling. Their exuberance has begun to fade. We now have angst, nerves and anger much of it directed at the prime minister, where a lacklustre performance is seen.