Political leader of the New National Party and Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell is the major " political error" in the history of Grenada since independence in 1974. This view isn't expressed by the writer, but it is the sentiment of tens of thousands of Grenadians at home and in the Diaspora.
Eric Gairy had his faults and made errors. Maurice Bishop and the people's revolution also made their share of mistakes. All the other prime ministers, including the Hon Tillman Thomas, had faults, but none of them has become "an error” in the mold of PM Keith Mitchell. Dr Mitchell is the greatest political liability that the people of Grenada have had to deal with since independence.
While his cronies, political stooges and supporters may try to defend their boss, the record is there for everyone to examine carefully and critically to fashion their own opinion of Keith Mitchell.
There are who base the success of a leader on materialism, and infrastructural development. I judge the success of a political leader and prime minister on his character, integrity, credibility and his ability to uplift and advance the thinking and intelligence of the people he leads. When a leader is able to advance people and by extension the country he or she leads, then he can brag of success. Dr Mitchell hasn't accomplished any of this
This brings to mind the genius of Maurice Bishop, our revolutionary leader who had the vision to genuinely put people at the center of the developmental process. Never in the history of the country the manifestation of genuine unity and patriotism was realized.
It is not a coincidence that when Maurice Bishop was put under house arrest by Bernard Coard and his gang that the people risked their lives to rescue him. Having been rescued by the masses he was viciously executed by those "traitors" of the people. Maurice Bishop was not a “political error”. He was a visionary, a leader who genuinely loved his country and people. He was humble, simple, respectful and above all a servant of the people. The folks who assassinated him are also “political errors” like Keith Mitchell. They are now “sleeping” in the same bed. Birds of a feather flock together.
Dr Mitchell is the most confrontational, disrespectful, dishonourarable, and divisive prime minister of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique. With over thirty years experience in the political arena of Grenada dating as far back as 1984, Dr Mitchell is Grenada's greatest political liability. He is the longest serving leader, and that distinction qualifies him as the longest “political error” in the nation’s history.
A leader who sows deceit, deception, promotes tribalism, sectarianism and who is obsess with power in the mold of a dictator will never succeed in moving a small underdeveloped country forward. A sector of the society will prosper under his leadership but the vast majority of people will be poor and vulnerable.
Nelson Mandela, having assumed the leadership of South Africa, could simply have practiced reverse apartheid. Instead he embraced his jailers and today South Africa is much more united. Blacks and white, Indian and Chinese can live side by side; go to the same schools, etc. Under Keith Mitchell, Grenadians are refusing to buy from a supermarket based on the colour that is it painted in. Such is the divisive nature of his politics.
With rampant unemployment, a huge national debt, increasing levels of crime and violence, increase in drug and alcohol use and trafficking, increasing taxation, political polarization and partisanship, corrective measures are needed.
How much longer can Grenadians rally with this “political error”? One year after receiving an overwhelming mandate from the people, who were fooled into believing that he can deliver, “the error” only gets worse with more and more people below the poverty line. This "error" must be corrected and corrected quickly if the country is to develop and grow. It just doesn’t make any sense continuing with the status quo.
Our brothers and sisters in Ukraine, Thailand and Venezuela recognize when there are problems that need urgent attention. No leader is indispensable, especially when such leaders cause so much pain and hurt for the people.
Mitchell is governing for some people. The ones who supports a his "errors” because they receive a stipend in return for their allegiance. His oligarch and aristocratic friends like Bobby Steele, who are prepared to spread their propaganda to maintain their new power and influence and protect their business interests at the expense of poor single parents.
This practice of "economic terrorism” against a section of the society shall end one way or the other. This malicious and vindictive policy has to end once and for all. The president of Ukraine practiced this same policy. Cozying up to his support base in Eastern Ukraine while attempting to starve his opponents in Western Ukraine, today he is nowhere to be found. As patriots and citizens of Grenada we have to stand up and defeat this revengeful policy of Dr Mitchell and the NNP.
Hon Nazim Burke, the new leader of the NDC, must take a very serious position on this vexing issue. Citizens can't be asked to make sacrifices and at the same time be denied opportunities to make a living due the practice of “economic terrorism” perpetuated by Mitchell and the NNP.
It is not enough to just talk about major problems. Decisive action is needed to change such a destructive policy. Hon Nazim Burke would be failing the people and in particular his constituents if he refuses to lead a serious crusade against injustice, victimization and discrimination in all its form and fashion. Keith Mitchell and the NNP was never affair to wear placards and walk the streets of St George's and Grenville.
Peaceful protest is legitimate and fair play and is practiced all over the world. India is an independent country today because of the non-violent protest led by Mahatma Ghandi. If Dr Mitchell and the NNP can wear placards, so can Nazim Burke and the NDC. Freedom of association and expression is enshrined in the Grenadian constitution. People can't be asked to pay more in taxes and then are marginalized. This is an "error" that needs to be corrected.
In conclusion Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique can’t continue under this "political error" . Errors, whether they are political, economic or social, must be corrected before they result in the total destruction .
Dr Mitchell is our premier "political error" and as a result of this he has mismanaged the economy of this country to a point that there is a "national economic and social error" that is stifling innovation, creativity and the entrepreneurial spirit of establishing, new and potential businesses. This "error" has caused credible investors to shun the spice isles . For Grenada to grow, the "political error" must go. The system must be corrected once and for all even if it means sacrificing taxes, sweat and blood. A new system shall emerge.