It has been six months that the New National Party won the last general elections and formed the government, and it must be admitted that Grenadians have been patient with them, and agreeably so. We have to face it that, after such an overwhelming victory for the second time, which is worthy of securing a place in the Guinness Book of World records, many were taken by surprise.
Within Grenada the celebration among the majority was justified, while the minority who voted for the NDC and who are among the more intelligent population was not even sufficient to win them a single seat in parliament, were justified in their grief. The roughly 10,000 who did not vote at all, and who are today feeling the consequences of their inaction, were themselves surprised and, because they were on the fence, they to a great extent joined the celebrations. But added to the grief quadrant (for Grenada) must be members of the international community who are wondering privately what is wrong with us as a people to have done such a thing at this time when the good governance agenda is virtually mandatory for developing countries to obtain assistance. They know only too well that the NNP and its leadership are about everything but good governance.
Having highlighted the foregoing, I must admit that the thunderous response to change through the elections muffled all forms of local opposition in the strictest sense of the word – thus giving the sitting administration an extended honeymoon period. Glad to see that the regular antagonistic columnists (incognito as well as above board) took a respite and gave the new administration a chance to take up position and consolidate themselves.
But even “me” would agree that it is time for the NNP’s free paper to burn. I listen to radio and all I can hear is the NDC Heart Beat on a Sunday and Kem Jones on Spice Capital Radio – with its limited reach. The voice of Eddie Frederick seems more inclined towards personal / professional development issues while the pages of the New Today report the news with an accent on the flaws of the style of leadership of the country, taking centre stage. Where are the biting columnists when the nation needs them most?
It is my hope that over the weeks and months to come that you find my provocative approach worthy of objectivity and analysis as I endeavour to fill that spot.
It is no coincidence that the name “Deliverance Now” has been chosen under which this piece and all the rest to come will be delivered.
Having established the platform on which this column promises to “deliver”, it gives me great pleasure to recognize that the Carnival season is over and the realities of our dire economic situation re-present themselves without distractions. In the middle of all our excitement during the season, CXC results were released as if to put us parents on point with what ought to be our priority.
Needy parents whose children attend public primary and/or secondary schools need not worry about school books, but those who want to invest in a sound education for their children and choose to send them to private primary or secondary schools would have to fork out and buy books for their children, since children of private schools have lost that privilege… therefore all roads lead to private book stores – the leading one of which is owned by the family of a former governor general and NNP faithful.
For the public primary and secondary schools, though, there is yet another “promise” that the books to complete the free books project will arrive in September.
One parent who values the education of her children highly and who chooses to make the sacrifice to send them to private primary and secondary schools recently was heard saying she never knew she was voting out good opportunities to which she became so accustomed over the last five years. She was voting it out through her active support for the NNP on February 19. But this is what happens when one supports for what one can get and not because one genuinely believes in country and making the necessary sacrifices to build Grenada. But then again that is the culture of the New National Party (NNP) and its “what’s-in-it-for-me” (eat a food) followers.
Recently we were all made aware of the accomplishments of the new administration in its first 100 days. Suffice it to say, they are not in keeping with the thunderous promises under the theme: “We will deliver”. Thousands of “casual” state paid workers have been sent home and replaced by party hacks, with the practice continuing. Imagine this policy is carried out by a man who vowed to be a “uniter” as part of the new legacy he tried to make us believe he so craved.
This is the same leader who claimed to be returning to repair his legacy (which he spent 13 years developing) and we all know the main ingredient in his legacy as we know him too well. One would have thought that a man with such a checkered past as fueled by what many consider a “character and personality flaw”, would try to work overtime to walk in the footsteps of Mandela. But that is not to be as his very veins are stuffed with vitriol, vengeance, malice and spite.
Do you recall him telling us during the campaign that he cannot change in response to his earlier remark to the contrary, which backfired big time? “I cannot change. I am the same person.”
Why so many people insisted and continue to insist that this man would be different? Maybe they are correct from the standpoint that without resources (financial and otherwise) he cannot carry out his greatest personal desires.
This is a man who loves to use the pocket to punish his political opponents or pressure those whom he believes are not supporters into submission. Everyone knows that the animal that attacks you to eat and devour you holds his strength in his teeth. Should any fierce animal matching this description lose its teeth, it loses its strength and therefore does not have the means to punish.
The leader with all his venom displays a high level of frustration; manifesting itself in the form of a lack of energy – for indeed he is a “toothless tiger”. Confirmation of this can be found in the scarcity of financial resources locally and an unsustainable national debt 4/5 (four-fifths) of which his recklessness for his 13 years in office prior to July 2008 produced for Grenada, making us one of four CARICOM countries among the ten with the highest debt to GDP ratio in the world.
This “toothless tiger” cannot even cope with the waywardness within his Cabinet among some of his ministers – especially since the celebrations are over and certain new elements are expected to fit in to the bramble and lies who are actually challenging his substandard management/leadership style totally unsuited for the current state of affairs.
The leader is not known to be able to juggle like a mother with scarce resources. He has to have a lot in order to operate and function – as his motivation lies in what he can get for himself. On a post election radio interview with Pastor Stanford Simon, “the leader” said (words to the effect): “The people who know me know that if I cannot deliver I would not remain.” This goes to show the measure of the man who is known not to sacrifice.
Truth be told if the leader cannot carry out all the punishment he intends, he would manifest the lack of energy we are currently seeing, flavoured with high levels of frustration. Grenadians living abroad, the sensible ones who still live at home, and the international community do not trust “the leader” and his team and there goes the source of his frustration to deliver the promises made. Grenadians be prepared to be served a constant diet of lies and deceit by the “toothless tiger”.