It is just over one month that the former general secretary and foreign minister in the NDC counted himself into the rodent infested house of the NNP. With much fanfare and pomp Peter! Peter! the party destroyer was presented with the ‘green robes' of the NNP by party chairman Gregory Bowen.
Politics do make very strange bedfellows, but none is as strange and scary as Peter David counting himself into the NNP as an 'ordinary' party member. In the wheels and deals of politics, politicians may change their allegiance from one party to another as a 'power broker'.
Only a foolish and backward politician will defect from his or her party from a position of power and influence to join another party as a political minion. Foolish Peter, instead of learning a sensible political lesson from his past and also from Keith Mitchell fell into a political trap that Keith Mitchell set for him since became general secretary of the NDC.
When Keith Mitchell decided to challenge Herbert Blaize he emerged as the political leader of the New National Party. Michael Baptiste defected from the GULP to become a minister of government and then opposition leader. Peter David betrayed and defected from the NDC as a high ranking party executive member and senior government minister to become an ordinary party member in the NNP. Some may say that he is an adviser to the government, but that position is mere ceremonial, rather than executive. Peter David like the tail is wagging the dog.
Mitchell is aware of the perceived organisational skills and charisma of Peter David and so with his waning fortunes he sees Peter's membership as the best thing that happened to the NNP since the elections. With the country under an unpopular structural adjustment program, SAP massive increase in taxation the name Keith Mitchell is like 'gramaxone' to thousands of people. Keith Mitchell hope that Peter David will be able to softened the blows especially among his base who are waiting on his delivery train.
Mitchell is also aware that Peter David lacks leadership qualities since he has depended throughout his political career on the mentoring of Chester Humphrey, his spiritual adviser. The duo of Chester Humphrey and Peter David is blighted by political miscalculations throughout their lifetime. The longer Peter David remains outside the parliament and national executive of the NNP the more his political ambitions are trivialised. Time isn't on his side.
Peter David lacks the capacity to make a big difference in the governance of the country and the fixing of the economy. His first foreign trip after joining the NNP was to North America. The reason behind this trip was purely financial. Mitchell was hoping that Peter would have been readily accepted by NNP and NDC supporters in the Diaspora . The trip was a complete failure and since their return Peter David has been missing in action.
Had Dr Mitchell seen Peter David as an asset in fixing the economy, he would have made him a minister of government, instead he is relying on his PS Timothy Antoine as his chief economic adviser and spokesperson. Timothy Antoine is closer to becoming a minister in this NNP cabinet than Peter David. In fact, Antoine is the de facto minister of finance.
Peter David’s credentials are more in sync with ALBA than the IMF and World Bank. Mitchell is banking on his relationship with Maduro of Venezuela to get monies for the NNP to run the upcoming election campaign . He gave Peter David the cue when he said at his endorsement that he will assist in the re-organisation of the party.
While a large bank account doesn't always win elections, as seen in the US Republican primary where Eric Cantor lost to a rookie he outspent ten to one, in Grenada money plays a very critical role in the outcome of elections. 1999, 2003 and 2013 elections were heavily influenced by massive spending. The NNP is well known for conducting very expensive election campaigns. Peter David will be the NNP’s Karl Rove. Not so much for his ability to strategize, but his political connections to mobilise cash and build networks.
Mitchell's is more focused on the next elections than fixing the national economy. His deliberate policy of taxation is aimed at obtaining quick cash to satisfy his political base and the young people he intends to rope into the Imani program in the months and years to come. The loans from the IMF, World Bank and Caribbean Development Bank that he intends to get will be used not in the creation of sustainable jobs and economic growth but rather to satisfy the appetite of his cronies and supporters.
Peter David will lobby ALBA to obtain funds for the party to be used within the fifteen constituencies for party projects. The success of this strategy will depend on the economy.
With every passing day Keith Mitchell is becoming more and more irrelevant. His inability to create jobs and get the economy growing is a damning indictment of his failure as prime minister.
It is ironical that after condemning and criticising the IMF for decades he is now in the pocket of the IMF struggling for some oxygen. What a difference a few years can make.
Mitchell isn't so concerned about the heavy taxation on the population. He knows that the sector of the population the working class who are directly affected by his tax measures is not sympathetic to his administration. Once he can keep his base and fool the young people again he thinks that this will take him and the NNP over the line. He is extremely good at playing one section of the population against the other. In the past he played the poor against the rich; white Grenada against black Grenada; working class against the unemployed .
He has 'boxed' in Chester Humphrey and Madona Harford. Peter David counted himself in and he is creating his team within the RGPF. He is building a 'Berlin Wall'around himself while Grenadians are suffering. This is what dictators do when they begin to realise that their power is waning.
The structural adjustment program is taking a toll on the masses, yet Keith Mitchell, Peter David, Chester Humphrey and the NNP are directing all their energies on the next election. Even Permanent Secretary Timothy Antoine, the de facto minister of finance, is in campaign mode. Making more rounds on the airwaves than President Obama’s communications director,
The IMF is watching, they will be monitoring. However, Grenada under Keith Mitchell went down that road before. Keith Mitchell knows when to run to the IMF and also when to run away from the IMF. He also know when to run to other politicians and when to run away from them. He has used that strategy for over 30 years with 90% success. He may be contemplating using that strategy again. The only difference this time is that he may be messing with men who are battle tested. It is no coincidence that he is allegedly building up a parallel police force within the RGPF and SSU.
Interesting times lies ahead. Grenadians will have to buckle their seat belts one way or the other. There will be a bumpy economic, social and political ride given the many vicious and unpredictable forces at play. The NDC and its political leader Nazim Burke are well placed to take over the mantle of leadership and governance of the country. The party is making steady progress and building capacity and a silent majority.
Hon Nazim Burke is proving to be a good leader with a capable team in Franca Alexis Bernadine, Dr George Vincent, Joseph Andall and the national executive, Brother Kem Jones and sister Jenny, two fearless tigers are educating and informing the people .
The Eagle Eye and People's Court are the most popular radio talk program in the entire Caribbean and so the stage is set for a national political showdown. The NDC base is energized and preparing for the battle ahead. Peter David, Keith Mitchell and the NNP will not go down without a fight. 2018 will be the clash of all clashes. The electoral process and system is critical.
The NDC will have to monitor the process closely, and be prepared to protest if there is any manipulation of the system. The future of our children is at stake. The future of the young people is at stake. The future of the workers is at stake. The future of the citizens is at stake. The future of the NIS is at stake. The future of the RGPF is at stake. The future of the democratic institutions is at stake. Your future is at stake. My future is at stake. The economy is a stake. Democracy is at stake. The survival of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique is at stake.
Rise up and be counted. Grenada needs you. The time is now!