There was so much hope, and expectations, and solid promises, and a genuine need for a brand new beginning in 2008 – to move our people from where they had unfortunately found themselves, to some safer place where they could have lived in peace, with trust and confidence in those they had chosen to lead their public affairs, and chart a course towards a brighter and more prosperous future in the years ahead – that those who had been replaced by the majority of the Eleven against Four, really and truly felt that the change was for keeps.
But here we are, barely four years after that resounding victory at the Polls – and our Islands of Conflict are in more chaos, gross mismanagement, lack of leadership and division down the middle, that those who are supposed to be still in charge should be publicly ashamed to maintain that position.
We have earned the good/bad name over the years, of being the “Island of Firsts” – as we have always seemed to do or achieve many things before our neighbours in the Caribbean Region – some good, some bad, some indifferent.
For example – we were the first of the small Islands to achieve Independence in 1974; we were the First English Speaking Island in the Caribbean to stage a successful armed Revolution in 1979, and we were the First Island in the Caribbean to be invaded by the Mighty U.S.A. in 1983, to restore peace and freedom to our people.
And here we are again – as being the first Island in the Caribbean to have Five Elected M.P’s and Ministers of Government Resigning (one dismissed) from the Cabinet, and the Government remaining in control of the state.
And to add political insult to democratic injury – the same minority Government, by its Leader and Prime Minister, has since requested the Governor General to prorogue Parliament.
So that, in effect, our people are under the political control of a minority group of six M.P.’s, while the majority group of Nine M.P’s are denied their right to speak on behalf of the people, and represent the people’s interest in the House of Parliament, because the said Parliament has been put on hold or suspended indefinitely.
And the effect of that suspension – is that every Application, Motion, or Bill, pending to be placed on the Order Paper for discussion in the House of Parliament – all of them have to be submitted again when the prorogation is ended.
I could very well imagine the laughing stock our people and their politics have again become – in the region and further afield.
But in the midst of that Mickey Mouse state of affairs, that is ongoing in our struggling and declining economic conditions – the resigned members of the ruling party can be heard on Television and Radio making all kinds of ridiculous statements and accusations, as though they have been doing everything right and proper, and the remaining six in the driving seats are real culprits.
While in the same context, those speaking on behalf of the minority Government and the NDC Party as such – they are predicting that the Party Leader and his loyalists, will be taking control of the Party Executive this coming weekend at the Party Convention, and things will be different from then onwards.
How possible that maybe – time will surely tell as the situation unfolds, and the various pieces fall into the empty places.
On the other side of the same coin, there seems to be a lot of speculation about the resigned drop-outs getting together to contest as a group, when the times comes around – or some running as Independents.
Whatever there maybe in store, for the near or distant future, the next two or three months are not going to be easy sailing – for those in control nor for our people in general, and a whole lot of sacrifices will have to be made.
We are nearing the end of another month, and Government workers wages and salaries are soon to be paid – so they waiting to see where from.
The source of funds for the last month payments still remain a secret, and the Finance Minister and his team remain silent on the matter.
Against that background of the Government side, the private sector is also going through a very difficult period – and the many persons I have spoken with are all singing the same lamenting song, that things are so bad they will have to reduce their labour force to remain in business.
And needless to go into any details about the chaotic state of the Economy as a whole, and the absence of any signs in any sector – that things can begin to change for the better anytime soon.
All the ole talk about the economy and finance as a whole, are centered around who we are owing millions and who we will be borrowing from – to make the fiscal ends meet.
I have mentioned it before, but it is worth repeating – that the conditions are so bad, and weekly getting much worse, that some of those existing under that level of pressure and financial deprivation, can become so desperate that they could take extreme measures in the given circumstances to try to survive.
Those still in control with that reduce lot as ministers – they certainly have a heavier responsibility to discharge, as long as they continue to hold unto the power base as the Government of the Tri-Island State.
And to make the bad matters even worse – now that the Parliament has been suspended, they do not even have the Opposition to offer a contrary opinion or share any of the business.
I suppose it can be claimed – that with five Ministers having resigned or dismissed, their ministerial salaries are a saving for the Treasury. But on the other hand, with no Parliamentary Meetings to attend, all the M.P’s are still receiving their salaries as Members of Parliament.
And since that state of affairs is indefinite, because of the Prorogation of Parliament – I will venture to answer my question in the Headline of this article by saying, I can see no end in sight for the rest of this year.