September 13th, 2012
Hon. Charles Peter David
Member of Parliament
Town of St. George
Dear Hon. David,
Greetings Hon. David!
Permit me to clarify that I write in my individual and personal capacity.
It appears Hon. David that you are currently the “man of the moment” in the current political conjuncture and it may even appear that “your political star” is in the ascendancy.
Besides your loyal supporters in the Town of St. George, it appears that your popularity with the leadership and others in the New National Party has soared since your resignation from the Cabinet. And your hobnobbing with the side has not escaped the notice of we the people.
(1). Common Mantra:
I have been following your public utterances since your resignation from the Cabinet and frankly Hon. David, I am amazed at how your utterances mirror those of the Hon. Leader of the Opposition. Since this seeming “rapprochement” between yourself and the Hon. Leader of the Opposition, I have concluded that it is either a case of “great minds think alike” or both yourself and the Hon. Leader of the Opposition are sharing the same scriptwriter.
The following are the common elements of what appears to be the shared mantra:
* Foreign investment lamentations – we need to woo foreign investment! We have sent negative signals to foreign investors.
* Contrition – I made mistakes.
* Ridiculing the Hon. Prime Minister – prior to elections, the Hon. Leader of the Opposition referred to Tillboy. Now you and his detractors in the NNP make thinly veiled references to the Hon. Prime Minister, which come across as an attempt to demean and ridicule his simplicity and lack of pretense, his deep faith and his determination to stand resolute on some things about which he feels strongly. We hear terms such as pomposity, grandiosity, self-righteousness, among others.
* Invoking Mama: While I have not yet heard any reference by the Hon. Leader of the Opposition this round, I note that you, like the Hon. Leader of the Opposition did when he was in government, are now invoking the spirit of your mother. (May God rest her soul!)
(2). Town Hall Meeting of Sept. 6th:
I am still a little puzzled as to the purpose of your Town Hall meeting on Thursday last, September 6th. It is a really good thing that I changed my mind about attending your meeting! What is a Town Hall meeting that does not see it fit to open up the floor to questions? There are so many questions that I would have wanted to ask
* Ambassador Peter de Savary: For example, there are questions that I would have wanted to ask about the appointment of Ambassador Peter de Savary! Did Cabinet make this appointment? Was this appointment made before you left Cabinet or after you resigned from Cabinet?
* Ambassador Georges Cohen: And what about Ambassador Georges Cohen? What can you tell us, Hon. David, about this foreign investor and the contribution of his investment to Grenada? How many Grenadians does he have employed on his private island? Does he pay property tax”? Or does being an Ambassador exempt him? How many non-nationals does he employ? Did he play a role in Grenada establishing diplomatic relations with Morocco under your watch as Foreign Minister? Can you update the nation on his role as Ambassador to the United Nations Office in Geneva? To which Mission is he reporting? From whom has he been receiving briefings?
* Zublin, the St. George’s Revitalization Project and Casino Gambling:
I would have also wanted to comment Hon. David, on my disappointment and my disbelief that the matter of Zublin’s casino could have been a matter causing such deep division to mash up the party and the government to the detriment of the country. Because you KNOW Hon. David that the matter of a licence for casino gambling is not about the interests of people of Grenada.
It is about Zublin’s St. George’s Newport settling its dispute with Harbour Holdings from which it accepted an advance payment of US$520,000 in 2007 re an agreement to sell Lot 8 and procure a licence for casino operations that would be passed on to Harbour Holdings. Since St. George’s Newport later rescinded the agreement, Harbour Holdings took legal action.
I would have also wanted to ask whether Zublin contributed to the NDC election coffers and whether any pre-election promises were made by high-ranking NDC officials to Zublin.
* Extinguishing of a Public Right Away to Quarantine Point:
Also, I would have wanted to ask you, Hon. David, about the extinguishing of a public right away to the Quarantine Point. I would have wanted to ask you whether you lent support to this ill-advised and traitorous act by the government of which you were a part and, if you did, what was the basis for this action?
As a former Minister of Tourism, were you in a position to provide the nation with any statistics/other data on the performance of Mariposa Residences as a tourism facility? Who were these people for whom the “powers that be”, of which you were a part, have took away the public right of access of we the people and whether these people had a special relationship with and access to the “powers that be” in the hierarchy of the National Democratic Congress?
(3). Defending Workers Rights:
I noted that the venerable Senator representing Labour heaped praises on both yourself and the Hon. Joseph Gilbert for the defense of workers’ rights, citing support for the amendment to the Labour Relations Act, which, he has claimed, two other Comrade Ministers had sought to “bury”.
With utmost deference to the Hon. Senator, who has the longest record of unbroken service in the Senate, permit me to respectfully point out the following:
* Labour Relations Act: The Hon. Senator was a member of the Senate when the original Act was passed. I am completely baffled as to how an Act, which minimises the role of the Ministry of Labour and the Labour Commissioner, was passed. It is my respectful view that the Hon. Senator, the Grenada Trade Union Council, the then Labour Commissioner, the then Attorney General and the then Minister of Labour owe the people and particularly the workers an explanation.
* CCC Contract: Maybe “so much water has passed under the bridge” that we have forgotten, conveniently or otherwise, that it was the Hon. Joseph Gilbert who precipitated the stand-off with CCC when he unceremoniously fired them. The Hon. Prime Minister then had to do an about turn to save face when the ramifications of the Hon. Gilbert’s action were understood.
So it is really Hon. Gilbert who should take the rap for “doing” former CCC workers out of a job. Even I supported Hon. Gilbert’s action to rid Grenada of the cancer CCC had become. I expected that Hon Gilbert would have acted deliberately and responsibly. In light of what has played out, the following questions ought to be asked:
*Who was responsible for briefing Hon. Gilbert on the state of the contract with CCC? Was he briefed or was he misled? And if so, by whom? Was disciplinary action taken against anyone?
*Did Hon. Gilbert act in his own deliberate judgment or did he confer with senior officers and the Management Team of the Ministry of Works?
*Was Hon. Gilbert aware of the Roughton Report, the Grenada Technical Audit? Did any of the senior officers in his Ministry bring this report to his attention?
*Did Hon. Gilbert confer with members of the Cabinet on his decision? Did he in turn brief Cabinet on the ramifications of a decision to fire CCC?
*Why wasn’t Hon. Gilbert disciplined by the Prime Minister? Was the Prime Minister’s failure to discipline Hon. Gilbert a case of affiliation to a “St. Patrick’s boys club”
*Are big road works projects – which increases the opportunities for significant kick-backs – the only way in which road works can be done in Grenada?
*Didn’t the NDC administration of 1990-1995 undertake significant small scale community road works throughout the country during the period of voluntary structural adjustment?
(4). Yellow Meanness and Green Meanness:
I noted your magnanimous declarations and reference to tribalism and “meanness” – we cannot exchange a green meanness with a yellow meanness and call that change. Exactly what MEANNESS are you referring to Hon. David? Are you confounding calls for accountability with meanness?
You came into office on the platform of a party, which offered change, which offered to restore integrity and good governance to Grenada. Are we now to assume Hon. David that you and other members of the National Democratic Congress came into office under false pretence?
Permit me to remind you Hon. David that it was the government of the New National Party that sought to disenfranchise you, WASTING thousands of dollars of taxpayers’ money to seek to debar you from representing the people of the Town of St. George.
Do you remember the November-December 2005 convention at which the NNP leadership chanted you down as FOREIGNER? Do you recall the ‘line of march” of the convention – ‘this country is our country! We will not allow any foreigner to take it!!’
Do you recall when the Attorney-General and the Special Legal Advisor to the Cabinet called a press conference to:
* Advise that you, Hon. Peter David was a foreigner
* Advise that Sen. Brenda Hood should be declared the people’s representative since you were disqualified and could not be one of the people’s representatives in the honourable house
That is the DISRESPECT that the New National Party administration showed for Grenada and in particular for the people of the Town of St. George!! You are SOOOO popular with the NNP these days! Have you forgotten? Have you forgotten how Sister Cammy and all the other loyal supporters STOOD with you in spite of the insults and harassment that they had to endure?
I even wrote an article or two in solidarity. HOW MUCH did it cost taxpayers, Hon. David, as the NNP engaged in this SPITEFUL charade right up to the Privy Council? Do you remember that NDC stalwart, Kent Joseph, even put in a nomination as an independent candidate just in case attempts were still made to debar you for putting yourself up for office in the July 2008 elections?
Do you recall the SLEAZE campaign that the NNP sought to orchestrate against you in August 2005? Permit me to refresh your memory. Senator Einstein Louison, one of your former revolutionary comrades, hosted a press conference, accompanied by Hon. Brenda Hood and the Prime Minister’s Press Secretary, Barry Collymore.
Senator Louison advised the members of the media as follows:
* That a senior member of parliament, a member of the opposition, was facing multiple fraud charges in the United States.
* That these fraud charges had massive repercussions for national security and the image of Grenada.
* That the State Department and the United States Embassy in Grenada were involved.
Minister Louison’s statement resulted in the following:
* Within hours of his statement, the U.S. Embassy in St. George’s issued a public statement denying its involvement and the involvement of the State Department as alleged by Senator Louison.
* Some government official was calling media houses, asking them NOT TO BROADCAST/PUBLISH certain aspects of the story.
* The New National Party issued an apology to the U.S. Embassy in Grenada for statements made by the Minister of National Security at the Press conference. (See Grenada Informer, Friday, August 5th)
To add further insult to injury, the NNP statement was brazen enough to “call on the local media to be FAIR and ACCURATE at all times in the reporting of this particular allegation, ensuring that all the FACTS are in place BEFORE broadcasting to the Grenadian people this story”!!
This is the nature of the NNP beast. “Old people” would say Hon. David, “WHEN YOU KNOW SOMETHING IN THE DARK, YOU DO NOT NEED LIGHT TO SHINE IT IN THE NIGHT”.
While the NNP continues to “big you up” just remember Hon. David, that diplomacy has been defined as “saying ‘nice doggie’ until you find a big stone” (no pun intended!) For your sake, Hon. David, we trust that the “nice doggie” will not turn out to be you!
(5). No Confidence Motion:
Since the motion of no-confidence filed by the Hon. Karl Hood, it appears that the New National Party, like hyenas and vultures sensing “a kill” have become emboldened. Diplomacy has gone out of the window and the Leader of the Opposition is slipping back into his old rants.
He has confidently predicted that Hon. Tillman Thomas will lose his Parliamentary seat and he seems to have begun another phase of his campaign as he rolled out his recycled programmes in his address to the nation on September 6th.
Is the opposition NNP receiving some assistance from the Prime Minister’s erstwhile high profile colleagues and their comrades who are now targeting the PM’s constituency with a view to undermining his support base?
The question that we the people are pondering, Hon. David, is WHO will be the “Casca who drives the dagger in the back of Caesar”, to result in the pre-mature crash of the government – unleashing the “feeding frenzy” to deliver Grenada back into the hands of the New National Party.
Thank you, Hon. David, for the opportunity to offer these queries and observations.
Sandra C.A. Ferguson