By Grenadian Class
The boisterous cult-like chant of “we will deliver” is becoming fainter and fainter as the days and weeks slowly passes on.
The energy, hype, optimism and anticipation of the people, especially supporters of the ruling NNP party has given way to somberness, disappointment, disenchantment and a sense of betrayal and lost.
The Prime Minister seems to prefer to be out of the country rather than be at his desk in the Botanical Gardens. All the other ministers cherish being out of the country at any opportunity instead of their respective ministries or in their constituency. Some MPs all of a sudden are either MIA or AWOL.
Cabinet seems to be so non-functional that the only thing that they seem capable of delivering are dismissal letters to hundreds of employees.
A few diehard supporters in an effort to console themselves are holding onto the ‘fairy tale’ that things have never been better The reality of the situation is that the economy is really bad and the entire country is in a state of pity. It will require the government to use the collective skills and talents of the entire population for the country to emerge from this situation.
Prime Minister Mitchell, with his myopic vision and political microscope, when asked by the host of the program, “You Decide”, what he thinks about the NDC, his response: “They should go and hide for a very long time”.
Instead of using his wisdom and intellect to challenge the NDC to work with his administration to turn the country’s economic fortunes around, he selfishly make such a statement, which I believe was irresponsible as Prime Minister of the country.
This statement is one that sends the wrong signal to the people and the international community. It is a statement that will breed hate, social and political division, at a time when the country needs everyone to work together to emerge from our economic malaise.
I am at a loss also to see how the host of the program, Byron Campbell, could take such a comment so lightly. I am not however shocked though, knowing full well how many of our media personalities are now singing for their supper.
Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart of Barbados, faced with a similar situation, with his country suffering from the worst economic recession ever, has a completely different approach to the situation.
In a recent public/private sector consultation on the Barbadian economy, Stuart indicated to the gathering that Barbados was facing serious problems of “debts and deficits” and stressed that if the present challenges were to be overcome, then the co-operation of all Barbadians in what he termed “this mighty effort”‘ will be required.
Prime Minister Stuart didn’t used the forum to belittle his opponent, the Barbados Labour Party (BLP). Instead, he reiterated that his government would continue its consultative programme as broadly and widely as possible, so that a national consensus on the way forward would be crystallised and the necessary buy-in garnered for the sacrifices that would have to be made in the foreseeable future.
Herein lies the difference between a uniter and a divider. The NNP is a party that strongly believes in divide and rule. A tactic and strategy reminiscent of the British and slave masters.
Are we going back to the dark old days? All indications thus far suggest that, while some things appear to have changed, in reality they remain the same.
Government is using the illuminating powers of the different wavelengths of light to create an illusion using their strong mandate to hoodwink the populace into believing that the economy has recovered and they are delivering on the many election promises made prior to February 19.
Since assuming office there have been a number of indicators that would suggest that the country may be in for yet another period of social, economic and political division and instability.
The new administration has demonstrated its intention to govern only in the interest of its supporters. Everyone else will be marginalised, victimised and discriminated against, with many already being dismissed from their jobs.
The NNP is creating the ‘Happy Hill Cartel’ with the removal of the Commissioner of Police, head of prisons, the reshuffling of many senior officers in the RGPF and the re-instating of some questionable persons back into the force.
The Prime Minister is ensuring the concentration of political power firmly in his grip, even with total control of the nation’s Parliament.
The recent amendment to the Terrorism Bill, which gives the Attorney General, a Happy Hill man, wide ranging powers, and the Electronic Crimes Bill are all geared to censor the opposition and the voice of the people.
Government is setting the conditions for absolutely no dissent, as it faces severe economic challenges to deliver on their promises. Loyalty to the Comrade leader is the order of the day.
This political strategy by the Prime Minister is two-fold. First and foremost, he intends to create fear within the population by using maximum power. Secondly, he is laying the foundation for a dynasty by promoting officers that are loyal to him within the security forces.
On one hand he admonishes the officers to do their duty free of political interference when he is speaking to the general mass; however, many suspect that he might be secretly attempting to create a special unit within the force that is answerable to him directly and not the Commissioner of Police. The country went down that route before.
Using draconian methods like the Electronic Crimes Bill, the administration is hoping that they can muzzle the population into silence. Without any formal opposition, the social media has become the main avenue of opposition to the government and their inability to deliver on their promises.
This particular bill has grabbed the attention of the international community as a result of the stiff sentences that offenders can get for offending someone. It has backfired on the anti-democratic elements and may have done more harm to the country than good.
Under pressure from the people and the international community, the government has been forced to take a U-turn on the current bill. This bill has the potential of having a very adverse effect on the tourism industry.
When communist elements join forces with autocrats the result is a society that is left in a state of deprivation of basic human rights and freedoms. According to an Indian philosopher, he said and I quote, “Power hungry politicians are creating havoc everywhere. These rascals create so many difficult situations. The public is very nice, but these politicians keep them in ignorance. I have studied the whole world. Human nature is the same everywhere. The mass of people are very good but these rogues create by their own personal aggrandisement so many difficulties. If the present status quo is allowed to continue, people will suffer more and more under the leadership of these demonic agnostics.”
The people have already begun to lose faith, hope and trust in this NNP administration, the outcry against the Electronic Crimes Bill is a manifestation of this. The government is seemingly incapable of producing and is making an effort to divert the attention of the people away from the real issues through the creation of bogey laws, victimisation and intimidation.
After 4,745 dark days in its first three terms, the NNP has started its fourth term in a similar fashion. Grenada has already seen 133 dark days and counting. If ever the country is to see the light, the light of a brighter future, a more just and equal society, a democratic society, then the people have to rid themselves of the demons and wash themselves in the blood of the lamb.
Let us all pray that Allah will deliver the country out of darkness and into the light.