By Grenadian Class
Keith Mitchell has been Prime Minister of Grenada for almost 20 years.
He has acted as Minister of Finance for many years. In his capacity as Prime Minister he has ultimate responsibility for all the plans, programs and initiatives of his government.
Mitchell and the NNP on two occasions have had total control of the nation’s parliament. He has been given all the power by the electorate to advance the agenda of his party for the benefit of the people.
Unfortunately despite his political victories Mitchell’s leadership of Grenada has been an economic, social and spiritual disaster.
Grenada is gripped by an IMF structural adjustment program following years of poor economic management by Mitchell and his NNP administration.
Mitchell increased the national debt from $340 million in 1995 to approximately $1.8 billion when he left office in 2008. This massive national debt is the nucleus of all Grenada’s economic woes.
‘Voodoo economics’ was the favourite phrase coming from Mitchell regarding the IMF proposals in 1995 when he removed income tax, and engaged in massive borrowing at commercial rates and uncontrolled spending.
He failed to invest in the productive sectors of the economy but instead created an ‘artificial economy.’
Today income tax has been re-instated and Grenadians have been slapped with a litany of crippling taxes.
Unemployment is over 30% nationally and close to 50% among the youths of the country. Salaries and wages have been frozen with job opportunities in the public service limited to short term contracts.
Despite all the ‘hoopla’ about economic growth, the truth is that under Keith Mitchell and the NNP thousands of Grenadians are faced with extreme poverty. The middle class is now struggling under the burden of heavy taxation and it’s just a matter of time before they take to the streets. The current economic situation in Grenada is unsustainable.
The NNP will soon have to go to the polls and the electorate should expect some massive spending, especially on infrastructure. After spending millions on infrastructural development in the past, the country didn’t receive value for money and today the road network in the country is in the worst shape it has ever been.
The few bright spots here and there are over shadowed by an umbra of gross failures in many sectors of the national economy. Agriculture is virtually dead, with Grenada having to import agricultural produce from St Vincent and the Grenadines.
With youth unemployment at an all time high, the island is faced with escalating crime and violence. The shootout in the town of St George’s a few weeks ago may be the beginning of a deeper problem confronting the country. Gun violence seems to be on the rise.
The economic woes facing Grenada are squarely at the feet of Keith Mitchell. He is making a deliberate effort to change the course of history and shift the blame to the previous NDC administration to protect his tainted legacy.
The fact remains that he is the architect of Grenada’s economic problems and the leader who took Grenada to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
No amount of propaganda, blame game or sugar coating of Grenada’s economic problems can change the fact that Grenadians are in the ‘claws’ of the IMF as a result of the miserable failures of the economic policies of Keith Mitchell and the NNP.
The vast majority of Grenadians are aware of this fact but many of them, including the Prime Minister, are still living in denial or are blindly and foolishly supporting an administration that continues to lead them into extreme poverty and economic dependency.
Like the Jamaicans, who have been on an IMF program for decades, Grenadians should brace themselves for more and more of the IMF medicine.
PM Mitchell is contemplating early elections before the full brunt of the IMF program is felt by the majority of people. The public sector is bloated, with a high degree of inefficiency. The many NNP party hawks employed after the 2013 elections are very unproductive. They are a drain on the scarce resources of the country. Public sector reform is inevitable. Mitchell may want to go into an election with the hope of another landslide victory following which he would retrench public service workers.
However, he has to overcome two major challenges. The first one is the high level of youth unemployment, discontent and desperation. The youth vote will be extremely critical in the next general elections.
He also faces internal dissent within the NNP as a result of the influence of the Peter David faction within the NNP.
It would be very interesting to see the candidates the NNP would put up for the next elections. Would the party remain with the status quo, including the old septuagenarians in Mitchell, Bowen and Nimrod, or transition with some new young candidates?
NNP may not want to risk it, given the economic situation and the force of a rejuvenated NDC under Nazim Burke. The NNP has already started their character assassination of the NDC leader. Burke however has sensibly avoided gutter politics, instead focusing on reorganisation of his party.
Mitchell must come clean and level with the Grenadian people. He needs to accept the fact that he messed up and should stop playing political football with the lives of the young people. Grenada’s economic woes are taking a toll on Mitchell and the NNP. Apart from this it is alleged that Mitchell is not in the best of health.
Secondly, the increasing power of the opposition, widespread discontent among the masses and an agitated Public Workers Union with increasing unstable industrial climate.
Interesting times are ahead for Grenada, as the election approaches.
The country is on the edge waiting to see what would happen to the likes of Peter David, Joseph and company. How would these rebels work within the NNP as potential candidates? They worked for the NNP from the outside in 2013, what will be their status in 2018 when the elections are constitutionally due.
Grenadians have been hoodwinked by Keith Mitchell many times. His promise of jobs, jobs and more jobs seems to work for him even though that promise has never materialised.
Is the economy stupid? Yes it is. The economy will be the major campaign issue for the next general elections.
Maurice Bishop was a charismatic and progressive leader. He used his God given talents for the development and advancement of the Grenadian people. He was able to unite the masses in such a way that there was a true spirit of comradeship, unselfishness and volunteerism.
Maurice Bishop was an inspirational leader, a leader who was very passionate about the development of all aspect of humanity.
The social development under his leadership was unprecedented. It is extremely sad that after the work of Maurice Bishop and the Revolution, Keith Mitchell and the NNP through their vulgar brand of leadership have destroyed the social fabric of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
One of the biggest blunders that Keith Mitchell made as leader of Grenada was to invite the Jamaican woman, Joan Wembley to the island.
Wemley introduced in the local politics class warfare based on party colour. This brand of politics completely divided the country in a similar way it did in Jamaica. The negative social impact of this brand of politics is now felt throughout the length and breadth of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
Ever since this dirty brand of politics was introduced to Grenada, Mitchell has been calling for national unity to no avail. This vicious brand of politics is deeply rooted into the culture to such an extent that even the churches are now caught up in it.
It would take a revolution to end this brand of politics or a more sober minded and inspirational and modest type of leader to do so. PM Mitchell can’t. The horse has already bolted.
The level of social decadence in Grenada is mind boggling. The values, ethics and morals that are necessary to develop humanity are grossly lacking due to failed leadership.
Allegations of corruption is rampant. Even the churches are caught up in this phenomenon.
The battle to save Camerhogne Park is also a major social issue with the potential of dividing the nation. The Prime Minister is handling this issue extremely poorly. This is a battle he will surely lose in the same way he will lose the battle for constitutional reform.
The politics of divide and rule won’t succeed this time around.
Grenadians are tired and fed up with this nasty brand of politics.
This Donald Trump brand of politics that Keith Mitchell is embarking on is not good for Grenada. Time for him to go! Too much of one thing is good for nothing.
Prostitution, promiscuity, adultery, sexual abuse of men, women and children, homosexuality, divorce, crime and violence are all very prevalent in the Grenadian society. The sexual abuse of minors is a major cause of concern. Every sector of the society is affected.
Grenada has one of the highest consumption of alcohol in the entire world and no one seems to care. There is a severe social crisis among the young male population, increasing use of illegal drugs, unemployment and lack of a solid education is a serious cause for concern.
Young males are not advancing themselves educationally and many are just failing and falling by the wayside.
Keith Mitchell should shoulder the blame for all of the ills facing the nation. He has led and is leading the nation from a very narrow political perspective, the concentration of political power at all cost. He governs Grenada similar to the way Robert Mugabe governs Zimbabwe. He surrounds himself with powerful and influential persons who are willing to put their personal self-interest above everything else.
The youths of Grenada need to wake up, educate themselves and free themselves from the economical, political and social shackles that Keith Mitchell and the NNP have around their necks. Whenever the demise of these comes it may be way too late for thousands of young people. The time to make the change is now. Stand up and be counted.
Forward ever! Backward never! Long live the spirit of Maurice Bishop.
A leader by the people, for the people!
A people united can never be defeated.