By Special Correspondent
It was very heartening to have read in the August 24 edition of ‘The New Today’ an article entitled, ‘We in the OECS and CARICOM will feel the loss, too!’. It was a demonstration of one of the region’s technocrat’s expression of what Dr. Antoine has meant so far to the region’s economic and integration development efforts.
At the same time, it served to eloquently remind us of Dr. Mitchell’s apparent unstatesmanlike and uncivilly dragged-up nature as he refuses to make any public pronouncement on the departure of the most outstanding of Grenada’s ambassadors to CARICOM, to date.
Well, while Dr. Mitchell selfishly continues to write his legacy, Grenadians are happy to celebrate and promote the genuine legacy of their patriotic sons and daughters. Hence, I have undertaken to pen a brief catalogue of a few of the many achievements of Dr. Patrick Antoine while he served Grenada within the Halls of CARICOM.
And, even as I do so, I am not oblivious of another of our brilliant sons, Dwight Horsford, and the remarkable work he has been doing as Chairperson of the Grenada Airport Authorities and the attempts by Emperor Claudius to disrupt the progress at the Airport Authority.
About three weeks ago in defence of the contract awarded to his adopted son, Dr. Mitchell declared publicly, “My son is well qualified for the job…”.
The goodly Prime Minister then proceeded to offer the advice to those particularly critical of the action that they should “… deal with the issues at hand, too many times we deal with personalities rather than principles so that our country would be better off, it is time we get it right”.
This advice is certainly very apt and fitting for him to adhere to for the rest of his life. (Informer, Friday August 10, 2018, page 14)
In his July 2018 holier-than-thou pontification in the (opposition-less) House of Representatives, Dr. Mitchell in addressing the issue of perceived victimisation in the Grenada Public Service had this to say, “…we are convinced that people have a right, whether they voted for you or not, to give service to the country and we have a responsibility to give them an opportunity to do so.”
He, however, rapidly slid down from the unfamiliar ‘high ground’ to occupy his common station of ‘Big Bad Wolf – the mischievous enforcer.
Laced with spite and venom, he began to boast about dealing with those who like to stay where the ‘juice is flowing’. (The New Today, July 24, 2018, page 06). One day, he will be made to account for the looseness with which he discusses the people’s business.
It is very noteworthy that Dr. Mitchell did not make any reference to the Public Service institutional role of having to keep the service free from bad practices by workers and the imposition of political interference by thoughtless and ill-advised politicians like him.
Instead, he paraded in the Parliament as the constitutional replacement for the Public Service Commission. But, we must not forget that the imperial Claudius was also using the opportunity to remind his frightened cohorts that if they failed to dance to his immoral cacophony of malice and spite they, too, would suffer the same faith as the hapless public workers whom he refers to as liking to be ‘where the juice is flowing’.
Whatever he means by ‘wherever the juice is flowing’ is for him to explain, however, one thing we are certain about is that he never says anything positive about those who prefer to play by the rules or those who offer a different perspective and a more balanced and reasoned path to national development – more qualitatively superior alternatives – which he capacity to comprehend.
The unhealthy psychological flaw that dominates Dr. Mitchell’s personality makes it impossible for him to be guided by the sound and appropriate advice in the Desiderata: If (he) compare(s) (himself) with others (He) may become vain and bitter For always there will be greater and lesser persons than (himself).
If he can be guided by that simple advice, Dr. Mitchell could help save the country by allowing Grenadians to take their country away from the dangerous rapids of certain and continued underdevelopment that is underpinned by his green vanity, bitterness, intolerance and anger that have almost drowned it into poverty and hopelessness.
Now, Dr. Mitchell, how can you be so unkind and uncaring for the people of Grenada? One would have thought that your posturing of propriety would have been backed up by a modicum of good practice in humility and civility. One would have thought that you would have given the opportunity to those who are willing to serve their homeland.
Instead, you have followed a deliberate policy of frustrating competent individuals and denying them ultimately the opportunity to serve. And, you do it with demonic impunity as soon as you perceive that there are Grenadians whose developmental worth is valued far beyond your political mimicry.
Look how you have been working to deny Grenada of the talent and productive capacities of Dr. Patrick Antione. There are those who are politically close to you who have expressed, in closed circles, the hatching of those machinations immediately following the 2013 General Elections in Grenada which have now culminated in your orchestration of Dr. Antione’s resignation from the ambassadorial positions in the OECS, CARICOM and the WTO.
Happily, the pathetic and demented state of Dr. Mitchell is incapable of rewriting the history of CARICOM and, by extension, the achievements of Dr. Antione. Incidentally, Dwight will shortly begin the authoring of his illustrious chapter in his pending job as Attorney-General in one of our Sister-States. But, back to Patrick.
Since 2008, Dr. Antione has not only distinguished himself by his scholarship and effective representation at those august institutions (CARICOM, OECS and the WTO), but he has literally built and maintained stability in the manufacturing business, trade and employment domain in the State of Grenada.
It was through the instrumentality and negotiating skills of Dr. Antione and the then Minister responsible for Foreign Trade in 2009 that the Council of Trade and Economic Development (COTED) in CARICOM was persuaded to act to have some of its members, who had reneged on their Article 164 obligations to return to honouring them.
As a consequence, the impending massive loss of employment in the Caribbean Agro Industries was averted and scores of Grenadian families were spared the hardships of being thrown on the bread line.
Again, in the post 2013 period, Grenada’s main manufacturing industries – milling, brewing and beverage – came under serious stress from its bigger and more competitive CARICOM sisters. There was a growing sense among some of the More Developed Countries (MDCs) of CARICOM that the time had come for the dismantling of the Article 164 arrangements.
If that had happened; it would have meant the total decimation of the manufacturing sector in the OECS (Grenada included), Belize and Haiti.
In his ambassadorial role in CARICOM, he applied his scholarship, his vast knowledge of trade and development economics, negotiating prowess, the respect he had attracted within the CARICOM and with the strategic support of patriotic Grenadian experts the assault on the manufacturing sector was both halted and the crafting of an environment initiated that now offers possibilities for the growth of a deeper and more sustainable manufacturing sector.
The immediate to long term gains of Dr. Antoine’s interventions on the behalf of his country, Grenada, can be summed up in the following:
I. The immediate preservation of more than 330 and 800 direct and indirect jobs respectively in the brewing, beverage and milling manufacturing sectors in Grenada as of July 2018.
II. In the medium term, the brewing, beverage and milling manufacturing industries are enabled to benefit from institutional and financial support from CARICOM to render businesses within the sector more competitive.
In this year time, it is necessary for no effort be spared in informing the Grenada public of the deliberate means that Dr. Mitchell is employing in pursuit of his policy of national under-development.
At the same time, the nation’s business community, progressive youth and all other patriotic Grenadians, at home and abroad, must rally their support for patriots like Dr. Patrick Antione and Dwight Horsford who are willing to sacrifice and build the Grenadian economy and society.
As a people, we must make every effort to create the conditions for all our people to become engaged in our national development. Our country is not the personal property of the confused local Emperor Claudius, Creator of crises and contradictions.
Many Grenadians have expressed their desire to join hands to reclaim Grenada from the bankrupt and inept Dr. Mitchell and hope that the expertise of persons like Dr. Antione would be accessible to us at all times.