Uncle Tilly – a man with the political will

As the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) goes into its annual
convention on Sunday, the political pundits will continue to debate the on-goings within the party only a few months before the next general elections are held.

However, there can be no debate on the wisdom of Prime Minister Tillman Thomas in taking decisive action against the so-called Group of Rebels who are frequently accused of straying from the core values of the party.

The Congress will always stand a better than even chance of success at the polls without going back to the electorate for a new mandate on a platform that is shared by PM Thomas and his ex-Minister of Tourism, Peter David, who is billed as the leader of the Rebels.

Despite the complex problems facing the Prime Minister and his four-year old government, the Grenadian leader has demonstrated to the rest of the nation that he has the political will to take serious, tough and far-reaching decisions.

It takes a leader with great inner strengths to face up to the frequent attacks that were launched against his stewardship and which threatened the very survival and stability of his government in recent years.

The Prime Minister did not bow or back away from the challenges posed to his authority by those, buried deep within the bowels of Congress, and who felt that they had become untouchables.

Is this the reaction of a man who was described by former Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell as lacking in leadership skills and abilities and one who was
not good enough to even run a little saltfish shop?

THE NEW TODAY finds it quite easy to compare the leadership styles of both Mitchell and Thomas.

The two leaders are quite different not only in temperament but also in their approach to managing people.

Dr. Mitchell is the consummate dictator who is always in charge of everything as opposed to Prime Minister Thomas who is prepared to sit back and allow others to perform their assigned tasks.

It is not uncommon to hear of reports concerning Permanent Secretaries getting frequent calls and reporting directly to Dr. Mitchell on activities in their respective ministries.

In some cases, ministers might get fired by then Prime Minister Mitchell but would only hear of their fall from grace on the national radio and television stations.

This was the situation faced by former Foreign Affairs Minister, Mark Isaac who became aware of his dismissal as a Member of the Cabinet while going over the Grand Etang hills as he drove from St. George’s to Grenville.

This contrasts sharply with the behaviour of Mr. Thomas who will interact directly with the affected minister and inform him of his decision to ask the Governor-General to rescind the appointment.

When former Attorney-General, Jimmy Bristol resigned from the post, he was
asked to do so by the Prime Minister in keeping with the rules of the Judicial & Legal Services Commission (JLSC).

Joseph Gilbert and Michael Church were called in by the Prime Minister for a bit of straight talking to the face when he decided to take action against them for violating the sacred trust as ministers.

Unlike Tillman Thomas, Dr. Mitchell will cut any deal that he believes can bring him some kind of a political advantage.

The Hon. Tillman Thomas will stand out as a leader who was always prepared to take a principled position on issues of morality in public life and a sense of commitment to the concept of good governance and not one who is inclined to compromise those strong beliefs.

He should be commended for not sacrificing these noble and honourable principles and allowing himself to be held hostage as a Prime Minister by impatient political actors with a different agenda.

As the country monitors this weekend convention of NDC, the political landscape in Grenada is due for a significant change as a determined Prime Minister Thomas moves to regain total control of Congress and to separate himself from the likes of Peter David, Glynis Roberts, Arley Gill, Joseph Gilbert and the likes of them.

The so-called party in the making will be hard pressed to get off the ground and position itself for any significant showing in the upcoming poll.

The country is now virtually a two-party nation with the NDC and NNP widely expected to take the lion’s share of the votes in any general elections.

There is little hope of any new party or of the existing political parties outside of NDC and NNP having any realistic chances of getting candidates elected into Parliament, far less forming the new government.

So it’s a straight case of the impending political decay and death of Messrs Peter David, Arley Gill, Joseph Gilbert and Madam Glynis Roberts who might be seeking re-election to Parliament as independents or on the platform of a new political entity.

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