The celebrations marking Grenada’s 41st anniversary of independence is now behind us and the country now has to try and look straight ahead as it seeks to move forward in a world that is now vastly different from 1974.
There are many lessons to learn given the amount of criticisms that came in the direction of the National Celebrations Committee that planned this year’s event.
One Radio Commentator went as far as to suggest to the Judy Dubois-led committee that it needed to take a page from the organisers of the St. Paul’s extravaganza that took place the day after Independence at the Community Centre.
The political directorate should not dismiss the comment but give it serious thought in order to put on a much better show in 2016.
The New National Party (NNP) of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell should not be seen as a party that can only organise to win general elections in light of its impressive victories at the national polls.
The party has done what no other has done in the history of this country – enjoy clean sweeps at the polls in 1999 and 2013.
The Prime Minister, as head of the government, might have to look at bringing in more competent persons in order to strengthen the committee as our independence must never be diminished.
It was quite understandable during the 1979-93 period of leftist rule by the People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG) of the late Maurice Bishop that independence celebrations were downgraded in favour of March 13, 1979.
The people did not know that they were replacing one ism with another ism that ended in shame and disgrace for many Grenadians at home and in the diaspora given the blood-letting of October 1983 that included the violent deaths of Bishop, three Cabinet Ministers and several ordinary citizens at Fort George.
Even the Independence speech that was delivered by Prime Minister Mitchell was rather lacklustre and was not inspiring as it failed to bring hope to a people that is under tremendous financial and economic pressure in the face of attacks on their pockets from the Structural Adjustment Programme.
There is nothing from the speech to suggest that Grenadians will be able to see some light soon from this current dark tunnel.
All the talk two years ago about “jobs, jobs and more jobs” and “we will deliver” are turning out to be only catch phrases that hoodwinked the electorate to vote in one particular direction – the Green House.
In the approximately 720 days since the last genera elections, the new rulers in St. George’s have not been able to parade before Grenadians the investors that were waiting and falling over each other to come and do business on the island and to arrest the unemployment situation.
There were credible reports of one successful candidate in the St. George’s area going around with a notebook in hand taking down the names of persons and asking them what job they would like to get after the elections.
This was the level which some people stooped in order to get their names on the roll call to sit in the House of Representatives.
This is not a time for “ole talk” in Grenada because the cries of the people for a better day and for bread and butter to put on their table are getting louder each and every passing day.
The road network is badly deteriorating and perhaps consideration should be given for a new line minister to be appointed who might be able to bring a new thinking and some fresh and innovative ideas in tackling the problem.
Even Prime Minister Mitchell spent too much time talking about the questionable “Project Grenada” concept and the Jenny Rapier issue, which should never have formed part of an Independence Day address and spent no time whatsoever on the plans if any that have been crafted to take this country out of the present crisis.
Another timely opportunity was missed by our leaders to lay before the nation a blueprint plan to put Grenadians back to work.
It is long overdue – the policies and programmes that were promised – to show the people the path that the government will be traversing in the coming months to grow the economy.
So far it has only been taxes on the backs of the people with the latest to affect their pockets being the additional $25.00 at the St. George’s Port on every used tyre brought into the country by the dealers.
It’s another tax increase that will affect mostly the middle class in the country and not the vast majority of NNP supporters.
The situation in Grenada is compounded by a very docile opposition that can hardly be heard articulating the real vexing issues that are affecting the people on a daily basis.
The contract between the NNP and the people of Grenada is the party’s 2013 manifesto but Congress is giving the impression that it is not familiar with the document and the many broken promises.
THE NEW TODAY would hate to think that Mr. Nazim Burke and the other leaders in NDC have not been reading the NNP Manifesto and comparing what is now happening in the country with what was promised two years ago to the electorate.