A dumping ground for good

George Brizan, after a careful study of Grenadian history, named one of his books, “Grenada, the Isle of Conflict and felt that was an appropriate title.

Today, however, wouldn’t it be better to see Grenada as the island of the Rescue Syndrome, for in the last thirty years, political party after political party has been making the grand claim of having to rescue us.

In morden times, this idea of the country needing to be rescued began in 1983 with the Americans, when they came in to stop the NJM infighting and bloodletting and apparently also for some people to rescue us economically, for the Americans claimed then that the PRG had run the Grenada economy into the ground.

Since then, the assertion that we needed to be rescued has continued. For instance, in 2008, the NDC claimed that it had a historic mission to rescue us from the NNP.

Today, during this present election campaign, the NNP is telling us that it is its turn to rescue us from the NDC. Grenadians need to ask themselves when were the seeds of this rescue syndrome planted?

In the early days of the Blaize administration, the Americans did what appeared to be some rescue work by supervising, through USAID, the implementation of VAT and the present tax on properties.

However, if we have been listening to our politicians and observing their actions over time, we cannot see that much rescue work has been done in Grenada since 1983.

To begin with, few of them have embraced the idea of creating an educated and educating society in the fullest sense of the word. For instance, one of them who turned out to be a failed politician was telling people as far back as 1983, that it was unwholesome to talk about educating the Grenadian man in the street.

He advocated that what we had to do was to work with the people as they were. In other words, he was saying it was not wholesome to talk about the eradication of ignorance. But they truly know that no nation can develop on ignorance. What is unwholesome about our people knowing about the different forms of taxation and how the taxation system works?

What is unwholesome about understanding the link between teacher training and enhanced performance in our schools? What is unwholesome about the man in the street knowing about GDP and the balance of trade? What is wrong about more of our people having an appreciation of science and technology?

If anything, such kinds of knowledge might make Grenadians more economically responsible, more attractive to investors, more reasonable and like the Barbadians more patriotic.

Without people being sufficiently literate and aware, promises of national development are mere fantasies. Infrastructure development, though important to some extend for economic development as well as providing jobs, without the appropriate human input, would not foster much economic development in any country.

It is not unreasonable to conclude that these people who prefer to work with Grenadians as they are educationally, intend for us to be perennially simplistic and gullible, so as to ensure that they can perpetuate themselves as our political and business bosses. In order words, they wish to entrench themselves as our new masters.

And what has our perpetual political rescuers done since 1983 to diversify our tourism and agricultural sectors so as to increase productivity and wealth.

Grenada has one of the richest fishing grounds in the world. Yet more than half the fish we eat is imported. Every year tons of fruit go to waste here, but we are the most faithful importers of other countries wines and fruit juices.

Many of us prefer to forget that we once had a bubbling agro-industrial business here. Grenada continues to be a country of nonsense.

We need to ask ourselves why Grenada is not self-sufficient in milk and poultry products as Barbados is? While Barbadians are ‘Pine Hill (a place in Barbados) Dairy’s children, Grenadians continue to be ‘Alaska’ children, ‘Dutch Lady’ children and ‘Nestles’ children.

We are told that in Grenada, the private sector is the main engine of growth, Can’t people like Mr. Alan Bierzynski and his friends invest in a Dairy industry or a poultry industry like people in the private sector in Barbados?

Mr. Bierzynski, thank you for your great Dutch Lady initiative. Thank you for helping to maintain our economic status as a consumer society. Thanks for perpetuating the economic and mental colonisation of Grenada’s children.

Diversification of the important agricultural and tourism sectors would have contributed to real economic growth, would have helped us to cope better with the present worldwide economic recession, would have established the foundation for Grenada to move from low/middle economic status to high income economic status like St. Kitts.

Instead, we have been flirting with things like casino gambling, off-shore banking, call centres and the like, while the main role we continue to play in the world economic order is as a market for everybody else’s goods.


Devonson La Mothe

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