Young people of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique we have been told by the NNP to Keep Moving. We have not been told in what direction or how – whether is left, right, up, down, in, out, on, off or stationary (still). Just keep moving.
This directive reminds me and I am sure most of you remember the fun warm-up game that we played years ago as children in which we pretended to be on board a pirate ship and moved up and down the deck whilst singing “up and down the deck keep moving”.
The Captain of the ship would shout out instructions which we all obeyed whilst continuing our fun game and exercises.
With the advent of technology and advancement in education children no longer play these games as warm up exercises; we have gone way pass these actions. However, today our government and the NNP want to put a whole nation back on a pirate ship to continue singing “up and down the deck keep moving”.
They want to stack us all on what remains of the once beautiful and productive state called Grenada with a precipice before us and the raging sea behind us as we are commanded to keep moving. We cannot take our deaths like sheep that is why we are the heart of the resistance.
Youths of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique think of this: can we continue to scrub the decks, crouch down and clean the floor of the ship with our bare hands, climb the rigging, climb a rope ladder and salute the Captain when our hands and feet are tied and we are blind-folded.
The Captain has lost his sense of direction, has aged and no longer commands the respect of the crew. There is mutiny on board.
How can we keep moving when we are strapped down by a structural adjustment programme, which saw the introduction of 32 new taxes, duties, fees and levies, increase in the cost of living, increased fuel cost, increased debts, high youth unemployment, freeze in salaries for public officers, increased poverty, jobs for the boys, victimisation, fear, loss of freedom of speech, poor health care and the list goes on.
Shared sacrifices have led to the rich getting richer and the poor poorer.
How can the Captain now tell us to keep moving when he knows there is no space on the deck to move – our lands have been sold or given away to questionable investors?
How can we move without our lands? Can the Captain please tell us where is Mt. Hartman, Levera, the Government Estates and Camerhogne Park? Our marine space is in the hands of a company drilling for oil and we don’t know the details. Did we or did we not find oil. We need to know if we are to climb the ladder and keep moving.
Our passports are being sold to whomever, wherever and we don’t know. Soon the air we breathe may be auctioned out and we would all be left gasping for breath and dead on the ship of state called Grenada.
How can the Captain command that we keep moving when he knows that the fiscal space does not allow us.
Infrastructure projects will only be implemented if the fiscal space allows, public servants to get their one-off payment if the fiscal space allows, senior citizens increase in public assistance if the fiscal space allows, reduction in taxes if the fiscal space allows – so how can we keep moving?
Is the Captain aware that we were even blacklisted by the European Union and our doing business ranking has dropped? Is the Captain concerned about the implications of the GRENLEC and Rex Grenadian issues? What’s about the scandal in the CBI programme where according to a financial blogger there are pending court actions?
Does the Captain really expect us to keep moving with that stench rising to the heavens and destroying our lives?
Has the Captain charted a clear path and vision for the ship, is the compass working or are we just adrift?
Where there is no vision the people perish. Are we prepared to all sink with the ship whilst the Captain and crew continue to play mind games with us shouting up and down the deck “keep moving”?
It is time for the Captain and crew to be relieved of their duties once and for all. The games have been going on for over 18 years now – much too long and we the people have not benefitted.
The economy hard, things bad and the ship is sinking. We cannot continue playing games and doing warm up exercises. We need a new Captain who has the interest of the people at heart, who has a policy agenda developed by Grenadians and for Grenadians (not the Chinese), who has the energy and the devotion to lead not for selfish reason but for the national good.
We need a Captain who will put people first.