The little man has done enough

Thank goodness for free speech but I have to say at time reading some of the thing that fellow Grenadians have written about their country and their behaviour towards fellow Grenadians make me want to puke.

It is the silly season here in Grenada, one can tell that a general election is eminent. One only need to read the weeklies with editorials based on who is supporting who as well as pages of comments from the so-called man in the street.

The two main political parties are naturally at it with claims and counter claims. As a non-partisan, I have been assessing what the two main political parties have been saying or making press releases on for the past six weeks and have come up with an amazing and astonishing conclusion and that is the main opposition party appears to have no recollection at all of the five-year period between 2008 and 2013 – an acute case of amnesia!

No party members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), including their leader Nazim Burke has so far tell the people of Grenada anything much about this period in our country’s history. It’s as though it never existed.

All the arguments if one can call then that put forward by Burke’s leadership team, members and supporters tend to indicate that the government led by PM Mitchell has been in office since 1995; and all the country’s problem from then until now is the current PM and his party’s fault.

Governments throughout the world fight elections on their record in office and so do opposition parties. So why is the NDC so ashamed of their record in office between 2008 and 2013? Why are they not telling us about all the wonderful things they did for our country during their term of office and how the NNP came along since 2013 and messed things up for us?

According to one government critic who writes frequently from NY promoting the NDC, “Mitchell (the PM) has taken us (Grenadians) back 100 years.” Perhaps her Leader Nazim can clear things up by giving the country some facts and figures on the national debt, unemployment especially youth unemployment; growth (negative or positive) and the state of the economy when he left office. After all, he was the Minister of Finance and Minister for Energy (natural gas and oil).

Nazim needs to come clean and tell the Grenadian electorate; the ones he is promising lots of jobs, better healthcare and poverty reduction; why his 2008/2013 government failed miserable to deliver on any of these promises and how he intends to accomplish them this time if elected.

Also, will he scrap the government’s austerity measures and the 28 taxes or does he agree with the Prime Minister when he told the House of Parliament “the country has to safeguard our hard-won gains from the just ended three years Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) with the help of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).”

A programme that he Burke and his colleagues have been critical of over the past three years without coming forward with any alternatives.

Burke lacks credibility, his argument no longer stacks up he is a man who has boxed himself and his party into a corner. He has been a consistent critic of every government policy since taking over the Leadership of his party.

The big problem he now faces is almost everything, if not all of what he opposed over the years have worked favourable for the government and Grenadians at home; he (Burke) is left with egg on his face and definitely on the ropes.

Perhaps Grenadians like me who are branded ‘uneducated’ but are in the majority in terms of constituents are the ones with commonsense. We know a tinhorn when we see one.

To date the main opposition has not come forward with one credible policy. Instead, they continue to make vague empty promises with a negative campaign strategy and has been reduced from a serious political alternative to a low-keyed pressure group.

The armchair critics need to visit Grenada to see first hand the physical changes that have been made to our country since 2013. At Mt. Rush the new Government housing estate was like a jungle – no one lived there because although the Chinese built the estate the NDC government could not afford to install sanitary facilities.

It was the Mitchell government that cleaned up the estate, installed the necessary sanitary facilities and today it is home to hundreds of Grenadians.

The hospital extension and the new Parliament building are almost completed, massive hotel developments and extensions have been going on providing locals with construction jobs.

Apart from the National Stadium, the country has a brand new athletic stadium, the Port Louis site is a mass of yachts of various sizes and shapes the entire area has been transformed; the cruise port has never been so busy with an average of two large cruise ships visit per day; our commercial port is also busy with large container ships off-loading and loading daily.

More tourists are arriving at Maurice Bishop Internal Airport with larger aircrafts being used on some routes. The international airport is to be extended early in the New Year to include a by-pass road; taxiway and terminals.

The town of St George’s and Grand Anse are extremely busy on a daily basis; traffic congestions as a result of the improvement in the economy and tourism is common place in both areas of St George.
Grenada has been back on track for the past two years and now our citizens are reaping the benefits. The budget announcements tell anyone with commonsense that our economy is back on track.

The Prime Minister can afford to announce that there would be “no new taxes” and be generous at the same time. He has announced a 50% increase in the public assistance for the elderly (grey voters) and also a reduction of 5% in the rate of personal income tax and corporation tax.

Unemployment has fallen from 40% in 2012 to 24% with a promise that the downward trend will continue in 2018 as hundreds of jobs will be created. Growth is up by 5% and the national debt has been reduced from 108% GDP to 70%. Still a long way to go but I believe it is fair to say the little man has done enough.

Dr. Mitchell has put Grenada firmly back on track; whether you like the man or hate him he is the best there is right now. No wonder the opposition is desperate to get rid of him.

One of the things that really concern Grenadians right now is the government’s handling of the sale of the country’s loss-making Gravel and Concrete.

People are seeking transparency, a detailed statement on the new owners and how they intend to take the business forward including the retaining of employees.

Another issue is the future of Camerhogne Park. Has it been sold? Does the government intend to sell it or will it remain in public ownership as a public park for the citizens and guests of this country?

There are lots more this government is doing in Grenada that in my view the opposition parties should be promoting and pressing the administration to get on with for example the introduction of renewable energy.

There are now Wind Farms in Grenada also small-scale Biogas Systems – six “HoMethan” biogas digesters have been installed to date, the government is currently carrying out a feasibility study on the G-Hydro – innovative electricity production through In-Conduit Hydropower.

Another source of energy that is being looked at is Geothermal Resource Development to generate electrical energy.

Has this wonderful little country I was fortunate to be born in gone back 100 Years? Hell no!

Winston Strachan

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