Windrush: A contemporary tragedy

It would be an understatement to suggest that the Windrush scandal has not been the UK government’s finest hour. For a start, Prime Minister Theresa May was caught making a misleading statement to the House of Commons when she commented that the decision to destroy the landing cards of those Caribbean immigrants first arriving in the UK in 1948 was taken by Gordon Brown’s Labour government in 2009.

While this may be factually accurate, this decision was actually implemented in 2010 under the Conservative/Liberal Democrat Coalition when Theresa May was herself Home Secretary and therefore responsible for the oversight of such matters.

Then, Home Secretary Amber Rudd did not tell the whole story when she came before the Home Affairs Select Committee, dealing with the Windrush generation issue on 25 April. Ms. Rudd informed the Committee at this meeting that no immigration targets for removals had been set for immigration officials.

However, the Home Secretary had to backtrack on Thursday, stating that local targets had been set, but that she was not aware of them. To make matters worse for the Home Secretary, it now transpires that there is a June 2017 memo from an official, copied to Ms. Rudd that refers to targets. This has resulted in the Home Secretary having to fall on her sword and resign.

The opposition Labour Party has however been unable to take advantage of the disarray that exists at the heart of the UK government surrounding this issue. The Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn has failed to land a knockout blow when dealing with Windrush at Prime Minister’s Questions. It has been left to Labour MP David Lammy, himself the son of Caribbean immigrants, to make the case for the Windrush generation when he raised the issue in Parliament.

Lammy launched an emotive attack on Amber Rudd when she was still Home Secretary. Along with the useful contribution Lammy has made to the debate, the Conservative backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg has made a helpful intervention.

Appearing on Channel 4’s live televised debate on 24 April, Rees-Mogg addressed the issue of the “hostile environment” for illegal immigrants, which serves as a backdrop to the Windrush fiasco. The hostile environment was introduced by Theresa May when she was Home Secretary from 2010-2016.

Speaking about this, Rees-Mogg said: “I think the problem with the hostile environment is that it is fundamentally un-British.” Mr. Rees-Mogg also voiced his disapproval of mandatory ID cards during this debate, arguing that the compulsion to carry such cards at all times would be a breach of human rights.

The children of the Carribean immigrants, who were on board the ship the Empire Windrush when it arrived at Tilbury Docks, Essex on 22 June 1948 could not have envisaged the difficulties that would lie in wait for them many years later. They came to the UK at the invitation of the UK government to solve the problem of the labour shortage that existed at the time.

However, they and the children of immigrants from the Carribean arriving in the UK up to 1971 have been threatened with loss of their right to work, access to the National Health Service and, in some cases, deportation. They have been affected in this way as they came to the UK on their parents’ passports.

Because of changes in the immigration rules, introduced in the UK in 2012, these then children were forced to obtain British passports to regularise their immigration status. Even though they are Commonwealth citizens like their parents, these second-generation immigrants are now being treated as illegal if they did not obtain British passports.

The scandal has already caused one suicide. The question is how many more lives it will ultimately ruin.

Romer Cherubim
Freelance journalist
UK

The powerful relevance of NDC in opposition

Whether or not the prolonged calls are justifiable that Nazim Burke should not be the political leader of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), it would be pitiful if the real intention of the initiation and invigoration of those calls is escaped.

To miss the political ploy which has been propagated not merely to debase Burke, but to destroy the NDC and to debilitate any political opposition in Grenada, is to succumb to the thrust toward eroding the democratic sovereignty gained by the tremendous struggles and sacrifices of the labour and political pioneers and to enter into a new governance dimension which can be a nightmare experience for the nation.

Grenada has undergone extensive political ploys of concoction and deceit in the past, in the quest to gain, or to regain, and to enjoy political power as well as to demonise persons, but resulting in it having an ugly history of polarities, conflicts, brutalities and fatalities.

The society has been in havoc and horror, individuals have been ostracised and incarcerated, opposition forces have been suppressed and executed, governments have been overthrown and political parties have been disintegrated. Unconscionably, the constitutional provisions and national institutions have been abused, and particularly the elections process has been fouled to produce fraudulent results.

Review the previously internet-circulated article, “Could Grenada’s 2018 voting be declared unethical and illegal?”, as it assesses the telling observations, grave concerns and significant recommendations in relation to the conduct of the elections.

Although securing no parliamentary seat in the recent two consecutive general elections, the NDC has been recognised as the de facto political opposition in Grenada. It is critical however that the party senses the ever-evolving and radically-challenging political environment, and to respond accordingly so as to be the ‘dominant determinant’ in setting the right agenda for the genuine development and preservation of the nation.

The most practical mode of engagement for NDC is ‘constructive negotiations’, capitalising on its position and capacity to accomplish productive compromises. The NDC still has an excellent opportunity to be powerful and relevant, which must not be wasted and lost.

Also review the internet article “Grenada’s No Parliamentary Opposition: A Non-Issue!”, as it points out that a main political party without a seat in the Parliament can be mighty by monitoring the operations of the Government, marshaling the people, and mounting its plans and projects as alternatives for the nation.

There is a level of favoured consideration which regional and international bodies placed on a main (or a de facto) opposition party, and in many cases these bodies seek consultations with that party. Apart from enjoying this honour, the NDC has a ‘valuable carrot or advantage’ to support its negotiations and demands, this lies in the strength and vibrancy and resolve of its core followers.

Moreover, it would be reasonable to think that NDC represents not only the more than twenty thousand electors who voted for the party in the last elections, but also represents at least half of the over twenty thousand electors who did not vote.

However, it is vitally important that NDC does not disappoint and betray the citizens, especially those who are depending for direction and are hopeful for betterment. Thus, the “good governance” principles, as well as the “putting people first” theme of NDC, must be elevated in its negotiations and representations on the priority issues and eager expectations of Grenadians.

To be effective with this new approach of constructive negotiations, the NDC needs to be strategically focused but with being educated and equipped, and having expert working committees. Naturally tending to be politically demoralised from the terrible showings in two consecutive elections, NDC can now be easily destabilised and overwhelmed by its various internal advises and debates, by the massive governance problems in the nation and by the external bombardment with the calls for the change of party leadership.

Particularly, NDC should never allow itself to be conned and cornered, or even to be caressed by the ruling New National Party (NNP) and thereby make careless decisions and then be humiliated. Rather, more than ever before, the NDC must be politically astute, bold and conscious, and must never be wavering to present concrete counter-proposals to the government.

Thus, when the government tends to seek bipartisan consensus on momentous national issues then the NDC must use the opportunity to hold the government committed to the principles of accountability, transparency, rule of law, and delivering efficient and effective public services.

A topical issue of the government and the high-status establishment of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is the accession of Grenada to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as the final court of appeal. In no way must the NDC co-operate blindly and unrewardingly on this issue, and without presenting some preconditions.

In fact, there would never be in the near future such a ‘high-stake and high-quality’ issue of government which requires the input of an opposition, especially to meet the two-thirds threshold in a referendum. At least two broad areas of preconditions must be placed on the table for negotiations, they are about institutional governance and socio-economic prosperity.

With all objective thinking and selfless sympathy on the prevalent troubling local conditions of the people, acceding to the regional CCJ now would only be a luxury for the privileged – definitely this move is not of any immediate necessity. Therefore for the NDC to abide this ‘social lopsidedness’ will be to abandon the poor and helpless people and their painful cries, and at the same time will be shooting itself in the foot.

For the NDC opposition to declare unreserved partnership with the NNP government to give a yes-vote to the CCJ Bill would be having the NDC legitimising the mal-administration, including the alleged corrupt practices by the government.

It would also mean endorsing the alleged fraudulent manner by which the Electoral Office had conducted the 13 March 2018 elections and thereby denying the party any parliamentary seats. Would passing the CCJ Bill enhance national governance, which also speaks about the integrity of the electoral system so as to elevate an opposition in parliament?

Particularly, would the CCJ cause genuine and thorough implementation of the official recommendations for pertinent changes to the Representation of the People Act, and to reflect regulations for campaign financing, as well as for the meaningful constitutional reform to reflect proportional representation and the recall of parliamentarians for accountability?

Could the CCJ bring local government to the people of Carriacou and Petite Martinique which they are being robbed, even though provided for in the 1974 constitution?

Are the policies and projects raised in the NDC’s 2018 elections manifesto secondary to the CCJ issue, noting the party’s plan to “establish a Constituent Assembly to complete the reform of the existing constitution”?

Emphatically, there is no doubt that once the government gets its way of success with the CCJ, Grenadians will be doomed and never to see any serious effort to have constitutional reform to reflect their sovereignty and empowerment, but would have a consolidation of the NNP and the One Party State.

NDC needs to be in the forefront and forthrightly declare its stance on this second attempt of a constitutional referendum.

The party would be a coward if it sends indirect and confused messages to its followers, as was the case in the first occasion, which also helped to register the low percentage voting on 24th November 2016. Review both previous articles, “Grenada Constitution Reform: Voting With Conscience” and “Grenada Constitution Reform: NDC Speak Up !”, highlighting the political game on the reform.

J. K. Roberts

Will Grenada have a rooftop inventory before Hurricane Season?

“Saint Lucia gets ‘Rooftop inventory’ ahead of hurricane season.”

So read a headline in a St.Lucia newspaper. The Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project (DVRP), hosted a World Bank mission comprising of a Geographic Information System (GIS) Expert and a Drone Expert.

The team was in Saint Lucia to undertake a rooftop inventory. Team member Sarah Antos, a Geographer stationed at the World Bank, revealed that the general assessment of roofs in the country is of paramount importance, given the forecast for stronger hurricanes due in large measure, to a change in the global climate.

The team collected data to determine the quality of structures against strong winds. Therefore, it would be a truly wise idea if the Government of Grenada can arrange for a “Rooftop Inventory” to be done locally, perhaps with the help of the World Bank, and steps taken to improve the conditions of roofs for those needing such. (Proverbs 28:26b)

We know what happened last year with category 5 hurricanes Irma and Maria – severe devastation to Dominica, Barbuda, Tortola etc.

Who knows if Grenada will be hit by a Category 5 hurricane this year?

God says at Proverbs 27:12, “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself.” (Proverbs 22:3) Will we be prudent, and thus take steps to reduce the destructive effects of any possible storm or strong hurricane that may strike Grenada?

Kenneth Kayman

Open letter to Nazim Burke and NDC supporters

Dear Mr. Burke,

You are the best Leader Grenada never had and the best Leader Grenada will have.

Sir, as long as you want to be the NDC Political Leader and your party supporters want you to be Leader, PLEASE DO NOT GIVE IN TO ANY CRITICISMS.

Funny enough, with the obvious stealing of the 2018 elections by the NNP Party, no one is criticisng Keith Mitchell. No one is criticising his abuse of power.

We all know NDC won the election. NNP may have the 15 seats but they did not win the election. No weapon fashioned against you and your family will ever prosper.

I will like the Electoral Office to have an independent person to go through the 2013 list, and the 2018 list, look through the ballot boxes for fraudulent votes and that will determine the results of the 2018 election results.

Remember Sir, I have a new Funeral Dress for the person who said that “Over his dead body you will (not) become Prime Minister.”

He did not say when AND THERE IS LIFE AND DEATH IN THE POWER OF THE TONGUE!

We all know of the Verbal Attacks that you endured during the election campaign, but this is part of life, part of political life and Grenadians cannot be satisfied.

They criticised Dr. Francis Alexis.

They criticised Mr. Nicholas Brathwaite.

They criticised Mr. George Brizan.

They criticised Uncle Tilly.

Until they all were out of Leadership and they were out of Office, then they were the best people ever.

I personally saw the VIP Treatment Uncle Tilly got in the Airport when he travelled from the same people who treated him without respect when he was PM. (NNP SUPPORTERS)

Please do not fall for the CRITICISMS.

Say your daily prayers for protection for you and your family.

We have a Grenada to Save.

We have a Grenada to rescue.

We have a new Generation to make productive, to rebuild Grenada.

NNP created an “EAT-AH FOOD Generation, and those who are criticising you are part of that Generation or part of creating that Generation.

Sir, I am asking you kindly, please do not give up. Whoever the critics are thinking of putting there will get the same treatment.
NDC had the better campaign with much, much, much less money and from where NDC came from after 2013.

NO ONE THROW STONE AT AN EMPTY MANGO TREE.

STAY STRONG!!!

NDC Supporter

Insufficient information?

Mr Robert Robinson
Deputy Commissioner
Office of the Integrity Commission
St George.

April 27th, 2018

Dear Sir,

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

A self-explanatory and significant quotation which influences justifiable observation. Where are the “good men” in Grenada’s public service?

The level of appreciation your office has given to my complaint is far less than desirable. In your most recent response (April 20, 2018), you have noted the information I have sent your establishment to be insufficient which has in turn resulted (in) the failure of the Commission to consider my complaints fully.

What measurement of consideration does your office give to my complaint at present? May I remind you, in addition to the six (6) page detailed, emailed complaint (April 9th, 2018), I have also fulfilled your request of the audio recorded interview at your office (April 15th, 2018) for approximately two (2) hours; present were yourself and four (4) of your colleagues, at which time I had provided copies of the documents in my possession.

In referring to the said email, your opening statement was partially irrelevant and incorrect. Your choice of highlighting the organisations which I had “copied” to identify my correspondence with your office does seem embryonic particularly as there was a subject (Maitland). However, contrary to your statement, I had copied the Grenada Bar Association, an NGO and two (2) newspapers.

References to your letter:

Section 1: My case had been filed in the High Court in or around February 2017 to the best of my knowledge. I had appeared in court on the date I had stated in the detailed email which I have sent your establishment. I do not have a copy of the judgement.

Section 2: Although I have stated the exact sections of the Code of Conduct in the Integrity in Public Life Act, Grenada Employment Act and Ombudsman Act which have been violated by each stated public servant you continue to request it.

The complaint I have submitted to you has been broken up into five (5) parts for your understanding, as stated on page one (1) of my email by the following:

This complaint is made up of five (5) parts:
Labour Commissioner
Minister of Labour
Ombudsman
Nicholas Steele
The Acting Attorney General

In each part, please observe the detailed, unethical and realistic events I, a citizen of Grenada, with rights, have unfortunately experienced at the antagonism of individuals who have infiltrated and compromised our public offices.

In addition please refer to the headings: “INTEGRITY IN PUBLIC LIFE ACT: Sixth Schedule Breaches” and prominent wordings: Section 82(1) and 8(1)(b),(f) and (g). In doing so I have no doubt you would see the irrelevance of section 2 in your letter.

**Please allow me to use this opportunity to make correction to the first paragraph of my complaint titled “Maitland”, “…which is contrary to Section 82(2). This was within the first four months of the year 2016.” Correction to be made “which is contrary to Section 82(3)…”

Section 3: I shall bring my copy of the Ombudsman’s letter dated January 31st, 2018 to your office.

In closing, I strongly urge you to re-think your position as to the abnormal requests made by your office to a layman in filing a warranted complaint in the interest of ensuring Grenada’s morality. Unnecessary complexity only delays justice and creates more victims.

Earl J. Maitland

The Senate – a “youthful” appearance

The Upper House of the Grenada Parliament has a very youthful look following the swearing-in ceremony for seven new Senators including four females last Friday at the Trade Centre at Morne Rouge.

Governor General Dame Cecile La Grenade (middle) sits with members of the new Parliament at the ceremonial opening

Three of them are new government appointed Senators – President of the Youth arm of the ruling New National Party (NNP), Judd Cadett and female Attorneys-at-Law Kim George and Cathisha Williams.

Speaking to reporters after taking their oaths, the new entrants into the Upper House all expressed their desire to fully represent the youth of the nation and to ensure that all opportunities that can be afforded them be made available.

According the Cadett, many young people in the country voted in the March 13th General Election for a better future and he intends to use his time in the Senate to advance their cause.

“It’s a long time they (the young people) have been asking for young people to come to the forefront…we have been given the responsibility and I think we have to make full use of that responsibility…”, he said.

Cadett pointed out that in his capacity as NNP youth leader in the last five years the issues at the forefront were job creation, and opportunities for young persons in education and that will continue to be his focus.

“…I strongly believe that a lot of young people would have come out and participated in the last election in the hope for a better future; therefore, we have to ensure that that is done – we have to continue to provide jobs, sustainable jobs, we have to ensure that we give young people the opportunities”, he said.

In the case of young female attorney Williams who was hailed by re-elected Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell as one who came “highly recommended” to serve on the government side, she said that she is encouraged by what she knows can happen in the Senate and it is her intention to add her voice to the issues to be discussed.

Williams said: “There is a strong presence of youth as well as women (in the Senate) and I hope that that is a reflection of that kind of legislative impact that this Parliament will have. As highlighted in the Throne Speech, I know that the National Pensions Bill and the National Health Insurance will be two of the issues that will be debated but I am looking forward to the deliberations concerning those bills but as a youth myself I will be interested in anything that concerns the youth…”.

She highlighted the need for better education, as well as access to further scholarships and opportunities as well as the creation of employment for many of the youth who are qualified and out of school and are looking to spend their time to contribute to nation building.

In addition, Williams said that being a woman, she hopes to make sure that “gender issues will be on my agenda”.
FemaleAttorney Kim George said she would use the opportunity given to her to serve in the Senate to try and give the young people of Grenada a voice in the Upper House.

“I am humbled mostly because it is an opportunity to represent a generation of people who has an excellent opportunity to participate in governance and to have their voices be heard as we forge a path forward that is in keeping for all Grenadians and that represent the aspirations of our people”, she said.

“I am looking forward to issues relating to gender, to our development overall, to youth of course, (and) to continuing the economic growth”, she added.

Youth arm representative of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Ron Redhead told reporters that he is ready for the challenge to work on behalf of the young persons in the country especially on issues of drug use and the Imani Programme.
Redhead said: “Some of the issues that I believe that I want to tackle have a lot to do with the Imani Programme and enhancing it. Second to that, the question of young men involved with drugs and drug use, that sort of thing, that is something I am very concerned about. The other issue is Consumer affairs, Consumer rights protection”.

The other Congress representative selected to serve in the Senate is Kerryne James, a student of St. George’s University (SGU), who sought to give assurances that the young people of Grenada can expect to be fully represented in the Senate.
She thanked the NDC for giving her the opportunity to serve in Parliament’

She said: “First my party introduced me to the Senate…and I say thank you to them. We are a party about putting people first, putting young people at the decision-making process, decision-making table and I am today, just another epitome of that. There are many issues that we need to address in Grenada at this stage. I don’t think that the young people are represented fully and myself and my other colleague Ron Redhead, we are determined to debate and speak about all of the issues, if possible, attending to the people of this tri-island state.”

The representative for the Farmers and Fishermen, Dr. Dunstan Campbell spoke of the need to show that Oil and Gas which is now being promoted by the Mitchell-led NNP regime would not be able to sustain Grenada’s economy.

“There are lots of opportunities in agriculture. I mean agriculture as most people know it used to be the lead sector in the economy but it’s sliding very badly- it is sliding at a time when we have rural unemployment growing so there seems to be a disconnect between what is happening and what can happen.

“So, we have a lot to do and we are losing out agricultural lands to housing and to industrial development and there is a great need to stop that because if we don’t, oil and gas would not be a solution to our problem and we see what is happening in Trinidad (with) this oil and gas. (Trinidad) is having real economic problem in terms of their foreign exchange, so we need to rely on Agriculture always.

“…Agriculture has provided the gateway for most of our families to get out of poverty. We have to keep that gateway, we have to sustain it and we have to take care of it. So, it’s a big task, it’s a really big task out there and with the help of the farmers and fishermen we can do it.”

Welcome Prince Charles by Royal wish and better sense

For two and half years since Commonwealth Heads of Government met in Malta in 2015, the British Government had been anxious to ensure that Prince Charles should succeed his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, as Head of the Commonwealth of Nations. Indeed, lobbying for agreement on such a succession was already in play before and during the Malta meeting, particularly as there had been rumblings in some Commonwealth countries that the headship should be rotated, and not remain a relic of the colonial past.

The succession is important to the British government for many reasons, not least that should Britain lose the Commonwealth headship it would be a blow to their standing internationally. Over the last two years, the issue became even more urgent for the British government as it touted the Commonwealth as a viable trade alternative to the European Union which a majority of its electorate chose, at a referendum, to leave.

Egg would have been all over the face of the government if the very group of countries it claims is the trade alternative to Europe, chose not to retain the British monarch as head of the Commonwealth.

For all these reasons, the British conservative government pulled out all the stops it could to ensure that Britain had every possible influence over the selection of The Queen’s successor as Commonwealth head. Pulling out the stops included ensuring, by every possible means, that a member of the British House of Lords became the Secretary-General of the Organisation’s Secretariat and that the British government took over, from the Secretariat, the management of the Heads of Government meeting held in London on 19 and 20 April.

As it turned out, the British government succeeded in their quest, having twisted and turned arms where they had to, wining and dining some leaders, and doing deals with others that mattered.

On 20 April, after being lavishly engaged by the British government, including by appearances of leading members of the Royal family, Commonwealth Heads of Government made the following statement from Her Majesty’s, Windsor Castle: “We recognise the role of The Queen in championing the Commonwealth and its peoples. The next Head of the Commonwealth shall be His Royal Highness Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales”.

This declaration, trailed the Queen’s publicly expressed wish at the Opening of the Heads’ Meeting, “that one day the Prince of Wales should carry on the important work started by my father in 1949”.

In reality, the Head of the Commonwealth has no functional role in the Commonwealth organisation but it is very doubtful that the modern Commonwealth would have survived had it not been for the personal role of the Queen. She has been the glue that kept the group in existence. Some background to this assertion is necessary for those who have not been students of the Commonwealth or participants in its activities.

In her long reign, the Queen has played a dynamic and crucial role in the now 53-nations Commonwealth. The former ‘British’ Commonwealth became simply “The Commonwealth” in 1949 when India decided to discard Dominion status and become a Republic. From that moment, the Commonwealth was no longer ‘British’, but a free association of independent states that accepted the guideline that the King (of Great Britain) would be the symbol of their association, and, “as such the Head of the Commonwealth”.

Three years later when the Queen unexpectedly succeeded her father at his untimely death, she seamlessly assumed the role of Head of the Commonwealth, even though there was no rule of hereditary entitlement. It is a role she has fulfilled for 66 of the modern Commonwealth’s 69 years.

She had made a commitment to the Commonwealth on her 21st birthday when she declared: “If we all go forward together with an unwavering faith, a high courage, and a quiet heart, we shall be able to make of this ancient commonwealth, which we all love so dearly, an even grander thing – more free, more prosperous, more happy and a more powerful influence for good in the world”.

She has certainly lived-up to that declaration. Her devotion to the Commonwealth and its affairs, even to the point of defying the advice of British Prime Ministers in support of wider Commonwealth positions, is well-known and greatly respected. During her reign, the Queen has undertaken more than 200 visits to Commonwealth countries and visited every country of the Commonwealth (with the exception of Cameroon, which joined in 1995 and Rwanda which joined in 2009) as well as making many repeat visits. She has brought star quality to the Commonwealth and, by her association, given it global recognition and regard.

If nothing else, Commonwealth countries owed her the fulfillment of her wish that Prince Charles should succeed her as the Commonwealth’s head. How he will perform in the role is left to be seen. It is largely ceremonial, and that part will be easy. But, his mother made the Commonwealth a passion and she advocated it strongly, carrying along many British governments that, at times, regarded it as a nuisance.

Undoubtedly, successive British governments, labour and conservative, would have liked to be shed of the Commonwealth when African, Asian and Caribbean governments insisted on one-man, one vote; the end of a minority racist government in Southern Rhodesia; and the creation of an independent Zimbabwe. There were similar moments in the fight to end Apartheid in South Africa.

To be fair to Prince Charles, he never had a chance to prove his own commitment to the Commonwealth because it was so large a part of the Queen’s domain. But, he has demonstrated the right instincts on matters important to Commonwealth countries such as curbing climate change, ending racism and improving the lot of disadvantaged communities. He deserves a fair chance to continue his Mother’s role of championing the Commonwealth.

The bonus for Commonwealth governments is that they get the headship for free, along with the other facilities that the Royal family has made available including Marlborough House, the headquarters of the Commonwealth Secretariat. Rotating the headship would have meant paying for the post, providing a suitable office and home, staff, international travel, security and countless other amenities that now come with no invoice from the British Royal family.

While the British Royal family heads the Commonwealth, Britain has to remain part of the company and to stand-up for its causes and its people, including, as we saw recently, the “Windrush” generation in Britain whose rights, otherwise, might have been discarded.

(Sir Ronald Sanders is Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States and the OAS. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London and at Massey College in the University of Toronto. The views expressed are his own)

The end of an era with Chime FM

The following is a statement on the CHIME FM station by its principal operator, George Grant

Broadcaster George Grant – brings an end to the life of Chime FM radio station

For the past three years and ten months, this radio station has been providing an alternative sound and service to the people of Grenada – both here and abroad.

For me this has been an honour, and an exercise in which I have found both immense joy and pleasure. That does not mean that it has been an easy ride. By no means. In fact, those of you who have listened to this particular program, SUNDAYS WITH GEORGE GRANT at any time over the past thirteen years, know only too well of the challenges with which I have been inundated.

I don’t have a problem with challenges – they are good for us. Actually, they thrust us forward, as you are about to see happen to me. But, it’s a totally different ballgame when they are maliciously thrust upon you – with mal-intent. In due course, the reason for this unrelenting persecution will be made clear – for all to see.

To my antagonists, I issue this gentle reminder from Matthew 10 v 26, 27: “So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.

My life has been dedicated to telling the truth, fairness, uncovering deceit and corruption, defending the poor and helpless, giving a voice to those who are afraid to speak, and – most of all, loving and serving my Creator, God. Ironically, these are the things which have made me an outcast, as a broadcaster of 46 years.

I have said all of this as a prelude to informing you that, as of the end of today’s (Sunday, April 29, 2918) program, CHIME FM will be no more. In a matter of minutes, I will be voluntarily shutting down this radio station – much to the joy of some who wanted you to be kept in the dark; but to the dismay and sadness of those who shared the ideals which I mentioned earlier.

Even since this station took to the airwaves, I have operated in a very hostile broadcasting environment – something which no other radio or television station in this country has been subjected to. You have seen it all, and commiserated with me.

I thank you for your concerns, and continue to pray for you that you will be delivered from the curse which hangs over you in Grenada, today. And, I assure you that God has heard your prayers, as well – DESPITE WHAT YOU WERE TOLD ON MARCH 13, 2018.

Your favourite programs, such as Sundays with George Grant, the Great Discussion, Mek We Chat and a modified version of Gudday Grenada and Law Made Simple – will continue. In fact, additional programming will be added to our line up. They will all be available to you on Facebook, and the trusted GrenadaBroadcast.com website.

Other platforms, such as YouTube will also be added. And, thanks to the advent of Smartphones, you won’t be missing a beat. What will be different is that you won’t be hearing us on your radio – at least, for a little while.

To those of you who look at my decision as an act of “giving up” it won’t be the first time that you’re wrong. So, quit stroking your ego.

You couldn’t be further from the truth! This marks the end of this Phase of my life. and the start of a brand new season for George Grant.

Indeed, 2,000 years ago, they killed my best friend, the Christ – but guess what! Today, He is more alive than He has ever been. Rise up, Grenada … Rise up!!!! this too, shall pass!!! God bless you, Grenada.

RUBIS continues their support of St Mark’s Festival

RUBIS was on board with the St. Mark’s Organisation of Development (SMOD), as they celebrated their 30th anniversary of working to improve the lives of those within the community.

RUBIS Country Manager Rep – Charles Archer as he enjoys a moment with a child

Under the theme “Celebrating 30 years with Renewed Commitment to a Progressive St. Mark’s”, the group successfully planned a variety of activities to raise funds for various parish activities.

The main goal of the organisation is to uplift the socio-economic conditions of those in the parish, through the planning and execution of various programs.

Events included a Cultural Explosion, a Farmer’s Market, Craft Exhibition, Reservoir Jam and a School’s Impromptu Speaking Competition.

RUBIS provided support for the staging of the Health Fair, offering the members of the communities within the rural parish of St. Mark’s, the opportunity for a variety of free health checks.

During the presentation ceremony, Vice President of SMOD, Dr. Julie DuBois stated that the body was very happy to have RUBIS on board once again.

Member of Parliament for the constituency, Dr. Clarice Modeste-Curwen highlighted the importance of taking one’s health matters seriously and actively taking advantage of the free health fairs corporate companies like RUBIS sponsor.

RUBIS Country Representative, Charles Archer, was very pleased with the high attendance by both young and old alike.

“I was particularly pleased to be on hand to see how much the contribution from RUBIS benefitted the residents of the community and how well the event was attended”, he said.

Did Andre Lewis insult Peter David on Labour day?

It was the first Labour Day address for new Minister of Labour, Peter David and though he made promises of being committed to improving and alleviating workers woes, President of the Grenada Trade Union Council (GTUC), Andre Lewis, accused the new minister of piggybacking on what has been said by many Ministers of Labour before.

Minister of Labour, Peter David promised a reformed Ministry of Labour

In David’s address Tuesday to hundreds of workers at the National Cricket Stadium at Queen’s Park, he said that since taking up office six weeks ago following the general election, May 1st was definitely his proudest day.

In past Labour day celebrations, David often marched under the banner of the Technical & Allied Workers Union (TAWU) that was headed for many years by his 1979-83 revolutionary colleague, Chester Humphrey.
Minister David told workers that he intends to improve relations between the Ministry and GTUC for the benefit of workers.

He outlined some of his plans going forward as the deepening and strengthening of cooperation between government and labour, improvements in the state of labour relations between trade unions and employers and the provision of an effective mechanism at the Ministry of Labour for a more timely recognition of grievances.

“The Ministry of Labour is also committed to the improvement of occupational safety and health at the work place and the welfare of the working population. The Ministry of Labour will also seek to promote and improve social security”, he said.

Andre Lewis – the speech is nothing new

“Comrades, the issue of labour productivity is one that we have committed to addressing in order to improve our labour competitiveness, safeguard jobs and expand employment”, he added.

After the minister’s delivery, the GTUC President called out David for promising what was already promised by former Labour Ministers over the years to the workers of the country.

“… The only thing new today is that he (David) is the Minister for Labour but we have heard all of that before. As a matter of fact … one can adequately say that you would have lifted that from the speeches of Ministers of Labour in the past but we will hold you accountable because you have said and you have demonstrated that you have marched with the Labour movement before”, he said.

“So, you shall be held accountable because what you cannot stop is the passing of time and May Day will be here next year….”, he added.

The TUC boss reminded Minister David, a former Congress government minister who is now with the ruling party of its campaign slogan, “Can’t sit down, sit down” that helped it to capture all 15 seats in the national poll.

“The government has been saying that they can’t sit down, sit down, sit down but that was only in relation to fighting for votes, but you have been sitting down when it comes to healthcare”, he said.

Lewis reminded the government minister that the Healthcare problems in the country “didn’t start because you became the new Minister of Labour, we have been having this issue for years”.

“The issue in the Ministry of Social Affairs, the issue of whether or not the irregularities within the needy programme – this government didn’t come into office on the 14th of March, this is the 6th year, so it therefore means the government has been administering over a corrupt system”, he told the workers.

“Don’t try to get out because you win a new election – don’t try that with us. We shall not sit down, we shall move on, stand up, stand up, stand up”, he said.