Four Caught in Big Parish with Vincy Ganja

A St. Andrew’s businessman is among four persons who have been arrested and charged in connection with the seizure of 150 pounds of compressed marijuana that has a street value of $339,000.00.

Businessman, Michael “Ranking” Agard from Grand Bras, St. Andrew’s who has a previous drug conviction was among the persons arrested in the police operation that netted the drugs that allegedly came in from neighbouring St. Vincent & The Grenadines.

The 52-year old Agard was previously convicted about three years ago in the Grenville Magistrate’s Court for being in possession of just over three hundred pounds of marijuana.

The other persons who have been arrested and charged are fisherman Kenny Henry from Telescope, St. Andrew’s, Willan Young, a mechanic from Soubise, and the lone woman, Anisha Dominic who also resides at Soubise.

The four appeared before Magistrate Henry Paryag in the Grenville Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday and were placed on bail to return to court on September 3.

Bail was set in the sum of $250,000.00 with two sureties for each of the men, while bail in the sum of $100,000.00 with two sureties for Dominic.

Magistrate Paryag ordered that the four drug accused surrender all of the their travel documents, and that they are to report to the Grenville Police Station every Monday, Wednesday and Friday before 9:00 a.m.

As part of the police operation, the drug squad members also seized a Honda CRV van, registration number PAE 995, and a speedboat that belongs to Agard to assist them in their investigations.

Head of the Drug Squad, Superintendent Rodriquez James who spoke to THE NEW TODAY newspaper about the police operation said the drugs were contained in eleven (11) bails and were seized by the police as they were being landed from a speedboat to a group of people on the beach in Soubise.

According to Supt. James, it is normal at this time of the year leading up to the Carnival Season for persons engaged in the illegal drug trade to engage in such activities in an effort to try and stock up on supplies of marijuana and other illegal drugs.

He said the police have been witnessing an increase in the trafficking of drugs from St. Vincent to Grenada, and then moving most of them into Trinidad and Tobago via fishing and speedboats.

Three weeks ago, members of the Drug Squad conducted a drug burst at Cherry Hill, St. George’s in which 105 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of $235,000.00 were confiscated.

Two fishermen, Myron Lett and Shane Fletcher have since been charged with possession and trafficking in an illegal substance.
Also on June 29, the Drug Squad discovered 40 pounds of marijuana in some bushes at Telescope, St. Andrew’s.

Three men, Harold Flanders, a 33-year old mason from Birchgrove, St. Andrew’s, Highroy Matthew, a 33-year old fisherman from Telescope, St. Andrew’s, and Clyde Abraham, a 35-year old unemployed of Pearls, St. Andrew’s have been charged with possession of a controlled drug, and trafficking.

The speedboat that transported the drugs to Soubise beach

The CRV van that is seized by the police

Aundel Benoit given 20 years for drugs

St. Thomas — Aundel Benoit , a 52-year-old national of  Grenada, originally from Hope Vale, St George who operates Mangrove Restaurant & Bar in Westerhall, St David was sentenced last week in St Thomas following a DEA led $5 Million cocaine burst in April 2010.

In February, a federal jury found Benoit guilty of two counts of drug trafficking following a two-day trial in District Court in St. Thomas.

Jurors convicted the sailboat’s owner of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and importing a controlled substance.

Part of the cocaine contraband found in a hidden compartment of Sailboat Laurel

However in what was described as a rare move, the jury acquitted Carlyle Williams – Benoit’s mate aboard the sailboat Laurel – of the same charges.

Williams a resident of Cherry Hill, St George was associated with Island Rentals Sewage & Waste Disposal Limited located in Westerhall, St David.

According to the evidence presented at trial, on April 10, 2010, the DEA St. Thomas Resident Office received information from Grenadian authorities regarding a sailing vessel named Laurel, that was traveling from Grenada toward the Virgin Islands.

The Grenadian authorities informed the DEA that they were surveilling the Laurel for suspected drug trafficking activities because it had previously been identified as a vessel used to transport narcotics.

The DEA St. Thomas Resident Office forwarded this information to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Evidence presented at trial further established that on April 12, 2010, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Reef Shark interdicted the Laurel in international waters, south of Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands.

On board the Laurel were Benoit and Williams. Coast Guard officers boarded the Laurel and attempted unsuccessfully to inspect the vessel.

Officers from a second Coast Guard Cutter, the Farallon, also attempted to inspect the vessel, but aborted the inspection when sea conditions became too dangerous.

The Laurel was then escorted to the Coast Guard Station in St. Thomas for further inspection.

Sailboat Laurel being searched by CBP Officers at the Independent Boat Yard in St. Thomas, VI

On April 14, 2010, after two Customs and Border Patrol K-9s alerted for the presence of contraband in the stern area of the vessel, the Laurel was transported to Independence Boatyard where Customs and Border Patrol officials ex-rayed the vessel.
The ex-ray revealed brick-shaped objects in a compartment located beneath the hull of the Laurel.

Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection Officers then removed part of the rear hull of the vessel and discovered bricks of cocaine wrapped in black, red, yellow, gray and blue tape. A total of 250 kilograms of cocaine was stored in the hull of the vessel.

Benoit faced a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison. He also faced a fine of up to US$10,000,000.

The U.S. Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection and Drug Enforcement Administration investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Delia L. Smith prosecuted it.

In her closing arguments, Smith said the vessel was registered and flagged in the United States and that the investigation revealed that Benoit, who owned Laurel for 19 years, had been involved in “hundreds of sales”.

All Zandoli find their hole

The games were declared open and the first race of the day, the Toddlers race, was called to a start, and the groundsmen managed to get the Toddlers to stand in a row, but they must hurry to start the race before they get distracted.

In lane one (1) the Box Head Casino Minister
Lane two (2) The Social worker MP from SW St Andrew
Lane three (3) The Minister of Carriacou Affairs
Lane four (4) The Glorified Secretary/Frock Lady
Lane five (5) The Rum Sponge ex Senator
Lane Six (6) “Our Beloved Minister of Agriculture”
Lane seven (7) The Smooth Talker, So-called Pastor
Lane eight (8) The Elder in charge of The Chicken Feed, downtown St. George

So the babies were shown a familiar face by the finish line, Uncle Pedro -The red Rebel.

OK babies, (says the groundsman responsible for the starting of the race, the man in charge, The Communist Union Man on Green St.) babies, when I blow the whistle you all must run up to meet Uncle Pedro OK. By the way I did not mention it’s a 60m dash.

Any way the Communist union man blew the whistle and all hell break loose, the only toddler that ran into the arms of Uncle Pedro was the Box Head Casino Minister.

Pa pa, the Social Worker take off with speed (and let me tell you he quick for so) across the field, and before you know it, he was sitting next to Uncle Tilly in the stands.

The kayak was behind him, couldn’t catch him but eventually got there and sat with Uncle Tilly also. Our “Beloved” Agriculture Minister, poor thing he stand up half way, did not know what to do, he started to cry, so a groundsman took him by the hand and led him away. Later on when I looked around I see him well seated in the stand with Uncle Tilly and the others.

Well the elder, Foul Feed Salesman, he being disabled, was UNABLE to start the race, so he give up early and his parents came and took him home, he done with that.

In the meantime the Smooth Talker, so-called Pastor, stop in the middle of the race, to wipe his shoes and fix his hat, so he still fixing and then he had to go shine his Hummer.

The Frock Lady, well she is no runner so she walk, taking her own good time, and we all know how easily Toddlers can be distracted, but she’ll get there, WHERE? Your guess is as good as mine.

But wait nuh where is the Drunking Baby, you mean he Bong Away again? He was too drunk to make it, he so drunk he didn’t know where to go and couldn’t figure out where he was. He needs a few more days to sober up and figure out his next move if you get the drift.

So Cde. Red rebel Man, the race is over and we all know the result, need I print it? NO! By the way Red Rebel, you have to call a next press conference to explain the first one, we didn’t quite understand the gist of it, and who was interviewing who? It comes across as though you were interviewing the three Ducks sitting in a row.

You know I could understand the two female media personalities, but the man in the middle, you too big for that! Cde. Red Rebel Man, come on, the thing couldn’t look more staged than that.

Who wrote the script this time? The Midget from the Ghetto who lived in Canada or the Sitting Duck?

Back off Horse, Back off.

Eye Opener

It’s happy hour time

Political miscalculations, inept analysis and pure stupidity often destroy many dreams and aspirations of some people. When this is underpinned by stark immaturity and ‘dunceness’ things unravel.

So when Peter called in his chips, Lett and Glynis had little choice for being pawns. So uncomfortable as they appeared on national TV, they blew their political capital that’s if they had any left. They obviously were led to believe that they had some sort of leverage, which could be used to negotiate back in their  errant friends.

The group of boys in men’s bodies who temporarily now control the Executive of the NDC are missing the limelight and suddenly recognise that they are nothing without the NDC. In the process Lett and Glynis allowed themselves to be exploited. One eyed man is king in blind man’s country!

Lett’s confusion was quite clear. On the one hand he was inviting the country to join him in La Tante as this was his chosen group of celebrants. On the other, he was also saying that he intended to play a senior role in reuniting the party. How could he openly take a side and then in the same breath claim that he wants to bring all together?

Lett must be suffering from dementia! What unity is he talking about? Last weekend’s events clarified many things. It took some time but the path is much clearer now.

When Peter indicated in Parliament in his debate on the ‘no-confidence motion’, that his sentiments are with the opposition, his position was quite clear. He was saying that he had no confidence in PM Thomas and that he should go.

The only difference with the Opposition Leader (who displayed disappointment with his utterings) was that he was going to take his fight to the party. He was going to wrest leadership at the party level. That’s why the 25 members that he controls at the Executive have now lost their heads.

So with such clear positions, how could Lett still dream about reconciliation? With who? He clearly does not understand. The die is cast and Peter has written his obituary. A massive failure; 175 attendees to eat food and get drunk.  At 2.00 p.m. there was no food and drinks yet. There was no generator yet and 90% of the persons were from St George’s. Faces were gloomy.

Joe could only muster four persons from the whole of St Patrick. Compare this to four thousand enthusiastic supporters in Gouyave calling for “ truncation”.

Lett’s dissatisfaction about the ascendancy of Burke to act as PM in the absence of PM Thomas, in preference to him runs deep. So deep, that he allowed himself to be sucked in by the wiles and cunning of Peter and company. Oh about men and their egos!

I was not there, but one person reported that he only saw two pots before they left. One claimed that the drunkard got drunk early, got hungry and had to resort to buying two tins of corn beef and CRIX; vital supplies.

So after a hectic weekend, I am looking forward to a few invitations. I hope the Happy Hours have a lot more food and drinks.

Bishop is the best choice

A rather interesting battle is in progress in the constituency of St. George South East between Terron Gilchrist, Elliot Bishop and Randal Robinson, in a bid to get the nod from the NDC to be the choice to replace Karl Hood as the candidate for the next general election due in 2013.

Gilchrist, an employee of the Ministry of Health, alleged to be pro Karl Hood and anti-Uncle Tilly, has resorted to placing of posters produced abroad with a photo of himself soliciting support and indicating that he has a plan for the constituency if elected.

Randal Robinson, the River-tubing businessman who is alleged to have posted statements made by Senator Glen Noel at an NDC meeting on the net which contributed to the Peter David resignation can be seen around the constituency distributing pamphlets explaining who he is and why he should be the replacement for Hood.

Elliot Bishop on the other hand, an elected Member of the National Executive of NDC, Trade Unionist with many years of experience, longstanding member of the board of the regional farmers organisation (WINFA), Grenada Cane Farmers Association and Chairman of the NDC support group at Marian – the only active NDC party cell in St. George South East has not taken the same route as the others but has resorted to his normal work within the area among farmers, and youth in particular.

The truth is Bishop knows that it is the constituency branch of party members that must elect the candidate and then the Executive will make the final decision after due consideration.

Robinson and Gilchrist are really new kids on the block and are unfamiliar with the party constitution.

Bishop who is known to be a firm supporter of Uncle Tilly is the Founder of a farmers group in Marian known as The Village Maroon. The objective is to provide voluntary assistance for members in agricultural production and marketing.

He can be seen on weekends involved in voluntary work on the farms or sometimes involved in a village cricket match with the youth.

It is alleged that he was approached by NDC before Karl Hood in 2008 but was unable to accept due to trade union commitments. Now retired, he has offered to serve.

It is these qualities together with an honest background, friendly, humble and sincere in character and given his commitment to the Good Governance and Transparency agenda that Elliot Bishop has the edge to be the next NDC candidate for St. George’s South East.

Elliot Bishop is by far the best choice.

St. George South East NDCite

Peter, please leave now!!!

I hope you will give me an opportunity to deal with the so-called General Secretary of my NDC party who has selected a small group of non-thinking individuals to run his PRG style Central committee in the executive of the party.

When Joe, Glynis and the rest of the gang were running around the country with their so-called endorsement meetings and they were taken to task by the Political Leader and some real NDC Executive members, a decision was taken to stop the process after much heated debate and the realisation by the rebel group that they were loosing ground.

People of Grenada, you better wake up because this bunch of worthless people are hell bent on destroying everything the Political Leader stands for.

They are now trying to destroy the will of the newly elected Women’s arm of the party, which was duly elected claiming that the election was unconstitutional.

The Central Committee established by the red one posing as the General Secretary of the NDC must go. He is the same man who said in Parliament that fifteen people cannot make decisions for the rest of the country, yet he is trying to decide how the women must function.

Peter, remember that your own woman boiled your shoe in a pot of water to teach you a lesson but you did not learn a thing about the determination of women. This time Peter we are going to boil all of you. Peter, keep your tail quiet and leave the women alone. You cannot handle us.

Peter, stop running around the country under the guise of trying to unite people. You are seeking to repair your image but that is not working .We know you. Some of us have been around for a while.

Don’t let us remind you that it was people from your past political history who jailed Tillman and shoot up people like Ann Peters on the fort. We have not forgotten. They may have forgiven you all but a lot of us have not gotten there yet.

We stand solidly behind the women of the NDC, not your retired, retried overused and confused Assistant General Secretary and their type – but solid women who can make a difference.

They have been there for years and we have nothing to look back on as an achievement that has impacted on the lives of women in the party or in Grenada in general.

Time to move on. Peter, please leave now. Take all of them and form the PRCP, which stands for Peter Rebranded Communist Party. Adios.

Magdalene Jessop

This is no time for a weaker Caribbean Community

At the opening of the 33rd Conference of the 15-Nation Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM), the incoming Chairman, St Lucia’s Prime Minister, Kenny Anthony, called on governments of the region to “develop a common policy and programme for engagement with new and emerging global partners”.

The words “common policy” are especially significant, and it has to be assumed that he did not use them lightly. As small, vulnerable countries, lacking in military capacity or economic clout, effective diplomacy is the best tool available to them.

And, while, from time to time, these small countries have scored impressive diplomatic victories in the international community, they have been most successful when they have adopted common policies and pursued them jointly.

The St. Lucia Prime Minister was also careful in stating that the terms of engagement with new and emerging global partners “must be defined by our strategic interests”.

Again, it is assumed that by the use of the word “our” in this context, the Prime Minister meant the collective strategic interest of all CARICOM countries, and not just the interests of individual nations.

Where individual interests have been pursued in the past, only short term objectives have been served, and individual countries have found themselves subject to the dictates of external forces over the longer period.

While, even as a collective, the small size of CARICOM countries and their markets do not make them powerful, they are able to bargain more strongly together than they can individually.  That was the lesson of the Lomé and Cotonou agreements signed with the European Union (EU).

In negotiating those agreements, Caribbean countries worked in lock-step with the countries of Africa and the Pacific – something that it did not manage to achieve in the more recent negotiations with the EU for an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

Prime Minister Anthony expressed the hope that the CARICOM countries would dedicate their efforts “towards a dynamic and outward stance of engagement with third states, particularly with Africa, Latin America and other emerging economic regions”.
He was right to do so, for the two regions offer both diplomatic and economic opportunities if they are pursued in the context of an overall CARICOM plan.

He did not mention by name the most important region – Asia – where two large developing countries, China and India, have emerged as global economic players.   This may be because he is conscious that CARICOM countries have no “common policy” with regard to China and Taiwan, since five of them (including his own) are tied to Taiwan and nine to China (the 15th CARICOM country, Montserrat, is a British colony with no authority for foreign policy).

This particular issue is not likely to be settled any time soon. The countries that are tied to Taiwan are dependent on the Taiwanese government for much needed financing and infrastructural development, and unless an arrangement could be worked out in advance by which China assumes the Taiwanese undertakings on similar or better terms, they will resist change. This means that CARICOM will be unable to develop a long-term, predictable arrangement with China covering economic, political, cultural and scientific relations.

One solution to the problem would be for CARICOM to agree to a parallel track approach to Asia, with all of them collectively developing relations with India, while relations with China and Taiwan are pursued separately by the nine and five countries with coordination of their activities by the CARICOM Secretariat.

The fly in this ointment is that China and Taiwan might not agree.  But, China is now too crucially important a global player not to be fully engaged by CARICOM countries.  Something has to be done to break this log-jam, and soon.

As Prime Minister Anthony emphasised: “This is not the time for a weaker Community”. He has identified the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group and the Commonwealth as two fora where CARICOM countries can enhance their global reach and relevance. He is right.  But, the task will require a well-thought out vision and strategy, and its implementation will need joint machinery including joint overseas diplomatic missions, directed by an engaged Ministerial council.

The strength and purposefulness of the Community is about to be tested by the European Union (EU) which, through the European Commission, has indicated that it may take as many as eight Caribbean countries to arbitrate under the EPA signed in 2008 for non-implementation of tariff cuts on EU goods entering their markets.

It is safe ground to say that the EU can determine that the failure to make the tariff cuts constitutes a dispute and, therefore, can take the matter to arbitration. The EPA does provide for a consultation process, and no doubt this will be invoked by the EU with each of the eight countries.

While Jamaica has been identified by the EU as one of the eight countries, the others are yet to be officially named.  Reliable sources indicate that Suriname is among the remaining seven. But, consultations will not necessarily lead to leniency by the EU.

Indeed, because of their concern about on-going negotiations with some African countries for EPAs, the EU is most unlikely to want to give any quarter lest it serve as a precedent for the bigger African countries whose markets are more significant to Europe.

It is important to recall that each of the eight Caribbean countries will have to engage the EU, through the European Commission, on their own since the EPA was signed between the 27-nation EU collectively and the Caribbean countries individually.  Some of them will not have the resources to represent themselves in the consultations, and certainly will find arbitration proceedings prohibitively expensive.

A strong Caribbean community would establish joint machinery to support each of the 8 countries in the consultation process to avoid arbitration. It would also assemble the means now to effectively review the EPA in October 2013 (and not early 2013 as I inadvertently stated in my last commentary) to make it realistic in present conditions, and fairer.

(Sir Ronald Sanders is a Consultant and former Caribbean diplomat)

NNP selects all 15 for 2013

Clifton Paul to challenge the Congress Leader

New National Party (NNP) newcomer to the political platform, Clifton Paul will challenge Grenada’s Prime Minister Tillman Thomas for the St Patrick East Constituency in the upcoming general election.

Paul was introduced on the NNP platform on Sunday evening as one of the 15 candidates to contest the national poll  expected to be called in 2013 by Prime Minister Thomas.

Sunday’s Convention and Rally of the main opposition party took place at the St Andrew Anglican Secondary School (SAASS) at Telescope in St. Andrew’s.

The event was held under the theme, “Reviewing Our Past, Charting Our Future. NNP  – The Only answer”.

Paul, a retired teacher of the St Patrick’s R. C. School is originally from Mt. Fendue, but currently resides at Rose Hill, St Patrick with his family.

He  told THE NEW TODAY newspaper that he is confident that he has what it takes to defeat the Prime Minister whenever the election is held to become the new Parliamentary representative for the rural constituency.

He said that some of the concerns he will address within the constituency when he gets into office are unemployment, the repairs and construction of by-roads, as well as bringing better housing conditions for the people and better care for the elderly.

The aspiring politician spoke of always being an ardent supporter of the NNP and when he was approached to become involved in frontline politics, was ready and willing to serve.

In addressing party supporters at the rally, Paul who said he is involved in community activities, boasted about the unity within the NNP of former Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell and how proud he feels to be affiliated with the party.

Paul is expected to fly the party’s flag in the constituency as he takes over from the 2008 candidate, Carl Caton, a former member of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF).

The NNP also presented its full slate of candidates made up of three newcomers to frontline politics.

The list includes Alexandra Otway-Noel (South St George), Nickolas Steele (Town of St George), Alvin DaBreo (St John), Dr. Keith Mitchell (St. George North West), Yolande Bain-Horsford (St Andrew South West), Roland Bhola (St Andrew North East), Gregory Bowen (St George South East), Emmalin Pierre (St Andrew South East), Elvin Nimrod, (Carriacou and Petite Martinique), Dr. Clarice Modeste (St Mark), Delma Thomas (St Andrew North West), Anthony Boatswain (St. Patrick West), Tobias Clement (St George North East), and Gabriel Henry (St David).

During the convention, the NNP also elected a new executive to take the party into the next year and general election.

Those elected were: Chairman – Gregory Bowen, Deputy Chairman – Kenny Lalsingh, Political Leader – Keith Mitchell, Deputy Political Leader – Elvin Nimrod, General Secretary, Roland Bhola, Assistant General Secretary, Clarice Modeste-Curwen, Steve Horsford – Recording Secretary, Brenda Hood – Assistant Recording Secretary, Anthony Boatswain, Treasurer, Terrance Forrester – Public Relations Officer, Winston Garraway – Labour Relations Officer, Joy Mancini – Welfare Officer, Sheldon Scott – Youth Officer, and Floor Members – Oswald Gilbert, Prescott Swan, Cletus St Paul, Richard Mc Phail, David Stan Phillip, Bassanio Nicholas and James Stafford.

The NNP public meeting got a surprise when controversial Government Backbencher Karl Hood made an appearance at the Telescope Playing Field.

Loud screams of excitement ensued from party supporters as Hood made his way onto the playing field and into the crowd.
Attention was briefly directed from Paul, who was introducing the party’s political leader, Dr Mitchell.

Supporters of the Opposition party welcomed him into the house of the NNP and encouraged the entire NDC fold to do likewise.

Hood defeated NNP’s 2008 candidate Gregory Bowen to become Parliamentary Representative for St George South-East.

The MP accused the Tillman Thomas government of squandering its time in office with too much infighting and tendered his resignation to the Prime Minister.

Hood then journeyed from Grenville to Gouyave, St. John to attend the public meeting called by the Prime Minister.

Government backbencher Karl Hood embraced by NNP supporters

Is there room for any recovery?

Whatever may take place inside the NDC party – over the remaining months of this year, or however long the group may remain in control of our nation’s affairs, in the last year of its five years term in office – I just cannot see that group making any worthwhile impact, on the voting population in time for the next General Elections in 2013.

If anyone had even hinted, that those chaps who came together in 2008, as a united group of dedicated Grenadians, to try and save our long-suffering country from the gross mismanagement of what went before – could have descended to the level of disharmony and political chaos that have now infested the group as a whole – I would have objected very strongly.

On the other hand, a whole lot of our people are also saying – that they are not surprised, because just as no animal could change its skin colour, those who have been indoctrinated under the 1979 to 1983 alien concepts of achieving power, and taking over control by whatever means, they cannot make the fundamental change-over in such a short period of time.

The big difference between the period of the guns calling the tunes and all must obey, and the return to democracy and the people’s votes to gain power – is that the group which joined the NDC to gain power in 2008, the members thereof must go back to the people to get the said power renewed.

And in my very humble opinion – from all we have heard and seen coming from that group in the last two years especially – I cannot see the people voting in their favour in the near or distant future, to renew that mandate.

But what is also very disturbing and somewhat insulting of our people, by those chaps in the group who have by their actions and statements in public – seem to be treating the people as though we are all imbeciles, and only them in their thirst and hunger for power know it all.

The statements by the PRO, Arley Gill, and the Acting Chairman, Pastor Stanford Simon, seem to ignore the Government chosen by the people, and elevate the NDC party as the organ in control of the state of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.

They even downgrading the leader of the Party, who is the Prime Minister – and who the very party cannot change as leader, while he is the Prime Minister of Grenada.

The damage already done to the Party as such, is in my view beyond repair – while the same group who entered the political marriage of convenience, continue to pretend that they are still one group.

By the time you are reading this, the two factions of the NDC would have held two separate functions in two different areas – on the same day – but both professing to be celebrating the fourth anniversary, since that historic victory in July 2008.

What will be of significant interest in the current political atmosphere, would be which of the M.P’s attend whose function – the Political Leader and Prime Minister Thanksgiving Ceremony in Gouyave, or the Rebel St. George’s Town M.P. and faction leader, Mr. Peter David cook-up and Fun Day in La Tante, St. David.

And even more interesting, depending on who attended which function on the 8th July, would be the numbers of supporters and from which constituency they came from. It was quite unusual a few days before Sunday, to hear the St. David’s M.P., Hon Michael Lett, publicly supporting the fete in his Constituency – in preference to the Prime Minister’s Thanksgiving Ceremony in Gouyave.  A clear sign that the division was spreading beyond repair.

Whatever was said by whoever last Sunday in St. David’s or Gouyave – the sentiments I am hearing from John Public, and the attitude of our many people who stop or call me to comment on the impasse, they all point very clearly to the generally held opinion, that the NDC which came into operation in 2008, to contest the General Elections of July that year – that political contraption has destroyed itself, and very obviously out-lived its usefulness.

I fully agree with that opinion, and cannot see that group getting any support from the people in any Elections – whether they go forward divided into two factions, or come up with any so-called compromised unification.

For all intents and purposes they have destroyed whatever good graces were built up in 2008, and in the last four years the Government as such have done nothing of any major consequence to deserve a second term.

And what is even more disturbing, to a whole lot of people who fell for the promise, that the wrong doings of the NNP in their (13) Thirteen years in office, would have been duly investigated – and charges brought to recover the reported millions of the people’s funds, that did not go into the Government Treasury.

Some investigations were carried out we were told – but we are into the last year of the five years term in office, and so far as is known not one of the suspects for wrong-doing has been questioned – never mind charged or asked to make good the missing funds.

And here we are into the last year of the group’s control of the reins of power – and the one very certain of the probable outcomes, of any General Elections in the next year or so, is that the Eleven, or any majority of them, cannot again get the people’s votes to return in control.

On the contrary, in all the given circumstances as they now exist – because of the 2008 winners selfish behaviour among themselves, and the almost casual way they treated the people who voted them in office – the resulting non-performance, and the absence of any worthwhile achievement in those four years of control – I just cannot see many of them winning their seats again, to even form a credible opposition in Parliament.

We are hearing now-a-days of all manner of criticisms of the Leader of the party and Prime Minister, from his colleagues in the party and in Parliament – and they all sound as though they are of recent vintage, of the last year or so.

The question therefore begs itself – what was then happening in the previous three years?

And my concern therefore, is why did they all keep so quiet for so long? – was it because those with the ulterior motives to gain control, misjudged the Prime Minister’s strength and his coolness under pressure, and by the time the true reality dawned upon them, to frustrate their motives and intentions – too late was their only cry, and the current chaos the only result?

A straight forward answer may never be forthcoming – but our people have to be the final judge and jury, and from their majority decision whenever the time comes – there is no Appeal until another five years have gone by.

In spite of all the foregoing, however, I cannot avoid adopting the only trustworthy, relevant, and paramount national interest in the people’s favour – as I see it amidst all the ole talk, and fingers-pointing, and blame-laying by one side against the other – while the people’s interest and their good and welfare are going down the drain.

And that is – those still in control must not be seen, or even thought to be, holding the people up for ransom, by prolonging the agony of not going back to the Polls, in the distant hope that things may change to favour their chances as more time goes by.

As I see it – the damage is already done beyond repair – and no length of time, nor any future damage control of any magnitude, can make any such significant difference to some-how change the outcome of what now seems to lie in store – for the group that let down the people and forfeited their chances of gaining another term.

Now that is the group as a whole – but if they can come to a clear division, and let each side face the people as two very separate groups – that may be a different proposition.

In assessing the feedbacks from the three separate meetings held last Sunday, I will look at that scenario next week, before taking a break for the following four weeks.

Big money brought in by Fish Friday

The Parish of St. John’s has been making a major contribution to the local economy.

These are the words coming from Caretaker/Candidate of the constituency Dr. George Vincent, the Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation in the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration.

Big money brought in by Fish Friday

Dr. Vincent who played a key role in the formulation of the weekly Fish Friday activity at Gouyave disclosed that it has so far netted $10.5m for the Parish and Town of Gouyave.

On June 24, Fish Friday celebrated seven years of its existence.

Dr. Vincent labelled St. John’s as being the Parish of Excellence that is going to take Grenada forward.

He said at present the Parish has the most modern fish market in the entire OECS (Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States).

He claimed that some people attempted to block the opening of the fish market despite the efforts of the Fisheries Department and the approval of the Cabinet.

“Some people decided that it was not going to open, we must remain another seven months before we have the fish market opened. I said no, and… when I kicked butts it was opened silently and quietly on 28th (June). We now have a fish market functioning,” he said.

According to Dr. Vincent, the Parish that is considered as the fishing mecca of the country faced a major challenge last year since less fish was exported than in 2010.

Dr. Vincent said despite the negativity that is painted by many people about the Parish, it has made a significant impact in the country, leading the way in many areas and will continue to do so.

The NDC Candidate spoke of the Parish having produced two Governor Generals in St. Paul Scoon and Sir Carlyle Glean, and a high court judge in Justice Lyle St. Paul, now retired.

Dr. Vincent also said the parish has also excelled in sports.

He indicated that although the Parish had no playing field, the world rated, Kirani James still persevered by coming out on top in the world.

At the World’s Championship in Daegu, South Korea last year, James won the 400m in a personal best of 44.60 seconds.

He is being looked upon as being Grenada’s best chance at securing a medal at the London Olympics that begins later this month.