A choice has been made not to ‘blow the gasket’ in treating with the response of TGM’s Chairman Antoine to our last article in which deeply important questions were put to him. Pursuant to that choice, this article will set out four short points of constructive engagement.
First off, the general characterisation of TGM’s response is that it is laden with falsehoods, platitudes, misinterpretations, and contradictions. The net effect is major disappointment! The right of self-defense must be respected, but its successful application requires reliance on facts, fairness, and good judgment.
Secondly, TGM raises an argument described as “infancy” and “embryonic stage”. That may be in keeping with freedom of expression, but it is met head-on by the following:-
(I). Who among us having a child with a defective bone formation would say it is better to straighten the bone at twenty years instead of fixing it at twenty weeks? Remember ‘bend the tree while it is young’?
(II). Better for all concerned that a young political organisation should refrain from practicing bad political habits from inception.
(III). Better also for TGM to train itself on truth and openness if it wishes Grenada to breathe again.
(IV). None of the questions posed will be found to be premature or misdirected.
Thirdly, there was an invitation to sign up and become involved in and with TGM. Some readers might think that the writer would be wrong to dismiss that invitation as insincere. Truth be told, it is insincere on its face and intent. The writer is highly confident that Chairman Antoine, knowing the facts and context (the truth), will not agree with those readers at all.
Next is the untenable argument that one should separate ‘Chairman Antoine’ from ‘Citizen Antoine’. Sadly, that device is designed to escape providing truthful answers to the questions put to him. Everyone who has paid attention to the public relations activities of TGM will reasonably and correctly conclude that Patrick Antoine is the face, voice, and ‘guiding mind’ of that political organisation.
Incidentally, given its predominantly political objects and taking our cultural thinking into account, TGM qualifies as a political organisation and the Privy Council is not needed to decide the issue. Resuming, there is no valid distinction to be claimed where the questions posed stem from public statements made by Chairman Antoine and by his inexplicable omissions in that same context. By the way, does Dr. Antoine not bring to the marketplace expertise he acquired long before establishing TMG? And is he not relying substantially on that expertise to aid the fortunes of TMG? Please!
Every fledgling political organisation, like TGM, is taken as having an interest in building an attractive image and positive reputation for itself. It may choose to contrive a certain reputation or be genuine in building one. Where a political organisation has been asked legitimate and fair questions for the benefit of the public, it has a choice to be honest and forthright or to engage in deception and insincerity. The latter conduct is typically found where one feels cornered and would give cause for serious public concern.
So, Chairman Antoine, please answer the questions truthfully (they will not go away) or else you will be deemed to have begun to die in accordance with your own belief and admonition first made public during the General Elections campaign of 2013, speaking in favour of the NNP. Freedom of speech! Freedom of association!
No more on this!
But the questions stand:
(a) “Does the NSDP contain any ideas for economic, cultural, and social development that you proposed?
(b) Are there other ideas in the Plan that TGM finds supportable?
(c) After you demitted the Chairmanship of TWG did you maintain an interest in the finalisation of the Plan? If not, why?
(d) Was your commitment to the NSDP … simply a function of your relationship with the Prime Minister?
(e) Did you make any submission(s) for inclusion in the Plan to your successor, in the national interest?”
Grenada will be fifty years an independent nation very soon. Many have seen the worst in political discourse and misconduct since the early nineteen seventies.
Grenada and Grenadians deserve better! TGM is therefore urged to be a bright light of difference and hope and not be content to simply celebrate itself as a ‘bright’ political entity. This is a call to humility, a value which the late George Brizan embedded in the 1976 graduating Sixth Form of GBSS. Long Live!