Grenada is on the verge of heralding another New Year.
The most dominating issue in 2021 was similar to the previous year – the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the affairs of the nation.
THE NEW TODAY considers the past 12 months to be even more severe for us as a people as the death toll from the virus moved from just one to a staggering 200 within a matter of weeks.
It totally exposed the fragile healthcare system that is in place for the people of Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique.
It is quite obvious that not sufficient funds have been allocated by the ruling New National Party (NNP) government of long-standing and aging Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell to the Ministry of Health in the last two budgetary cycles.
There appears to be no shortage of funds at the moment in the Treasury as millions are currently being spent at the community level apparently with the next general election close at hand.
The reports are constant about the amount of work in the various constituencies especially up north that is impacting very much on the unemployment figures in the country.
THE NEW TODAY is taking careful note that a government which a few months ago complained of a lack of funds had teachers taking to the streets to press their demands for the 4% increase in salaries.
The word on the ground is that the NNP will be spending plenty more resources in the St Andrew North-west constituency of Social Development Minister, Delma Thomas out of concern that she might be in some sort of a bother politically from another female person in the area, Gloria Thomas of the Congress party.
Information also surfaced that this particular constituency was able to give more Christmas hampers to the poor and vulnerable than any other in St. Andrew due to the high stake political gamesmanship that is now taking place in the country.
The spending spree is widely expected to continue into the next few months into the New Year as Prime Minister Mitchell puts his party on a war footing against the National Democratic Congress (NDC) under its new leader, 44-year old attorney-at-law, Dickon Mitchell.
The Prime Minister is no political fool and understands the implications and consequences for him in the upcoming poll.
He would not want to go down in history as having lost at the polls to a virtual newcomer into the political arena.
Dickon Mitchell has already stamped his mark on the Grenadian political landscape by the widespread attraction that he is getting throughout the country especially among the nation’s women and youth.
THE NEW TODAY cannot recall anyone outside of former Prime Ministers Eric Gairy and Maurice Bishop who has been able to excite the country as he has been able to do in just eight weeks as a political leader and rekindle hope among his flock.
It is still debatable whether the newlook NDC can pull off a victory at the upcoming polls – something that looked very impossible at half way through 2021.
The fact of the matter is that Dickon Mitchell has forced the NNP to start looking beyond Prime Minister Mitchell and at the next line of younger leaders within the party.
A so-called Leadership Transition committee, headed by former Finance Minister and Member of Parliament for St Patrick West, Anthony Boatswain is now in place planning and trying to plot the way ahead for the ruling party to find a successor for their longstanding leader who has dominated the affairs of the party since 1989.
It’s a tall order for Mr. Boatswain and his team members as Dr. Mitchell has never groomed anyone to take over the leadership of the party from him.
The NNP has been run over the years by a 2-member tag team led by the Prime Minister and his deputy, current Finance Gregory Bowen and no plan was ever put in place, much less executed to prepare others for leadership of the party much less the country.
The likes of Education Minister, Emmalin Pierre, Delma Thomas and Minister with responsibility for Youth Affairs, Kate Lewis can win the hearts and souls of NNP’ites at the constituency level but not the electorate at the national level much less compete with Dickon Mitchell.
The next few weeks and months the eyes of the nation will be on the Prime Minister and his every move especially with talk in the air within NNP quarters about big things in store for the British-based female attorney-at-law, Akima Paul who is expected to make her grand entry and take charge of the St Mark constituency from Tourism Minister, Dr. Clarice Modeste-Curwen.
Many are those including supporters within the NNP fold who are doubtful that Akima will leave her lucrative practice and throw her hat into the political arena in the Spice Isle.
The waiting game might not be too long in coming as PM Mitchell will have in his own mind the timeframe for “all hands to be on deck” to help the NNP win another general election.
As we get ready to usher in 2022, THE NEW TODAY wants to specially thank all those persons including our advertisers who choose to stick with us over the past 12 months and we pledge to continue to offer the best possible service to all and sundry as we go forward together.