It’s another Christmas for us in Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique.
As is customary at this time of the year, our people are busy putting everything in place for the “big day” which includes spending even outside of one’s budgetary allocations to enjoy the festive season.
Here at THE NEW TODAY we wish all our online readers, advertisers, contributors, supporters, well-wishers and the wider population a peaceful and safe Christmas and hope that the season brings them peace, hope, joy and love.
Undoubtedly, a lot of the talk this Christmas in households among families and friends will be the current political situation in the country with the island soon getting into electioneering mode.
The last two months have been rather intriguing and interesting as a change in leadership within the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has brought renewed hope among those in the country hoping to see regime change after eight years of unbroken rule by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell and his New National Party (NNP).
The entrance of the youthful 44-year old attorney-at-law Dickon Mitchell has shaken up the political status quo so much so that the current rulers have become nervous and unsure of themselves.
Dickon Mitchell has been doing the right thing politically and his utterances to the public are causing anxious moments within the NNP camp.
As the new “kid on the block” as a political leader, he has been very shrewd in not attacking Prime Minister Mitchell personally but focusing on critical issues in the country in the area of healthcare and the economy and not going down into gutter sniping.
The new NDC leader is operating at a very high level and is forcing the Prime Minister to change gear and come up “where the air is rear” and to come up there and stop the kind of street fighting and brawl that he has been able to lure his opponents into over the years and to kill them off politically.
Dr. Mitchell is now up against a smart and young, bright man who is very appealing to women and the youth.
Dickon Mitchell is doing exactly the same thing that the Prime Minister did 28 years ago after he lost the 1990 general election, visiting every corner of the tri-island state to meet with people at their homes and on the ground as part of building his political base.
At 75-years, the current Prime Minister is lacking the youthful energy and buoyancy to neutralise the challenge posed to him by a new entrant into the political arena who is 31 years his junior.
In addition, unlike several other past Congress leaders, Dickon Mitchell is sending out a clear message that he wants the job of Prime Minister of the country and is prepared to unseat the incumbent.
As the political strategists will say, he is “hungry for power” and will do the work that is necessary and required to occupy that important chair on the 6th floor at the Ministerial Complex in the Botanical Gardens at Tanteen.
THE NEW TODAY believes in the old saying that politics is about timing and Dickon Mitchell has made his entry onto the political battlefield when the people are showing signs of being fatigued with the leadership of the country by the current Prime Minister and the NNP.
And Dr. Mitchell has publicly admitted that the system to ensure the smooth running and functioning of government has broken down and there are no clear and visible signs that he has been attempting to fix the problems since returning to office in 2013.
It is a readymade situation for a hungry and exuberant opponent like Dickon Mitchell to seek to exploit to the fullest as part of his quest and political ambition and objectives to remove the incumbent from power.
But a word of caution to the NDC leader as he is coming up against an opponent who knows how to win elections with five victories under his belt at the polls.
A day in politics is a long time and so many things can happen within that 24-hour period that can negatively affect and impact on the window of opportunity that is given by an incumbent to a challenger.
The NNP is no push-over or walk over and Dr. Mitchell has no intention of surrendering power to anyone at this point in time.
He will have to be uprooted from the 6th floor job in the Gardens by hard and smart political work by the NDC and those whom the new leader will have to bring on board to form a coalition of forces like 2008.
The plus for Dickon Mitchell is that he is not in charge of a Congress party like that of former leader and Prime Minister Tillman Thomas had to endure as he was surrounded by power seekers and grabbers that were just too ambitious and paved the way for the collapse of the administration within a few years in office.
Without being dictatorial, the new NDC leader will have to stamp his authority on the party and send a message to those involved in the process that there is only one man at the helm until the delegates makes that change in a party convention sometime in the future.
Dickon Mitchell should use the opportunity provided to him by the Christmas period to meet with his political advisors and strategists to review the journey so far and to look at the things that are needed in going forward as 2022 will most likely be the Election Year.
Prime Minister Mitchell understands the ground game and will not foolishly surrender power to Dickon Mitchell.
The NNP is yet to roll out anything from its large reservoir of funds which contributed to the destruction of NDC in the 2018 elections.