It’s another Christmas holiday period in Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique.
For many in the Spice Isle it is a Christmas with a difference as the population will be celebrating the occasion under a new dispensation following the upset victory of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the general election held just over six months ago.
The NDC supporters are now breathing fresh air for the first time in nine years following back-to-back victories at the polls in 2013 and 2018 by the New National Party (NNP) of defeated Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.
It is a bitter Christmas for many NNP’ites as they have grown accustomed for most of the past 30 years with their party in power and their 15 elected Members of Parliament handing out many goodies to them.
There has been a seismic political shift on the island as Congress now holds most of the seats in Parliament and their elected Members of Parliament are expected to be in charge of most of the landscape.
The hierarchy of the NDC should use the Christmas period not only to engage in merriment and fun but to pay particular attention to some of the data released in a survey done by a Canadian-based consultancy group involving one Dr. Justin Pierre.
Congress has a wonderful opportunity to cement its place in the country by taking advantage of a defeated NNP that is still struggling to come to the terms with the results of the June 23 general election.
If the data is correct then long-serving Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has to face up to the reality that he has a mountain to climb in order to get back in the job that he loves the most – the Prime Ministership of the country.
The data also seems to suggest that the longer the NNP takes to address the issue of leadership of the party the greater the chance of new Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell remaining in office for another term in charge of the government.
THE NDC also needs to face up to the reality that it can only guarantee victory at the polls in the next election if the hard and necessary political organisational work is done at the party level.
The current Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell holds the important key in his hand and can make decisive moves to lock out NNP from the corridors of power for a very long time.
Two of the issues that can hurt the NNP badly in going forward is the abuse of the financial purse by the so-called Faith organisation provided that a serious forensic account is done to determine whether criminal charges can be brought against anyone for wrong-doing with the millions that were spent.
The probe should look at the possibility of FAITH funds being used to illegally maintain one of the four constituencies in St. Andrew.
The NNP can also be left badly wounded by a proper investigation into the sale of the Diplomatic passport issue involving the Polish national who is said to be asking back for his funds as he did not get the prized national asset.
If Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell is speaking the truth about the documents in his possession then the NNP has a lot of explaining to do to the Grenadian people about their true involvement in the illegal sale of a Diplomatic passport.
THE NEW TODAY would also like to make some passing comments on the death this week of another leader of the Grenada Revolution, former Army Major and member of the powerful Central Committee of the New Jewel Movement (NJM) which crated the People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG) that took control of the island after the armed overthrow of the elected Eric Gairy government.
Ian St Bernard is the only person in the NJM leadership who might have given an insight into something that took place on the morning of October 19, 1983 that triggered the top brass of the army to send troops to storm Fort Rupert where executed Prime Minister Maurice Bishop, Foreign Minister Unison Whiteman and their supporters were located.
This CC member who was on Fort Frederick was asked to go over to the nearby Mental Home and make a telephone call to Fort Rupert to speak with Bishop on resuming negotiations with the Bernard Coard hardline Marxist faction to resolve the bitter internal crisis in the party which started on the issue of Joint Leadership between the two heavyweights in the party.
St Bernard did make the call and engaged Unison Whiteman and trade unionist Vincent Noel who refused to engage in any further negotiations and instead issued instructions for Coard’s three top lieutenants – Ewart “Headache” Layne, Liam “Owusu” James, and Leon “Bogo” Cornwall to go and surrender to the nearest police station.
It is against this particular background that troops were summoned from Camp Calivigny and ordered to move into Fort Rupert and take back control from Bishop and his supporters.
This statement from St Bernard definitely shed some light on the mindset of those militarists who were in charge of the army and were about to lose their grip on State power as a result of the Noel/Whiteman instructions about surrendering in the heat of the battle for control of the Grenada Revolution.
Was it a question of killing them first or faced being killed by The Other Side?
THE NEW TODAY would like to extend the best possible Christmas greetings to all of us in Grenada and urge our people to never forget John 3: 16 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Let us all be reminded at this time of the year that Christmas is most truly Christmas when we celebrate it by giving the light of love to those who need it most.