There has been an uproar in certain sections of the country over an incident last weekend in which a policeman was left injured from an attack on him by an element from the notorious 4-Roads area on Upper Grenville Street.
THE NEW TODAY will never countenance violence much less an unwarranted and unprovoked attack on a member of the Security Forces especially the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF).
The reality of the situation is that the 4-Roads area has been allowed to become a menace to the society due to the number of illegal activities taking place especially by misguided youths linked to the Political Directorate in the country.
Several residents have often called the police to complain about the activities of the known law-breakers and the response from the lawmen has been rather lukewarm over the years.
The reports often reaching us is that the troublemakers will go underground but as soon as the police depart they will re-emerge to continue with their illegal businesses.
It is clear to us that under a former Commissioner like James Clarkson, the activities at 4-Roads would have been checked and the culprits put on notice that it cannot be business as usual.
In recent years, those engaged in breaking the law in the area have developed a sophisticated network including ties with certain politicians to seek protection in the society.
It is well-known that whenever election approaches, money will flow from the coffers of the politicians to specific agents in 4-Roads to keep “the boys” happy in exchange for political support on Election Day.
In the instant case, a U.S-trained attorney-at-law and not the usual surrogate of the politician with deep roots inside 4-Roads who was called into action in the Magistrate’s Court to handle the case in which the policeman was left injured with five stitches to the head from a bottle that was pelted.
The election is fast approaching so no politician wants to be seen as giving support to the lawbreakers.
4-Roads will always remain an area of major concern if there is no change in the relationship between the Political Directorate who have deep ties with “The Don Men” who run things there.
As a senior member of RGPF commented this week, the police force is affected by political manipulation and the hands of the High Command are tied since they are not providing the type of independent leadership that is so badly needed.
THE NEW TODAY would like to offer some advice to the current Political Leader of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Dickon Mitchell as he tries to navigate the party in the face of an upcoming general election.
As a new entrant into the political arena and against a most dangerous opponent like Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell, the current Congress leader needs to surround himself in this most important period with trusted persons who can help him understand the intricacies of politics and hold his hand to prepare him for the battle that lies ahead.
This is not the time for armchair politicians and political strategists to parade on the national stage – especially persons who lack a track record with electoral success.
Mr. Dickon Mitchell is under-utilising the services of Alleyne Walker, one of the most successful NDC candidates in winning elections over the past 30 years.
As a 4-time winner at the polls, Mr. Walker is not flamboyant as many politicians but is a deep political thinker with a great understanding of politics on the ground level.
The ex-Member of Parliament is one of the shrewdest Congress politicians still alive and can help the NDC leader understand what it takes to win elections.
It is very unfortunate that Mr. Walker was not invited to sit on the Selection Committee to help identify the persons to contest in the rural seats from St David’s to St Patrick West on the critical Eastern Corridor.
The other person who can offer tremendous help to the new NDC leader is Opposition Leader Tobias Clement who is very similar to Mr. Walker – not much of a big talker but understands what needs to be done to win elections.
Another advantage of Mr. Clement is that he has some persons with him who understand the politics much better than many of the armchair Generals who demonstrate “the know-it all” approach to the politics.
The sooner the NDC understands that ministers are only selected to perform a job in government and only after a party finds the best eight candidates who can bring home the prize on Election Day to them.
The framers of the constitution provided an Upper House in Parliament known as the Senate in which persons can be brought in with the skillset to help the winning party provide good government for its citizens.
The immediate task that lies ahead for Mr. Dickon Mitchell is to find the magical Eight to bring home “the Bacon” for NDC on Election Day.
Time is not on the side of Congress as the party is lacking in terms of the organisational strength, depth and capacity at the moment to steamroll over Dr. Mitchell and the ruling New National Party (NNP) even at its weakest and most vulnerable.
The ruling party is beatable like what happened in 2008 but it can only happen if the conditions are created including the putting together of a formidable coalition of forces to go into the battle that is fast approaching.
The 1979-83 Grenada Revolution had a slogan, “A United People Can Never Be Defeated” and so those with influence in NDC should understand that in unity there will be strength not only to confront the NNP but to beat Dr. Mitchell and company on Election Day.