The New Today
Editorials

When the carnival over!!!

The 2023 carnival season is due to reach its high points in the coming days with thousands of persons already visiting to attend many of the events to be held over the next five days.

The Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) has done a wonderful job in educating the public on issues of safety and traffic in this extremely busy period of the year.

The High Command should be commended as the top brass including Acting Commissioner of Police Don McKenzie were seen last Friday afternoon making the rounds in the city and interacting with the public.

THE NEW TODAY is hopeful that this would become a permanent fixture of the higher echelon of the Force like back in the days of ex-Commissioners James Clarkson and the late Fitzroy Bedeau when their presence was felt among the ordinary man and woman in the society.

The High Command members must see this exercise as an extension of Community Policing as citizens feel a greater sense of safety and protection when they see them milling around in the cities and towns and even at the village level.

However, RGPF cannot get full marks as not enough of those police officers who were beneficiary of the recent promotion exercise were seen this carnival season on the beat and serving as cops on the streets in order to give a greater presence by the law enforcement officers.

It seems on the surface that RGPF is very top heavy with police officers who only see themselves as performing a duty during the hours of 8.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. and leaving the rest of the hours of the day to low-ranking police officers.

When the Carnival is over Commissioner Mc Kenzie and his team need to address a growing complaint within the force over the years of laziness within the ranks as most of the officers are bent on leaving the bulk of the work at the level of the stations in the hands of the Corporals and Constables.

It is a clear case of the taxpayers not getting value for money from the attitude of these officers who are nothing but under-performers.

The coffers of the Treasury should be left in a healthy state in the immediate aftermath of the Carnival due to the influx of the foreigners including Grenadians in the Diaspora or the thousands from elsewhere who came to be part of the Spicemas experience.

The Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell and his National Democratic Congress (NDC) should also look at fixing a number of things when the Carnival is over.

There might also be a need for a shake-up among the portfolios of Ministers in some kind of a Cabinet reshuffle.

The Prime Minister might have to take a newlook at the Ministry of Economic Development and find someone within the Camp who has the drive like the Minister of Implementation and Member of Parliament for South St George Andy Williams.

The Ministry of Economic Development has a key role to play in helping to put the developmental projects that are needed in place to take the administration into the second half of its term in office.

The current Minister of Housing Phillip Telesford has been one of the standouts in the first year in office and could be an excellent choice to become the new Minister of Economic Development, Planning and ICT.

Another suggestion to the Prime Minister is to place Economic Development under MIT and Andy Williams and have a separate Permanent Secretary to look after the portfolio.

The Education portfolio should be relooked as the grumbling are getting a bit louder and uncomfortable with the reluctance of the incumbent David Andrew to effect some badly needed changes in personnel and also from some of the ill-conceived policies of his predecessor.

Minister Andrew is an excellent speaker and can make a good Minister of Foreign Affairs and should be considered for a switch with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Andall who needs to be more grounded in his St Patrick West constituency.

The NDC should be mindful that if three or four of the marginal constituencies were to be flipped by NNP in the next general election, the prospects of regime change can be on the cards.

It also appears on the surface that the new government is still struggling with putting together the team that is needed to avoid the pitfalls of its predecessor in office when it comes to Implementation of Projects.

It is our view that until and unless the Prime Minister takes bold and decisive action in addressing the level of incompetence among some of the Permanent Secretaries and other senior officers within the public service, it boils down to just spinning top in mud.

When the carnival is over, the Prime Minister and his Team of Political Advisors will also have to look at the state of play for the NDC in several of the constituencies on the island.

One of them has to be the Town of St George and answer the critical question in a very bold, frank and decisive manner whether to keep the status quo in place or look for new leadership in going forward.

THE NEW TODAY wishes all and sundry a safe and peaceful Carnival experience and as violence-free as much as possible.

Let us support our law enforcement officers in carrying out their duties and responsibilities of keeping the nation as safe and peaceful as possible this August 2023 Carnival.

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