The New Today


Clash of the titans: Gala v Drama

Never a dull moment in Grenadian politics, the excitement continues. No less so the ups and downs of West Indian cricket – euphoric wins and bitter disappointments over the years have seen Grenadians as a mild minded people not prone to violence, loudly but peacefully venting opinions.

Tempers may flair in partisan politics; ultimately cool heads prevail. Rum flows just short of blows from dissident voices reaching the end of their emotional tether just short of breaking free – then respite – cooling off, blowing off steam non-violently. Such is the angst and joy in Grenadian Politics.

Hypocrisy in politics infused with aggressive attacks is as common as the air we breathe, barrages come in waves as expected; people bombarded with misinformation and disinformation – the explosion point is a spark away. One more Clarke’s Court puts that to rest. Fortunately, Grenadians are known to have long fuses; maybe too long.

Leaders in office feel entitled and maintain a posture of demagoguery as they sit, literally for decades unopposed, consciously or unconsciously suppressing challenges to toxic work environments created by leaders themselves in the name of democracy.

Opposition mounted from within or without the body politic faces subtle but brutal victimisation. While preaching democracy, the pretense of strict adherence to the constitution and the rule of law, is facial.

Colonial style rule laced with deceit and broken promises stand notably rejected by today’s politically savvy masses. And they expect to be re-elected? Fat chance! Political suicide!

New governments sweep into power when the people, in a democracy, lose the trust and confidence of a leader. The leader who has become boastful, arrogant, overconfident, who also becomes a know-it-all, manipulative and conniving, and sidelining lifelong friends and associates, must be seen as acting at odds with the mental capacity to withstand the pressures of leadership.

The imperative to speak out under those circumstances must not be lost. To threaten and indeed exclude key stakeholders from critical policy making committees is a political cardinal sin for which there may be no forgiveness when the high priest changes.

In those circumstances, party supporters recognising obvious gaslighting will – in good faith – move to re-evaluate the leader’s commitment to self and legacy rather than party and national unity, despite the leader’s rhetoric and protestations.

The leader who has been brash and uncompromising and continues to be, who cannot or refuses to take responsibility for crushing mistakes attributable to stubbornness may have depleted the shrewdness to lead.

Interestingly though, leaders who may be well meaning, surrounding themselves with inexperience, incompetent, full of themselves, pseudo-intellectual colleagues and who “obviously” fall under the leader’s hammer and therefore easily manipulated fly in the face of good governance.

Leaving a deputy, inept in governance because of inexperience, to conduct matters of state, absolves direct responsibility and deflects attention away from follies at the home-front.

Leaders who fly in shameless frequency and extravagance must ultimately show and convince citizens of the social and economic benefits of their traveling exploits may be shafted at the polls next time around. Unless there are significant changes in events and strategy, adios amigos!

Will the hallmark of NDC’s political campaigning – Transparency and Accountability – stamped by former Prime Minister, Tillman Thomas, see the light of day? It’s anyone’s guess.

The leader is the captain who, unlike the freely flying seagulls, would not for long have the luxury of a life of plenty and peaceful flight. Beware, flight from reality is a dream from which wake will surely come. What then?

At this point in Grenadian electioneering, few doubt that the NDC leadership of Prime Minister, Hon. Dickon Mitchell, thrives and survives mainly on showpieces like the vaunted “Gala” culture and photo ops.

The CBI, no matter how painted, hailed successes that have not reached the ‘people’ – have only lined the pockets of friends and party favourites following somewhat the lead of the NNP under the leadership of former Prime Minister Keith Mitchell, but in a grossly exaggerated theater.

Meanwhile, Drama at the NNP perceived or real has begun to play out on the public stage. The present leadership has apparently, from reliable sources, become more dictatorial, obsessed, rabid and hell bent on molding the party in the leader’s image assuring a legacy of decades of dedicated service – unbroken returns to office – recognised as the longest serving and most successful politicians in the region, a distinction equally impressive internationally. However, all things must come to an end, good or bad.

The fading sun in the horizon ushers a new day with rising hope, hope of unity mending broken communities and prosperity overcoming the inequities so prevalent among the poor and vulnerable.

As the curtain draws to a close, future leadership in Grenada enabling a stable and inclusive government may well be decided by St. Pete at the Gates making the final call.

For the moment the saga continues, Clash of the Titans: Gala v Drama

Kit Stonewalling