The New Today


Dickon could make Keith spend millions

Likeable but unknown Dickon Mitchell could force Keith Claudius Mitchell to run money like water in an election campaign.

The power of money is enormous as it makes the world go round. Our Grenada Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has used the money to perfection in his long and controversial political career. In this Covid Pandemic cash-strapped economy, the government of Dr. Mitchell is prepared to gamble and gamble big.

In his 2021-22 Budget presentation, Finance Minister Gregory Bowen announced an extra month salary for all frontline workers in the fight against Covid-19 and an additional half month salary for other public officers.

I am happy for all the workers. Extra income in this period of the big increase in the cost of living is welcome. We urge the workers to put the money to good use. And no doubt about it, the frontline workers deserve a world of recognition for their dedicated performances.

However, Grenada must not lose sight of Dr. Mitchell’s history of political trickery. Then in opposition, one recalls the 1995 election campaign when he announced that “workers earning less than $60,000 will not pay a penny income-tax”.

90 percent of the Grenadian workforce paid no income tax. That Mitchell initiative excluding the overwhelming majority of the workforce from paying income tax was challenged by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and the best economic minds! They all concluded it was bound to fail and it did.

Nevertheless, the Mitchell objective was to win the votes of the unsuspecting and it did. People were happy to go home with their entire salary. The consequence is the same -Keith Mitchell lowered the income tax threshold in 2013 from $60,000 to 36,000.

The question we must ask ourselves is – how genuine is this gift from the ruling NNP Government? Considering the raging battles between the said NNP Government and the Public sector unions for salary increase up to September of this year, now all of a sudden $25 million-plus is available to pay workers?

Unquestionably it is Prime Minister Mitchell using the most potent weapon in his arsenal, taxpayers’ money to drum up election voter-support in preparation of a likely general election next year.

Two things are negatively impacting the Prime Minister and his NNP Cabinet Ministers – the instant popularity of the new NDC leader Dickon Mitchell and the significant number of NNP supporters who are anti-vaccine and are enraged with Dr. Mitchell’s stand for mandatory vaccination.

The anti-vaxxers are relentlessly protesting that many of them have lost their jobs because the government has failed to protect their human rights. The vendors at the Grand Anse Market are unrelenting in their protests. Police prevented them from entering the market to do business and many have said to the media they are not voting for NNP. This has been echoed in rum shops, on the bloc, and elsewhere.

Dr. Mitchell won all 15 seats in successive general elections but the margin of victory in some constituencies is not insurmountable. Also, as many as 20,000 people did not vote in 2018 and if 10,000 of them support the newlook NDC under Dickon Mitchell in the next elections, we could have a different result.

Dr. Mitchell is obsessed with winning elections and will do whatever it takes to maintain political support. What separates the NNP from all other political parties is its ability to find and spend plenty of money from all kinds of sources in its campaign.

NNP fatigue is growing all across Grenada. The Covid Pandemic has brought hardship and Prime Minister Mitchell’s promises for the 2018 General Elections are generally trickery. The US$50M shrimp farm employing hundreds in St. Mark and the Russian discovery of oil in Grenada all turned out to be pie in the sky.

The biggest disappointment of all is Dr. Mitchell’s promise of a significant reduction in the cost of electricity following the government’s repurchase of Grenlec. The reality is that the cost of electricity is higher than ever.

Dickon Mitchell has thus far been a model of statesmanship and pride on the political stage. On the contrary, the ageing Dr. Mitchell has reduced himself to a loudmouth street fighter, relentlessly attacking his political opponents in the most vulgar manner.

Prime Minister Mitchell did not even welcome Dickon into the political area. From the minute he was elected there was a Keith Mitchell angrily and bitterly dismissing a young man from the parish of St. David. Shame on the NNP leader!!!

So far the Keith Mitchell approach has not worked and the prospects look challenging for Dr. Mitchell as even some NNP supporters like “the young Dick”.

One anticipates that in 2022, the NNP money will run like water in every village and the less fortunate could be in for a bonanza of goodies – all for your vote!

In summary, Prime Minister Mitchell and his Ministers love to quote verses and chapters in the bible in their respective presentations in Parliament. They are surely familiar with the Book of Genesis in Chapter 41 and continue highlighting the unknown Joseph, the son of Jacob, being the one to unfold Pharaoh’s frightening dream.

Dickon Mitchell might very well be the unknown gentleman to unseat the so-called undisputed king of Grenadian politics in his old age, and force him to exit in humiliation like the Chief Minister in Anguilla earlier this year.

The Eye Watcher