Law & Politics
by Lloyd Noel
We have now gone through with our new and unopposed Government — in total control of the Nation’s public affairs for over six months, and the above question is begging for an appropriate answer.
There has been a lot of talk about new investors — and provision of thousands of jobs for our long-suffering unemployed tens of thousands, who are daily struggling to make economic ends meet.
But as we go into the second half of the first year, of the new controllers’ complete dominance of the government affairs — the troubling question is becoming more and much more disturbing, and crucial for the good and welfare of our people, as they wait in reliance on mere promises.
The economic and development situation, in the very countries from which our leaders have been expecting to attract loans or grants, or Citizenship Investors to boost our economy — they are having their own problems in their homelands or the surrounding regions, of one kind or another that is restricting or hampering their very freedom or ability to act as they please.
Of course, that state of affairs provides a readymade opportunity for the controllers here at home, to plead that the fault or the inability to keep their election promises — is not of their making.
So that even the nearly two hundred million, the P.M. as Finance Minister was boasting he had secured from foreign sources, and over the next three months nearly ten thousand jobs will be provided islandwide — that too may very well be wishful thinking.
The 2014 Budget has been announced will be delivered in early December, for its debate and passage in parliament maybe before Christmas — in which case the millions boasted about will not be available in the next three months, and therefore the thousands of jobs that were announced to be forthcoming in that period will remain mere promises.
As for any movement of investors, under the Citizenship Investment Law recently passed by Parliament — I cannot see much happening under that scheme anytime soon, so as to make any difference to the provision of jobs, for the thousands of unemployed who fell for the NNP glib promises in the election campaign.
As for the roads maintenance and debushing gangs — that started with large numbers about three months ago islandwide — not only have the gangs been reduced, but the number of those employed in the fewer gangs have also gone down.
From all the foregoing, therefore, it must mean that the people who gave Dr. Mitchell and his NNP team, the absolute control over the nation’s affairs for five years, from last February up to 2018 — they must be having plenty second and disturbing thoughts thus for.
And now we are hearing about Russian or other Far East countries’ ships doing oil research or other operations in the south of the Island between our waters and that of Trinidad and Venezuela — and it leaves many to wonder, whether the powers–that–be are becoming already so desperate, that they are stooping to any lengths in the search for some alternative, to cover up their empty promises that are already looking hopeless.
One aspect of the controllers’ operations we cannot overlook, is that the various government ministers and other top officials are always flying overseas to all kinds of meetings or whatever — but thus far nothing concrete seems to be forthcoming from those trips, and it is not known to us on the outside who is paying for them and the other costs involved.
From all appearances therefore, as we wait for the next three months — while the budget details are being put together for presentation in early December — it all looks as though nothing of any consequence will be taking place in that waiting period.
And even when the Budget is passed in Parliament by the Finance Minister for the Fiscal Year 2014 — none of it will be available before the year ends, and therefore his public statement a few weeks ago, that over ten thousand jobs will be available in the next three months, was just another empty promise that cannot be fulfilled.
So the waiting game by the unemployed thousands, who were expecting the many overseas investors — that were lining up to come ashore and provide jobs — they just have to keep on waiting and hoping, that the new year will some how be more productive for the provision of jobs, and the fulfilment of some of the many promises for which they voted in February 2013.
But while we are waiting and hoping, and many on their knees praying no doubt for better says ahead — we had the sad news of the death of retired Governor–General Sir Paul Scoon, on the second of September, 2013.
Our very famous son from Gouyave had been in Education and Government Administration nearly all his lifetime — and to date has been the longest serving Governor General from 1978 to 1992.
He was there in March, 1979, when the NJM overthrew the Eric Gairy regime and seized power by force of arms — and he was still there when a faction of the same group rebelled against Bishop and his supporters, killed them at Fort Rupert and took over control of the State.
And he was also rescued by the U. S. A. and Caribbean Forces in October 1983, after the killing of Bishop and others and the release of the many political detainees in Grenada.
He continued to serve as G. G. over various political leaders until ill-health forced his retirement, and now he has passed on to the great beyond.
Sir Paul will always be remembered for his public services to the people of our Tri–Island State, and we in the parish of St. John especially — where he set standards and laid down examples we can only admire and dream of following.
As he is laid in his final resting place, just two months after his seventy-eight birth date — I extend heartfelt sympathies to his loved ones and relatives, and truly wish that his soul will always rest in peace — after his funeral at Gouyave on Thursday 19September 2013.