By Lloyd Noel
The thirty years of age of the NNP since its formation in the Nineteen Eighties, have now gone by without too much fan fare by the controllers on the occasion last month.
We know that they did have two special achievements, in that they won ALL fifteen seats in our General Elections on two occasions, and who knows, should they perform with credit in the remaining three years and over, they could make it into three consecutive victories with all the seats.
But before we come to the next end of the five years term in control, we have that referendum to reform the constitution next year March; and should they obtain the two-thirds majority vote for so doing, then we could be seeing a brand new package, in the form of a Republican Constitution with our President for Life, and the breakaway from the Commonwealth, the Queen in England and the Privy Council.
Whether or not that is what our people would like to see happening in our tri-island state, only time and the eventual voting result would tell in due course, just like the recent outcome did in Scotland.
But before we get to that stage four and a half months down the road, I find our other national organisations, political or otherwise, are treating the issue with very shallow regard, as though they are not interested, or do not see the need to advise and update their supporters on such an important event in our nation’s affairs that cannot be reversed.
I agree that the whole issue of jobs creation, unemployment and the cost of living islands-wide, are just as crucial for our people generally, but even on those issues there seems to be a national silence, as though it is all a matter for the controllers only, and those on the outside are mere spectators waiting for things to happen.
I agree that the whole issue of jobs creation and investors coming in their numbers to start up businesses and provide jobs, were the pillars on which those now in control won all the seats over eighteen months ago and assumed complete control.
And here we are coming up to two years in the driving seats, and the vehicle of progress and some measure of improvement seems to be at a standstill. That state of affairs are bad enough for the many thousands who are unemployed and can see no signs of improvement any time soon.
And from the news coming through the government employment grapevine, instead of getting better, retrenchment of many employees on the government payroll seems to be the next state of bad news to be expected.
With no investors coming to start up any business that can employ some of the unemployed, and the government itself not raising anywhere nearly enough, from taxes or other dues to meet its overheads, this must mean that measures have to be taken to meet the main necessities.
Our heydays of nutmeg, cocoa and banana production have gone through, and even our fishing industry is no where nearly what it used to be in the good old days – so raising government revenue from those quarters are things of the distant past – so other means or measures have to be found to meet the daily expenses, and in the current conditions that is no easy or available alternative.
It is therefore understandable, when we hear about pending retrenchment by the controllers to make ends meet. But at the same time most of those public servants have families to care for, and other cost of living expenses to meet in their daily lives – so where would the funds becoming from to make those ends meet?
Against that background at the national level, how would the plans to change our Constitution, break away from the Commonwealth and the Privy Council in England, and become a Republican State with a President for Life, help our people at this time?
In my humble opinion the constitutional changes or reformation, the controllers are planning for our tri-island state come next year March, these should be rejected with no reservations whatsoever, and our people pursue a mode of operation in keeping with the standards and customs we have been used to over the years, to bring about the changes.
And that is where our many groups or organisations, and other political parties have a serious role to play – in advising and counselling our people, to help them make the correct decisions for the good and welfare of the tri-island state.