by William Joseph
Grenada’s Ambassador to Moscow during the Revolution was a professor named Richard Jacob who once described a member of his diplomatic staff as “irredeemably dull”! Jacob of the Old Testament made a ‘coat of many colours’ for his favourite son, Joseph, who was immeasurably brilliant! Last Sunday, the NDC leader seemed irredeemably lost in a ‘cloak of many words’! He talked and talked, but never moved the needle!
Evidently, Burke is well able to eloquently describe the worst of the human condition in Grenada! However, for concrete solutions to the very problems, knock someone else’s door. Conditions of lacking in any poor society are distinctly party-neutral. Obviously, no regime can benefit from bad conditions, and so the existence of such conditions point to objective factors, especially a shortage of resources. Every Government of Grenada has had to face these unhappy conditions and that is not about to change.
Keep that in mind and add to it the following, “more jobs, less taxes, better healthcare and more opportunities”, compliments Victor. Having done so, one thing pops out at you, i.e. money! Where will Grenada get the money? The conditions of lacking can only be overcome by increased production of wealth, not words. Grenada has a big economic production problem!
“Brother Naz” diagnosed correctly, but did not trust himself to lay out the cure. Not at all surprising, but it calls into question the party’s strategy for winning the elections. Remember, in our culture, we do not vote in Government, we vote out! And there are two grounds on which we do so.
Some might give credit to Burke for retreating from the original Convention theme. After all, neither he nor ‘his’ NDC has any reputation for fixing things in public affairs, nor for working together with others. Look at their persistent attacks on the Social Partners group that has been engaged with the regime and the NDC’s abandonment of several stakeholders working on the National Plan 2030 to write their own so-called Policy Agenda! Their clear intent was to up-stage the Plan! Sunday, Burke shamelessly pulled a cheap stunt when he declared that any political party in Grenada could use his Policy Agenda! So that highly defective document has magically become a prized national asset! Burke’s Christmas gift to the NNP! Who is he trying to fool?
But how genuine can Burke be about “Putting People First” when he has vowed to engage in the politics on his “own terms”?
Can people embrace a leader who talks empowerment, but puts no liberating governance proposals on the table? This is an area where the NDC was thought of as having a comparative advantage over the NNP.
It was interesting to observe Burke’s incredible restraint in not presenting himself as a superior ‘economic manager’! Strangely, however, although the public finances collapsed under his stewardship as Minister of Finance, he was downright brazen to say “the Government put us in the arms of the IMF”! Was the Government not trying to ‘fix’ a national problem? Not chastened by his experiences at Finance, he does not even commit to a policy of stabilizing the public finances!
Strangely too, he sends us to read his Policy Agenda after talking at length about the youth problem and IMANI. But he kept silent on his own proposal in the Policy Agenda to introduce the “HEART” as a new NDC youth program. If the IMANI is politicised, what do you say about the “HEART”? Give him credit if he has also retreated from that ill-advised proposal.
The leader may speak freely, but that freedom of speech may well freeze the NDC! No longer divided, but frozen! With no buzz, excitement or ‘rising tide’, the result is as plain as daylight!
One of the duties of leaders is not to mislead or let-down their followers. One of the duties of leaders is to inspire the people. One of the duties of leaders is to bring solutions to the basic problems of the people. One of the duties of leaders is to lift the party, not limit its chances. NDC people must have awakened on Monday to find that the needle never moved!