Michael B Archibald
ST GEORGE’S, Grenada, Friday May 25, 2012 – Our much loved son of the soil George Brizan could not have been more correct when he named his book – Grenada, Island of Conflict! Is there something in our waters, our soil, our spices from which we got our name or in our very character that predisposes us to internal strife and conflict? Brizan’s thoughtful book or even just a cousury examination of our last fifty years certainly would make any one shake his/her head with perplexity.
Among many, many questions now being asked two predominate for me:
i) Will we ever have an extended period of political peace that so many long for?
ii) Could not these ‘adults’ ,”grown men and women” in the ruling NDC who claim “to love our country” and want to “serve our country” have sat down together in a room with locked doors and not come back out until they have hammered out their differences for the good of the country?
After all, they all know our history and how desperately calm, maturity and political peace is needed. Was that too much to ask for? Or to expect?
My own feelings at the moment, like many other Grenadians I have spoken to here and abroad on both sides of the political divide, is one of anger, frustration, disappointment and worry for the future of our country.
I remembered that when I returned to Grenada to live a few months before the election in 2008 making many phone calls and trying with out success to see any of Messers Thomas, Burke and David. I knew these gentlemen and I wanted to determine for my own self two things:
i) Their overall philosophy and plans for the development of Grenada;
ii) the strength of their commitment to working together as one united entity-particularly as, like many others, I saw the NDC at that time more as a marriage of convenience of two groups coming together to remove the NNP from government. One good friend of mine who knows the NDC well suggested to me that it was incorrect to regard the newer incoming participants as a group but as separate individuals all coming into the fold of the party as it were, especially as some who might have been considered part of the group now firmly support Prime Minister Tillman Thomas as Leader of the party. However I still hold the view that it was largely a coming together of two “groups”.
I was worried that it was the desire to defeat then Prime Minister Keith Mitchell that was the glue that bound them together rather than a common philosophy and agreement on the way forward to develop this country. I never got the chance make that assessment as all I got for my pains was the odd phone call promising that someone would get back to me. Maybe they were simply too busy for one returning Grenadian.
While so many focus on which one is wrong and which faction to support I suspect there is blame enough to spread around to most of the participants. Was it all just a marriage of convenience for both sides after all? Was one group coming in as wolves in sheep clothing purely with the intention of taking over the party as some suggest?
Were they all, on both sides, so intent on removing the NNP that they did not seek to make sure that they were compatible? Did they all buy into the manifesto-the fundamental philosophical and organisational thesis that should guide the party in government if elected? Did they all have the commitment to good governance, transparency and accountability?
Since major policy differences have yet to be articulated but only hinted at in street talk, does the real issue, as was put to me, surround the process and timetable for a transition of leadership within the party?
Did the perceived need to save the country or did the lust for power drive out all other considerations.
Whichever it is the citizen are left between a rock and a hard place and continue to suffer-as always.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Michael B Archibald. Michael B Archibald – MBA(FS), FICB, AICB, is the principal of MBA Consultancy Inc.