The Stench of Political Opportunism hangs over St George’s
When Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell addressed the nation last week, his PR handlers sought to give the nation the impression that it would be a speech sin precedent, game changing maybe! The reality is that the occasion was used to sell the nation a menu of changes in his government, some of which the nation is still trying to digest.
During my nomadic exploits, I wrote a piece under the theme “Astute political Move or Naked Opportunism, Peter David’s Defection to the NNP”. I referred to the fact that Basdeo Panday once said that politics has its own “moral bearings” That was in june2014.
Since then David and Humphrey have been busily engaged in a spirited campaign to ingratiate them to the rank and file of the NNP. Moreover, CARIBUPDATE newspaper has been on a consistent basis, defending the NNP administration and trying to bring the NDC into disrepute by suggesting that division is still the main feature of the existence of the party.
It was widely expected that Peter’s pay day was nigh, however; the announcement that Humphrey has been appointed an NNP Senator surprised some pundits. Humphrey has waged a relentless campaign against the NNP and Mitchell in particular that ordinary Grenadians were left scratching their heads as to whether politics respected moral and ethical boundaries.
The visceral and caustic attacks by Humphrey and David on Dr. Mitchell for over a decade when weighed today with their cosiness, have only served to create further distrust in politics and politicians.
Kenny Lalsingh’s catastrophic descent from Minister of Implementation to the Minister of nothing has many heads bowed in disbelief. The Prime Minister did say that he will remain as Chairman of the party, an insignificant post as Dr. Mitchell is the “Lord of all that he surveys” within the NNP landscape.
Most surprisingly, Dr. Lawrence Joseph was “retired” to make way for Humphrey to assume the post of President of the Senate. Some observers opine that it is a crafty move by the Prime Minister to use Humphrey’s hatred for Senators Nazim Burke and Ray Roberts to “manners” these two gentlemen and to position Dr. Joseph as the next Governor General. There are consistent reports that Dame Cecile’s tenure may come to an abrupt end.
The reassignment of Dr Modeste –Curwen to the Foreign Ministry seems to be a direct result of the call by the main opposition NDC for her removal as a result of the poor handling of the Chikungunya pandemic. Nicholas Steele was a clear candidate for relocation as he proved to be a nonstarter as it relates to managing our foreign relations. The case of Hon. Alexandra Otway Noel was even more dramatic. The Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association (GHTA) made an impassioned plea to the Prime Minister in writing asking that “We are a team and we want to stay together” Alex included. In an unprecedented display of support for a sitting Minister, the GHTA wrote “Grenada has never had a Minister of Tourism like Alexandra Otway Noel and we want to continue working with her”. All these pleadings fell on a deaf ear as Dr. Mitchell assigned the beloved former Minister to a desk in his Ministry.
Hon Oliver Joseph, Minister of Economic Development was rewarded with the addition of the International Business portfolio which gives him control of the Citizenship by Investment program. Minister Nicholas Steele however is asked to oversee the Health portfolio, which is an area in which he is unfamiliar. With the Ebola threat and the residual presence of ChickV, his chances of success seem remote. This may lead to an early exit from frontline politics for this neophyte politician and may herald the return of Peter David as a candidate for t he Town of St George.
The latest move by Dr. Mitchell has reinforced the gridlock control of the position of leader of the NNP. The Prime Minister celebrated his 68th birthday recently and surely succession must be uppermost in his mind. Nicholas Steele and Alexandra Otway Noel have been discredited along with Dr. Modeste Curwen. Roland Bhola has receded in a phase of uncharacteristic silence and Peter David must be rubbing his hands in glee as the prospect of inheriting the leadership of the NNP become more apparent. Many commentators have asked whether the proposed changes will enhance the country’s ability to meet the enormous challenges that confronts it. Only time will tell.
The Prime Minister must have concluded that a Humphrey / David combination in the Senate will unsettle the NDC leader. Humphrey may well use his position to frustrate Burke and even to expel him if it became necessary and /or possible.
Machiavelli must be looking down and wondering if he has a clone resident in Grenada. The Prime Minister was noticeably unsettled, nervous and shifty in his delivery. He spoke to inheriting economic chaos and that a small minority was hell bent on derailing the NNP/ Project Grenada political concoction. Machiavelli could opine that the clone may well be a photocopy.