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Grenada needs a new political party to end the oppression

 

Grenada’s ruling New National Party (NNP) government deducted money from striking public workers salary. The vast majority of these workers are black Grenadian women and some them are single mothers, plus they have extended families to support based on our society family structure inherited from our African fore-parents. So, when will the oppression end from slavery to this present time?  

Basically, this form of oppression is not new to the vast majority of  Grenadians. It started when the French colonists committed genocide against the native population of Caribs and after that, the French political writers wrote fake history and tell us that the native people jumped to their death during the last battle with the French army in Sauteurs because they did not want to surrender.  Now, today Sauteurs town is known for its historical site Leapers Hill.

After the native population was extinct, the French colonialists brought captive Africans bound in chains and shackles to work on the tobacco and sugar plantations as slaves, in the most inhuman conditions that lasted for more than two centuries.

During the period of slavery, there were many rebellions but the most popular rebellion was Fedon Rebellion that took place in the latter part of the 18th century.  The majority of black slaves rebelled against the British after the French gave up Grenada to the British in the Treaty of Paris in 1763 and the French planters were not happy with the British authorities.  

So, the big question is:  Why did the slaves put their trust in the French planters, and they despised the British as their new coloniser?  

One can only suggest that the French planters must have promised the slaves some kind of freedom, or maybe the British slave system was more brutal than the French.

The conflict between the French and British planters escalated and the black African slaves joined the French planters in the rebellion against the British.  The rebellion lasted for almost two years and the rebel fighters captured almost the entire island, except the capital city today known as St. George’s

In the battle, the British Governor Hume was captured and executed by the rebel fighters.  After the British launched a successful counterattack under the command of Sir Ralph Abercromby,  his troops recaptured Grenada with the help of some urban opposition fighters under the command of a French Creole man named Louis La Grenade.

Louis La Grenade who was also a slave master was compensated by the British for his loyalty. He was allowed to have his own militia in St. George’s and he became the first local creole to own a shipping company. In addition, there is a possibility that he was involved in the slave trade within the island with his merchant ship too.  In addition, he had many black African slave women as his concubines. His favourite slave women named Iris, whom he made sure that the British declared her a freed black woman.

Grenada remained a post slave colony until February 7, 1974, when the country got its independence from the British, under the leadership of Eric Matthew Gairy who was a descendant of black African slaves. Gairy was never liked and accepted by the mulattoes and local white ruling class even though he defeated them in the Sky Red Revolution in 1951. Gairy’s revolution was against the plantocracy.

One can argue that Gairy completed the Fedon revolution in 1951 because the British colonialists had no other choice but to recognised him as a black politician fighting in the interest of his people.

After Gairy championed the working class struggle for almost three decades, there was a vacuum for change because his ideas were no longer accepted by a younger generation who wanted a political change.  The new generation created a new movement for change in rural communities.

The movement was a rural base grassroots political organisation called the Jewel Movement that was very popular. The Jewel Movement popularity attracted urban intellectuals and they formed an alliance.  The urban-based intellectual organisations were MAP and OREL.

The leaders of the smaller urban movement were intellectuals. They merged with Jewel Movement and created the New Jewel Movement. The grassroots rural youths were comfortable with the inclusion of the urban intellectuals.  They accepted the intellectuals as their guardians but unfortunately, those intellectuals were thinking bigger than Grenada. Their ideas were not inclined with the historical and traditional culture of the masses.

However, on March 13, 1979, the New Jewel Movement over-throned Eric Gairy’s government but things did not work out as most rural supporters expected.  The intellectuals abandoned the New Jewel Movement manifesto and set up a socialist-communists style government with a Central Committee as the highest decision-making body and they brought some of their intellectual comrades from the other Caribbean islands as experts to help them create the People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG).

They suspended the constitution and create new laws that citizens were scared to challenge. One of the new law was the Pension  Plan Act of 1983.

Again, one can only presuppose that the PRG wanted to take full control of the public sector, with the aim of destroying civil servants as a petty bourgeoisie class, in order to hire new workers in the future, who are indoctrinated within the PRG socialist-communist ideology.

In terms of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) the PRG created, it was a very good safety net for workers who are employed in the private sector industries. So, it is very difficult for those of us who are not covering up the PRG political intention, to say openly that we are very suspicious about the regime future plans.

On the other hand, it is very easy for all Grenadians who are not playing politics with this present industrial strike by public workers, to say it loud and clear, that the government should give the workers their money that they are asking for and they are entitled to get.

The simple fact is that the PRG regime is no longer in power. Westminster style democracy has been restored in 1985. Therefore,  both the New National Party (NNP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and some Trade Union Leaders are guilty of robbing public servants.

So, I personally think that there is a vacuum for a new political party to fill in the void and do the right thing in the interest of the public servants and to get rid of tribal politics, and all those political opportunists who feel that they are entitled to govern the Tri-Island State of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.

 

Grenada so-called progressive forces cannot silence my stories from a different perspective

By Hudson George

 

Persons who believe in one party state government rule with media control have no rights to criticise citizens who are brave enough to give their opinion in print writing. So, I am using my freedom to give my views and opinion on various topics about Grenada, without any fear of the so-called progressive class who chose to make their permanent homes in capitalist countries just as me.

However, whenever the state controls the media, citizens with a different opinion are suppressed and those who support the government will do all the dirty work, just to access a piece of the political pie. Now that we are living a time, when we are free to express our opinion, I do not see the reason why some supporters of the former people’s revolutionary government should target others who do not share their political values, in an aggressive way.

Basically, I am not interested in any brand of politics that will make me look progressive because, our progressive forces are a bunch of coward talkers who refused to die for Grenada, when the U.S Army invaded Grenada October 25, 1983. Those who are quick to criticise opponents of the revolution did not fight on the battlefield during the invasion.

The vast majority of them are armchair revolutionaries, who think that they still have a monopoly to disrespect others who do not share their political values and opinion.

Some of them are living and enjoying the good life in same capitalist countries that they take pleasure to criticised, while they make sure that they abide the laws within the social norms of those countries. Most of them migrate from the so-called progressive countries to anti-progressive countries and they are using the various available media to harass persons who do not share their hopeless political agenda.

For the past week, I have noticed some of them are wasting their time to attack me for the article that I wrote (October 24, 2018). If they are all that progressive and they think that their political ideology is the best for Grenada, I think they should stop wasting their time on social media just criticising me for my contribution.

In my last article, I criticise Dr. Terrance Marryshow and Catholic Bishop-fr Harvey because I think it is my rights as a born and raised Grenadian to give my opinion on any topic about Grenada, the same way as the two gentlemen did during October remembrance day celebration, for those persons who died at Fort George, when the people’s revolutionary government and army split and decided to settle their political difference in a gun battle shoot.

However, what is surprising to me is, that the handful of these so-called progressive thinkers have the guts to say that I made up history to get attention. If they take some time and do some research about Grenada history during the power struggle period between the French and the British to colonised Grenada, they will learn that there was mass execution by the British, in St. George’s market square of persons who fought in the Fedon rebellion.

The problem with our Grenadian progressive thinkers, they have no interest to listen to other people’s opinion. They are so dogmatic in thoughts, they think, that they have the rights to educate others to become closed minded and brainwashed as they are. And when they cannot succeed, they tend to become angry with their opponents and then they will plan some other methods to ridicule their opponents with unpleasant comments.

But the good news I have for them is that they cannot stop me from writing from a different perspective. Some of us have to give another side of the story so that fake history will not become the true story. I will continue doing what I am doing because life is energy. Nobody can stop me from using my energy as long as I do not step on the line of defamation whereby, I can be sued for saying wrong things against individuals.

My intention is not to spread lies and propaganda. I have stories to tell and will continue writing as long as I have the mental and physical ability do so.

 

 

 

 

Dr. Terrance Marryshow must be aware! Some of us black Grenadians know our history

By Hudson George

Whenever anybody ask me what religious denomination I belong to, I always tell them I am an Anglican but I do not  attend church service and  I am not interested in joining any other religion. Now my reason for raising this topic is, because I am very much upset with Dr. Terrance Marryshow and the Catholic bishop Clyde Harvey, for trying to tell us Grenadians who should be our heroes.

From the time Dr. Marryshow came back from Cuba as a qualified medical doctor, he is campaigning for Grenadians to make the late former revolutionary Prime Minister Maurice Bishop our national hero.  He keeps on advocating his personal political  desire every year during October month, when the Remembrance Day celebration of October 19, 1983 bloody event is held at Fort George, for those who died in the gun battle shootout  between Maurice Bishop  socialist faction and Bernard Coard socialist faction.

Dr. Marryshow seems to have no respect for Grenadians and especially the majority 82% of black Grenadians whose foreparents suffered the inhumane treatment of slavery, that still have a social and economic effect on us black Grenadians up to this present time.  And it could be one of the social factors, why a large percentage of Grenadians are drinking too much alcohol.

If Dr. Marryshow is thinking properly with a true conscience and love for all human beings, he should know that the French colonisers brought Roman Catholicism to Grenada and forced that version of Christianity upon the enslaved African people without their choice.

He supposed to know that it was the French colonisers who committed human genocide against the Native Indigenous population in Grenada. For example, Leapers Hill, Sauteurs, St. Patrick is an historical site of the massacre evidence.

In addition, over ninety percent of Grenadians still do not know, what led to the political conflict between Maurice Bishop and Bernard Coard. However, I think it is morally wrong for Dr. Marryshow to be making any kind of demands for us to accept Maurice Bishop as our national hero, when he knows for a fact  that majority of Grenadians are not interested in no forms of politics based on a specific ideology.

On the other hand, our Roman Catholic Bishop-elected Fr. Clyde Harvey who seems to be a grassroots person, is also crossing the political lines, by making statements about who should be our heroes.  He should be aware of the fact that if the People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG) was still in power, he would not have that opportunity to be on the same speaker’s platform with Dr. Marryshow.  The political game would have been totally different.

However, although the largest religious denomination in Grenada is Roman Catholic, the highly respected religious leader should know that Roman Catholicism was brought to Grenada by the French colonisers after the genocide against the Native people.  So, it leaves us to wonder, if there is a God in heaven, how will he judged the colonisers who committed the genocide against the indigenous people.

In addition, Bishop Clyde Harvey is not a Grenadian. He is a Trinidadian and  he is not fully aware of the Grenadian people political struggle against despotic political leaders such as Eric Gairy, Maurice Bishop and Bernard Coard dictatorial rule.

And knowing that he is a black man himself, I think he should be advocating to the ruling Peoples National Movement (PNM) government of Trinidad & Tobago to make the late great Black Power leader Geddes “Daaga” Granger a national hero of the Twin island Republic, rather than giving Dr. Marryshow any kind of political moral support.

Presently, Grenada is govern by a one political party government that was elected by the people in a democratic held election. There is no elected opposition. Our Governor General was handpicked by the Grenadian prime minister as the representative of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth oùf England, based on our laws within the constitution.

Additionally, prior to the bloody events that took place on October 19, 1983, there were periods in our history when Grenadians lost their lives in political upheavals. As a matter of fact the biggest execution that took place in Grenada after the native population was extinct, was during the conflict between the British colonisers and Julian Fedon rebellion.  After the British defeated Julian Fedon, they executed hundreds of Fedon’s fighters in the Market Square.

During that period of the Fedon rebellion there were three different groups of people in Grenada. The groups were   white Europeans, Mulattoes and Black Africans. The Europeans were the colonisers and slave owners. The mulattoes were in the middle with some levels of social status, while the black Africans were the slaves.

However, due to the structure of racism during that period, black people were not considered as human beings. So, the coloniser’s historians  refused to give us the record of the number of black Africans who were executed in the market square after the Fedon rebellion but they gave us historical records of some of the French Creole mulattoes who were executed.

However, it obvious that there were more black Africans who took part in the Fedon rebellion than mulattoes because the African black slaves population were the majority.  I hope that Dr. Marryshow is aware of that  too because he seems to be showing some kind of elites behavior like our former European colonisers, by trying to demand what is right for us to accept.

Furthermore, I think that Dr. Marryshow is aware of the fact, that there are some Grenadians who know the history of the Fedon rebellion and what role Louis La Grenade played on the side of the British.  In addition, he seems to be ignoring the fact that in 1951 Gairy revolution, some black Grenadians lost their lives, when they were shot in La Tante, St. David by  members of the  British Royal Police Force that had extra help from policemen brought to Grenada from St. Lucia by the British.

So, my question to Dr. Marryshow is: Why do you want to force me as a black Grenadian to accept Maurice Bishop as my national hero, when I do not have any information about our African Grenadian slaves, our ancestors who were executed in the market square after the Fedon rebellion?

 

 

 

 

Based on the essence of our Grenadian proverbs, don’t expect the prime minister to apologise

By Hudson George

If we understand our Grenadian proverbs handed down to us by our ancestors who were mainly Africans, we will not ask Prime minister Dr. Keith Mitchell to redraw the hasty generalised statement he made in a Town Hall meeting in New York, about how employees at the general hospital stealing commodities for their personal needs. We supposed to know that our governments both past and present are guilty of robbing public workers since 1983, when the new Pension Plan Act was passed under Maurice Bishop’s PRG regime.

For example, there is a Grenadian proverb that says: Where the cow tie, is there it has to graze” and another proverb says: “The dirty water in the kitchen is for the pig in the yard”. So, if employees at the general hospital are stealing commodities for their personal use, I am not doubting the prime minister and accusing him of telling lies. However, I think his timing was wrong for making such statement in the Town Hall meeting in New York.

So, based on our Grenadian proverb that say, where the cow tie, is there it has to graze, it shows that workers at the general hospital and other institutions are stealing valuable products and it is not a new habit. It is an old tradition since during the days of colonial rule.

On the other hand, simple commonsense should tell us that a cattle can only eat grass where the owner tied it. And the only way for the cattle to get food from another place is, if the owner untied the rope/chain and set it free to roam elsewhere and graze.

It is the same situation for a pig that is barricade in its owner’s yard. The pig will always have access to the dirty water leftovers food that the master gives it to eat. It has no other choice but to wait on its masters, to feed it with leftovers food.

However, during the colonial days our fore parents were in a similar situation as the cattle and pigs because they were the lowest class of citizens. However, even though they were the majority population, they were marginalised and poorly paid by their employers in both government and private sector institutions. So, some of them were stealing extra commodities wherever they work to make ends meet and that culture of extra needs becomes a major problem up to this present time.

In addition, there is another Grenadian proverb that says: “Thief, thief, thief and God laugh”. This proverb explain how government politicians are robbing the working people too. For example, Maurice Bishop and his People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG) regime robbed public workers of the rightly ownership of a government pension, when they passed the new Pension Plan Act in March 1983.

After the PRG regime collapsed a few months later in October 1983, public workers were still robbed of their rights to receive a government pension. The Herbert Blaize New National Party (NNP) was elected by the Grenadian people to govern the country. Unfortunately for public workers, Belize regime kept the cruel PRG law that denied the public workers their pension. In addition, Blaize passed a new law in parliament to make sure that elected parliamentarians who served two terms in parliament received a government pension.

None of the parliamentarians opposed Blaize for securing their pension, while public workers were robbed of their pension. So, basically Blaize NNP government members of parliament make themselves look like the cow that eating grass where it is tied and pig that enjoying the dirty water food leftovers from the master’s household.

So, it is very important for us to remember that our Grenadian proverbs have valuable meaning, when we unfold them. Furthermore, when we analyses our proverbs, we must always remember that all politicians love power and with the amount of political power Dr. Mitchell has presently in his domain, it will take miracle for him to ever say he is sorry, for his sweeping generalization comments about employees at the general hospital. However, we must remember the motto of politics is: Power!

Please, don’t judged me wrong! I am just a creative minded person. I am not an intellectual. I am not political either. I am just an artist using words as a language to express my art.

It was amazing! Grenadian intellectuals and ordinary citizens debate the CCJ

By Hudson George

 

It was amazing. I saw the discussion about the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) October 10, 2018 on Government information Service (GIS). However, based on my observation the issue seems to be more of an intellectual debate exercise whereby, intellectuals are divided on two political sides debating and trying to prove how smart they are, while persons whom the moderator thinks are less intelligent were not given enough time to express their opinion, due to the fact that local Grenadians version of English language is not the same language usage of intellectuals.

So, if we want to free ourselves from colonialism, the first thing we should learn and accept is that colonialism makes us who we are and that includes our way of speaking the colonial English language. It is very important for moderators of debates to understand that a lot of intelligent Grenadians speak Grenadian English because they feel comfortable communicating in their cultural “lingo” ways of speaking.

However, those persons who are citizens of Grenada and they were born and raised in different countries or lived in a different countries during their childhood years, should understand that our Grenadian “lingo” English is the language of the masses. Our way of speaking is what makes us unique as Grenadians.

And when we gather together to discuss politics it is expected that the so-called ordinary citizens will speak the popular language of the people. This is just my observation because not all Grenadians had/have the opportunity, privilege and academic talent to educate themselves at university level. So, I think that the moderator should learn to respect people’s participation and try to learn from the way ordinary citizens express themselves, when they are making a valid point. Furthermore, persons who speak the local language are better connected with the masses too.

In addition, it seems as though those intellectuals main intention is to show how smart they are by trying to belittle their opponents. For example, Dr. Francis Alexis who seems to be the most experience person within the intellectual circle, were criticised by his opponents and when Dr. Alexis was making the final summary to end the debate, he hit back at those intellectuals who challenged his opinion concerning voting yes for the CCJ.

Then again, I saw Black Wizard who is one of Grenada’s best calypsonian singing a song about the CCJ as one of the political weapon to bring an end to colonialism.

Now, I am wondering why Black Wizard composed that particular song, knowing that he is a frontline openly supporter of the opposition New Democratic Congress (NDC), while the CCJ referendum campaign is polarised by NNP supporters who will vote yes for the CCJ because of their political loyalty.

Another thing I observed in the video is that there were some parsons in the audience heckling certain individuals who opposed the CCJ. I assumed that those hecklers are pro yes CCJ supporters because of their political affiliation and they are not too politically friendly with those persons, who do not support the CCJ or have doubts about the CCJ.

Additionally, the gentleman who said that our CCJ discussions should only be debated among Grenadians and he is not happy with Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados and Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerritt of Dominica meddling in our internal politics, I personally think he is right. Grenadians have a bad habit of looking for persons outside of Grenada to participate in our domestic politics and it is time we put an end to this behavior that was created by the People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG).

However, based on what I heard in the discussion, all those persons who made contributions to the debate did a wonderful job. Those who support the CCJ and those who do not support the CCJ must be commended for their opinion. On the other hand, those who sat in the audience and heckle persons whom they disliked for political reasons, should stop displaying their ignorance. I think that their political representatives should scold them privately about their behavior.

Anyway, I am not living in Grenada, so I cannot tell citizens how to vote and what to vote for in the referendum but it is impossible for the CCJ to put an end to colonialism. A yes vote cannot erase our colonial mentality. Grenada will still remain a member of the British Commonwealth. We will still have a Governor General representing the British Monarchy and citizens who speak local Grenadian English will be still looked down on as less intelligent people. Colourism will still remain a factor. These are the social colonial diseases that are embedded in our brains for four hundreds years.

October month is when Grenadians speak good about their favourite political dictators because they prefer charisma than democracy

By Hudson George

 

We are now in the beginning of October month 2018 and it is expected as usual to hear some Grenadians talking about Maurice Bishop, Bernard Coard and Eric Gairy brand of politics in relations to revolution and Grenada’s politics. However, the older folks who still love Eric Gairy brand of dictatorship will be saying that Gariy was the best leader who ruled Grenada because they benefited from his political era. The younger folks will be saying Maurice Bishop was the best leader they ever had because he dethroned Gairy’s regime but they will not accept the fact that Bishop was just another dictator as Gairy.  So, it appears as though we have not evolved as yet into modern political ways of thinking.

With that type of backward political mentality still engrained in the vast majority of Grenadians, they still have the tendency to support the political leader of the party they aligned with, rather than looking at the broader picture of politics that can help advance our democratic process, as we are seeing presently how the Grand Anse Beach issue have deviated towards the topic of stolen commodities at the General Hospital, instead of coming together to protect our democratic rights and freedom

However, if there is one thing our past and present political leaders know how to do is, to distract the population from the real issues affecting our society in order to fulfill their political aspirations of wants and desire.  Unfortunately, the majority of Grenadians still cannot understand how our politicians tend to use their political propaganda to divide the population for their personal benefits.

For example,  in the early 1960s the Grenada National Party (GNP) spread fake news about Eric Gairy and accused him of “Squandermania“ and they were successful with their propaganda, when Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth stepped in and forced Gairy and his GULP government out of office for squandering the state money. But with all the accusation Gairy was never convicted of squandermainia crime.

After Gairy was removed by the British Monarch, fresh election was called and Herbert Blaize and his GNP party won the election. The GNP campaigned on fake news by telling the working class Grenadian people that if they form the government, they will join Trinidad & Tobago in a Unitary State deal. However, due to the fact that Trinidad is much a wealthier country than Grenada, the people voted for the GNP, hoping that they will enjoy a better life but Herbert Blaize was unable to fulfill the Unitary State deal with Trinidad & Tobago as he had promised.

After the Herbert Blaize government completed its five years term in office and fresh election was called, Gairy and his GULP movement won the majority of seats and formed the government. From then on, the hatred between GULP and GNP supporters escalated because Gairy and his supporters never forget the fake news the GNP spread about squandermaina that caused them to be kicked out of office by the British Monarch.

So, when Gairy returned back to office, he came with a revenge against his opponents and some of his policies pertaining to lands for the landless was a revenge against the large land owners and the plantocrats who shared genetic lineage with the slave planter’s class. With that type of revenge, the Gairy regime also oppressed ordinary working class Grenadians who opposed his methods of governance. But that form of oppression against ordinary Grenadians led to the birth of the grassroots rural Jewel Movement.

The new birth and popularity of the grassroots Jewel Movement attracted urban intellectuals with socialist-communist ideas and they joined the Jewel movement and formed the New Jewel Movement (NJM). However, the alliance between the grassroots Jewel Movement and the urban intellectuals such as Maurice Bishop and Bernard Coard were like lime and avocado in a box.

Bishop and Coard had no connections with working class Grenadians. They were culturally more connected to the old colonial class before they embraced socialism-communism.

On the other hand, the grassroots Jewel Movement supporters wanted Gairy’s regime out from office because they wanted a political change.  With that zeal and militancy of the Jewel Movement cadres, Bishop and Coard were able to capitalised on the struggle as intellectual political strategists, so they seized the opportunity to form another political party within the NJM organaisation. They were never honest to the NJM struggle.

With Gairy’s regime becoming more and more oppressive, then came a vacuum for power and the NJM overthrew Gairy on March 13, 1979. Unfortunately, after March 13 Revolution was born, Grenadians experience the births of two new dictators which were Bishop and Coard. And unfortunately, some Grenadians gravitated to Bishop’s charismatic leadership that they copied from the elderly Gairy supporters who admired Gairy for his charm, and they transform that culture towards adoring Bishop as their new dictator until the revolution collapsed on October 19, 1983.

So, now as we are into another  October month, the same old political stories will resurfaced again. Those who still admire Maurice Bishop will argue that all the bad things he did to persons, whom he jailed without trial were good things because in a revolution the leader is always right. On the other hand, they will continue blame Bernard Coard for all the bad things that happened during the revolution and yet still, they will boast and say Bishop was a great revolutionary.

Presently, we are experiencing a similar political situation as in the days of Gairy, Bishop and Coard. The NNP government is not fully explaining to the Grenadian people, why Silver Sands Developers tried to encroach on Grenada Anse Beach but they are crafty enough to raise another political alarm about workers at the General Hospital stealing commodities that patients need.

Unfortunately, with that new political twist about thieves working at the general hospital, will help fuel division among Grenadians, similar to when Bishop and Coard wanted to eliminate the original Jewel Movement cadres to embrace their socialist-communists ideology. They were able to divide the NJM supporters and then invited local opportunists who did not care if Gairy regime last forever to fill in the void.

So, now I am wondering when we Grenadians will learn, that politicians are just masters of playing political games with the people just to control political power.

 

 

Abstainers, Yes and No Voters will decide Grenada’s CCJ Referendum Polls Results

 

By Hudson George

 

In reference to J.K Roberts article (Is Grenada’s CCJ Referendum Unfolding the Worth of the Opposition?  September 20, 2018).  However it seems that Mr. Roberts is taking a party politics approach towards the CCJ referendum issue and I personally think he is wrong.  If the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) takes an openly no vote position campaign towards the referendum, the party leadership will be shooting themselves in their feet. They supposed to take a neutral position and allow citizens to decide whether they should vote yes or no, in order to put an end to tribal politics and forward with democracy.

Mr. Roberts supposed to do his political mathematics homework on the March 13, 2018 general election and pay attention to the numbers of people who abstained from voting and the numbers who voted for the political party of their choice. If he focus his attention to those numbers, he will realise that the CCJ referendum will not   be a successful exercise in this upcoming referendum because it will be impossible for the yes votes to get a two third majority.

Basically, in a political culture as what we have in Grenada where people put their political party affiliations above democracy, there is no good reason why Mr. Roberts should be looking at the referendum as a political issue, for the NDC politicians to oppose in order to gain political mileage. His opinion on the issue bothers me and it leaves me asking the question:  How long it will takes us Grenadians to understand, that we must embrace democracy before party politics?

On the other hand, the ruling New National Party (NNP) politicians are not thinking much different from Mr. Roberts. They have already polarised the referendum with party politics, by allowing some of their influential political activities to promote vote yes for the CCJ. I personally think that is the biggest mistake the NNP government is making because some Grenadians have not fully recovered from the last general election’s fever. Some people still have a lot of political gripes.

In addition, it is a known fact that most Grenadians have the same kind of political mentality of aggression towards their opponents. They are fully aware of the fact, that in our political culture the winner takes it all. With that sort of mentality it creates two major political parties similar as two parallel lines opposite to each other on the same direction and it does not matter how long those lines are drawn, they will never meet and join at the end because they are straight on the same course.

However, those two parallel lines are similar to the NNP and NDC political parties   heading towards the same political destination in a competitive way to gain political power.  And their mission is all about securing political power without no compromising.

So, it will be wise, if the NDC leadership can avoid making themselves too visible, by opposing the CCJ referendum. However, if some of the NDC supporters are openly vocal in opposition of the CCJ, it is their democratic rights as individuals to do so but the leadership should not get too deeply involved.

Additionally, the NDC supposed to learn their political lesson from the Constitutional Referendum, November 24, 2016, when they openly advised voters to vote no on all the bills.  The leadership should realise that even though the majority of voters rejected all the bills by voting no, but sixteen months later the NNP still won all the seats in the March 13, 2018 general election, while the NDC suffered a humiliating defeat.

Presently, the issue about CCJ referendum is not as important as the Silver Sand Hotel conflict on Grand Anse Beach.   The average Grenadians understand that Grenada Anse Beach belong to them and they are opposed to artificial walls structures on the beach. They are more interested in protecting their sovereignty than voting for the CCJ, therefore, it is not very important for J.K. Roberts to inject party politics into the referendum because the votes have already divided in three parts before the exact day of the polls November 6, 2018.  As it is expected, there will be no major surprises in the results.

We all know that one group of voters will abstained from voting and the other two groups will vote either yes or no.  So, when the votes are counted, it will be impossible for the yes side to get a two thirds majority victory.  Then we will have to go back to square one again to fix our democracy.   And when we fix it good, the next time we have a referendum, the people will understand what they are voting for.  All for now they have no clue.

 

 

 

As Grenadians, we have the rights to criticise the government because there is no elected opposition in parliament

 

 

By Hudson George

 

Caribbean politicians supposed to know that when their political party control all the seats in the lower house of parliament in a British Westminster style democracy, it does not give them the rights to dismissed criticism from concern citizens.  For example, in Grenada there are no elected opposition members of parliament in the lower house. So, presently it is up to us as Grenadians to play the role as opposition, when we are not satisfy with government policies that affect us.

However, in our present political situation there are some important issues to address.  Issues such as the construction of new hotels on Grand Anse beach, the Caribbean Court of Justice and the dangerous usage of deadly pesticides that killing citizens in the rural communities. 

Basically,  all these issues are affecting ordinary citizens the most but because, the population are religiously divided politically between the two main political parties,  some of us are now looking at those issues as party politics, rather than the people’s interest that can affect us presently and  the future generation.

Based on my observation, it is blatantly clear, that most visible social activists who have invested interest in politics are refusing to address the issue pertaining to the usage of dangerous pesticides in the farming communities, even though they are aware of deadly effects these chemicals have on human beings lives.

Unfortunately, they are turning a blind eye on the issue because, they are more interested in the politics of tourism and saving our sea coast and marine lands. I personally, believe  that all those issues must be addressed. 

Furthermore, I personally support a vibrant tourists industry for Grenada. I think it is a good policy of investment because, our beautiful beaches, blue sea waters and different colours of sand are some of our natural resources and we should be able to make money from them by attracting visitors to our tri island state nation.  In addition, farmers can sell their products to business persons within the tourists industry to make a comfortable living.

On the other hand, I do not support any foreign or local business investors who want to claim any part of our beaches.  The coastline of Grenada and all the beaches belong to us the people of Grenada and no government whatsoever, should allow business people to encroach on the beach and construct any concrete structure.

Every Caribbean country is different. So, if there are private beaches in other neighbouring countries that have a vibrant tourist industry, that does not mean us as Grenadians would allow rich people to come to Grenada and take away our attractive resources from us.  However, it is very important that the government do the right thing by making sure that hotels owners respect the rights and freedom of all Grenadians, regardless of class, colour and race.

In addition, in terms of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) issue, I think that those lawyers who are advocates for the CCJ are disrespecting Grenadians, by saying that they have to educate citizens about the benefits of CCJ.  So, I am wondering if these big-time lawyers are not aware of the difference between the word “Education” from the word “Indoctrination”.   

However, any kind of quick fixed lecture and literature that will be given to the Grenadian people to vote yes, for the CCJ, is basically indoctrination to believe in something but not really educating the people about the issue. I personally believe education is based on facts and not beliefs.

Now, in relation to the issue of dangerous pesticides affecting citizens in the rural communities, it all boils down to the fact that the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture have no interest in health and safety of farmers and other persons who are living in the farming communities.

Cancer is on the rise in the rural communities because of pesticides. People are dying and the authorities do not care. They are still importing hazardous pesticides and the innocent and naïve farmers are still using it.

Unfortunately nobody really cares because farmers are considered as lower class citizens. So, if those in authority can cooperate with the people, and in the interest of the people, no concrete structure will be built on Grand Anse beach. There will be no more importation of dangerous pesticides in the country and no persons with legal training will be given the privilege to indoctrinate citizens to vote for the CCJ. Because indoctrination is not education and beliefs are not really proven facts.

However, as Grenadians we have the rights to criticise the government because there is no elected opposition in parliament. If we remain silent the government will not be able to serve our interest. We have to wake up our elected politicians and tell them that they are our elected servants and they supposed to govern the country in our interest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley is not aware of Grenada’s brand of democracy?

By Hudson George

On the issue about Grenada upcoming referendum to become a member of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley was the main guest speaker on the topic, held at the Trade Centre in St. George’s, just recently. However it seems as though she is not aware that Grenada model of mini democracy is a brand of post Eric Gairy political era of dictatorial politics and all the governments after Gairy’s regime benefited from his dictatorial misuse of power by refusing to restore the local government system.

However, I am begging Ms. Mottley to advise the present NNP government to restore local government in Grenada, if they want Grenadians to vote “Yes” in the upcoming referendum to join the Caribbean Court of justice (CCJ) because, most of our educated folks who are actively involved in party politics do not understand what is democracy. They only understand how to hold on to political power by any cost, if and when given the opportunity to govern the country.

Presently, the culture of Gairy’s mini dictatorial brand of politics is embedded in most Grenadians political mindset and it makes them develop a mentality to hate opposition voices because they lack the ability to respect opposing views and opinions. With that kind of backward mentality, it is easy to see that Grenada’s democracy is a sort of modified form of Gairyism, whereby, supporters of the two main political parties think that whatever their political leaders tell them is gospel truth and there is no other methods for proper reasoning discussions.

In addition, the two most visible attorneys leading the campaign for Grenadians to vote “Yes” in the upcoming referendum are also guilty of supporting previous regimes that could have restored local government but it was not in their interest to advocate the cause. Their interest was about holding on to political power with their political friends, without out any regards for the ordinary people.

However, I have listened to Dr. Francis Alexis speak live on GBN “To The Point” programme about why Grenadians should vote yes in the referendum and a few days later Ruggles Ferguson who is also an attorney was on the same GBN programme with host Brenda Baptiste making arguments to convince voters to vote for the CCJ. Basically, what they were saying, is that the CCJ is a better court system than the Privy Council but I personally have doubts about it because most Caribbean people still think the same old way as the colonialists taught them.

Even though the two legal trained men are advocating for the same cause, their argument is not on the same political settings. Dr. Alexis is saying that Barbados is a progressive country in terms of practicing British style Westminster democracy. On the other hand, Ruggles Ferguson is saying that Grenada supposed to be a progressive country because, during the people’s revolutionary government era, the goal was to get rid of colonial Privy Council, so he thinks it is a good opportunity now to dump the British Privy Council as the highest court of appeal.

I personally think Dr. Alexis and Mr. Ferguson are both opportunists playing politics because, after the U.S. Army invaded Grenada in 1983 and multi-party election system was restored, Dr. Alexis was an elected member of parliament in the Herbert Blaize NNP government that was installed with the help of big powers and some other Caribbean countries that still have the local government system functioning.

So, the big question is: If he has so much respect for the Barbadian high standard of democracy, how come he never advocate for the restoration of local government, after the people’s revolutionary government dictatorship crumpled?

In addition, Dr. Alexis had the opportunity to restore full democracy in Grenada, when he was an elected member of NDC government under the leadership of Nicholas Brathwaite and George Brizan prime ministers, when he held the office as the Attorney General.

On the other hand, as a Grenadians people we must not just vote “Yes” or “No” on the referendum based on our political affiliations. We must reflect on our past history and pay attention to the type of persons who are in the political arena, trying to hold on to power and those who are trying to grab on to power because, some of them think that they are entitled to govern the country, in order to fulfill their political dreams and agenda.

If we are not very careful, a majority vote for the CCJ can lead us into some uncomfortable situations that we do not expect. For example, there are some political players who have their feet planted inside the political arena and they are trying desperately to make a major comeback in frontline politics; and if they succeed, there is a possibility, that they will be in a position to craft new laws that we may not like.

So, basically, if Barbados is the perfect model of Caribbean Westminster style democratic system of government, I think that Prime Minister Mia Mottley should advised the Grenada NNP government to restore local government system because, based on our political tradition, Grenada supposed to have two levels of government. And after local government is restored, then we can vote to join the Caribbean Court of Justice.

However, without fixing what is wrong, it will be impossible for the government to ask us to vote for what is right. So, maybe Mia Mottley is not aware that us Grenadians, have something to fear.

Grenada Jab Jab Masqueraders portray Historical Characters about Slavery and Oppression

By Hudson George

Oppression and slavery are the basic reasons why Jab Jab masqueraders spell words incorrectly and they are able to attract large followers and continue to dominant the two days of Grenada street carnival celebration. However, there are historical evidence to prove why they portray themselves as characters we can identify with.

Basically, Jab Jab masqueraders, are just characters celebrating the Emancipation of Slavery in their own ways. It is very easy to see the characters they portray as they travel to the various villages in the parishes before they enter the town in their parish or neighouring parish.

The most amazing thing they portray is the words they pretend to be spelling from the books that they are carrying but the words are not written in the books. However, even though their method of spelling some words are vulgar with obscenity, they are portraying the characters of free black men and women who were not given the opportunity to attend school to achieve a proper education during the days of slavery.

They are showing how black people were treated during slavery because, after slavery was abolished on August 1st, 1838, it was a day of celebration for an oppressed people who were not able to read and write, so they were illiterates not by choice.

It is obvious that the former slaves were mimicking the slave masters reading newspapers and most likely teaching their white children how to spell words to become literate and intelligent.

So, while some conservative Grenadians tend to looked down on Jab Jab masqueraders as vulgar citizens, there are some strong elements of historical truth they exposed in two days carnival on the streets across the country

In addition, there are some Jab Jab masqueraders from Mt. Rich village in St. Patrick parish, who have a unique way of mimicking the slave masters’ evil deeds towards the slaves as they perform their street theatre. They are so creative, they know how to put on a theatre show on the street by attracting  travelers in motor vehicles and local villagers. And this is the way they make their money by singing and spelling words for persons who pay them for a performance.

In their street theatre performance, even though they are vulgar, the way they organised the cast is very professional. For example, one particular member of the band portray himself with the wooden stick to command the spelling session. His character role is a person with authority and dominance as Massa.

On the other hand, the other member who always leads the songs with the nice singing voice, portrays himself as an intelligent person, who is very assertive of his role. His role is to make spectators believe that he is scholar by calling out the number of the songs in the book.

This unique band of Mt. Rich jab jab sing and rhyme words in a poetic way about women, police and church leaders. But what is amazing about their street theatre as they move from village to village is that, their main spectators are mostly women who enjoy the way they spell words and how they wear their short pants, jockey shorts and sometimes female underwear to draw spectator’s attention. It is obvious that some women enjoy the way these jab jab whine and gyrate as opposite sex in a sexual manner.

Additionally, the bigger bands of Jab Jab tend to attract larger followers as they beat the drums and sing. And as they parade through the streets their numbers grow bigger as spectators become jab jab converts and join the bands. However, after they are initiated with the blackness of the Jab Jab uniform, they start enjoying the musical sounds from the drums, conch shell and bell as full pledged members.

However, I think it is very important for us Grenadians to protect our rich unique Jab Jab culture. If we keep our traditional Jab Jab culture in the rural communities and make Grenville town the central place for a big Jab Jab celebration during carnival, it will be  very good for the rural economy. It will attract visitors to come to the big parish to see the roots of pure Grenadian culture.

It is a known fact that St. Andrew and St. Patrick are the two parishes that have the original Jab Jab drum players and the best Jab Jab spelling entertainers too.

So, it is very important that the Spice Mas Corporation (SMC) make Grenville the Jab Jab City during carnival celebration. If the SMC do the right thing, St. Patrick jab jab masqueraders can enhance the activity by participating Grenville celebration.