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.