STICKING A PIN ON … GOING PUBLIC
Written by William Joseph on July 14, 2017
Bernard Coard has begun to publish his double-layered testimony on the Grenada Revolution, as an authoritative word on an era of unparalleled sadness in Grenadian life. Unless he has undergone a spiritual re-birth, do not expect him to answer his own question, “What really happened?”, truthfully. A pre-occupation with truth would have led him to pose a different question, namely, “Why me for leader?”
Facts show that the fatal things that happened resulted from Bernard’s mischievous hunger to be leader. Previously, he claimed “moral responsibility” for the tragedy. Learning from that lesson, it is our duty to ask our leaders tough, but fair questions. So, Keith Mitchell and Victor Burke, being legitimate party leaders of the day, must be called upon to go public, regularly.
Grenadians may have been slow to comprehend why NJM folks pompously stressed, “Our Government and Party” in their salutations, but they know that the purported ownership of a people is counter-cultural, even fatal. Why was the NJM so easily derailed from its early search for genuine liberation and development to become an entity living by the gun standard and inhaling Communist ideology into its post-colonial lungs? Answer, Comrade!
The politico-military set- up that came to be known as the PRG produced two legacies, one good and the other bitter. Spotlighting the latter, one witnessed the bastardisation of the Grenadian culture where State power was criminalised without excuse, cause or apology. Why? Answer, Comrade!
So Bernard must come into the public space and tell us why he refused to accept that ‘The Revolution’ did not make Maurice leader of the Grenadian people. Grenadians embraced Maurice as leader, long before March 13, 1979. Secondly, he must tell us why, he judged himself to be well able to lead the Grenadian people when he clearly misunderstood or consciously dismissed our culture. But, having put that question, one is forced to back-up and to note that there was a massive difference between “the people” and “the Revolution”. The truth is that the NJM, constituted by PRA and PRG, OWNED ‘The Revolution’! That is why it was so easy for them to kill in its name, exercising the most brutish and abusive rights of imperialist ownership. Not so, Comrade?
We will not ask Bernard to tell us why, reliably, he personally gave instructions for Grenada to vote in support of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan at the UN without reference to PM Bishop or the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Just think about ‘a power’ able to usurp the leader’s power! Bernard sought to entrench himself as the de facto leader, long before October, 1983. He did so via his cultist-control over the hierarchy of the PRA; those few being his intellectual under-studies and ideological minions since the formation of OREL in the mid-seventies. Bernard’s awesome stranglehold over those elements survived the prison years and is still in place to this day! So Keith is not Pedro’s leader and he is certainly not Humphrey’s leader, either! Not so, Comrades?
Will PM Mitchell come back to the public and tell us why so much of his conduct and statements at the Opening Ceremony of CARICOM Heads of Government here lacked statesmanship, resembling a ‘bung-away’ spirit conflicting with the times? Let us ask him how he intends to finance pensions, National Health Insurance and poverty reduction which he recently identified as major national issues, without making production the number one priority? It is good to hear him accept, finally, that poverty is a huge problem. Having made dozens of millionaires in Grenada, as promised, he must now fix his mind on the growing poverty levels. For thirty years, he made no promise to make less people poor. True, Sir?
Now to Victor! At the commencement of the Structural Adjustment Program, he repeatedly gave the impression that the multilateral agencies had issues of trust and confidence regarding the NNP regime. Were those utterances true? Why did he refuse to take a credible position on the economy given that he had just presided over the collapse of the public finances? Directly, please tell Grenadians why you support ‘term limits’ for the Prime Minister, but wish to keep all the powers of PM should you hold that Office? And why are you advocating Constituent Assembly instead of proposals to bring governance closer to the people? Do you agree that good leadership is not measured by structures and documents? Kindly tell the public who Bernard is referring to when, in apologising to the families of those killed on October 19, he wrote, “and, in one case, a few days later”? Someone appears to have been executed between October 19th and the 24th. Answer, Comrade!
Leadership of the Grenadian people requires that party leaders go public on a wide range of issues of interest to the public. They must be put out of their comfort zones where they happily tell us only what they wish to say. Going public by demand is essential medicine for the good health of the nation.