Thursday, May 17, 2012

I wish I am wrong this time

THE PRIME MINISTER’s goon squad must forget the demonizing of everyone brave enough to question the lack of direction of this current Grenada government, and come to terms with the reality.  

That reality is that the problem of the ruling National Democratic Congress is it suffers from an acute case of leadership deficit. 

If the truth be told, this government has been badly led for a long time – by a prime minister who, whenever faced with complex situations, resorted to seeing things as black or white, rather than shades of gray. 

Any man, who fails to enhance his nuance, as this current prime minister has done, effectively declares himself unfit to lead a bunch of men and women with varying styles and attitudes. 

The problems of modern-day Grenada has nothing to do with ideology nor power nor ambition. 

It is simply because of failed leadership. 

Tillman Thomas has squandered the many opportunities he had to be a father figure to his cabinet, and in fact chose and sponsored conflict, when he should have been playing the role of healer. 

Even when members openly pleaded for dialog and discussion to address the problems, he quipped there was nothing to talk about – resorting instead to divisive language about good over evil. (Never mind his attempt at back-tracking in parliament this week). 

Thomas’ lack of nuance has had him seeing every question as a challenge; every alternative idea as a rebellion; every bold suggestion as an unholy gamble and every critique as a dangerous element. 

He became a theocratic dictator who believed that by divine ordination his cabinet men and women were the back-up choir who never could mess with the arrangement. 
Rather than reach out, he dug deep; thinking it is the best way to save his prime ministership.

What he has done, in the end, is effectively undermined himself.

There were people who maybe also had the capacity to breathe some sense into him – but instead they fed the beast. They emboldened him, provided him with affirmation, and justified their positions with vacuous arguments of not wanting to get into "dog fights'' with the PM; of being satisfied to field in the slips; and of playing behind the captain even when the team is clearly losing and of continuing to play even when all ten wickets in the innings have fallen. 

And so with Karl Hood’s resignation on Thursday, the chickens continued coming home to roost. 

Two years ago, I predicted this will end like this way; and, oh, how I wish I was wrong. 
The cancer that is now in stage five emerged a year before that; then, a handful of self-appointed acolytes systematically sowed seeds of division, hiding behind pen-names as Stone Crusher to publish epistles direct from the Prime Minister’s Office. 

The weekly manifesto of division was printed weekly in the Today newspaper, and the echo transmitted on the holy Sabbath to an unsuspecting class. 

One of my early editors Leslie Pierre always used to tell me that water consistently dripping on stone finally wears it away. 

If the Prime Minister’s political machinery preaches division for three years – dividing the cabinet into gangs – what end results did they expect? 

And, as you watch the news tonight, in their eager attempt to demonize yet another minister who resigns, they will miss seeking answer to the fundamental question that matters. 

Rather than seek to ask who is Hood and what he wants – the news cycle must instead seek to answer the question – what’s next and how can this end to the benefit of ordinary people? 

Prime Minister Tillman Thomas did not get an endorsement in parliament on Tuesday; he just received a stay of execution. 
What the vote did was give him the breathing room to do something honorable.

Take a page from Bruce Golding – the former Prime Minister of Jamaica – who once he became damaged goods – handed over the leadership of his party and subsequently the Prime Ministership of his country.

While the move did not guarantee the Jamaica Labour Party victory – it at least saved it from complete annihilation, and gave it a chance to bounce back in five years. 
A similar move by Thomas also won’t guarantee NDC victory in the next general election – but will give it a chance to remain viable and credible.  

To do that will be the essence of good governance. Anything less will be inherently reckless and selfish. 

I am not betting he’d do the right thing.

But oh how I wish I am wrong this time.

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