Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The recession is over, the suffering has begun!

Don't know if it's me -- but I have found the entire debate in Grenada this week about the scheduling clash over the July 8th elections victory "celebrations" extremely repulsive.

This is why.

In the very week, when Grenadian public servants were lining up at teller machines hoping that their salaries are there -- the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance found it important to delay a sitting of cabinet to call an urgent press conference.

The conference though was not to talk about the delay in the payment of salaries -- or give whatever assurances they could give on the issue.

Prime Minister Thomas and Nazim Burke, the two most powerful men in Grenada, hauled all their colleagues to a press conference to do battle with Arley Gill - a man they did not think was fit enough to be a member of that government group.

And the journalists there gave both men a shot at redemption, but they took a pass.

When the Prime Minister was asked about the delayed payment to the public servants, he offered absolutely no comment. He just passed it on to Minister Burke.

The Finance Minister then made vexing cursory comments, blaming a world economic situation, essentially saying it was no big deal -- it just the world we are in where everybody else has problems.

Speaking about fiddling while Rome burns?

And is it only me that found this repulsive?

Or is it Ok because "we like it so?"

Thomas and Burke, with other cabinet colleagues in tow, spent a half an hour lambasting Arley Gill and the "40 party executive members", who if you listen to Glen Noel, were fresh enough to try to organize a party event that did not meet the approval of the leader.

Imagine in the US, Federal workers could not get paid, and the same week President Obama comes to a press conference just to talk about the Democratic Party's problems or to lambast some perceived political foe?

Now mind you, as a student of politics, I find this whole brouhaha about the two events for July 8th filled with drama, intrigue, arrogance and in some cases political stupidity.

But as Stalin sung -- when Public servants can't get pay on time -- then "wait Dorothy wait."

I am sure the problem of the delayed payments -- and some by the end of the day Tuesday still did not receive their funds -- might be a very complex issue why this is so.

What is worrying is that, in his limited public comments, the Minister of Finance gives the impression that this is no big thing, because the world now is in its worst state since his mother was born in 1931.

Secondly, there is a line being promoted by this "take-no- responsibility" government that the problem was because some public servants fell down.

This is not only just not true, but of course patently unfair; and irritatingly disingenuous.

"I don't write the cheques. It's the accountant general that write the cheques," was the comment of Burke to Lew Smith the other night.

This is not a cheque-writing problem, sir. It is a cash flow problem that is part of a broader economic crisis.

And you may not be wholly to be blamed either, but it happens under your watch.

Take responsibility, sell me a plan -- and let's get down to solving difficult problems.

I accept that based on the textbook description, the recession is over.

But the suffering, unfortunately, is just beginning.

1 comment:

  1. "I dont right the checks..a guy who works for me does."

    This is sad on so many levels and explains the mad and sad situation with leadership in our country.