By Lloyd Noel
Now that we have all the ministers and other chief public officials in place – including our first female governor general, duly sworn in as the Queen’s representative in the tri-island state – all the attention is now focused on when will the action begin, and how much longer those waiting in the queue of expectation will have to hang on.
|Lloyd Noel is a former attorney general of Grenada, prominent attorney at law and political commentator|
Many of the hangers-on are commenting that the promises during the election campaign were around the timetable of 90 days in control, and that time period will expire come 19 May in the next few days.
Of course the new controllers are pointing out that the situations they inherited are far more critical in some cases, and desperate in many others; to the extent that the remedies they had in mind for an early turnaround just cannot make ends meet.
There have been some post election statements backing up the promises, and keeping the hopes and expectations very much alive but patient.
But the silence in general on when things can be expected to get moving, so that the thousands of job-seekers can look forward to earning a wage anytime soon – that expected foreign influx of investors is not as positive and ready to come ashore as initially promised.
Whatever the true position may be, and however those in control hope to get around the problems that exist, on the whole issue of new investors coming to our shores in the near or distant future, the silence and the delay in their coming may very well have to do with a change of plans – because the promises on either side have not being as forthcoming as was expected.
Whether or not the conditions that have been discovered, upon the new controllers taking over the reins of power, have in fact turned out to be far more onerous and challenging than were anticipated, and as a result thereof the generous promises of relief or concessions of one kind or another have to be reconsidered and in some cases amended to assist the critical situation, only those in control can answer.
But, whatever it is or may be, the many glib promises to have the economy actively operating, and jobs and business opportunities available and ready to take off in the first ninety days or thereabouts have so far not been forthcoming, and the waiting game continues.
The movement of finance in the local economy is so slow and the volume decreasing every week that even the small shops are complaining that the situation is becoming almost intolerable, because the goods are on display at reasonable prices, but no customers to purchase them.
And now that the cruise ships have more or less stopped calling for the next three months or so, the situation is looking grim on all sides. Only last week I saw a small storekeeper on television with his goods on display, and he was expressing the hope that the upcoming carnival season will attract some visitors from the UK and the USA to buy those goods; and the season is still three months down the road, so the hope is farfetched.
And talking to folks all over the countryside, the situation is island-wide and, because of the extended dry season, our farmers are also having problems in their lands from the lack of rainfall, and there is nothing anyone can do about that.
The general state of affairs means, however, that the new controllers have a whole lot more problems on their hands than was envisaged during the campaign, and in all the cases more and many more millions are required to help solve them.
So it is a clear case of dealing with the most urgent ones up front, while the others have to wait in the line up – and because they all need finance to bring about any solution, the task ahead is not going to be resolved anytime soon.
After the grand occasion of the swearing in ceremony of our first female Governor General, Her Excellency Dr Cecile La Grenade on 7 May, I noticed that all the papers had statements dealing with the occasion, and stressing that the last Governor General Sir Carlyle Glean did not attend and no explanation was given for his absence.
I found that was rather strange, so I took the time to enquire from the very source and was reliably informed that no invitation was given to Sir Carlyle and Lady Glean to attend the ceremony.
Whatever was the reason for that omission, only those responsible for so doing can answer that – but the powers-that-be could not have expected the ex-governor general to show up at the Trade Centre for the ceremony, without having received an official invitation, only three days after having vacated the governor general’s residence.
The way the story was published, made the absence look as though the outgoing governor general was deliberately failing to recognize the new lady governor general, and that is sheer nonsense.
I hope that whoever it was that failed to deliver the official invitation will be courteous enough to tender an apology to Sir Carlyle Glean.
The ceremony was a grand occasion in itself – but it would have been fitting for the outgoing governor general to have been present and welcoming his successor on the taking of the oath of office.
So how those who were responsible for sending the invitation to Sir Carlyle and Lady Glean failed or neglected to do so beats my simple mind, but leaves many unanswered questions about the motives.