Local News Article

Our Different Challenges

Posted By Hamlet Mark On Wednesday 25 April, 2012, 9:58 amPage Views: 1672

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By Hamlet Mark

Like many of you, I have had a sighting of the Glen Noel video posted overnight from his address at what they called one of the Solidarity Sundays.

I watched with amusement with Glen being at his disingenuous and mischievous best.

Obviously he is a top honors graduate from the George Worme school of half truths, innuendos and faulty analogies.

For the people who have been close to the Calypso Association or the St Andrew’s Development Organization, or as his former producer on the YSFM show ‘Conscience of the Nation’ – we get that too well.

Having said that – the trouble for me in explaining Noel’s latest episode, is the challenge I have had for a while – how do you offer public comment without using private information that was told to you in casual conversation.

All I can say in this context is that Noel’s public description of things and his suggestion of some “backroom conspiracy” is that this is not the same version he has used to me in private conversation.

So, either he was taking me for a fool then, or he was taking his audience for a ride on Sunday.

On principle, the details of that conversation, will remain private – but I will give him the public permission to go ahead and give his second version.

Now while I have thrown a few shots his way from time to time – I understand Glen’s position.

Whatever he is – he isn’t Peter David or Nazim Burke or Joseph Gilbert or even Tillman’s ideological chaplain Willie Joseph. He doesn’t have anything to fall back on when this gig is over.

And a man’s first obligation is to himself and his family.

Only politicians can watch anyone with a straight face and talk about “national interests.”

I have long argued that there is no such animal.

Glen Noel said: “Our challenge is to protect the role of the political leader”

So to understand Glen’s comments, is to understand that as far as he sees it – and rightfully so – his only means of survival is hitched with Tillman Thomas’ political survival.

Fair enough.

Thankfully my challenge is different – and hopefully yours.

My challenge as I see it is to ensure we have a system that will bring better results for the ordinary people I grew up with.

Our challenge is to make our present leaders irrelevant; to rise up with consciousness and to end this current political saga and this farce.

All you democrats out there – why don’t you throw it back to the people?

Let’s all vote and let's all decide where we want to go – now!

The late Cakademo Grant, maybe the best chairman of political meetings we have ever seen in this country, once said: If you’re hungry and the devil gives you bread; take it; eat it and give God the glory.

Having cast his lot with the driver of a runaway train, Noel will have to valiantly ride it until it crashes – and hopefully for Grenada – it's sooner, rather than later.

But to speak to some broader themes he covered in that video – conspiracy, loyalty and respect.

It is my considered view that there cannot be a conspiracy in a democracy.

The nature of democracy means advocacy, mobilization and organization. (And the last time I checked, to do that was neither immoral nor illegal).

Now when Glen Noel and his team do it – it is national mobilization. When anybody else does it, it is a conspiracy.

How so?

Noel's version of a conspiracy not strangely though, is the same as his leader’s.

His cabinet votes one way; the leader vetoes it, and then says the cabinet is conspiring against the people – as if people elected 10 dumb men to serve a king.

Noel spoke about people mobilizing as “a plot” and reported suggestions (though his story of the events is not correct) to change the party constitution as some unholy conspiracy.

Many years ago – a few people met and organized and mobilized so that Tillman Thomas could have become leader of the NDC.

This was neither a plot nor a conspiracy. That was democracy.

And the people who led that campaign many years ago, were (interestingly) not at that meeting on Sunday.

About seven NDC conventions ago, there was a proposed resolution that sought to remove Tillman Thomas.

Some of the people that drafted that resolution were cheering on Glen last Sunday (Oh how times have changed). Those who fought against it -- were not there.

And nothing’s wrong with either group – that’s just how democracy works.

Noel also spoke about loyalty – as if anyone who questions the status quo is disloyal.

How about loyalty to the NDC to start with?

And while we are at that, can the leader show his loyalty to his party by implementing the many resolutions that have been passed, that he has ignored?

The former chairman spoke about a push to controlling the executive of the party as a means to controlling power.

Duh! Yes, that's what it is all about.

That’s what Noel understood in 2009 when through his mobilization and his advocacy he defeated Colin LaBarrie as Chairman and Nazim Burke unseated George Prime.

So what’s wrong if anybody else wants to do that?

But I know Noel gets it – but he will leave his admissions to private conversations.

He understands it, as much as I do: there is a rebellion inside the NDC. But it is not against Tillman Thomas’ leadership per se.

It is against a fumbling, mumbling creeping dictatorship borne in stubbornness and hypocrisy and garnished with a frightening ineptness; made worse by a government proverbially fiddling while our Rome burns.

And this brings me to the other point – and an open public warning to all members of this current cabinet – all who I have had the pleasure of calling friends: you can choose to remain part of the problem, or act to become part of the solution.


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