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This is so wrong on so many different levels. I can only say that the way we present ourselves to the world that is the way the world will see us. I guess that is why we get tricycles when we ask for Ambulances.
I wonder if there is a way to see if the money actually went back into the Grenada coffers..
Grenada is attempting to boost its image and forge alliances that would result in big investors and also Aid that can lead to across the board development.
As we step out into this global economy we have to be up to the task and be ready because there is no conscience out there, there is raw greed and a total lack of concern for anyone or any country. Big business wants your heart while they give you crumbs and if they can get away with giving you a mere promise and get your heart they will go for that and not even as much as wink or blink. I think we have come a long way enough to understand that no one gives you anything for nothing and that is just the reality of the situation.
Now there is a saying that if you want to be rich you have to think and act rich, play the part. The way we present ourselves to the world is the way the world will see us.
Now I am looking at the new headlines “A Grenada Government minister has refused to stay in an expensive New York hotel while on state business as her country makes moves to turn around a struggling economy” and I am thinking that is so wrong on so many levels. What is the image of Grenada’s Government and people is it projecting to the world? This is New York and you can just imagine what the hotel front desk was thinking at that moment.
When asked why she was checking out the answer, as a Government minister was even worse “she said because the government is paying, that is why,” “I am not staying, because I left people home hungry .I have a conscience, I cannot take 600 hundred US dollars of the tax payers money and spend it…”. I have a feeling that she has not been in NY long or she was not given the tour to see hungry. How many people in Grenada do you see scavenging the garbage bins? She obviously doesn’t know what she is talking about or she has not seen hungry yet. She is talking about conscience what does that have to do with anything? whom is she trying to impress with this misplaced moral? I mean really.
You are on official business and the trip was book for you so that means that the monies were budgeted out and available.
The venue I am assuming was selected so as to put you in proximity to the conference site so that you would not have to travel or at best minimally. You will have the comfort to prepare and be ready to represent your country so it was not her call to break the protocol.
She compromised her security both personally, and the documents and information she was carrying was put at risk.
She puts the Government in debt to the People that hosted her. Will they be looking for favors down the road? How much was paid to them for the upkeep?
The monies that were “saved” will it be returned to coffers? How can the people know that is what actually will happened?
She deprived herself of some vital good post meeting dialog that could have led to solid alliances and serious knowledge gathering.
Now that being said I admire her concern, but I maintain that it was misplaced in this case. Personally that is not the mentality a Government representative should be espousing. You are representing “A PEOPLE” not yourself so your personal morals should be kept for when you go to Church. Everything has its time and place.
>>I guess that is why we get tricycles when we ask for Ambulances.<<
Great observation, Maya, but isn't there another way to look at it?
Correct me if I'm wrong as I am assuming that those who went before her used to stay in those appropriate places that you prefer, but yet in most of the cases all they got were tricycles instead of the ambulances they had originally asked for. That being the case, I think Minister Delma Thomas did the right thing in refusing to waste more of her government's money (US$600.00 per night), when tricycles were all she'd get anyway whether she stayed at the expensive upscale Hilton Hotel or her family's simple home.
Let's give her some kudos at least for being realistic about what she could accomplish without having to spend a fortune that Grenada can ill afford to get only tricycles instead of ambulances. Therefore, instead let's say thanks to the minister. From my perspective, "That is so Right!"
And one more thing, do you think Paris Hilton will serve her a breakfast of cocoa tea with bake and saltfish, as most likely her family did? (lol).
I understand what you are saying but I think you missed what I am saying. My contention is in the way she handled the situation. First of all she obviously did not make the arrangements for this trip, and I am “sure” that there were considerations for the choice of location. How much do you think Hotels cost in New York anyway?
I also deplore the extravagance but she should have completed the mission according to protocol and when she got back to the country then take it up with the powers that be and the department in charge of making travel arrangements so going forward this would not happen. That would have been one way of keeping a high profile and not presenting yourself and country in a poor light. I maintain that the way you present yourself is the way you will be seen.
When we host delegations in Grenada where do we put them up? Do we put them up with our families or a dinky guesthouse or do we put them up at the best that we have? Is it because they are better than us, Massa complex?
Let us look at some possibilities for a moment. What if she was caught up in an accident and did not make the meeting? What if she was mugged and lost her briefcase/attaché? Would you then agree with her misplaced sense of morals? Really.
It seems to me that the same issues that plagued the previous administration is popping up here. Ministers seem to like to make unilateral decisions without consultation. I would like to make a suggestion here and that is the PM should provide training to every department of his Gov’t to up the performance and professionalism. Ministers must learn how present themselves and how to see through delegations that come to Grenada with smoke and mirrors.
There is a time and place for everything.
“Oh and one more thing” The Paris Hilton analogy was a weak attempt to trivialize.
I agree wholeheartedly with your analysis of the situation instead of the unprecedented approach takenby the good Lady Parliamentarian. IMHO, I think the PM preempted the possible fall-out of this and spun it in the form of a public acknowledgement of her prudent approach in light of our doad straight economic situation.
But there remains the daunting question of that "unilateral decision" which may had inadvertently exposed the PM's cost containment initiative that was implemented as part of his economic re-revitalization plan. One can ask, has the message been received by all his government ministers and disseminated down to his respective offices? and if so, does ministers and other government officials travel accommodations fall under his plan?
At the risk of micromanaging, I think the PM needed to take this oopportunity to send a clear message to the public that saying that government ministers would also be required to "suck salt" in this gru-gru times and ensure the people that his austerity program is indeed a shared sacrifice.
It should not have taken the action of his cabinet minister to expose the problem.
Gouyaveman, on trading Champagne and Cavier for Fry Soltfish , Bakes and Cocoa Tea.
I am hoping that the takeaway from this fallout is that going forward more research and thought would be exercised when making arrangements. The underlying principle is that if you are going to beg for help you should not be landing in a Lear Jet (Enron), but if you are going there to give help it really doesn’t matter what you land in and could be a plus to land in a Lear.
Put the people with the best life experience for the post or train the people before you expose them to something that is totally foreign to them, no pun intended. Have you ever walked into a Government office to get a document or license or passport or something official and the person on the other side of the desk is doing their nails or on the phone and they just say to you “come back”?
Have you ever witnessed a line left hanging when the attendant just closes up and goes to lunch? Accountability. Training, Training and more ongoing training is needed to prepare people to better handle these responsibilities
About the bakes, coco tea and solfish diplomacy I am all for that when you selling a project to another parish or looking for votes during elections. There was not one that I know of that was better at that then Gairy, but he used it within the 12 by 21 canvas called Grenada. When he stepped out globally he was all class. I am giving jack his jacket here.
Lets move from the status quo and up Our game because everybody else is doing just that.
There seems to be an inherent problem within our government structure, one that encourages the lack of responsibility which leads to the incompetence you so aptly described.
It remains so imbedded in the functionality of our government, that it renders it disfunctional at times. This is a system where there seems to be a total resistance to change, hence impeding every effort for a learning experience from those who have the knowledge and experience to make a difference.
We seem quite comfortable in our ability to reject any advice (particularly those from America) in preference for own "home- grown" that we fail to realize we are perpetuating the the problem thus providing the breeding ground for that incompetency.
But the irony of this is, we seem to show a remarkable accumen for change and adaptability once we travel.
This tells me it is not so much as an individual resistance to change but an environmental accommodation for resistance that stifles the individual.
It is the fall-out we are seeing here in this latest fiasco and it is one that begs for an educational intervention.
From a broad prospective angling, I am picking up on Gouyaveman succinctly perfectly balanced post with Gouyaveman's subtle hint of impartiality, I support the Minister or Ministers in their selective lodging decisions based on their exceptional good judgement and not driven by personal, social or worldly vanities.
Responses to certain disputive media situations are dependent on where people are in their lives, in present time and space, for example, if someone is in dire conditions, then anything luxurious is looked upon as paradise (but is it?); if all is going well psychologically then where-ever you abode does not really matter. Some family homes are luxurious to say the least, during my travels, I have once opted to abode in a friend’s house instead of a hotel, I laid in my bed watching tv, a side table with kettle/small fridge etc and the only major omission was the wide array of the hotel buffet style meals - it was lovely and quiet.
The decisions taken by anyone regardless of their professional or socio economic status are personally based on their integrity and should be respected by all. What is expected are constructive criticisms with a degree of subtle impartiality, not wishy-washy, off-the-cuff blocking comments, or basically digging up trails of dirt and past events.
I unashamingly take my hat off to the Minister or Ministers and wish them well in the ministerial pursuits and future leadership roles.
Did not Mahatma Ghandi’s lifestyle raise the capital R in respect for his country?
Father God, in the name of Jesus I pray for all global government ministers in their difficult roles, especially small developing countries whose voices are often overshadowed by the big powers on the world-superpolitical stage whatever they do are at times subject to criticisms by the people who they try to serve, for they all lack the wisdom for dealing with a wide range of peoples and nations. Lord grant them wisdom to ask for the Wisdom from on high, so that they will govern and carry out their ministry with fairness, justice and integrity. Lord, I praise and thank you for I know that you are raising up future ministers to lead countries. And the people say Amen and Praise the Lord.
>>I also deplore the extravagance but she should have completed the mission according to protocol and when she got back to the country then take it up with the powers that be and the department in charge of making travel arrangements so going forward this would not happen.<<
There are two important concerns in your comment. My concern was mainly with the first. It seems that you did not give her enough credit for bringing to the fore a concern that many people have long been feeling. We've seen too many times where our diplomats spend monies as though "money is no problem." That the Minister took such a stand is what I commend her for. Nothing more.
But yes, I do agree that she could have gone about it exactly as you suggested in the second part. She had to have known ahead of time that the monies were assigned to her staying at the Hilton. So it definitely would have been prudent for her to raise her concerns/objections before the trip or even when she returned to Grenada. But then again sometimes it does take the dramatic to bring a point/concern more forcefully into public view.
And to Mr. G/man: A man like you would gladly and willingly trade in your champagne for bakes, cocoa tea and saltfish anytime of the day(lol)!!
Hey Maya, don't take these silly comments so seriously man. It's meant just to lighten up things. Let's have a laugh even amidst very serious discussions.