H. A. Blaize's Address - Friday, April 6th, 1975 - Seamoon Stadium
Although the late Herbert A. Blaize was described as a 'lacklustre' politician, he was also admired for being honest and straightforward. In the following speech, he tries to use his adept powers of persuasion toward gathering the people into unity of purpose. One can find him being fatherly in that matter-of-fact manner where one might hear him come back with a commonsense response to your idealistic statement. The speech below is courtesy of the US National Archives II. The address makes important points. Blaize, in this speech, made such interesting points about NJM Leader Maurice Bishop that Bishop made, on Bishop's personal copy of Blaize's speech, words and concepts and points stand out by personally underlining them.
Many are called, few choose to come. Many are the ways that lead to the same call, but diversity should not restrict our sense of solidarity, and it is desirous that diverse groups should be brought towards the same direction.
The presence of a member of the other side at one time which is now fighting for the things we are fighting for - telling you that U.P.P. [the United People's Party] is going to meet and accommodate their programmes with us, is an indication that we intend to pursue further the possibility of getting all opposition groups to work for the overthrow of Gairyism which has been a disease for two decades in Grenada, two decades too long.
Pre-occupation with the disease of Gairyism, pre-occupation with the need to get rid of that sort of monstrous situation, pre-occupation with the depression in which Grenada is brought today, and the knowledge that Grenada can never rise unless Gairyism removes from the scene, pre-occupation with that sort of thing causes some people in desperation to say 'Get rid of Gairy' and that is all.
They forget that after Gairy we have to face [word omitted], they forget that after Gairy the youths have to find a place in the Grenada land, they forget that after Gairyism has been removed we still have to find how to live day after day, year after year.
And if in removing Gairy we did not place a sufficient factual replacement in advance of Gairyism, then we can have a vacuum which could be worse than the situation which is now.
Gairy has been Grenada's disease for two years, he has spread his vitrual (sic) throughout the ranks and breadth of this land, so that families are against families, respect has gone out of the window, people don't care any more to give regard to their neighbour as neighbour, and they cannot cure it.
A month, two months ago, I read that the Government of the Gairy people were going to bring new laws to cure praedial larceny, new laws to see if they can stop the theft of property going on; new laws to see if they can prevent people losing their crops so that their incentive is being destroyed, and I say to them, that new laws alone cannot solve stealing and theft in Grenada. What is happening in Grenada goes beyond that.
Laws can correct. The situation is such that some people, some people who never thought two years ago that they will take what was not theirs, some people have been forced into the position where their bellies cannot understand the reason of their heads, and they have nothing to go by so their neighbours' goods are their to take and go by. A hungry belly knows no reason, and a man who has no food, no work, no proper work will steal, when, two weeks before he would have been shame to do it.
There are some who, in the best of position, in the greatest of property, will steal, because they are some no matter how good the time they prefer to thief than to work. There are people like that.
Six months ago when I was traveling the back fields of St. David's, I came across a gentleman about 65 years old working in his fields. A hard worker who was trying hard to get people to work with him. A few days before that a couple young men passed by and the question of work came up and one of them in a Ban Lon jersey and a Crimplene pants said 'cutlass cane? Not these hands of mine, no - hands too pretty'.
Same night he take a cutlass and thief the man cane. He will thief it but he wouldn't work for the man, so there will always be the people who will be like that, but we must not say that because there are those that this must be cursed by law.
Until the Government can restore confidence in the land, confidence that people can sleep in peace without being disturbed in their homes, confidence that you can go into the fields and work and ask people to work and pay them to work, confidence that when you plant you will reap what you plant, confidence that when you reap what you plant you can find a market place so that you can help yourself and your families, until those conditions are restored no law can curb praedial larceny in Grenada.
And Gairyism cannot do it. They have proved that they haven't the will to do it. They have proved it in the past, and all they know how to do is to make things worse, so people are disturbed and they want a change.
There must be change, but not just change for the sake of change, it must be change without chaos, change without confusion. We have held out, and we will continue to hold out that we want unity and solidarity with all.
But when it comes to those young people who have new ideologies we say to them, first and foremost - Grenada will need a lot of help for, do you believe Grenada can survive without help? Do you think we need any help from outside? Do you think we need help? Do you think that for us to find our place again - that respected honoured place that Grenada had seated on the pinnacle of Caribbean respectability - surveying the Windward Islands field for the top of respect, Grenada which is now in the valley of despair-despondence, do you think Grenada needs help to rise again? Do you? Do you?
If Grenada needs help to rise again, if Grenada needs help to rise again, Grenada needs to create the image, an image to the outside world that it will respect other people's property and it will run its government according to law and democratic principles.
There is a type of thinking and philosophy that says to the people of Grenada - Gairyism is unreasonable, we must use unreasonable means to get rid of him, and whoever could get rid of Gairy let them go ahead and run our government. If you think so, then you could be spinning top in mud.
We want the young men who call themselves New Jewel. They are young Grenadians. The are intelligent young Grenadians, but in their youth and their enthusiasm they are misguided in their policies, misguided in a way that will be improved by age, reason, experience and circumstance.
But we cannot afford to allow them to get that experience while Grenada's conditions are in such dire need of maturity and solidarity of thinking now.
We want them because they are Grenadians 'and we believe they are sincere in their desire, but they are faulty in their methods.' And we will say to them think and sit with us, let us work out something that not only will secure Grenada, but will create the image of responsibility that the outside world needs to help us to help ourselves.
So there are two things that we will have to clear in dealing with the members of the New Jewel Movement.
Their policies of individual effort and enterprise, their policy which claims nationalization of banks, nationalization of tourist industry, the control of imports and exports - those are frightening to the development of any enterprise democratically in any part of the world.
If Grenada needs help, and Grenada were to nationalize the billions of International Barclays, or the billions of Royal Nova Scotia banks, Grenada will be nationalizing the buildings of the banks in Grenada and the few dollars that Grenadians have in the banks. All you will get from nationalization is the building of Nova Scotia Bank, the Imperial Bank the Barclays bank, the Royal Bank and the few thousand dollars Grenadians have in those banks.
And then you will still have to find money to pay for the buildings of those banks, you still have to find money for the nationalization of those banks. You will have to find money for doing what you cannot do and you would have lost the opportunity for getting money to do the things that are necessary to be done.
So before we can talk serious collaboration for unification, we will have to ask those young men to publicly renounce, publicly renounce their policy of nationalization because we can seriously come together to work out a programme for Grenada's resuscitation. That is one.
The next - Friday gone was only one week, day before yesterday was only one week, one week away from the annual reminder - the annual reminder of the tragedy that created Christendom two thousands years ago. Friday gone, ten days ago - Good Friday - reminding us vividly and so seriously that in the dispensation of justice you cannot afford to avoid the use of properly constituted judicial force, and in the dispensation of justice ten days ago - Good Friday reminds us that it was a people's court that crucified Christ. It was a people's court that crucified Christ.
So in addition to asking for a public renunciation of the policy of nationalization, which is disastrous to any possibility of Grenada's revival, we say that you must also publicly renounce the idea of a People's Court and People's Assembly - let us go back to the courts we understand.
If those two things are done the G.N.P. [Grenada National Party] will go ahead full speed - knowing, that no taint of nationalization, no taint of people's courtism will be attached to Grenada's joining in every effort with the others, and we can then look forward to a period of co-operative endeavour in which Grenada can once more be lifted from the depths to which Gairyism had put it to the heights to which the people of Grenada are capable and able to bring it to.
Some people doubt their own ability, some people doubt their own potential, some people doubt that Grenadians can actually lift Grenada by their boot straps. But, unless we, all Grenadians begin, such one of us to understand, that.
The potential in the ability and the quest but definite ability to receive Grenada here and now, we have to make a deep resolve, everyone in Grenada especially those of us of the Grenada National party to begin working from today, seeking to bring our neighbours to understand that the numbers of the people of Grenada will prevail even above electoral deficiencies.
Let me tell you, that 1972 Elections in spite of Gairyism and tricks, in spite of irregularities and multiple votes, in spite of persons who voted when they were dead through others who were alive, in spite of people voting in different polling divisions and creating an [missing word/s] in the voting, in spite of those, if Grenadians had kept to their promise, and all Grenadians had come out and vote as they should have vote the irregularities would have been overcome, and if Grenadians had not display such a deep degree of deception of deceit, because there was a great deal of hypocrisy, there was a great deal of deception inside the ranks of people who pretended, that they were going to support the opposition when they turned around and either stayed home, because they were afraid to see, let others see what they were going to do or went behind and voted the Government instead of the opposition.
If there is going to be the repetition of this nothing can save Grenada. But if the people of Grenada understand that each on of us do our duty now, begin to bring others to understand that by our total composite vote we can overthrow Gairyism, then we have a chance, then we have a chance.
But we have to understand this, we have to understand this, we have to understand this that by our total composite vote together we can win through for we got to have courage or we got not to be afraid.
Those who say if you vote against the Government you go loose your job, because to hell with it, it en't mean one damn thing to get job with Government any more, and whether the Gairy Government offer you any job or not it means that they don't mean nothing to the people of Grenada.
Because job under the Gairy Government today is more a liability than a help to the people of Grenada.
And more than one speaker told you here that we need money to win a political party, we need money to keep it going, we need money to keep it moving through and then form of duplicity and deception [typed as written].
And we are going to send the word of appeal to all Grenadians who understand that to do the job one has to be given the tools, and the tools being the Money. And we are going to send the word again to those to Grenadians especially those who in the past gave us $25 and turned around and gave Gairy $50 just to make sure that they keep on the both sides of both parties, but putting themselves in the middle of the street. Give us $25 and then turn around and give Gairy $50, that is spinning top in mud.
Because it means, that instead of giving the power to the opposition to fight and revive, you are dividing your forces making the opposition believe that they are getting support while the other side are doubling their efforts on our behalf.
So we are going to tell the people frankly 'If you going to help us to help your selves do it with a singleness of purpose,' a singleness of purpose. Don't give us a little bit and turn around behind our backs and give Gairy more, because you are spinning top in mud.
And in any case, those who did that, who thought they were helping themselves either for business purposes or political purposes, they are understanding now that they didn't gain any things because especially businessmen those who have the misfortune to still have Government business, they find that government business is a liability [unclear words].
So that they didn't help themselves by turning two face, so they will not help themselves by turning two face at all, and when we put out an appeal as propose to put out very shortly to this large majority of people of Grenada, we need your help to help you, and when you give us help give us the help, don't turn around and give it to any body else.
I said that I hoped that we will pass one or two resolutions, and I said to you, that the Duffus Commission did a job for us for which we must be grateful. The Duffus Commission, a team of qualified and dedicated men came here and spent weeks, day after day at great inconvenience to themselves, and produced a report that is of highest of order and respectability.
Those of you who have had the privilege of reading the report would understand the work that has gone into it, and in your name and on your behalf. I have already issued a word of thanks to the Commission for the work and the service that they have done to Grenada.
We stand by the Report and all its Recommendations. We say that those men, judicial as well as episcopal (sic), because there was a Roman Catholic Archbishop there, those men of integrity and undoubted integrity, did what they thought was right after listening to the evidence of the people themselves that they spoke against. And we stand by all their Recommendations. And we call upon you to help us to call upon Government to fulfill and implement all the Recommendations. First Recommendation-first Resolution
(1) We the people, of the Grenada National Party and their supporters assemble here in Seamoon - resolve - that the Government be called upon to implement the Recommendations of the Duffus Commission in its entirety without any reservation.
Resolve - that the Government be called upon to implement the recommendations of the Duffus Commission in its entirety without reservations - yes or no?
That the Government be called upon to implement the Duffus Recommendations in its entirety without reservations yes or no?
(2) We the said people assembled here at Seamoon, do call on the Executive and the Leader of the Opposition to draw the attention of the U.N. to the danger of Electoral malpractices in Grenada, and the evidence of the breakdown of law and order and constitutional provisions in Grenada and ask that this august international body give whatever assistance is possible to rectify those ills in Grenada - yes or no?
(3) We the people of the Grenada National Party assembled here at Seamoon on this 6th day of April, 1975 - we resolve that each one of us will begin from today to spread the word of Grenada's revival through the Grenada National Party in its programme, and this will do from today without ceasing until the victory is won.
[unclear] as for this one, because this one [unclear] talking about the United Nations and people outside, this one says - we the people assembled here today, do resolve, that from this day on we will do everything in our power individually to carry forward the programme of the G.N.P. towards the revival of decency in Grenada again, and we will work unceasingly until the victory is won - so say - so say -
This resolution is going down into the records - this resolution is going down into the records, and this resolution says - not they who are going to save Grenada, not outsiders who will come to our rescue, but me, you, and you, every man, every woman, every child who lives and breathes in this dear island, everyone is dedicated from this day on to work for the salvation of Grenada through the G.N.P.