Thursday 15th December, 2005



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Land of political bololees

By Percy L Cezair

If there was any doubt, it has now been totally dispelled. The people of T&T are the number one political bobolees on the planet. At least the Jack Warner/Basdeo Panday element in the UNC is trying very hard to establish and ensure the maintenance of that reputation.

How else can one describe the recent scenario surrounding the duo’s delve into the past in order to invite the public to witness what they insist is a united effort to remove the PNM from office? The exhumation of dead political bodies which that same political party and the people of T&T have in the past rejected and buried?

It could hardly be anything but a mirage: Nizam Mohammed, Rupert Griffith, Ramesh Maharaj, Mervin Assam and Trevor Sudama dutifully responding to a call. Why and for what purpose? You cannot put lipstick on a pig.

Either there is active contempt for the intelligence and opinions of the people or a belief that there is absolutely no such thing, as Mr Panday has often repeated, as morality in T&T politics.

The fact is morality or its opposite is not a matter of politics. It is confined to those who practise it or behave in a moral or immoral manner as it affects everything.

A man is either good, bad or evil, moral or immoral. How he practices his politics can emerge either way.

He cannot then blame his behaviour on some abstract principle and in seeking to lead a country there cannot be any shades of either good or evil. You are either in one or the next.

Manipulation of the system or the electorate is on the side of evil not good.

If you either consciously adopt or even misunderstand this simple equation then you are under the influence of either power, arrogance or isolation.

No country, no state, has ever survived in history on the basis of evil and immorality. And T&T will not either, if it continues to accept such ideas and political shenanigans.

Every institution in this country is today at the bottom of the standard required.

Political polls show the country’s leadership at all levels at the bottom rung of the ladder.

The judiciary is fast following suit. We have a police service we couldn’t give away to another country for free. The Central Bank has been skating with incapability while too many in the business community are regarded by the population as a showcase of greed and rapaciousness.

All of which may sound as a very cynical and negative assessment of the country and its future. Maybe so, but unfortunately this is the reality.

And when old fogeys whose names have been mentioned earlier turn up from some ghost political village, one wonders how negative a picture can be painted.

No one expects, having done without it for so long, that the majority of the country’s politicians will suddenly become paragons of virtue or become imbued with the same hoped-for consistent blend of honesty, reliability and integrity, all mandatory elements of leadership whether existing or capable or acquisition.

And while it is true that T&T can be labelled a superficial culture which generally focuses on money, fete and ostentatious living while swimming in a sea of poverty, and is a nation which cannot afford the Government’s spending habits, self respect must at least remain a prime requirement for those who seek to govern the country.

Politics is expected to be a vocation, applied with a sense of duty. In T&T today it is too often about men who spend all of their time fighting with one another for personal interests.

Politicians have demons and in this country they are their personalities and the changes they go through.

In the case of the country’s judiciary, it appears that the simple principle that a judge must not and cannot listen to his or her own personal views is far from being commonly understood or practised.

But power is not always visible. Sometimes it hides its face behind frivolity and prevarication and that is where it is far more dangerous.

But in all this, where are the people? Granted that the country is split politically between two major ethnic groups and the Parliament clearly reflects that division, there must be some semblance of frustration and anger among supporters when the basis of that support is taken for granted and therefore insulted and ignored on a consistent basis.

Surely within one’s own community there is the opportunity for choice and demand for better quality representation.

The biggest problem affecting T&T politics is the “political leader disease.” Totally forgotten is that the reason for the existence of political parties and government is to serve the people and the country. Any leader who forgets that and serves himself must go down pretty fast.




©2004-2005 Trinidad Publishing Company Limited

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