UNC ship sinking
you heard the latest news flash? My friend and mentor
Mr Maharaj asked me excitedly on the phone. I could just picture
the mischievous smile on his face, the kind that he wears
when he tells a joke. What is it? I asked. He
said, There was an ultra secret caucus meeting of the
UNC executive last night, and it was the first time in a while
that all warring sides agreed on anything.
He continued, Yes, they agreed unanimously to change
the name of the party from UNC to UNB.
He proceeded to tell me what UNB stood for and why the rationale
for the name change.
While we will expect many more such jokes to surface as the
election tempo heats up, one can in fact understand the disenchantment
and disappointment that many persons in the national community
feel with the behaviour, present and past, of so many UNC
executives and leaders and supporters.
One can understand Anand Ramlogans lament last week
in this newspaper, when he bemoaned the fact that some of
the leaders have in fact not lived up to expectations and
have disappointed the East Indian community.
It was poignant, potent and pertinent, that he made this point
on the weekend of Indian Arrival Day when, in celebrating
the victories and achievements of the East Indian community
in T&T, it appears that the UNC, the flagship of arrival
on the political landscape, has so badly floundered and run
It appears not just to be a case of captain, the ship
is sinking, the first thing is to try to even decide
who is the captain, and whom do you make your report to?
If you try to go to the media publicly or to try to raise
an SOS, you are disciplined and expelled, as Robin and Gary
found out, much to their chagrin.
The elected ships captain Winston, is treated as a mutineer
and a political upstart who is seen as not having the belly
for the fight and whom some are hoping will just score a duck
Rumours run rife aboard the ship, of there being a secret
cabal of sailors loyal to the deposed Captain Silver Fox,
who are manipulating things and running the show and doing
everything to frustrate the old Winston who appears to have
visibly aged before our very eyes over the past couple months.
Such is the monument of pressure and strain he is under from
these young whippets who snap at his heels on a daily basis
and give him no rest.
In the absence of the former captain, who just barely escaped
a two-year stint in the brig, it appears that de facto control
has been handed from the Silver Fox to Jack in the Box.
This was the same Jumping Jack who was hunting with the foxes,
and at the same time, running with the hares. When it seemed
like the tide was turning against the Old Silver, none was
more vocal in leading the charge against the Bas, than Jumping
Jack, with his arm around Winstons shoulders, celebrating
the elevation of Dooks to the post of ship captain.
That arm now has poor Dookie in a headlock from which it seems
he cannot escape, and with his other arm Jack has gotten the
key to the brig and freed the Silver Fox, even to the point
of putting up his deed and posting bail for him.
So with the Silver Fox emerging from custody and back to the
fold, Jumping Jack now slips effortlessly into the role of
the biggest Fox fan, and comes to the Old Bas, with Dookie
in the headlock saying, Boss ah have him here for you
to deal with him.
Meanwhile, now enters Two Face, who was made to walk the plank
and was unceremoniously dumped and thrown off the ship a while
back, on charges of allegedly boring holes in the hull and
trying to sink the ship.
After washing ashore and wandering in the political wilderness
for years, he has seen hope in reviving his political fortunes
by trying to climb back aboard the SS UNC which has run aground
on the shore.
His detractors and opponents try to beat him off with oars
and paddles to prevent him scrambling aboard, but he is a
survivor and a crafty sailor whose back is broad and he manages
to get a few high-ranking sailors to approve his return to
the ship, the same ship he allegedly tried to sink.
His presence on board creates some unease and discomfort,
and the head of the Chinese Association of sailors takes a
life raft and gets off the ship saying, they not ready
Yet, so Ming gone.
He is followed by the former school boy Roy, and following
behind not far, is Mr Manohar.
Meanwhile the Womens Liberation Movement of Sailors
celebrates the ascension of Kamla to the throne of Opposition
Leader, but it seems that this term has now taken on a new
meaning. Opposition Leader apparently now means that you must
give Opposition to your Leader.
Winston has found himself in constant opposition with the
Leader of the Opposition and the charade and absurd farce
continues, where years after the ships of arrival landed on
these shores, the ship of political arrival remains moribund
and run aground, shipwrecked on the shores of political in-fighting,
mistrust and suspicion.