Wednesday 17th September ,2008

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A day of shame, disgrace

  • If we do not exercise greater vigilance we could wake up one morning and find our democratic way of life has been brutally snatched from us.
  • Manning had nothing to worry about except his ego.
  • I would find it difficult to believe anything this administration has to say from now on.

The Opposition may have “lost” the no-confidence vote in Prime Minister Patrick Manning, but a dispassionate assessment of Friday’s disgraceful events outside the Parliament told an even more frightening and poignant story.

That is, if we as citizens do not exercise greater vigilance we could wake up one morning and find our democratic way of life has been brutally snatched from us.

At that time we would have nobody but ourselves to thank because we failed to take preventive action at the right time.

I never thought I would have had to express such misgivings about our Prime Minister, but as they say, to be forewarned is to be forearmed.

Let me briefly recount the scenario leading up to “Shameful Friday,” a day that I pray we would never be subjected to again.

The Opposition filed a motion of no confidence in Mr Manning, a perfectly legitimate process in our democratic system of governance.

Manning had nothing to worry about except his ego, which is not the nation’s business.

Neither was it a sinister plot as the PNM sycophants and Mr Manning would have the misinformed in our midst believe.

A few days before the debate was due to begin, the nation found out that PNMites were coming in their droves to Woodford Square in a show of support and solidarity with their beloved leader.

In the build-up to last Friday several top officials of the PNM, including its public relations officer Jerry Narace, vehemently denied the party had anything to do with this supposedly spontaneous show of affection for Manning.

At that time and including on “Shameful Friday” itself, all the PNM top brass were shamelessly still maintaining the party was not behind the event.

Of course not even the most stupid among us were fooled and knew fully that the level of professionalism and sophistication which went into preparing the venue was not the work of these supporters, who were almost exclusively Cepep and URP dependents.

Now that it has been established they were cajoled, coerced, and maybe threatened to come into town or else they would lose their jobs did not organise the mob-like occasion, a very pertinent question arises.

Why did these PNM senior people think it fit to so brazenly and shamelessly conceal the truth from the entire nation?

I mean it isn’t like they were committing a criminal offence by arranging that bacchanal to curry-favour with Manning.

If these people could get on radio, television and the press and be such strangers to the truth on a matter of such infinitesimal importance, one wonders now how can we believe them in the really important issues.

Can we ever believe these people when they get into Parliament or any other public platform that they are really speaking the truth?

If they can take God out of their thoughts and try to pull the wool over our eyes in this instance, I would have serious doubts about their truthfulness in the really important national affairs.

Is this the sort of message that they are sending to the nation’s young people—that they boldfacedly hide the truth and hope to get away with it?

Is this the nation-building message the new PNM members of the Parliament are being taught—that it is cool to try to hoodwink the people who entrusted them with the future of the state?

I don’t know about you but I would find it very difficult to believe anything members of this administration say from now on. How could they really expect the people to take seriously their spoken word after such a display in a relatively trivial matter?

Who advised them to go down that road? Or do they really think we are bunch of doltish people that they can ram anything down our throats?

Try as I might I just cannot fathom why did they have to resort to subterfuge where none was necessary, which is not to say that it could ever be justified.

The Opposition I am sure had no illusion that it would have “won” the debate because it really was not that type of debate.

It was an academic exercise, giving the Opposition another opportunity to lambaste the head of government for what it perceives to be his failure to properly govern the country.

Absolutely nothing about attempting to overthrow the Prime Minister, which simply put could never be achieved as long as the Government has a majority in the Parliament.

Why was it necessary to humiliate their humble supporters in this ego-building trip in the square?

“Shameful Friday” was an abuse of poor people who would continue to be abused at the hands of heartless politicians bent on keeping them in perpetual dependency and mental bondage.

After being caught in this big stink I think the Government’s  strategy backfired and it has raised a high level of distrust among the citizenry.

Indeed, there are many people including myself who would now doubt our confidence level in this administration after that unbelievable conduct on “Shameful Friday.”

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