Thursday, November 10, 2011


A lot of people may not realise it, but we are witness to history right now. The once mighty and invincable PNM is on its death bed and the last rites have been read. Oh! Don't get me wrong. The brand will be around for a long time, but the once great Party and all that it stood for is effectively dead and gone and the present leadership is totally and completely incapable of bringing it back to life. It simply is no longer a credible alternative government and is totally and completely incapable of uniting this little country of ours.

Although most of us might not have recognised it at the time, with the benefit of hindsight the Party clearly was mortally ill long before the May 2010 elections which effectively dealt it a mortal blow. Indeed, there are a lot of people (especially PNM people) who simply cannot understand why Manning called the election so early. The obvious answer was that he was facing a potentially devastating vote of no confidence which was being brought by then Leader of the Opposition Kamla Persad Bissessar and he didn't want what the then Opposition had to say to come out. If it had, his moral authority (which was already tenuous thanks to the UDECOTT Commission of Enquiry and its very public revelations) would have evaporated completely. Further, he was was facing a very serious rebellion in his own ranks. Dr. Rowley, because of his attacks on Manning up to that point, would have had to join with the Opposition against Mr. Manning, or lose complete credibility both within as well as without his Party. It was also quite probable that Rowley would have pulled a few of his supporters with him. All of this meant that even if he had been able to defeat the vote of no confidence in the Parliament, Manning would have lost it outside ... and outside is where it really counts!

Fast forward some 17 months later and only the most obtuse would not recognise that his so-called apology was a case of too little too late. After a truly dismal record as Prime Minister Mr. Manning came forward to apologise to "all those whom I have caused to be disenfrachised". What? Who did he disenfranchise? The Indian community? Most certainly he did do that! But did he mean them? I doubt it. And if he did then I really don't believe that the apology was sincere. Sorry. But actions speak louder than words. He hasn't done a thing to show that community that he is truly sorry for his actions over the years that effectively discriminated against them. And he did, people. He did!

So who was he referring to? Those PNMites who were feeding at the public trough? Quite possibly. That at least would be more believable. But that apology was really too late. It could have and should have come a lot earlier.

But the truth is that Mr. Manning really couldn't care less. What he was (and is) trying to do is to undermine Dr. Rowley ... who, God bless him, is trying as hard as he can to help Mr. Manning do just that! Everybody understood what Mr. Manning meant when he said that he wasn't going to be like "a pothound chasing after every passing car". What he was doing was demoting Dr. Rowley from rottwheiller status to that of a pot hound. And good old Rowley has cheerfully re-confirmed that he does just that when he made such stupid and silly comments about businessmen Steve Ferguson and Ishwar Galbaransingh winning their extradition matter that it provoked a meeting of the Law Association to discuss whether the comments constitute a contempt of Court.

Rowley clearly did not bother to read the 57 page judgement nor did he bother to acquaint himself remotely with the law of extradition. If you are going to criticise, by all means do so. But at least do it from an informed perspective. Nobody says that you have to agree with everything a judge decides ... even if it is a decision coming from the Privy Council! But if you are going to disagree, then for crying out loud, do so from a point that clearly understands all of the arguments.

I don't want here to go into that "Ish & Steve" case. We can deal with it at another time if necessary. The point here is not the decision of the judge, but how Rowley dealt with it. Rowley simply does not have the intellectual capacity nor the political "smarts" to lead a national political party. He is clear evidence of the "Peter Principle" at work.

The PNM has no effective or national leadership. There is nobody in its present hierarchy that looks remotely like an alternative Prime Minister and the Party is reaching more and more down into its more racist elements in order to be able to show that it has some modicum of support. Most of its educated and more sober minded supporters now look on with not little dismay. They can't bring themselves over even to support the COP (and that tells us something about the COP ... but, again, that's another story), and certainly they feel most uncomfortable with the UNC, but they can't bring themselves to vote for the Party that led this country to independance almost 5o years ago. So, those voters are parked up now and the PNM is about to die (if it ain't dead already)!

The problem here for Kamla is that politics (like nature) abhors a vacuum. There is no guarantee that a new third force will not rise to take the PNM's place, and if it does, and the economy remains sluggish, it could cause serious problems for the Partnership. We'll all continue to watch with interest.

No comments:

Post a Comment