Thursday, April 12, 2012


Is it perhaps asking too much of our leaders that they stop dealing with trivia and get on with the serious business of running a country. The latest brouhaha to dominate the headlines ... the meeting of the leaders of the various Parties that make up the People's Partnership to discuss the Coudray affair ... is a classic example of how to waste time by pretending that you are doing something important when in reality you are not.

I simply cannot understand the leadership of the Congress of the People (COP) on this Marlene Coudray matter. What was so important about this woman and her deciding to switch her allegiance to another Party that they actually threaten to break up the Partnership... and then they don't, but say that it is "important to get it right so that it doesn't happen again" ? I am sorry, but to me it just seemed like a lot of sour grapes and trying to cover up your embarrassment that a high profile member of your Party decided to leave you and go somewhere else. So what? Are you (the COP leadership) saying that the UNC has an ethical responsibility to turn away any COP members who wish to leave the COP and join the UNC? And so what if she really was a COP appointed mayor (for there seems to be some doubt on that in that she is reported as saying that the COP leadership didn't really want her)? So what? What is so absolutely critical and important that the Mayor of San Fernando has to be a member of the COP? What exactly is/are the philosophical difference(s) between the COP and the UNC that would make the same person acceptable yesterday but not acceptable today?

You see, either the COP is in a partnership or it isn't. If it is, could somebody please explain to me the critical importance to the COP (other than the very obvious embarrassment suffered by Ms. Coudray's rather sudden departure) of having a COP mayor? What makes this such a big issue for them? And why is this issue so much more important than the floundering economy, the visible lack of job creation and the obvious lack of confidence in the TT dollar which has now slid to US$1 = TT$6.43 (down from $6.30 on 24th May, 2010)? Or is it that the COP "has" the Ministry of Finance, and although by any measurable yardstick the present Minister of Finace is woefully failing, it would be an act tantamount to sabotage to criticize him? So, rather than focus on the real problems in the country, it is far easier to focus on matters of trivia and cloak yourself in the self righteousness of "ethics".

The Lord knows that we need as much ethical behaviour as we possibly can get, but He also knows that He helps those who help themselves. Instead of sounding like little children who have lost some of their marbles in a game, Messrs. Ramadar, Toney and DeLima should wake up and smell the coffee. It's the economy stupid! (With apologies to Bill Clinton). Deal with it!

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