Thursday, August 22, 2013


One of the things that I have noticed in these past few weeks since becoming re-engaged in active politics is how completely fed-up people of all races, creeds and classes are with all three mainstream political Parties in Trinidad & Tobago. (And, no, I do not count the TOP as a mainstream national Party ... it is strictly a Tobago affair ... but it seems to me from my Trinidadian perspective that people in Tobago are also as fed-up with the TOP and all the rest, as we are in Trinidad.)

The truth is that all of the mainstream Parties have had their chance at governance and none of them has really cured any of the deep rooted and deep seated problems that exist in our society. Time and again they have all gone to the polls and shouted from the roof tops about how corrupt their opponents are (often with a great deal of justification) but as soon as they get into power, except for the names and a few other changes, nothing changed. I defy anybody to show me the real differences in policies and in governance between any of the last few administrations.  Please. Can anybody tell me what are the policy and philosophical  differences between, say, the PNM and the UNC? Or the COP and the PNM? or the UNC and the COP? And don't come to me with platitudes like "better government" or "new politics" or some other essentially meaningless and empty phrases. What exactly are the differences? And don't tell me "well, they are corrupt and we aren't", because the perception in the population as a whole is that all of the Parties are corrupt and effectively condone corruption while pretending to be horrified at the corruption of their political "enemies".. Where are the essential policies and philosophies different? In finance? Education? Health? Security? Where?

The truth is that the differences between the three in terms of policies and philosophies aren't worth a snowball's chance of surviving in hell! Since the elections of 1986 that ushered in the NAR there have been no differences worth mentioning between any of the major Parties. Put another way, for the last 26 or so years we have had a series of different administrations whose only discernible differences have been noticeable solely by race. No new ideas have come forward in decades as to how to fix the myriad problems that afflict us. I have asked the following question in many forms: if I blew up the education/health/ police system this afternoon so that tomorrow morning there was absolutely nothing and we had to build a brand new education/health/police system, would you put back the exact same system or something completely different? And the answer always is that we should put back something completely different! So, the next obvious question is why then,  in the name of Heaven, do we continue tinkering with the systems instead of putting in systems that will work for the benefit of the people? Why are we so surprised that the country is slowly going down the proverbial tubes when no knew ideas are coming forward?

The population is quite understandably completely burnt out. People are coming up to me all the time and saying that "whatever you (i.e., the ILP) do, please, please, please don't bring back any re-cycled politicians". In other words, they are completely fed-up with those persons who have ruled in their name for so long. It is no secret that Jack Warner's extraordinary appeal to the population of the whole country is the fact that he works extremely hard for the people. The attraction of the ILP at the moment to the population as a whole is that they hope and expect that he will make his team work and perform at such levels that the population will benefit. (Let's face it, there aren't many of us who can put in 19 to 20 hour days for 7 days a week! I certainly can't! But I can work hard!)

Put another way, the people are asking that their elected representatives perform; that they do the work that is necessary. I recently posted on Facebook that I joined the ILP because, to me, it gives the best hope for Trinidad & Tobago. I re-entered the political fray after a seven year hiatus because I saw an opportunity to create a new alignment of the ascendant educated young voters, the educated older voters, the minorities in the society, those persons in the society who, while ethnically are either Indian or African, who might be Christian, Hindu, Muslim or any other creed or religion, but all who think of themselves as Trinbagonians first ... and ... (more importantly) last! I want to create an alignment of persons who demand honesty, not just from their elected representatives, but from the powerful unelected elites; elites like the fourth estate (better known as the Press or Media); elites like the business community. (Who is more guilty: the person taking the bribe or the person giving the bribe?)

In other words, I want to help cure the disease that pervades T&T politics. I want to be part of the movement that finally begins to build that "shining city on the hill". That is why I joined with Jack Warner. That is why I am trying to help build  a genuinely new movement whose credo can be summed up in one word: Performance!