We all have friends on the other side (the PNM) and family in my case as do most of us but I rarely engage them on political matters but when we do clash, we clash and we hit hard. I rarely engage them because I believe I have an unfair advantage given that they did not study politics; most people did not.
Furthermore, most people have little knowledge of history, politics and policy. This is my daily life, in teaching, writing, reading and researching – my job, whether I work as a teacher, journalist, editor, lecturer, blogger and consultant. So to engage my family or friends and most people about politics, the playing field simply is not even. I would be a total fool trying to perform a surgery, working on a drilling rig or developing a vaccine for Ebola.
So while we all may vote, I vote and study voting behavior. While we all may read the newspapers, I read the Hansard record of Parliament, at times for hours. Additionally, the comparative aspects of the political culture and all its facets is always present for me so this too makes it difficult to engage in real policy based conversation based on the social constructions and present realities created by the history makers themselves – the political actors in present day Trinidad and Tobago compared to a 200 year plus democracy like the United States.
All democracies evolve but nevertheless, “all politics is local,” so when these clashes take place, with my one PNM friend in particular, from my vantage point it is all comedy, nothing but comedy and most of conversations end when I tell him, “come out of that cult.”
While I wish I could post the actual text of my conversation with my big boy PNM friend, I will not in order to protect his identity but the narrative is a tale of satire of what transpired. Outside of my family, if one should get into the head of a PNM to understand their cultish mentality, their flawed concept of leadership and the ultimate disaster that will befall us all if we elect Keith Rowley as Prime Minister, I have a complete case study of PNM modus operandi by getting into this person’s head.
The PNM has transcended political party status; they are a cult with a caste system. Members are indoctrinated in the name of party discipline; there is a stratified elitist structure; there is blind loyalty for little to no representation; there is failed and repressive leadership; there is an eerie feel of racial nationalism evident in statements like Calcutta along with their multiple attempts to topple the government while trying to make us believe that England gave us Independence in May 2010 and the People’s Partnership under the leadership of the Honorable Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar is the first post independence government.
The PNM has failed its people. They do not deserve a quick return to government after five years especially with their current leader, the master of misinformation and the minister of the misguided.
“We built this country,” in one of the favorite lines a PNM uses when engaged in political debate. I have heard it from that babbling and bitter old man Fitzgerald from La Brea during his contributions in Parliament and I also heard it from my PNM big boy as if it is some holy mantra they are taught during the process of selling their souls till death to the PNM that will prevail, another of the stale and tasteless lines. Simply put it, while they continue the use and repeat their cultish mantras the current government will continue to deliver to people of Trinidad and Tobago.
The two hospitals (Port of Spain, San Fernando) and the old hospital at Fort King George in Tobago were left by England. The ideas and promise of new hospitals were perhaps PNM ideas, but yet under several oil booms they failed to deliver. They have failed in healthcare, yet they claimed to have “built this country.” A Children’s Hospital with a Burn Center, plans for the Point Fortin Hospital are underway, the addition to the San Fernando General Hospital, the completion of the Scarborough Hospital are just the beginning the of the record of the People’s Partnership on healthcare.
Should we remind you of the nursing academy where hundreds of nurses and healthcare workers are being trained that will boost healthcare capacity delivery to all citizens including specialty areas such as oncology. Can we trust the PNM and their abysmal record to continue to meet the current and future healthcare need of the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago?
They maintained what was left by England and while they built the intangible institutions of the state (the systems all countries have such as education, courts, policing, military, infrastructure, etc), were built under PNM governance for all its citizens this does not give them a right to rule and cause chaos when they are out of government. This is where that eerie sense of racial nationalism emerges that ultimately jumps out in statements like the now infamous Calcutta.
A very straightforward individual once told me about someone’s capacity to destroy a small city. To a degree it was proven though a city was not destroyed. This is what will transpire should we elect Keith Rowley Prime Minister. Their modus operandi whether political leader or party group leader is the same and a major trait of that leadership is the ability to destroy. Let us not put our country in the hands of Keith Rowley nor the PNM in charge of the treasury.
The PNM has no vision for the future of Trinidad and Tobago. Its current leadership is beyond ineffective to outright comical but as funny as the politics on the other side can look whether using fake emails, playing with spent shells, and doing something as creative as changing the 2 to a 3 on Manning’s rejected Vision 2020 and calling it Vision 2030, they must think we are blind, in addition to being dumb, deaf and dotish.
In an effort to be insulting but what turned out to be the biggest compliment I ever got from my PNM big boy friend he told me, “that should stay where I am, I am unfit to be a PNM.” This after he told me that I am being too harsh, “we are friends,” but that it just the truth hurting and the occasional salt I pour into his wounds when I tell him that racism can never prevail over the truth.
I don’t intend on winning this battle with him or with anyone who took the PNM till ah dead blood oath during some cult ceremony in ballizay house. Some things only come by prayer and fasting and there are certain things that just don’t make my prayer list nor will I starve myself trying to cast out a dumb demon from a shackled PNMite when the most you can get out of them are three mantras and nothing above hooligan and wajang behavior while cussing Kamla.