Cosmetic Unity and Uneasy Racial Harmony

By Stephen Kangal
September 06, 2007

Patrick ManningHow can Honourable Prime Minister Manning use his 45th Independence Message to score cheap political points? He lamented the presence of the forces of “obstructionism, opportunism and divisiveness” and yet boasts of T&T being a plural society that is “achieving greater social harmony”.

Is not the Prime Minister deliberately confusing what he calls “divisiveness” with the genuine and legitimate expressions of the democratic process that refuse to accept his weekly blunders and the perennial plunder of the Treasury by his PNM regime without accountability, transparency and minus the principles of integrity in public office.

Several readers will recall the politically motivated spectacle orchestrated and displayed before us by Mr. Manning as Leader of the Opposition in the dark days of post- 27 July 1990. Mr. Dookeran as acting Prime Minister had summoned a meeting of Parliament at the Central Bank Auditorium to ratify the State of Emergency. Although there was an imminent and grave threat of a bomb to blow up the Central Bank building, Mr. Manning forgot about unity and non-partisanship and spoke for 75 long minutes in a situation that threatened national security. He accused the NAR regime of arrogance and insensitivity. He was more concerned about deriving cheap political mileage while the nation was under siege from the undemocratic forces of evil and instability. Now he calls for unity and integration behind his creeping, insensitive and inept, wild-spending, non-productive dictatorship.

Today the same Mr. Manning has ignored and vandalised our main democratic traditions handed down to us by the Westminster Parliamentary system including the one that prescribes that he must resign for intentionally and deliberately misleading Parliament on the Monteil Affair. Parliament has been marginalised and reduced to a talk shop. How many citizens including the Mahasabha have been deprived of their fundamental human rights and have had to seek judicial review of Executive decisions by prohibitively costly and time-consuming litigation up to the Privy Council?

How can the Prime Minister lay claim to the achievement of “equal rights” when he has played politics with the former Equal Opportunity Act and its successor bill that will lapse and be consigned to the parliamentary shredder? This Prime Minister like his predecessor has lost all credibility. They are both now totally economical with the truth or have a pathological aversion to it.

PNM regimes past and present have prospered electorally on an overt agenda based on promoting and exploiting ethnic polarisation since 1956. To crow that we have ethnic harmony in T&T is a tenuous harmony that is marked by the absence of justice, equality and fairness because the victims of this inequity refuse or are incapable of taking up arms against a sea of troubles.

I have no doubt that the forces of “obstructionism etc” and nay-sayers that Mr. Manning had in mind in his Independence message are those who oppose his $200m Royal Castle affluently outfitted including moat and turret, the $20 bn Rapid Rail, the Alcoa Smelter and Essar Steel Plant, the $110 m Monteil HMB insider share deal, the non-revenue earning Waterfront Project and Campus Centre, the pillaged Brian Lara one -billion dollar stadium debacle, the million-dollar rip-off of the aborted Scarborough Hospital and the voter padding, sub-standard housing concentrated in the marginals to name a few.

4 Responses to “Cosmetic Unity and Uneasy Racial Harmony”


  • Why do we always need to look towards the negative? If we pain half as much attention to nation building as we did to complaining the country would be much better off.

    I’m not saying that the PNM does no wrong. They all have done things that disappoint, but the vitriol being spewed at times is alarming.

  • There is nothing that Manning can do or say that will ever endear him in the eyes of Kangal. He simply does not fit the profile Kangal and his ilk have in mind for who should lead Trinidad and Tobago, who should have all the preference in Trinidad and Tobago, who should be more equaller in Trinidad and Tobago, who should dominate every sphere of economic and occupational activity in Trinidad and Tobago, and so on and so forth. For that Manning would have had to come from the loins of those indentured from India, rather than the loins of those enslaved from Africa.

    If Africans in Trinidad and Tobago need a yardstick for which leader they should never support, they should allow affinity with the views of Kangal to be that measuring stick. It would be perilous mistake for them not to discern the snake oil salesman codes in the outpourings of the Kangals et al.

  • When “Indians” vote PNM and “Africans” vote en masse DLP/ONR/ANR/UNC/ “Flavor of the day”; then we will be able to claim “ethnic equality.”
    Barring an outside force greater than ethnicity, say religion, or a ruthless, intolerant dictatorship of any stripe, there will never be oneness in Trinidad or any of the states affected as we are by our history.
    Mr. Kangals articles are laced with “anti african” messages just as Chalkdusts'(my favorite commentator) are laced with “anti Indian” ones.
    I am hoping sincerly that Riaz Ali is being sarcastic when he cites the “SUCCESS” of INDIA incomparison to “AFRICA.” Unless of course success to him means imitating English manners and reverse colonising Britan to Indian standards of culture. Not the least of which is the pervading level of Corruption in that country.(India)
    Warmest regards to my “brothers” at home.
    pabloji

  • To the moderator…thank you for deleting the “imposter” Riaz Ali’s post. The level of the comment made in that post leads me to believe it was done but someone who wants to spread hatred but making someone with an indian sounding name say something racist towards africans or maybe just someone who has something against what I have written in the past and has a lot of time on their hands.

Comments are currently closed.