By Dr. Kwame Nantambu
January 29, 2013
The most revealing end-result of the recent Tobago House of Assembly (THA) election was the salient reality that Tobagonians are different from Trinidadians. And that’s what Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar either never understood or took for granted that the reverse was true.
By way of elucidation, the most detrimental/fundamental and self-destructive mistake that Ashworth Jack, leader of the Tobago Organization of the People (TOP), made was to allow Trinidadian politicians, as in outsiders, to tell Tobagonians who to vote for.
Tobagonians loudly resented that Euro-neo-colonial Trinidad intrusion, period. They emphatically responded that the THA election was to be conducted solely among Tobagonians. It was a local thing– free from outside interference. Furthermore, it was definitely not a Trinidad and Tobago general election.
Truth Be Told: The PNM landslide sweep in Tobago was not a vote against the TOP; on the contrary, it was an overt, resounding vote against the Trinidad-based People’s Partnership (PP) government. That must be clearly understood. This PNM clean sweep in Tobago should not be viewed as a mere wake-up call for the PP government. More specifically, it was a death sentence issued by the electorate in Tobago to the extent that they are an independently-thinking people.
In other words, Prime Minister and head of the PP government, Kamla Persad-Bissessar unconsciously and maybe unknowingly, presented the clean sweep to the Tobago’s PNM arm on a Olympic gold-plated platter. She never understood the mind-set of Tobagonians.
In this regard, Tobagonians publicly expressed their utmost umbrage at the Prime Minister’s accusation of possible skulduggery levelled against one of the island’s public officials. That was a big, big no-no, as in massive faux pas.
Tobago was indeed posited as a ward of Trinidad by the Euro-British government in 1889, but Tobagonians vehemently resented this neo-colonial Trinidad continuum at the polls in 2013.
Put another way, Tobagonians told Trinidad politicians to cease and desist from meddling/interfering in their politics, period.
The salient fact of the matter is that it is to be hoped that Dr. Keith Rowley as leader of the PNM and Opposition will not even consider allowing duly-elected THA Chief Secretary, Orville London, to speak on any Trinidad PNM platform during this year’s putative local government elections.
Simply put, if Orville London, a Tobago politician, were to appear on any Trinidad-PNM election platform and publicly vilify Jack Warner for his putative multiple nefarious financial dealings at home (FIFA vote payment election scandal at Hyatt Regency) and abroad (Soca Warriors’ appearance at Olympics in Germany), then, Trinidad voters would return the favour and reject all PNM candidates, period. The PP government would receive a similar automatic clean sweep in Trinidad’s elections a la Tobago’s PNM. Dr. Keith Rowley is not that dumb.
Let the record reveal that Kamla Persad-Bissessar became Prime Minister primarily because the Trinidad electorate voted en masse against the ego-tripping, dictatorial modus operandi of then Prime Minister Patrick Manning. That was it. It was definitely not a vote against the PNM. That fact must be clearly understood.
As a corollary, the United National Congress (UNC) under the leadership of Kamla Persad-Bissessar received tremendous support from voters in 2010 primarily because the UNC would have never received one vote if Basdeo Panday was its leader. That must be clearly understood.
Ergo, the Trinidad PNM arm is going to milk this Tobago electoral cow to the nth degree during this year’s putative local government elections and drag it out all the way to 2015 for the big national prize.
However, “only time will tell” in Trinidad and Tobago’s political landscape.
The bottom-line is that the PP government has now been read the electoral riot act.
From an Afri-centric perspective, it must be concluded that the real cause of the mammoth, albeit deserving, defeat of the TOP was the arrogant, parochial intrusion of the powers-that-be in Trinidad’s PP government. In other words, PP government in Trinidad defeated the TOP in Tobago.
Shem Hotep (” I go in peace”).
Dr. Kwame Nantambu is a part-time lecturer at Cipriani College of Labour and Co-operative Studies.
8 thoughts on “Tobago Results: Afri-centric Analysis”
One of the more sensible analysis by Kwamne, but the PNM summond the demon of fear and so it maybe a combination of factors.
Oh AfroBuddahSunGod, who resides in our hearts, pray tell me , would there be a day when simplistic logics, and escapist , back scratching analysis , disguised , as authentic , serious debates, cease to dominate de Trinidad Social landscape,where Distraction politics , has become the norm?
It is just getting beyond pathetic people! My heart just goes out for our young students ,who are force fed this type of Thinking.
Here we have , in the aftermath of a major election ,that had implications ,for Historically neglected Afrikans in Tobago, as well as their lost brothers ,and sisters, stuck in Trinidad, and all we get from de good Afrocentrist doctor in Chief , is 12 paragraphs , that embrace one single theme. Did not escape me , that such feeble minded thinking ,placed a smile on members of Triumphalist nation,led of course , by who else ,Mamboo de dustrucive MayAro kid.
‘Tobagonians are different to Trinidadians,’ok, so what else is new Doctor?Panday ,and his Labor party ,won 10 political seats, .repeatedly ,for 45 years, mainly because they were different.
Tobagonians , comprise 99.9% Mandingo, HAusa, Yarouba, Kilangin, and counting,de la population , whereas, Triniddians in contrast , are ethnically confused hodgepodge /concoctions , be it Eric Williams , to Anil Roberts.
They did not like the high handed manner in which ‘Her Majestick Queen. K,’and her crew ,campaigned?
Do you really believe oh dear good doctor , that these were the sole reasons why Tobago did not support the UNC led PP government, this time around?
Are you not forgeting the continued neglect of Tobago , in terms of socio economic developmental needs, where as we see sly politicians in Trinidad , think that their jobs have ended , once they throw a few dollars to the THA , then continually point out every conceivable misstep , anyone from the head honcho , to the office cleaning janitor ,and office clerk ,might commit along the way?
Do you ,and naive others ,think that this pre ,and post election, onslaught , by neo tribalist ,with ill intent ,was about Tobagonians , or Afro Trinis , as a whole across both islands?
Don’t you think that the same folks who supported this regime two years ago ,then saw how their cousins in Trinidad – along with themselves – were eventually treated ,once the celebrations ended , came to the conclusions that no good can come about long term,in encouraging this pony , political romance?
Maybe the more astute , and fearless amongst us , are observing a not too subtle twist, or rather trend, in La Trinity. A few months ago some runny nose ,15 year old Afrikan brat , in Morvant or such , during the racially skewed ,State of Emergency , because she could not get her cookies , or more maybe ,to see her Nelson Street boyfriend, decided to take to Facebook , and wish hell , and damnation ,towards her Indo PM, and she was nearly jailed for life , then perhaps warned of possible electrocution, if she only even dreamt about doing what she posted.
Some simi employed , maybe from Ptrick Manning’s old neighborhood, unable to feed his family, as well as get his neck massage by hungry family members maybe , took to Facebook again, and wish unspeakable monstrosities , against his dear , threatened female PM.
Well ,for this unforgivable crime , he came close to being minced into tiny pieces , and fed to dem Gayanese imported Piranhas, or better yet skinned alive , and drop in our now famous Bocas.
The only thing that might save that fool , is if he make a sudden religious conversion, and make Sat MAraj his spiritual leader. Now fast forward to 2012, as some low end Tobago politician echoed sentiments he heard across some of his constituencies , and we know how that ended , as he nearly found himself , shipped back to Bostwana , or Chad ,to meet his dead ancestral , great, great grand dad, just for having the temerity ,to speak about issues , that ULF , turned UNC politicians ,lamented about ,for decades, where por ejemplo ,they accused Papa Eric Williams ,of PNM gerrymandering, simply because they believe that in a post sugar , rice Caroni era , all Central lands ,were destined for ‘de tribe ,’and not folks from Basilon street Gonzales, Mt Dor, Lavantille , Morvant , or Caranege.
The trend therefore is one of ‘distraction politics ,’via forced victimization mantras, after each slight. So ,in the case of the 15 year old , we did not discuss that a bias , unconstitutional state of emergency was in effect , led by a ulturally clueless Commissioner , that only targeted one race , and class of people, we spoke instead ,about Indo Trinis alleged none safety.
In the case of the loony ,sex starved, male Creature , we ignored unemployment issues , and discussed again , what?
Finally, this Sandy guy, and what we have today after, a Political Blitz of the highest order , a Doctor T led charge , dat dem Tobagonians , are different than we.
They almost operate on instincts like limited animals , no deep thinking goes into thir actions, like we sophisticated blokes here in Trinidad.
Sometimes it is a problem , just trying to decipher ,who is friend , enemies/ foe , in dis land.
Enough with this however , I am getting ready to make a Guyanan, Surinam ! Then hopefully Brazil ,Columbia , and Venezuela foray , starting Carnival week, as I wish to see what we can aspire to become, or maybe avoid, in T&T.
I know the Doctor meant well, and is operating under some constraints, where every day treats are made to not only shut down important heart clinics ,and half the institutes of higher educations, while …….. , well you get de message. http://www.newsday.co.tt/politics/0,172705.html
A certain annual event ,was a huge success in certain enclaves , but as for our global bread and butter? Let’s just say dat ,Jamaica , and dem Bajans , ain’t have our problems,and I wonder why , Doc? http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,172692.html
So why didn’t Tobagonians not vote against the PNM since Rowley et al were also in Tobago all the time telling them how to vote?? Another lame excuse to show how those in the know can analyse a past event.
Well , let’s keep it real , and quit sticking our heads in de sand,like excitable Ostriches, AI , for in fairness to the critics-even if one can count on two fingers,what exactly our good Dr Rowley , aka de Mason Hall kid , turned Diego Martin Rottwiler- wajang ,has done / advocated for de betterment of historically neglected Tobagonians ,in all his years of TRinidad based politics – his ‘navel string,is still buried there,’mi amigo.
Makes a big difference, for ordinary , simple, yet proud folks, reeling under the disgusting specter of , neo tribal big brother Trinidad initiated , gutter politics, and stuck in de seemingly unescapable quagmire of socio -economic despair.
They viewed his pre elections intentions ,as more noble , when he claim we the PNM OPposition ,won’t support a hurriedly contrived ,PP bill, under de guise of TObagonian empowerment- so vote us instead- PNM 4 decades of neglect , notwithstanding, AI.
The major problem in your country , is that you have folks with absolutely no conception of political dynamics, and voting psychology, of oppressed masses.
Take my ridiculous , hypotetical scenario , por ejemplo.Even if ,one time Caroni trade union head guru ,turned political elite ,Basdeo PAnday, and brother Subhas ,were convicted , for looting of pensioners funds, as well as murder, cover up of 100000, of their workers , scattered across the plains of Central, TUnapuna, Tabaquite, Aranguez, Siparia,and Los Bajos, voters from such enclaves , will all vote UNC/ PP , blind folded- thank you very much.
Call dem naive , stupid , but that’s how it is buddy. How future politicians get beyond that is the challenge , but it can be done.
Mind you AI, dem PNM blokes , led by Papa Eric, intelligent Cahambers, and much maligned ,Uncle Patos Manning ,did not win 100, out of 105 elections,in this country, over de past 50 years , by coincidence, or rather ,because they placed symbolic guns ,behind de heads of Indo Trini voters.
If you too are an aspiring politician , or as a suspect , an ex pat, potential policy wonk , get down to work buddy!
Here are suggestions , our resident Emeritus Pol Sci Professor Dr Selwyn Ryan might suport:-1. Buy a house in Lavantille. 2.Date a chick from Caroni,El Secorro,and Cunupia.3.Open an NGO in Tacarigua.4.Go jump up in a Pagwa , or Hosay festival , with folks of all races , but make sure the media cameras ,catch you always smiling, then announce your candidacy.
Trust me , as it works all de time.
My only point was that everyone was in Tobago politicing but because one side lose it was because that side did something wrong when both sides did the same thing. To me a simple person, it doesn’t make sense.
Aye and I am retired and don’t need a job. Worst running for political office, well it would be more like running from political office. HAPPILY married and just looking on and swimming.
Don’t sell yourself too short, AI, by thinking of your self as only some simple, retired, just looking on , swimmer , uninterested in politics, fora job.
You have a role to play in pushing our wonderful, yet underachieving Republic forward.
As a lifetime ‘ Political Animal ,’ myself, I always tell folks who naively claim to despise politics , that – politics is everything.
Your choice therefore, on how you should grow your hair at the work place, to how much sex you should have , who with, and where , or the type of music you can listin to , on which radio station, who can fish in your coastal waters, which hospital you can get attention from, and how much you must pay for a flight, who owns lands , or not , at the demise of a Satate enterprise, whether you have a chance against pro ethnic stocking , by diabolical politicians, etc,all require political action ,if lasting solutions , and sustainable development ,are your end game.
Your autumn years should not be solely spent , reading your Bible , Bagwas Gita , or Koran , while you pray to avoid hell- fire ,and brimstone ,in some opaque afterlife, or merely drinking alcohol, with old. ,clueless bums , in the neighborhood run shop , while reminiscing about de good old days , that never in actuality existed , but in our purtrid minds.
Instead, do something useful with your time , out side of only reading Trini center blogs, and writing , ‘tongue in cheek ,responses/asking rhetorical questions ,that takes us no where.
Here are a few suggestions, for your edification , mi amigo:-Join a useful local foundation board, or form a foundation aimed at helping others .
Mentor some young kid,deman more action from your local representative ,re some social neglect ,you observed in your community.
Do not hesitate to make a forceful, even unpopular suggestion , across any of the Social media forums, as you never know , who it might resonate with , and so inveigle them ,to pursue a more positive , socially beneficial course of action.
Infect the rest of the globe with positive energy , and continue to love self , my friend. it’s a beautiful life , this is.
Stay strong , and mucho Luv, si?
You know I tried volunteering but like the election results show “we don’t like foreigners telling us what to do”. So I enjoy listening and swimming. Oh and I am considered a foreigner.
No AI , folks -who ever they may be -could describe you a foreigner ,as much as they want, but as long as you wish to see the full socio- economic – com political, development of my T&T , that make you my kind of people.
Tell you what AI , my still wonderful country is so laden with self loathing ,non patriotic , Country haters-many of which have reared their not too pretty faces , particularly within recent times-that you could afford to relax.
For de record, mi amigo , many of these frauds, have disappeared from their country of birth -but opting only for Euro dominant countries such as Canada, USA, Australia, England, and maybe Greenland -at de drop of a hat ,either after one offensive remark ,or a change in weather – which ever comes first.
They would not hesitate to lambast their country of birth , to any who might be willing to listen ,if they think it might bring them some spurious returns- so go figure!
Just should simply continue to find you niche , and don’t be discourage, mi amigo.
I ,por ejemplo , have more authentic , verifiable credentials than 80% of de bozos ,that are running around T&T ,trying to hold high office , in this,’politically driven , economic eat ah food , era.’
My motto remains to be what one can, with whatever one have at one’s disposal- be it as budding activist, bloggers, engagement via civil socety , or directly educating the masses.
Trust me , what I say the despicable aforementioned bums,would fall , since most would either be exposed, or sink themselves. Speaking of which , is there any New word yet on if the still defiant Coup Commission head honcho Dr Ali , has resign as yet AI ? Don’t answer that , for these alleged Westminister adoring , phonies, cannot even spell the word resign , much less know how to do it, once caught at their terrible deeds/ with their hands in de cookie jar.
As to the subject ,the the sadder irony AI , is the indisputable fact that – based on blatant neglect, and disrespect, to all it’s peoples , since 1962 ,starting with FLora Hurricane , Tobagonians have always felt like foreigners ,in their own country , aka de Twin republic of Trinidad , and Tobago. Ain’t matter what racial, or ethnic make up of the immoral, diabolical miscreants in charge of de over all political roost , in big brother Trinidad. If you still doubth me , then listen, one of our musical historians , articulate the point more vividly.
Don’t worry I say ,and keep de faith , for ‘de rejected stone would soon one day be the corner stone,’ hmmm?
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