By Dr. Kwame Nantambu
October 17, 2013
The decision by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar not to participate in the Trinidad and Tobago Debates Commission’s (TTDC) leaders’ debate on 15 October 2013 speaks volumes as to her overt, detrimental/self-destructive tit-for-tat myopic politics.
It is obvious that the Prime Minister’s decision in 2013 is directly correlated with a similar scenario that occurred between her, then, leader of the opposition and then Prime Minister Patrick Manning in April 2010.
According to a public report, on 23 April 2010, the TTDC announced a national debate before the 24 May 2010 general elections between the two aforementioned personalities.
Ergo, Prime Minister Patrick Manning totally refused to participate in that putative political exercise in futility, while then leader of the opposition Kamla Persad-Bissessar publicly expressed her intentions to willingly/eagerly participate.
In acerbic, fighting words, Kamla Persad-Bissessar contended that she was more than willing to take “on anyone that you (Patrick Manning) send to the debate.”
Has the current prime minister taken time to look at herself in the political mirror?
The fact of the matter is that one only has to fast-forward Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s words in April 2010 to October 2013 in regard to her blatant refusal not to take part in the leaders’ debate as follows: “(She) doesn’t want to have to defend (her) record because, quite frankly, the record is indefensible. (She) cannot defend it.” Herself told herself, period.
Remember, Madam Prime Minister, you can run but you cannot hide. We the People will find you and deal with you and the PP government at the polls during the constitutionally-mandated general elections in 2015— “How long, not long.”
The salient fact of the matter is that the PP government is the worst in terms of transparency, accountability, corruption, public trust, stability, cabinet shuffling and skewed public relations since governance records have been kept in this country— “Fuh real”, Madam Prime Minister.
In fact, this writer finds himself in the same political predicament/dilemma as reigning calypso monarch “Pink Panther” in that as far as governance is concerned in T&T: “ah cyar find de leadership”— the prime minister is now on a debateless ship.
Truth Be Told: In April 2010, when then Prime Minister Patrick Manning refused to engage in national debate, then, opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar subsequently became Prime Minister on 24 May 2010. However, by not so an unlikely twist, one finds that in October 2013, current Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar is repeating history by totally refusing to participate in a leaders’ debate, while leader of the opposition Dr. Keith Christopher Rowley is more than willing and eager to do so a la Kamla Persad-Bissessar in 2010.
Ipso facto, one has to hope that the prime minister is keenly aware of the aphoris: “History repeats itself, once as a tragedy and then as a farce.”. Translated: the tragedy is that in 2013, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has chosen to walk in the same shoes/pathway as Prime Minister Patrick Manning did in 2010, while the farce will be that current leader of the opposition Dr. Keith Christopher Rowley is now firmly primed/set to walk in the same shoes/pathway of current Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and become this country’s next prime minister in 2015— thus repeating Persad-Bissessar’s historic farce in 2010, period.
Truth Be Told: In this specific regard, this writer needs to remind the leadership of the PP government that We the People did not vote against the PNM in May 2010. We the People voted en masse against the dictatorial-driven, ego-tripping, bad john-type policies and modus operandi of Prime Minister Patrick Manning, period. That’s the political reality of the voting results of 24 May 2010.
In addition, the results of the elections in 2010 was certainly not a resounding/embracing vote for the coalition PP government-No, No, No.
Put another way, the over four hundred thousand plus votes the coalition received were not “yeh” votes on their behalf; on the real contrary, they represented “neh” votes against one person and one person only, namely, Prime Minister Patrick Manning. They were not votes against the PNM. The PP coalition government has not yet understood this electoral reality. We the People did not vote for the coalition; we voted against Patrick Manning, period. That must be clearly understood. The coalition did not win; Patrick Manning alone lost— not the PNM.
In the final analysis, We the People, as in the electorate, are not only just “sick and tired of being sick and tired” but We are also fed-up to the core of being “hoodwinked, bamboozled and took” by this insensitive, putatively “cabal”–run PP government. Word to the PP leadership — the chickens will certainly come home to roost big time during the general elections of 2015— “How long, not long.”
Shem Hotep (“I go in Peace”).
Dr. Kwame Nantambu is a part-time lecturer at Cipriani College of Labour College and Co-operative Studies.