Kamla not ready for prime time

By Dr. Kwame Nantambu
October 17, 2013

Dr. Kwame NantambuThe 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.

8 Responses to “Kamla not ready for prime time”


  • “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”

    Many journalists and supporters of the PNM often revel in the misconception that PNM supporters switched their votes in 2010 and supported the PP. The evidence shows that this is a fallacy being perpetuated to rationalize the accusations and criticisms of the PP. The PNM received approx. 290 000 votes in 2010. In 2007 the PNM received 295000 votes. In 2002 they received 300000votes.
    The number of votes received by the PNM in every election varies slightly, whether they win or lose. The other parties split the votes resulting in PNM victories. When coalitions are formed the PNM is sent to the Opposition benches. Also, the PNM following is mainly African, the only group which remains loyal to their Party and supports it in spite of its performance, corruption or achievements.

    We are now witnessing the gradual breakup of the Coalition, engineered by Jack Warner’s ILP. We are also witnessing the self destruction of the UNC and COP, brought about by repeated mistakes and corruption allegations.
    Does it really matter which Party is in power in T&T?
    Does it really matter who is the PM?

    • Yes it does, You just can;t throw your hands up in the air, We have to try and try until we get the ‘right” one. I feel if we have terms limits(2 five yrs) and out, that we may see some type of accountability from the the PM in power.

  • You voted for the PP. You are using “we” in the same context the writer is. He is referring to a constituency on whose pulse he has a finger. You are doing the same, only indulging in the usual hypocrisy that you can speak for those who are plumb fed up with the PP.

    Yes, the people that put the PP over the top voted because they wanted a change from Manning. They come from a cultural understanding that somethings are too much, and they like their leaders to be strong and proud. Manning’s dalliance with spiritual advisors and the like represented a deviation from the kind of politics favored by this constituency, so they either took the bait and pawned their trust out on a hope, or stayed home.

    Today, after seeing the ethnic triumphalism, nepotism and corruption that inundate the administration of the PP they have come to realize they had figuratively contributed to arming a political group with the weapon of power to use against them. They will not make this mistake again. They can read the blogs and see the triumphalism, see how anti black racist like Sat Maharaj have been allowed a platform to flaunt his prejudice. Never again, the civil rights cry with which they are familiar, and which they find to be an apt response to the administration of the PP is resonating throughout Port Of Spain, communities, and every human nesting where these people exist. And that will be the rallying cry taken into the next national election.

  • Whatever Warner did he did under the auspices of the PP. His sins are their sins. They say when thieves fall out honest men will come unto their own. It has started to happen in T&T.

  • Warner’s illegal activities began long before his association with the PP.His search for political power was probably an attempt to insulate himself from prosecution when his activities are discovered.
    His ILP has now been silenced in the Local government elections and it is suspected that his political organization will fade away by 2015. If the PP collapses it would be much more preferable to have the PNM in control rather than the ILP.

  • Please, you PPites were defending him after FIFA fired him and others were calling for his resignation from his Political perk position. Kamla and her clique got behind him after FIFA exposed him as corrupt, because his political worth was more important than a display of integrity.

    Warners’ current infusion into the political process, for the PP, is a case of, like Malcolm X proclaimed, the chickens coming home to roost. I doubt if he will fade away and end the PP’s torment. He will rise again to become a flea in the ointment because the people are restless and are seeking changes.

  • People are earnestly looking for ‘change’. The kind of change that would be accepted is one in which mechanisms are built to address the ills of the society in which they live. While Manning did a lot to uplift Trinidad and Tobago, he somehow managed to behave and act like “Emperor Manning” and disillusioned all those who were looking for wise leadership. In the process, he destroyed his own party and left one to wonder “where was he taking us?” By electing this woman to the highest office, many thought that in so doing there would have been governance with a softer touch and in so doing created a society that was truly integrated that would further the notion “all for one and one for all”. It was the right atmosphere to employ the methods of racial harmony and government of the people and by the people. Those who elected to stain their fingers for that lady never imagined that government would turn out to be the high comedy it is today. The lady is no leader or possess any kind of leadership qualities whatsoever. She has never come out in front of an issue, always behind and always ventured to have the “last say”. Leaders inspire, leaders speculate, leaders present vision, leaders take ideas and create realities, leaders make good on promises, leaders deliver, leaders comfort, leaders build strength. Instead, we had the reverse of all those qualities that that woman has shown. We need a country represented by the qualities shown by such men as Dr Eric Williams, Dr Rudranath Capildeo, Leari Constantine, CLR James, Audry Jeffers, Roy Joseph, TUB Butler and those who have gone before us to make the name of Trinidad and Tobago worthy of mention in terms of the quality of life the country lead. There are always those who benefit by this kind of weakness and one needs to look no further than these blogs.

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