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Welch: PNM betrayed me

Welch: PNM betrayed me

by Clevon Raphael

Complaining that his appointment was an insult to his intelligence and that the ruling People’s National Movement (PNM) has betrayed its grassroot supporters, Ricardo Welch has resigned as a member of the board of the Vehicle Maintenance Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago (VMCOTT).

“After working for six years as an adviser with the then political leader of the party, all they could see fit to give me is a director on a “C” class board? That is an insult to my intelligence and to all those grassroots gladiators who like myself toiled so hard to put the PNM back in power today,” an angry Welch told the Express yesterday.

Welch, host of the popular morning magazine show on Power 102, Gladiator Battle Hour, was appointed to VMCOTT in June 2002, and tendered his resignation on July 31.

According to revised rates passed by the Manning administration, Group A board members collect $2,400 plus $400 travelling a month; Group B $1,500 and $400 travelling, and Group C $1,000 with the same travelling allowance.

Welch said: “When I worked with Mr Manning in the Office of the Leader of the Opposition for six years he had always promised that he would be a “People’s Prime Minister” when he gets back into office.

“I also advised him that he should attempt to convene Parliament two weeks after his selection as Prime Minister so that the PNM would have had a better chance of remaining in office for the full five-year term because we did not want our hard work to go down the drain. But, because I did not go to any university, my advice was not heeded.

“And what do we see today? The grassroots are all but forgotten and this political directorate is nothing but a friend and family affair when one looks at who is in Cabinet and on state boards.”

Stating that he has been inundated with calls from concerned PNM activists and supporters that Manning was yet to fulfil a campaign promise to increase NIB pension to $1,000, Welch charged:

“The perception is that this adminstration is seeking the interest of a clique comprised of their families and friends who have apparently hijacked the party and who have abandoned the policies and principles of the party laid down by its founding father, Dr Eric Williams.”

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