Destination, purgatory

By Raffique Shah
May 14, 2024

Raffique ShahIf the two leading parties, the PNM and the UNC, ignore my challenge for them to make corruption a focal point of the next general election, would this be to their detriment? The answer is no. They will have read my column, of course, and they would be intimately aware that I was correct in everything I wrote in matters relating to racketeering and other very high-level illegal transactions.

I will not, of course, have documents or files to support my allegations. Which means, as a citizen, I do not have the liberty to pursue such matters the way good journalists do. So, if at all any of them wishes to comment, to brand my recommendations for an issue-related elections period, they would have the whole country laughing at me, making me look like an idiot. They, too, will not only lampoon me but they will come after me for whatever pennies I have amassed.

When I was 25 years old, a court martial sentenced me to 20 years in prison. I thought then that I would die in jail because men like me weren’t supposed to live beyond 40. Now that I am 78, do I give a damn if I die before 80? Ha! I don’t. That’s the long and short answer to our politicians who do not have the fortitude to stand up for what is right or to lock up those who are stealing from the public’s purse, be they from Party C or Party Z.

Now, will it not be a pleasant surprise for me to hear from some of the young people, especially the heirs apparent of those parties or from any combination or creation of new parties that are in the shadows and who would make things right if they had the support of the masses. I will jump for joy, Parkinson’s et al, should such news reach me. I will fall in place at the lowest rank, last in the file to lend support to any such brave new leaders.

It is not that we don’t have good leadership material, it’s more that they are too few and too frightened to shake up the power structure, get rid of the dead and the very old (I have no problem with that) and come with something new, if only in form, not substance—look, I just want to see the geezers who have stolen people’s money out of the way or in jail while the true patriots work to build a new Tamp;T.

I am not ungrateful, someone who forgets the few advances that fewer politicians of the past have put in place, but we desperately need action to first throw the excess baggage out of the window to allow the new vehicle to hopefully take us to new heights.

These meanderings I have translated into a manifesto of sorts may sound ludicrous to citizens who have learnt to accept their stations in life, to be happy while vultures feast on rotting flesh of the carcasses of politicians who play dead to catch corbeaux alive. I have laboured to highlight some of the problems that need urgent attention and solutions. I see few options presenting themselves as leaders who have the ability to seize the time, grab this nation that is a wounded civilisation, inject the lifeline that we desperately need.

Without question, capable men and women who can be trusted by the masses are sadly missing. Any imps can be lifted on to the shoulders of the people (who always have a place for others to ride on them) and be offered as the new God who will lead us out of temptation, especially larceny, promise to deliver us from evil because ours, they say, is the kingdom, the power and the glory. We have seen many such false prophets arise out of nowhere, clutching all the holy books in their filthy, thieving hands.

Instead of delivering us from evil, we find out too late that they’re the embodiment of Lucifer which brings us full circle. Now we need God Himself in whatever form or incarnation to help us. Pretty soon some “smart-man” will emerge from the darkness and present himself, herself or itself as the only true God capable of using the holy books to lead us to freedom from corruption.

The masses will follow. They always do—only to discover, too late, that they have once more been outwitted by the wiles of yet another crook.

A people who easily throw aside reasoned arguments, who blindly follow any leader who looks like the brightest star on a stormy night, are surely destined for purgatory. ‘Nuff said.

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