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Focus is on Jack and Kamla is an issue

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

If the election campaign seems for the moment to be stalled on the examination of the character and alleged actions of political leaders, Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Jack Warner, that is indicative of the nature of the politics of the last couple decades. This character examination in front the electorate is neither unfair, a distraction from the “real issues”, nor anachronistic and out of sync with the political culture. 

Political leaders and their parties have failed the country when examined through the lens of personal character and the nature of governance practices adopted. 

First it was Mr Chambers who came after Dr Williams and was said by calypsonian Plain Clothes to be “done See.” The polity revelled in this characterisation. Moreover, it was deemed that 30 years of corruption by PNM politicians was enough. Robinson’s hallowed re-entry and the faith disposed in a new a political engine and politicians soon became unhinged. Without too much foreplay, Robinson and Panday clashed, each one blaming the other for their failures and insincere politics. 

After Panday’s first term, he was forced into fresh elections one year into his second term to avoid the consequences of an internal revolt. He subsequently admitted to becoming “politically unattractive” as he faced the courts.

In 2010, it was Patrick Manning who was under the gun. His alter(ed) ego and inflated sense of self-importance, his flirtation with the notion of being the anointed one and his mismanagement of billions weighed down on him so much that he was forced to call the election long before it was due. He was perhaps the most examined of prime ministers, till then. 

Keith Rowley had his personal examinations in the past and a few months ago and they will continue. He was fortunate that the coals assembled to burn him at the stake imploded on those who had gathered the firewood.

While significant portions of the electorate wait to hear of substantive solutions to the economic, social and political problems facing the society, the politicians cannot avoid the character examination of the present. The emperors and empress have been found out to be naked of “moral and spiritual values” and have often acted against the best interests of the society. 

The character search cannot be avoided; they have brought it on themselves.

It is not accidental that implosion in front the electorate is taking place; it did in 2010 between Manning and Rowley. I maintain the beneficiaries of the implosions and explosions are the electors and the political culture: a striptease before the nation and a threatened similar striping down involving a search of the credibility of the striptease artist will inform the society.

Can Warner withstand the political exposure his claims are encouraging? 

Driven to a state of siege by what Jack Warner considers his unveiling of the true Kamla Persad-Bissessar, the UNC strategists have found and presumably forgiven former deputy political leader of the ILP, Anna Deonarine, of allegedly purchasing a stolen vehicle, in order for her to off-load rotten potatoes on Jack Warner.

Additionally, and perhaps unknowing to her, Deonarine is going to be a decoy for Jack’s attention. The hope must be for portions of Jack’s wrath to be dumped on Deonarine as she absorbs attention that would have been directed at the Prime Minister.

On the face of it, Deonarine is a light-weight compared to Jack Warner, who has himself talked about the intrigue and complicated nature of Fifa’s politics being the political ground in which he cut his teeth.

Her first salvo against Jack had mere internal interest. Whether Jack reneged on a commitment to stay within the UNC Indo-Trinidad fold is of little interest to the critical 33 per cent who will decide the election. But then again Deonarine said “not tonight” a promise that the worst is yet to come.

Aware of the UNC’s defensive position made so by Jack’s “attack with full force” on Kamla Persad-Bissessar, the “queen” upon whom all the expectations for a UNC victory is placed, the gurus are desperately attempting to drag opposition leader, Keith Rowley into the “gruesome twosome”, the image having deep seated-connotations and coded messages. 


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