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DINING AT THE WRONG TABLE by Rae Samuel

posted 17 Jul 2013, 08:53 by Gerry Kangalee

I have clear memories of the "Wrong Table". I was assigned to cover the initial meeting at the Hotel Normandie in 2012. I saw the media invited to climb aboard the Farris wheel from which so many of them have not managed to climb off. 

Give the devil his due: the ringmaster is good. I even took a photo of a fiery Opposition member who was as coy as a 9 year old at a birthday party. That was probably my "last supper" outside the wrong table. Outside? Yep! The hour was late and they fed us okay. 

No, no, no MATT! They were not trying to 'influence our editorial lines". I guess you need a little more than coffee and croissants to do that. Right Andy? Francis? Cleavon ? That fare does not appear on the "eat a food" menu and trade unionists aspiring to that level of dining have to buy new shiny suits, dye their hair or wear hair pieces secured with Velcro. Have any of you ever seen Coto’s mop top even shift? Guess he sleeps upright. 
 
Oh boy, I better stop. I may be on my way out like Guardian journalists if I keep this up. Certain comrade leaders might call National Workers Union Editorial Board and there goes my fledgling journalistic career of 33 years plus. Send me a 'Born again' MATT' membership form! 
  
Now since the last 'March for Good Governance' the Mafia is 'well governed' as is FIFA. Since the last demonstration organized by the "Wrong Table'' the momentum seems to have shifted away from the "Workers' Agenda" and back to fighting for 'good governance' in places like Chaguanas West. 
 
Now I know no trade union leader from the JTUM has so far campaigned for our fellow PNM diners at the "Wrong Table", but since this is a "united front” couldn't any one call for implementation of the "Workers Agenda" during this "significant election battle" which has spawned a brand new political party? Damn! Two weeks and we have a brand new political organization. 
 
I mean if the media appointed spokesman could use a workers’ platform to warn the PNM, why can't the PNM, whom the JTUM is apparently dating, return the favour and alert workers in Felicity about the "Workers Agenda"? Why can't I hear that "with my own two ears" instead of gossip about former fellow travellers? Something wrong with my ears? Is this a one way love? Is the JTUM PNM's outside woman? Is it a case of "ah cyah tell mih wife/husband wha' really goin' on?" 
 
One can only speculate what happens next apart from the likelihood of Jenny chairing the JTUM sessions. The "Anti-privatisation" programme called for in the Cossabos is all but stillborn, even as the IPO is launched at First Citizens. No mobilization at workplaces, no lunch time meetings, no local/regional mobilization. Isn’t it time "workers take back their unions'' and not have their representatives sitting at the "Wrong Table", while they watch and listen as the Farris wheel spins. 

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