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FOR ISHMAEL SAMAD: CHAGPEST - THE TRAGEDY by LLOYD TAYLOR

posted 28 Jul 2013, 19:36 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 28 Jul 2013, 19:46 ]
This website publishes a controversial opinion piece by long-time Tapia activist Lloyd Taylor in keeping with our objective of encouraging debate and discussion on issues affecting working people. We encourage readers to comment and debate the issues raised here and in other opinion pieces published by this website. 
 
"...I will be the wind beneath her wings.”
JAW's promise to KPB on the PP's campaign trail in May 2010 
 
Being one of your long-standing friends and hiking companions across the nooks and crannies in the fauna and flora of Trinidad from the 1970's on, I wish to say I am proud of you.

You summoned the courage to mount a campaign against the preposterous proposition that Jack Austin Warner, his ILP, his interim chairman and his band of uninformed supporters and cultural misfits are offering something labeled 'political representation'. 
 
It is sad that many of our people do not and never have had the experience to understand the proper political meaning of that term to be able to separate it from bribery, bubol and patronage. Such is the result of our limited political experience and a stunted political education program.  

Mr. Warner ran an entire campaign in the 21st century without a single elevated perspective, and a single noble appeal to the higher instincts of human beings in Chaguanas West, and by extension in Trinidad-Tobago. It was obscene as any undignified spectacle could be, and it brought the politics of Trinidad and Tobago to a new low normal, perhaps the worst we have ever experienced since the era of independence and responsible government.
 
There is absolutely nothing uplifting in exploiting the cultural weakness of a population; nothing edifying in relying on the lack of political sovereignty that could render government- accountability on issues; nothing just about mounting the most savage attack on Eric St, Cyr (a man whose shoes JAW cannot bend to unlatch) to hound him from the chair of the Integrity Commission, and nothing edifying in returning to KPB and her cabal-of-sophists-and-insufficient endowment, the compliment of attacking them on their own level of spittle and spite.

JAW is promising a new journey to a place and space based on the needs of our animal instincts. The assumption is that we are not homo sapiens. Rather we are mindless human beings whose thinking must be done by other superior beings for us. But JAW is both symptom and problem.
 
On the evidence it is irrefutable that this aspirant to national leadership needs a reformation of his culture and his thinking. A vote against his candidacy might be the only way to encourage him to pursue personal rehabilitation and redemption. Under those conditions a JAW victory could be a very detrimental event for the politics of change and the revival of genuine hope.

Where I differ with Samad is that the UNC is somehow not part of the problem and is in any significant way different from JAW in feeling, political instincts, or nobility of purpose. In response the UNC incumbents campaigned on the basis of a proprietary claim on the bodies, minds and assets of the Indo Trinidadian people in the Chaguanas West constituency. 
 
No act more clearly assumes an oligarchic approach to governance. And every independent people as a right of arrival must destroy the principles of oligarchic rule. No act is more akin to the view PNM under Eric Williams, had of his own support among Afro Trinidadians. 

Member of Parliament, Mr. Moonilal, made it clear that in the campaign for Chaguanas West they were taking back what was theirs. That when a man tief your wallet you run him down, over-take him and seize it back. In this false analogy, the implied unarticulated assumption in this narrative is, there is a divine, perhaps God-given right, for leaders to take back control of a subject peoples’ natural-rights property. 
 
In Shakespearean terms, a native Prospero is in-charge of this island, and Caliban's descendants had better not break wood in their ears, instead of assembling it for their mistress's fire-power. Their choice is to be obedient to her mistress's voice, and enable their protective re-possession by casting a vote in the elections. Except that given all these attributes, Chagpest is pure tragedy; hardly dedicated to a happy end. 
 
In this experience Bhoe Tewarie is hardly a voice of enlightenment, so bound is he to the stony crags of opportunism, and the philosophically false Naipaulian view that because the world is what it is, people condemn themselves to a less than human lot in life.

It is a methodological principle of an oligarchy system of government that leaders must think for the poor, mindless-labouring masses, and that people's sensual perceptions provide the key to discerning their needs, while they keep for their enjoyment the best fruits of the labouring masses. This is the Pavlovian method. It is right for my dorg’s belly and right for that of my human cattle too.

It is that approach, whether we understand it, are conscious of it or not, that provides an accelerated and relentless drive to a place of absolute evil such as human enslavement and indentureship. The Chagpest campaign experience was pretty much a climate-condition of no-return.

The analysis of how we got there is another story. Suffice it to say that we were on that road ever since we conflated executive and legislative authority, and thereby ousted any notion of representation, which as concept, are not patronage.

So unless, we are talking about how to undo a dysfunctional parliament as the primary political reform needed, we will never be able to tame the culture of corruption, nor supervise the manifest acts of criminal and treasonous abuse by persons who understand that the instruments of governance are a virtual merry-go-round. There will be sections 34 in many different guises. We may die talking of change for the next 1000 years without getting closer.

Therefore we have to be tight in our analysis and vigilant in our sightings to see the light of dawn in these dark hours. UNC, COP whatever are not the answers. Nor is the PNM, except that in this bye-election, the best approach to freeing our souls from political purgatory would be to allow a PNM victory in Chag West. Yes I said it and you can quote me.

A PNM victory could be a starting point to salvaging the fortunes of Trinidad and Tobago, in my judgment, if they are capable of knowing what responsibility such a blessing calls for. But that is just the start. If UNC wins we are back to another hell-hole, but one that is infinitely superior to allowing JAW to ascend and precipitate the nation's deeper descent. We saw how this campaign has forced this government to turn again to patronage, and to further emphasize that UNC administration has no intention of a disciplined approach to fiscal policy.

Larry Howai, the technocrat in government, must now bend national spending to the new dictates of political expediency. The UNC or PP (2010), like all governments before it, enjoys the opportunity to treat the national patrimony on the basis of private rights, without genuine public restraints or guiding principles.

Or what is equally bad, this administration has no notion of equity in the disbursement of spending. The claims to share in the financial assets of the state are equally great in Tobago, Chaguanas (Caroni-Naparima), St Andrew St David, Ortoire-Mayaro, St Patrick and so on. And here too the culprits are not our leaders but the culture and a dysfunctional political system.

Responsible government, undergirded by true capacity for representation, within the governance systems of a functional TT, are the basic requirements we must have, in order to set in place a framework of arrangements, to arrive at equitable and optimal disbursements to fund transformational economic growth in any region, and therefore in the state as a whole.

There is no evidence that ILP or UNC operates with any such notion of balance. Nor for that matter the PNM which at this time seems to be less tainted by the low-level of its opponents. We may yet have to use the PNM to bolster a return to a path of development, independence and a completion of the pay-off of deficits on national sovereignty account. But any that option must be the product of clear consensus and countervailing political power.

By pitching his tent humbly amidst the cacophony of Chagpest and the titanic struggle for executive control between the deceits of Am-So-Twisty and lies of the Cabal-of-Sophists, PIMP too served. For that fact the voices of people like Ishmael Samad, deserve our highest respect. Nothing less than the safety and survival of our nation from a failed state is at stake.

July 28, 2013,
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