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MOU INSANITY by Dr. Godfrey Vincent

posted 30 Aug 2015, 13:56 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 30 Aug 2015, 14:06 ]

Recently, the PNM presented its candidates for the 2015 general election. At that rally, PNM pallbearers carried a coffin that symbolized the death and burial of the People’s Partnership Government. Picong and jest aside, what really is the PNM burying?  Is it burying the PP government? I don’t know what the symbol of the burial means. 

One thing I do know is that the PNM is not going to bury capitalism.  From its founding in 1956 to the present, the party has always championed capitalism. From 1956 to 1986, especially during the height of the Oil Boom of the 1970s, the party promoted State capitalism which was part of the global social settlement implemented by the World Bank and IMF whereby the State became the engine of development.

In the 1990s the PNM championed neo-liberal capitalism which is a part of the Washington Consensus that was imposed on the world from 1979. Calling itself the “new” PNM, under the leadership of Patrick Manning, the party continued and deepened IMF-imposed policies that began under the NAR regime (the same people now in power).

These policies include privatization, wage cuts and freezes, contract labor, decertification of trade unions, and cuts in Public expenditure that severely impact the working poor.  Knowing all this, it was folly of the JTUM to sign a memorandum with a party which from the inception was always the enemy of the trade union movement and the working class. How easily is history forgotten! And they are doing the same thing again as when they signed the Fyzabad Accord with the PP. Doing the same thing and getting the same results is insanity. And insanity it will be when the economy collapses given the price of oil and the state of the economy.

Will the PNM make a social settlement with the working class and working poor? Will  the party continue the tradition of making a social settlement with the capitalist class and its allies? A very large segment of the population will be elated if the PNM wins the 2015 general elections. The question each individual has to ask himself/herself is whether the party will bury capitalism.

After all, the PP and other parties in the race are all upholders of capitalism. The parties are not the essential problem. It is the system and the type of democracy that is being practiced.  If we don’t change it and keep electing and changing parties there will be more disillusionment, cynicism, heart break, disappointment and more signing of MOUs  for generations to come.

Godfrey Vincent, Ph.D

Associate Professor