Cooking Penny’s goose
The present furore over the behaviour of Pennelope Beckles-Robinson is a stark reminder of the narrow-minded chauvinism that drives the party. Just like a one-sided relationship that many women find themselves in, it is common to find many faults when they want to get rid of you.
Beckles-Robinson is a strong-minded, independent woman. She is not owned—mind, body and soul—by the People’s National Movement (PNM). So if Ms Beckles-Robinson shakes Jack Warner’s hand, its love Independent Liberal Party (ILP)-style, if she shows up at a duck-cooking competition hosted by the United National Congress (UNC), well her goose is cooked on a PNM fire.
If she represents Occupational Safety and Health Authority (OSHA) workers in the course of her professional duties and has cause to interact with the Honourable Minister of Labour, well she had better run for her life. If she misses a meeting, she is being unfaithful and she cannot give an account, word for word, dollar for dollar, well then she is a non-performer.
This behaviour of the PNM is so insecure. This kind of subtle domination was a characteristic of the then Basdeo Panday-led UNC, and it is threatening to come back. When Kamla Persad-Bissessar was sidelined for a greater leadership role in the party and this was given to his then “blue-eyed” boy, Jack Warner, Mr Panday justified shafting her by saying she was elevated to the post of chairman of the Women’s Arm of the UNC, Team Fry Alloo and Roti.
Let anyone in the PNM say exactly what the PNM Women’s Arm does: say how it contributes to the general council and what weight it carries. In fact, you see more of the Heliconia Foundation and Arrive Alive, obscure PNM party groups, than the Women’s Arm. Effectively, what the PNM says is that Ms Beckles-Robinson now has oversight for the domestic chores and housekeeping, the other grand national duties are best left to us men and women who can handle it.
Ms Beckles-Robinson is dismissed from the Senate, very, very coldly. She has twice been rejected for Arima and Maloney. Yet there is so much alarm over her public appearances. Isn’t this odd, to say the least? If she is not wanted, then just say so: we the women of the nation always have room for a sister.
But just wait. When pressure was too much for Kamla, the pipe buss, as they say, in 2010. Let Keith Rowley continue. Pressure building.