Jack ready to serve the people
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has condemned the Independent Liberal Party (ILP) for not having a “fundamental vision and philosophy”. Does any political party in Trinidad and Tobago have a genuine vision or philosophy? It is just a feeding frenzy, based on nepotism, cronyism, lies, half-truths and innuendo. That is their basic philosophy.
Let us begin with the UNC (United National Congress). What is its philosophy? Former leader Basdeo Panday once remarked that politics has a morality of its own. Is that the philosophy? Do whatever it takes to get the job done? It is Machiavellian. Can we say the UNC would stop at nothing to get the job done? Can we say under this Government, board members can do as they wish? Look at the Agricultural Society, their president is paying herself a clothing allowance which is unlawful, and the Food Production Minister can only huff and puff. Board members are selected with fake certificates, chairmen are given money ceilings yet they go over those limits, and no one is punished. One could conclude the basic philosophy of the UNC is “do what you want”.
The latest revelation by Jack Warner is Persad-Bissessar’s term as UNC leader expired in January 2013. Therefore, the UNC has no leader. It raises the question: did she have the power to write to the Speaker as leader to ask for the removal of Herbert Volney as MP for St Joseph, knowing her term had expired as leader? Anyway, that is for another time.
The PNM (People’s National Movement) is no different from the UNC. The founder, Dr Eric Williams, was the bastion of free education and government control. How far has the PNM deviated from those principles? Today, the PNM is a shadow of itself, more concerned about lining the pockets of certain members of the executive of the party. The only philosophy the PNM has is to remove the Peoples’ Partnership (PP) and install themselves to continue the massive cost overruns and pie-in-the-sky vision of 2030.
Jack’s ILP has a chance to brand itself differently from the PP and PNM. The main philosophy of the ILP is catering to the needs of the man in the street. The other parties have sold out to big business. Jack, despite the allegations against him, is bent on making a better life for the people. For me, “better the devil you know than the devil you don’t”.
What manner of man opens his office at 4 a.m. to serve his constituents, gives away his salary to the poor and is always willing to help the destitute in society? Give Jack his jacket. The man is genuine about improving the lives of the disadvantaged. So what is the fundamental vision and philosophy of the ILP? It is to ensure that power is in the hands of the lower class. It reminds me of Hugo Chavez of Venezuela.
Under the ILP, the man on the street would form himself into co-operatives to bid for contracts such as a $6 million box-drain or a $15 million contract to paint HDC (Housing Development Corporation) houses. There are many masons, carpenters, electricians, painters and other labourers who are unemployed in this country. The ILP would ensure the working class shares in the commanding heights of the economy. No other party could make such a bold statement.
What I like about Jack’s party is its reality. The PP and PNM want you to vote for them. After they win, you see all the financiers who were bank-rolling the parties begin to come out of the woodwork. The common man gets nothing more than a CEPEP (Community-based Environmental Protection Enhancement Programme) job or URP (Unemployment Relief Programme) job. The financiers get multimillion-dollar contracts to construct box-drains or paint or construct HDC homes, pave roads or dredge rivers. There is not a PNM or PP office that opens at 4 a.m. After they win, you get promises and more promises.
On election day, all of them would be left green with envy!