Sunday, February 18, 2018

Suruj ideal to lead local govt fight

Minister Suruj Rambachan, having spent many years as the mayor of Chaguanas, is undoubtedly the man to take charge of the local government election scheduled for July 2013.

He has suffered first hand at the vagaries of these cut-throat-style elections and lived to tell the tale. Trust no one. Skin teeth is not a smile. In fact, it is imperative to watch who "skinning dey teeth" all the time. Who needs enemies when your so-called friends are stabbing you in the back? It is to be noted that the "comeback boy" survived what was really political mortal combat when he was cleverly ousted from the mayoral chain in Chaguanas.

The slap in the face suffered by the People's Partnership in the recently concluded Tobago House of Assembly (THA) election has turned out to be much more than a political wake-up call. More suitably described as a deafening shout in the ear, Minister Rambachan is ready for war with the understandably smirking People's National Movement (PNM). He will be watching for the political potholes down memory lane.

The armchair pundits, having correctly concluded that the Partnership would not prevail in Tobago, are now accepting bets on the sitting Government literally falling apart in July 2013. The Government have had to admit that money cannot buy everything. At least not in Tobago. Here in Trinidad, the fear must surely be that former loyal Partnership voters may want to send the Government a political lesson.

Between now and July, all who are complaining about being ignored have to be politically fed and watered. A street-by-street, door-by-door campaign will have to be entertained if the Partnership is not to lose important boroughs. The Partnership needs to burn some political tyres.

At first glance, certain senior ministers may need to decide how important it is to fly all over the place, every day, in the Ministry of Security helicopters. This particular scenario is for the Dirty Harry and Arnold Schwarzenegger movies, not Trinbago. They may even have to implore the Prime Minister to spend more time in Port of Spain, if only to show she can function away from her Philippine "office".

The misuse of the helicopters and perception of abandoning the established PM's residence can fall under political crimes—Trinbago style. The voting public will decide on what is showing off and how it must be curtailed.

There is a very fine line between being seen as stupid and powerfully stupid. And remember, in politics, image is everything.

Lynette Joseph

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