The Tobago House of Assembly (THA) election has come and gone, and with it, a result most of us never expected. I guess very few of us saw a complete annihilation of the Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP) political party.
I hereby extend congratulations to the victors and deep sympathy to the vanquished.
The People's Nation Movement (PNM) now has complete control of the THA, and it is my hope that they carry out their mandate with fairness and integrity, bearing in mind the adage "absolute power corrupts absolutely".
I believe the TOP lost its way for a number of reasons, first of which was Mr Ashworth Jack's inability to give clear and precise answers to the questions concerning the construction of his multimillion-dollar house. Another reason for his party's demise was the high-profile presence of the Prime Minister and her band of United National Congress (UNC) ministers during the election campaign, which appeared to overshadow or even undermine the ability of Ashworth Jack to spearhead his own campaign, thus giving the perception he was a bit weak.
My advice to him is to simply give up the leadership, for I see no way the TOP could regain lost ground if he stays. His style was rejected.
The UNC also failed to understand the psyche of Tobago people, who would definitely have had problems with the wild, unnecessary spending, the mud-slinging, resentment with what they saw as attempts to bribe them with the handing over of land deeds and the rush to present the Tobago self-government legislation through Parliament. If the PM took advice from her strategists, then she should get rid of them immediately.
Finally, I believe the "Calcutta ship" statement by Mr Hilton Sandy was a well-planned strategy of the PNM, meant to instill fear into the minds of the electorate, and it worked. This brought back memories of childhood days when some of our parents would use scare tactics by claiming "the boo-boo man coming", in order to keep us from going outdoors after dark.
I would like to urge all those who are bent on dividing this still beautiful nation to please heed the words of Dr Martin Luther King Jr when he warned Americans: "We must learn to live as brothers or perish together as fools".