I want you to pay attention to a few things. The turn over of new missteps by the PP has slowed down, and what we have now is a case of the same missteps further compounding themselves and becoming large and bloated issues.
These are the issues that are going to be used to do battle against them come the THA Elections, the next Local Elections and of course the next General Elections...whenever that will be. I'm no longer saying 2015 because the political environment seems volatile. While the Panchayat still has a pretty sound support base that flood the the online blogging sites and newspaper, radio and television comment boards; there is now a growing voice of dissent as well. The people who were always pro-PNM are openly gloating now, "Ent all yuh vote for that? Well take change in all yuh pweffen!" And many of the PP supporters who made the switch to the Bigger, Better Party are now bawling that this isn't the change they voted for. For many who remember being upset by nepotism, corruption, squandermania and an autocratic leadership style under Patrick Manning's version of the PNM, Kamla's tenure thus far seems like a case of exchange....we went from Patrick Manning....to Patrick Manning in drag. The PNM die-hards have even gone so far as to insist that Manning's term in office wasn't "so bad"...and this is where it get's scary for me. Because when your governance is so bad that Manning starts looking like a good leader know that we in shit!
Our education, health and environmental policies are no better now than they were under Manning. The education system is outdated and failing the nation's children. Our health care system is in a mess....and as for Environmental policies? What Environmental policies? It still easier for a man to start a quarry in Trinidad than to start a farm!
The majority of the population here is so caught up with just surviving...finding ah food to eat, that the larger issues like what kind of quality of life they want and what kind of governance and leadership they should agitate for escape them completely.
For the mother who needs money to look after her family, does it matter if Dookeran has no real fiscal policies or if Kamla will giver her a handout that will help make ends meet?
And this is the problem right here for me....previous administrations have ensured that the majority of the population remains dependent on a system so shitty that it is demeaning. So, issues like nepotism, corruption, bad fiscal policies, squandermania etc mean nothing once the masses could eat ah food.
In the last 2 weeks there has been a web of lies developing around several crucial issues.
In 2010 the PP campaigned and said that the PNM had squandered so much money there was virtually none in the treasury. Dookeran promised as Minister of Finance he was going to steady the country fiscally, after 8 years of PNM mismanagement, and put us back on track. From Budget 2010, to Budget 2011/12 we have had increasingly larger budgets, and larger deficits. Further, no budget has followed through on the campaign promise of diversification of the economy away from fuel. If anything, Kamla seems to lean heavier on the fuel economy. The other thing that I have noticed about the budgets is that the last three have been focused on spending money on social programmes like increased pensions (which they took back) and CEPEP. What I want you to bear in mind is that the same kind of spending that Kamla et al complained about under the PNM (CEPEP, HYPE, MUST), all the various make-work programmes, is precisely what she is now copying....and further, her same supporters who complained bitterly that "money wasting in make-work programmes" are now saying on the same walls and blogs where they once complained...that CEPEP is a good thing!
I have to smile. CEPEP was once so demonised. It was a programme that UNC supporters complained harboured criminals, encouraged laziness in blacks (we all know about the 10-days mentality), indeed, many critics of CEPEP and other make-work programmes often complained that Manning and the PNM generally used it to create a dependency syndrome in their voter base.....so, then, tell me how Kamla's use of CEPEP and Colour Me Orange is any different? Is it that Kamla's supporters like hand-outs too and like to work as little as possible for a regular wage? My goodness....might we have been wrong about the ethnic-stereotyping we ascribed to CEPEP??????
What is frighteningly clear is that this government has no long term goals for turning the country's economy around. The 2011 budget has seen government come back to Parliament not once, but twice in 2012 to ask for more money....more money from a treasury they claimed was empty. If they've asked us twice this year for money to manage last year's budget...what going to happen in September 2012? Our next budget is about 3 months away and the steady economy and blue skies Dookeran promised us are nowhere to be seen. In fact, he has spent the last two weeks trying to convince us...and himself, that we aren't in a slump. Central Bank Governor Ewart Williams quoted figures and said the economy was in a slump...Winston Dookeran using the same figures said the economy wasn't....so who should we believe? Dookeran is a politician in a party that fighting for dear life right now because they have riled up the labour force and pensioners.
We are now three years into the PP's governance and the economy they claimed was left in shambles is even worse off.
The pension issue is another case of lies and half truths flying all over the place after yet another shady promised. In 2010, while in one breath saying Manning had squandered money and left the treasury empty, Kamla again promised on her election campaign that all pensioners over 60 years of age, regardless of whether they were receiving a pension elsewhere, would be entitled to a pension of $3000. Kamla made a big deal of it, because it was meant to show how much her government cared. After winning the election the PP government sought to distance itself from the pension promise. And by 2012 the talk had changed entirely with the government insisting that the senior citizens pension would now be reliant upon their NIS contributions. So, now, we have a situation where at least 15,000 pensioners are now receiving $1000 less than they were receiving at their last check, because Kamla didn't keep the promise made. Yet Glen Ramadharsingh in television and radio interviews keeps insisting that pensioners aren't getting a cent less than before....so who should I believe? A politician with a shady past....or the pensioners who can show you on their checks where there is a reduction in income?
The last issue I'll tackle today....and trust me there is more, there always is with this government....is the investigation into Jack Warner.
Last year the Attorney General, following the leaking of a tape in which it is alleged Jack Warner bribed a room of Concacaf officials, launched a probe into MP Warner 2-3 weeks ago the the Police Service Commission (why them???) sent out a press release saying that CoP Gibbs had been advised by the DPP that Warner was cleared. Jack was jubilant....claimed he felt vindicated. Then 24 hours later we would find out that the investigation was done in a half-assed way, the DPP never cleared Jack, in fact he indicated in his report that the evidence was thin....aka half assed investigation, and that the police service should look into whether Warner had broken Customs and Excise laws....to date not a word on that issue. Inspector Totaram Dookie seems not to have explored that avenue in his thorough investigation....and this morning we have the AG, who launched the probe into Warner, jumping in to weigh on the issue and say that Warner is in the clear....pre-mature doesn't begin to describe his actions....as well as immature and unprofessional. But, then again, this is the same AG who can't find another charge to lay on Calder Hart apart from perjury....To date the only real investigation into the Jack Warner bribery scandal is on wired868.com, but Lasana Liburd can't lay charges....the police have to....and now that Mr Warner sits on the same National Security Council as the Commissioner of Police and the Minister of National Security I doubt any investigation on him going to make serious headway.
Oh, and as an aside, the Minister of Buffoonery...Queen Kamla's Court Jester Rood Boi Moonilal is at it again....he whips out a document in parliament and misleads the public into thinking it might have been linked to Patrick Manning, when it was really another Patrick.....if it's one thing that has turned me off this PP Government entirely is their penchant for lying....brazen lying and vulgar behaviour....that seems to be their hall mark.
De Vice Cyah Done!