Manning's Return It's Emancipation Day, and one of the truly amusing images attached to the holiday this year is the picture of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan straight from the continent, dressed in western garb, complete with cowboy hat, being greeted by Kamla Persad-Bissessar in full West African regalia from head wrap to dress, along with her Parliament similarly dressed.
I have long since wondered about our penchant for gallerying in multi-ethnic garb without the slightest clue about its origins or meanings. But I know that Kamla's handlers are thorough people and must have researched the particular garment she wore to the airport yesterday.
This Emancipation Day is a likely to be a crucial one for Trinidad and Tobago, because I sense that moreso than any Emancipation Day in the last 2 years, this year's celebration will be a call to the clans. Whether supporters of this government wish to acknowledge it or not, this government's policies have been tinged with elements of ethnic prejudice, and whether the Emancipation Support Committee knows it Afrotrinbagonians are hopping mad at the injustices, real and perceived, they are experiencing. But I doubt sincerely that the ESC is in a position to channel the outrage and frustration felt by the community. But we needn't fear, Trinis are always on the lookout for a messiah figure, and the People's Partnership with their rotten, effed up approach to governance (that its supporters are now blaming on the PNM....it never gets old you know, every mistake they make is the PNMs fault. Apparently Kamla dont have a mind of her own...oh wait!) has managed to do the Impossible....make an ailing, formerly despised PM, a man who was enthusiastically voted out of office, into a triumphant returning hero. With Manning returning to Trinidad last night on the eve of Emancipation and walking out of the Piarco International Airport on his own steam, Kamla and her government of relatives and missteps have just become their own worst enemy. Not even the Court of Appeal resurrecting an old case about annoying language against him will detract from Manning's star power now. In fact all The Patos has to do is continue to sit quietly in Parliament and the government's inability to reduce crime or charge Calder Hart will be his vindication. With two more years to go the facts of Manning's weaker administrative policies will fade into memory, and memory will become myth. All that will remain is the harsh reality of the PPs rapacious and greedy governance, and policies of ethnic parity, or is it dominance, by any means necessary.
The Keith also has his plate full coping with The Patos' return. San Fernando East real like up their boy Manning because despite all his national foibles, word on the street is he pays attention to his constituents. There are many in Rowley's Diego Martin West who complain about his service in their area...he'll need to look at that. It remains to be seen how Manning's return is going to impact on The Keith's performance as a leader. It also remains to be seen how the other dynamics and factions within the party are now going to align, or realign themselves. Rowley's tenure as political leader and as Leader of the Opposition has lacked a certain je ne sais quoi. He remains efficient and competent in attacking the Government, yet is unable to seize the public imagination and firmly establish himself as anything beyond an interim leader. If between now and 2015 the party has the opportunity to select a new leader, expect Manning to be returned as political leader even if all that remains of him is a tombstone....PNM faithfuls will vote for that tombstone.
The cycle of waiting for the messiah for deliverance continues. In 2010 Kamla promised the country to do better than the PNM and serve the people. She promised the entire nayshun that We Will Rise. Eager to be rid of PNM corruption they voted them out in exchange for the rape of the treasury and government being run like a family business, while everybody's favorite corrupt FIFA Official plays Kojak!
PNMites once again seem to be hoping that Manning's presence will mean an end to their suffering. Not yet understanding that such power resides in their own hands. The Emancipation holiday still remains lost on them. So like Kamla, they will put on rich cloths that are full of symbolism, but empty of meaning in their ignorant state, and parade their ignorance for the world to see, while waiting for someone or something else to come to their aid.
Kamla's pandering to the anger of the Afrotrinbagonian community by giving the ESC $4m and funding the state visit of the Nigerian President is hardly the real Emancipation story today....the return of Manning from political death is!
De Vice Cyah Done!