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Category: Trinidad Politics Date: 17 Jul 05

 

Today I want to respond to the following letter:

 

Ira,

 

It is heartening to see how effective Stephen Cadiz has been in gathering signatures for his petition. However, do you really think that the president has any real power to affect a positive outcome? I donít think so. Real change will come only if the collective voice of the petitioners is prepared to go the distanceóorganise to form a new political party. Nice to write about the problems facing society but politicians cater to the uneducated (ie the masses) who do not even bother to read or canít read articles such as yours. There are pockets of intelligent people in T&T but they do not get together to truly make a difference. People such as Kirk Meighoo, Dana Seetahal and Lloyd Best to name a few, need to come together to organise a new political party. The objective would not necessarily be to obtain a majority government. A majority is not needed to wield a big stick in T&T politics. Only five seats are needed to swing the house. Are you content merely observing and writing about the ills of society are you willing to go the distance?

 

Dear concerned reader:

 

Yours is the question being echoed by hundreds of thousands of people. A new political party. One that is reminiscent of the hope embodied by the NAR. A rebirth.

 

Only five seats is a tall order in this country split like a watermelon down the middle between the East Indian and African vote. Where the ruling party can relax because their constituents will vote for them even if they are literally crapped on week after week, their children left illiterate, their illnesses unattended, their homes falling down and their young people holding guns instead of pens. The other half of the country doesnít count. Different race.

 

Creatures of habit is what we are. Also burnt out. And cynical. We think everyone has an agenda. Understandably.

 

Every new political aspirant and financial supporter on the scene in the last decade has with profound promises, sucked the remaining rapidly depleting reserves of hope of voters but once voted in, either become remote and drunk with power or corrupt or disappeared into oblivion, fallen into the abyss between the UNC and PNM. Independents are ruthlessly rejected or ejected. Remember Hulsie Bhagan, Wendell Mottley, and countless others? We say we want change. But we are suspicious of it. We rather the devil we know than the devil we donít.

 

In effect what Mr Stephen Cadiz is doing by soliciting signatures to petition the government to get parliamentarians to do their jobs, and clamp down on crime is demanding leadership. He says: ďWe are not quibbling about drains and transport issues. I know four people who were kidnapped, one that was murdered, one raped and countless robbed. For each murder (now up to 188) there are at least three to 600 mourners. Thatís thousands of people mourning the murdered. Now explosives going off downtown to which the prime minister hasnít responded. Our children are growing up with that. We want the basic right to security for our families. Once we realise that neither Manning nor Panday have the population at heart, a new party will emerge where people will cross the Indian and African frontiers put on by politicians in their grab for power.Ē

 

On the question of a new party and leadership one prominent lawyer stated that most of our people have one foot outside the country with relatives who live abroad. This loose patriotism combined with the static politics of race, explosive crime situation, dark underworld with tentacles in every major institution makes most us reluctant engage.

 

Abandoned by politicians we carry on, the strong helping the wounded, with basics the government has failed to provide-health care and education. The strong paying for the lessons a child doesnít get in school, funding tertiary education and training for a deserving kid, paying employees decently, asking after their unsupervised children, bringing them in the fold. We can sign the Cadiz crime petition (http://www.trinidadmurders.org/Petition.asp). These are ways of going the distance in our abandoned ship.

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All Articles Copyright Ira Mathur