Although I am not the architect of this design and did not create our plantation, I have none the less been waiting for you. You have posed many questions. Although the last six months has altered your consciousness, you remain irrevocably Trinbagonian.
Ergo, some of my answers you will understand, and some of them you will not. Concordantly, while your first question may be the most pertinent, you may or may not realise, it is also the most irrelevant.
Synchronously the concomitant questions are also irrelevant.
While I had conferred six months ago that we had forgone “the efficacy of finesse in the Parliament” I also made a plea “to focus on persuasion by the strength of your arguments.”
Your ascription to me is quite simply disingenuous vis a vis the Parliamentarians’ wherewithal. Ergo the responsibility which you have placed upon me was obviously fundamentally flawed, thus creating such contradictory and perfunctory oratory as you sought to question my silence by alluding to ‘misgivings’ where none existed.
And now that that is out of my system, allow me to be fair to you.
Firstly, let me be clear that I saw no malice in your call out, however I felt that you missed the boat.
The fact that Dr Keith Rowley says publicly that he has no confidence in the Integrity Commission but hinges his defence of his Ministers on its findings—or lack thereof—speaks volumes to more deep seeded challenges facing the electorate. I want to take the focus away from the politicians for a bit.
The real question is what are we using to measure expectations? What are the criteria?
Visibility as you have done? Efficacy of finesse be it in Parliament or the public domain?
I want to suggest to you that none of these speak to a keen sense of where we need to go but are stuck in the doldrums of where we have been. The culture of our politics doesn’t change with an election.
Can the PNM escape this? Can the MSJ?
No we cannot. We are not so naive to even conceive of such. So what should we really be discussing?
Let me refer you to the last few lines of the first verse of “Life is a stage”:
I want you to know;
So don’t blame Dr Williams;
Anytime you find you get bad administration;
That was meant to be;
The fella is playing his role superbly;
Don’t blame the hoodlums I say;
Is a part they come out to play.
Brother Valentino is clear, the politicians have their role. The real question is: what is your role?
The play you have pointed to, even if only from your own perspective, is the same play that we have been privy to since Independence. Are you even on the stage or in the balcony as a spectator?
Have you ever read Rudyard Kipling’s “The English Flag” and seen that immortal line: what do they know of England who only England know?
We can easily ask what do they know of our politics who only our politics know. There is a culture that we cannot ignore.
What do we understand of how the Parliament or Cabinet really functions? How well do we know the nature of being an MP and Minister? How well do we understand the transition from policy to action?
Obviously we do not condone malfeasance and must call out Ministers and Governments. At the same time, however a conversation which floats on the surface and refuses to address the nature of the problem does us no good.
The point here is that we ought not to be discussing same old same old and looking for flaws which are inherent in the design of our matrix. Instead, we ought to be discussing a new design.
We ought to be discussing if we—the electorate—are mere stage hands with politicians being the only actors in the play.
What are we prepared to do to affect the quality of life that we live?
Editor’s Note: Click HERE to read the initial column by Earl Best titled “Is just a PNM Movie.”