“I have a right to call it as I see it and, at the moment, the Ship of T&T is drifting perilously close to the rocks, with the captain appearing not to have a steady hand at the wheel.”
In the following Letter to the Editor, former TDC chairperson Dennise Demming shares her issues with the current PNM government and discusses the leadership required from Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley:
“Dennise, why are you being disloyal to PNM?” a friend asked me, after an interview I did on the CNMG morning programme on 5 July.
For the record, my only loyalty is to Trinidad and Tobago—the country of my birth—and whatever actions I take will not be tainted by the deep stain of a political party.
Over the past few days, I have reflected on why I feel the need to speak truth to power and refuse to let anyone silence my voice. In reflecting on my political involvement, I was reminded about why I decided to support Dr Keith Rowley in 2010.
In the lead-up to the General Elections in 2010, the ground was signalling that they would either stay away from the polls or not vote for the PNM. I was on the periphery of the discussions about what would happen the morning after the defeat.
We speculated that it would be a landslide defeat. I had one thought: no matter how bad the defeat, a strong democracy requires a strong Opposition!
My motivation was that democracy must prevail and whatever I could do to support that democracy is what I would do. I chose to ensure that our country had what I deemed to be a strong Opposition.
At the time, I placed my bets on Dr Rowley and joined his campaign team. Since then, I have worked long and hard for what I thought was a man ready for leadership, a person who would be prepared to make tough decisions that will take our country into the 21st Century.
For several years, I have written and expressed my views on political leadership, especially when that leadership appears to be functioning in the interest of less than 1 percent of our country.
I have a right to call it as I see it and, at the moment, the Ship of T&T is drifting perilously close to the rocks with the captain appearing not to have a steady hand at the wheel.
The analogy of the ship was used by Rowley in 2010 to comment on the fate of then Prime Minister Patrick Manning. I am just reminding the current Prime Minister of that analogy and that, once the ship sails, the captain has to be constantly in touch with the bridge and make the adjustments to keep the ship on course.
I am reminding him that the port of call is unclear, the ocean is rough and his sailors have not found their sea legs—so the ship is on rough waters. We have virtually created a perfect storm.
My advice to Prime Minister Rowley: Our systems have to be re-designed to suit our future. Grasp system redesign as your legacy item.