Straight from the horses’ mouths-UNC members speak out
Is the UNC doing enough to expose the PNM corruption and mismanagement of the economy and its propaganda and misinformation against the former PP Government? I asked this question because I felt that the UNC was not doing enough with the exception of Bhoe Tewarie who usually go to the media houses and engage the hosts and callers in defending UNC positions and exposing the government’s failed policies and programs.
Recently Vasant Bharath who is not a member of Parliament has been making statements and correcting some of the misinformation and propaganda of Keith Rowley and the PNM. He had a video posted on FB refuting some of the misinformation Rowley made in his two-part address to the nation recently. Vasant’s response was well received by the general public.
Dr Bhoe Tewarie provided a comprehensive response to Dr Rowley in an address at a meeting of religious leaders at Signature Hall, Longdenville, two weeks ago. Others such as David Lee and Roodal Moonilal made responses to Rowley’s misinformation that were carried in the newspapers.
Nevertheless, in talk shows such as the Panchayat many callers share the view that the Opposition was not responding to allegations directed against it.
Photo : Vasant Bharath
Recently the nation awoke to the withdrawal of Sandals from Tobago. Again, the PM chose to blame the Opposition and the media for its hostile propaganda against Sandals. Is it true? What is the Opposition response? Vasan has made a press release that was carried on FB for everyone to read. Where is the UNC’s official response to this charge by the PM?
Ganesh, a constituent of Chaguanas West, is of the view that the Opposition is doing a good job. “When you look at the Parliamentary Channel you would be amazed at the contribution of the UNC members. I recently heard a contribution of Rodney Charles, the MP for Naparima and I was impressed.”
Ganesh continued: “The problem is the media. They are bias against the UNC. I listened to Ganga Singh on the debate to appoint a CoP and Ganga was fantastic. He was part of a Minority Committee with Moonilal and Ganga presented the UNC position but nothing was reported in the dailies.’ Ganesh continued: “However when Ganga met with Panday and Jack the media was happy to give him much coverage.”
“I am disappointed in the fact that the UNC does not have a shadow minister for agriculture,” Ganesh lamented.
I retorted: “May be the UNC had a fear of identifying with anything Indians. They only interested in Indians for their votes to carry them to Parliament.” I continued: “Looking at the disparity in the allocation of state funding for Indian and creole culture? Creole culture-Carnival, pan, calypso-continues to get the whole hog while Indian culture-Divali, Phagwa, Eid, Ramleela- are given the feet, ears, tail and snout but the UNC is silent about it.”
Ganesh said: “Well they know that they are fearful of losing African votes when they identify with Indian culture.”
“But Indian culture is an integral part of the culture of Trinidad and Tobago and the UNC should promote a culture of unity in diversity where all cultures would have equity in funding from the state,” I insisted.
I asked Ganesh: “Tell me. Is the UNC using social media effectively?”
“Yes. I think so. Kamla has a site that is very effective,” said Ganesh.
“I am aware of the site,” I added.
Adesh who lives in Chaguanas East, finds “Padarath and Moonilal very vociferous. I hardly hear from the others.”
Dhaniram lives in Arouca. He felt that the UNC is not adequately responding to the allegations and false propaganda. “I think Bhoe Tewarie is doing a good job and Vasan Bharat.”
“But Vasan Bharath is not officially an Opposition Member?” I querried.
Dhaniram responded: “I know but it is now time for Kamla to recognize his worth.”
“I found that Indarsingh said more for Petrotrin workers than he did when Caroni workers were being given voluntary separation packages. More than 16 years has elapsed and many cane workers are yet to receive their full compensation,” I said to Dhaniram.
Dhnairam: “Yes, you hitting the nail on the head. I heard Ramona Ramdial, MP for Couva North, boasting on the Panchayat that she is happy to be the spokesperson for Tobago affair in the Opposition. I think she should fight a seat in Tobago.”
Neville: “I don’t see my MP. I don’t know if he living or dead.” Neville lives in St Augustine and he has forgotten the name of his MP. I suggest to him that he and other constituents file a missing person complaint in the police station or write a letter to CoP Gary Griffith.
Alvin lives in Caroni East: “The party has to get rid of Bhoe, Tim and Rambachan. They have to bring more young faces. Look. Saddam Hosein lives right up the road.”
“Boy I agree with you but we need to keep a few,” I responded.
Julie who runs a barbeque in Crown Trace, Enterprise said: “I hope the UNC win because I fed up with this man from Tobago.”
“But what all you think about Jack?” I asked.
“He lost his deposit in Chaguanas East and he hasn’t answered charges of corruption from the US,” said Alvin. “He had had his days,” said Alvin.
“Ganga called a meeting in Felicity and most of he people left when they learnt that he would be addressing them,” said Ganesh. “Only a handful remained to listen to him.”