Sometime ago I wrote this piece, but with the increase in gas prices now, I resend it with some minor changes vis-à-vis the point that why are we paying more for gas when the conventional belief is that we should be properly positioned to make money like bush when fuel prices are at its highest and when a government in the oil/gas business should have been able to increase subsidies to its citizens rather than reduce it; but I forget: we are not so lucky as those countries which have a petroleum refinery that could capitalize on price increases across the globe; this is the nation of geniuses at the top which, if they occupied Buckingham Palace, would shut the doors and go rent a basement apartment in skid row; would get rid of the limousine it got and rent a donkey cart to commute because donkeys and asses are synonymous, brethren.
Theories abound as to why a government would incredibly close down its country’s crown jewel, why Rowley, Imbert and Franklin Khan felt it was time to create a new landfill in Point– a- Pierre, using one of the oldest and most revered refineries in the world as the chosen site for the furtherance of its PNM nihilistic, scrap-iron policy.
Some experts suggest that it was sheer vindictiveness on their part to try and get rid of OWTU as was the case with the closure of Caroni Limited and the closing of the representative trade union in the sugar industry. One of the clown princes suffering with congenital and chronic brain-deprivation behind such thinking would have encouraged its closure with the argument that no one riots in this country when such stupid decisions are made. So they closed it down.
Although no one recommended its closure but all suggested that with a little restructuring and adjustment Petrotrin should be saved as it was felt it too important to dismissively be waved away from existence by the mere flick of Rowley’s hand and the PNM blight. The analogy of getting a flat tire and leaving your car on the Beetham instead of driving it away on the flat and losing a rim rather than getting scrapped metal instead if you left it at the Beetham is what Rowley did. Petrotrin was left to become scrap iron in fulfillment of the PNM tradition, if you can’t fix it, you scrap it, reduce it to old iron.
When forever, one has heard PNM people can’t run a parlour, you understand where that assumption had its genesis. Considered one of the great PNM brains of all time, Dr. Eric Williams reduced the train to scrap iron when it was his turn as the blacksmith in the political foundry. Decades later, his successors have spent nearly a billion dollars trying to reverse his abysmal decision by trying to convert a research paper into train lines.
The true entrepreneur par excellence puts up a bench at the side of the road and places on it a kiss cake, a chubby and a loose cigarette out of which he builds a parlour and later a shop and graduates to something more corporate and conglomerate. Something alien to PNM thinking – which is to eat out your profit and head for the hammock.
In a satirical innuendo of how the old local Chinese of that ilk got rich, VS Naipaul says in one of his masterpieces that the old shopkeeper would buy 20 boxes of matches with 21 grains in each one from which he would pinch out one grain from each box and so create a completely new box and therein is explained his profit and his eventual rise to the rank of business entrepreneur.
Whether this was just pure Naipaulian satire or whether it was true business genius on the part of the old Chinese, it was some strategy never associated with PNM live-for-now approach. Operating a parlor meant you understood the storage concept and of saving for a rainy day – when the opportunity for making a profit became available, when gas prices increase. PNM has always operated from the concept of killing the golden goose. Eat now, starve later or sell out Petrotrin today and tomorrow will take care of itself.
And this is the party that is saying vote them back for stable government – which, they obviously don’t know, technically means a government for horses’ asses – for what else occupies a stable? Idiots who chant great is the PNM forgetting to qualify it with the truth: great is The PNM for making blunder upon blunder ad infinitum.