By Vibhishan Ramraj
Political parties usually run at the whims and fancies of a political leader. If such a leader is generous. she may consult with an executive which normally fulfils his wishes because every member knows that she is ‘monarch of all that I survey.’ How do you make sense of the defections of the former president of the youth arm of the UNC to the PNM and the few others like Tahana Obika who was a UNC candidate in a general election and a former opposition senator?
Words are out that the former youth officer is going to berate the character of a sitting member of parliament in the opposition bench. Is this the low level to which an individual who served as president of the youth arm can descend to? I enquired about his career and was told that ‘he is a full-time politician.’ I enquired further about his academic qualifications but could not get a clear answer.
Had democracy been allowed to take its course, such an individual would not have risen to the status of president of the UNC. It now brings into question how and who are appointed to positions in the party. If there was some consultation, the defections that took place would have never come to past.
Politicians are generally lazy professionals who wants a life of glamour and personal aggrandizement though there are always the genuine few who want to improve the social and economic condition of the people. Due to the nature of politics, it would be only wise that a political leader exercise caution in whom she brings into the party and that she always has a few tried and tested individuals to help her make those decisions.
The UNC must desist from what I call ‘puppy love politics’ which is recruiting those political aspirants that came to the political leader wagging their tails and licking her feet and jumping on her for embraces and kisses. These house poppies are not fierce like a Roodal Moonilal who provides first class services as a guard dog, protecting and raising an alarm at the slightest provocation.
Where is the guard dog spirit in the UNC? Have the house poppies taken charge? Now that their loyalty has been brought into question, are we going to see the political leader ‘putting them to sleep’ and hiring more Moonilals to guard the UNC and take the fight to the corridor. If the fight cannot be taken to the corridor, then all is lost. The UNC may return to the era of the 1970s when the DLP had factions and open conflicts.
It is inglorious that Basdeo Panday is living through this turmoil in a political party that he and others have built. It is true that the current political leader defeated Basdeo Panday to become political leader and form the government but has done little to nothing to build the UNC vehicle which would fail an inspection test- its head lamps and indicators malfunctioning, all its tires smooth, alignment poor and its engine belching black smoke.
But more than puppy love is the silent lot that support the political leader, hoping and praying that she may return to power so that they can have their fill while being critical of her in hushed tones behind closed doors.