So there I was, taking a well deserved rest on this Indian Arrival Day 2023 holiday, when a message came to me that I was attacking the UNC and its Political Leader. Upon inspection of the message being circulated under my name, I would like to say that the words were a fabrication but upon close inspection, they are not. The message originated in 2015 following the General Election and during the campaign by Mrs Kamla Persad Bissessar to reassert her leadership of the UNC. And the words I used to attack the Political Leader and her slate were entirely my opinions of the day.
But here’s the thing, that was eight years ago, and while I would like to say that I was young and misled into believing the opinions I expressed, the truth is much darker. It is a truth that I have carried deep within the recesses of my heart for some time, but now that these messages have resurfaced in an attempt to sully the image of the Political Leader, the UNC and myself, I think the time for confession is nigh.
In 2015, while I would have been involved in local politics for fifteen years, being a resident of one of the most competitive of marginal seats in the East-West corridor, I still hadn’t had a taste of what UNC political philosophy was all about. You see, while the residents in the corridor focus on which party forms the government in a general election, south of the Caroni river in the food belt and rural districts, their goal is to have proper representation. And as those areas form the majority of the UNC base, the fundamental principle of the UNC must be to provide a higher standard of representation as their first and foremost priority. That isn’t to say that the UNC isn’t interested in forming the government, far from it, but their core support looks to them as a form of government no matter which side of the Parliament they may sit, and it’s this principle that Mrs Kamla Persad Bissessar understands better than most.
This is why if you are to ever travel to Central of South Trinidad and speak with any resident of representation, while they might be lacking for certain government services due to the neglect of the PNM, they still speak highly of their Members of Parliament and Local Government Councillors because of the level of representation they receive. For this reason, while nations such as the UK may confer titles such as shadow Ministers upon members of the Opposition party, in Trinidad the UNC members are treated as a form of Government due to their tremendous work and success despite sitting in Opposition.
And had I understood all of this in 2015 I would not have made the comments I have now come to regret, but I was also misled by individuals who had their own ambitions and agendas. Having just lost the government, there were people in the UNC at the time who felt that the only way to serve their supporters was to return to it as quickly as possible, without understanding that it was this same hunger for power that had turned so many voters against them in the first place. And when you consider how Mrs Persad Bissessar was able to rekindle the passion of so many who had become disenchanted with the party in 2015 through hard work and compassion, then you will understand that winning a General Election could have been possible under any other Political Leader.
This all being said, it is clear that there are persons dedicated to destroying the UNC at a time when it is on the cusp of a Local Government victory, and for that I am truly apologetic. Between 2015 and today I have had the tremendous opportunity to better understand the political philosophy of the UNC under the tutelage of the Guru, Mrs Kamla Persad Bissessar, who in turn has supported my many efforts to fight against the tyranny and creeping dictatorship of the PNM. I cannot claim any victory in the courts over the past eight years without giving recognition to the advice and support I have received from Mrs Persad Bissessar, who shares and encourages my passion in fighting to uphold the Rights and Freedoms of our Constitution. Unfortunately, it is because of these victories that certain individuals, some who may even claim to be UNC members or supporters, are now seeking to damage one of the best working relationships in the political landscape today.
I therefore call upon all those persons within and outside of the UNC to recognize, as I did, that the only true representation that exists in Trinidad and Tobago today can be found in the benches of the UNC members in the Parliament and Local Government Corporations, under the leadership of Kamla Persad Bissessar. And the only way we can maximize that effect in this country is to return the UNC to the government where they rightfully belong.
PS for anyone who wants to quote me in the future, at least use a quote from the previous election instead of going back three and four elections ago. Because in the last one I would have surely said “Kamla Persad Bissessar will be the next Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago” and everyone is allowed to quote me on that going forward.
Ravi Balgobin Maharaj
Mob: +1 868 476-6181