From MP Dinesh Rambally
Once again, the Prime Minister has produced his most reliable election device: the racial dog whistle. In a meeting in St James, the Prime Minister said “they’re going to give people of one race guns to shoot people of another race”. We have heard all this before, and in fact, hear it regularly from the PNM when their back is against the wall. Screams of race and racism, which the media are happy to blast across their front pages.
This is intended to turn the public’s eyes away from the issues at hand, to the issue the PNM has shown itself masters at manipulating: racial paranoia.
Allow me to turn the public’s eyes back to what matters. The flooding that paralyses our country. The appalling state of the roads. The overgrown public areas, which should be used for sport and recreation, but now provide breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Inadequate public health facilities. School children unable to write exams because of impassable roads and floods. Crime and the poor police response to it. The general quality of life.
These are the issues at stake in the upcoming local government election. The PNM is running on a platform of reform. This would be ludicrous if conditions were not so tragic. The PNM has been in power for eight years continuously now. And before that, they had been in power for eight years. That means 16 out of the last 23 years. This is more than enough time to get local government reform done. But they have not.
Instead, they have busied themselves with awarding their family members state contracts (while recusing themselves from discussions); they have used dubious, if not illegal means to pursue legal matters against UNC and former UNC politicians and they have treated the public to the spectacle of scandal after scandal, failure after failure.
I urge members of the public to not be distracted by the whistles and screams. You are not voting for best actor, or best performance in a melodrama when you go to vote on August 14. You are voting for the quality of your everyday life. You are voting for clean water courses and public spaces. You are voting for more efficient police and health services. You are voting for your public spaces to be kept clean and safe. And you are also voting for your children’s futures and safety. You are voting for your family’s health and well-being. And you are voting for a better country.
Please do not be manipulated into squandering your vote, then being laughed at for years while the manipulators plunder the public purse.
I urge citizens to look to the UNC. We have a proven track record. In our times in the office, the country gets better in every way: services improve, crime goes down, and the roads, drains, and fields are maintained. In fact, the only thing that does not improve is the noise level, as the PNM activists continue their relentless campaigns to convince the public that the better lives they are living are actually worse.
There is only one choice for the upcoming election. Banish the racial bogeyman. Please think of your children and your everyday lives when you go into the voting room, and remember that UNC is your only choice for safety, sanity, and survival.
MP CHAGUNAS WEST