The bad thing about Phillip Alexander is that he might be too good to be true. The good thing about Phillip is what he is pontificating is one hundred percent true. If he is saying that we are in the mess we are in because sycophants across the board – PNM sycophants and UNC sycophants – like it so and are not prepared to make the quantum leap to effect change we so desperately need, he is right on the button.
Phillip is right when he identifies PNM strongholds as the most economically abysmal areas in this country after 60 years of their rule. He understands that the people of these areas –many here courtesy Eric Williams strategy to give small islanders a home here so that they become indebted to him and thus see themselves as the index finger that votes him and the PNM in power.
And after several generations of them being regarded as no more than slaves, they have not lifted themselves to see that they deserve more, at least, a tinge of self-respect. They defend their inane nihilism with the arguments that they are the beneficiaries of a PNM education, of jobs provided them via a party card – not intelligent enough to understand that it was the bounden duty of any and every government across the globe to provide such basic necessities. But despite that free education, most end up sounding uneducated.
Across the street are encamped the UNC people who are trapped in the same kind of nihilism, of living in the past and being fearful of change. After Panday had squandered his position as PM defending crooked Ministers and calling a premature election rather than discipline them, he became to his supporters something like passé cassava. Seen as never again a winner, the talk of replacing him was making the rounds in the UNC grapevine, but Panday did not hear it as there is none so deaf as he who would not hear.
I suggested to a couple persons for whom I served as speechwriter, to throw their hats in the ring long before the fight for the UNC leadership was announced and both of the pusillanimous response that if they did without Panday’s anointment of them, it would be political suicide for them. Although I tried to counter that argument telling them that Panday no longer had in his armamentarium anything to offer them, they still pussyfooted.
When, therefore, the battle was open to all and sundry, Kamla preempted all of them, closed her eyes, jumped in and won – not because she had any Margaret Thatcher or Indira Gandhi qualities – but simply because she had the testicular fortitude and daring to challenge Panday, to make the change people wanted happen. Simply put, people had become so fed up and disgusted with Panday that anybody who had made an earlier bid for the party’s leadership might most likely have got it. That Kamla was that person is history.
When one is not intellectually sophisticated with an exceptional IQ and thus not burdened by ifs and buts, you make a cricket voop and hit a six. So Kamla made a voop and it cleared the boundary and landed atop the UNC, ent?
On the topic of cricket, Joe Root is widely regarded as a modern-day great but England replaced him as captain with Ben Stokes and they have since won nine out of ten tests under Stokes who is credited with the new swashbuckling pyrotechnics they now play the game and which makes then seem invincible.
Is Phillip our Local Stokes – not in cricket but politics? While Stokes is the Grecian Alexander leading the English army, this Trini Alexander, better known as Phillip, will need to surround himself with soldiers of that caliber; he has to go out there not looking like a one-man army but that he is able to attract the best the country has to offer else he might be seen as another narcissist who wants no competition around him. You see what Kamla has, what Rowley has? At this point you seem to have even less.
The ONR almost overran this country with its star-studded team and lost only because of the demonization of Karl with the “Ah fraid Karl” Chant.
L. Siddhartha Orie.