If I an Attorney General, I would distribute briefs from the state so that numerous people can benefit and not a few. Unfortunately, too many of our lawyers felt deprived and cheated by politicians when a select few benefit from the bulk of State briefs.
The PNM is known for sharing the plums of office to all sections of its supporters. For example, defeated PNM candidates at both local and general elections are rewarded for standing with the party. I recalled a villager who got a permanent job in the government after he campaigned for his friend who was running for a seat in the Borough of Chaguanas. Though defeated, his friend delivered the job as promised. This is just one example and there are numerous I can attest to.
Many ‘fly by night’ contractors were the beneficiaries of contracts under the PP Government while beneficiaries of contracts from the previous government were thrown into the gru-gru patch. I recalled a friend who lamented that his family company was labelled PNM and did not get a single contract under the PP Government.
Why were so many contractors rallying with Rohan Sinanan during the 2015 elections campaign? The only explanation I can offer is that they felt relatively deprived, that is, they were silent witnesses of a few receiving the choicest contracts while they were given crumbs.
A gentleman was pushed to apply for a contract when the UNC’s term of power was coming to an end. He foolishly accepted the offer. He applied and got the contract. After putting out almost a million dollars, to this date he has not received his payments. His matter is now heading for the Privy Council where he hopes the government would be directed to reward him. It was clear to the high ups in the party that such a contract was risky, and they stayed away. Is this the modus operandi of a political party vis a vis its supporters?
The UNC must learn from the PNM-honor your supporters and thy days in office shall be long! This wisdom appears to be absent from the leadership of the UNC. Does the UNC have financiers? If the UNC cannot return favours to its supporters, they would be left with no choice but to migrate to the PNM.
The PNM understands the humanities and social sciences, hence their success in catering to the diverse social streams of its supporters. The lower middle-class supporters of the PNM are generously rewarded scholarships, housing and jobs in the security and armed forces and the senior ranks of the public service. Has the UNC been able to do the same?
The PNM also caters to its low-income supporters and the socially marginalized by rewarding them with hampers, URP, CEPEP and permanent jobs in MTS with health plan, NIS, sick, bereavement and maternity leave and a severance package. Make-shift programs are created in every ministry where youths are given a few months training with weekly stipends as much as $1,000 per week.
This penchant to reach out to the supporters of the PNM is demonstrated in the location of industrial estates along the East West Corridor: Diamond Vale in Diego Martin, Trincity in Tunapuna, Omera in Arima, to name a few. The PNM understands that not every boy and girl can become doctors, lawyers, and engineers, hence the creation of these jobs to low skilled employees.
The UNC appears not to bother about the social distribution of its supporters. However, the PNM’s outlook is otherwise. For example, the decision of the PNM to convert the St Augustine Nursery to HDC housing demonstrates the readiness of the PNM to serve its supporters, with the clear aim to remain in power. The PNM knows better than the UNC how to win an election and how to hold on to it.
I live in Chaguanas East and thanks to Roodal Moonilal and Jearlean John this seat is sliding into the PNM camp. Instead of then Minister and Director of the HDC using the HDC to strengthen the UNCs support base, they sold it to the PNM.
Both politicians and the electorate must appreciate that life is a transaction or exchange and not a one-way flow of benefits. When an elected officer comes to office, he or she is rewarded with a salary and perks from the State, hence it is imperative that every politician account to the electorate. The absentee planter’s legacy is a hangover form our colonial past. that is dampening our progress.
How can we rid the psyche of our politicians of such gross attitude? I think a. good jaaray with cocoyea broom and bush bath with blue soap will help. I don’t support the use of the mop handles because that may break bones.