THE EDITOR: On a daily basis the population is provided with scathing criticisms of the PNM and the Government by people who have declared themselves to be “independent political commentators.”
The time has come, indeed it has passed, for those people to stop hiding behind the petticoats of their principals and declare their hands for all and sundry.
Some of these commentators have the added benefit of newspaper columns through which they spew their biased and so-called independent commentary, and so on a weekly basis the ringing of cash registers and the ringing of their own bells are heard simultaneously.
The PNM is not against anyone criticising its actions, programmes or policies because, unlike the other political entities, we have policies and programmes. What the PNM stands resolutely against are those with declared historical political biases parading the length and breadth of this country claiming otherwise. They all lack the decency to declare their political hand before making their comments.
Indira Sagewan-Ali was the UNC MP for Caroni East during the 1995-2000 period, while Dr Winford James contested the 1997 bye-election for the Tobago East seat.
Another “independent political analyst,” Mukesh Basdeo, worked on contract for the UNC government in the Ministry of Planning, and political grasshopper Ralph Maraj, who has been given so many lives by the PNM, has been retained as an information specialist in the Opposition Leader’s Office since 2015, while purporting to be both independent and PNM. Have any of them torn up their party cards as yet?
There are also those who believe once their ideas are not accepted, either in part or in whole, that nothing good will happen, and, unfortunately, counted amongst those are several former high-ranking members of even the PNM, long past their prime, and besotted by their own deliberate arrogance. They should all follow the example of Michael Harris, an unapologetic Tapia supporter, and declare their political hand before propagating their political deception.
Had the country’s rating on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index fallen any further than it had under the previous regime, the newsprint would have been insufficient to contain their commentary.
Instead they have maintained a deafening silence on this accomplishment, as they have on the passage and promulgation of the procurement legislation, and the several legislative amendments that strengthen how the country deals with its children, culminating in the opening of two Children Courts. Little or nothing is being said about the political myopia of the Opposition in blocking several pieces of Government’s legislative attempts to quicken the footsteps of Lady Justice so that the very poor on whose behalf they profess to speak can access the courts faster and cheaper.
Nothing is being said about the Government’s plans to open up the country by completing the road infrastructure network involving the highways to Point Fortin and Toco. There is no doubt that had the Government listened to some of these independent political analysts and stripped the public service of more than half of its current workforce, or removed the fuel subsidy in one fell swoop, for example, they would have been the first ones talking about the callousness of the Government, even while they and their families boarded the planes for so-called safer territories.
We in the PNM, however, have no plans to abandon this ship called Mother Trinidad and Tobago. This is our home, and we will stay to rebuild it, piece by piece.
The PNM respects the right of these so-called independent political analysts to write and say what they wish, and we will defend their right so to do; but we call on them to at least demonstrate a modicum of decency by either declaring their political bias or publicly disavowing their allegiance to the political parties in which they once found refuge.