ERROL S PILGRIM
IT IS CLEAR that the UNC leader is relying on two easily accessible human elements for support in the upcoming general election.
(1) Those who are willing to overlook the innumerable social, economic and political transgressions that she and her cohorts committed in office and are willing to bet she couldn’t do worse a second time around.
(2) Those who stand for nothing and will fall for anything: people lacking the moral principles that would normally caution them against falling for any newly concocted Kamla Persad-Bissessar promises of better days to come under the UNC.
Hear Persad-Bissessar in 2020: “We have a drug problem, we have a mental illness problem, we have an economic problem, we have a racial discrimination and trust problem between (sic) all the races, we have a crime problem and we have a parenting problem which leads to our crime problem.
“When we start fixing those, we will see crime go down. Those are the issues my government was trying to fix. Those are the issues we will continue to fix.”
The UNC leader’s new promise to fix the problems is contained in her 21 pages of “speaking notes” presented to a UNC Congress in Couva last Sunday.
But hear the same UNC leader in 2011 when, as prime minister, she announced a state of emergency to combat the crime she now identifies as a parenting problem:
“The nation will not be held to ransom by marauding groups of thugs bent on creating havoc on our society.”
Those were her words on that fateful Sunday night in August 2011 when she presided over a state of emergency that would continue until December of that year.
During that emergency, more than 7,000 people were jailed, many of them young, black men who eventually had to be released because the gang-related charges against them could not be proven.
The emergency failed to ease the galloping murder rate. And many of those who had been jailed and eventually released have been benefitting from millions of dollars in litigation against the State.
The irony is that the succeeding Rowley Government which, in opposition, was vigorously opposed to the moronic emergency declaration, has been made accountable for disbursing those taxpayer millions.
What the Persad-Bissessar government indicated by its precipitate action in 2011 is that it was more concerned with the symptoms than with the causes of crime. I recall Martin Daly noting in the Express that while Persad-Bissessar had rounded up all those young black men, the real culprits behind the escalating murders had been left untouched – the drug smugglers, the money launderers and the gun-runners.
Even curiouser, Persad-Bissessar proceeded to tear down all the anti-crime architecture that the preceding PNM government had painstakingly established and she took steps to render our maritime borders porous and unprotected.
The gullible, who are inclined to give Persad-Bissessar and her new-look posse another chance at infamy, must ask themselves where have all the guns and drugs been passing. Further, they must take careful note of the fact that Persad-Bissessar is also committed to disbanding the Revenue Authority, a major barrier to white-collar crime.
And for those of you who may wish to consign Dr Rowley and his government to the flames for the escalating criminality among the sociopaths in our midst, in the expectation that an accomplished acrobat of the truth would do better, it may be useful to remember that when they came to power in 2010, the UNC and its patchwork PP coalition were able to convince the electorate to vote for them because they had the ultimate plan for crime. Better days were coming!
One other thing. Persad-Bissessar has devoted almost the entire 21-page span of her “speaking notes” to castigating Keith Rowley for the poor job he has done with the abused economy he inherited from Persad-Bissessar. Do not expect her to acknowledge the fact that TT remains in a much better economic position than other regional neighbours like Jamaica and Barbados that have had to quietly subject their people to IMF hardship.