Re-Brand the PNM!
The Lyrics and The Licks
By Bukka Rennie
Posted: June 14, 2010
This piece was first written in August, 1996 in an attempt to place on an objective basis the debate within the PNM. The aim was to have the country debate the issues, the POLITICS, before the PNM leadership election in October 1996. To facilitate this, the article was e-mailed to Lennox Grant, then Express newspaper Editor, and to Sunity Maharaj, then Editor of the Independent, but neither carried the article.
By Christmas of 1996, with no resolution of the leadership crisis in the PNM in sight, the article was sent to the "Friday Mirror." On February 21st 1997, the Friday Mirror carried Part One of the article, indicating that Part Two would follow on Friday 28th, 1997. But that was not to be. The Editor of the Friday Mirror suddenly changed his mind and without any advice to the reading public he chose to discontinue. To satisfy the demand and placate the interest that arose since the publishing of Part One, the entire piece was published by me in 1997 under the title "The Lyrics and the Licks – PNM Revisited."
Now in April 2010, with even greater challenges being faced by the PNM both from within and without, the demand to re-examine the PNM in-depth has become crucially imperative and in this context the article has been up-dated and re-worked. It should be known from the onset that the purpose here is not to be an apologist for the PNM. Instead, the aim, just as it was back in 1996-1997, is to raise the level of political discourse in the country to such an extent that the overall political culture is eventually transformed. The irrational, anti-historical view that implies that the PNM belongs to an individual or some individuals must be dumped once and for all. The PNM is the historical legacy of the progressive strata of the local middle-class who created this vehicle, the PNM, in their quest for national self-determination and liberation from colonialism and neo-colonialism. When one comprehends that, one can then grasp the fact that the PNM is bigger than any of us – bigger than Williams, bigger than Manning – that the PNM is in fact OUR LEGACY, and though it, the Party of our parents and grand-parents, has been veered away from its natural moorings, its raison d'etre, to the extent that it has been found at times to be both the prosecutor and persecutor of the very children of its founders and has been estranged for the past decades from the new progressive sections of the modern middle-class. Nevertheless, the time has come for all of us to seize hold of this vehicle of our political legacy to re-fashion it and re-brand it in order to meet the new demands for people's empowerment and the challenges of the 21st century for sustainable national development.