Dr. Kwame Nantambu

People's electoral V-Day in TnT
Posted: February 09, 2002
An analysis by
Dr. Kwame Nantambu

Now that the use of the UNC's name and symbol has finally been settled by the Court of Appeal, it clears the way to engage in an unbias analysis of the general elections on 10 December 2001.

Indeed, this is the first election in this new millennium and as such, this writer suggests that there is a vital need for a new brand of politicians in TnT to parallel this new and challenging time.

The time is now for pro-active and not re-active politics in TnT. Public policy decision- making process should be ex ante and not ex post.

As social commentator, "Duke" has observed in song: " we goin' backwards progressively." This is because of a corrupt backward - thinking government since 1995.

Something must be done on 10 December 2001 to re-introduce a progressively, forward - thinking government whose spinal cord is fully surrounded by the marrow of morality, decency, honesty, accountability, equality, true democracy and responsible governance in political life.

Politics has been defined as "the art of compromise," but the UNC government has re-defined it as the art of corruption; an art Panday and his pirates have perfected to its zenith.

The UNC government has clouded the wind-shield of the PEOPLE'S car with too much public corruption, family - collusive economic- financial impropriety, among other things, that on 10 December 2001, the national decision must be made by all Trini political car drivers to turn on their wind shield wipers on that day and wipe off the Panday controlled -UNC or National Unity party to the ground ---- that's where they belong.

" I still do pray" that this is what Trinis will do on Election Day. Enough is enough. Trinis "cyar take no more" from the UNC or any other sneaky, corrupt political entity headed by Basdeo Panday. All of " de wares in de UNC cabinet" must be cleaned, wiped off, packed in sealed, air tight boxes and then put in storage for the next ninety- nine years, to say the least.

These "wares" have stolen too much food from the PEOPLE'S plate. The victims, the PEOPLE, must speak out loud and clear on Election Day: we want our food back.

10 December 2001, represents V-Day, that is, Victory for the People who would have finally gotten rid of UNC'S public corruptive horners, vagrants, crooks, thieves, vagabonds and career imposters.

V-Day will prove that the word "leader" could never rhyme with Panday___ " I still do pray". It does rhyme perfectly with "dictator" all the way, everyday, night and day ___ always, twenty four -seven, 365 days.

The fact of the matter is that "power concedes to nothing but a demand"; V-Day will prove that an end must be put not only to the UNC'S chemical addiction to corruption but also to their Governing Under the Influence of Corruption (GUIC) under Prime Minister Basdeo Panday.

Enough is enough. V-Day is the end of the line. V-Day represents the total destruction of TnT's Public Corruption Index (PCI) under the UNC regime.

Enough is enough. The UNC corruptive buck stops here on V-Day. V-Day represents a permanent end and closure to the hemorrhaging of TnT's socio-economic - cultural values and way of life under current political leaders, thinkers and policy planners.

V-Day represents a permanent end to public corruption that has been sweeping TnT like the Bubonic plague since 1995 under the UNC regime.

V-Day represents an end to the obvious maginalisation of "the least of these" in society.

V-Day represents an end to revolving -door politics, political recisivism and "Dead-beat" public figures masquerading under the sobriquet of ministers and political appointees to steal money from the PEOPLE.

Since 1995, TnT has not only experienced the reality of "Somebody Missin in Society", but also Some Money Missin in Government.

Enough is Enough. After V-Day, those public officials/ figures who viciously and callously stole hundreds of millions of dollars from the PEOPLE must be brought to justice and be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The PEOPLE will speak and govern TnT after V-Day. Governance must move from personal - familial- private hands to public - people hands - nothing more, nothing else in this new millennium.

V-Day will expose to Trinis what resigned UNC Senator Stanley Ryan stated on 27 October 2001 that the UNC:
"is not a party of National Unity.. It never was.. (it is ) just a farce, a word used to get the support of the people of African descent, to keep the United National Congress in office".

The fact of the matter is that Panday may change his name from UNC to National Party and his symbol from the rising sun to the black hummingbird, but the bottom line is that he cannot change his skin that smells/smacks of the odour of one man dictatorship, monocracy, public deceit, corruption and Divide and Rule (Conquer).

Panday must realise that Trinis know his name and his game - corruption. If you live by the sword, then you will die by the sword. The UNC will die by the sword of corruption on V-Day.

Trinis will see straight through his hypocrisy, fašade and game-plan on 10 December 2001. This writer has full confidence in Trinis to do just that. On V-Day, Trinis must assure that Panday's UNC rising sun symbal never rises but remains and be converted/ regulated into a mute, setting sun, ad infinitum.

Enough is enough. Public corruption in; UNC-National Unity Panday out. The real issue in TnT is "the evil of corruption" and not "the issue of tabanca" as publicly stated by a UNC minister. This remark is just a slick attempt to detour, confuse and con the electorate. It will not work on 10 December 2001.

Indeed, the UNC candidate for Diego Martin West, Dr. Daphne Phillips (of the Defeated Seven fame) must realise that corruption in TnT, is not "ole talk"; it is the stark reality in UNC governance since 1995 and it continues unabated, unadulterated, unrecognised and unchecked.

Schools are the targets of "armed robbery" and unsafetyness, including poor ventilation; murder, rape, drug addiction, and crime statistics are sky high; Port-of-Spain is always turned into a massive, uncontrollable, flooded sea of water after heavy rains; domestic violence against women is rampant; and the medical profession has hit rock bottom and beyond, while UNC appointees in Statutory Boards line their pockets with millions of dollars as part of their wicked, flagrant, remorseless "misbehavior in public office."

There is a severe crisis of moral paralysis in TnT's political life. Maybe Eric E. Williams was correct when he observed in his edited book titled Eric E. Williams Speaks: Essays on Colonialism and Independence (1993)that:
"We must devise a system which gives a central place to the idea of the sovereignty of the people. The people must participate actively in decision-making in political and economic matters; they must shape their own culture, welding all the separate strands. into our society into one new composite national culture. From being the passive objects of history, (Trinis) must become the active agents. They must shape their own future and their own destiny."(p. 281).

The UNC government has " neglected the poor and impoverished in the society". In other words, the "Haves" in TnT have experienced and lived first world economic status everyday while the "Have- nots" have experienced and lived third, fourth, and maybe fifth world economic status everyday.

The majority "Have - nots" have not enjoyed the economic pie and that's precisely why the public corrupt, hornin and thieving UNC government must be sent packing on V-Day.

And that's why Ramesh Lawrence Maharay of Team Unity is perfectly correctly when he concludes that the Panday- UNC ministers are "totally corrupt," to the bone. And his conclusion is corrobrated by a recent "Sara Poll" which found that 49% of the Trinis questioned was of the opinion that Panday "was guilty of the accusations about his involvement in corruption".

Enough is enough. The PEOPLE would put this opinion into political effect on V-Day. Panday and corruption are two sides of the same UNC political fake coin that must be deminted.

From a historical perspective, the aspects of corruption and malfessance in the UNC government were already exposed by social commentator and now UNC Junior Minister, Winston "Gypsy" Peters in his 1999 political rendition titled "Soul of the Nation".

In this true, provocative and impressive commentary, critique and analysis of governance in TnT "Gypsy" observes, in part:

" Somebody thiefing de soul of meh nation
Somebody gone with dah love dat we had
Somebody thiefing de soul of meh nation
Somebody drivin my country mad
And we, yes, yuh and me
We have to stop dis conspiracy
Ah tellin, is we, yuh and me
We have to stop dis conspiracy
Somebody stealing de soul of de nation
Oh God, Oh man.
Dey gone, dey gone, dey gone"

"Gypsy" also lamented on the reality that:
"How could some place so good turn out so bad
Where is the love in dis land that we once had.
We morals and we money gone
And nobody know where it went"

"Gypsy" also exposed the stark reality of "much, too much political corruption" in the government of 1999.

On V-Day, 10 December 2001, Trinis are going to take "Gypsy's" advice and rid this place of "political corruption" and get the PEOPLE'S money back.

Thanks "Gypsy"; Trinis needed your insightful critique. In the final analysis, the major challenge to governance in TnT in regard to V-Day is for the PEOPLE to pool their resources together to assure that their demand for the reintroduction of the rule of law, democracy and morality in politics must be part and parcel of the political life in TnT.

At the end of Election Day on 10 December 2001, "I still do pray" that Trinis will send Panday and his corrupt colleagues into oblivion far, far, far away. The UNC government under Panday's Prime Ministership has brought "shame and disgrace" to TnT's political face.

On V- Day, Trinis will make sure that the political crown of the new governance can fit on their head. Indeed, sometime ago, Trinis used to laugh and say that Chambers was "too duncy". Today, however, Trinis are dead serious when they shout loud and clear that Panday and his cronies are too thievery.

V-Day exposes the obvious reality that the Panday UNC government is anathema to morality, public decency and trust in politics and governance in TnT. It is about time to eradicate all cliques of Financial bobball from TnT's political life and to block any power- seeking bad- John from public office.

The decision by Panday to setup a Kangaroo Commission of Enquiry into alleged corruption in 13 state projects is nothing but a last- minute ploy to retain power, by any and all means necessary.

The Trini electorate is too mature to fall for this mamaguay. The PEOPLE will make sure that it DOES NOT work. It is far beyond time to rid TnT of State -appointed financial terrorism launched against the PEOPLE.

V-Day, December 2001, will assure that the UNC sun NEVER rises on TnT's political horizon. On V-Day, Trinis will cease being treated as guinea pigs and expendable fodder for ruthless public hornin by UNC government appointed burglars.

On V-Day, TnT needs a government of the people, by the people and for the people because since 1995, TnT has had a UNC government thieving money of the people, from the people and giving it to their people.

On V-Day, the loud, thunderous and united chant by Trinis will be:

"Down with the UNC and monocracy
Up with true democracy
We tired with political trouble
Bring back Power to the People
Dump the 'Sinking Ship'
Later for One-Man-Dictatorship
Trinis must protect law and order in TnT
'Cause Panday never care 'bout national unity
Is one ting Panday must understand
Trinis hate public hornin and corruption
On V-Day, Pnday and dem go take ah long, lonely walk
'Cause corruption in TnT ent no 'ole talk'
And Trini voters not amuse
'Cause corruption is no 'political ruse'"

On 10 December 2001, Trinis will be finally successful in their Armageddon between UNC public corruption/cronyism and morality in politics and governance.

V-Day will stop the public bleeding from the long, deep corruption gash the UNC government has inflicted on the PEOPLE. Trinis must assure that on V-Day, the UNC - National Unity Party gets a very clear, visible minority of elected seats.

Prime Minister Basdeo Panday's public assertion that "corruption is not an issue" on V-Day is classic UNC denial. And now that Ramesh Maharaj's faction "has expelled itself from the UNC by filing nomination forms" using their own name and symbol, TnT has three legitimate political parties contesting the general election on 10 December 2001, namely:

Opposition PNM
Principled Team Unity-NAR
CORRUPT UNC-National Unity

What Prime Minister Panday fails to understand is that Trinis prefer to have two honest, decent, trustworthy and principled "dead men" as leaders of governance in TnT rather than one corrupt, conniving and dishonest "living man" at the helm.

The UNC brand of government has reduced TnT to the status of being unsafe and unfit for moral habitation. Panday must realise that Trinis may be crazy but they are not bazodee. They know that what he gives them to rub, they must not drink.

Trinis are just sick and tired of being sick and tired of Panday's politricks. The sky is not the limit; the PEOPLE are. Trinis: Do Not Make The Same Mistake Thrice; Do Not Three-Peat!

Shem Hotep ("I go in peace").

Dr. Nantambu is an Associate Professor, Dept. of Pan-African Studies, Kent State University, U.S.A.

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