The general election in Trinidad and Tobago in 2010 was won by the People's Partnership coalition, causing Kamla Persad-Bissessar of the UNC to be the country's first female prime minister. That victory came on the shoulders of 432,026 voters; 146,672 more than the PNM. So who exactly did Sat Maharaj appeal to in Debe for a second term for this government? What weakened or outright betrayed the absolute power entrusted in them? Was it an appeal, on the contrary, for the PNM?
To quote Raffique Shah in a 2013 article, “The religious among us will probably say that when you sleep with the devil, sup with the devil, some day you will have to pay the devil.” Prakash Ramadhar chimed in recently in Chaguanas that the “enemy has grown stronger under Rowley” and he is a “greater danger” than the one the PP faced in 2010.
If we were to assume, as God fearing people, that the devil is the enemy and the enemy is the PNM; then we have to be very careful of whom we befriend. Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are.
It is cunning to blame public servants for programme and project failures; considering they were planted by the PNM. Of the 432,026 persons, it is difficult to believe that none of them are public servants, and more so, none of them are directors, managers or other senior staff in the public service. Even if this was true, the quantum of ministries, cabinet portfolios, and state agencies which now exists demands a larger public service.
A strategy to broaden the spectrum of key priority areas for the PP government has therefore led to a wider engagement of these PNM plants. It would also mean that the Joint Select Committee appointed to inquire into and report on municipal corporations and service commissions is a PNM strategy since, among others, its objective is to determine the process of filling vacancies in the public service.
The change in government gave the opportunity to capitalise on a recognised strategy; elevating supporters of the PP vision in order to increase its effectiveness while securing government, to create UNC plants. Unfortunately, crabs bite. In several sectors and corners, including the plebs in the trenches, people hide in shame. They have been fired, sidelined, forgotten, or demoted to less than fertilizer. These plants cannot grow. They will remain in the shadows in 2015, only to be outshone by people who think they are more UNC than them, big sawatis, and those more entitled to the largesse of the state.
There are many instances where known PNM plants have been lured into leadership roles and contracting arrangements; the substance of much scandal. These will ultimately determine the life of the PP government. I wonder if there was a plant in Room 201, a plant in Caroni, a plant in the Beetham, a plant on state boards, a plant in all ministries starring in the most recent auditor general’s report, a plant in Tarouba, a plant in the La Basse, or a plant in the quarry. If so, how will we determine the roots?
These are some important questions to the prime minister, if her subordinates continue to engage and glorify persons generally opposed to her vision; as a strategy for success.
After considering the rules of the game and the special players chosen, it remains that, if compliance from the public service is the key determinant for government success, and, as stated, the PNM controls the public service, then some of those in government are writing on the wall.
I doubt that the prime minister was agreeing that the PNM will be more successful in office if she agreed with Sat Maharaj. Fortunately or unfortunately, my recollection of events and issues arising since 2010 may not be valid, as I am counted in the converted.
Remember, the bread never falls but on its buttered side.