Letter: The art of deception

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Dear Sir:

People will know that something happened; they will just never be able to figure out, what!

To achieve this you throw “Red Herrings” You use figures such as 1,700 when in fact it’s closer to 5,000.

You repeat that figure enough times so that it sticks in people’s minds so much that during that same conversation, you indirectly tell them the true figure, but they don’t hear it because they are already sold on that 1,700.

You quote a figure such as $45,000. This figure is designed to raise eyebrows, to get the public to focus on the people allegedly earning such salaries. That way you create an aura of jealousy from which hatred spawns.

The small man on the street hearing such figures, knowing that he earns that in a year will of course sympathise with you. They’ll demand that you cut that salary. You see that same small man knows he has no opportunity to earn anywhere close to that. Rather than focus on his lack of opportunity and ability to achieve such a salary, he would rather focus on trying to take away yours.

Never present actual figures!

You do not need to refer to facts such as audited financial statements. The public by and large cannot properly interpret such figures and would be inclined to view anyone divulging them as mischief makers, as people who are using the actual facts for their own purposes. Those figures (actual facts) exchange places with your rhetoric.

In reality though, there are people earning excessive salaries while adding no real value to the barrel of oil: your two managements for example. Yes two! One is loyal to the UNC and the other loyal to the PNM.

Whichever government is in place, they cannot, as Espinet rightfully said, get rid of them. All you can do is sideline them for five years, placing them in token positions where they twiddle their thumbs until their party returns to the seat of power, all the while earning huge salaries and drawing down on the same benefit plan which the union negotiated for; the same union whom they fight. Amazing isn’t it? They still access housing subsidies, medical and dental etc. Try to tell them that those benefits were negotiated for by the workers through struggles and they will just scoff at you. Hypocrisy to the highest degree!

GRowley and Smiley leading the Petrotrin propaganda assault on the country designed to divide working people between unionised and non-unionised workers.

Rhetoric is easy to spew; meaningful debate, easy to avoid. “If she wants to debate me, let her party first win a seat in the Parliament”: words of Franklin Khan, energy minister. See how easy it is to avoid!

It’s really a sad day when we as citizens of the 21st century, the time of information and communication technology, continue to allow ourselves to be hoodwinked and distracted by such foolish statements. Is it that we are too lazy to find out the facts for ourselves? Possibly! What I can tell you is show me an honest politician and I’ll show you God’s face. Both are as difficult to see.

As it stands, every worker is going to be sent home. Yes all 5000 permanent, temporary and casual. Yet we all know that you cannot just shut down the operations. There must be some level of continuity. You see it’s not a parlour. There are many hazards, environmental and otherwise which you must mitigate against.

What are you to do then?

I think we all know the answer to that. You treat with the firing and rehiring as you would with all state enterprises and with all social wage programs. You hire based upon party cards. Ever notice how when government changes hands, so does the Cepep Contractors and their workers. It will be no different with Petrotrin. The only difference is that it will be done on a phased basis.

Thankfully for me, I have my party card. I paid for it… bought it off a guy just yesterday. The only thing is that after paying my $450 for it, I realised that the card was in fact for a party aboard a boat. A “cruise” as we like to call it.

When I realised that I had been duped by this smooth salesman, I immediately ran to my closet in search of my party jersey. It was at this point that I realised that there too, I had failed. My closet held no jersey of either red or yellow. I asked myself, where could they be and even asked my wife? That woman has a very sharp memory; God alone knows where I would be without her. Her response was instantaneous, “Check in the bucket boy, you forget that we use the red one to wash the car and the yellow one to dry it”. Man how foolish of me, I then thought, there goes my chance of ever being rehired.

I expect that a sort of “ethnic” cleansing as I see it is well on the way at a place where I have given 28 years of my life. I doubt I’ll be classified as Franklin stated as having the “right qualifications” for any new job they might “advertise” while in the background “offer” to their party faithful. What’s left for me now is to see if I’ll really pass “Go” and collect my $200.

I have already begun digging the holes too; holes in which I’ll bury my cassava sticks which the PM in the early days of his tenure told me I would have to eat. At least in that regard he was honest.

Tony Bedassie
Trinmar worker

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