Sunday, October 14, 2012

Three tribes, no country. The Peter O'Connor commentary

“Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres”. So wrote Julius Caesar in his classic work “Commentarii de bello Gallico”. OK, so I am old enough to have “done” Latin at school, up to “O levels”.

This translates into “All Gaul (France) is divided into three parts”. And the “parts” he describes were occupied by three very different tribes. So I wonder what Caesar would write about Trinidad if he came here to conquer us.

We also have three tribes in this place, and two of them are bent on destroying every possibility of the country rising as a civilized and civil society as they plunder everything for themselves and their own. And the third tribe gets nothing, but strangely does not care, they just drift along, alternately complaining and feteing, depending on what the Tribe in power tosses at them.

The strongest Tribe is called the PNM, and they, like Caesar retain a Latin Motto : “Magnum est PNM et Pravaelbit” . And they deserve this motto, because for all their faults and corruption and nepotism and incompetence, they maintain their stability, and they probably will prevail. 

Their support is constant, sycophantic, and severely abused by the Tribe hierarchy. In successive administrations, the Tribe hierarchy has enriched itself and its friends, but left its base support in poverty, near destitution, and imposed ignorance. 

Still, the support remains dedicated and totally submissive to the abuse it receives, and can be summoned at the drop of a red T-shirt to march, scream and rant their support for the wealthy and generally isolated leadership.

Tribe number two is chameleon in nature. It changes its name and its colour to suit its current environment or background. From DLP to ULF to Club 88 to UNC, only its skin undergoes transformation. At its core it is as fetid as the PNM. 

When opportunity arises to put them close to power, they will morph again, and even clone with other, lesser groups, actually drawn from the Third Tribe, but once they absorb these groups they crush them into oblivion. Currently holding power, they are slowly but surely devouring the other groups with whom they had once more made alliances. 

They differ from the PNM Tribe in that they are more generous with their corruption, nepotism and favours, and these are spread much further down the ranks than the PNM will ever permit among their supporters. One can assume this is a measure of the blind compliance which the PNM gets from their support, and the UNC has not acquired as yet?

But it is the Third Tribe which worries me, and should worry you. You are probably a member of this Tribe? It has no race, but is of all the races: no religion, yet is in all religions, and no specific location, but can be found, growing like useless weeds, everywhere. And it has no name.

If there ever was a Lost Tribe, this is it. It comprises a people wandering aimlessly within their own minds, and yet confined mentally and by the coastlines of our island—this does not include Tobago, of course—they are a different Tribe, and some hope exists for them, but that is another story.

Over the years the Lost Tribe has been consistently afraid to raise their collective voices against the corruption, nepotism and incompetence of the two advantageous Tribes. Bending, accommodating, not-offending, seeking favour and permission for our own little devious deals and schemes, we have, through our banks and big businesses, funded the advantageous alternatively when they are in power, while muttering impotently at having to do this to survive.

And any time some semblance of organized objection and resistance begins to gel in a section of the Lost Tribe, the Tribe in power does not even need to suppress it. They merely throw a fete, or grant a holiday and roll out the music, and the whole Lost Tribe will drink and wine until they are too weary to continue building any resistance.

And so this place of Three Tribes, which after fifty years cannot come together as a Nation, continues to sink while the two ruling tribes suck the life blood of our economy away from us. 

They take the responsibility which the Lost Tribe gives them and become arrogant rulers and emperors, living high on our patrimony while we have no water, poor health care, collapsing infrastructure and hate and bitterness instilled into our lives as they rant at each other in Parliament, even as they pass laws to ensure that none of them will ever pay the consequences for their crimes against us. Then they dine and drink together where we cannot see them.

And why does the Lost Tribe continue to permit this to continue? Better we send for Caesar?

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai