Sunday, July 28, 2013

JYOTI urges Chaguanas West to elect Khadijah

A vote for Khadijah is a vote to secure your future and your children's future
The campaign for the Chaguanas West byelection began the day in April that Jack Warner announced that he was resigning the seat and promptly announced that he would run again to get, as he put it, "validation".

At the time he was very clear that he would seek the nomination for the United National Congress (UNC) from which he had also just resigned following his sudden departure from cabinet. 

He told everyone that he remained loyal to the UNC and its leader and that his vision never changed. He added that no one could take the UNC out of him because he was "UNC to the bone".

But this diehard UNC turned green the moment the UNC announced that it preferred Khadijah Ameen as its candidate. In less that a week, Jack had a new party - the Independent Liberal Party (ILP) - and he declared that as its interim leader he would contest the seat.

It is clear that Jack anticipated the UNC decision and had put everything in place for the ILP announcement long before any decision was announced. In other words, while he was telling everyone he was UNC to the bone he was forming a party to undermine the very party that he had helped to build and take to government.

That was a betrayal because he knew that he was forming a party even before he faced the screening committee. And his pledge to support the UNC and its leader went out the door with the change from yellow to green.

All of a sudden he was hurling insults at his former leader, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, finding all manner of unpleasant things to reveal. As the campaign progressed the woman whom he dubbed the best PM and the best leader in the forseable future had become a target in his campaign to win back Chaguanas West.

His actions leave many questions unanswered.
  • How can you be supportive of a leader and then insult her by saying she is unable to lead and is under the influence of people who work with her? There is a clear contradiction. 
  • How can you say you support the government and attack members of that government at every turn without providing the evidence to support the claims of improper conduct?
  • And how could you have the same vision when you are attacking the leader and cabinet ministers every day?
  • How can you be seeking membership in the People's Partnership while fighting an election against a member of that partnership?
  • And can you genuinely expect people to believe that this is just about Chaguanas West? 
The very statement that Chaguanas West is the place from where you would effect political change is a clear statement that the intention of the ILP is to change the government.

Then there is the question about the vision and philosophy of this new party. If Jack's vision has not changed are we to assume that the ILP's vision is the same as the UNC? Then what is the point of a new party?

It leads one to believe that Jack's aim all along was to take over the UNC and replace its leader. Once it was clear that this was not going to happen he cut all ties with the party and started working against the UNC.

And how can anyone explain the racism coming from Jack's Guyanese guest, Jailal Kissoon? Like the infamous Calcutta Ship incident, the apology seemed insincere and too late.

The UNC's candidate, Khadijah Ameen, stayed away from attacking Jack and even asked Jack to join her if he truly believed in the things he said constituted his vision. Kamla too called on Jack and those who had joined the ILP to "come home and bring the family". 

The issue in this election is really about loyalty. On the one hand it is loyalty to a party whose vision of equality, justice, freedom and democracy has never changed. It is part of a progressive government focused on people and development. On the other, it is loyalty to an MP who has been a benefactor to many.

The dilemma that faces members of the UNC who put Jack in office in 2007 and 2010 is whether to stay in government and support their party or switch loyalty to a man who now appears to be contradicting all he he stood for as a UNC MP and chairman of the UNC. Jack, it seems, is no longer a builder and a believer.

But it goes beyond that. Loyalty to the former MP means opposition to the UNC and the government. It means creating a political space for a third party that would serve to divide the votes in future elections. It is an electoral formula aimed at toppling the PP government. And Jack know that because he had always stated that T&T has no room for a third party and that the UNC was the ideal party for the country.

Now he and the ILP have become agents of change that threaten the foundations of the state and the elected government.

Jack's pronouncements that he plans a vigorous campaign in certain constituencies, notably Tabaquite, sends a signal that he is using his party to settle personal vendettas. How does that solve national problems? How is that fair to people?

There is too much at stake and there are too many unanswered questions from the ILP team; the ones raised are merely the tip of the iceberg. Taking all these into consideration I would support Khadijah Ameen. 

She has experience, is young and enthusiastic, has always been loyal to the UNC and has pledged to serve the people of Chaguanas West faithfully. With a strong and unity government and partnership supporting her, the people of Chaguanas West would be well served.

I do not have a vote in Chaguanas West. But as someone who voted to put the People's Partnership in government, I stand with my leader, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, and I urge everyone in Chaguanas West to do the same and VOTE FOR KHADIJAH AMEEN on Monday.

Now is not the time to gamble with Trinidad and Tobago's political future. JYOTI fully endorses Khadijah as the only candidate who can ensure continuity in the two remaining years of the mandate of the People's Partnership.

CAUTION: The YouTube video below has offensive comment. It contains comments from JAILAL KISSSOON who spoke on a political platform of the ILP this week:


TnTmonitor said...

The man is a dynamic speaker. And entertaining too. I heard his entire speech up to the point where he was unceremoniously cut off. I also heard his speech of last Friday. Kissoon's words were on target and to the point. This is Trinidad and Tobago not the USA, Canada or Britain where people take offense over the pettiest of issues.

The words "coolie" and "nigger" are figures of every day speech here and while they can be used offensively, and sometimes are, they are also used in friendly banter and good natured picong between friends of either group and even between members of families in which both groups are represented. Only the overly sensitive and the hypocritical would take offense at Kissoon's use of the words "coolie" and "black man" that were not intended to offend but merely to warn an appreciative and supportive audience against a certain type of mentality and to put that mentality in an easily understood context.

In any event he never used the word "nigger" and since when have the words "negro" and "black man" become taboo. And even if he did in trying to provide an insight into attitudes of the past, SO WHAT? Are we such a damned silly people? Are we so damned thin-skinned that we have lost our Trini/West Indian sense of humour and the ability to appreciate references that accurately depict the negative aspects of the racial mindset that has dominated and polarized the politics of both Trinidad and Guyana? Mr. Kissoon is well positioned to speak on that issue as he was one of the few who rose above the politics of race, of divide and rule, in his native Guyana.

There was nothing extreme about his language, the only extremism was Warner's over reaction and that of other politicians anxious to jump on the racial bandwagon. The audience was lapping each word Kissoon spoke and seemed to be really enjoying and agreeing with his speech. Both Indians and Negros were seen laughing and applauding whenever he descended into the vernacular.

We need more platform speakers like Jailal Kissoon.

TnTmonitor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TnTmonitor said...

Mr. Parasram,

I have always had tremendous respect for you as a senior journalist since your TTT days and I still do, but I have to say that your view point as expressed in this post is somewhat naïve and idealistic.

In the first place it completely overlooks the nature of politics and how good politicians think.

Any politician worth his salt and the people’s respect must be prepared for the unexpected and not wait for the unexpected to hit him to then start fumbling and scrambling in response.

It would have been the height of naiveté for Jack Warner not to have anticipated his rejection by the UNC and to have been unprepared for it when it came.

The fact that he had a contingency plan in place for that rejection does not in any way negate or strike at the sincerity of his previously stated loyalty to the party.

Remember, he always made it clear that he wished validation from the people who put him there in the first place but in order to get that validation he needed party support as the party had to select him.

The fact that the party chose not to support him and to ignore the 31 party groups that supported him spoke volumes for the party’s insincerity towards him, its lack of respect for the wishes of the constituents and its own constitution.

Warner has a proven track record in the constituency and as his meetings demonstrate he enjoys tremendous popularity.

Selecting him as the UNC’s candidate was the surest way of ensuring that the seat remained with the UNC and would have obviated all the nastiness that is now emerging on the campaign trail

How could the party not have foreseen or rationalized that? How could they not have anticipated the ugly consequences?

Obviously the determination of some to get him out of the party prevailed over common sense and the well-being of the party.

But to get back to the point you seek to make about Warner’s loyalty being hypocritical and fake because he had plans in place to form a political party if he was not selected by the UNC, tell me, what you would have done were you in his place.

Would you have allowed your rejection by the party, a rejection that you felt was based on pure malice and treachery to thwart your desire to represent the people who voted for you and who want you back?

As for the hurling of insults, it was Mrs. Persad Bissessar who first descended that path when Mr. Warner began exposing certain unpleasant things about some of her ministers, the ones who were opposed to him and who he considered responsible for his dismissal from the Cabinet and his rejection by the screening committee.

Our points here in defense of Mr. Warner should not be regarded as support for him personally or for his party but merely support for a position in which anyone from any other political party could have found him/herself.

Our support and best wishes remain with Ms. Persad-Persad and her Government although we are of the view that there are some around her who do not share her vision and commitment and who are in the politics purely for personal gain.

It is our hope that she sheds that baggage in time for the 2015 general election. She deserves another term. The PNM had six consecutive terms and then two more and they still could not get it right.


Jai Parasram said...

Thank you for your comments, TnTmonitor. Throughout my career I have always welcomed constructive criticism and I welcome your thoughts and comments.

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