Sunday, February 9, 2014

Political zombie-ism - the Peter O'Connor commentary

--> Zombie-ism is a state where persons are allegedly brought back from the dead by witch doctors or obeah men. But the “death” had also to be induced by the practitioner. Zombies are allegedly not conscious of their behaviour and act upon the will of the practitioner.

But the condition seems to have a political attraction for us these days, as we are seeing more and more “politically dead” bodies being rolled out, dressed and propped up, all in support of the flagging and flailing politics of the day. The country is adrift in a leaderless vacuum, as the last vestiges of credibility, and therefore trust, fall away from the political parties, even as their respective cabals try to cover their sins and their nakedness with the torn and worn remnants of the zombies’ funeral shrouds.

The times call for the rise of strong men or women, people with courage and character, who, willing and capable of leading this lost nation, to step up and carry us forward. But instead of preparing ourselves and our institutions for someone who might be the example we need so desperately, we close the doors to change and deliverance, and reach back, to the graveyards and mortuaries to resurrect the political careers of the already failed.

What is it that we fear so desperately about the future? About the possibility of opening the doors for new leaders to emerge and rise from within our ranks? And I believe that we have these people right here among us. But I also believe that most of these people are not yet aware of the potential they carry. 

They are born and raised in a “free” yet repressed society, where the repression has been subtly applied for generations—indoctrinating us to believe that we have no true worth, that vision belongs to foreigners and that all status quos must be maintained because “it was always so”. Our cycles of dependency and fete, our commitment to do as little as possible each working day, our littering, noise and general disregard for all basic tenets of law and order, have made us easy material for manipulation by politicians and political parties whose reason for “leading” is taking—taking their turn at the trough of oil and gas.

But as the population, growing more aware with the advent of the internet and social media, begins to challenge every shaky statement of politicians, our leaders are finally beginning to feel the ground trembling beneath their feet. But even as they become aware that the people are justifiably angry and restless, our politicians simply do not have the vision or the courage to look forward, down a road of promise and fulfillment of the benefits and glory that this country, with our honest commitment, can provide its citizens.

Instead of leaving doorways open for young people to rise and begin to take over, all commitment is stifled, the outspoken are silenced, those with initiative are told to be patient, and the “Leadership” must never be challenged. Only those who wish to join the system, and become wealthy by conforming and facilitating, will enjoy “success”. And “success” is the accumulation of great wealth even as the country and its institutions continue to collapse around us.

So if they won’t dance with the young and vibrant, who might the failing politicians embrace in some hope of climbing out of electoral rejection? Well, they practice zombie-ism and bring back the dead.

The PNM, about to practice true democracy for the first time in its fifty eight years, is practically propping Patrick Manning in his seat in parliament to make it appear that he has some influence in the Party. 

Fellow cadavers Basdeo Panday and Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj are sought by the media and hold themselves dangling above the UNC and the ILP, while elements in both groups harbour fantasies that these two have something to offer the nation. 

The ILP retains (hires?) former PNM Minister Conrad Enill to sit at a meeting, and presumably to advise on what caused the oil spill. Jack should be looking for bright young operatives at Petrotrin to assist him, not old tried and failed relics from one of the worst administrations in our nation’s history. The zombie-practicing arm of the UNC, and certainly the fawning media need to jointly host a wake for Ramesh and Bas, and clear the way for future leaders to replace Kamla.

Cast off your fears, T&T. We have to stop dancing with the failed and dead, and look beyond the ailing, the stubborn and the selfish to whom we seem so committed. Only when we believe that we can climb above what we currently have will we rise again. Let us get on with our futures, and let the dead take care of the dead.

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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