Monday, March 17, 2014

Hinds is no youth; Rowley insulting youth in PNM

I keep telling myself that I should leave the People's National Movement (PNM) and their election alone but almost every day there are issues that come up that bring me back to this historic event in the country's oldest political party.

It's historic because to Keith Rowley's credit, he changed the old delegate system of electing the leader and other officials to a more democratic one involving all the members of the party in a one-member, one vote system. But that's where his wisdom ends.

I am a little wary of the decision to let all PNM members vote - financial or not. There are obvious problems with such a plan that some members might find unfair. Last month PNM stalwart Louis Lee Sing threatened to send back his party card "with a legal letter" demanding a refund of his party dues, if non-financial members are allowed to vote in the May 18 internal elections.

"They have got to get their act together. This is no Sunday school or boys’ club. This is the real thing,” Lee Sing told the Express newspaper.

(Read the story)

But that is a matter for the party and its members and it is not the issue I want to raise today. My issue today is Fitzgerald Hinds.

What I find curious about the Rowley slate is the choice of Hinds as Youth Officer. Surely Rowley can't be serious! 

I understand that he needs to reward his friend after expelling him from the Senate together with Pennelope Beckles-Robinson to show that he was not really attacking Penny.

Let's be serious. Hinds is no youth, and his selection is an insult to all the competent young people within the PNM.

The United Nations definition of youth is "a person between the age where he/she may leave compulsory education, and the age at which he/she finds his/her first employment". The UN defines ‘youth’, as those persons between the ages of 15 and 24 years, "without prejudice to other definitions by Member States". The African Youth Charter stated that “youth” means “every person between the ages of 15 and 35 years”.

I've noted those definitions as a point of reference but no one needs definitions to understand that Hinds is no youth. And you don't even have to ask for his birth certificate!

I have stated in several columns that Rowley seems to be too wedded to the past. Columnist Lester Siddharta, writing in Sunday's NEWSDAY, also makes the point even more forcefully.

This is what he wrote:

"The accusation that the PNM is trapped in a time-warp, of still existing in 1956 seems never so true as this idea of Hinds being its youth-officer candidate...It makes a mockery of common and political sense.

"The message that this act is communicating to the population is, well if Hinds is viewed as a youth by the PNM then this is, what else, but a party of dinosaurs and that Balisier House should be renamed Jurassic Cave.

"The PNM boasts of its seniority in the politics of TT, but this might explain their absentmindedness about Hinds’ true age; for this symptom of senility is reminiscent of an Alzheimer’s case who informs his doctor that he doesn’t remember his age or anything."

I rest my case.

Jai Parasram - 17 March 2014

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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