Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley says there are people in this country who believe that the next general election would be fought on election promises like food cards.
But he admonished members and supporters of the People’s National Movement (PNM) yesterday that this will not be so.
“I am putting you on notice that the next general election will be fought on morality in public affairs,” he said at the PNM’s 64th anniversary celebration, held at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA), Port of Spain.
“For those who believe that there are people in this country who will sacrifice their children’s future for a food card...I want to say to them tonight from a PNM platform in this 64th year, if Dr (Eric) Williams had believed in those principles this party would never have been formed,” said Rowley.
Turning his attention to the nation’s youth, some of whom he said were “big and have sense” but were “wotless”, Rowley said over the years the PNM has held its standards high because it has always differentiated between right and wrong.
“If you want to partake in a principle that says you don’t mind that the government is a thief, you don’t mind that they can cheat, you don’t mind that they can empty the treasury, as long as they give you some. I want to say to the young people that this PNM is your beacon of hope in Trinidad and Tobago,” he said.
Rowley said there were those who viewed the PNM as a political failure. But he said one thing he knew for sure was that the party would be around to celebrate its 100th birthday.
He noted that on many occasions the PNM government made decisions that were not popular with everyone, but those decisions were made “on principle”.
“While there are those who only can see the mistakes that were made and the negatives that were associated with some of our decisions, we of the PNM must always see the fundamental changes that were made by those fundamental decisions, because today we are far better off for having made those decisions,” he stated.
He went on to note that party founder Dr Eric Williams created an opportunity for all, which many today take for granted. To those people, he cautioned: “I warn you, cancer does come back.”
Turning his attention to last week’s opening of the refurbished Red House, Rowley said some were against the restoration, which cost $600 million less than the original price.
“But like Lloyd Best would say, ’them is the people to watch’.” He said next on the agenda to be restored is Queen’s Royal College, which was falling apart.
“If we have to eat green fig and suck salt we will fix it,” he said.
During his feature address, Rowley also criticised One Caribbean Media, the parent company of CCN TV6 and the Express, for its decision not to air his interview with CNC3’s Khamal Georges earlier this month.
“But today that same business house that refused to carry the Prime Minister talking to you had two pages of Jearlean John. Two pages of a person who has a lot to answer about your business that they had before. But that’s all right,” he said.
Yesterday’s Sunday Express had an interview with United National Congress (UNC) deputy political leader John.
The Sunday Express also reached out to National Security Minister Stuart Young for an interview, but he declined.