Nothing tells me more who won and who lost the local government election on Monday than the faces and reactions of those who represented their parties on TV that night.
All Clarence Rambharat, all he did not do was break down and cry. Tears did not come because his mouth was dry. Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly became so irrational in her arguments that she was nearly hysterical. And, Fitzgerald Hinds, as the night progressed, realised that yapping away was not in his best interest.
Just an early preview of the Trinidad map all yellow (almost) was enough cause for the UNC people to celebrate even before the results started trickling in. Thus by the time it became apparent that the map was going to stay yellow, Anita Haynes and Wade Mark were no longer under self-defence, but credit must be given to them for not gloating.
It had to be a traumatising result for the PNM because via their efforts to paint the country red with their omnipresent advertisements, they had to believe that they were going to sweep (with their Cocoyea broom) the UNC out the country.
The PNM failed to realise that via its harsh economic policies and its unimaginative governance for the past four years, it had unwittingly been campaigning for the UNC.
What the UNC won was what the PNM gifted them on a silver platter and had the UNC really gone after the dessert that was there to be had, the PNM would have suffered a landslide defeat equivalent to 1986.
For instance, had the UNC done the research, it would have realised that San Fernando was up for grabs because of the refinery shutdown, and had it fought for it like it fought for Sangre Grande and had its grand finale on Saturday at Harris Promenade, San Fernando, would have been theirs today, but they missed the boat there…and the dessert that it was.
PNM didn’t realise that all that advertising they bombarded the country with didn’t go down too well with lots of people who asked the question, where the money coming from and how many millions it costing when on the platform you are saying you had little but you did plenty? Ha! Most people steupsed sarcastically at such hypocritical posturing.
To those of you at the top, you have no idea how this country was subjected to hardship upon hardship upon hardship courtesy a lack of creative vision by the policymakers and an apparent sadistic pleasure accompanying it as per the statement by Colm Imbert: “Nobody eh riot’’.
People riot when they use their feet to take to the streets; in this case, they use their index finger as an act of rebellion in the ballot box.
In Bangladesh, in 1971, they opted to massacre Sheikh Mujibur Rahaman and his family for his harsh, insensitive style of governance.
Take heed PNM. Too little too late is a truism that has particular relevance to politics.
Who doesn’t hear must inevitably feel the wrath of the people.
L Siddhartha Orie