The Jawala Rambarran / Colm Imbert debacle is not new. It is alleged that the goodly Minister prevented the employment of former Central Bank Governor at the G-24 Secretariat. I am aware of several careers which have been halted by the political attitude that if you dare object to what I am doing or support the opposition you will “eat grass”. Both the PNM and UNC (and/or its derivatives) are guilty of destroying careers and lives simply because they perceived that their opponents held a different view or objected to action. Our society will not progress under the leadership of persons who are so vindictive and short-sighted. It is beyond my comprehension that a Minister can allocate some of his time to preventing a person from being employed or being awarded a contract.
In this winner-take-all political system, people are justifiably afraid of being victimized. I have seen how the winner-take-all political system extends way beyond the seats in Parliament. Indeed it impacts the day to day running of the country. It translates into policy decisions about where a highway or houses should be built or if a project should be halted or if approval should be granted for a development being sponsored by a political financier. Unfortunately we have bastardized our political system to the extent that this winner-take-all attitude is setting us up for conflict.
In an ideal world, it should not matter who is in control, all action should be in the best interest of the citizenry and there should be such a planned approach to development that “John Beharry Public” is the winner. The ideal world should prescribe that the state boards be appointed on the basis of competence and therefore are not affected by a change of political parties. In the ideal world, politics will be de-linked from infrastructural development and plans would not be derailed simply because the new Minister does not agree, or that he does not like the incumbent, or has a friend who is expected to be the beneficiary of a particular contract. The development of the country should be a planned, sustained effort aimed at providing the best quality both in terms of outcomes and procedures.
Both political parties mouth some version of having a meritocracy and focussing on the citizens but their talk is not substantiated by their actions. We continue to hear wild promises but see focussed action directed towards benefitting their inner circle of friends and financiers. They do not even have the courage to call out wrong doings.
Our country is at a significant crossroad where we need a breath of fresh air and a new kind of change. What is needed is a cadre leaders who are mature and have the tenacity to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do. The challenge we face is that we know that the political system is broken and the leadership of both parties is without vision or empathy so we are back to “who we go put”.
This is a time for patriots to stand up to tyranny and wrongdoing. We cannot continue to pay lip service to the phrases about taking back our country. We have to stand up to every wrong that is presented.