THE DISPASSIONATE PRIME MINISTER

BY SHANE A. MOHAMMED

According to Davis (2016, p.26) ‘creating hope isn’t usually about char­ismatic speeches, more often it’s about simple words and deeds.’ Leaders focus on people. It is the ability to develop people to be better than they are.

Leaders mobilise and moti­vate people by earning their trust and providing them with a clear path to understanding how they must work, manage and achieve goals and objectives. One of the most critical tenets of focusing on people is to be able to clearly outline truths and provide people with language that treats them as equals.
When I read this extract from Joycelyn Davis, I quickly realised that leadership in Trinidad and To­bago is non-existent! Our Prime Minister and Government are the least bit people-focused, people-centred or people-driven! Our people are the least bit mobilised to follow this PNM Government, far less for earning their trust. In fact, our people have lost trust in this Government’s communica­tion to the nation as a whole and from Ministers relative to their policies and programmes.
Rather, I should ask, what poli­cies and programmes? Everything that this Government is doing is an inheritance from the former administration whether it be building a hospital or opening a new gas station.

There is not one single project that this government has started and completed

There is not one single project that this Government can say it has started and completed to the benefit of our people or to the con­venience of easing how the peo­ple conduct their business with the Government. Whilst former Ministers Gordon Draper, Nan Ramgoolam and Vasant Bharath were on a path to ensuring that there was a transformation of the public sector and the ease of do­ing business, this administration has set us back at least 30years.
As a people we are no longer in a position to trust this Govern­ment and to believe their utteranc­es. It is evident that in the months gone and those to come, that this administration has become one of the most desperate in history and is prepared to do anything and everything possible to try and manipulate the population’s impression of them. Too little far too late!
Leadership is also about hav­ing a Prime Minister who knows when to be compassionate, diplo­matic and aggressive. Within the past week, Trinidad and Tobago was faced with possible cata­strophic disaster by the passage of Tropical Storm Karen.
What is mind boggling is that on the morning that the Tropi­cal Storm was battering parts our sister isle of Tobago and putting a heavy beating on parts of Trini­dad, our Prime Minister felt it appropriate to leave to attend the United Nations General Assembly where he was not down to speak until very late in the week…..and to less than 50 persons at that!. Could he not have waited one or two more days to stand with his people during the passage of the storm? What was the need for the hurried departure? Would Prime Ministers Mia Mottley or Andrew Holness have done that had their countries been in the same situa­tion? The answer is NO! In fact, there is a picture of Prime Min­ister Mottley in tears during the passage of Tropical Storm Jerry over Barbados. A Leader that is not afraid to show emotion and vulnerability while leading a na­tion is a strong leader! Trinidad and Tobago is leaderless!

Why was Basdeo Panday overlooked for the highest National Award?

In the same week, we observed Republic Day, a milestone national occasion on our annual calendar. A day when National Awards are presented to nationals in various spheres for their contribution to our country. Imagine, an Ag Prime Minister congratulating his mother as she received a national award. There is nobody who disputes the contribution of Dr. Imbert (Colm’s mother) to Trinidad and Tobago.
But it is a slap in the face and a reflection of a Government that is prepared to do whatever it wants and breach integrity and protocol in something as simple but sacred as granting National Awards. Let me ask you this, why could the Government not show bi-partisanship and present the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago to both Dr Hollis Liv­erpool and the Honourable Bas­deo Panday? What was blatantly recognizable is that this year’s awardees could have been easily identified as PNM stalwarts and supporters.
It is proof that this version of the PNM is not one that is nation­alist nor is it patriotic but it is one that blatantly pushes the agenda that Trinidad and Tobago is PNM country and “who doh like it, get to hell outa here”!!!!
I will repeat again, this coun­try is in dire need of a political catharsis. I believe that Mrs Ka­mla Persad Bissessar has paid her dues in the political arena and we have elected her as Prime Minis­ter before and we are all aware of the results. Yes, it is well known that the population is expecting major changes and the removal of certain MPs and the emergence of a mixture of young and expe­rienced in the team that will be presented in 2020.
I am of the belief that this will happen but as the party moves forward like rivers shift their nat­ural course so will the UNC. I am therefore saying to the population that Mrs Kamla Persad Bissessar has shown herself to be electable in 2020 and that is where we as a nation should place our focus if we want to see result-oriented governance and political advance­ment heading into 2025.

Team UNC is the place to be

The likes of Vasant Bharath and Mickela Panday must realise by now that the UNC train is at work and they should be politically smart and do what is in the best interest of the country and find a place and a space before it’s too late.
As you can see, the Senate con­tinues to be one medium where change is witnessed and as I type this article today the party had a new addition to the Senate, Mr. Rishi Tripathi, albeit temporarily and it was a UNC Senate lineup of all persons under 40years of age. That is a significant milestone and achievement.
Team UNC is the place to be and where I believe young people including myself have a future.

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