As the newspaper headlines and electronic media air waves shout out news of TT Opposition Leader’s very unusual move to go for the jugular of the country’s revered President Pala-Mae Weekes, political pundits are placing bets on whether the woman who had the distinction to serve as this country’s first female Prime Minister is now ignominiously on the way out.
Like a loser speeding downhill on skates, “KPB”, who has defied many negative image moulds such as a victim of “battered woman syndrome” and
“Drunk at the fountain in India”, now looks like a woman losing her way in the lagoon politics where Indian men have always been in charge and must be now ruing the day they slipped in the mud and let a behti through to the top.
After some 16 years at the helm – whether as Prime Minister or Leader of the Opposition – this soft-spoken war lord who first declared her intention to bring down the PNM government when she assumed the mantle of Opposition Leader – is now working hard to commit political suicide.
That is, unless she has a hidden agenda which cannot be seen by her opponents within and without her party, and which – for security reasons – she must keep to the burning bosom.
For, if it’s only a case of “spinning top in mud” on her part, what benefit can the wily Kamla hope to gain from what seems to many like a frivolous exercise?
The answer, for those who look beyond the shadows outside the circle, is most likely in the unexpressed concerns Kamla will surely harbor about the resurrection of Mikhaila, daughter of Basdeo Panday, whom she routed as Leader of the UNC to eventually become PM of T+T.
As Mikhaila begins to take on the image of a new, a fresh and bright political animal ready to take centre stage in a cross over manner, Kamla will be thinking real hard about how her internal enemies are working to make her look bad.
Take the case of how her minion Kadeejah Amin had to face public embarrassment when she urgently tugged at the jacket sleeve of Roodal Moonilal to get up and speak in the gap caused by PNM absence in Parliament to be no avail.
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Not one big male UNC big sawatee rose to the eventful occasion to make their leader that good, and no matter what excuses advances, town is saying that it was a deliberate strategy to put egg on her face.
And it damn’ well worked!
During her weak, vacuous Budget debate response, the lady looked like a tired, and weary political warrior who has gone her course and should be put out to pasture.
There were no bells and whistles of support from her colleagues, not even from her ever loyal puppy Rodney Charles.
Neither has she been the beneficiary of support from Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley who has over the years come to discover as a person who is not to be trusted.
Here’s what Rowley said about Kamla at his most recent Media Briefing on Saturday October 16:
“She is not competent and she just reads what people write for her, otherwise she would know what she read yesterday did not make any sense”
Livid over her moves intended to embarrass his government and bring both the president and himself into unnecessary disrepute, Rowley reserved a whole segment of his briefing to lambast Kamla to the fullest with apparent full expectation that these blows could push her down the hill of oblivion.
In this connection, he pointedly recalled certain sensitive police investigations started in the early years of his government’ first term under the watch of
then National Security Minister Stuart Young that:
“The Opposition Leader is desperately afraid of any outcome of the government’s progress on white collar crime”
Rowley added: “The Opposition Leader has taken no steps to contain the criminals within her ranks”
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Change Your Mind and Stay Away from Crime by Rudolph Williams
Now, if that’s not an atomic bomb of a statement being dropped by the Head of the Security Council on an issue which most of us thought had gone away, what is?
Amid this onslaught against her leadership, Kamla has watched with fear at Mikhaila Panday who survived failure in her attempt to run for election in the last round; and is fast regrouping as a force to be reckoned with in all quarters of this society where the ethnic shifts are going beyond age and party loyalties and, most importantly, beyond reason.
As a beneficiary of a successful alliance of parties in 1986, KPB will be keenly aware how, in this environment, people like Mikhaila can go and form teams or alliances with any group that’s convenient and which finds the people’s fancy.
In pulling of this rare feat, she had achieved what the NAR (National Alliance for Reconstruction) had done in 1986 under the leadership of ANR Robinson who commanded a mere two seats in Tobago. So it could be a case of de javu wih with Mikhaila who will replace Basdeo who was shot down by Jack Warner Panday to raise Kamla to the throne, before bringing her down in the most brutal manner once again.
Now suffering from battle fatigue, Kamla looks like a woman who would prefer to go home and play with her grandchildren and her husband rather that stay and die in this thankless job.
After all, she’s “ been there, done that” – whether as the country’s first female PM, first female Opposition Leader, first Education Minister who got rid of the SEA Exams and Corporal Punishment ,and so many other landmarks worthy of note.
With apparently no more points to prove and no more stripes needed to prove her eminent status quo in political battle, it is left to be seen how easily Kamla can resist the temptation of staying in office at a time when many who have been there before, would advise her to make a dignified exit.
In that context therefore, even though reluctantly, veteran Kamla should consider generously vacating centre stage to Mikhaila who needs room to play herself and the voice to sing, like our own Calyso Rose now probably somewhere in Europe expressing herself fully at age 85:
So leave me alone!!!!!