Now that the Opposition has brought a Vote of No Confidence in National Security Minister Stuart Young (January 27) hot on the heels of a massive loss of ground in the THA elections, cracks are beginning to show in the mighty PNM monolith.
“When you’re big, you’re large”. That’s one of the more popular sayings in the local vernacular where a puzzle becomes a big problem because of its smallest piece. This is why a giant can suddenly find himself falling from a height.
According to a “Newsday” report, the discussion on almost everyone’s lips on Monday, January 25 was the unsurprising results of THA elections where renegade Watson Duke’s Progressive Democratic Patriots shafted the PNM to bring about a level 6-6 playing field in an unprecedented breakthrough in the history of voting in Tobago.
More than that, with no provision in the THA legal framework for outside interference, the THA is on its own with this one.
In a dramatic turn of events where a once-respected pollster insisted on calling a big victory for the PNM, many have been left wondering if the shepherd-like intervention by PM Rowley could have harmed the PNM in this round.
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After all, young Tracy Davidson and her team were doing fairly well except for Farley Augustine’s curved ball Zip Line coming like a bolt from the blue but which, many thought, Tracy was handling reasonably well.
Enter the uninvited Rowley like Moses coming down from the mountain with his rod of correction to cast a dark shadow of doubt over the integrity of his young warriors who have been trying so hard to find their own identity in their battle for Tobago as opposed to the PNM’s war for the PNM in Tobago.
Which may be the key to why Charles said “Tobago has won” in the same voice with Farley who understands the crux of the statement being made by Tobagonians dancing in the streets on Monday night.
And his may be the reason why one Bethel resident was expressing the belief that Tobagonians have moved closer to the PDP.
“The island is desperate for change”, she told “Newsday”, pointing out that the PNM recent commissioning of trophy projects such as the Roxborough Hospital did little to refurbish the PNM’s political image.
“The PNM kept boasting about what they did for us. They weren’t talking about what they could do to enhance or address issues affecting our lives. What pushed them back is, as a government they are already supposed to provide the needs of the people. It wasn’t a favour to us for our votes.”
A Signal Hill resident believes PNM Tobago political leader Tracy Davidson-Celestine wasn’t given a fair chance because of challenges caused by dealing with the COVID19 pandemic.
For Kwani Thomas, PDP’s achievements in the election is the beginning of a better Tobago. He said, “I live here all my life and Tobago looks like a shantytown. Right before COVID19 hit, a cruise ship came into Tobago and a young couple visiting ask me where Scarborough was and they were disappointed that this is Scarborough. I felt so shame”.
While this long-awaited victory may be an expression of the will of the people for Tobago for autonomy and independence, the irony is that the upset has come under the watch of Tobago’s own native Ah We Boy who won the general election but could not pull off the big prize in Tobago this time around.
The Tobago Moses’ new downward trend is reflected in its loss of ground the Local Government bye-elections.
Observers have also not forgotten how the PNM lost the whole Sangre Grande Regional Corporation to the UNC in the last local government elections.
Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar’ political stocks therefore appear to be growing, much unlike our modern shepherd who is reputed to keep his sheep cool in air-conditioned stalls.
So what does the future hold? For Kamla, whose eyes could be seen twinkling with a smile hidden under her mask, January 26, 2021 will go down as a day of glory when the signal for a sharp and unexpected recovery was given, both in the local government bye-elections and the THA which she ostensibly had nothing to do with.
Her counterpart does not deserve the same kind of accolade. Just four months into his new term as country leader, the proverbial Moses is in trouble with his new flock which is divided about where they should go except in disarray.
What has caused this mayhem to invade and poison the strong fabric known as invincible and deemed to be always great and will forever prevail PNM?
Certainly not humility. For the Leader has never been known to be blessed with this favour.
But how can he be expected to keep on track if his advisers are those one percenters who have scraped millions upon millions off the back of the same black people he champions and who do not see them for any value beyond the election victory?
But the THA event may have changed all that.
Farley Davidson and his “Duke of Hazard” have shown a new kind of determination and a new vision of what is possible by winning enough seats to brace forces them with the PNM in such a manner as to force a conversation about power based on mutual respect rather than one-sided domination.
Instead of planning for a mature discussion PNM lieutenants are currently huddled in their war room with flexed muscles looking for a fight against a new dispensation which the people of Tobago obviously want come hell or high water.
So much for the fantasies. Now is the time to face the real harsh realities of Duke, Farley and others who will keep coming forward until death do us part.