Understanding the Power of the “Simple” Political Party Group

It must now be a crucial issue engaging the party in terms of  how independent the  media professional  can really be.

Ever since the early days of party politics, leaders like Dr Eric Williams, Simboonath Capildeo, Bhadase Maharaj, Karl Hudson-Phillips, Basdeo Panday and ANR Robinson  have displayed their recognition and respect of the party group as the key  leveraging unit on which the fortunes of the organization can tilt in one moment in time.

It’s within these quiet little units in the community that are being operated by  seemingly insignificant citizens in simple jobs but of great decision-making capacity, that many big politicians lost their way by forgetting who voted them  in their high position, and who can knock them off his pedestals when it’s time to dip your finger in the election ink.for or against.

One recalls how in 1986 the gigantic San Fernando West representative Errol Mahabir, being fully aware that his  People’s National Movement party was teetering on the verge of public rejection for the first time in its 30-year history, made an urgent phone call.

“I want you to fix a light in Springvale, right away!”, Errol urged the CEO of the national public utility corporation. What Mahabir then said in response to the unheard protestations by the CEO who – in his own political innocence – may have found the request trite, revealed not only how much Errol Mahabir was on de ground, but also the extent to which the party group can make or break you.

“Mr CEO”, he said sternly. “I want you to know that there are seven families living under that light on the corner. That’s about 30 votes. And before I have to start calling their names, you better fix that blasted light fast before you find yourself in the dark!” 

Fast forward to the arrogant nature of our party group in question where one big stuff member greets the humble visiting  city councillor with a pile of toxic complaints about a couple fallen trees in his backyard which, as far as he is mistakenly concerned, is the responsibility of the city council.

How do you bring these disparate forces together at a time when one PG chairman has changed residence but still tries to maintain cosmetic leadership based on the loyalty of his partners who have taken up  lodging in a place where they are now home alone without proper locus standi.?

The bigger question here may well be: What is the real situation with the other party groups?

Are they in a state of holistic health to be able to bring their forces forward when the Leader needs them? Or are they in a similar internally shaky state? a

And what about the Communicators, the writers, the activists of this great party? Will they be able to stand tall and have their party come shining through as it did after the death of its leader in 1981? Or will it go into a state of kilkitay as happened with PM George Chambers when all hands abandoned ship and gave the government to the National Alliance for Reconstruction?

As it stands, all political party leaders  should now take a serious look at the  PG Group and use it as a model of what is possible when custodians  focus on neglect and grandstanding, instead of simply doing the work they are supposed to do as PG units in the interest of their party.

Otherwise, as the old saying goes:

 The Chickens are Now Coming Home to Roost!

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