Keith Rowley is the… ‘DEADBEAT DAD OF THE NATION’

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STORY by RAVI BALGOBIN MAHARAJ

“The human infant of all the mammals is said to be the most helpless, therefore, from early life, a child’s first need is to bond with its parents. As such, much of the crime and violence we see today can be traced back to persons carry­ing emotional wounds, with vague feelings of unwantedness (sic) in their early life.” Dr. the Hon. Keith Rowley, in his New Year’s Message to the Nation.

I generally try to avoid com­menting on the personal affairs of those in public life, because it usually has no bearing on nation­al affairs. That being said, as the Prime Minister is now mandat­ing a shift in his administration’s policies to focus on the well-being and welfare of children, it bears mentioning that Dr. Row­ley is probably the least credible person in the current government to be making these types of dec­larations.
While we do not have all of the details, it is a known fact that of the four children Dr. Rowley has fathered during his lifetime, only two were privy to the par­entage that he is stressing here, and the irony that it was the two boys who were forced to develop without a father figure, makes it even more tragic. An argument could be made that it was the rec­ognition of his failures in this re­gard which prompted the change in attitude, especially as it was only recently that he publicly ac­knowledged their existence.
But to leave that out of the mes­sage was an opportunity tossed, both in the form of an apology to both his sons and their moth­ers, as well as an example of why such parenting is necessary. In­stead, as has become typical with such announcements, Dr. Row­ley would much rather ignore the mistakes of his past and focus on the sanctimonious drivel, and as such never comprehends the hy­pocrisy of it all.

Under Rowley, the children of the nation suffered the most

And speaking about hypoc­risy…
If there is any group of people that have been targeted by the current PNM administration as they cut and slashed through public expenditure it would be the children, who probably have suffered the most. One of the first acts of the Prime Minister once taking office was to suspend the activities at the Children’s Life Fund, a charity set up under the umbrella of his office which was meant to aid those children who could not find treatment locally.
While Dr. Rowley justified the decision by claiming it was to conduct an audit into the financ­es of the Fund, it should be noted that no foul play was ever found nor were any discrepancies ever unexplained. And while the Fund did resume its operations after this fiasco had run its course, the output has never matched that of its prior existence. And I am sure that Dr. Rowley might justify such a decision as a by­product of the slow economy and the diminished resources of the Fund, but it should also be noted that government funds were not called into question when other members of his own Cabinet also sought healthcare outside of our borders.
Or course, this is not the only attack that the PNM has lobbed against children in this country, as who can forget that after four years, the building once ear­marked as a Children’s Hospital in Couva remains unopened, save for a handful of activities such as a pharmaceutical dispensary.
The Couva Children’s Hospi­tal, which was designed to be at the cutting edge of paediatric care in the Caribbean, was not only reassigned to status as a General Hospital but was also stripped of much of the modern equipment which was then installed at other facilities across the country. As such, children are now forced to contend with the droves of adults that continue to clog up the pub­lic health institutions under the mismanagement of the current administration, but as previously mentioned, they are also restrict­ed in getting financial aid to seek their healthcare outside.

The laptop program

One of the other big cuts this PNM administration made was the laptop program which was meant to provide that less for­tunate students with access to a technology they may not have been able to afford. The PNM sought to excuse this by an­nouncing first that they would be replacing these personal comput­ers with labs that could be ac­cessed in the schools, and then with a counter-offer of providing the students with tablet devices instead.
While the exception of a few computer labs opened for the sake of public relations, neither of these programs has ever come to fruition and as such, all the PNM accomplished was to abol­ish a program that was working without implementing any real alternatives.
There are mainly two items that children seek from any gov­ernment, health, and education, and the PNM have failed in both areas. And as such it makes sense that Prime Minister proposes that it is the families of these children who should be paying more attention to them, as the PNM has no intention of doing so. As someone who tries des­perately to emulate the “Father of the Nation”, Dr. Rowley has instead demonstrated that he is instead the “Deadbeat Dad of the Nation” both in a professional capacity and his private life all the same.