The Poet Lord Byron wrote: “And after all, what is a lie?”Tis but The truth in masquerade” Of truth, Francis Bacon wrote: “What is truth? Said jesting Pilate, and would not wait for an answer”. Of Politicians, John Galsworthy wrote:”There’s one rule for politicians all over the world: Don’t say in power what you say in Opposition; if you do, you only have to carry out what the other fellows have found impossible”. Following the addresses by our politicians during the local government elections campaign, I wonder if the above-referenced verses were read by them or if they did were the contents understood? The bombastic utterances of some of the speakers on the political platforms are sometimes overbearing.
I recall the chorus of a calypso of long ago “teacher Percy says if you tell a lie, you will go to hell as soon as you die”. If this is true some of our politicians are on the way to Hades. Spiritual and moral values have disappeared and on this matter the words of Basdeo Panday resound; “politics has a morality of its own”. Apparently Mr. Panday has his own definition of morality perhaps he applied the words of Humpty Dumpty in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland “When I use a word said Humpty Dumpty, in a rather scornful tone, it means just what I choose it to mean, nothing more nothing less; the question is said Alice, whether you can make words mean so many different things. The question is “said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master –that’s all.” Most politicians seem to follow the advice of Humpty Dumpty. Let us hope they do not fall off the proverbial, political wall.
Many are confused, what is the truth? Who is telling the truth? Who is lying? The versions differ as each side tries to justify its actions and shift blame.The accusations are so many that if there are Police interventions the Service will be overworked and the motto to protect and serve all of us will wane. However, the Commissioner of Police and the Police Officers are too intelligent to fall into the trap of political bantering and charade.
My colleagues and I continue to follow all the political meetings at various venues even those on the pavements. The topics many wishes to hear are on the current issues and what the parties have to offer to improve the economy, on methods to curb the increase in crime, on health, education and investment. But, what we are hearing are acerbic, rancorous vitriolic and mindboggling speeches of “mudslinging, The “classic “example is that of Mrs Camille Robinson Regis. In her address at Coffee Street San Fernando she called Kamla’s name 47 times and she unashamedly verbally bashed the former Prime Minister, some members of the UNC and Mr.Pardarath in the worst possible way. Many in San Fernando and other parts of the country either switched off their television sets or changed the channel
It was shocking, disgraceful and despicable to see several so-called upstanding San Fernandians applauding and laughing with shameless and unconcealed admiration as the speakers led by Mrs Regis verbally attacked Mrs Persad –Bissessar and members of the UNC. I am not a member of the UNC or a fan of Kamla but I felt some sympathy for the lady as speakers mentioned her name, while the “first citizen “of the City laughed and clapped in agreement. (I just read that Mr. Regrello will not offer himself for another term as Mayor of the City[hoorray!!] and he intends to climb Mount Everest next year. If he does succeed, he should really stay there. This is hilarious and comical. One wonders if he could climb to the summit of El Tuchche or Serrio Aripo with a backpack. In local parlance “he must be “tutul bey.”.
Basdeo Panday has to be right when he said “politics has a morality of its own.” In politics, morality is used in varying terms of generality to suit the politician. We had the torturous experience of listening to Fitzgerald Hinds as he quoted from Christopher Wylie’s new book- Mind fck. He gave his interpretation of the word “fck” in the title. He said it means “sex” What next Fizzy? Many said “disgusting”. The question is: Who is telling the truth? Wylie or the members of the UNC? The PNM interpretation or that of the UINC? In other words who is lying?
The untruths, lies, half-truths and innuendoes will continue for the pre-local election season and well into the pre-General Election season as the nation struggles to find the truth and a leader who will lead and not mislead, to support and vote for persons of honesty and integrity and who put God and country first. The words of Oliver Cromwell are relevant today as it was in 1643 “A few honest men are better than numbers”.