By: Jack Warner
My Prime Minister, 2020 is going to be an interesting year.
Everything you do and every breath you take, citizens will be watching you.
This is a year that you can ill afford to make a wrong turn because the stacks are already against you. Your leadership has brought you into odium. The tide has turned and the momentum you needed to drive you into this new decade is lost.
You could have been in a better position. You had the opportunity to be the darling of this crazy population but you chose not to learn the lessons that life was teaching you, but instead of rewarding the people who entrusted you with their vote, you chose a different set of people and for that, your die is cast.
I offered to you support, Dr Rowley, and this was not because of any love I have for you, whether real or imagined but it was because of my love for the of Trinidad & Tobago!
The advice with which I have been providing you weekly for the past four years and more ought to have located you in a better place. But you are too pompous, too aloof! The grandiose perception that you hold of yourself is misplaced. And if the results of the Local Government Election of 2019 have not caused you to change, then nothing else will.
My Prime Minister, I sat glued to my television, something that I normally would not do especially during the local news, but I saw my friend and my former colleague Jearlean John, Deputy Political Leader of the UNC, pounding communities seeking to offer them help in areas where you have failed.
I watched Jearlean John pounding the streets, talking to the people, touching their hands and listening to their stories and I wondered how is it the UNC, the party in Opposition, can value the wisdom of my advice but you, Mr Prime Minister, even after being devastated in the recently concluded Local Government Elections have not even moved to win back the masses you lost to the UNC as difficult as it may now be.
I reflect on your tenure and I recall how Fitzgerald Hinds sprinted out of the Beetham Estate area after muddy water was thrown at him. I watched how children of African descent made a mockery of him and I mused how this would never have been possible just over two decades ago.
The tide is changing in national politics
But the tide is changing and race in national politics is merging at the boundaries of UNC politics as African people keep shifting away from the politics of the PNM; a politics which refuses to look after its own.
Oh Dr. Rowley, I had begged you to re-start holding conversations, meaningful conversations with your people in an attempt to recapture the popularity that you have lost.
I begged you not to wait until it is too late and to begin walking especially in the Sangre Grande area where your people are hurting after the transfer of power took place and the UNC is now in control of the Regional Corporation that your party once held. But while you twiddle your thumbs Jearlean John is on the ground making bold strides and forging new territories for the UNC, the party that is now on the rise once again.
Very soon she will be in Laventille providing assistance for our black children, the ones that you Keith Rowley and your sidekick, Fitzgerald Hinds, have forgotten. And if you sit back on your laurels and believe that your African people would not vote for the UNC because it is an East Indian party as you and your PNM colleagues have branded it, then you better think again.
The tide has turned and before where Indian people especially the Presbyterians would have voted PNM, it is now a case where people of East Indian descent are no longer migrating to the PNM. And why not?They understand that the UNC under Kamla takes care of its own.
Dr Rowley why should African people trust you with their vote?
The rationale my dear Prime Minister is why should African people trust you with their vote and when you get into power it is the one percent only that you reward.
Dr. Rowley looks at who is dying on our streets. Look at who is making unwanted babies throughout the country. Look at the communities that you are refusing to support Dr. Rowley and if that does not evoke the need to change the way you think about politics then you are best advised to walk away now and go and “plant peas in Tobago”.
I am concerned about you because of your disloyalty to your people, disloyalty that borders on hatred and shame. And if you, Dr. Keith Rowley, cannot find a way to woo your people back, they will cast their vote to wrest the power that you now claim and hand it to another.
You ought not to be happy to know that under your watch in the penultimate year of your stewardship that the second largest number of murders has been registered at 539.
You cannot be happy to know that under your watch citizens are now shying away from the capital city and venturing into the Opposition controlled boroughs to shop in safety since to them the UNC is doing a better job in keeping their communities safe than you are doing within the PNM territory.
Dr. Rowley check Tobago your homeland where you are viewed as “ah wee boy”. Look how Tobago has deteriorated under you. Look at what it has become under you and the blasphemy of your actions is that you lack the basic tenets of common sense which would have directed you to go sit in the Scarborough market and get your story across and talk with people and listen to their pain. But no! Every time you go to Tobago is either to party with your Johnny-come-lately rich friends or to gallery and you totally disregard the pain of your Tobago people while you sponsor and create trillionaires of a few!
Failure to communicate has given the UNC the edge
In a word, Mr Prime Minister, your failure to communicate has given the UNC the edge.
Your understanding of the political landscape is so poor that you accepted the advice to launch an air war during the last Local Government Election, not appreciating that it is on the ground that battles are won and victories are secured.
You have not migrated out of the Dr. Politics era where you believe that values such as “when you speak no damn dog bark” hold sway and rather than step out of your comfort box you remain cocooned in the Diplomatic Centre forgetting that is the House that Patrick Manning built and today it is enslaving you.
My Prime Minister, you are no longer in control of this country because when taxi and maxi-taxi drivers could choose to change the stand given to them by Government and not a single member within your Government challenges or applauds such action, then that is enough evidence to convince us that this PNM is on its way out.
But you can recapture your glory. You can choose to reconnect with your people and rather than criticize and condemn the UNC you can take the advice I give you or cuss the daylights out of me as you are wont to do and, in doing so, face your political Waterloo!
I applaud my good friend Jearlean John and her vision. She is making a mockery of you Dr. Rowley and she will continue to do so if you do not get up and get out there for the PNM.
Jearlean John is a hard worker like I believe I am also, and while you sleep at night, she will burn that midnight oil, like the political lagahoo, in pursuit of her dreams and aspirations.
Jearlean John is a woman of focus. She possesses the sheer will and if you believe that she is just a figment of your imagination that will go away you better think twice. She is worse than an aggressive cancer and believe me whatever Jearlean touches will change.
You jet around as if there is no tomorrow
This is the final time I will give you this advice and this is provoked only because seeing Jearlean out there and the energy she is generating has reminded me of 2010 and that precursor to the Kamlamania which swept our country.
Don’t take Jearlean lightly Mr Prime Minister, take the lead now, follow-through, and meet with your people because if you fail to touch them between now and election day, Jearlean John with her infectious spirit will become your nemesis and no appointment of Camille Robinson-Regis to give away the treasury can help you then. Not even you’re assuming the role of Minister of Planning and Development with its attendant patronage for your PNM supporters will be able to stem the political tidal wave that is about to overwhelm you and your party!
Imagine in more than four years you have not even met 50 percent of the constituencies and yet you jet around as if there is no tomorrow. The countdown to your political demise started a long time ago and is only you to blame because sticks break in your ears.
I know Dr Rowley and so, once again, my advice to you is just go out there and start meeting your people and stop being a lost cause.