Sunday, November 24, 2002

Is the UNC falling apart? Kirk Meighoo, writing in the Sunday Express, suggests that the party, caught up in its current leadership crisis, has forgotten its rhetorical ideal of "national unity", & moreover has forgotten how to be an effective opposition:

"Today the UNC leadership debate is overly concerned with its core supporters, rather than with national issues, such as, say, the problem of violence in schools. The matter of succession seems not about ability, skill, or vision, but about loyalty and betrayal. How can the party solve national problems when they seem in such a mess themselves?

"The danger facing the UNC is that in times of trouble, it looks inward. Such a retreat could prove fatal."

The only issue Basdeo Panday seems capable of getting excited about these days is the fate of Caroni Ltd — playing openly on the emotions of the UNC's old ethnic core. Meanwhile, former stalwarts like Fuad Khan & Mervyn Assam are fidgeting & whispering in the ranks; & Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, whose Team Unity seemed crushed in last month's general elections, appears to be poising himself once again for a coup within his former party.

On the night of 7 October last, the UNC's election defeat looked like an opportunity to remake the party with fresh faces & fresh ideas to suit the changing politics of T&T. A month & a half later, the party leadership — which is to say, Basdeo Panday — is deliberately & petulantly ignoring this opportunity. If the UNC's MPs had any real political or moral authority they would demand the change they must know their party needs; but to eliminate MPs with any such authority has long been a chief political strategy of both the UNC & its predecessors & the PNM.

No comments: