10 Mar 2009

Our own slumdogs

I had a bit of unsettling news yesterday. A few days ago, I commented that the government was planning to devalue the dollar, in hopes that it would help alleviate the drain on the treasury. I also mentioned that programs such as GATE will face the axe.

Yesterday, a friend told me that the Ministry of Education is planning to stop the school feeding program. This remains to be seen, but my view is: will the people stand for this? How do you justify stopping a program such as this, and continue spending on a $1 Billion stadium the country does not need, a £700 Million summit (including 200 imported BMWs that will no doubt find themselves in the hands of friends and family close to government ministers and other key personnel), and massive big buildings that are in no way contributing towards income but only assuage the failing manhood of an aging autocrat?

I wonder at the mentality of PNM supporters. The strongest support comes from the Laventille area, a place that the citizens are left to fend for themselves in the country’s biggest and most notorious kill zone. It has all but been abandoned, and remains both an eyesore and a pain in the sides of every PNM government since Eric Williams’ days.

Not only Laventille has been abandoned. The Beetham Gardens are so shameful to Papa-tricks that a huge wall is being built to block world leaders from seeing the ghetto slums that were created by PNM supporters who are rewarded for voting PNM by scrabbling to survive, stealing not only goods from passing vehicles but even the electricity they use.

Yes, we have our own Slumdogs, and some in the CEPEP program, especially with the blessings of the government, are even millionaires. The majority however, have no such aspirations or opportunities, but keep hoping in vain that the next vote will change their lives. And so they keep going to the polls and voting PNM time and time again. Like stubborn donkeys they continue to support the only party with a record of shafting them up the nether hole.

I can only shake my head in wonder at how much a Trinidadian population is willing to bend over and take, as long as there is another fete around de corner.

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