Every clever political commentary makes some kind of reference to Gypsy’s “Sinking Ship”. This one includes it in the very title. Has there ever been a better metaphor in recent times to describe the state of politics in T&T?
COVID-19 brought a wave of uncertainty over the country and it was a wave that the Prime Minister was able to manouvere well as he prevented an outbreak of the virus on the ship. The boat was in horrible condition; but both the Captain and his Opposition rival were told repeatedly by the First Mate Saboud Mouttet that the ship was in fact in great condition. After all, their own living quarters, separate from the rest of the crew, were spared from the degradation the rest of the ship was subjected to. Both Rowley and Kamla had their turns piloting the vessel but were unable to end the corruption that was robbing the crew of any opportunity to repair the ship. Now they are both squabbling with each other about who should be given another chance to be the pilot; a squabble that has practically definied all political allegiances on the boat.
But as Rowley was able to manouvere the initial wave, his choice to ignore the cries of his crew would come back to haunt him when threats of a mutiny began to surface. The Captain; taking the side of his First Mate, as of this moment has been able to quell the discontent with force and false diplomacy. For now a national “committee” to “hear the greviances of the people” has been established. The committee is made up of both the out of touch and the opportunistic alike.
In the midst of this all is a loud but resonable voice.
A voice suggesting that perhaps we, the crew on whose backs the ship has been able to sail, should be able to pilot its course.
It is easy for even a loud voice to get lost in the noise of day to day living. The crew who have been neglected by the senior authorities, returned to them every election cycle seemingly to repeat the process again.
But the crew is still discontented and they are beginning, yet again in history, to wake up.
Is this enough to affect how that loud, reasonable voice is received?
This series attempts to capture the people’s reception of that voice’s message as we campaign for elections 2020 in order to bring some balance to a sinking ship.
We will be following the 5 candidates along their respective roads to August 10th through Diego Martin Central, Pointe-a-Pierre, Fyzabad, Point Fortin and La Brea. How do they interact with their communities? What are the attitudes of the people towards us?
You want to know,
And so do we.