Celebrate What, Mr. PM?

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If one were to throw a party on behalf of this country, what would the reasoning behind this celebration be? Our robust economy? The vigilant eye of our national security that keeps us protected at all times? The world class state of our healthcare, education system and public transport? The overall riches that the 1.3 million of us are benefitting from? What exactly?

While the party we’re focusing on today was not on a national scale, to say it doesn’t send a national message would be very shortsighted. Last Saturday 7 September, the ruling People’s National Movement held a grand affair at the Hyatt Regency, all in the name of the party’s 4th anniversary of being in power. Reports indicated that the “September Affair Dinner and Dance” was quite the gala one that “700 guests turned up in our national colours to celebrate our nation of Trinidad and Tobago, in the midst of Independence and Republicanism celebrations”.

So the administration in charge holds a grand celebration to mark four years of rule and to “celebrate our nation of T&T”.  But we ask again, what is there to celebrate? What message does this unwarranted splurge send to the population? We see the message loud and clear – one where those at the helm are totally disconnected from those beneath them. The average Joe continues to struggle daily, stretching his finances to make ends meet, amid the rising cost of living and rampant crime, while those in black ties and cocktail dresses sip champagne, toast and dance the night away, celebrating an achievement that cannot even be considered truly their own. They were put in power by the people who they now seemingly choose to ignore.

To add injury to insult, the Prime Minister took heart with the recent results of the Nigel Henry poll, deeming it ‘encouraging’. Apparently the leader feels we are doing very well, and always justifies the reality by pointing to the tough economic times. With an approval rating of just 50%, the PM feels heartened, reportedly stating that the citizenry understands the country’s plight and appreciates the genuine efforts of his Government. Where did he glean his conclusion from? From those invited to Saturday’s wine and dine? Just take a look at what’s happening outside of that bubble, Mr. PM. Wipe your eyes.

Of course, the groans of people like us will do nothing to stop those so inclined from having another splurge in the name of celebration. Happenings like these remind us that no one is really in solidarity with us while we continue to ketch we nennen. After all, if one feels unrealistically good about their output, then there isn’t any need to do better.

Is that something to celebrate?