Keith Rowley amazingly and surprisingly condemned Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar for taking a short holiday to Brazil, describing it as one of her “carefree” excursions but was quick to follow on one of his own overseas expeditions looking for support from our estimated 300,000 plus, US diaspora and getting none.
Rowley visited New York last weekend hoping to excite people about his leadership and generate support for his general election campaign, but the trip exposed his inability both to attract sizeable crowds, or to articulate a vision for taking us to the next level.
Most embarrassingly for him and the PNM was his failure to get people to attend many of his events. The less than a dozen, over fiftyish, crowd who, for example, listened to him in a Brooklyn Church were disappointed that the present leader of Eric William’s party and a man who aspires to be a future Prime Minister was unable to advance a single idea to solve the problems he identified and which his party created through past failed policies.
At Medgar Evers College he boasted of Manning’s Vision 2020, renamed Vision 2030, even making a strong case for its aluminium smelter plant rejected by voters in the past. He also resurrected overly expensive OPVs unmindful of the fact that even the US, with the biggest and most sophisticated navy in the world, is unable to seal its borders from South American drug lords.
His health plan, as told abroad, consisted mainly of closing down the RHAs and reverting to centralization from POS. Yesterday’s PNM, under former health minister John Eckstein, created RHAs to prevent the bureaucratic nightmare of a clerk in POS making decisions like purchasing a bed sheet for a hospital in far away Tobago or Point Fortin. Today’s PNM, under Rowley, plans to revert to centralised decision making in the health sector. Craziness.
Rowley behaved in typical Rowley fashion, blaming the government for problems his party created and presenting nothing to excite our diaspora who simply staying away.
This was in stark contrast to overseas trips by Mrs. Persad-Bissessar who consistently attracts hordes of dignitaries eager to hear her message of a new style of people oriented politics in which consultation and the varied perspectives of citizens determine policy.
The embarrassment in New York also sent a strong signal that the PNM is unhappy with Rowley as their leader and adds credence to whispers from insiders about moves to oust him and coronate a more favoured Faris Al Rawi, who received more votes in that party’s internal elections. Al Rawi may have calculatingly and/or conveniently stayed at home while his leader experienced possibly the worst political embarrassment of his career.
Leadership is about purpose and vision embedded in the souls of followers. Rowley’s New York misadventure proves once more that he is unable to excite anyone. He must realise by now that citizens demand well thought out and clearly articulated policies and programmes for taking us forward which he appears unwilling, unable or incapable of providing. New York proved that characteristic PNM styled governance by ad hocism and vaps is not an option in 2015.
For further information please contact: Rodney Charles
Phone: (868) 322 1766