THE EDITOR: Grasping the full scope of an expert manipulator’s influence is always an exhausting exercise. That’s why the upcoming Chaguanas West bye-election will confirm whether an area which produced intellectual giants like Rudranath Capildeo and Vidia Naipaul has become an aimless junkie.
During the six years he served as its MP, Jack Austin Warner opened his considerable personal wealth to cover every conceivable personal need of Chaguanas West’s constituents — groceries, medical expenses, schoolbooks, home repairs, you name it. Despite the many doubts regarding the sanctity of that wealth, he made sure his acts of pampering were always painted as charity in the media. The outpouring of support publicly displayed for the man is therefore understandable.
However, it indicates voters in Chaguanas West are worried their basic needs won’t be handled when he’s no longer there. Such anxiety is typical of fanatics and junkies and thus totally out of sync with the acumen of persons whose navel strings, like mine, are buried in the heart of that constituency.
Those hooked on something cannot be induced to straighten up simply by telling them what they’re taking is dangerous. Addicts cannot assess risks properly — their inability to see the big picture leads them to make choices detrimental to their interests without them having any clue of the harm they’re causing themselves and their children. To be cured, they must be put through a professionally-supervised weaning process which unavoidably forces them through the gut- wrenching but temporary condition called “withdrawal”.
No other method works.
Having elected the People’s Partnership to guide citizens away from helplessness, the only decent thing for Chaguanas West to do, come July 29, is free itself of its dependent-on-Jack shackle and allow its maturity to begin. Ms Khadijah Ameen’s history is one of organising people to strive in their own interests. Let her be the one to bring out the best of Chaguanas West.