Posted by: nastylittletruths | March 4, 2011

That Elusive ‘Change’

There are two things that have made me start reading a lot of material on change (I need a life…). The first was a quote I duly credited Lennox Grant for:

Remembering life under the NAR and under the Panday UNC, I recognise the symptoms of a condition the French call “nostalgie de la boue”. This translates as the uncontrollable, unspoken, T&T yearning for the grungy but familiar comfort of PNM style and rule“. (Link to full story below)

http://www.trinidadexpress.com/commentaries/In_defiance_of_post-PNM_futility-113146684.html

The second was seeing Barack Obama’s core campaign theme – Change you can believe in – faltering in less than two years after taking office. (Here’s a quote from an ad during the 2008 campaign) –

Every time I speak about my hope for America, the cynics in Washington roll their eyes. You see, they don’t believe we can actually change politics and bring an end to decades of division and deadlock. They don’t believe we can limit the power of lobbyists who block our progress, or that we can trust the American people with the truth. And that’s why we face the same problems and hear the same promises every four years. My experience tells me something very different. I ask you to believe… not just in my ability to bring about real change in Washington. I’m asking you to believe in yours”.

His belief was so strong in people’s yearning for real change, he spoke about those very fundamentals in his first major speech in a country which, 18 months later, brought an end to the 29 year old rule of one man through sheer tenacity of their will:

I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn’t steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose. Those are not just American ideas, they are human rights, and that is why we will support them everywhere.” US President Barack Obama – Cairo, June 04, 2009

But for both Obama and our current PM, change has not come… In both instances hope for a better day was inordinately high, so disappointment was exceptionally fast in coming. And in both you also see the ‘yearning’ for the old ways… In the literature I am reading it states unequivocally that the people must be prepared for change and the degree to which they are prepared will be influenced by their beliefs in the following:

1. That change is necessary – I think that there was no question that in the lead up to May 24 2010 this belief was firmly held.

2. That change will be beneficial to the country – After seeing money being frittered away on building monuments and staging conferences, again I will concur.

3. That change will be personally beneficial – After taking away all the chaff, we are all looking to benefit in some way – that’s human nature.

4. That the leaders (in this case, whom we were looking to then) are committed to change – The Fyzabad Declaration was a tangible expression of this commitment.

5. And that change could be implemented – We believed at the time, we really believed, but here is where the rubber hits the road… As Obama had found out, you can’t block the power of the lobbyists and the opportunists.

All the ingredients were there at pre-election so where did the PP stumble? They implemented nothing and went into standard GORTT mode – fight the Opposition and the media; talk about transparency, but obfuscate the truth when caught; tell their supporters to look out for ‘enemies’ and bring back people who have dark clouds of suspicion over their heads…

The country was sold on the idea that change was not only appropriate, but imperative for the future. In the simplest way – that change must make sense for both country and individual. Just last night on TV6, the poll asked if people were satisfied with the representation of their MP and three times more said NO as opposed to the 25% that said YES. So discounting the Opposition MPs who can’t get anything done for their constituents because they are ‘not in government’, can we say that the bulk of the dissenters were in PP held areas?

Methinks that the people have forgotten that change was necessary and the ruling party is content to leave it so… What a sad, convoluted system we exist within… We will speak of ‘potential’ until the end of time, but nothing looks like it will ever change.

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Responses

  1. You speaketh much wisdom.


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