Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Under the "Big Tent"

By Marcus M. Mottley, Ph.D.

Prior to the election, the United Progressive Party made an offer to supporters, hangers on, cronies, and fence straddlers attached to the then Labor Party Government. The UPP promised to provide a “Big Tent” under which all and sundry could seek shelter.

Since winning the election, they have certainly fulfilled their promise. Everyone in our twin island state can testify that they have kept their promise. No one can question that. Not even the opposition ALP. Particularly not the ALP... since they are, according to all accounts, making political hay while the "sun shines"!

And to the great dismay and ire of many life long stalwarts and supporters of UPP … their leadership has stuck to their campaign promise. Many say that such a commitment will prove to be at least detrimental... and most likely suicidal. Other ‘observers’ indicate that while UPP mainstream supporters are deeply upset over this, ALP supporters and officials are apparently quite happy with the “Tent” arrangement.

What’s happening here?

Well, it seems quite obvious that because the UPP Administration opened its naïve arms to embrace supporters and members of the ALP, it left itself wide open and vulnerable to all kinds of covert and clandestine undermining of its ability to govern. Because of its “Tent” policy, it continues to suffer all kinds of sabotage (overt and covert) at the hands of the supposedly ‘converts’ under the “Tent”.

Of course, it is understood that the UPP’s leadership wanted to demonstrate that it made a campaign promise… and was committed to fulfilling it. But many of their dyed-in-blue supporters are asking… how far are they willing to go to? Will they continue along this road… even to the precipice of self-destruction – at the hands of the surreptitious activities of the so-called “converts to the Tent”?

Our Government in the Sunshine might find the following commentary insightful. It is a single sentence from a passage written by Yagyu Munenori, master Japanese Swordsman, teacher of the Shogun, and an elder contemporary of the legendary swordsman Musashi (author of the Book of Five Rings). Munenori wrote that, “The consideration given to the selection of officials and the security of the nation is also an art of war.” (The Book on Family Traditions in the Art of War.)

An art of war! Are we at war?

Yes… we are at war. At war against corruption. At war against criminal activities in high office. At war against the theft of the people’s resources including our lands. At war against unethical behaviors by elected officials and their cronies… many of whom are living happily smirking under the “Tent”.

Yes… we are at war. At war against the international ‘shame and pain’ caused by the last administration (from the UPP Manifesto). We are at war against ‘an economy in shambles’ (from the UPP Manifesto). We are at war against the ‘private land bankers’ who currently hoard our lands (from the UPP Manifesto). We are at war against the “Pirate of the Caribbean” (I guess that is from my Manifesto)! We are at war against the ‘vast tracts of land that have been sold off in dubious deals, government ministers and family and friends of the ALP elite (from the UPP Manifesto) many of whom are now protected under the Big Tent of the UPP!

We are at war! No one can question that. And no one can question that we are at war against issues, situations, and circumstances that were created by people who are not only protected under the Big UPP Tent, but created by people who are also now part of the small, inner sanctum of the UPP itself… even at some of the highest levels of decision making.

How naïve is it for anyone to think that these scheming and conniving “Tent” usurpers, who had been living parasitically off our people, would change after twenty-eight years of being addicted to 'million dollar' profiteering and free-wheeling, corruptive scamming of the people’s resources? Who in their right minds would think that these conspirators would change their red stripes or switch their allegiances to the 'vultures' who they propped up for over a quarter of a century? Who made the decision to continue to keep the mongoose as guards outside the fowl house? And in many cases, some were even elevated to higher positions (Inside the fowl house!)!

Common sense should tell us that whatever they used to do… they are still doing… and probably more of it. Which ever masters they used to serve… they are still serving! But… they are also now covered and protected under the UPP Big Tent!

Again, Yagyu Munenori’s comment is insightful. “The consideration given to the selection of officials and the security of the nation is also an art of war.”

So in that context, the UPP leadership needs to reconsider its selection of officials many of whom are still ‘dyed in red’ ALP supporters boldly (not even covertly) strutting about under the UPP’s Big Tent.

And, the UPP leadership needs to reconsider its selection of officials, who are ‘supposedly’ former ‘dyed in red’ members of the ALP structure (some quite high), and ‘former’ ALP financial supporters, who are now anointed (elected and appointed) princes of the UPP.

Again according to Yagyu Munenori, what is at stake in this war is nothing less than “the security of the nation.”

If not the nation… then at least, the security of the Government in the Sunshine is at stake.