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Telling It Like It Is
It is not every day that a politician, particularly a minister, would candidly and in public tell it like it is. Politicians, the kind that we produce, in more cases than is the norm, invariably say things that the people want to hear and do not exactly level with the people whenever it is deemed politically expedient. After all, elections could be around the corner, so just pacify the people with sweet nothings and let them continue in a state of ignorant bliss. T
hat is why last week I read with great interest and amusement, a very down-to-earth and realistic address given by junior minister in the Ministry of the People and Social Development, Vernella Alleyne-Toppin. She addressed a women’s forum on “Equality for Women is Progress for All,” in celebration of International Women’s Day at City Hall, Port-of-Spain, and dropped a speech she had prepared and in a woman-to-woman talk, Mrs Alleyne-Toppin let it all hang out, including her personal life, touching even her ex-husband’s alleged philandering ways.
It is to her eternal credit that the minister, who one suspects might not have given a so forcibly and emotionally moving talk had she arrived on time to deliver the written text, chose to do so. Nevertheless she had the fortitude to level with her audience and by extension, the national community, on a topic that goes to the very root of the Trinidadian psyche, whatever that is.