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Social Justice with MSJ
For about two years I have openly expressed my opposition to the labour-centric political party, the Movement for Social Justice, joining forces with the likes of the United National Congress in a political union. Unfortunately my warnings and predictions that have now come to pass went unheeded by my trade union leadership which also made up the MSJ leadership. Imagine, only a few months have passed since MSJ leaders David Abdulah and Errol Mc Leod gave glowing speeches to the performance of the People’s Partnership during the debate on the no- confidence motion filed by the Keith Rowley-led People’s National Movement. One must wonder what has changed for Abdulah to make such a radical turn against his “comrades.” Some political cynics would view the move by the MSJ to withdraw itself from the PP as moot, because it has no seats in Parliament.
Those who think that do not grasp what politics is or its landscapes. The MSJ is not a political party with the traditional support base of ethnicity as other political parties in our political playing field. Why the MSJ has garnered great attention without any parliamentary representation is due to its support base of labour. It is why I objected to this evident labour party joining a coalition with UNC involvement. With labour as the support for this political party there has to be concern by those in government about what it may mean for their political future. They must take into account that the MSJ leaders, members and supporters come mainly from the banking sector, the marine and shipping sectors, the transportation sector, the energy sector and sundry other sectors that are important for economic growth. Therefore, the Government cannot play the high and mighty role that it has adopted toward labour and its issues.
We who naively told ourselves that we voted for change on May 24, 2010, when we actually voted to remove the Patrick Manning-led PNM from office, did no different from the MSJ joining the PP. If a date for a general election is given in the morning, the UNC will attempt to demonise the MSJ for weakening the PP, thus increasing the chances for a PNM comeback. Even if that is so, there must be something said about stating your principles and following through on them. I verily believe that this labour party can carry T&T progressively and with prosperity into the future if given the chance. After all, didn’t we believe in change just a few years ago? How different is it now than it was before the last general election? It is time we move away from ethnic politics as our nation is not an ethnic entity, but one whose interest must be an economic one where people, regardless of race and political affiliation, are at the centre of economic and political transformation.
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