Ricardo Phillip, former newspaper executive, hopes for a break in the political arena. Phillip is the political leader of newly-founded party–Class Action Reform Movement (CARM). It will be officially launched at Woodford Square, Port-of-Spain, tomorrow at 1 pm. In a telephone interview last week, Phillips said CARM could be the sunshine out of dark political clouds. Can Carm make a difference? "Certainly... absolutely. I am launching the party now. I am attempting to build credibility because people do not know my principles. "I want to take my time and build because I doubt the Prime Minister (Patrick Manning) will be calling elections now. I will be campaigning and crusading in the meantime," he said. Phillip said he would be ready in time for the next general election.
"I want people to make the choice that we are good for them," he said. He said T&T has been experiencing a leadership crisis and the people have developed a cynical distrust for both the Government and Opposition. Phillip said the current political climate had nothing new, except for unholy alliances, a false dichotomy of ethnic politics and the argument of replacement politics. He added: "This untenable atmosphere creates the perfect void for extreme religious and neo-populist ideas." Phillip said the PNM had allowed the citizens to operate in a state of lawlessness for too long, "allowing us to degenerate into a belligerent and pugnacious society. This period of the PNM administration and the UNC opposition is marked by a dark omen permeating our society," he said.
Phillip said ethnic politics was destroying T&T. "There are two main ethic groups in T&T. This has provided an ethnic divide and our Constitution does not provide for ethnic separation. "It belongs to all citizens of this country. Class provides constitution protection and guarantees for its citizens," he said. Referring to the number of members in his party, Phillip said: "I have refused to partake in a membership drive. I wanted to launch the party and then attract members." He said prior to launching candidates could have ulterior motives in joining the party. "I want a fair process of membership. You have to select people and it is difficult to determine their philosophy," Phillip said. He said the membership drive would be held after the launching.
Phillip said the door also was open to former members of other parties. He said: "It is open to everybody. I am not into buying into petty politics. Politics is about bringing choices to all people to solve all the problems."
He said the country's woes and crimes cannot be solved by the
Government. "You cannot solve crime. The people can solve that, not the Government. They are part of the process to solve the problems," Phillip said.