Duke’s swimming pools for the poor


What sort of individual do you see as worthy of being a leader? In this instance I mean a political leader of any country. I am not referring to inherited royalty or to any country controlled by the military. And even then only the best qualified soldiers are chosen as leaders. Charisma and local popularity can be extremely attractive but will this ever be enough?

Whether rich or poor, in TT we expect, dream, hope that our children attain the best in educational qualifications. We have never had a political leader who has not attained high qualifications in a chosen field of study.

Yes, paper qualifications come first in TT. This translates as political snob appeal across religious, ethnic and social parameters. In a small country where the descendants of slaves and indentured workers struggle for control of governance, qualifications matter across the board.

But what is leadership in the local social context? Any leader, male or female, must look the part, speak the part and act the part. Charisma and popularity mean nothing if the individual is unable to grasp what pertains to being realistic.

Case in point is Watson Solomon Duke, founder and leader of the Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP), saying that through his political machinations he will successfully do away with poverty. Residents of poor areas in TT will have their own homes, with swimming pools. Each family will have a swimming pool? And in the mountainous region known as Laventille which overlooks Port-of-Spain?

Should I be among those hoping to attain governance of TT through a coalition with the PDP, I would be very worried.

The promise of the eradication of poverty is a constantly moving target in both First and Third Worlds.

That obscenely silly promise of swimming pools for the poor, as we say, will absolutely hold no water.


Diego Martin