THE usual vocal nature of the UNC Opposition in regards to the PNM Government’s various actions and decisions is noteworthy-for example, their current proposition for the office of President.
The Opposition’s collective voice is quickly raised and clearly heard, most notably on issues such as the current minister of national security, crime, the economy, the state of our roads, and a sundry of other concerns.
However, there is a deafening silence with respect to fireworks, and one is left to wonder at the reason for such a silence.
Then in government and now that they are in Opposition, the UNC has been remarkably consistent in their muteness on this issue.
Nothing, in my recollection, has been said by the UNC in reference to the ill effects of the indiscriminate use of fireworks over the last two decades, which include the following: thousands of animals torn apart on the highways, grave distress caused to the elderly, the infirm, autistic children, and also persons with mental-health challenges.
Additionally, homes destroyed, injuries inflicted and many assaulted in the peace and quiet of their residences by neighbours setting off fireworks at will.
Where is the usual articulate voice of Wade Mark, the angry tone of Barry Padarath, and the stinging ‘I am advised’ voice of the UNC’s political leader, Kamla Persad-Bissessar?
It appears that by their silence, they, the UNC, are very much like the party in Governmentunconcerned about the stated ravages caused to human and animal life through the indiscriminate and illegal use of fireworks, and more attuned to the vested interests of importers and users.
One can only hope that this is really not the case; but their ongoing, uncharacteristic silence is telling and perhaps indicative of a view that this is not an issue over which they are willing to raise up their usually loud voices.
If that is the case, are they really an alternative to the party in Government or, rather, just more of the same but under a different symbol?
Time will tell.
Michael Jattan Hikers Inc; a member of the Fireworks Action Coalition of T&T