The things that presidential candidates say

For sheer lack of ingenuity Donald Ramotar’s response to questions about his new-found public profile since his nomination as the PPP/C’s presidential candidate rivals David Granger’s gaffe in response to Stella Ramsaroop’s question about older men who prey on teen-aged girls. The Brigadier’s remarks about Caribbean men having “inherited a certain cultural tradition” and “young girls dancing in a very provocative way in front of large audiences”  and “begging for trouble” was a shocking and altogether irrelevant response from a man who has been known to espouse high moral ideals. God only knows, too, what it was that persuaded Mr. Granger to pick on the Linden Town Week. Not that the Brigadier was seeking to make a case for the growing army of sexual predators including some of our rich and well-connected male citizens, but one would have thought that his knee-jerk response to the question would have been to rail against the practice before launching into his dissertation on cultural influences and their impact on sexual behaviour and the role that nubile and provocatively dressed young women play in sending what is left of the hormones of older men into orbit. In a sense Stella’s verdict on what the Brigadier had to say amounted in a harsh lesson in how not to engage the media when you are running for political office. It’s a matter, sometimes, of cutting to the chase rather than opting for the long-winded, ‘clever’ responses. You get zero from us too, Brigadier.

Then there is Donald Ramotar’s absurd defence of his sudden proclivity for ‘reaching out’ or ‘”outreach” as he calls it, and his assertion that “it’s nothing new that I’m doing now”. Come on Mr. Ramotar! Give us a break! In your entire political career you have probably not made as many public appearances and had your face in the media as many times as you have in the last few weeks. And what is this business of you having “a big interest in the activities of the government being General Secretary of the ruling party? It sounds suspiciously like Burnham-style PARTY PARAMOUNTCY reincarnated.

And even if you do have “a direct and legitimate interest in what is taking place” must that interest be so frequently reflected in always being no more than a step or two behind the President of the country, the whole country, Mr. Ramotar, not the PPP but the whole country, Mr. Ramotar with the state media always in tow.

One more thing, Mr. Ramotar! Who pays for these junkets? The out-ridden state cars, the charter flights across the country and the international flights to the United States and the Caribbean? Is it the PPP, Mr. Ramotar, footing for you campaign junkets “every nook and cranny of this country” or are these being paid for by the taxpayers? That is the real issue, Sir.

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