Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 8th 2013 Contents A11
December 8, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
• From Page A10
It is exactly that way...dynamic. You
see we start with something small and
you grow, so we start with the ILP and
NAR. We are going to work together,
and we would have our first meeting
in a couple hours from now. From there
others are invited, and we expect that
sometime others would find the value
in taking part in it.
There are those who are very
uncharitable in their criticism of this
proposal, does that faze you at all?
No. No. I don t pay much attention
to these words, you know. We pay
attention to what is real, and my view
is that we have a broken (a calm com-
posure and soft tone) country, led by
a broken family, because the PP itself
is broken, anybody can see that. It start-
ed one way and...
Explain this broken country theo-
ry?T&T is a divided country, everybody
is hurting, everybody is divided...
More than ever before?
I cannot say it is worse than before,
but it is really bad right now; look at
what is happening on the streets, fam-
ilies turning against each other, fathers
murdering their children. We are in a
bad way, Clevon.
The bible says something about
those end time incidents, doesn t it?
What I am saying is that we are in
a bad way as a country, and a major
reason why we are in this condition is
because we are so badly divided, one
from each other. We cannot even stand
up to fight anything of importance...
we cannot stand together to fight the
criminals, we cannot agree on a unified
strategy to fight them.
We think the Minister of National
Security is by himself, but he needs
the support of the police, of the citizens,
of all kinds of groups in the country...
you must have a united approach, you
cannot fight criminality by having more
jails, by having more judges, or by hav-
ing more laws...Obviously you need
The PP to a very large extent could
be likened to a grand alliance...
Yes. It was to unite us all...wasn t
that its purpose? And what happened
in the first year? You had the MSJ going
its own merry way. Then the ILP, which
took a piece of the UNC and a piece
of the COP as well. So we are falling
apart into pieces, and somebody
has got to say let s put this thing
back together again with the ben-
efit of hindsight.
You admitted that the PP as a
grand alliance has fallen or is
falling apart, what gives you the
optimism that the same thing
wouldn t happen under your new
(Sipping from a piping hot cup
of coffee) I was born an optimist,
so if people wonder why after all
these years Carson Charles is still
pursuing unity in this divided
country, it is because I was born
an optimist. I do believe we can
be better than we were yesterday.
What in your opinion, Dr
Charles, is the most serious divid-
ing factor in the country?
(Quickly responding) People
don t spend the time working out
their differences and working out
ways of living with their differences
in advance. We are too much of a
quick fix country. Two men want
to work together, and the best way
to work together is to decide what
you are going to build.
But Dr Charles, didn t the PP
have a vision of uniting the peo-
(Another sharp response) They
did not spend sufficient time, in
my view, working out with each
other what they were going to do,
and I am not going to blame them
because it was a rush; Mr Manning
called an early general election.
The present PM, who was then
deputy leader of the UNC, had to
become the leader of the UNC, a
moment later she had to become
Leader of the Opposition and
another moment became the
So how much time was there to
work out differences, to work out
programmes together, far less to
get the opportunity to actually try
to implement any of them together
before you are in government.
Are you saying, Dr Charles,
that after almost four years they
hadn t sufficient time to get their
act together, if you are saying that
was the case?
You mean while you are in gov-
ernment? Under the pressures of
government...while you are work-
ing with the demands of govern-
ment? Oh no. The demands of
government do not allow you the
luxury of working out how you are
going to fashion arrangement to
cooperate and so on. The advan-
tage the NAR has is the fact we
went through it first. We know
Dr, what is the numerical
strength of the NAR, as I am sure
you have heard the assertion that
the party is almost dead?
We have just around 2,000
members, and we have been on a
vigorous drive to reactivate our
How do you think this grand
alliance would go down with the
PP coalition given the recent bad
political blood that flowed during
the recent election campaigns?
Well, obviously some people
would be wondering what is Car-
son Charles all about, how come
he talking to Jack Warner and the
But isn t that precisely what we
are supposed to be doing? We have
to learn to talk with the people we
have fallen out with.
Give the depth of the acrimony
that took place, do you really
believe this move would mesh
with the PP?
Yes it is a challenge, isn t it? It
is a challenge not for us, but it is
a challenge for people who have
been at war only so recently, which
became so personal at times. I
hope that they rise to the challenge.
Have you received any negative
comments from people in the
hierarchy of the PP?
Well there are people having dif-
ficulty because of the personal
acrimony that developed during
the campaign. But bear in mind,
time is not on our side. If we wait
until we cool down and meet
somewhere in a bar and drink and
talk, we will be back to square one.
And if we make last minute
arrangements for the next general
election, that will not work again.
Have you factored in the PNM
with this grand alliance?
(An ironic chuckle) The PNM is
the punishment we would get for
our failure to unite, but we will
have a grand alliance with the
PNM after we win the 2015 general
'Everybody is hurting,
everybody is divided
" The PNM is the punishment
we would get for our failure
to unite, but we will have a
grand alliance with the PNM
after we win the 2015
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