Walkabouts, motorcades, talk shop meetings. But you really know it’s three weeks before elections when the language changes, secret weapons emerge and you notice that:
° Only an independent candidate like Errol Fabien (St Joseph) can say that political parties are like gangs. Voters know all too well the “ground” troops, big ”gun” speakers, heavy attacks and funding by unknown faces who may or may not have gotten state contracts.
° Two months—and planets—away from his claim that media houses weren’t independent, PNM leader Dr Keith Rowley read a Guardian story on the EMBD last weekend. He noted: “Had I said this before (on what he read) they’d say, ‘Is politics’. This now in the Guardian for you to buy a copy to read . . . ”
UNC’s stiffly delivered reflection on his ramajay: “We understand the Prime Minister is losing support and is feeling the pressure of such, resulting in his ‘bullying attitude’ towards his opponents, but a police investigation cannot be used as a Baliser House political tool.’’
° Rowley, employing indelicate Tobagonian-ese to diss opponents, said: “They have the description of a bodily function. Belly wuk, that’s what they are..’’
And sniping about unknown people who held onto the $500 million in old $100 bills which weren’t brought in for exchange: “They had to keep it . . . small pieces . . . very difficult to make toilet paper with dat!’’
° This followed UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s verbal potshots which didn’t fire blanks at Rowley alone: “The answer is no to all (he blanked everybody) The only ones who can say yes are those who collect rent money and whose wives getting state contracts. They’re the ones who Rowley making sure they don’t get blank.’’
° It’s easy to see that the number of posters decorating lamp posts, walls, cars and your dog in an area is equal to that seat’s battleground status. Plus or minus that strange faces swarming the area don’t want your money. They now want your biggest real asset, your support.
° PEP San Fernando West candidate Benison Jagessar makes the valid point that voting race has gotten T&T to where it is now, a place where both parties and everyone else wants to move on from.
° Campaigning has reached the juncture where T&T Chamber CEO Gabriel Faria’s name is now the star of UNC stage, screen and TV rhetoric, counted among those suffering smackdown status from Rowley.
° Observers are assessing Gypsy/Lovell Francis’ harmonising in Moruga against Michelle and Kamla’s chorus; whether alleged issues affecting Toco’s PNM and UNC candidates make any difference to voters there; who will win the San Fernando West good guy battle between Al Rawi and Sobers; and if Tobagonians make Duke a king.
° Racy developments prompt UNC’s Devant Maharaj to lament: “If I had to give a money bath, after five years of Rowley I could only afford $1 bills and 25 cent pieces to throw . . .”
° Thought-We-Were-Voting-UNC Moment: UNC leader Kamla Persad- Bissessar last weekend stumping yellow-clad troops for a nanosecond when she plugged unity, saying: “This isn’t a time to choose between red and yellow . . . ’’
° PNM jefes hoping Dr Rowley’s psychic ability is nil and his latest prediction won’t extend to August 10. This, after he commended new PNM Tobago leader Tracey Davidson-Celestine, saying: “Women are taking over this country. President, Senate President, Speaker. We watching you.”
° A few were only slightly uncomfortable with his other statement on women: “We’re fighting human trafficking, we’re fighting that criminality and all the crime that goes with it, guns and women!’’
° UNC faithful hoping Rowley’s prophecy is on the crystal ball and on August 10 his list of women “taking over” extends to Persad-Bissessar. And PNM’s Penny Beckles.