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Running of PNM’s raging bulls

L. SIDDHARTA ORIE Monday, May 13 2013

After Robert De Niro’s Raging Bull movie, I always associated enraged people with that film’s title. Later, when I saw Billy Crystal’s City Slickers, where one enraged bull targeted Crystal’s character in the movie for horning, that scene would thereafter superimpose itself on that original Raging Bull image I had...

...Until that day in Parliament when Patrick Manning climbed atop his high horse to lambaste Keith Rowley and to describe him as a raging bull. Now, whenever I hear the expression the raging bull, I see the same scene in Pamploma, Spain where Billy Crystal’s character is running for dear life, but the face I now see is not of the American actor but that of Manning and chasing him is no demonic bull, but on closer examination it looks like Keith Rowley who has just acquired two j’ouv ert-morning-looking-horns and has Manning snorting and bellowing moooove, as he tries to make his escape from El Toro Rowley determined to get his man, Manning.

I see Manning dart into Bradford’s and in a flash he comes back out dressed as a toreador as if the revolving door he had entered was really a time capsule and he had reincarnated as a bull fighter, shouting Ole! By that time El Torro Rowley was on his way out of Port-of-Spain, tired of chasing his political nemesis.

Before Manning’s reimaging of Rowley as a raging bull, not too long before, he was looked upon as some kind of alien, someone who dealt in flying saucers and who one suspected was wasting his time here as a politician when he might have gone off to NASA to make a more telling contribution to UFOs and futuristic space exploration.

Nothing came out of that moment between him and his earthly nemesis Chandresh Sharma, when Rowley was raging like a bull and Sharma was seeing stars because it is alleged that Rowley’s flying saucer landed on Sharma with such velocity, with such earth-shattering sudden impact that up till today he is unable to definitively identify the flying object that hit him.

And as we touch ground, one could understand why the PNM is associated with the violence that straddles and strangles this land. In the Hindu’s Bhagavat Gita, Lord Krishna says, the ordinary people always tend to follow their leaders. Our parents, our schoolteachers, our elders, our leaders, are our windows to the world. In the Upanishads it is said in a most transcendental way: Tat twam asi — as it is above, so it is below. In its purest mystical sense, it means heaven and earth are one; and although it sounds sacrilege to use such sacred language in a political context, it echoes what Krishna was saying in the Gita and what we know intuitively as exemplars in dealing with our children, those impressionable ones among us.

Do as I say and not as I do is a most inadequate injunction we impose on our followers. For instance, one of Rowley’s more buxom MPs has now entered the boxing ring on two occasions making one wonder whether this millennium’s “thrilla in Manila” is going to be staged here and is to be between Rowley’s Donna and Muhammad Ali’s Laila?

Ms Cox might be a protégé of Rowley and, as her political leader, Rowley obviously sets an example of anything goes and all is fair in love and war as they conduct their political melee. You pelt a saucer and teacup and I pelt a kick and a cuff makes for a good preview of what the PNM stands for.

And while the PNM might be unmindful of the aggressive tendencies of Rowley, Cox and the recently convicted Dumas and of the collateral damage it could have on their party’s aspiration to form the next government, the dire effects of such behaviour on their followers are what the country must hold them accountable for.

Ms Cox is the MP for an area that is like a minefield ready to explode anytime. When the image she projects is that of a wild-west desperado who sees Parliament not as a place where civilised people assemble to intellectually and oratorically resolve their differences and issues, but as a place to brawl, then we the people must let her know that she is in the wrong profession; that there are places where bouncers and hit men (and women) are wanted.

That is why long ago and once upon a time, there were all kinds of requirements to be met by those who aspired to sit in Parliament. Because we have lowered the bar to make the Parliament look more like one, one would not be surprised if Don King soon comes here to rumble in the PNM’s balisier jungle.

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