Has Tobago's time finally come?
The response by the THA Chief Secretary to the contents of the Green Paper on constitutional reform as it relates to the THA which was prepared by the Government was expected. We believe that this question will be one of the central features in the lead up to the next THA Elections.
Surely, we expect Mr. London to defend the proposals of the John Prince Committee which were propelled by the THA.
The proposals contained with the John Prince report were gathered from a number of sessions around Tobago. While one could argue that the views contained in the John Prince document does not represent a wide consensus from the people of Tobago, Mr. London and his Party members could still argue that people in Tobago do have some impact in the document.
Some may disagree with the approach by Mr. London and his team in submitting their proposals to the Government. This was the problem when the matter came up for debate in the THA with the THA Minority opposition refusing to participate claiming that the approach by the PNM was not legal.
On the other hand, the Peoples' Partnership Government had promised in their election manifesto, their intention to give Tobago the long-awaited exclusive Internal Self Government. To its credit, the Government has come forward with a Green Paper for the proposed constitutional changes to grant more autonomy for Tobago.
In his condemnation of the Green Paper, the Chief Secretary has called on Tobagonians to reject the contents of the document. In a clever political move he has projected the view that what is at stake is not merely a PNM position but an issue for all Tobagonians. In his present political predicament without his party controlling the reign of government, Mr. London has no choice but to attempt to take control of the Tobago struggle.
We do expect his political adversaries to try to bunk Mr. London's claim to lead the Tobago struggle given their history in the forefront of the fight for Tobago's autonomy. They would also point to the PNM history of opposing a better deal for Tobago. We do believe there must be a coming together of minds on this issue despite the obvious political divide.