I couldn’t help but hear snippets of David Rudder’s song “Ballad of Hulsie X” going off in my head this week, as the drama involving CSA President Mary Isaac unfolded. The song is a very clever take on attempts back in 1995 to remove a certain speaker of the House in Trinidad and her refusal to demit office. In the song, a very quirky voice is heard singing, “We used to raggamuffin monarchy/ But now we have parasite holigarchy. We used to raggamuffin monarchy/ But now it’s only parasite in the party,” ahead of Rudder’s chant “get them out.” At this juncture, I shall reserve comment as to where I believe the so called “parasites” in our circumstances might be – de party or de union. That, as they say, is for another show. Still, it was hardly unpredictable that Mary Isaac would not be removed as CSA president so easily.In December of last year Isaac accepted the opposition UWP’s nomination for her to become a senator. Since her swearing in, there has been much discussion in the media about her UWP affiliation vis- a-vis her ability to maintain a neutral position as CSA president. Pretty soon there were calls by some in the CSA for her to resign. This was followed by a petition signed by more than a hundred members for an extraordinary meeting to be held. The petition accused the President of compromising the political neutrality and independence of the union.
That meeting finally pulled through on Wednesday, February 11, 2015. Mary Isaac did not attend neither did her executive.
A vote was conducted at Wednesday’s meeting for the removal of Mary Isaac as the head of the CSA. Out of the 154 members who attended, 124 by a show of hands voted for her removal. Following the meeting CSA General Secretary David DeMacque described it as a “sad day” in the life of the union.
The following day, Thursday, Mary Isaac told reporters that she had no reason to resign. She called into question the constitutionality of the meeting as well as the infringement of her right to freedom of association.
“The meeting was out of order and I am not going to resign to allow certain persons to have their way,” the CSA President stated.
“The people who did that are aware of what they are doing because they are senior public officers just trying to push their political agenda,” Isaac said.
It is now left to be seen what the move of the CSA will be since writing to Mary Isaac informing her of its decision. One of the petitioners, Oliver J Lawrence, told the STAR on Thursday that he just wanted to see the Union proceed with its work. “I just want us to put all of this behind us,” Lawrence said. Asked whether the Union was ready for a showdown in the courts with Isaac, he said that it was a question I would have to ask the CSA’s executive.
Fodder for a local Calypso you think? And just who will write Mary Isaac’s swansong?