Himself Still Investigating Himself

Kamla announcing SoEDespite the AG's bold and brave response to Opposition Leader Rowley a few weeks ago in Parliament that the emails were fraudulent and he (and his govt) have nothing to hide; all the actions thus far of both him and his Prime Minister are forcing me to draw a different conclusion: like people have cocoa in the sun? In the aftermath of Rowley's allegations, instead of the government listening to the requests of

DCP Mervyn Richardson

the population and calling for an independent investigation and stepping aside, they have instead asked Mervyn Richardson, the man responsible for investigating Assassination Gate, who is on contract, to spearhead another investigation involving Kamla and the AG.

And if it wasn't bad enough that we have a police officer with questionable investigative skills leading the investigation, the AG and the PM are now trying to influence and thwart the investigation at every stage of the game.

Thus far we have had:

The AG.....

1. Richardson seizing Rowley's compute: I can only assume it is to ascertain that Rowley didn't create the typed transcripts himself. Yet he didn't seize the printer to examine it to see if the documents were printed from it...because you do know printers have their own identification marks.....Richardson baffles me, he truly does. Mind you he hasn't seized any computers from the AG, the PM, Suruj Rambachan of Gary Griffith just yet.

2. The AG paying two local IT persons to produce reports to say the typed e-mails are fake.

3. Kamla Persad-Bissessar, through her lawyer Israel Khan hiring a foreign IT Expert, Jon Berryhill, to say that the documents presented in Parliament by Rowley are fake. Mind you in his report he does say: “The authenticity of an e-mail message requires corroborating information from multiple sources. “If the authenticity of an e-mail is in question, a single-source printed copy would never be sufficient to resolve the issue,” it added. “The analysis of printed e-mails in the absence of other data can never prove its authenticity.”

4. The PM refusing to have her data devices examined unless she and her attorney are present. So much for a free and fair investigation by the police.

So, unless Persad-Bissessar and Ramlogan provided a digital archive for Berryhill to sift through how on earth can we know what is or isn't authentic?

The saddening thing is the government will continue to interfere with this investigation and try to influence its course. We have had Anand and Kamla bring in local and foreign experts. What next? A keynote address from a Steve Jobs hologram to say Apple thinks the e-mails are fake based on typed transcripts?

And while they are busy trying to skewer this investigation they are also fighting the Integrity Commission on another front. And making much of the meeting between Rowley and Gordon. If it's that problematic then replace the chairperson, Kamla...but stop tampering with the investigation. And stop investigating yourself so publicly. It isn't solving anything for anyone.

To the members of the media, I truly hope you ask Mr Berryhill the right questions:

1. What were his instructions? To form a view on the authenticity of the document handed to him or the method to authenticate the existence of the emails?

2. If his job was just to examine the printed documents, then what is the point of his report and investigation?

3. If he had access to digital files, why was he given access and not the police who are investigating?

4. Did he access reports from Google, Microsoft and TSTT, and if so, through what channels.

5. Why are the PM and AG investigating Emailgate themselves? Are they attempting to pervert the course of justice and influence the outcome of this case?

See Kamla and Anand, your hope is that the public either too stupid or too tribally  loyal to ask the right questions. But we see this for what it is....whether or not those emails are true....you and your government are acting very guilty.

herbert volneyPity the Law Association, DPP, President and Chief Justice wont step forward and tell the Silkened AG and PM to cease and desist. Because it seems that the silkened twins are attempting to pervert the course of justice and no one is pulling them up. Pity too that Herbert Volney of all people seems to be the most sensible voice in this enter fiasco.

Step Down and Step Aside AG and PM....or else I might start to think you've got something to hide.

Like we heading to Perversion of Justice in Full Dotish Mode!

Himself Investigating Himself

The AG..... I've been watching Emailgate evolve, because I really wanted to see if the PP Govt would actually launch an independent unhindered investigation....and Kamla and her Small Goal squad haven't let me down.

The PM at a press briefing. Photo courtesy Jyoti Communications website.

Today's Express story should get you angry...because we have yet another instant of the Attorney General interfering with an investigation.

The AG says the emails are fake.Now In a serious and sensible country lemme tell you what would have happened.

1. The investigation would have been suruj in orange shirthanded over to an independent body.  If not, it certainly wouldnt be put into the hands of a police officer whose credibility is already compromised in the public's mind and who is on contract with the Police Service and therefore dependent on the good will of others for his job to be renewed.

2. The investigators would be attempting to determine if the PHYSICAL TRANSCRIPTS that Dr Rowley produced actually have DIGITAL versions. Not the bullshit we have been getting over the past weeks of people looking at type written pages to determine whether they are real or not. There is NO WAY you can determine if the e-mails are real from typed pages. Instead, what is needed is an expert in Forensic IT, someone who can tests the computers/cellphones/ipads etc of the various parties involved to find the corresponding digital files. Instead we have Kamla, Anand and Suruj making asses of candidate_keith-rowley-lgthrough Richardson. To date the only computer he has seized is Rowley's. Is Rowley's name on the e-mail thread? Then why was his computer seized? Why haven't the computing devices of the folks named in the email threads seized? Why are typed pages the only thing being examined by Richardson?

Is Richardson trying to make this investigation fail?

3. If I am to believe everything written in that Express story today, then it seems too that the AG is spearheading this investigation. The Office of the AG doesn't have the power to investigate an alleged crime...that is the DPP's job, yet here we have a case of Ramlogan not only providing a statement, but:

1. Drawing a conclusion in his official statement, while a matter is still under investigation.

2. Hiring his own "experts" and paying them to produce a report that says typed pages are not the real emails. Is a court case going on that we don't know about? Why are experts being paid to give evidence? Why are experts being hired to examine typed pages?

How can a public official who is under investigation be leading and influencing the investigation? Is that legal? Is it ethical?

Why is it that the Police investigation refuses to do the first practical thing and seize the computing devices of the persons named on the email thread and have the email archives for these people retrieved and checked?

In short....why is the Investigation being done Ass Backwards?

Is it that the Government wants it to fail?

Is it that Kamla and Co have something to hide?

anthony carmonaWhy wont President Anthony Carmona appoint a new board at Ken Gordonthe Integrity Commission so the public has the chance to call for an independent investigation? The powers we think he have disappear?

Full steam ahead in Full Dotish Mode!

Happy Sunday!.

Firetrucking Nonsense!

kamla and jackI remember the first time I paid attention to "firetruck" in the news papers. The Express/Guardian/Independent/Express/Guardian columnist BC Pires had used it. It was his euphemistic way of saying fuck in the newspaper. Firetruck, firetrucking and firetrucked!

Almost 20 years later BC Pire's firetrucked is so apt I can't even smile.

In our latest Adeventures of Squandermania with Kamla we've got a damaged firetruck that cost $6m to wreck.

Yes, you read that correct. A fire tender....and get used to the word tender because it is going to feature regularly today....fell off the side of the road in Blanchisseuse, Trinidad...an area known for its narrow, poor roads. It went down the side of a cliff by a couple hundred metres on November 17th, 2012 and by November 19th had been removed to the tune of $6.8m.

Now let's add in the rest of the salient details. The Minister of National Security under whose remit the Fire Services fall was then Jack Warner...remember him?

The company that did the lifting and wrecking was Junior Sammy Multilift.

If the name Junior Sammy sounds familiar to you it might be because the company gets contracts to pave roads and highways here all the time...except in Blanchisseuse obviously...or because Junior Sammy was once held for questioning in a murder.

Folks are rightfully upset about the obscene amount of money used to wreck a fire truck....but let me give you the other reasons you should be upset.

This is a contract that cost more than a million dollars. According to our laws any contract over $1m has to be put out to tender. So in short the job to wreck the fire tender had to be tendered for offers. Junior Sammy isn't the only company in Trinidad that does this kind of wrecking...and the Trinidad Guardian, who broke this story, quoted at least 2 businesses that said the job could have been done for between $25,000 - $50,000.

So ask yourself this...if the truck fell off the side of the road on November 17th....did the government have the opportunity to get 3 quotes in time to do the job on November 19th?

And since we heard the original quotation was for $10m exactly when in that 2-day period did Cabinet meet to review the $10m quote from 1 company and then review the $6.8m quote from the same company? Or was a snap decision made to select a company to do a job and the assurance given that you will do the job and we pay you $10m and get everything approved afterwards?

Are you beginning to see that a job that cost us tax paying folk $6.8m never went through the proper procedure?

To thicken the sauce you have Fire Services submitting a report on November 29th giving the recommendation to not salvage the fire truck, but in fact abandon it and purchasing a new fire truck that would have cost us significantly less than $6.8m.

And despite this recommendation from the Fire Services, Cabinet still came after November 29th and gave the approval for $6.8m to wreck a firetruck.

COP JackSo let me ask some more questions.

Who in the Ministry of National Security took the decision to wreck the fire truck without the initial assessment report from Fire Services?

Who gave the go ahead to wreck and salvage by November 19th?

Was a tender for the job put out for wrecking and salvaging or was one company...Junior Sammy Multilifts....selected for the job?

If a company was selected without a tender process who did that selection and on what grounds?

Did the selector not find the $10m wrecking and salvage fee astronomical? If not, why not?

Why was the recommendation of the Fire Services to not salvage the fire truck ignored by Cabinet when they had to approve payment for the wreck and salvage?

Which Cabinet members were a part of the approval? All? Some? One?

Did the Cabinet members not raise red flags about the tender process, the recommendation by the Fire services and the price?

If this is what we paid to wreck 1 fire truck....what else is going on that we don't know about?

How many other processes are being abused and ignored while Kamla and her Small Goal  Side keeps wasting our tax dollars?

Ken GordonThe hard part about all of this firetrucking nonsense is anthony carmonathat ideally the Integrity Commission should be investigating this because all the signs point to a breach in public life...but the new President, whose powers we don't know he has, isn't using his powers that we know he has to appoint a new Integrity Commission....so we could cuss and rant and rave as much as we want about this firetrucking nonsense.....but not one firetruck will be done because the President's inaction has immobilised us. We are no longer in a position to even pretend we give a firetruck about the corruption because there isn't the masquerade of the IC to hide behind.

So now that we have a clear as day story showing that Cabinet members and public servants misbehaved in public life and an entire Cabinet got together to approve the misbehaviour.....what are we going to do?

We Firetrucked and Loving It!firetruck (1)

 

Watching Stopped Clocks

Power Outage 1Apparently my little blog post about a malfunctioning clock in the PR pictures of the PM inspecting the power plant in Penal on Good Friday morning has raised a shit storm. But I will let the storm take care of itself, while I raise some more questions. Kamla's government is well known for its use of PR and image management, but not necessarily its efficient use wpid-IMG-20130328-WA0001.jpgof it. If the government was successfully managing its PR, the population wouldnt even notice it. They would be swept up in the hype, not questioning it at every turn.

In fact, the government's use of hype is often so vulgar the only reaction it provokes is disgust.

But let's get back into this clock.

I got up this morning and the first thing I did was pull the battery out of my phones. I waited about 10 minutes, popped the battery back in and switched the phones on. The phones booted up and switched to the correct time.

I then did the same thing with my microwave and electric stove. Pulled the plug and then plugged them back in. Both the stove and microwave went back to 00:00.

I then pulled out a Nokia phone that I keep stored safely away for the end of the world. This phone isn't charged regularly, once every few months; and it is switched off. I switched it on after months of no use and it immediately had the correct time.

Why am I going into all of this? To show you how ridiculous the government's response about the clock at Powergen having shut down and not re-started properly is.

All afternoon yesterday my blog and anyone on FB or Twitter who dared share my thoughts and questions on why the clock was telling the wrong time was ATTACKED by supporters of this government.

Some folks came along and offered their counter-scepticism, which is fine...but the vitrolic attacks is where I draw the line. When I can't question my government in peace, on a private or public medium, I know that something is wrong.

The irony is that the blog post didn't just question the PM's visit, it also raised questions about the efficiency of operations at PowerGen. But Kamla's Minions were deployed to attack...not think.

Nat Sec Minister.....

So we have a situation wherein a nation experiences a power outage. It is classified as a Level One National Security issue, but there were absolutely no signs of Jack Warner during or after the black out....a rare occurrence if you ask me. There was also no sign of the Minister of Public Utilities, Mr Nizam Baksh. Good governance and accountability in we pweffen.

The power outage happens and the PM whose ratings have plummeted sees this as the perfect way to curry favour with the population. It's almost as if, in the aftermath of  WarnerGate, this blackout showed up as a gift.

poweroutage7According to most reports the black out happened around midnight. The Prime Minister shows up at around 5 am dressed as if she dropped everything and hustled out of the door....4 hours after the black out started. And she just happened to remember to bring along a photographer along to document the trip. And in the midst of working assiduously to bring power back on to the suffering citizens the engineers and technicians at PowerGen Syne Village Plant had time to pose for several group pics with the PM. I couldnt make this thing up if I tried.

But what I have just described is only mildly annoying. This, after all, is a government that holds ribbon-cutting opening ceremonies for refurbished swings in parks in Cocorite. This is a government whose Ministers and supporters mark and measure success in box drains.

If nothing else, that clock at PowerGen tells us that something very sloppy went down at the Plant. This is a plant responsible for providing electricity to an entire grid. That grid would comprise various villages. Time in a control room at an industrial plant is a serious thing. When incidents happen or readings are taken, you have to register times.

The report that the PM and Minister of Energy has requested will require the measurement of times and time frames. If the clock....and members of Kamla's PR team keep telling me it's a satellite and GPS clock....if the clock in the control room isn't telling the correct time. Then whose time are they going by? Is Penal operating out of time? In a separate time Zone? Are we to believe that PowerGen not operating up to international standards and not using Satellite Clocks that have a DC power back up in the case of power loss?

Today we read in the Trinidad Guardian that there have been 3 major black outs in 3 years. How often is THE CLOCK IN THE CONTROL ROOM not working or telling the correct time? And has the government realised that it's under their tenure that PowerGen seems to be regularly malfunctioning? Why?

In an effort to further spin the issue of the malfunctioning clock, they then deployed some bigger guns.

Roger D Ramcharitar, who describes himself as a former adviser in the Ministry of Energy, posted a response to my blog post that insisted:

As a former Advisor at the Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs, I sought clarification from colleagues within the industry and I have been able to ascertain that the clock in the photograph was actually a satellite clock which displayed an INCORRECT TIME as a result of the power outage knocking it off temporarily.

You can check out how an Atomic/Satellite Clock works here or here. And then you will understand why that clock should never have stopped working.

You should also know that Roger Ramcharitar, worked as a communications adviser for the Ministry of Energy. In short, he was responsible for speeches and PR. He wasn't a technical adviser or someone who understands the operations of a plant and why a clock is so important, so I will forgive his enthusiasm. But Roger you should know better and inform your supporters better.

But let's say the clock did stop at the time of the outage...even though we know the plant had its own back up generators and should have been running anyway...

Let's say the clock stopped at 00:37 or 00:45 which is the time most newspapers have given. When exactly did the power come back on at the Penal Plant for the time to be registered as 21:13:29?

You feeling me yet? The time on the clock, regardless of what argument, makes no sense.

It implies that who ever is responsible for maintenance at that plant is poohar! Sloppy at best...and heads should roll over the fact that the clock isn't telling the correct time!

And for Roger Ramcharitar to insist that in the presence of Kamla no one remembered to re-set the clock tells me that the technicians and engineers at PowerGen don't have their priorities straight and aren't interested in best practice and high standards...not when it have a PM and a camera around.

The clock on the wall is actually a damning indictment of operational procedures at PowerGen Penal.....unless of course the clock telling the correct time and the Prime Minister was there at 9 pm instead of 5 am....which is a whole other can of worms.

We now have the PM grandcharging and calling for a full investigation and report. We know how that goes here.

Madam PM investigate that clock first....no report can be valid if the clock aint set right. Penal was clearly in a different time zone to the rest of the country.

I expect that the investigation is just another way to put money in the pocket of another government shill who will say nothing went wrong and the power outage was just a misstep.

NGC and Phoenix Park Processors needs to tell us why PowerGen experienced a gas shortage at midnight. What stopped the flow of fuel and why is no one from NGC speaking to us yet?

We also need to know why a problem that originated in Penal shut down the ENTIRE COUNTRY? Especially when the majority of the country is served by the Point Lisas and PoS Plants.

You need to tell us why every time anyone questions the actions of your government we are attacked an threatened?

And you also need to explain the absence of Minister of National Security, Jack Warner the night and morning of the outage since this was a National Security emergency as well, and we know how much Minister Warner cares about the country.

Leave the explanation about the clocks to the experts.

We Full Dotish AND Full Dangerous.

 

The Rogue Prime Minister

The PM at a press briefing. Photo courtesy Jyoti Communications website. Trinidad and Tobago is no longer a banana republic.....as of last night with Reuters news service confirming that Warner's son, and possibly Warner himself, are indeed under investigation, her vague press release in which she says she will wait on an official corroboration is just too hollow for words.

The Prime Minister spent last month in Haiti, right next to the US AG and even members of the FBI. Talk of Daryan Warner's detention in the US had begun since December 2012 on the day he was caught at the airport with an alleged lump sum of money he had failed to declare at customs....allegedly. And yet in February, with the US AG sharing the same meeting space as you, not a question was asked?

kamla and jackThen you return to Trinidad and the Leader of the Opposition asks you to follow up on these allegations and still nothing?

You'd think that we don't have diplomatic relations with the US....that they don't have an Embassy here. You'd also think that Kamla Persad-Bissessar is daft, or slow minded that she would still have someone with as much shadows over his head as Jack Warner still serving as a government Minister.

But, you see, we aren't a banana republic anymore...we are THE BANANA REPUBLIC.

In future when films are being made where the setting or crime taking place in a banana republic, it is Trinidad and Tobago's name that will be used. The film companies will spend their money and go somewhere safe, and name the location Trinitario...watch and see.

But the question we should be asking ourselves this morning isn't so much will Kamla fire Jack, or will the Prime Minister act on this latest report.

Rather ask yourself why is the PM not acting? Why is she continuing to keep Warner on as Minister of National Security? Is she protecting him....or is she really protecting herself?

And then ask yourself this....if the Prime Minister is putting herself, or her minister, before the good of the entire country....what does that make her?

At the time of writing, Communications Minister, Jamal "Insignificant Muslim Coolie" Mohammed has announced that the Cabinet....complete with COP members like Prakash Ramadhar and Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan....stands firmly behind Warner.

 

We in Full Dotish Mode this Easter Weekend, folks...find ah bobolee and beat it!

…Can the Centre Hold?

  chinua-achebeI went to bed Thursday night to the news that Chinua Achebe had died. Many of us in Trinidad and Tobago may know nothing about Africa or being African, but we know Okonkwo, his most famous character from his most famous novel.Things Fall Apart is one of those rare books where if the words seminal, masterpiece, classic and canon are used to describe it, the description would actually be apt.

 

That novel was my introduction to Africa. Not the Africa showed on television at nights that showed malnourished children and their parents lined up for food, while words like famine, refugee camps and ethnic warfare were bandied about. Achebe taught me that Africa had, not just one, but many cultures and civilizations long before the Europeans arrived to dismantle it. He would go on to write several novels, poetry and essays; all of which explored Africa before and after colonization and before and after independence. What happened to Africa in the aftermath of European colonization and independence bears striking resemblances to Trinidad and Tobago, and to many other places that share a history of colonization and exploitation.

 

chinua-achebe (1)In the years since secondary school I have been privileged to not just read more Achebe, but to teach him as well. And to teach him to students who have no concept of Africa or African culture. Students who will easily identify as African or even black on a survey, and have no concept of what Africa or describing oneself as African means.

 

In 2011, as part of the marathon session during which the government justified using something as serious as a State of  Emergency to treat with crime, several ministers quoted the poem by William Butler Yeats that influenced the title of Achebe's novel. Lincoln Douglas in particular went on to recount the story of Okonkwo, and to explain why a society falling apart at the seams needed its constitutional rights taken away in order to put a check on crime. Had Achebe heard Douglas' butchered analysis of what is arguably his most recognized text, it may well have caused him serious discomfort. It set my blood pressure on boil; because it wasn't the spate of murders that signaled things were falling apart, but rather the very clear fact that a government was quite willing to tamper with the rights of citizens in order to further abuse them.

 

Since the SoE, I believe our country and quality of life have gotten worse. And there are many ways in which they have worsened. Crime we all know is at an all time high. And our government, who roundly abused Patrick Manning three years ago for relying on handouts and sporting facilities to solve crime have come and outdone the PNM at its own game. So much so that the Prime Minister in the space of a week has announced that a report done by Selwyn Ryan says more sporting facilities will solve the country's crime problem. I am hoping to see the report to confirm this myself. Because if that is the case, given the number of recreation grounds in Central and South Trinidad there should be no murders in these parts of the country. Certainly not any with dismembered bodies and heads lying about.

 

I would be interesting to see whether Dr Ryan and his team have made any mention of the other support systems that can assist in alleviating crime and the general societal break down that the President discussed in his inaugural address.

 

Having taught at the secondary level for eight years at both government and religious board schools, I've seen first hand how deviant behaviour develops and then leads to criminal behaviour. I have seen students at both prestigious and government schools learn to cheat, steal and lie. I have seen some of these students go on to become criminals. Sporting grounds and million dollar basketball competitions do not solve an already rampant crime problem; these things can play a role in curbing the tendency only at the early stages.

 

But what is also needed are a number of things: an effective and relevant education system; an effective system of counseling and social work; an efficient economy where money doesn't trickle down but is properly allocated to all the areas that require development; an employment environment that is free of nepotism and corruption, where people are promoted on merit and not their relatives. We also need effective border patrols, a criminal and judicial system that doesn't favour the wealthy and privileged, and a police service that is trained in better investigative and detection methods.

 

Everything I have suggested there is elementary. The average man in the street can tell you this. The current government promised it. Yet now they pretend not to know it.

 

And it is left to us citizens who hunger and thirst after that elusive thing called good governance so much that we voted out bad to go worse, to figure our way out of this problem.

 

The government has made it clear that it is not equipped, or even willing to solve any of the problems that challenge us. Tim Goopeesingh continues to make mistake after mistake with his education policies. His crowning achievement to date has been to order shipments of laptops. Thereafter...nothing. With every new medical crisis Dr Fuad Khan finds his way into radio and newspaper interviews, gives the big grand charge about cleaning things up, and then nothing.

 

Our Minister and Ministry of National Security have made us the joke of the Caribbean if not the Western world. And at every turn you have people still referring to Warner as the hardest working minister. Flooding is not a thing of the past, neither is crime. So what exactly has he been successful at? Nothing...

 

In Things Fall Apart, Achebe describes for us a society that is on the cusp of change. A new culture has come and is eroding the old ways and traditions. Exploitation, oppression and greed will soon become the order of the day in the Africa he writes about, and so will poor governance, weak leaders and military coups. Achebe wrote about an Africa that experienced terrible transitional pains. The kind of pain we are now experiencing. Will we fall apart, or will we hold our centre?

Legislating the Police State

20130222-161439.jpgI got up this morning and it seems like Full Dotish is the mode for Lent....the government is going to table legislation to give soldiers powers of arrest. Wednesday January 08 2012If we as citizens sit by and let this happen we are agreeing to a full fledged Police State!

Since taking office this government has sought to undermine our national security systems at every turn. At the Prime Minister's residence security cameras were removed.

On our coastlines patrol vessels were removed because the PM insisted that the war on crime and drugs was on land, not at sea. Yet last week in Haiti she was agreeing to more marine patrols in the region.

National Security helicopters have become her own private shuttle service. SAUTT has been dismantled to be replaced with an illegal police unit. SIA was headed by a woman with few qualifications than a cashier at a fast food restaurant. And this week we hear of a mid-level police officer who was advising the Prime Minister on how to reconstruct the police service and every new suggestion he made involved firing someone who was considered PNM and instead hiring someone who was loyal to the UNC. By happy coincidence, all the people fired or removed were afro-descended and all the new people hired were Indo......but we dont have a race problem here...Trinidad is a happy multi-ethnic space and this government is an all-inclusive government....right?

So now we going to give soldiers powers of arrest. why? Because SoE has failed, Flying Squad is now national news and Kamla knows that with crime spiralling out of control her days are well and truly numbered.

Smell the fear folks.....and now they want to create a gang of Police Soldiers? What next? Military Dictatorship?

Trinidad, this is where we reach? This is the change Kamla promised?

The Myth of the Amazing Crime Plan

The new Top Cop? Photo Courtesy Trinidad Guardian website. This Friday on the Trinidad Guardian’s front page, PSC Chairman Professor Ramesh Deosaran was quoted as saying the crime plans have failed. I didn’t even know we had a crime plan presented to us, far less multiple ones. What I do know is that since being appointed Minister of National Security, Jack Warner has announced the coming of a crime plan and even released a long list to the media of many crime initiatives that are under consideration. But to date, neither Warner nor the National Security Council has come forward and outlined for the country what will be the actual thrust to stem criminal activity in the country. And I mean all kinds of criminal activity: from corruption in public office, to the drug trade, to gang warfare to murders to robbery. Because you see, whether the government will be so bold as to admit it or not, everything is related.

 

On the Express’s front pageas well a severed head made the waves. The last time I saw a severed head on the front page of the newspaper it was in a whisky box at a cremation site and belonged to Thakoor Boodram, relative of convicted criminal kingpin Dole Chadee. Back then severed heads were a message; this week I wondered who exactly the message was being sent to and why. And while the nation gasped with shock over the severed head left in plain view of the public, with the body some miles away in a cane field, the town of Phillipine, the Prime Minister’s back yard, was rocked by the murder of a 70-year-old grandmother ostensibly for her car. Could that car have been stolen to commit a crime? Could the crime have been drug-related? Might gang members be the foot soldiers of the drug trade? And if they are the foot soldiers, then who are the middle managers and king-pins? Anyone seeing dots that might be connectable?

 

We are currently grappling with the possibility that our recently appointed Minister of National Security may have authorized an illegal police unit. Why is it every time Warner’s name is mentioned in the same sentence as the word Squad it leaves a bitter taste in our mouths?

The news papers claim to have documents sent to them. Contracts on NFSIU letterheads. There is evidence to show that newly-appointed director of the National Security Operations Centre (NSOC) Garvin Heerah gave the go-ahead for a fleet of vehicles to be released to the New Flying Squad Investigations Unit. As soon as Heerah started commenting on the Unit, he had to go to Argentina. And clearly internet and telephones don’t work in Latin America, so he can’t be reached for further comment.

Each news report or denial on the matter is carefully worded. Collin Partap, reports claim, was meant to oversee the unit; then got fired a month later for failing to take a breathalyzer test. Under his tenure the unit had no name. In the aftermath of his firing it assumed the name we now call it.

From Mervyn Cordner’s initial claim to the present, CoP Stephen Williams has been careful to say that HE, the Commissioner of Police, doesn’t know anything about the Unit. He never says the wider Police Service doesn’t know. After answering questions before the Police Service Commission last Thursday, a statement was issued that claimed they believed the Police Commissioner had no knowledge of the Unit. Not a person has yet denied the existence of the Unit or that Police know about the Unit. But everyone is denying knowledge of the Unit. And in a place like Trinidad and Tobago it is easy to believe that an entire illegal investigative unit would set itself up, get offices and other resources from the State, even liaise with members of the Ministry of National Security, and yet, the Ministry remains totally in the dark about the Unit.

This is Trinidad and Tobago, a country where an entire State of Emergency can be called without a plausible explanation. The same SoE will then be used as a crime fighting tool, target very specific neighbourhoods, arrest 8000 people without evidence, then release them; and at the end of it the country is still crime riddled and none the wiser as to the reason for the SoE.

Ish and Steve on Newday Front Page courtesy Newsday's Website

This is the type of country where the Cabinet can conspire secretly proclaim a law before the stipulated time and everyone points fingers at each other. This is a country where the Minister of National Security, a man with allegations of fraud and corruption hanging over his head, can calmly say to the country he is precepting soldiers and not a civil society body will make a sound. The same bodies that once howled for the heads of Howard Chin Lee and Martin Joseph, are now begging us to not blame Warner and give him a chance.

And if the story of this country not sweet enough, we suffered the exquisite irony this week of witnessing the Prime Minister deliver a speech to the region about crime fighting initiatives; quote unknown statistics about what crime is costing us; then return to Trinidad and announce boldly that her government is NOW ready to do something about the crime situation.

The same Prime Minister, who presided over the dismantling of SAUTT because it was illegal, now seems confused about the Flying Squad. So to make things better she has asked Minister Warner to investigate himself and report to her.

jakkam copy The same Prime Minister who cancelled the OPV contracts from BAE is now seeking to find new ways to protect the borders she left unguarded for 32 months. The same Prime Minister who called Manning a dictator is now endorsing soldiers having the same powers as the police. The army whose responsibility it is to protect citizens from external attack may now have the right to attack its citizens.

And Professor Deosaran thinks the crime plan has failed. I’ll ask again: what crime plan exactly?

Mad Men with Big Stones

Master and Commander Far  Side of the Ocean: Dr/Mr Hafizool Mohammed I chuckled when I heard about a man stoning the Parliament. I wasn’t the only one. And that should disturb us. Why? Not because I am likely to stone the Parliament myself; but because the idea of stoning this current Parliament elicits not outrage or concern from portions of the citizenry, but rather a tacit understanding of what could lead a man – mentally disturbed or not – to dry dry so pick up two stone and pelt the Parliament.

On a daily basis the country is protesting in small ways and big. The two largest protests we’ve had so far were the Section 34 march and the THA 12-Zero smack down. Trinbagonians of all levels of sanity are letting this government know that they are sick, tired and fed-up. Yet the government seems not to care. Is full steam ahead in Full Dotish mode!

Dr Indira Rampersad whose go to analysis these days for PP incompetence is race!

You have Warner and Ramlogan blaming their losses not on incompetence, but race. You’ve got supporters of the government, like Indira Rampersad and Sat Maharaj propping up their incompetent and failed leaders by echoing the same race diatribes; and then you have supporters of Rampersad and Maharaj telling you to your face, don’t take them on when they talk race, you know how they stop? Well, actually, I don’t know how they stop. But I wish they would stop. I wish too that members of the Maha Sabha community would stop pretending that their leader isn’t talking race. Because the more silent you remain, the more it sounds like consent to me. Just saying…

I also wonder how Indira Rampersad, as a political analyst, can be taken seriously at her day job any time soon after that succinct piece of analysis two Monday’s ago; and whether the goodly doctor is still credible enough to teach courses in politics let alone grade examination scripts.

But Rampersad’s credibility issues paled in comparison to this week’s misstep. Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Mr/Dr Hafizool Mohammed, Master and Commander, Far Side of the World. If you haven’t read his CV in Friday’s Trinidad Guardian, please find a copy now and avail yourselves. He’d make a killing on Kindle.

Here we have a gentleman whose resume seems more padded than a marginal seat ballot box. Mr Mohammed’s referrals are impeccable: one is dead; the other simply does not exist. His time at an American Military Academy is so flawless; there are no records of his presence. His work for NATO and the Pentagon so top secret that there is no proof. Why didn’t Her Majesty’s Secret Service not hire him instead of Daniel Craig?

Reshmi-Ramnarine-and-Tim-GopeesinghAnd this man of action is also an intellectual. A doctoral degree from an online, unaccredited University, and a thesis that quotes Wikipedia and Islamopedia liberally without even citing them as sources.

And you know the scary thing? This is typical, par for the course behaviour of the People’s Partnership. I remember John Sandy and Prakash Ramadhar in late 2010 heartily endorsing Reshmi Ramnarine’s appointment as SIA Director. When the Opposition did its job and opposed the appointment there was loud criticism. The accusation was Ms Ramnarine was being opposed for the job because she was a young, Indian woman. No government has proven to be more adept at waving the race card than this one. At every misstep and criticism they have raised the issue of race and been barely taken to task for it. The whole country fighting them down and jealous them based on ethnicity, not incompetence.

Within days of Sandy and Ramadhar’s endorsement we would learn that Ramnarine’s CV was doctored. She had no degree from UWI, she was in fact grossly underqualified for her job. Ms Ramnarine resigned and now lives and works under a new identity.

Omar Khan

By June 2011, Omar Khan, who had been appointed as Chairman of T&TEC, was also under the microscope for doctored credentials. It appeared that Khan’s first degree in engineering from UWI and his MBA from the Arthur Lok Jack School were both false and he had acquired his engineering qualifications through a correspondence course. And in much the same way Khan wrote his way to an engineering degree; he wrote to tender his resignation, listing personal responsibilities as his reason.

In July of that same year website ttonline.org asked the question “Is ‘Dr’ Suruj Rambachan suruj in orange shirtReally a Quack?” raising issues about the credibility of the doctorate which Minister of Foreign Affairs Suruj Rambachan had acquired from an unaccredited university in Hawaii.

You don’t need to be an ace detective to start seeing the trend of falsified resumes, unaccredited universities, fake degrees, high paying jobs and friends and family of the People’s Partnership. New Politics!

Not me nah, I only meet the man one inno!

In the case of every person I’ve named thus far their applications and credentials would have been vetted not by one, but several persons. Using Mr/Dr Mohammed, Master and Commander Far Side of the Ocean as an example: Winston Dookeran would have recommended him, then both the AG and the Prime Minister would have looked at his application and qualifications; then they would have sent on the name to the President. In short, neither Dookeran, Ramlogan, Persad-Bissessar nor the President (either Richards or Hamel-Smith) ever bothered to run a simple background check on Mohammed’s credentials. Or, maybe they were depending on the media and the citizenry to never ask or search and thereby get away with giving an unsuitable person a job he isn’t qualified for. It makes you wonder how many more unqualified hacks we have sitting in positions they have no qualifications for and will they too be unearthed.

It also makes you wonder about Presidential nominees and their qualifications. Two weeks away from nomination day and at the height of Carnival fever in the country neither the PP nor the PNM have announced their candidates. If Section 34’s proclamation is anything to go by, the Cabinet might use Machel Monday as a convenient time to hood wink the population. In fact, given that Budget 2013 was presented to us on a stage in the midst of a fete in Mid-Centre Mall, why not announce the Presidential nominee the same way. It would be in keeping with the style of governance of this lot.

And when you think about how this government operates, is almost as if they pelting big stone at the country for the last 32 months straight. So then, technically speaking, that homeless man last week was probably just practising self-defence.

We in Full Dotish Mode...Chupke Chupke!

From Castara to Calcutta...

London and Charles...who will be victorious? Tonight is the great THA Debate. All of Tobago and most of Trinidad is waiting with bated breath to see how Hochoy Charles, Orville London and Ashworth Jack will perform.

By now everyone is aware that the UNC has sent over a highpowered team to Tobago and they are all shacked up at everybody's favourite high-priced love hotel Coco Reef. Jack Warner, Vasant Bharath, Suruj Rambachan and Roodal Moonilal are currently prepping Ashworth to answer questions tonight.

I expect Jack to come out swinging about how Tobago has been mismanaged under both Hochoy Charles (Ring Bang Adda) and London (MilShirv and PNM mismanagement for how many years). In both instances Mr Jack may well have some substance, but most of it will be lost in the fluff, stuff and nonsense that Moonilal et al will be prepping him to say.

Ashworth-JackJack's biggest achievement tonight will be to distract the Tobago Audience: 1. His association with the UNC, despite the fact that he is being financed and prepared by the UNC

2. All of the corruption, squandermania and mismanagement that has taken place under Kamla Persad-Bissessar's tenure.

The PM at a press briefing. Photo courtesy Jyoti Communications website.

Jack will be trying hard to switch focus from Section 34, the SoE, Reshmi Ramnarine, Gopaul Contract, the $7b Highway, and the most recent move to breach our Constitution, Warner's announcement that soldiers will be given powers of arrest. That announcement has occurred with nary a comment from any corner. It's either the Opposition waiting on Warner to shart in his own pants and cause a Constiutional crisis, or everyone so distracted with THA Elections and getting Hilton Sandy to apologise that they;ve missed the implications of Warner attempting to usurp the power of the President  - Commander in Chief of the Army - as well as pervert the purpose of the nation's Defence Force.

Hilton Sandy

Between now and January 21st you will notice the TOP Campaign will shift from the Milshirv issue...which is a non-issue because they really have no evidence on which to accuse London of corruption...Nice try Ashworth and Anand....and instead they will ride Hilton Sandy's Boat from Calcutta comment to the death.

Let me say unequivocally that Sandy's comment was asinine. And asinine on many levels. It is common knowledge that Tobagonians are clannish and protective of their culture and space...even Afro-Trinidadians are treated like outsiders. It is also common knowledge that in the past decade the Indian population in Tobago has increased steadily and since the last election there have been more and more Indians moving over to Tobago and island that historically they didn't develop or have any real interest in. But for Sandy to make the comment is to indicate that:

1:Indians aren't considered to be part of Trinidad and Tobago and;

2: The PNM is openly indulging in race politics as well.

As a political move that is particularly stupid given the PNM's history. And from an individual perspective Hilton Sandy showing his petticoat.

But let's also not lose sight of the fact that Tobagonians have ample reasons to be wary and cautious of a UNC government. And unfortunately, UNC has come to be equated with Indian, just as PNM is equated with African.

The UNC has unfortunately become a caricature of all the stereotypes that abound where Indians are concerned. There are the rumours of alcoholism, the nepotism and corruption, the constant pre-action protocol letters to subdue and silence criticism, the constant lies and the mishandling and disappearance of public funds.

From a Tobagonians point of view it's all well and good if that happening just in Trinidad. Because all Trinidadians to their mind tricky and corrupt....but when you want to shift that sort of culture over to Tobago en masse then Houston, Castara going to have a problem.

There is also the issue of land settlement. Tobagonians are notorious for not administrating for land. Vast tracts of land pass from generation to generation without any paperwork being processed. What has been happening of late is members of the Indian community in Trinidad going over to Tobago and taking advantage of this land situation. So no one holds a deed for land and they go over and pay the taxes for it, occupy it and eventually own the land.

It seems like the dispossession of Emancipation all over again for some and underneath this land issue seethes the fears and insecurities of almost 200 years of history.

Couple that with Devant Maharaj who writes columns filled with racist prejudices every chance he gets like this one here in South Asian Outlook.

Imagine an entire article that focuses on complaining about CSO stats...when it is his government that has been responsible since 2010 for conducting the survey and releasing the stats.

Ironically enough, no one ever seems to think it necessary to call for the resignation of Devant Maharaj, Sat Maharaj, Jack Warner, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Neil Parsan or Nizam Mohammed. Yet as of this morning everyone and the NJAC calling for Sandy's head.

Sandy did shit....but if none of the abovementioned people have to step down from their position then on what grounds are we calling for Sandy's head?

But Ashworth going to hope hell hard that he can continue to distract the voting population with the race talk, while the corruption and competency discussion gets swept under the mat.

London would do well to establish that no one has raised a question about Milshirv since he released documents and continue to warn Tobagonians about the implications a UNC-led TOP has for corruption and competence in the island's affairs.

As for me.....I can't wait to hear Hochoy Charles tonight....I feel he going to be in ripping form!

 

Vote with Sense, don't vote Full Dotish!

Vernansi Stories

 Verna St Rose Greaves swearing in as a Senator and Government Minister.  

I really worried about the image of female leadership in this place you know.

 

Last week Saturday, on its premium news page, page 3, the Trinidad Guardian announced a special in-depth interview from a former government minister. Even though we swimming in former government ministers after just 2.5 years of The PPs term in office - Sandy, Cornelis-Baptiste, Ramgoolam, King, Partap, Volney - female instinct told me that the interview had to be with Verna St Rose Greaves. Here was a chance for the public to get eye witness accounts of the inner workings of the Cabinet on issues like the SoE, the Cheryl Miller Affair and even the gender policy that is quietly making its way through Parliament. Though Greaves's term in office lasted just shy of a year, she is known to be bold and outspoken. Finally, clarity.

 

Instead what we got sounded like the script to a Lifetime Movie. A female PM surrounded by oppressive men, with both mental and physical health problems fighting to be the leader we all hopes she can be. The victim narrative is back!

 

Rumors of the PMs alcohol problem are probably greatly exaggerated, but the public may never know because no one has ever commented on it authoritatively. It remains in the realm of gossip and conjecture. Her weaknesses as a leader however are played out in the public sphere daily. Greaves took the opportunity this weekend to link the two, without any solid evidence. It was my deepest hope that St Rose Greaves' lengthy interview would shed light on these things. Only to read for two days a column that dwelt firmly in the realm of hearsay and conjecture. Not even fully fleshed out anecdotes about instances during her tenure as the Gender Minister. Instead what we get only adds fuel to the rumour mill.

 

 

A major feature of this PMs tenure is a lack of personal responsibility and accountability. Any mistakes and missteps are always the fault of the overwhelmingly male Cabinet around her. If the public is lied to or there is evidence of corruption or nepotism these actions are cleverly re-worded to be misspeaks, missteps and good family values.

 

 

The column starts melodramatically, " There are elements within the Cabinet of the People's Partnership Government that are trying to engineer a national crisis in order to sideline Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and 'slip in and do what they want'."

 

So, if Kamla wasn't there as PM, things would be worse? She is the only thing saving us from chaos? Say it ain't so! The entire time I thought Persad-Bissessar's leadership was part of the problem, it is actually the solution to our issues? In that one opening sentence we are once again fed the image of a beleaguered Prime Minister. Poor Kamla. Surrounded by sinister people who only want to do her in. Mind you, this is a Cabinet that from all appearances the Prime Minister chose. And if Greaves is suggesting that Persad-Bissessar didn't chose her Cabinet, then she should come out and tell the public who are the people calling the shots behind the scenes. But bandying about words like "elements within the Cabinet" without supporting evidence really should remain on the pages of Tom Clancy's novels.

 

Later on in the interview, Greaves calls for the PM to "stand up and step up", another suggestion that Persad- Bissessar is weak willed and not doing her job. When Greaves is asked who is in charge she responds, " It depends on what is being discussed....At any time it's a group of people who is in charge." No names. Nothing. So the myth of the secret, shadow cabal persists. Then Greaves goes on to say that the PM is not charge and fearful, but fearful of whom or what, Greaves cannot say. So, then you ask yourself after reading the entire Sunday column, if you don't know, why exactly are you repeating mere conjecture? To what end?

 

Greaves refers to the uproar over Vidwattie Newton as, " all the drama about money..." Perhaps conveniently forgetting that the money in question was State funds and that no one objected to Ms Newton accompanying her sister whenever she travelled, we objected to it being done at state expense, especially since a travel companion isn't covered by the PMs budget. In overlooking this crucial fact, Greaves belittles the public's very real concerns about state nepotism.

 

She then discusses the flawed processes in Cabinet. The fact that no minutes are taken and the general lack of transparency even within the structure of the Cabinet. Again, Greaves does not speak as if Persad-Bissessar is actually culpable here. Instead the talk is about collective responsibility.

 

Imagine the head of the Cabinet and Government is not ultimately responsible for the flawed processes within it? Greaves is quick to point out that the PM must have strengths and skills, because she has survived in the very masculine world of politics for so long. Again a quiet plug for the poor beleaguered female unable to perform because she is surrounded by men.

 

Ironically, by the second part of the interview St Rose Greaves is saying that it is time to move beyond gossip and whispers about the PMs and treat with it. What the "it" is she never specifies. and the article heads right back down conjecture cul-de-sac.

 

Hundreds of words later we know that there is a conspiracy against the PM within her own government...but we don't know who the conspirators are. The PM hasn't been able to lead her government because of these 'elements'; however she has great people skills...but has not been given the chance to lead. Nepotism really isn't that big a deal when compared to having family around. And if the PM would only give St Rose Greaves a chance, she could help her.

 

The entire 2-day column becomes a study in weak female leadership using the same shadowy rumors and scandals already in the public's consciousness to explain, and even justify, why Persad-Bissessar's tenure has been so spectacularly poor. And from a minster who was present for a year and could easily name names and describe events we instead get the subtle message that it is a shadowy cabal, no doubt male, coupled with frail health won't let the PM run her government as she sees fit. If what Greaves says is true, then Persad- Bissessar should step down. If what Greaves says is true, female leadership is down for the count.

 

I can say this though, the Cheryl Miller conspiracy might be a trilogy!

Guest Column: Wayne's Way, the Highway, and other Take-Aways...

by Christian Hume ( A Pantomime Guest Columnist)
on Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 7:51pm ·

Like everybody else, I've watched with rapt interest the unfolding saga of Dr. Wayne Kublalsingh's hunger strike. Like everyone else, I'm not exactly sure what is the reaons behind this hunger strike. You see, when Wayne first started fasting, his stated reason was because Kamla refused to meet him as promised. Then the reason shifted to being because Kamla promised to stop work until certain conditions were met, and now these are the minimum conditions he listed to the Opposition Leader before he would break his fast - "...the announcement of a multi-component technical group with some element of independent professional/technical, input, detailed to review the alternatives...." When the reason for the fast evolves from "meeting the Prime Minister" to "the announcement of a multi-component technical group", what is the Prime Minister supposed to do??

 

That aside, as a native of the area under the direct orbit of the Debe - Mon Desir stretch, let me make it unequivocally clear to all and sundry that I WANT that stretch. I want if BADLY. The ability to drive to Port-of-Spain without passing on the South Trunk Road will make sense only to those of us who have lived with the increasing burden of traffic along that road. Up to when I left Presentation College in 1996, I could get to school on time for 8:00am if I caught the maxi "Black Diamond" which usually passed my house around 7:15 to 7:20am every morning. Today, if I were DRIVING my own vehicle, I would have to leave home by 6:30am to be SURE of getting to school on time, and this from a point that is just FIFTEEN MINUTES' drive from San Fernando if there is no traffic on the road. So you can imagine what people from Point Fortin have to go through, being a good 45 minutes' drive from San Fernando on a clear road. I won't attempt to describe in detail the woe people from Siparia, Penal, and Fyzabad, because I'm not from those areas - except to say that when they too decide to use the South Trunk road to get to San Fernando - it makes life much more difficult for people like me and the people coming from Point Fortin.

 

I also wish to make it unequivocally clear that while I want the Debe - Mon Desir stretch, I remain resolutely opposed to the secrecy, nepotism, and corruption that seems to be part of the mix right now. Unconfirmed figures are popping up on facebook that seem to suggest that the cost per mile to build that stretch os way above and beyond anything that obtains anywhere else in the world. As a nation, we need to ask ourselves a collective "Why"?? Is it because of the corruption that I just alluded to, is it becase the highway's propodes path includes taking it THROUGH the Oropouche Lagoon as opposed to AROUND it?? What's the reason?? If at the end of it all, this issue of cost is not interrogated, we would have missed a major opportunity to continue the process of fighting back against the systemic corruption that has bedeviled all admininstrations of this country and kept us back from being the leading beacon in the WORLD that we can be.

 

In a strange twist of irony, I am personally happy that Mrs. Persad-Bissessar is the Prime Minister who has to deal with the highway in its present stage, and not Mr. Manning or Dr.Rowley. This is yet another opportunity for UNC supporters to interrogate the propensity of their representatives to flip-flop on major issues depending on which side of the Speaker's face is closer to them in the Parliament Chamber. We recall Panday's flip-flop on the Carribbean Court of Justice some years ago, having opposed it in Opposition and then going on to continue with it while in Government. Today we are treated with the spectacle of Dr. Kublalsingh, having been utterly consistent in his positions with respect to the Smelter, the TCL matter in Claxton Bay, and the Debe - Mon Desir stretch of highway; going to bed in a political threesome with Kamla and Moonilal on the night of May 24, 2010, only to wake up on the morning of May 25, 2010 to find them both scrambling to shove him off the bed. How long will UNC supporters continue to put up with this level of flip-flopping?? Kamla early in her tenure as PM proclaimed Roodal Moonilal as her heir apparent, but based on the evidence of his stiff-necked flip flop on the Debe - Mon Desir stretch of highway, if Roody is the best the UNC can come up with, then the UNC, and the entire country by extension, is in a pretty deep cesspool. Can we use this Highway impasse as another opportunity to interrogate ourselves as a country and start holding our leaders to a higher standard??

 

As a native of one of the affected areas, I can say with an authority that people who are not from the area cannot possess, that Kublalsingh's Re-Route is nonsense. However, this matter has long since ceased to be just about the technical details of the "Re-Route". There are many questions that need to be answered. Why did Kublalsingh reject the findings of the technical review implemented by the government?? Why have the findings of this review not been made available to members of the public?? Why is this stretch of highway being made to pass THROUGH the Oropouche Lagoon instead of around it?? Why does the HRRM not seem to have a problem with the decimation of the very same Oropouche Lagoon to facilitate their proposed re-route through the Mosquito Creek?? Why does this stretch of Highway have to cost so much more than any other highway anywhere in the world?? Why has the process of awarding contracts for this stretch of highway been so shrouded in secrecy?? Why have Roodal Moonilal and Kamla Persad-Bissessar been given a free pass to perform a naked about-turn from opposing the Highway when the PNM was in government, to suddenly insisting on it now that the UNC forms the government?? Why are the views of the residents of Point Fortin, Erin, Cedros, Buenos Aires, Penal, Siparia, Fyzabad, and surrounding areas not being courted as aggresively as people are tuning in to Kublalsingh and the HRRM?? Why are the people who actually want the Highway not being as vocal about their want and need for the Highway??

 

Take it Away!!

 

NOTE:

 

While I was doing this note, the Higway Re-Route Movement issued the following clarification on my wall of the reasons for Dr. Kublalsingh's hunger strike:

 

 

"...Dr. Wayne Kublalsingh never asked to MEET with the PM. The reason for this is that we HAVE met with her. The aim of the hunger strike, stated many times by Dr. Kublalsingh on several occasions to the press in my presence, was to get the PM to honour her promise to put works on "hold" as she put it until a review was done. You see, in the 2-3 meetings with the PM and/or Ministry of Works/NIDCO since March of this year, the Movement has never seen a Technical report, Cost-Benefit analysis or Hydrological report from the Govt, all of which we requested and never received. We therefore ask "what review was done, and if so, where is it?".."

Dear Kamla....Sincerely, The Keith

The PM responded again today insisting that Kublalsing does not want to meet with her and here are some excerpts from her comments at a luncheon given for the media at the Diplomatic Centre: A synopsis of what the PM said minutes ago during an address to the media at a media appreciation function at the Diplomatic Centre:

-"I am not above meeting with Wayne, I have done so and would so again but that is not what is being asked of me".

- Kublalsingh has insisted from the very start that he doesn't want to meet with me, he wants highway work halted and review undertaken.

- I refute claim from Highway Re-route Movement that I reneged on promise to halt work. Work was halted, and meetings were held.

- after work on Pt. Fortin highway halted, it resumed months later after several meetings and a report from a technical team.

-we simply cannot give in to the demands of Kublalsingh and his team to stop a project which could benefit generations.

-we have tried to reason with the Highway Re-route Movement more than many would allow.

-I make an appeal to Wayne's parents, wife, to take on "personal obligation and duty" they have for his actions & not transfer it to the State.

-I am fortified in my oath of office. I cannot favour any one group or allow fear to control my actions.

 

then later today Opposition Leader Keith Rowley sent a letter to the PM. Here are it's contents:

22nd November, 2012

 

 

Mrs. Kamla Persad Bissessar S.C.

 

The Honourable Prime Minister

 

Office of the Prime Minister1

 

3-15 St. Clair Avenue

 

PORT-OF-SPAIN

 

 

Dear Honourable Prime Minister,

 

 

As you will be aware the whole issue of objections to certain aspects of the routing and construction of the San Fernando to Point Fortin Highway has been with us for some time now. This matter of the State versus those directly affected has escalated to a point where a life might be at risk.

 

 

It is now a matter transcending the objectors of Delhi-Mon Desir to one of the national conscience relating to how we deal with one another and how the might and patience of the State is exercised in service to the people, all the people, even those who may be perceived to be stubborn, unreasonable or taxing.

 

 

Yesterday, Wednesday 21st November 2012 I was contacted by Dr. Kublalsingh and requested to speak with him. I subsequently visited him and I am very concerned that if something positive is not done very soon the ultimate tragedy of irreparable harm would most certainly occur. Notwithstanding the antecedents of this situation, it is my view that it is possible for this matter to be defused without the pain, shame and stain which it harbours and promises to promote.

 

 

I asked Dr. Kublalsingh what is the minimum condition attached to his request and he informed that the announcement of a multi-component technical group with some element of independent professional/technical, input, detailed to review the alternatives will suffice to break his fast.

 

 

Honourable Prime Minister in the fullest appreciation of your onerous responsibility and expressed empathy, it is my sincerest suggestion that this is a situation where the age-old principle of “nobles oblige” could be applied for the wider good of not just those directly involved but for the peace, respect and reputation of the nation as a whole. It enriches us all when we see and appreciate, as we always know, that it is far easier for the king to reach down and touch the commoner than for the servant to reach up to the master. A simple request on your part, to have the issue brought back to your office, just one more time, may suffice to save a life and disembark us all from the pathway of destruction upon we may have wittingly or unwillingly entered.

 

 

This is not a time for anger, blame or bombast. This is a time for reaching out and protecting us all from the pain of failure. Ultimately this is a matter of the State versus the people where numbers and dollars may not be all that matter. It may finally boil down to who we are, how much we understand each other and how well we would have served all the people.

 

 

There is no shame in seeking a solution mixing authority with humility and this final effort as requested ought never to be viewed as a diminishing of your esteemed office. It is in this vein that I strongly recommend that you intervene, one more time, and may God bless us all.

 

 

 

Yours in service,

 

 

 

 

Dr. Keith RowleyLeader of the Opposition andMember of Parliament for Diego Martin West

Much Ado About Numbers

;

It was all about the size and ethnic make up of the crowd yesterday. While de facto Prime Minister Jack Warner (oh, you mean you didn't realise that he is the person speaking on behalf of the government for EVERYTHING? When last you heard from Kamla?) is quick to tell the media otherwise, it's fairly obvious, just from the type of responses he has given that the size of yesterday's march and who was in it was important. And the larger and more representative of every demographic of this country the marches get, the more the PP Government will deny publicly what the marches mean. What makes this ironic is that back in 2010 Jack and Kamla lead much smaller protests for issues like the rapid rail transport sytem that was likely to displace farmers. Back then the size and ethnic make up of the crowd didn't matter, what mattered was that citizens, Trinbagonians were being displaced by the government.

On Friday, thousands and thousands of Trinbagonians took to the streets to voice their displeasure over Section 34 and the bungling incompetence of the PP Government. Long before the crowd started marching along the route there were estimates being given out online. A person calling himself Allan Karim, the name of a known UNC blogger claimed a crowd of 800. The FB page for Team UNC-COP claimed 1000. At around that time the crowd was easily double that and I was standing in Woodford square with a group of like minded and right thinking citizens discussing how this government for all its new politics talk, was using the usual racist propaganda scare tactics to corral it's voter base. Little did I know how my points would be underscored for me later.

The crowd coming from Wrightson Road side around the twin Towers heading to meet the Woodford Square posse. Photo taken by Andre de Silva.Just as the crowd was getting ready to leave Woodford Square the National Security helicopter showed up, and it stayed with the march the entire time. Part of what the helicopter was there to do was assess the size of the crowd, and interestingly enough some of these aerial photographs, that look like they were taken from one of the Twin Towers or by National Security personnel would eventually end up in the hands of UNC bloggers. The photographs - taken around 1pm, when one group of marchers was assembling on the Promenade having made it's way from Wrightson Road to the Promenade to await the procession that was coming from Woodford Square - was used to dispute claims of over 20,000 people. There are photographs aplenty from Andrea De Silva to support my claim. Interestingly enough the figure of 20,000 was given by the police. And that figure only started circulating at around 3pm. It's unfortunate that the UNC blogger's pic don't have a time stamp that I can see so I could corroborate times.

In any case, worried over the impact that a growing number of protesters would have on the psyche of the country, last night came this from TEAM UNC-COP:

**** Breaking News: EXPOSED! PNM, MEDIA, POLICE wrong on PNM March crowd! Irrefutable Proof! ***** Fellow Citizens: we expose the PNM-Media conspiracy and prove they are working in tandem against the Govt. The Police are, at best, clumsy oafs, poohar, backward, using flawed techniques for crowd estimates. We hate to embarrass the Police but we hope the Commissioner is shown this - by Minister Warner, and is convinced to train a few of his people in crowd estimation.

It's very simple but the PNM is illiterate and cannot help defrauding the people; the Media is slothful, lazy, and against the PP govt. Their wildly inaccurate crowd estimates expose the media for what they are: simpletons, backward, illiterate, very low standard of journalism, spiteful, north-centric, a bunch of 3rd world pretenders who try to convince the people they are "neutral" and should be allowed a free rein, above all else they must not be criticized. And, if you think we are attacking you: bingo, you got one right! We are attacking you for your woefully horrible standard of journalism, and you are free to prove us wrong. If you do, we will retract everything and praise you, advocating strongly for 50% raise for all media people in T&T! Seriously.

The Racist Letter submitted by Sunil Ranjitsingh to Jyoti Communications that he claims a PNM supporter handed to him.And if this attack on the Police and Media wasn't enough, then came the accusations that the PNM was distributing racist pamphlets in Woodford Square. According to Sunil Ramjitsingh in a letter to Jyoti Communications, the website responsible for all of Kamla's PR:
Dear News Editors, >; I am writing in my personal capacity to bring to your attention the attached document, which document was being distributed at the Woodford Square this afternoon during the assembly for the Democracy March. >; I walked through the square myself in the company of one of my colleagues. A tall woman in a red t-shirt handed my colleague this flyer and when I reached out for one she was hesitant but then she eventually, reluctantly handed me one. >; If you read it, you will see that the flyer contains very nasty racial content. I then understood why the woman did not hesitate to give my colleague but was reluctant to give me a copy - my colleague was of African descent and I, of course, am of East Indian descent. >; >; Respectfully Submitted, >; Sunil Ramjitsingh
What was curious about Ranjitsingh's letter is this....during the 2010 Election a similar letter was distributed in various parts of Trinidad. The point of the letter then, as it is now, is to stir racist sentiment. Ranjitsingh's choice of medium is curious. Jyoti Communications is Kamla's blog. Ranjitsingh is a known UNC activist, he ran for a position in the internal elections earlier this year. So, was the purpose of his story in Kamla's blogpost to inform the wider population or to inform the party faithful? I was at the Square, and saw no one distributing this flyer. In fact the only flyers I got was from the Highway Re-Route Movement. If we go with Ranjitsingh's story, then because I look african, I should have received a flyer. And I was in that Square from 11:45 until we moved onto the streets. Funny how no one ever gives me useful flyers.
The FB group TEAM UNC-COP also spent quite a bit of time yesterday race-mongering. In Sheila Rampersad's account of yesterday's march, that was careful to only focus on the trivial, the one thing serious issue she managed to note was a racist comment by a man on Frederick Street, who she reports as saying: A man speaking loudly to two women at the bottom of Frederick Street returned the country to its worst ethos: “This country! A Hindu demon leading this country! Is Kali puja!” Thankfully, the women refused to respond.
The administrators of TEAM UNC-COP took this quote and expanded on it and on their wall claimed that the PNM had said it without any evidence of such from Sheila Rampersad's column:

EVIL RACIST PNM PROPAGANDA! "A Hindu demon leading this country! Is Kali puja" Citizens of T&T - beware of the evil disgusting messages coming from the desperate PNM. And is this encouraged by Ramesh lawrence Maharaj, Abduallah, OWTU, and the PNM accomplices? This is typical of the PNM modus operandi. Divide and Rule. Decent patriotic Trinis must condemn the PNM or else our beloved and beautiful T&T will descend into a zombie 4th world hell-hole. The PNM will like nothing better than that since that's their natural environment, they love it that way.

In the last 24 hours the PP government have made certain thing undoubetedly clear.

  1. They aren't practising any new politics since their policy is obviously to continue to lie to the electorate; ignore the complaints of the population; and to use scaremongering and racism as a tactic of divide and rule.
  2. They have no plans or policies beyond Position Hulsie X aka "We Not Moving". There is no thrust to run a country or manage a budget. the only thrust is to line pockets.
  3. Their default position is always going to be Blame the PNM and Black People Hate we and trying to Oppress We.

Once you keep these things in mind, it's pretty much easy to manoeuvre from here.

In moving forward the the other political parties....and by that I refer to the PNM and MSJ....will:

  • Continue to rally public support to the point where the financiers of the current government become concerned about their investment and put pressure on Kamla.
  • Continue to build develop their policies and party's vision for the future because and present a slate of candidates that the thinking electorate will believe in.

Let's face it. UNC/COP has squandered all of its political currency. As soon as any one of their ministers speak the electorate starts looking for the lie. The PNM faithful have returned home, it's the swing voters or fence sitters that The Keith has to reach out to. The MSJ will now have to consider its voter base and reach out to undecideds in PNM and UNC/COP seats. If you ask me, short of a massive rigging that eclipses S34 or Prakash Ramadhar and the rest of the Section 34 Gang of Thieves managing to hoodwink the population into Proportional Representation (and that campaign coming, watch and see), the UNC has corrupted its way out of a chance at election 2015. Kamla may well have out-Basdeoed De Bas!

De Vice Cyah Done!

;

Rowbama vs Kamnesia

It's the Battle of the Re-Brands folks, and Keith Rowley is ready to rumble.

In 2010 we saw a rejuvenated UNC re-brand itself after getting rid of Basdeo Panday. A lot of money, effort and Ernie Ross went into making over Kamla. On the campaign trail she was constantly surrounded by foreign security guards. Her normal attire was a yellow sweater twin-set and black pencil skirt, with perfectly coiffed hair. An accent, not bought from Honda, became readily apparent and we became the NAY SHUN. Persad-Bissessar, desperate to prove to us that she was a breath of fresh air, the chayyyynge that was blowing through the nayyyshun would lip sync Bryan Adams and Celine Dion for us: A New day was coming and Everything she was doing, she was doing for us. Her supporters were ecstatic over the re-branding. They were happy for the new image, and for the opportunity to prove to the rest of the country that the Panday era was behind them.

Tonight the PNM's Keith Rowley reinforced Jamal Mohammed's fears of a re-branded PNM by unveiling just that. This is my first PNM Convention ever, I have no idea what normally takes place. But the presentation of the Political Leader this afternoon was an interesting concoction of fanfare and substance. The PNM, a party that I have often considered to be stuck in the Jurassic era used a lot of multimedia this afternoon, and I was happy to see that. There were two documentaries: one on Section 34 and another on Rowley the Man.

Section 34 gave us a synopsis of the Constitutional crisis facing the country complete with man-on-the-street and informed talking heads (Faris Al Sexy and Justin Jwoww Phelps). the documentary on The Keith sought to show Rowley in a new light. Not the aggressive parliamentarian that earned him the name of rottweiller, but the man that Tobagonians see. Last week after returning from the Tobago meeting I commented to a few friends that the Rowley seen in Tobago and the one seen in Trinidad are two different beasts. Tobago is where he relaxes, stands up and limes with a crowd of people after a meeting and smiles and jokes.

Today the gathering at the QPS Grand Stand got to see some of that as the documentary showed Keith in his Mason Hall home, looking very much the gentleman farmer on land inherited from his grandfather, surrounded by other Tobagonians, family members and with a cameo from the Anglican archbishop. You saw Rowley as husband, father and neighbour.

Then there was the short video introduction to his speech that showed Franklyn Khan calling The Keith on his Blackberry. The Keith getting ready, and poking fun at himself several times pretending to comb his hair and even pausing on his was to the Savannah to pet a vicious looking dog. Who knew the man had a sense of humour? Then he and wife Sharon emerged on stage, and you don't have to like Rowley to admit that he and his wife are a very handsome couple.

Then came the speech. And what it was, was a well crafted manifesto. It is the second time in a month that The Keith has presented an energy and debt servicing policy as a counterpoint to the abysmal budget Larry Howai delivered on October 1st. And when you consider the Ministry of Works asking for $2.7b since the Budget was read, and today's announcement that the AG needs $1.3b to pay for the OPV arbitration; Keith's policies and plans re the country's finances begin to look far more attractive than the mismanagement and misstepping that Kamla and her small goal side have given us.

Between Independence Day to the present the Opposition Leader has used every opportunity at his disposal to present himself as Prime Ministerial; to show that he has the intelligence and leadership skills necessary to, as he said today, put the country back on track. And it doesn't help the UNCs cause that at every turn they are doing absolute crap and Kamla....the epitome of female leadership remains the mum mother and grandmother.

Indeed,  the Prime Minister is probably hoping that Ernie Ross can give the country a dose of Kamnesia and make us forget the non-stop missteps of the last 2.5 years. In this upcoming week, when a massive protest is planned expect more wild statements from her ministers, especially Ministers who until now have been quiet. Expect all manner of distraction. And expect Rowley's new look and his manifesto to be bashed even though the PPG has nothing by way of actual policy in the entire term to date that can compare. In fact, Rowley seems to be doing the Government's homework time and again.

But new image a side, there was another aspect to today's convention that was more satisfying to me and it is an area that I would like to see The Keith and his executive address. I had the pleasure and honour today of meeting Rick Rampersad and it was all accidental. I'd gone into the media room to charge my phone and ipad when a colleague brought in a young man to do an interview. The gentleman was from the West Orupouche seat (same one as Stacy Ramnarine). What started as an interview between him and the reporter quickly became a conversation between him and several people. Rick Rampersad talked about Indians in politics, particularly Hindus in politics in a way that isn't discussed on the campaign trail. It was frank, respectful and refreshing. Not just the party's voter base, but the entire country needs to be hearing more voices like Rick Rampersad's. the face of the PNM is too often seen to be Black and Christian. It never looks as all inclusive as it claims to be and voices such as Rampersad's and a host of others NEED to come to the fore.

As I write the COP is having it's internal elections and no doubt the UNC is ensuring that it gets as many of its people into the party's key positions that way Kamla can continue to call the shots. Once Kamla can call the shots she assures herself several things: no COP walking out before the next elections; and no COP to split votes then either.

This weekend the PNM showed that it can and will evolve in order to survive. It's leader has shown that apart from being bright and incisively intelligent he is also  flexible enough shake up his own image. THA elections are around the corner. Time to see if the UNC has more to offer the electorate than really bad PR and an empty treasury.

De Vice Cyah Done!

The Motion of Censure against the AG

Tomorrow our Parliament will see the Opposition bring a motion of  censure against the AG, Anand Ramlogan. The Opposition is charging that the AG was part of the Cabinet that promised to not enact the Bill before all measures were put in place and was also part of the Cabinet that then ignored these measures and facilitated the early...and secretive...proclamation of 5 sections of the Act one of which created an Amnesty for Ish and Steve Galbaransingh. As you well know, Ish, Steve and about 13 other people are facing charges of corruption and bid rigging over the billion-dollar Piarco Airport. They are currently seeking legal action against the repeal of the Indicatable Offences Act...the law that holds Section 34 in it. The following is the actual petition submitted by the Leader of the Opposition:Motion: 1. WHEREAS Section 76(2) of the Constitution specifies "that the Attorney General shall, subject to section 79, be responsible for the administration of legal affairs in Trinidad and Tobago and legal proceedings for and against the Sta

te"; AND WHEREAS the Attorney General participated in the presentation to Parliament of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Bill 2011 which contained a clause that created an amnesty for certain legal proceedings [referred to as Section 34]; AND WHEREAS the Attorney General had knowledge of and supported the Government's solemn undertaking to Parliament that no part of the Bill would be brought into force until such time as all supporting rules, administrative and physical infrastructure were in place and stakeholders consulted; AND WHEREAS in the absence of the discharge of the said undertakings, the Attorney General had knowledge of and/or involvement in the unexpected proclamation of Section 34, thereby prematurely bringing into force an amnesty with consequences for certain legal proceedings involving certain persons; AND WHEREAS earlier, the Attorney General made certain decisions in an extradition matter involving those said certain persons; AND WHEREAS as a consequence of this series of developments there is widespread unease, anger, disappointment and a general sense of loss of confidence in the Attorney General among a large cross-section of the national population; AND WHEREAS the Attorney General has accepted no responsibility for the improper discharge of his constitutional duties: BE IT RESOLVED that this Honourable House express its strongest disapproval of the flagrant breach of Parliamentary trust by the Attorney General's involvement in the premature proclamation of Section 34; AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Honourable House express its loss of confidence in the Attorney General and call on the Prime Minister to immediately relieve him of the portfolio of Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago.

...And a Boddle of Rum!

Hear nah, i feel 3 Zero have to be the official drink of the People's Partnership and all man Jack Warner and Jamal Mohammed taking it through an IV. I thought today's low point was people from East Port of Spain telling reporters frankomen that if the Government aint give better paying jobs they will loot out Port of Spain....but no, it got better than that. Because angry citizens threatening to pillage and sack is one thing. But when you have your Minister of Local Government saying normal normal on TV that $69 a day is minimum wage you have to read between the lines and get what he saying. After Kamla and she small goal side pound Manning and the PNM for encouraging dependency, "gimme gimme" attitudes, and perpetuating a culture of handouts, Suruj Rambachan will come and admit that they government willing to pay people to work for 4 hours a day! because suruj cyah mean that people going to work an 8-hr day....which is the length of a normal working day....for $69. And if you telling me you hiring people for 4 hours a day, then the UNC is not only part of the problem, them IS the problem! Is not them self complain about this shit? Really?

And all of a sudden Jack Warner, the minister of everything, can't be found to address a National Security issue.....well look thing!

But in the middle of TV6 news tonight i see the extent of this government 3 Zero problem. Imagine COP member, appointed Senator, Minister of Information, Jamal Mohammed will send a letter from the Office of the Prime Minister to the head of news at TV6, couched in racist language attacking the media and issuing  a not-so-subtle threat?

Take a read at CCN TV6's post:

#ProtectThePress Government's Communications Minister Jamal Mohammed writes CCN Group Head of News a letter of complaint which he said is not the government's position but "just the vides of an insignificant muslim coolie from San Juan". He said the letter was not for publication but CCN Head of News informed him that that was not possible given his position in the Cabinet. CCN regards the letter

to be an act of attempted intimidation and, therefore the contents deserved to be made public. The e-mail pointed out the following: 1. 'Something seems to be going on at TV6 and the Express and it is not too nice.' 2. 'A blind man can see that there is a clear bias at both TV6 and the Express.' 3. '...reports are being presented in the name of investigative journalism and the only rationale for these reports is to embarrass certain individuals." 4. "It is clear to me that there is a specific agenda to discredit Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and members of her government." 5. "Since May 2010, I have seen for myself a deliberate and targetted barrage of accusations and misrepresentations about the People's Partnership as if there is an ultimate objective to make the Government fall." 6. "To make matters worse, a deliberate programme has appeared on both TV6 and the Express, where the PNM is being re-branded, refreshed and re-aligned so that it will become a new PNM ready for governance with the fall of the People's Partnership". 7. "I have noticed that anytime (without exception) there is a perceived problem concerning the Partnership Government, there is always a PNM Official ready, willing and able to make comment. This is most unfortunate."
Should Jamal Mohammed be put on suicide watch? Better yet, should we put Kamal Mohammed on suicide watch because I sure Cha Cha want to dead with shame right now.
I hope that after penning that particular letter he write a letter of resignation one time too.
This government gone clear! and yet our biggest critic on media and culture can't manage to do a proper column yet about how the UNC and Media. In 1996, within the first 90 days of his government Panday attacked Jones P Madeira because he was pissed off at how often pictures of him with a glass in hand appeared in the newspapers. Panday issued a ban on the Guardian and all of its reporters from all Government functions until Madeira was fired. That was the ultimatum. In a scramble some of the top news paper editors and publishers of the region flew in to Trinidad to meet with Panday and assuage his feelings by offering to be media watch dogs. His relationship with the media thereafter didn't improve.
Flash forward to UNC 2010 and though Kamla started off on a positive note with the media in the last 3 years her government has issued attack after attack on the press. It started with appointments to state media boards, then the changes at CNMG, then the firing of Fazeer Mohammed. Then the death threats from Sasha Mohammed/Janice Thomas to Express editors and reporters. Then the raid on the Express. Then the raid on the Newsday. In between you had the government restricting all advertising funding to the Mirror Newspaper and Gayelle.  Then there was the firings at Power 102.1 FM.  Then recently there have been the attacks on Asha Javeed and Denyse Renne by UNC bloggers.  And I feel quite certain that I have missed a few.
Jamal Mohammed must have lost his mind. Or maybe he is just an example of a meltdown within the government. I mean really...."insignificant muslim coolie"? Does that mean "recalcitrant minority" off the hook now? Study yuh head good....you think if Keith Rowley was to ever put God out of his thoughts and use language like that to describe a citizen here he or his party could live it down? Yet Mohammed felt the need to use reductive language, of a racist nature and then pretend he wasn't doing so in his official capacity as Minister of Information? Is it that he and Dominic Kallipersad are penpals and often discuss politics together? In what capacity other than his official one could Mohammed have been writing a media house?
He has brought the Senate, the Cabinet, the Government and the Country into disrepute with this letter, and he has also threatened our democracy by issuing this veiled threat to the media. Express and TV6 are doing their jobs...plain and simple....and it would have been great if Jamal Mohammed....a member of a bloated and overstaffed Cabinet...had actually done his!
JAMAL NEEDS TO GO, NOW!!!!!!!!!
De Vice Cyah Done!

Down Town Top Ranking...

Doh get fooled with them fiery protests in East Port of Spain and feel is just the natives acting up, eh. And no, don't get yuh knickers in a knot, we reach that point in the political nastiness where the nigger vs coolie talk back on the forefront normal normal. When Sara An Majid Khan, who is the same complexion as me, could be complaining on FB that the new Miss Trinidad and Tobago Universe black and ugly, you know we cooking with gas and election season pumping.

Real people watching the action in town and figure well, is black people, they acting up again.  Them political analysts aint lie when they say Jack bounce he head  with he forays into East Port of Spain. You see, one of the things with Jack Warner is he always on ah ranking scene. Warner not just happy being the big man, he like to be seen to be the big man. Everbody must know he is the HNIC. So Jack wouldn't do like others and quietly meet with residents of Port of Spain. Nah...home boy does have to roll with camera crew and entourage. Neighbourhoods does get forewarning of the imminence of Warner. He like crowd, he like lights, he like camera. If soca was paying as much he woulda take over HD work and all, Yeah Yeah!

Just watch he actions in Chaguanas West. Jack aint satisfied being a popular MP, he also have to be THE MOST POPULAR and THE MOST HINDU MP of Chaguanas West. If politics had the same categories as beauty contests, Warner would be Mr Congeniality. And Trinis does see Warner posing, posturing and mamaguy as hard work...because we is Trinis...that is we idea of hard work....the best poser is the hardest worker, not so?

But Jack aint bounce he head normal with East Port of Spain, yuh know...he fall down and break he crown....and lemme maths it out for you.

As a smart man, Jack supposed to understand and honour the code of all smartmen. Town...specifically East Port of Spain have the reputation of being the roughest neighbourhood in Trinidad...whether is actually so is not the issue here...is the perception. Jack, trying he hardest to pose off as the toughest most effective Minister of National Security needed to appear to conquer East PoS....anybody who coulda look like they bring peace to that art of Town coulda boast in all four corners of the island that they making inroads on crime. That is thing to hold Crime Stats Rally for...ent?

Jack done make out that he didn't have to really bring down crime figures, he just had to make Town seem quiet. So he move in Laventille and East Pos and he try to buy people silence. And he buy their silence with the promise of jobs.

Now get this clear, it have plenty people in East POS who working and working hard. I wanna large up meh Crew from the Harpe and from Bath Street and from Darcueil Lane. Yeah, one is one, strength and powers!

There is also an element of these neighbourhoods where the real work doh happen during 9-5 hours. Jack, being Jack, decide he going and offer these non-workers ah wuk. Them fellas in Town know their reputation. They know how the rest of the country view them. They know that even if they is not real gangsters everybody else does see them as gangsters. Jack come to them with a proposal. He go give them work on the condition that they keep things cool. And they agree. Jack aint the first politician to make them offers. Them accustomed to negotiating with politicians to behave. Is a normal scene.

The difference between past government officials and Jack is that Warner decide to pull rank. Yuh doh disrepect man so. A smart man supposed to know not to pull no ranking scene with smart men. Doh come and make big announcement about 500 jobs that will change lives for the better, get we to agree to it publicly and then when we show up you offering 100 jobs at $69 an hour in full view of the media. Yuh Mad? No Saddis, it doh happen so. Is not that we ever thought you was going to give all 500 jobs with big salary, but you was supposed to meet we halfway....and if you want to pull a fast one on we, doh pull it to make we look like ass. You go have fellas from East PoS looking like punks to the rest of the country. Then next thing you know goontas from Beetham, Sealots, La Horquetta, Malabar, Pinto, the Congo, all them places, laughing at we because we in pussies?

So we hadda represent Jack....you on a ranking scene? We go show you ranking scene. You feel you run things, no horse, we run things, things nah run we. If we you feel you could come and buss style in East Port of Spain, think again. We is not no ass here. You offering we 100 jobs at $69/day for two months and if we did settle for that Kamla woulda throw a Crime Rally that costing we millions just to say, "Look, see, we conquered East PoS". Nah hoss. Keep yuh $69 a day. We go find something else to do. And in the meantime tire going and burn on a regular and doh let we ketch yuh in Piccadilly.

De Vice Cyah Done!

Show me yuh &&&&&&&!.

When Kamla made Anand Ramlogan a Senator and swore him in as Attorney General, I asked my friends in the legal fraternity, he bright? He capable? You see, I didn't know anything about Ramlogan beyond his column in the Guardian. I knew that he had positioned himself as a champion of the people in that column, but what the column really did was advocate against the oppression of Indians. Ramlogan, then, wrote many interesting and pointed articles about how marginalised Indians were under the PNM. His views had merit, but the balance in his analysis left much to be desired. However, in the legal sphere I had never heard his name be called regularly and for high profile cases. In short, I was very unaware of how skilled an AG he had the potential, if any, to be. So I waited. I gave this government almost 8 months to show their colours before I began criticising them. In that 8-month period Ramlogan promised that he was going to bring charges against  Manning and Calder Hart and make them accountable for the mismanagement that happened at UDECOTT. Then he began his hunt. The most memorable thing about Ramlogan's tenure in that first 8 months was  his inability to recognise Grand Pianos. From that moment the AG began to take on the image of the buffoon. I immediately started seeing him as a Naipaul hero. Foolish, uncomfortable in his own skin, but doggedly persistent.

Between then and now Ramlogan has done little to distinguish himself in the legal fraternity beyond award himself silk, and deliver so many pre-action protocol letters to Opposition and Media Houses that the AGs Office seems like a CEPEP for Lawyers.  In between those activities he was busy defending the State of Emergency, spent several nights on television acting the fool, got put in his place by Dominic Kallipersad, supported and repeated John Sandy's comment that all murders were being perpetrated by young black men from single parent homes and yeah...firing the legal team that had been very successful in the Ish and steve Extradition Case. If you beginning to notice that Calder Hart and Manning fell off his radar, don't be worried. He eventually took out a law suit against Calder Hart in his private capacity because he really doesn't have any evidence to link Hart to corruption, just evidence that Hart mismanaged a state agency. And given Ramlogan's tenure in office, mismanagement of office is par for the course with the politicians and state board members we getting these days.

Under this AG and Government the image of the legal fraternity taking steady blows. Lawyers appear corrupt, unethical, inefficient and downright foolish. But don't say that to their faces. They get upset and accuse you of lashing out and being stupid. It may be that too many lawyers are currently benefitting from the free for all troughing that this Government is allowing. We have two CoE's running until 2013 and several legal firms stand to benefit from them. we are looking at millions of dollars in legal fees for open and shut cases.

It seems under this AG that litigation is being used punitively. If a story is published in the newspaper that paints the government in a bad light, faster than you can type a by line the AG has issued a pre-action protocol letter. Get up in Parliament and ask a reasonable question like "Why did you fire the very successful prosecution team that was working on the Ish and Steve case?" and yes...you guessed it....pre-action protocol letter.

But of late it is rumoured that the AG is linked to a sexual assault case of a prominent Senior Govt Official. And last week in Parliament he decided to sue the THA for undertaking a BOLT project....an act that was clearly done to terrorise the THA for the upcoming elections in that organisation and to paint Orville London (THA Chief Secretary) and Anselm London (Secretary of Finance) as corrupt mismanagers of funding. Only to have said legal action blow up in his face when it was revealed that Timothy Hamel-Smith gave THA the greenlight on the project. The AG's profound response on the matter was, "Duhhhhh, I didn't know".

This man is abusing the power of his office. You telling me Ramlogan couldnt have asked a few questions before lashing out at the THA...but then again...the whole point of his tirade was to put the THA on the offensive and attack them...attack people's reputation and undermine Tobagonians....all for political mileage.

In all of this I haven't yet mentioned Section 34.....you know why? That's the big one....the mark on that aint even start to buss yet. And I feel when it start to buss so, people will cyah take it.

De Vice Cyah Done!