How Kamla Hang She Own Jack

HangJack  

Well I finally stop celebrating the TOP defeat in Tobago and will be nice and point out to Kamla, for her own benefit, how she hang she own Jack at this lovely game of Elections All Fours that she just fogged up royally.

There are many who will tell you that many Tobagonians were royally upset with London's PNM over the last 12 years. And this was not a lie. Orville London spent 12 years coping with the arrogance and asininity of Patrick Manning and then the bungling incompetence of the PP. During his tenure he had to cope with Manning's myopic vision for Tobago that saw adequate monies being pumped into the island to cover recurring expenditure, but very little being allocated to proper development of the island. In 2009 and he managed to hang on to the THA, but the TOP, a young and vibrant party was making inroads. Then came the 2010 elections in which Tobagonians delivered their own referendum on Manning and his treatment of them. Tobago went yellow. And from May 2010 to January 20th 2013, Orville London began the most strategic fight back I have ever witnessed.

TOP and UNC Political Leaders in Mason Hall on a walkabout.

 

 

 

 

 

 

But this coloumn isn't about London's fightback, but rather about Kamla's defeat. Given the tide London was swimming against and the landslide victory that Kamla achieved in 2010 one would think that she would have used good judgment and not squander that goodwill with the electorate, right?

Wrong!

Yesterday's THA should have been a referendum of Orville London's performance as THA Chief Secretary in the last 12 years, instead, through the cleverness of London and the crass vulgarity of Kamla and her minions it became an assessment not of London's performance in the THA but of Kamla Persad-Bissessar's performance from May 2010 to last week.

This Election should have been about Jack vs London, but it quickly became about Orville vs Kamla.....and like this woman don't learn! No Trini could ever come and beat a Tobagonian in he back yard.

Kamla launched her THA offensive at Budget Matihkor..aka the pre-Budget Rally....and I was the first, and probably the only person to note the type of language Kamla used to describe the ensuing THA campaign. Both Kamla and Anand boasted loudly on the stage at Mid-Centre of how they would win the THA Elections and send Rowley and London in a corner. That was misstep number 1. Yuh campaigning in Tobago and not Trinidad, how yuh go insult and attack two sons of the soil that lift Tobagonians nose so high?

At that same meeting Persad-Bissessar started her own subtle race talk with her "We know who the enemy is...get in yuh section" talk as she referenced the THA campaign to come. While Trinis aint see nothing wrong with that kind of We vs Them talk...Tobagonians know it and understand it only too well and we don't stick it! That was misstep number 2. And I pointed it out. But the Kamlarites so busy calling me a racist PNM sodomite they never read between the lines.

Thereafter though there was a change in the TOP's approach. Realising that Tobagonians weren't taking too kindly to the numerous missteps and corruption allegations from Central Government, Ashworth Jack himself issued a warning...no UNC interference in the THA campaign. Jack wanted discreet behind-the-scenes assistance by way of money and resources. The TOP hoped that the Milshirv accusations, just like the Calder Hart accusations against Manning, would stick to Orville like shit on a shoe heel. Unfortunately both the Chief Secretary and his Finance Secretary Anselm London much savvier than that. They understood that what threw Manning down was his unwillingness to come clean on his relationship with Calder Hart, Juliana Pena, UDECOTT and the Guanapo Church. Manning's position was both arrogant and unhelpful and it only riled the citizenry up more....which is why I insist he was a fool. London & London on the other hand utilised transparency and accountability to their benefit. A full file was uploaded to the world wide web, as well as sent to the Integrity Commission. Answer that! Not a peep could be heard from government for weeks after the upload. And the most they have managed thus far is a limp legal action from && that the treasury going to have to pay for.

TOP's gamble that Milshirv would haunt Orville the way Calder Hart haunted Manning died a sudden death.

Ashworth Jack, Kamla Persad-Bissesar, Jearlean John and vernella Toppin at church in Plymouth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then came the House That Pumpkin Built......and I had to grin each and every time Jack lied or avoided questions. Transparency and accountability was coming to haunt his ass now. Milshirv began to fade quickly as Ashworth's relationship with the UNC and its financiers because the front burner issue....then Jack's failure to lodge documents with the Integrity Commission. And here was the next misstep. Jack was making Tobago and Tobagonians look corrupt. Jack....really.....you from Tobago how long and you don't know that corruption associated with Trickydadians, not Tobagonians? Yuh fall down bad boy! You see, London had managed to dampen, if not totally remove the stench of corruption around himself, while Jack was refusing to answer any questions.

To deal with his declining public image Ashworth Jack made his next misstep....one that would be so critical and crucial to his demise, I wonder if the TOP and UNC figure it out yet....Ashworth Jack resorted to social media handled by a Trini....and not just any Trini, but a Trini whose entire idea of marketing and media is fete. Soon the TOP had a social media presence on FaceBook and Twitter and the pages were filled with Trinidad UNC supporters...and thereafter it only went downhill. There were pictures of Jack working in a garden and alluding to his supplies as being the basis of his wealth. Meanwhile Express's Irene Medina was doing her research and hitting Jack for six week after week. Kamla et al, sensing the shifting tide made the next crucial misstep by jumping into the fray.

Their hope was to show that Central Government....the moneyhandlers....were entirely behind Jack and that if Tobago wanted to develop and prosper they had to follow the money trail.

Could they be any more dumbass? Kamla...darling....Tobagonian know underdevelopment and hardship long time you know....Trinidad suffering Tobago aint nothing new.

And so, interference from the UNC went from peripheral to central! The Elections moved from being about Orville's performance to the invasion from the UNC. And Kamla, unwittingly became her own worst enemy.

Tobago was flooded with a sea of yellow. Trinidadians all over the place being their arrogant, flashy selves. Money, in a society that admires thrift and frugality and pulling up one's own bootstraps, was being thrown around wildly. Tobagonians looked on and realised just why Trinidad so effed up. They watched the queen parade herself. Helicopters flying in daily; trucks being ferried over with goodies...goodies that Tobagonians had been denied for the last 32 months unless they were openly TOP....and a flurry of activity to pretend as if development was taking place.

And in all this all Tobagonians wanted was a revised Constitution that gave them their promised autonomy. No music trucks, no food cards, no wild promises. Just a sober Bill that delivered what they wanted.

But Kamla, unable to keep the smallest of promises instead went over with a half-assed Bill that she rushed to Parliament and continued the orgy of money spending....SQUANDERMANIA Kamla style.....and Tobagonians looked.

In fact, they did one better and donned the yellow T-shirts, mounted the music trucks, accepted the handouts and then yesterday voted PNM.

They voted the PNM to let Kamla know that you cyah come over here with sniffer dogs in a church where you get invited to and insult people's hospitality. You cyah spend 32 months attacking black people in overt and subtle ways and then get more vex than we over Hilton Sandy comment. We would punish Sandy, but you cyah have Sat telling we how to punish Sandy. You cyah want to come and run things in Tobago house.

Not a Seat for Them!

Kamla had only to look at how Rowley played his role in the PNM's campaign to take a cue. Instead she surrounded herself with a team of dunce, clueless advisors who believe that a Trinidadian approach to life and campaigning is what would work in Tobago and put her Jack out to dry!

We Didnt Vote Full Dotish!

 

Tobago Yuh Lift Meh Nose, Yuh Make Meh Proud!

Beyond THA Elections

London and Charles...who will be victorious? Monday's THA elections, and the campaign that just ended have useful lessons in them for both our present and future political selves. The country has had the opportunity to see both PNM and UNC (forget TOP, Ashworth clearly attached to Kamla's hip) in political action yet again and to observe the tactics and politics of both parties. If you have only been following the radio ads and media interviews; then your perception of what is being discussed and offered by both parties may well be limited. Much of what is actually happening in Tobago isn't apparent to the Trini audience and is in fact happening at cottage meetings, not political rallies.

Either way, Tobago must be exhausted by now and certainly in a position to make decisions on Monday that will have serious impact on how the next 30 months of politics go here. Because in roughly that time both UNC and PNM will face the polls again in a general election. THA will determine the nature of the Local Government Elections....if we actually have one. And the outcome of the LGE will certainly set the tone for the next general Elections.

THA 2013 is a referendum for both parties. A loss for the UNC will tell Kamla and the UNC resoundingly that she has lost favour with the electorate, while a loss for the PNM may well lead to the undoing of The Keith and Orville London as Opposition Leader and Deputy Political Leader respectively. A win for the UNC will see them tighten their hold on the administration of the entire country; while a win for the PNM will mean that the PNM is beginning to regain its political footing in the aftermath of 2010's crushing defeat. Either way, both parties have much to lose and gain from a victory on Monday.

But let's look at what has transpired in the last 3 months:

At the time of writing a teenaged girl alleges that she was beaten up by an older TOP supporter for wearing A PNM t-shirt. As with all instances of female abuse under this regime's tenure there is no comment by the Prime Minister, the Minister of Gender Affairs, Marlene Coudray or from the feminist activists in this country.

This happened in the week the government miraculously managed to bring the THA Bill to Parliament for discussion, 32 months into the PPs tenure and mere days before the most contentious THA election yet. The tabling of the Bill is largely seen as an election gimmick: a ruse by the TOP and UNC to mama guile Tobagonians into believing they matter. The Bill remains problematic for Tobagonians because it ignored years of public consultation undertaken by the THA on behalf of citizens, and has loopholes that undermine the autonomy discussion. That the UNC and TOP stalled on holding proper public consultations in the last 32 months, and then suddenly tabled the Bill during an election season, coupled with the the fiasco of Section 34, probably makes it hard for most citizens to not be skeptical about this government an its laws.

Hilton Sandy

It is now approximately two weeks since the infamous Calcutta Ship statement by PNM official Hilton Sandy; and three months since Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar stood before an audience at Mid-Centre mall and began the race-baiting that has typified this THA election when she announced to the crowd gathered, "we know who the enemy is....get in yuh section". Yet no one seems to remember that the person to throw the first salvo in partisan politics was none other than the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago. The same lady who, after announcing that the UNC would only be providing logistical support to the TOP, has spent almost a fortnight in Tobago, campaigning and endorsing the TOP, not in her role as political leader of the UNC, but in her capacity as Prime Minister. The message being sent by the Persad-Bissessar here again is that she is PM for only those who favour her and no one else. One would swear that there are two versions of Trinidad and Tobago: one run by the UNC, and another one left to languish and suffer for good governance

Ashworth-JackHas it been a month yet since we found out about the amazing house that was built by pumpkin and cucumbers as well as the revelation that TOP leader Ashworth Jack had not submitted documents to the Integrity Commission in two years, around the time the Pumpkin Mansion was being built? Despite complaints to the IC, they are yet to step out and question Jack's eligibility to run for the office of Chief Secretary, despite ignoring the provisions of the Integrity in Public Life Act.

Two months have passed since the THA posted documents online about the Milshirv project. And since upload of the documents the Attorney General, who had alleged corruption on the project went silent. Until this week, when miraculously he began legal proceedings against London; legal proceedings that the Treasury of Trinidad and Tobago will have to pay for whether or not the Attorney General's claims against London's THA prove to be true.

Greg Bissessar at TOP rally in Mason Hall

The UNC has made it absolutely clear that a THA victory is extremely important to them. Some believe that it will be a psychological blow for the PNM to have lost general and local government elections and now the THA. Winning will give pro-partnership supporters something to gloat about; but given the amount of energy and resources being thrown out behind Tobago, and the PMs personal interest in fighting the campaign on Jack's behalf, I sense Tobago is far more important than playground bragging rights.

A lot of Tobago's importance to Trinidad is wrapped up in the THA Bill. The quest for autonomy by Tobagonians is one that most Trinidadians do not understand, and the UNC and TOP seem to be counting on that misunderstanding. Most Trinidadians are unaware that Tobago had autonomy for more than a century before being warded to Trinidad. In short, autonomy isn't new to Tobagonians, and for us to refuse them a political status they once had is to treat Tobagonians with intense disdain and contempt. We talk of respect for Tobagonians, but refuse to let them handle their own affairs.

Another little known fact about Tobago, but one that is now coming to light with the fight for maritime boundaries, is that since the 1970s our governments have been aware that there are fuel deposits in Tobago's seabed. When you consider what fuel revenues can mean for both Tobago's development and Trinidad's failing economy, you can appreciate why the TOP and UNC have come together to lay siege. As with everything else, follow the oil trail and the story becomes clearer.

Sat-Maharaj-Kamla-Persad-Bissessar

In this past week we also saw Sat Maharäj and the Indian High Commissioner become entangled in another diplomatic snafu. Maharaj wants funding for a Hindu temple in Tobago, and he is seeking this funding from India. Ambassador Misra has instead advocated for a cultural centre: a suggestion that promotes cultural awareness about all of India, not just one aspect. Why is a Hindu temple more important than a cultural centre that promotes knowledge, learning and perhaps even acceptance of a culture that is for the most part foreign to Tobago. One wonders at Maharaj's aggression towards the High Commissioner; and his decision to go directly to Delhi for funding also raises questions about the various MOUs between the two governments in the now infamous 2011 state funded trip to India. Will we ever get a complete breakdown of what was agreed to and why a temple in Tobago is now so important?

32 months into the UNC's tenure and we are facing another election: one filled with mudslinging, race baiting, corruption allegations, underperformance and unaccountability. Crowds are being rented, election goodies are being distributed. The major difference between January 21st and May24, 2010 is that we have had more than two years of the People's Partnership in Government. Tobagonians are now aware of what the PNM is capable of and what a UNC/TOP government is capable of. Let's see what choice they make.

The Great THA Pappy Show Debate!

Ashworth Cheat SheetThis morning at Macueripe a group of above middle-aged swimmers were discussing last night's THA Debate and assessing the speakers. One man said he found Hochoy the best speaker, but overall the debate was boring and he switched to the cricket. His wife announced that she found Orville London...she couldn't remember his name at first....spoke English so well. Because I was in mid-stroke and not close enough to organically enter the conversation I didn't get the opportunity to ask the question, "Speak English so well as opposed to what language?" This lady is an example of the general attitude Trinidadians have towards Tobagonians...condescending, arrogant, rude...as if Tobagonians are stupid, uncivilised barbaric people with little to no education or indeed common sense.

It is this condescension and arrogance and general rudeness to Tobagonians I see in the TOP/UNC Campaign. Indeed the entire UNC?TOP media campaign seems to be run for the benefit of Trinidadians and not Tobagonians.

Take a glance at their Facebook Page and realise that more Trinidadians than Tobagonians engage in the conversations.

Listen to their radio ads and realise that many of the ads are playing on Trinidad radio stations whose signal never reach Tobago. WACK radio? 93.1/93.5? WACK Radio is based in San Fernando. Hott 93's audience listens to pop/rock, which is a decidedly Indo-dominant audience and listenership. The Calcutta Ship ads features the voice of Hansley Ajodha pretending to represent the interests of Tobagonians....and the list goes on.

But it was last night's debate that struck as particularly insulting and dismissive of Tobagonians....and I really wondered what the people at the Chamber of Commerce and the UWI were thinking when they organised the debate and drafted the questions.

The Debate had a closed off and select audience. All Tobagonians couldnt attend. Remember this is THA elections...it affects Tobagonians more than it could ever affect Trinidadians. The moderator was a Trinidadian of Indian origin. The panellists presenting the questions both sounded distinctly Trinidadian. The venue was the government owned Magdalena Hotel. The production team was Lisa Wickham, a Trinidadian consultant. The research team that came up with the questions were all from the UWI campus and the names I saw listed featured mostly Trinidadian researchers from the University's research sphere.

In short, everything about last night's debate was geared towards a Trinidadian sensibility. But we respect Tobago and want them to have autonomy right? Kamla and TOP aint fooling me with that rhetoric.

The message sent was that this debate was a production by Trinidadian for Trinidadians about a Tobagonian issue. The only Tobagonians voices heard on set were that of the debaters. A very curious thing. The debate claimed to be about economic progress yet managed to bring up the topic of race...a decidedly Trini pre-occupation. But the debate steered clear of corruption, nepotism and cultural difference. The debate also steered clear of addressing issues that are specific and unique to Tobago because the person who researched the questions focused posing questions that are relevant to Trinidadians. As a quick example....there were questions about Transport between the two islands.....not a question was raised about transportation problems on the island. How many Trinis stay beyond Store Bay/Bon Accord/Canaan? Very few. So the concept of moving around Tobago via public transport escapes them. And let's not discuss the issue of unemployment and the types of employment available. Ashworth Jack went on and on about Tourism and Agriculture because clearly the entire educated population of Tobago wants to become farmers, waiters and hotel managers. Not only are job opportunities limited, the industries are limited as well. Which means thousands of Tobagonians have to leave their homes to excel!

I sat through the debate waiting to see it change course and begin to address core issues and then it struck me. The Debates Commission didnt set up this debate for Tobagonians but for themselves. So now it can be said that we have held an election debate and everyone can pat themselves on the back for putting on a good show...but to me the Debate made no difference to the political landscape.

If you ask me who won last night's pappyshow of a debate, I'd tell you the production team.....because them eating a big food and the issues remain untouched!

Vote With Sense....Don't Vote Full Dotish!

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!

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!

Old Time Campaign Come Back Again!

   

After watching Budget Matikor and Budget Second Sunday on a Saturday in Market Square we have to know that election season well and truly under way. And what we also have to focus on the fact that the UNC is re-doing campaign 2010.

In the aftermath of Panday's loss of UNC leadership the then Opposition, led by Persad-Bissessar and Jack Warner went into a particular attack mode on the Manning-led PNM Government. They were well within their right to question the Government's activities and lay bare whatever information they could find so as to keep the population abreast of what was taking place. Persad-Bissessar accused Manning of Squandermania, Corruption, and Nepotism. She attacked Manning's relationship with Calder Hart and UDECOTT. She alleged that between the two there were corrupt dealings. Rushing to her assistance were the Wonder Twins, lawyers Prakash Ramadhar and Vernon De Lima. Between the two of them they managed to unearth enough circumstantial evidence to link Calder Hart to Sunway Construction via his wife Sherrine Hart. Her birth paper was waved for all the world to see. And those of us fed-up of Manning's overspending on things like the Waterfront Development Project while basics like Health, Education and the Environment couldn't wait to get rid of Manning, on the basis of circumstantial evidence. And with Persad-Bissessar promising swift retribution and making Hart and Manning accountable for their crimes against the country, we voted Manning out. During that election campaign we were treated to images of Kamla and her coalition partners, all pretending to be chummy, promising good governance, prosperity for all, and a more even hand at governance under a woman.

2.5 years later, just months before the THA elections the Kamla Karavans are once again rolling. And the tired themes are being trotted out. Squandermania, both Orville and Anselm London are being accused of squandering public funds without conclusive evidence. At first the accusations surrounded BOLT contracts, then, Jack seeing the possibilities that BOLT would give him backed off the BOLT issue. Now we have the Londons being accused of poor accounting. While I have no problems with the THA being pulled up for misconduct in office, given this government's propensity for lying, misspeaking and misstepping, I want hard proof. I want a forensic report done by an independent accounting firm that not going to be eating ah food from Kamla et al and not just wild and loose talk from a campaign podium. With no evidence yet to substantiate their claim that Manning or Hart misbehaved with public monies, I can't believe an accusation that comes out of their mouth.

And since Anand Ramlogan is yet to launch a proper case against Hart or Manning, what he has his FB stooges doing is deflecting the matter to the DPP. Because Gaspard was appointed under the PNM the assumption is that he is a PNM stooge, and so Ramlogan's minions keep filling up the FB blogosphere with questions about why the DPP has not yet arrested Hart or MAnning, knowing full well that you can only arrest someone if there is evidence to show guilt. Unless of course you throwing a SoE, then you can arrest who you want and throw them in jail for weeks at a time, and this govt had that opportunity in 2011 and still didn't arrest Manning.

This attack on the integrity of the THA Majority Leader and his Finance Minister will continue until the elections are over. They will continue to imply that there is a Conspiracy between the two Londons without producing concrete evidence. They will continue to use spin, PR, and lies to throw "light" on claims that won't stand up after the THA elections; and while doing that will no doubt be hoping that Section 34 and the growing unrest in Trinidad dies down. Because growing unrest it is. More people are speaking out. The UNC apologists online have more work to do. Which is sad, because they shouldn't be apoligising for their party, they should be holding them accountable, just as they did Manning!

 

De Vice Cyah Done!