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!

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Playing the Victim (Or Why Kamla Persad-Bissessar is the Worst Thing to Happen to the Regional Feminist Movement)

After listening to Aunty Verna’s outburst about Keith Rowley not understanding female leadership last night (feb 29th, 2012), I had to re-blog this. Bear in mind this was written in October of 2011, and I haven’t updated a thing on it. So you’ll notice that Kamla’s penchant for jumping on Carnival stages all blinged out to the nines not even mentioned.

 

This unfortunately is often how we see our PM, dressed to the nines and on parade....wondering where's the substance.

On May 24th, 2010 Kamla Persad-Bissessar came to power as the first elected female Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago. Her platform mantras were Change and Woman Power. Her victory was seen as a victory for political alliances, women and Indo-Caribbeans throughout the nation, region and Indian diaspora.People couldn’t get enough of her. During the campaign she was surrounded by foreign body guards like the heir apparent to a throne, or rock star (take your pick). She pandered to the younger generation with multi-coloured manicure jobs, singing along gaily to Bob Marley songs and often reminding her supporters that she was both a mother and a grandmother. Ross Advertising placed her in a central position throughout the advertising campaign. Mindful of the importance of the visual impact. There was Kamla, wielding power, not like a man, but as a woman, capable of leading men.On her first day on the job she was clad in overalls and boots (but perfectly coiffed) leaping lithely from helicopters to greet flood victims. It was almost as if Lara Croft had become PM.In those first few months of the political honeymoon Persad-Bissessar could be seen everywhere. On motorcades in Trinidad, motorcades in Tobago, taking questions during post-cabinet briefings. She appeared enthusiastic, outgoing and certainly less arrogant than former Prime Minister Manning. And the population waited for the job of changing the nation to start.By the end of the first month there were calls to “stop the campaigning and do the job we hire yuh to do, nah.” The voting public was becoming restive. It seemed as if all the PP Govt was focused on was preening at press opportunities and blaming the prior government for all its problems and citing them as the reasons they hadn’t yet started to do their jobs.Here was the perfect opportunity for Kamla to apply her much self-referenced motherly and grandmotherly qualities and attend to matters at hand….at least in my upbringing that’s what my mothers and grandmothers did. They looked after their children and ran the home, efficiently.Fast forward from May to December of 2010.The Prime Minister’s demeanour by this time has changed, and rapidly so. Having never given herself a portfolio (to better manage her Cabinet, she said early on in her term) she very often had little to contribute in Parliament by way of content or guidance. Gone was the pro-active female. Instead, precisely the thing the PNM warned us about on their hustings seemed to be happening before our very eyes. The men in the party had taken over. More often than not the voice of this new government was Jack Warner, Anand Ramlogan, Tim Goopeesingh, or Suruj Rambachan.

The women in her Cabinet barely have a face, much less voices. Persad-Bissessar herself often hides behind the trousers of these men and allows them to field questions and give responses on  matters that ideally should be coming from the Leader of the Government.Is this Woman Power?On the matters of Reshmi Ramnarine, Persad-Bissessar came across as lying to and hoodwinking the country by implying that the underqualified Ramnarine was the most suitable person for the job.Is this Woman Power?On the matter of Nizam Mohammed’s outbursts in Parliament about ethnic parity in the Police Force, Persad-Bissessar’s lollygagging on the matter made her appear to be in favour of statements that could incite racial tension and conflict in the country. Her strongly worded letter a week into the matter was too little too late. That, coupled with her Government’s granting of a national award to the controversial leader of the Maha Sabha, has raised many red flags. would you want your mother rewarding a child who is prone to inciting prejudice and division?Is this Woman Power?

In the midst of these stumbles there was also the PM’s public image. She seemed to be jetting of regularly, often with an entourage. The very same thing she had spoken out against in the former regime she was now guilty of.Is hypocrisy Woman Power?Coupled with the jet-setting behaviour was the frequent illnesses. A tin of peas to the PM’s ankles (an excuse given by Dr Tim Goopeesingh to the media) has had the PM laid up for more than a month. So much so that on her current trip to Australia to represent us at CHOGM it took the PM almost 5 days to get from Trinidad to Australia, because (according to her advisor Lisa Ghany) the PM had opted to take an easier route since she was still recovering from her most recent bout of illness. Most other members of the delegation left last Wednesday, had a 24-hr lay over in London and flew to Australia via Singapore on Friday. Is it that the PM stayed in London longer to rest? Took another route that takes longer? Took a slower form of transport? How strenous is first class on a recovering flu and peas tin victim?

These bouts of illness question her reliability as a leader. They are also used effectively by the PM to get angry voters to “ease her up” because she is frail, ill, suffering the wear and tear of age. A male leader couldn’t get away with playing the victim card. But Kamla uses it like an Ace of trump.Early on in her administration Jack Warner came to her defence over some misgiving or the other saying that she was being attacked because she is both a woman and Indian.17 months into her tenure in office, Persad-Bissessar, the feminist poster girl embodies some of the worst traits to be found in either gender. As a female leader she seems:

  • more concerned with the perks and trappings of the job than doing the actual job.
  • Often caught lying or confused by facts and figures or concealing pertinent information.
  • Often hiding behind the men of her Cabinet; allowing them to be the big decision makers, while she appears standoffish or worse, helpless. Picture being disciplined by a harsh father in the face of a helpless, mute mother: or the country, the AG and the PM during this SOE!
  • Reliant upon her frailties as a mother and grandmother to get her excused. Everyone knows the woman who constantly has to bring up her every illness as a reason to not pull her weightin an organisation or group project. She is whiny and plays the frail female card constantly, always reliant on solicitous and gullible people to do her job for her.In light of these persistent features, I think as a leader Persad-Bissessar has failed us. As a woman, Indian or otherwise, that’s not the prism through which I want a nation to see me. As a leader she is sending all of the worst messages to men and women about female leadership. Throughout their campaign the PNM under Manning insisted that Persad-Bissessar was a figurehead, a puppet, a marionette and the feminists among us rushed to her rescue. Militantly asserting that she was a strong female leader and that what the country needed by way of leadership was precisely what Persad-Bissesar was. Manning was the poster-boy for arrogance and patriarchy (but at least the mofo accepted responsibility for the party’s failure at the polls, KPB is yet to accept responsibility for anything, even misspeaking). Three weeks ago at a public forum, activist Merle Hodge expressed fear that “her sister Kamla” was perhaps being pushed around by too many dominant Hindu or Indian males, but she held out hope that “Kamla” was indeed strong and should get out from under those men.This SOE has shown us every single last one of her flaws. Is this what female leadership really is? Is Kamla Persad-Bissessar something for the regional women’s/feminist movement to be proud of? Has she in fact set the perception of female leadership back by 50 years? Would you want your daughter to grow up to be this kind of leader or woman for that matter?I know I wouldn’t.

Clusterf@$k Flashback: The People’s Panchayat and the Media….Tobago Love?


PM Persad-Bissessar caught between Min Roodal Moonilal and photographer Curtis Chase at a govt sponsored media event. Photo courtesy Trinidad Express website.

Everybody know what Tobago Love is….you know it…is a love/hate relationship…..plenty cuff and kick throwing, but still it have affection in there.
Well it seems the love between the People’s Panchayat and the national Media between 2010 and now has gone sour….good good cow milk make dahee, just so!

Let’s look at the time line.

May 2010: Minutes after her swearing in the PM is making sure journalists are comfortable….not squashed. She welcomes media scrutiny she says. http://www.newsday.co.tt/politics/0,121474.html

Dec 2010: At a government sponsored media event the love was still strong and the PM announced that it was media’s duty to keep the govt in check. http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/Kamla__Media_must_keep_Govt_in_check-112696524.html

June 2011: Minister of Insecurity Capt. Gallery Griffith accuses the Media of putting the PM’s life at risk (assassination plotgate, anyone?). http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/Griffith__Media_putting_Kamla_s_life_at_risk-124242219.html

October 2011: It becomes obvious that the govt is advertising only with media houses that are willing to toe the party line. http://www.tntmirror.com/2011/10/21/kamlas-hypocrisy

Dec 2011: The TnT Mirror along with several other media houses seemed to be getting short shrift from the govt. http://www.tntmirror.com/2011/12/09/kamla-blanks-mirror-again

Dec 2011: Police raid TV6 compound in a startling show of force, 25 officers to seize 1 tape. http://www.guardian.co.tt/police-seize-crime-watch-video-tv6-premises

http://www.trinidadexpress.com/letters/Why_all_those_armed_cops_at_TV6_-136463843.html

Jan – Feb 2012: A new thrust becomes apparent. The police begins raiding media houses and the government claims ignorance and concern over these issues. No one in the government in aware of the raids and why they are taking place.   http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/Cops_want_interviews_with_CCN_directors-139065299.html

http://caribflyer.com/carib/newsday-raid-shocks-ag/

Feb 2012: Newsday raided and journalist Andre Bagoo’s computer hard drive and cellphones are confiscated. His home is also raided and his laptop confiscated as well. It is believed that Justice Gladys Gafoor, deputy chairperson of the Integrity Commission has leaked info to Bagoo and the police are searching for his source. Mr Bagoo refuses to reveal his source.
Interestingly enough the announcement of Ms Gafoor’s dismissal and information on the raids came from the Ministry of Foreign  Affairs and Communications, and not the President’s office….yet the Govt is denying any knowledge of the raid on Newsday! 

http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,155134.html

http://jyoticommunication.blogspot.com/2012/02/gibbs-must-explain-raid-at-newsday.html

http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/GAFOOR_CAUGHT_OFF_GUARD-139065309.html

http://www.newsday.co.tt/editorial/0,155175.html

To Kill a Pawi: The Failed Attempts on Kamla’s Life

The Trinidad Piping Guan/Pawi, the only thing more endangered than this is our PM!

Between May 6th 2010 to the time of writing it has become clear that our Prime Minister is more endangered and beleaguered than our flora and fauna. To date there have been several plots against the Prime Minister’s life. Since no evidence has been produced to support any to date we can only assume that they are all imagined. However, the Eternal Pantomime felt it necessary t0 plot a timeline.

The Newsday front page back in May 2010. Photo courtesy Newsday's website.

Plot Attempt #1: In May 2010, Fyzabad MP Chandresh Sharma reported to the police that there was a $5m hit on Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar. The police promised to keep a close eye and investigate the issue. Mrs Persad-Bissessar was offered police protection, but she bravely declined such. Thus far the investigation into this has not uncovered the identity of the “police officer” who allegedly called the Rienzi Complex in May 2010 to issue the threat. Thus far,  Mrs Bissessar has not been killed by the voice of a police officer and no one has caught the voice, or held the phone for questioning.  http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,120242.html

Plot #2: Our PM would suffer the next attack on her life in early August of  2011 when unidentified mosquitoes carrying the dreaded dengue vector landed on her. To date no mosquito was held for questioning on the matter. tp://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/DENGUE_STRIKES_KAMLA-127916578.html

The teen assassin Granny Quilla during her Youtube shoutout to the PM.

Plot #3: Late August, 2011, days after the announcement of the State of Emergency a 14 year-old-girl with the moniker Granny Quilla launched yet another attack on PM Persad-Bissessar. This time a youtube video was the weapon of choice. In the video, using obscenities and racist slurs, young Quilla expressed a desire to see a sniper attack on PM Persad-Bissessar. The AG called for secret agent Granny Quilla’s head; and the PM invited her to tea:  a classic case of Good Cop/Bad Cop. And in the midst of it, the online blogs and social networks collapsed into a froth of naming, blaming and racist slurs.

Plot #4: Following on the heels of the teen assassin Granny Quilla, detractors of the PM got even more creative and deployed not one, but 2 peas tins that, in a well co-ordinated hit attacked the National Grandmother’s ankles. This rendered her unable to wear high heels for a few weeks and bed rest at the St. Clair Medical Centre.  The tins of peas were eventually released from detention (and returned to Matouks undented) after the PM revealed that age and perhaps diabetes might have led to the health scare. http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/PM_IN_HEALTH__EMERGENCY_-130755568.html

Plot #5: By Nov 24th, 2011 it became apparent that the PM’s enemies were becoming desperate. The SoE was in full swing and making huge inroads into crime. Old rusty guns had been discovered in the nearby forests, no drugs had been found, thousands of petty criminals or people who resembled her National Security Minister John Sandy, and therefore could be classified as criminals, had been rounded up, detained, imprisoned. Kamla had the criminals on the run, scared, cowering in their Hyatt hotel rooms. This left them with no recourse but to launch a serious attempt on not just the PMs life, but that of several other ministers, in a bid to end the stranglehold this govt had on crime.
On November 23rd the armed forces were put on high alert!
http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/High_Alert-134438523.html

The brave PM declared the plot treasonous and an attempt to destabilise the country because of the brilliant job her govt was doing at controlling crime. http://www.guardian.co.tt/news/2011/11/28/kamla-death-threats-plot-destabilise-tt

By November 29th there was a Zionist Conspiracy to kill the PM as a couple affiliated with Mossad was arrested in connection with the plot. http://www.guardian.co.tt/news/2011/11/28/kamla-death-threats-plot-destabilise-tt

Kamla was quick to declare the plot foiled and police raids in Laventille, Beetham and all mosques in the country quickly led to the arrest and detention of 17 assassins. They were found to have brand new copies of Sun Tzu’s Art of War, used copies of the Q’oran for Jihadists  and To Kill A Mockingbird.

http://www.aninews.in/newsdetail4/story23836/trinidad-police-foils-assassination-plot-against-pm-kamla-persad-bissessar-.html

http://newsday.co.tt/news/0,151308.html

By Dec 6th, hours before the SoE was due to end, with no evidence to link the detained men together, apart from their excellent choice in books, all 17 detainees were released. http://blog.gfbcproductions.biz/2011/12/06/update-suspects-in-trinidad-assassination-plot-released/

http://www.guardian.co.tt/news/2011/12/07/police-association-president-release-detainees-police-service-s-biggest-blunder

But the details didn’t end there….indeed the plot merely thickened in the release of the detainees.
Opposition Leader Keith Rowley quickly threw cold water on the Hot Plot to Assassinate the PM. http://www.caribbeantrakker.com/2011/11/opposition-leader-discredits-assassination-plot-after-being-briefed-on-evidence/#.TzPIs8VSRio

http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,151649.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJqCHdt6TJM&feature=related

To date Sun Tzu’s Art of War, the Q’uran and Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird refuse to comment on their role in the assassination plot.
Kamla, like the Pawi, though endangered, still fights on for dear political life!

*some details were tweaked for comic effect*

Clusterf@$k Flashback: Notorious Gary G and the PM’s Residence!

The oh-so-notorious Capt G, Minister of Insecurity

Long before the notorious G was hired to book helicopter trips for the PM’s entourage, he used to be the Head of Household for a previous administration!

Yes, study yuh head good…is not now you hearing about the Minister of Insecurity. Captain Griffith was once a UNC Senator, who minutes after being sworn in staged a walkout with other Senators….and if you throw your mind even further back he was also the Head of Household under former PM Panday and during his tenure at the then PM’s residence a massive food and alcohol bill was racked up.
There were whispers and rumours even of a skirmish and fight at the residence involving the Notorious G and at least one female.
Following his cat fight days the G-Man revamped himself by becoming Mr Nicole Dyer….now he’s right back where he always wanted to be…running the PM’s residence.

http://www.trinidadandtobagonews.com/forum/webbbs_config.pl/noframes/read/345

http://www.trinidadandtobagonews.com/forum/webbbs_config.pl/noframes/read/1812

http://www.ctntworld.com/LocalArticles.aspx?id=21664

http://www.congressofthepeople.org/

Clusterfu$k Flashback: Glen Ramadharsingh and the UWI Guild

Minister of the People and fmr UWI Guild President

Long before he was the wedding co-ordinator to the masses, Glen Ramadharsingh was the President of the UWI Guild of Students. The lasting legacy he left at that institution during his 2004-2005 tenure was a lengthy investigation into missing funds….the report from the investigation was swept under the rug and kept out of the public eye, but it’s final analysis indicated that there was gross mishandling of funds under the tenure of Mr Ramadharsingh with students’ monies missing and unaccounted for!
http://legacy.guardian.co.tt/archives/2005-03-19/news5.html

http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,138691.html

http://legacy.guardian.co.tt/archives/2005-04-16/news3.html

Clusterfu$k Flashback: Janice Thomas and the Prince of Pet Rice and Porsches

Minister Bharath today: post pet rice, but rolling in Porsches

Long before Agriculture Minister Vasant Bharath was rolling in a steal-of-a-deal Porsche, he was well-known for being the first major scandal in the 1995-2000 UNC Govt: as the man who ordered a TT$30m shipment of pet rice that was useless by the time it crossed the Middle Passage between India and Trinidad. Two shipments were ordered, but only one turned up. The rice shipment fiasco involved a government trade mission to India, NFM Board members having to be fired, the alleged involvement of then Indian High Commissioner and shipments of rice delayed in Senegal and lost at sea.

Sasha Mohammed/Janice Thomas???

Long before she was functioning as the PM’s Social Events Adviser and allowing threatening e-mails to be sent from her computer Janice Thomas….sorry, Sasha Mohammed wrote investigative pieces for the Guardian. Here’s her report on Vasant Bharath’s early foray into national politics:

http://www.trinidadandtobagonews.com/forum/webbbs_config.pl/read/1092

http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,153855.html