Performance and Personalities: The Campaign Against Rowley

conspiracy against rowleyEngineering dirt and flinging it into interesting patterns on the public wall aren’t anything remotely new to politics; and certainly not new to ours.

As early as 1961, our electoral process was plagued with ethnic tensions that led to questionable behavior. Rudy Capildeo, then leader of the DLP, overwhelmed by the tensions plaguing the elections, in a fiery call to arms in front of the Governor’s Residence in Port of Spain, announced to his supporters, “You will be called to arms. Wherever the PNM holds a meeting, you will have to break it up.” Throughout that election campaign there was the persistent rumor of a group of black men roaming the country looking for women to rape. Sound familiar? Echoes of Hulsie X?

In the course of the campaign, violence broke out and limited states of emergency had to be declared in St Augustine, Barataria,Caroni East and Chaguanas.

In the post-Williams era there was the infamous gun hoax created by ONR candidates Surujrattan Rambachan (Oropuche) and Unanan Persad (Caroni East). Rambachan and Persad claimed to be driving along Gaston-Johnson Street, Chaguanas, when shots were fired at their vehicle. Rambachan blamed the Panday-led ULF and accused the Prime Minister, George Chambers, of encouraging violence.  Shortly after reporting the incident to the police, and making much of the attack at political meetings in Diego Martin, it was discovered that the shooting was a hoax. Rambachan and Persad had shot bullets into their vehicle themselves and made a false report to the police. Neither was charged for wasting the Police’s time or discharging a fire arm. The Trinidad Guardian of November 3rd, 1981 carries the story. Feel free to check it out.

Between 1981 to the present, there have been numerous attempts at mud slinging, smear campaigns and conspiracies. During the May 2010 election campaign there was an alleged assassination attempt on the life of then Opposition Leader, Kamla Persad-Bissessar. Since then it seems assassination attempts on the PM, whether by tins of Matouk’s peas, random Muslims or ghosts are the order of the day. These attempts are meant to encourage empathy and sympathy for the Prime Minister. Look at this poor, beleaguered, hard working woman. Everybody wants to kill her, even canned food.

Two nights ago (June 5th, 2014), at a public meeting in San Juan, a rare thing happened: Camille Robinson-Regis revealed the details to a smear campaign by the UNC against Opposition Leader Keith Rowley in the midst of its very failed execution.

The emails revealed a group that comprises government ministers, the Canadian High Commissioner, the former UK ambassador, advisers to the PM, media and public relations specialists and everybody’s favorite Facebook racist:PEAnuts.

In an email dated Friday, May 16, 2014 12:02:25PM, sent from Rodney Charles to approximately 17 people, he says:

“We propose launching a full scale attack on Keith Rowley come the morning of May 19th 2014 ie the morning after his expected landslide victory. We absolutely need to bring down his polling ratings.”

Then on Saturday, May 31 2014 in an email whose subject is, “Make this Happen and everybody wins”, someone by the name of Roodal is enthusiastic and responds to an email sent to him by someone called Phillip Alexander by saying: “This is a great idea.” 

The idea Phillip Alexander has pitched to him is:

Every evening from six to seven on CNMG there could be a one hour show called “Equal Time” hosted by yours truly…”

conspiracy against rowley 2

Apart from the concept of the show, what struck me about the e-mail exchanges are the time stamps.

Phillip Alexander sends his original message at 9:58 am on Sat 31st, May. Roodal responds at 11:23 am. And by 13:18:06, the emails have been sent to someone who has PNM sympathies. Chris Brown was right….these hoes aint loyal. Is this a case of surveillance and interception….or does the UNC ship have some major leaks in its very inner cabal?

If the final message forwarded came from Roodal’s email, who did he forward the messages to?

An election is constitutionally due by September 2015. The UNC/PP Govt has not a chance in hell of winning it, despite Kamla’s sustained popularity. There are simply too many scandals and missteps to sidestep during next year’s campaign.

Usually an incumbent party campaigns on its track record. Boasting about its achievements with regards to new legislation and infrastructure.

This Government has a dismal track record with legislation. From Section 34 to Soldier Bill, to DNA Bill to Dangerous Dogs, no one is happy with how inefficient a Cabinet filled with lawyers are at drafting legislation.  And in terms of infrastructural development, the SNC Lavallin fiasco colors one planned hospital and the Point Fortin and Debe to Mon Desir Highway routes are riddled with protests and accusations of corruption.

We need not even go back to their 7 Pillars of Sustained Development Manifesto to know that every promise made remains unfulfilled.

What is patently obvious is that they are extremely aware of their poor track record, but will stop at nothing to return to power.

Their strategies though, have not improved with time.

They include:

1. Circle the wagons of support around the leader and have the party base lash out in a wild, incoherent frenzy at anyone who dares to criticize her. Go to any of their support pages on FB – True Trinis Discussing Real Issues or even the UNC Group administered by Allan Karim. See what passes for debate and idea exchange there.

2. Raising the race bogey – a topic i intend to touch on in a later blog. Despite the numerous acts of race-baiting by Kamla herself and members of her government, her party has now started a campaign that seeks to paint the Opposition as racist. The hope is that their support base will continue to support them.

3. Target and smear the leader. In 2010 it was Manning. Manning’s Squandermania, Manning and Calder Hart, Manning and Juliana Pena, Manning and Duprey/CLICO, Manning  and the Guanapo Church, Manning’s secret love child, Manning, Manning, Manning. It’s simple really. You need to give the electorate a focus. A symbol of what they hate or resent about their governance. Because the UNC is now the government, the focus will be on Rowley and all of the secret racial tensions and fears will be played upon: a black man in power will mean suffering for Indians; blacks in charge will mean less access to resources, rape, violence; we can’t put back a black Prime Minister. Already the messages are there, subliminally and overtly. And unfortunately, most of our electorate  will make no effort to separate truth from fact and examine issues.

What needs to happen during this campaign year is that the focus must be kept solely on performance and track record. We, the electorate, must rise above the noise and examine the UNC/PPs track record from 2010 to whenever an election date is called; and we must examine the PNM’s track record, specifically Rowley’s achievements and skills, because Manning has been removed from all leadership positions and has stated he won’t be running in the next election.
Compare the track records of the two leaders before us: Keith and Kamla.

Let’s make 2015 about performance, not smear campaigns against personalities.

#DeViceCyahDone!

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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

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.....

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!

Distract and Discredit

Ken GordonEver since the last Motion of No Confidence wherein Keith

Rowley revealed the possibility of an exchange of emails between 3 senior government officials and their favourite lap dog, Kamla’s Fete Match Side has been in Distract and Discredit Mode…..going at Full Dotish pace too.

The discovery that Rowley and chairman of the IC had a twenty-minute meeting at Gordon’s private home to discuss whether or not Emailgate was a matter before the IC has played itself nicely into the government’s hands as yet another tool to discredit the validity of the alleged e-mails; and now, to discredit the IC and perhaps avoid going the route of an independent investigation. And while they aren’t in the wrong to question the occurrence of the meeting, the irony of this government querying private meetings is too rich. And it’s so obvious that their tactic will now be to use this meeting to avoid what the public and Opposition has been clamouring for: an independent investigation.

It didn’t take the AG more than a hot minute after Roodal Moonilal’s announcement of the

The AG.....

The AG…..

meeting in Parliament – complete with side (and snide) comments from the PM egging him on – to imply that Chairman Ken Gordon was compromised. And if you have followed the fate of this Integrity Commission it is always mired in mud and controversy….from inception. The Government knows well that the country has little faith in it; and further that UNC supporters will use any excuse to blame and label anyone and anything as PNM…..and so, a private meeting about a public matter between the Opposition Leader and the chairman of the IC takes on a particularly questionable face.

rowleyYou would think that seasoned men and politicians like Rowley and Gordon would be incapable of what is obviously a very rookie move. You’d also think that Rowley, fully aware of how the last Prime Minister shot himself in the foot would avoid moves that so remind one of Patrick Manning for its abject carelessness. You would think too that Rowley by now would realise that because he is a very black Tobagonian (yes, I said it…there is a lot of colour prejudice involved here where Rowley is concerned) he is always held up to a different and much higher standard by both PNM supporters and the rest of the country.

It is unfortunate, but that is the truth of it.

Kamla announcing SoEYou would also think too that UNC supporters and Government ministers would have less to say about public meetings being kept in private homes when:

1. Cabinet Meetings are held in the Prime Ministers home regularly.

2. The last emergency meeting to determine what happened to a Government Minister and MP was held in the Prime Minister’s home.

3. The State of Emergency was announced from the PM’s private home.

4. Budgets announcements are made from UNC political rally stages

5. The Prime Minister – a public official – works from her home and keeps sensitive and important public material there.

For the last 3 years protocol and good sense have been tossed to the wind, and because there is no Constitutional law that prevents it, the Prime Minister has gotten away with administrative murder.

Mind you, Gordon and the IC ensured there was an aide memoire that recorded the meeting. I wonder if we ever get minutes of Kamla’s private Cabinet meetings?

The AG’s hounding of the Integrity Commission’s Chairman today will have an impact on Emailgate. Two days ago the AG announced rather loudly that he was recusing himself from Emailgate. He was handing over the investigation to the Central Authority, a body that falls  within his Office of the Attorney General and headed by Netram Kowlessar. The AG has pointed out that the Central Authority is independent. My concern now is how independent is Kowlessar: a man who first shot to public attention as a member of the Anti-Kidnapping Squad in 2002, thereafter became a defence attorney and after a handful of cases was appointed by this regime as the head of the Central Authority. I’m concerned. I hope in his case it was merit and not cronyism that got him the job.

Having now raised questions about the integrity of Ken Gordon and the independence of the Commission itself, I feel quite certain that any call for an independent investigation into Emailgate by an Integrity Commission will be shot down by the AG and his government using this meeting as the reason.

I continue to maintain that the only thing that will lay Emailgate to rest is an independent investigation that allows us to get at DIGITAL files……but in the meantime we do have a by-election in Chaguanas West to entertain and distract us, not so?

 

De Vice Cyah Done!

Himself Investigating Himself

The AG.....

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.

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!.

#Keep Calm and Change Yuh Password!

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

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

Three days ago Keith Rowley had my jaw on the floor….three days later it’s still there, but for entirely different reasons.

By now you’ve heard about EmailGate, or as I like to call it: Keep Calm and Change Yuh PassWord!

Opposition Leader Keith Rowley lead another No Confidence Motion against Kamla and her Motley Crew, this time levelling allegations that were nothing short of criminal against the Prime Minister, the AG, the Minister of Labour, Works, The Kitchen, The Kitchen Sink Toute Bagai and everyone’s favourite lapdog and baggage carrier, Gallery Griffith.

candidate_keith-rowley-lgAccording to 30+ email exchanges read out by Rowley in Parliament on Monday, the PM and AG were well aware of the implications of S34, and were so pissed off at the diligence of reporter Denyse Renne, and DPP Roger Gaspard that they were conspiring to tap the phones of the DPP’s office, offer him a position on the judiciary as a bribe, and were considering doing harm to Ms Renne.

At the centre of this latest political shitstorm seemed to be the AG…or rather, his email accounts. One appeared to be anan@gmail.com while the other was a TSTT address.

Much ado was made about whether or not a person can have an email address shorter than 6 symbols in Parliament…had any of the MPs on either side of the house deigned to use their Ipads to conduct a Google search (see what I did there?) they would have gotten the answer in quick time and spared me sighing heavily at the monstrous stupidity of the proceedings. But you see, the last three days showed me in blatant terms how little we know about technologyin this country…and further how little we know about using it to build a case.

The AG.....

The AG…..

Dr Rowley took a massive gamble accusing the government of conspiring against the office of the DPP and conspiring to harm a citizen of the country with just a pile of transcripts. To have pulled it off successfully what was required were digital files or actual screen shots of the e-mails so that the members of the doubting public would have irrefutable proof, create a significant hue and cry and catapult the powers into action. In Rowley being the accuser, he had to realise that the burden of proof fell on him, and like the proverbial victim in a rape case, it was he who was on trial and not the perpetrator of the act of violation….unless of course, he playing coy and allowing the PP to hang themselves with their exuberance. But, again, even that is risky, unless he holding all the trump in his hands.

Without those digital files it all boiled down to playing the blame game….yet again. It is a game the country has been caught up in for the past 3 years and it has gotten old and tired. Despite the numerous scandals and missteps this government has gotten itself embroiled in, this Motion of No Confidence had the potential to land a PM, an AG and a senior government Minister in jail had it been handled right.

suruj in orange shirtNow, three days later, with Keith pointing fingers and Kamla sticking out her tongue and saying prove it, we have the country right back where it started…wondering who lying. And all of this just mere months away from a Local Government Elections and a By-Elections.

Ironically enough, it is Rowley who may be hardest hit from this, because once again the question of the type of leader he will be is raised. In fact, Kamla had a ball with that question in Parliament today..and showed us just how petty and vindictive she can be.

The further irony is that with some team work from his small bench of MPs, the Opposition could have come out looking better. Instead, with the formidable Mr Imbert missing they seemed unprepared to properly discuss and dissect the implications of an electronic paper trail of a conspiracy.

You see, while it is possible for the email accounts of 4 people to be hacked and controlled remotely….it is impossible for the owners of these email accounts to not notice the emails that are being sent to and from their accounts…unless they were never checking them. And if, as the AG admits, the TSTT account is his primary account, then surely he should have noticed all of those e-mails moving back and forth…unless they want us to believe that they don’t check email at all and Keith was controlling 4 accounts remotely and e-mailing himself all hours of the day and night through their accounts.

See, here’s my take on where these e-mails came from…and I am using myself as an example.

I have a tablet and a smart phone….I have all of my email accounts stored on both devices. If I lost a device I’d have to change the password on all of the accounts through my computer or another smart device, and hope that my files weren’t all saved to the device’s internal memory storage. If I bought a new device like say a smart phone, I’d have to make sure I wiped the old phone before selling it or giving it away….something tells me that a device from one of the persons got lost, stolen, sold or misplaced….and friends of the Opposition got their hands on it and got the information.

Given that the starring figure in all of these e-mails seems to be the AG….I’m willing to bet it is either his blackberry or tablet…..I’d faster go with phone because so many messages were sent late in the night and were one liners….the larger a device is, the more we type. We tend to keep our phones on or close to us late at nights. Also, on phonse we tend to send quick, one-line  responses.

If Stephen Williams wasn’t such a compromised Commissioner of Police, if we had a serious cyber crimes unit here, if the Integrity Commission actually functioned and if the President had the power he thinks he has….there would be an independent investigation and the first thing to be done would be to confiscate the devices of these individuals and to ask their email hosts for transcripts on the dates Rowley gave….

But this was a rape trial. Rowley accused them of fucking us over….it was up to him to prove there was unwanted penetration…and before he managed to accomplish that in Parliament…he pulled out.

Keep Calm and Change Yuh Password!

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.

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.

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!

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!

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

The Ethnic Agenda

 

In case you missed it, Ambassador Neil Parsan’s wife is black, which apparently is an actual ethnicity, not just a colour; and his wife’s colour apparently gives the goodly ambassador carte blanche to make up information about Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean. Oh, wait you missed it? You missed the speech wherein the diplomat that is supposed to be representing an entire multicultural nation gave a speech that implied he is really only there to serve the interests of a particular interest group: the People’s Partnership? Some of the key points in Parsan’s speech was to point out that the “Indian Diaspora is a formidable force in Trinidad and Tobago, the largest numerical representation in the Caribbean.” And let’s not forget as well that Indians are ” the most well-to-do and culturally strong and progressive ethnic group in the uniquely plural society of Trinidad and Tobago.”

 

I can’t tell you where to find Ambassador Parsan’s speech anymore because it has since been removed from the embassy’s website. What I can tell you is that Neil Parsan is engaging in a not very subtle game of Whose Ethnicity Is More Superior? And that is a game that the entire country will lose. Why? Because it is pitting groups against each other, and making the atmosphere of Trinidad and Tobago more toxic. A speech such as this says plainly that groups here don’t yet view themselves as Trinbagonians but as ethnicities all holding their corner and struggling for a larger piece of the pie. That an Ambassador, a diplomat, representing an entire nation, would be caught delivering such a speech is beyond embarrassing and Parsan should hand in his instruments of appointment and just leave Washington DC because his conduct as an Ambassador in that speech is poor. He is not representing a country.

 

But  Ambassador Parsan is but one in a string of ethnicity-related gaffes we have had coming from the People’s Partnership of late. Since the massive Section 34 March, we have had Minister of National Security, Jack Warner, on several platforms spreading a message of ethnic strife. The Section 34 march was negligible according to Warner because he saw only Afro-descended people in it. As if to imply that Afro- descended people aren’t Trinbagonian enough to be taken seriously. As if to imply that it wasn’t a march of citizens. As if to imply Section 34 is a race or ethnicity issue and not a national issue. Mere weeks after the march, on i95.5 with John Wayne Benoit, MP for Mayaro, Winston Peters in response to a question repeated that he is only representing the people who voted for him.

 

And if that wasn’t insulting enough, Warner then, sulking and petulant, announced that he wasn’t attending the opening of the Nagar because Keith Rowley would be there. Disingenuous as ever, Warner claimed he didn’t want to politicize the issue. Then Sat Maharäj, pundit Harry Maharaj and Devant Maharäj jumped in to support Warner’s position. Mind you, this is Divali and the Divali Nagar site. A holiday celebrated by the national community on lands donated by the state. What Warner was ostensibly saying to Rowley is we don’t want you or your kind here. Please keep in kind that Warner is not the UNCs Minister of National Security, he is the nation’s, obligated to serve the nation, and at a public forum this is how he speaks to the Leader of the Opposition, a man that represents the interests of another part of our society.

 

Of course, yes, you can argue that Warner was there in his capacity as Chairman of the UNC. And in that case, what are Warner’s words and actions saying about the party’s agenda and policies? Is the UNC, the party that is currently leading this coalition government, actively using strategies of ethnic division and polarizing politics as part of its strategy to stay in government? The COP agreed to this? Because I can’t see what other way there is to define what Warner and his supporters are attempting to do if not polarize the nation yet again.

 

And to add frosting and cherry on top this ethnic agenda cake is our Prime Minister. A lady who is mum on most matters, but manages to break her silence at the closing ceremony of the Divali Nagar and used the opportunity to attack the Leader of the Opposition. And on trivial issues no less. What the Prime Minister fails to remember with the whole goar lagay incident, when she decided to bow before the President of India is simply this: the PM was there in her capacity as the head of government, greeting another head of government; two heads of state do not bow to each other. Simple protocol. But it seems the PMs advisers are not strong on protocol, just on beefing up her strategies for her ethnic agenda.

 

If sounding like a petulant child about the international bowing incident wasn’t insult enough, the PM then lashed out at the Opposition Leader’s decision to wear a kurtah to ceremonies at the Nagar. Apparently the PM has a monopoly on wearing ethnic garb in this country and we didnt get the memo.

 

The Partnership sounding scared. They sound jittery. Why else would they need to begin to deploy race politics so hard if not to rally their voter base around them. and that’s an old Bas trick, eh. When under attack rally the troops. So in one breath the PM will talk about representing the nayshun….and in another, she scolding people to get in their section.

 

But I want to take a minute and examine this voter base that the PP appealing to. Persad-Bissessar can only be appealing to a group for whom policies based on tribalism and ethnic division will work on. So then, is the leader of the PP saying that her voter base wants ethnic division? Is the leader of the PP also saying that she is quite willing to use divisive tactics once it keeps her popular. Remind me what was the new politics we voted for in 2010 again?

We won’t be getting any of that new politics anytime soon simply because Kamla and the PP must now rally the troops together and bunker down until 2015. Any loss of her voter base, or the Indian vote to the PNM will be a bad sign. Especially since she knows that she depended heavily on the PNM vote that the COP managed to capture. That’s out the window now since PNM supporters see COP for what it truly is….a Trojan Horse of a party.

Kamla also knows that there is no way she can win the seat of government with just the Hindu government. So the struggle is on. Let’s hope others keep their head on and see this Ethnic agenda policy for what it truly is….divide and rule so that the UNC can live another day….but still, you have to ask yourself what it says about the party’s voter base that race politics appeals to them.

De Vice Cyah Done!

Muje Maaf Kar Do….Mea Culpa?

This afternoon the PNM is putting on a grand Divali celebration in St James. The celebration will feature a tassa competition, a beauty queen show and deya lighting. For a party that is in opposition and considered to be more Afro than any other ethnic group in its appeal, it is refreshing to see the efforts that Rowley et al are making to appear more inclusive.

Indeed, since the PNM Convention on October 28 th The Keith has been quietly relentless about showing his many facets and in showing his softer side, he is attempting to show the PNMs accommodating side. But how accommodating is it?

Is it going to be a seasonal accommodation? One that pops up only during popular religious festivals? Will other less prominent ethnic groups also be a part of this new accommodation? Will other religious systems that are less prominent as well be welcomed into the fold? After all the PNMs mantra these days is ” Come home to the PNM”.

But what exactly are we coming home to? Is this new accommodation a pappy show to give an impression of inclusiveness, or is the PNM serious about turning a new leaf?

I am asking these hard questions because there are two major obstacles the PNM has to confront at some point in time publicly. Why? Because they are the obstacles that are thrown up all the time privately. The unspoken grouses the electorate has against the PNM as it were, and I think publicly confronting them will actually make the party appear stronger and serious about inclusion.

Right now the constant pictures of The Keith in koortah is window dressing for a deeper far more serious problem. Yes he looks very dapper and cuts a fine picture in ethnic garb. But as a half coolie that looks more African than Indian, I can tell you that there is far more to being Indian and winning the regard of the Indian community than donning ethnic garb. The PNM in particular and Afro Trinbagonians have always been viewed by the Indo community with skepticism and mistrust.

Social and political leaders of the Indo community have kept the mistrust alive with a constant reference to several grievances held against the PNM. There is the constant cry that the PNM has oppressed Indians, of course when you press for details and evidence the conversation always ends up the “recalcitrant minority” speech by Williams. A speech that happened. That it happened in reference to something else is irrelevant to the Indo community. What matters is that it was said and as far as Indians are concerned it speaks to the true feelings of both the PNM and Afro Trinis.
Go to any FB group, especially UNC focused group and that’s where all the conversations lead to. Pnm is a cult that don’t like Indians and trying to oppress us. Ask the right questions and it boils down to the comment that has had Indians toting feelings against both PNM and Afros for half a century.

The Keith has begun addressing this grievance, but obliquely. It can’t be a coincidence that at every opportunity he has been given in the last two weeks he constantly refers to the valuable contributions of the Hindu community. It is possibly a subtle, mea culpa….but this won’t do.

You see Indians want their pound of fle……sorry, bhagi. And given the public way in which Williams made the comment, any addressing of it will have to be just as publicly. The PNM must make it clear that it is not now, nor ever will be, the party’s position on Indians. It matters little that fifty years have passed since it was made. It matters little that much has been done to atone for it. Until the PNM faces that bogey head on, then it will always rear its head in quiet and not so quiet corners to be used against the party and Afro Trinis.

The tote is real The Keith, and the party must go on record as having addressed the issue. A simple Muje maaf kar do. To refuse to address it gives the comment and its offshoot behavior more power than it deserves.

When you go on record, you diffuse the strength of that comment made more than fifty years ago….and turn the tables on the whiners only intent on ethnic political mischief.

De Vice Cyah Done!

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Much Ado About Numbers

Protesters show their placards. Photos courtesy Andrea de Silva

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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!

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