F@$K The Presses!

Gabriel Faria (left) with other members of the Guardian Media Ltd Board.

Gabriel Faria (left) with other members of the Guardian Media Ltd Board.

We’re down to one functioning daily newspaper in Trinidad and Tobago…a country that used to have 3.

Press and Media have taken a massive hit under this government in multiple ways. If we don’t have journalists selling themselves off to the government and handling their PR, then we have Government Ministers and state figures threatening the media.

In just 3 short years we have seen Police officers raid newspaper offices twice!

We’ve seen Jack Warner, then Minister of National Security, threaten the safety of both Asha Javeed and Denyse Renne on state television using state resources. Yet today, that same Warner is being touted as a saviour by people too greedy to know true tyranny when they rubbing up against it.

Judy Raymond

Editor in Chief at Guardian, Judy Raymond. It is rumoured she has been reassigned but holds her substantive title.

Yesterday’s meltdown at the Guardian, in which several writers walked off, and it is alleged the Editor in Chief has been reassigned,  is simply more evidence, to add to the ever growin pileg, that under Kamla’s Small Goal side we have no real democracy and the dictatorship isn’t creeping…it is already here. This isn’t the first time since getting into office that people have had to leave media houses. Power 102 experienced mass firings in 2011. Whole programmes were cancelled and we even had political personalities replacing radio hosts.

And even with this…people still defend the party. Well aware that we need an independently functioning media to have a functioning democracy, they still support the antics of this government and its collaborators.

What the Guardian Meltdown should teach us though is how deep into government’s pockets Big Business is…..clearly the folks at ANSA McAl are so dependent on Kamla’s Government for handouts that independence in journalism and even loss of newspaper sales are a small price to pay, in comparison to losing Government patronage…..and we still think Beetham, Laventille and Sealots are the leeches in society?

Clearly the Guardian of Democracy tagline is just a front. Those of us old enough will know that this isn’t the first time there have been meltdowns at the Guardian under a UNC Government. In 1997 editor Jones P Madeira led a walkout of several journalists from the Guardian. They eventually went on to form the short-lived Independent.

Guardian Managing Director Gabriel Faria seems to be talking out of several sides of his mouth. In one instance you are hearing he was fired, then last night you saw him speaking in his capacity as Managing Director saying everything was fine, the Guardian was still committed to the highest levels of journalism and that their two top investigative journalists had resigned because they were refusing to do more work and harder work.

Now therein lies the rub. According to Gabriel Fara, Guardian Media Ltd’s idea of fair and responsible journalism is to have Sampson Nanton question just the Managing Director about a staff walk out. Not one member of the Guardian’s staff was interviewed. Balance in we pweffen!

suruj in orange shirtAccording to Faria, the newspaper wanted its journalists to do more follow up and due diligence with its reporting. Yet today we have a story from Yvonne Webb  that indicates Suruj Rambachan has confirmation from Google that the emails brought to Parliament by Dr Rowley are fake.  Yvonne Webb fails however to do a few things:

1. She fails to ask Rambachan why someone with a HOTMAIL address wrote to GOOGLE?

2. She failed to ask to see the letter.

So, essentially we have yet another piece of writing, masquerading as journalism in the Guardian that only gives you one side of the story.

If lopsided journalism is the hard work people were running from, then I wish Misses Renne and Gumbs-Sandiford godspeed. These two reporters buss more mark on this government than any tsunami Warner has promised and it’s sad they have to go through this kind of upheaval.

Im hearing that more people will join the three resignations that have already been handed in.

But for many workers at the Guardian is business as usual…..and not a word in the newspaper today really telling you about what has happened. The cover-up continues.

I really hope right thinking citizens hit ANSA MCAL where it will hurt…..his pocket. But I know how the thought of giving up Stag or missing CNC3 or 95.1 programming might frighten some!

Big Business and Big Government hug up tight tight in bed together…and the rest of we supporting them Full Dotish!

What Khadija Could Mean

khadijah

 

I have been saying to my friends more than a week now that Jack Warner isn’t going to win Chaguanas West, nor is he likely to even run for the seat as an Independent because politically, for both him and the UNC, it doesnt make sense. If Warner runs in this by-election it will be because of pride….not because it makes good political sense.

Kamla Racist statement At Pepper Junction

The PM, in between delivering comments that remind us of Paula Deen : ” The PNM has chosen one of your children to come up against us. I ask you to show him the error of his ways and vote for UNC.” just announced Khadija Ameen as the UNC’s Chaguanas West candidate for the by-election.

I think lots of folks are hoping Warner will run as an Independent….but I doubt it.

Warner running as an Independent means UNC votes are split even further down the line. No PNM or marginal voter will stain their fingers in all good conscience…rather it will be die-hard UNC supporters willing to ignore all the corruption allegations in exchange for hand-outs and box drains.

Warner running effectively pits him against the party he finances and helped to bring to govt. Warner running against Ameen, puts him out of the UNC…..that would be playing into the hands of his detractors…..so, unless Warner has decided that he going to bring this government down….and that seems counterproductive to me, because it could lead to his undoing….I suspect that he will gran dcharge a little and then bow out of the by-election race.

Him bowing out does several things: it allows the UNC to be rid of the corruption albatross that is Warner, and to put a fresh face in Parliament that has no large corruption allegations attached to it. What folks will say about Ameen is that the is very inept at her job at the Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation. We’ve all seen the video circulating of her asleep at a Regional Corporation meeting.

They might also tell you that her relationship with Warner goes back a long time….since her Guild Politics and LGE councillor days…So if Ameen wins the seat…..it’s almost as if Warner won it….almost.

What I’m not sure about though is what will Jack do? Will he go quietly into that good night? And if so, is that a good thing or bad?

What I do know is this…UNC cant afford to lose this seat. The fight going to be messy and nasty….Kamla has fired her first “We Vs Them” Salvo and it is openly prejudiced. It’s Calcutta Ship all over again.

If Warner runs….he has cut ties with the party.

If he doesnt….this is all part of a larger strategy to clean up the party’s name.

Prepare for a month of Full Dotish!

 

…Can the Centre Hold?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Legislating the Police State

20130222-161439.jpgI got up this morning and it seems like Full Dotish is the mode for Lent….the government is going to table legislation to give soldiers powers of arrest.

Wednesday January 08 2012If we as citizens sit by and let this happen we are agreeing to a full fledged Police State!

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Myth of the Amazing Crime Plan

The new Top Cop? Photo Courtesy Trinidad Guardian website.

The new Top Cop? Photo Courtesy Trinidad Guardian website.

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

….Aaaand She’s Back!

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

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

Did you think Kamla’s Full Dotish mode went away? Did the appointment of Tony Carmona in the face of the 12-Zero SmackDown make you think that Kamla had decided to wake up and smell the coffee as opposed to sipping the Grey Goose?

Suckers!

We’re not even a good month away from the THA Annihilation and already the government is back to its old tricks. But let me commend HRH for giving me a Kamla-free Carnival. Whereas from 2011-12 you couldn’t attend an event without tripping over the lady or her entourage, this year the Kamla Posse  was as scarce as Traditional Mas in Tribe.

The one finals event the Rani showed up to was the stickfighting finals in Debe….indeed, public appearances for this government seem constricted to Debe since the Hunger strike of last year. Neither Kamla nor her Small Goal Crew seem capable of holding meetings or rallies north of…ummm….hmm….well…Barrackpore, anymore. Even Rienzi Complex and Mid-Centre Mall Carpark, once sanctuaries for the Rani, have become tainted grounds.

The PM in fete gear...

The PM in fete gear…

HD no longer has her as a special surprise act at his Machel Monday show. She no longer chasing him from fete after fete after fete to hand over checks. She isn’t performing as Queen of the Band in the People’s Band. Not even onstage at the Dimanche Gras with half the Cabinet behind her to yet again hand out checks while chipping. It’s almost as if the Most Carnival of All Cabinets forget it had Mas to play this year?

Or maybe the cutass on January 21st woke them up enough. I noticed the annual I Beat Bas January 24th celebrations (which technically should be January 25th, because that’s when the elections were held) didn’t happen this year. In fact, not a peep was heard about it. And I am now waiting patiently to see whether the annual victory rally at Mid-Centre starring Aloes and HD will come off.

There is no denying that the nation heaved a sigh of relief in the aftermath of the Carmona appointment. From all accounts, Carmona is a suitable candidate. However, this is the judge that ruled to set Panday free from jail time on grounds of health, and a week later Bas was on platforms speaking. It is also rumoured that he and the PM are friends from way back. Both lawyers from south Trinidad etc etc. Nothing wrong with being friends, nothing wrong with being a lawyer, nothing wrong with being from south….but this is Trinidad and this is Kamla and the UNC. So, for now I will reserve judgement on Carmona. The shoe bound to drop. If Carmona is as he appears, then it will only be a plus for the nation because God knows Max Richards was the biggest let-down as a President….ever!

Emmanuel George: Works Minister and Misinterpreter of Reports

Emmanuel George: Works Minister and Misinterpreter of Reports

But just as we began to think that the 12-Sero Smackdown had finally put some sense into the PM and her Small Goal Posse’s head up comes the Highway Review Report….and before Emmanuel George respected the arrangement and hush he mouth until NIDCO and the JCC sign off on the report, up jumps the boogie being done by Emmanuel as he misleads the public…oh hell, lemme say it plain….as he lies to the public about the contents of the report.

What baffles is this….What exactly did Emmanuel think he would achieve? Didn’t he realise the truth about the report would be revealed? That Kublalsingh would respond? That the report would leak? That we would find out?

What on earth has he really achieved by lying about the report?

Why is Full Dotish such an easy default position for this Government?

Nat Sec Minister.....

Nat Sec Minister…..

And if Emmanuel George aint have it hard enough I see Captain Flying Squad in hot waters this morning with a Guardian story that linking his Ministry firmly to the Flying Squad.

What angers me as a citizen is all the people involved who only now coming forward with information because money not spending. So all of a sudden we have people who ready to do the right thing for Trinidad and Tobago and not help to impose a Police State on us…..after Jack aint pay them. That is Patriotism in yuh gaaar!

So between the Hafizool CV, the Flying Squad and the Misinterpreted Report….how many missteps we up to in 33 months?

Hold on tight folks, we back in Full Dotish mode and it’s going to be a Bumpy Ride!

Mad Men with Big Stones

Master and Commander Far  Side of the Ocean: Dr/Mr Hafizool Mohammed

Master and Commander Far Side of the Ocean: Dr/Mr Hafizool Mohammed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Omar Khan

Omar Khan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We in Full Dotish Mode…Chupke Chupke!