Highlights on the Constitutional Amendment Debate

Activist Dr Merle Hodge greets Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley prior to the sitting. Photo courtesy Trinidad Guardian website.

Activist Dr Merle Hodge greets Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley prior to the sitting. Photo courtesy Trinidad Guardian website.

Oh to be a fly on the wall of the PP camp this morning. There has been acrimony for weeks, visible on some of the Facebook groups, as soon as anyone in the Partnership, whether at the leadership or membership levels, appears to have broken ranks for doing simple things like voicing a different opinion.

Never a dull moment in this group...never a logical argument either...

Never a dull moment in this group…never a logical argument either…

Yesterday’s debate in the Lower House had several highlights.

First there was the crowd on the waterfront, some of them paid, some of them voluntary. Some there to ensure they still have a CEPEP job tomorrow. Others there as curious onlookers…and a growing crowd that’s concerned about our system of governance and willing to be present if only to show solidarity and let the PP know how fed up they are. Kamla got blocked and Rowley got hugged.

Then there was Kamla’s raising of the whip. I seriously think Sugar Aloes’ serenading of the PM to “She’s Royal” back in 2012 (?) may have gone to the lady’s head. You, the party of New Politics and Good Governance fame, haven’t been practicing voting by conscience all this time? Are we meant to swoon at your magnanimity? Kamla just too precious.

Thereafter, last night’s session ran like a T-20 game: spurts and lulls, with some collapses in between.

Kamla accused the PNM of being hypocrites. Their party’s constitution promotes run-off elections, she said, waving a Balisier constitution; so, why were they against run-offs for the national election? Oh, Kamsie…tricks are for kids!
1. This country at no point in time expressed dissatisfaction with how it votes. It has expressed dissatisfaction with how MPs and Executives rule…that’s where we want reform, so that we can have true separation of powers!
2. You really think a provision in a PARTY’s constitution should be applied to a COUNTRY? Last I checked, the PNM’s membership is 80,000 and the population is 1.3m. If Dr Hodge was grading your argument for coherence, parallelism and relevance would be in the margins!

But Rowley was no slouch, he came out swinging sixes everywhere. He easily scored the fastest century of the evening.

Wat to know how it is possible to Chair a Committee and then forget everything said in its report? Ask Prakash Ramadhar.

Wat to know how it is possible to Chair a Committee and then forget everything said in its report? Ask Prakash Ramadhar.

Then came the PP’s other opener, Prakash Ramadhar, who showed plainly that not only was he devoid of conscience, he also didn’t read his own Constitutional Reform report. Which led to many debaters on the Opposition side thereafter calling him out on his blatant untruths as regards the report. Chief amongst his untruths was his insistence that the Addendum was originally there.

Ramadhar also attempted a feat of mental gymnastics that would have left even Suriya Bonaly awestruck; and that’s saying something. Ramadhar attempted to show a relationship between Proportional Representation, Run Off Ballot (ROB) and Participatory democracy. He left me wondering how many pulls in room 201, and how many sex workers are needed to create the mindset to fake up such a theory. Anil boy, you was robbed!

The first pleasant surprise of the afternoon for me came from Marlene MacDonald, as third batswoman down on the order Marlene kicked some serious ass. Whereas others might have picked the overall bill to discuss or repeat Proportional Representation as subject, verb and predicate in a sentence; Macdonald choose to dissect the bill. It was the most forensic presentation of the sitting. Clause after clause after clause dissected and discarded, causing one FB friend of mine to comment grimly, “She’s a Woman with a Clause”. Marlene, normally I take a drinks break during your presentations, but yesterday you forced me to sit up and take notice.

Is my logic smelling bad so?

Is my logic smelling bad so?

Somewhere after MacDonald we had the AG. What to say about && without receiving a slew of pre-actions in my protocol, boy? I think Fenton Ramsahoye is a brilliant AG….I also think that his paralegal, &&, needs more practice and to work harder. He spends far too much time on Orc mischief in the Parliament than on meaningful debate.

Some highlights of his less than sterling innings: && kept talking about the prevalence of the use of the ROB system in countries like France, but neglected to mention that ROB is used in the case of determining executive Presidents, not for every MP under them, and that the countries he was citing, operated under entirely different political systems. ROB is yet to be used anywhere in the Commonwealth.

With respect to the right of recall for MPs, Mr && Tricksy Orcses insisted that Williams, in demanding unsigned letters of resignation from his Cabinet, had implemented his own right of recall.
And here is how he is being less than honest with us. No Prime Minister can fire an MP. If the MP pulls a Herbie Volney and switches parties mid-term, that can trigger a by-election, which must involve the electorate. In short, an MP can only be fired by the electorate.

At the same time, no electorate can fire a Minister. All ministers are appointed by the PM. The Bill Amendment doesn’t give us recall of Ministers, only MPs. Williams, fired Ministers…not MPs. But you see, && relies on speaking untruths very fast; so by the time you decipher what he’s said, 15 other “facts” also have to be verified.

For several hours thereafter viewers and listeners would have plodded through unremarkable presentations from both Govt and Opposition. Some presentations were too unfocused and wide ranging, or the style of delivery incredibly lax (eyes on you Deyalsingh, Hospedales and Jeffreys….tighten up!) Whilst others were irrelevant beyond belief. The debate, dear Suruj and Moony, wasn’t about PR…because there is no amendment for Proportional Representation in the Bill. In fact, it appears as if the UNC has all but abandoned PR now as it jumps on the ROB bandwagon.

They feel they know what I coming with...

They feel they know what I coming with…

Then, at around 9:30 pm, came the shitstorm. The minute Dookeran invoked the names of Tajmool Hosein and Ellis Clarke, I sat up. One does not simply invoke Tajmool’s name. Eh eh…not just so. Hosein was present at the Marlborough House convention. Hosein shaped the earliest reforms of our Constitution. When men get up and invoke Tajmool Hosein name, be prepared for fireworks….and boy, did Dookeran deliver. In a 45-minute speech peppered with phrases like “cat-in-bag” and “dangerous” , Dookeran, visibly worked up, rejected the Bill outright, pointing out its potential to destroy the COP, and create more ethnic tensions. My gob was smacked. My ghost was flabbered. The same man who brought us Hafizool Mohammed and atrocious international diplomacy at our embassies capable of this? Listen…Dooks need to come with a label: “Flammable when pushed to the edge!”

The last contribution I heard came on at 12:30 am. And it was worth staying up that late just to hear Colm Imbert, well-researched and ascerbic as ever, call Prakash Ramadhar a Judas Horse.
Honestly, who needs Chick Mansion when there is Parliament Channel?

Protesters held vigil at the Waterfront, well into the wee hours of the morning.

Protesters held vigil at the Waterfront, well into the wee hours of the morning.

The one flaw to the entire debate was the break down of FM radio signal for the Parliament station. I can’t point any fingers, because I’ve no idea if the problem stemmed from Parliament or Cumberland Hill. What I will say is this, the last four years have seen more and more citizens accessing Parliament Channel. If this government has done nothing else, it has made the population more watchful and cautious about the goings-on in Parliament and our Constitution. I expect that that traffic on the website will continue to increase and for folks without internet access, the FM station becomes even more crucial. Keep up the good work, Parliament channel, and take the necessary measures to safeguard this service for us.

And, on a closing note, I want to raise this observation. Proportional Representation was raised often last evening, notably on the side of the Government. MP after MP from the COP and the UNC mouthed the words. They want to bring Propertional Representation to the country, to the electorate etc etc…Has anyone noticed that neither of these parties use Proportional Representation for their internal elections?

The PNM internally implemented One Man One Vote, which fits in better with a First Part the Post System that they advocate at the national level. Yet both the UNC and the COP want PR, and won’t implement at the micro level, so that we can see how it will work for us at the macro level. Isn’t that weird? That they won’t practise first what they are attempting to foist on the community?

The debate moves to the Senate next Tuesday, and there will be a week-long vigil at the Waterfront every evening from around 4pm. A sort of #OccupyDWaterfront Movement as it were. Stop by, lend support, discuss the constitution, watch the ferry come in.

De Vice Cyah Done!

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Constitution Reform For Whom?

Ethnic parity is a big issue for this government. Senators Devant Maharäj and Anand Ramlogan have made careers as activists from the Equal Opportunities Act. Kamla Persad-Bissessar is on record as refusing to support the Caribbean Court of Justice because she needed to see more Indian judges. Nizam Mohammed also asked for ethnic parity in the police service.

So given their predilection for ethnic parity over merit, one would expect that this government would ensure that its policies and its marketing reflected ethnic parity as well.

Recently the COP, a member in the PP Govt began its campaign for Constitutional Reform. It has released two advertisements, and I can only hope that they have more adverts planned, because if one was to go by the demographic targeted in these ads, Trinidad and Tobago, a nation with at least 6 ethnic/racial categories on its CSO records, only has an Indian demographic.

Sorry COP, if you going to really represent Trinidad and Tobago….you have to reflect Trinidad and Tobago. This advert campaign and its overt and subliminal messages FAIL!

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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!

I Out On De Road: Section 34 Style!

No, not lemmings, just right thinking Trinbagonians defending their democracy!

 

I’m marching today. And happily so. When I marched weeks ago I was told by people who consider themselves thinkers, humanists and buddhists that to march meant I was Pro PNM…..and even better, marching meant I was a lemming. If Rowley was so against Section 34 why he vote for it. At that point in time no one was willing to listen to the details of the story. That Cabinet had promised to implement certain conditions and further that the early proclamation was a breach of trust.

Today, as more and more details of the section 34 issue has been revealed and more and more people realise the extent of the conspiracy perpetrated against the country all of a sudden marching has become the fashionable thing. The people who wanted to make this about Keith Rowley and the PNM a few weeks ago are going to be out on the street en masse today because that’s how bandwagonists function. They diss an action that they are not in favour of in its early phases and then when they see the direction the wind shifts in all of a sudden their intellect kicks in and they find a plausible reason for joining and become even louder and more vociferous than the original members of a movement. It’s all good, once they pulling their weight. I guess the Lemmings have company today.

But there are people who are still detractors to the march. We’ve seen the government throw up distraction after distraction where Section 34 is concerned. Pre-Budget Rallies, Post-Budget Rallies, random attacks on the media from Jack Warner and Jamal Mohammed, Warner trying to block crime statistics….all in an effort to distract the electorate from the issue of Section 34 and what it means that an entire Cabinet conspired to mislead the Parliament….and now pretending they did nothing wrong.

Last night there was a last ditch effort on the part of UNC apologists. People arguing that the issue has already aired publicly, so let’s move on. Well neither Kamla nor the AG have answered my questions on this matter satisfactorily so I can’t move on. And apparently the launch of TSTT’s 4G that was meant to thin out the protest crowds has been put off as well. So it’s just lemmings in Woodford Square at noon today.

Another argument is that this March today is about causing political destabilisation….uhhh….YES….we don’t trust the Government. No electorate should have to be saddled with a Government it doesn’t trust, and to argue that we must put up with an untrustworthy government for five years is to play smart with foolishness. That’s why it’s called a democracy….we have the right to show our displeasure and I am going to show it.

And Section 34 isn’t the only reason. There are at least a hundred…but let me refresh your memory with a few reason why I will be out on the road.

1. Reshmi

2. Gopaul

3. Mary King

4. Cheryl Miller

5. Nizam Mohammed

6. Dwayne Gibbs

7. Gary Griffith

8. The Crop Duster

9. Raids on TV6, Newsday, Crime Watch and attacks on Asha Javeed and Denyse Renne

10. Chandresh Sharma’s London Taxi fare

11. Shoppin Toppin and Fuad Card!

12. The Soca Warriors $$$$

13. Jack as a Minister, Jack as a member of the National Security Council, Jack as Minister of National Security (this alone is a march in itself)

14. The bungling incompetence of the AG

15. Silk Gate

16. The dismantling of all of our border and coastal surveillance,

17. the deployment of national security helicopters as air taxis for the PM and her friends and family.

18. Vidwattie Newton

19. Janice Thomas/Marcia/Sasha Mohammed

20. The mess that is healthcare

21. The mess that is education

22. Fucking up our energy sector

23. Three massive budgets that have put us into deficit and saddling us with a debt my grandchildren will be paying.

24. Insulting our Caricom Neighbours with the ATM statement

25. Kamla being the most incompetent and ineffective, self absorbed, nepotistic and corrupt leader this Caribbean has ever seen.

 

I could go on for days…but I’ll stop there. See you on the road!

 

De Vice Cyah Done!

 

100 Missteps in 2.5 years by Xavi Silva

I had to share this list with you guys. FB blogger Xavi Silva tagged me in this post and I thought maybe you’d want to take a read and add whatever you think is missing:

2 1/2 years 100 bad decisions here is our government:

1) Reshmi
2) Sasha
3) Jack multiple FIFA bribery scandals(Bin Hamman, TTFF, Haiti)
4) Vasant Cayanne
5) Farmers without crops
6) A RedBull Flugtag Plane for 900k to replace a blimp sold for 50k how? What? Why?
7) Diversification what how where?
8) SOE
9) Assassination Plot
10) NP friends and family contract
11) Anand proposing to monitor social media and emails
12) Raiding media houses for sources
13) Verna locking up Cheryl Miller
14) Seizing guns/drugs locking up nobody and saying we on top of crime!
15) Frequent flyer trips with no solid results
16) 20% voter turnout in local elections called a success!
17) 0% Economic growth for 3 years!
18) Jack the unlimited bank account!
19) Dismissing the Transparency International Corruption Report
20) Vetoing the head of the Financial Intelligence Unit(FIU)
21) 2.5 million for 3 farmers to cut the Airport grass(I in the wrong field who have a whacker?)
22) Anand and Kamla say SILK wrong but still wearing them own.
23) Gift wrapping oil for India
24) Alutrint board appointed something smelting bad.
25) How come race talk so prevalent now? It was ever so?
26) Paid bloggers sound off how the Blackberry wokking?
27) What going on with the probe on Ish, Steve and Jack AG? We ever hearing that again?
28) Wait Verna doin the Back Peddle dance and welcoming back Ms. Miller but I thought she commit her?
29) so 48 million barrels is the answer to we economic problems? Well Barbados 2.5 billion find will make them richer than Apple Corp then!
30) Why Anand eh lock up Caulder Hart yet? That is a nex probe up somebody eh hem!
31) Protests by TCL and Unions watch out for a SOE jus now
32) Sunway! Whichway? Caulder Hart Way $300 million quarrying contract thanks Kamla we always knew your “Hart” was good.
33) Ag Superintendent Bisnath Maharaj is the new SSA director that name sounding familiar hmmm.
34) Omar Khan resign cause he unqualified! Why this sounding familiar?
35) “I hired my sister with taxpayer dollars that’s good family values” say it frequently an wine!
36) Before elections: “I will never move into the PM’s residence” After elections: “Put the elevator from the HDC building in my bedroom”
38) Aye! How I could forget Sat! Anybody know if he still seeing pantylines? He still like black people?
39) COP members say they fed up of the poor governance an they not settling so! COP have a backbone then?
40) Somebody pay me TT$1.5 million to paint a small building nah gosh boy look how much people getting handouts.
41) Oil Sands/Highway Re-Route
42) All files on Jack, Ish an Steve stolen from the SIA
43) Giving India a stake hold in Petrotrin
44) Hiring workers from China to pick coconuts
45) New CONCACAF president slams Warner for financial impropriety
46) Dwayne Gibbs find no evidence against Warner so the DPP can’t prosecute that’s a shocker…
47) Reducing NIS pensioners to $1,000 per month and less in some cases.
48) The purposeful allowing of taxpayer dollars going to waste from assets e.g. The Brian Lara stadium and the 4 water taxi’s simply because it was a PNM one.
49) Jack National Security? How?
50) Why no consultation on the SEA curriculum change?

51) Jack has no authority to command the armed forces and police
52) Why were environmentalists consulted on the destruction of the turtles nest?
53) Why is the gov’t considering a Tar Sands Mine?
54) New Central Bank Governor was on India trip too hmmm guess he real “independent”
55) Property Tax on or off on or off?
56) T&T Embassy, Washington, DC
Veterinarian, turned diplomat, Dr. Neil Parsan, nephew of Local Government Minister Chandresh Sharma, has been using millions of dollars of taxpayers money to transform the Trinidad and Tobago Embassy in Washington to capture a piece of the “sunlit Caribbean.”
57) How much to renovate the US embassy here again??
58) Bobol at NLCB
59) Bobol at EMA Staff quitting and workers wearing red to protest!
60) New Traffic plan destroying business in St. James.
61) Four members of the Estate Management Business Development Company Ltd (EMBD) resigned from the board after raising concerns over transactions involving senior company officials.
62) Mt. Hope storing cancer patients tissue in water containers.
63) Why did Jack influence the firing of the COP and deputy COP?
64) How come exactly 50 to be released for our 50th Independence? 50 no more no less!
65) Flags that not really flags just modified 90 degrees.
66) Gov’t official under FIU probe ah wonder who hmmmm,
67) Sect. 34 sounds like a horror movie only worse.
68) The National Security helicopters is the new shopping car.
69) Shaq get $10 million to help crime go up!
70) Machel make more money that the T&T economy thanks Kamla!
71) Keshorngate everybody get even if yuh finish second to last. Oh wait Nijsane eh get nuttin.
72) Partap drunk nuff said…
73) Financial Action Task Force (FATF) reports suspicious activity in the amount of $500 million from Jan to Jun 2012
74) But wait crime back up I thought the SOE fix that? Where Steven Williams two crime plans? And Jack phantom one?
75) 21 workers responsible for the regularization of 4,500 cane farmers fired Food Production Minister Devant Maharaj denied such claimed. Unions have letters for all 21.
76) Wait we still giving out laptops to schools when the one laptop per child experiment proved no marked increase in test scores?
77) I feel iPads for all MP’s will fix all the nation problems.
78) Why the discrepancies in the auditor general report? http://www.auditorgeneral.gov.tt/documentlibrary/downloads/9/Vol%20%204%20-%20AG%20REPORT%202011.pdf
79) Jack new crime plan to outline how people dress…
80) How did we achieve developed country status in a negative economy again?
81) AUSTERITY MEASURES!
82) 50 criminals to be released coinciding with 50th Anniversary Independence.
83) Hubert Volney became the fall guy for Anand Ramlogan.
84) Pre-Budget Rally!
85) Post Budget Rally!
86) Attiba Phillips pay $1,335. to a taxi from his home to Mid Centre Mall in Chaguanas sample eh it have plenty more.
87) No drill in a major hospital that is all.
88) Jack Warner begins another job program in place of proper economic development ala color me orange, hoop of life.
89) The DPP states that that Section 34 “cannot stand on its own without absurdity” http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/Breaking-News—Gaspard-Breaks-Silence-169487316.html
90) The AG, PM continue the rash of lawsuits in place of debating with the AG proudly compiling a list of those he has sued.
91) $1.3 billion requested for arbitration with BAE for the OPV’s
92) Reshmi! No wait Reshmi mommy and Anand Ramlogan creating a position of Clerk IV that does not exist.
93) The new tool to attack the opposition is race! Everybody saying they was racially discriminated even Jack say Rowley racial cause he focusing on Anand but Anand doing poor I think.
94) The Minister of Communications show his inferiority complex on paper writing claiming bias against reporters and finally the head of an independent news agency and oh yeah using racial slurs in referring to himself as a “Muslim Coolie”
95) The ink on the 2012/2013 budget still wet and the Ministry of Works done want to borrow $2.7 billion! Who say massive debt and IMF?!
96) Massive hirings an firings at our embassies overseas that bound to happen less attention http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/_I_will_take_you_to_the_PM_-176132371.html
97) Paid bloggers being recruited the usual suspects all there slithering around.
98) The same NAMDEVCO that giving Reshmi mommy a fake position fire the whole board real bachannal Among them are irregular hiring practices that have landed five board members before the Integrity Commission.
99) How come people so silent about how FIFA stop funding Trinidad & Tobago? Must be how Jack Warner still interfering in FIFA business when that was the condition of his being fired/resigning(same difference) that he dont interfer?!! http://www.wired868.com/2012/10/06/warners-controversial-letter-to-sport-minister-anil-roberts/
100) After all the Section 34 bachannal Anand still ent remove serious fraud from the statute of limitations look at that.

Rotten to the Legal Core!

You ever read a book called The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born? You should. It’s a novel about how Independence has failed a country written by Ayi Kwei Armah of Ghana. The novel focuses on corruption at all levels. And one of its most startling images is that of a wooden railing in a government office that is rotten and corrupt to the core, and it was made rotten by the hands of all of the people who go up and down the staircase. If you think of that railing as representing all levels of society, then you get Armah’s idea. Things bad from top to bottom.

The corruption in this place is deep. That’s why the entire country has reacted so strongly to Section 34. Because the extent to which people have gone to free Steve and Ish has shown us that it doesn’t simply end at bribes in brown paper bags. Section 34 shows us that governments and politicians are capable of dismantling the very Constitution of a country in order to protect their own.

This week the Government showed us that the shame surrounding Section 34 isn’t going to slow it down either. Early in the week we saw Minister of Finance, Larry Howai, firing a team of lawyers, and hiring  a new set to continue the CLICO/HCU Enquiry. Anybody notice how lawyers are the new CEPEP? We have a government that sending out pre-action protocol letters daily: the Opposition, the THA, media houses. Nobody safe. We have two Commissions of Enquiry running right now. All heading into 2013, all paying a large cadre of lawyers who charge hundreds of dollars an hour for their services. In this latest legal cock up the Law Association President, Seenath Jairam SC breached the legal fraternity’s code of ethics and forced Karl Hudson-Phillips QC to have to use the phrase “eat ah food” in a letter. This is the same President of the Law Association who took a long time before weighing in on Section 34. The same President who is yet to come out and state whether the Law Association still has confidence in the Attorney General. But I guess we kind of have our answer now, yes?

Senator Larry Howai: Minister of Finance

After Howai hired the fresh batch that included Joseph Toney and Jagdeo Singh, COP Leader Prakash Ramadhar, convinced that flashing a smile and saying things in a deep measured tone makes it ok, legal and above board, jumped in to endorse Howai’s actions. No one wanted to acknowledge the elephant in the room, that here was the government, for the second time in two years, changing a legal team in mid-stream and appointing an entirely new team of lawyers. Remember, this is what happened with Ish and Steve’s extradition case. In this instant, the switcheroo is being done to ensure that all of their legal friends get a turn at the trough. Legal CEPEP. In fact, Joseph Toney admitted as much when he defended the appointment by complaining that he received no work under the PNM from 2002 to the present. What Toney seemed to forget was that he functioned as the attorney for the EXIMBANK during the PNM’s time in office. But amnesia seems to plague this government. In the space of a day both Ramadhar and Toney, behind some very shifty smiles, showed their true colours and their real motivations.

Now, when Hudson-Phillips QC has to rouse himself to rest down a public licking on the head of the Law Association, things rough. Jairam SC should have known and done better. And as Hudson-Phillips points out to him, “As president you have failed to demonstrate an adherence, not to the highest, but to the most basic principles of professional etiquette and conduct of the Bar.” If I was a silkened lawyer, and this was said about me, I wouldn’t even feel competent enough to represent a fowl thief in court.

Last Thursday night, Rowley read from a letter sent to him by Ag President Timothy Hamel-Smith. In the letter Hamel-Smith admits to looking at all of the documents surrounding Section 34 and seeing nothing inconsistent with what then Minister of Justice Volney did. This, from the same man who signed off on Reshmi Ramnarine’s appointment.  But are we even surprised that even when functioning as President of the country that Hamel-Smith would put party before country? Yet another principled COP member bites the dust!

Attorneys in Arms! Joseph Toney and Prakash Ramadhar

This current cabinet doesn’t suffer from a shortage of lawyers. You’ve got Roodal Moonilal, Collin Partap, Chryslyn Moore, Prakash Ramadhar, Herbert Volney, Anand Ramlogan and the Prime Minister herself. And those are who I can remember. Seven lawyers in a Cabinet. Seven lawyers at the helm of our government and it’s either they are ignorant about laws and codes of conduct or, they so tricky they abusing it and hope that we don’t know any better.

Now, had Hudson-Phillips not pulled Jairam SC up, what would have transpired? Do you think he and Toney would have returned the briefs at all? Or would they continue to “eat ah food”? Are lawyers paid so badly in Trinidad that they have to sell their integrity in order to earn a living?

Have we sunk so low in this country that at every turn and action we have to second guess and question the actions of our government? How, in the aftermath of a fiasco like Section 34 could the President of the Law Association think this would pass unnoticed? Was he that convinced that no member of the Association would speak out against his actions? And if that is the case, what does it say about the other members of the Association that Jairam SC would have so little regard for their peer pressure that he would breach his own code of ethics?

We aint gone clear in this place you know, we well past that!

Legal Briefs Returned.

Karl: Damage Done to Law Association

Read it and weep folks. This morning I wake up with tears in my eyes for the foolishness happening in this country that UNC apologists find all kinds of justification for.

 

De Vice Cyah Done!

Prakash Ramadhar: Failments 101

If no one else from Election 2010 has thoroughly disgusted me, it is Prakash Ramadhar. You see, from day 1 of the COP campaign I said to people that it was obvious that Ramadhar was the party’s heir apparent. I thought him to be a principled and intelligent man. All the people I met who were actively involved with COP strategising and campaigning agreed that he was. So to watch his trajectory over the last 2.5 years is for me a good example of how a political wolf can assume sheep clothing.

And the thing is, Ramadhar continues to wear the sheep clothing because many angry COP members see him as balls-less, but really what they need to think about is his agenda. If Ramadhar’s goal was really new politics and defending democracy, then his approach is ballsless. His inability to take a principled stance and walk away from the corrupt partnership makes him weak. But if you look closely at Ramadhar you will see that he has actually taken a firm stance on issues and isn’t ballsless at all. In fact, I willing to bet that he have more balls than a gorilla.

You see Ramadhar has managed the hoax of the century. He has managed to convince all and sundry that his motives in this coalition government are pure and above board…even with all the evidence to show otherwise. Ramadhar has managed, despite all of his missteps and misspeaks to keep COP members and even non-members convinced that 1. The COP is a party that actually exists and 2. The COP has principles.

But let’s look a little closer. Ramadhar, was formerly a UNC supporter, he left the party and joined the COP to offer the country new politics. Let’s see what new politics he has offered us thus far:

Accountability – No

Transparency – No

End to Nepotism – No

End to Corruption – No

End to abuses of State Funds – No

Instead in the COP’s entire term in government they have played a very strategic game of supporting the UNC and seeking their own interests. Despite Ramadhar’s ovbious involvement in the debacle that is Section 34, there was never any threat of him losing his ministerial position. And to ensure that he continues to look squaeky clean Ramadhar leapt to give an apology to the nation for being a a part of the conspiracy to release Ish and Steve. That’s all his apology was. While the LRC may not have seen the amended S34, wouldn’t the COP have been part of the cabinet that approved its early proclamation? Study yuh head good.

Even in the case of the MayorGate, Ramadhar’s main concern was how to safeguard his party’s interests in the face of Marlene Coudray’s defection. He kept the mayorship and got a few more Ministerial position in the eventual Cabinet Reshuffle.

And these days Ramadhar is busy making sure that his home boys eat ah food. Larry Howai announced he was hiring a new lawyers for the state’s case against Clico. Among the newly appointed lawyers are Jagdeo Singh and COP Chairman Joseph Toney. The story barely gets time to go warm than Ramadhar gives his stamp of approval. And it is a crucial stamp of approval, because Ramadhar thinks that the COP still appears squeaky clean to the population. So him approving it means it’s ok, is not a case of political patrimony….but when you start digging up online, some some of my FB friends are prone to doing you stumble upon interesting archived stories about lawyers like  Jagdeo Singh who has a pretty colourful past. And is back to continue to reap rewards.

Both Toney and Singh are colleagues of Ramadhar.

Why is it every rock we look under has some past member of this government who has been involved in nefarious activities?

There are people who still think they can trust Ramadhar and the failed COP….time to think again!

De Vice Cyah Done!