Banking on Bare Sat

The PM and the PM....

The PM and the PM….

Imagine you playing a high stakes game of politics, winner gets all, and the only card in your hand is Sat Maharaj?

That is pretty much the predicament in which Kamla and her government have found themselves.

Both Labour and Jack Warner have abandoned them: so the popular support and the deep coffers Warner (once) had have both disappeared.

The COP, we all know, is a dead and riderless horse. Its two choices for leadership are Ramadhar and Dookeran. Need I go on?

The numerous other civil society groups that sung Kamla praises and supported her have all but disappeared and several of them now march against her in very public rallies. In short, all of the public good will that Persad-Bissessar had garnered after beating Panday at internal elections has disappeared. Well, except Hazel Brown.

At this point the PP or UNC, whichever name it chooses to go into election 2015 with, is reliant on two groups: the criminal element and die hard UNC supporters.

Even with die-hard supporters Kamla has a hard road to travel. In spite of what the many Facebook UNC walls (all with the same fake profiles of PEA and Allan Karim) attempt to spin and say, even supporters of Kamla have grown fed up of her style of non-governance. Why else would you need to pull out your trump card of Maha Sabha religious leader, on Indian Arrival Day, in a predominantly Indian electoral seat unless…….Sat is your only trump card and things so bad, you need to rally your base?

Trouble in the heartland? Are folks disenchanted with your less than stellar record?

Let me quickly remind you of what Kamla campaigned for in 2010.
1. Good Governance, Transparency and accountability. The country still waiting.

2. An end to wastage of public monies and Squandermania. Have you read the last two Auditor General Reports on the spending of Public Monies? We are $30 billion dollars in debt. Yes. $30b.

3. An end to violent criminal activity and white collar crime. Two words: Dana Seetahal.

4. The right to recall MPs if they are underperforming. Cabinets shuffling and reshuffling and realigning every year, but no talk of the right of recall anymore. I wonder why?

Those are just four items from their very glossy and colorful 7 Pillars of Development. Remember that document?

The PNM votes that Kamla’s PP got in 2010 to sweep her to government have returned home. The marginal voters cussing themselves and avidly searching for reasons to vote in 2015, and this means pressure has to be put on Keith Rowley to show that his game is superior.

This leaves Kamla with her heartland. And that’s what? 15 seats? After winning 29 in 2010?

Then there is the other group. The criminal element. This is the one group we cannot underestimate. Abu Bakr of 1990 coup fame has often alluded to the role his organization, the Jamaat Al Muslimeen, has played in mobilizing votes for political parties.

As reports on the Life Sport Programme have shown, Kamla’s government has gotten very cozy with a group that has criminal shadows over it. As an electorate, we have to ask ourselves how many other groups like this is the UNC govt bankrolling and at what cost.

Today’s Guardian claims the Life Sport Programme is being audited a third time. As a result, payments from the programme are on hold.

If this is the only such programme under this government, expect frustration when “at-risk youth” from “depressed” communities cannot get their monies.

But I sincerely doubt Life Sport is the only programme doling out monies to criminal elements. The very same hand out syndrome Kamla lashed out at and despised in 2010, has become a key feature of her government. So, I expect a reporter to soon find another programme or slush fund in some remote corner of a Ministry that is bank rolling less than savory elements.

Consider now, that Kamla really only has two bases to rely on. And it is only one she can rally and call out to publicly…the party faithful. A group that  nurses great resentment towards the larger community. A group that at every turn is quick to point out that no one likes them because they are Indian, or Hindu or both. That they are oppressed and marginalized and persecuted because of their ethnic and religious identity….as if oppression, marginalization and persecution belongs to any one group here. This is the group Sat Maharaj represents, and this is why showering him with public accolades is important. She has to reassure this group she is still one of them, hasn’t forgotten them and needs them. If Sat were speak out against Kamla, consider what that would do to her chances at the polls next year in her heartland seats?

After running a slick PR campaign in 2010 that pretended to be about issues, Persad-Bissessar has gone back to basics and is going to run a race platform. In reassuring herself of her heartland base Kamla has resorted to reactivating the Race Bogey. We are back in 1961 all over again. Sat Maharaj remains one of the most polarizing and divisive individuals the country has produced. His racist comments are now being described by the PM as free speech. And the PM is yet to apologize for the many instances she has used race baiting and prejudiced comments on the campaign trail during last year’s 4 elections. When calypsonians and satirists practise the same freedom of speech I hope she is just as openminded.

It is now up to us, right thinking citizens, to reject race rhetoric and force the coming political campaigns to be about the glaring issues that are sinking us daily.

We in Full Dotish mode to 2015. It will get tense. It will be sticky.

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Crime Clusterf@$k/Political Pantomime 22mts, 21dys:Volney, The People’s Champion!

Listen, all yuh read that story about the Airport Rent Bill????

The Express obtained a copy of the Airports Authority collection report as of January 31, 2012 which stated that a total of $154,288,745 was owed by all tenants, including food providers, duty free shops, car rental services and airlines.

Of this figure, Caribbean Airlines Ltd (CAL) owes some $60 million.

The AATT report listed all the concessionaires and the amount of monies owed as of January 2012.

Among the tenants who accumulated significant debts are Stechers’s Ltd, Prestige Holdings, Total Local Promotions, Tee Wee Ltd, Royal Castle Ltd.

According to the report, although CAL is the main airline with the highest debt, other airlines such as LIAT, Continental Airlines, Virgin Atlantic Airlines and Redjet are also in debt.

Hadeed told the Express that all the accounts were analysed and letters were sent to all concessionaires.”

That is not joke money in rent that the PNM refused to collect you know? That is more money than Kamla 2 oil beaker making. Me woulda shame!

And coming on the heels of  state bodies not being audited and outstanding WASA dues now being collected I realise that we was reaaaaaaaal swimming in $$$$. I mean, if the country could have afforded to spend the way it spent money under the last regime….and still not collect rents, dues and monies owed to it. Big Wet Steupsssssssssssss!

Can anyone tell me how the Minister of Injustice Don Quixote Volney (aka Sour Care Bear)

Herbert Volney, Minister of Justice/MP for St. Joseph/Make of Loose Statements

aint get carted off to St. Ann’s yet?  He really is the People’s Champion? They calling out yuh name Herbert? The man has stood in the roadways and public spaces of this country and said things that reveal he either deluded or living in an alternative reality and yet he is still out and about and getting paid! After passing judgement on a police investigation he actually defending his nonsense? Well, we vote for that, oui! But I say send him Tower D to write a letter of apology poste haste!

I am beginning to think that the UNC have a very small circle of friends….because every new political appointment barely has 2 degrees, much less 6 degrees of separation. You would think they would spread out the food eating a little wider and try and save face, so their rabid supporters would at least be able to say, “Look non-UNC people benefitting too.”, the way PNM supporters are quick to point out that everybody eat ah food under Williams, Chambers and Manning….but no…no such luck, Omar Khan step down when he realise ppl will get wind of his doctored resume (the one that states he has a BSc in  Engineering and an MBA from the IOB….neither of which are true) and now Mrs Wade Mark is T&TEC Chairperson. I going to suspend my disbelief and assume that all proper requirements were met and that Mrs Mark (wife of the Speaker of the House) is eminently qualified and suited for the post. But it looking bad and smelling like nepotism.

Laventille residents are speaking up and saying what we all know, and govt is choosing to ignore, but 21st century Policing isn’t working in the area. Residents are calling for a return of mobile policing units within communities as well as a re-assessment of social and economic issues to see how best to tackle the current crime wave.

Little Aaliyah Johnson’s body was laid to rest and a teenaged relative has been charged with her murder. The more details of this story I hear, the more I think that the Children’s Bill, while extremely necessary (Get on it Verna…leave Cheryl Miller alone!), can’t begin to scratch the surface of the problem. The story in today’s Express shows a young woman caught in a vicious cycle that includes poverty, low self-esteem and bad life style choices all around. Where to start with uprooting the problem which I feel must start with a deterioration in family structures and communal support systems?

There’s been a black out of significant portions of Trinidad ranging from Pt. Lisas to Diego Martin to Arima….mankind wake up this morning and cyah iron their school uniform and in some instances where no electricity means no water…PRESSURE!!!!!! Load shedding folks….

Sita Gajadharsingh-Nanga

And, look out….today is Maha Sabha Monday….let’s see if Sat Maharaj’s claim that Sita Gajadharsing-Nanga is no longer the Principal at the Tunapuna Hindu School, despite the court order she filed to block her transfer, is going to lead to more kuchoor at the school.

It’s Monday folks, the week wide open for more bobol and scandal.

De Vice Cyah Done!

(TWICKS): This Week In Clusterf@$KS – Feb 6th- 12th, 2012

The calm and unflappable face of the TTPS: Sgt Wayne Mystar. Photo courtesy the Newsday's website.

This wasn’t a good week for the Trinidad and Tobago Police service inspite of the straight face and neutral voice of Sgt Wayne Mystar. Just as the public seemed to be coming to terms with their brutal handling of members of the Panorama semis crowd came the announcement of a raid on Newsday’s office that targeted specifically reporter Andre Bagoo.

The cornered Jack Warner

Fmr Fifa Vice President, Jack Warner also had a pretty screwed week, what with Fifa suspending his pension plan, the Soca Warriors seizing his property in lieu of payments owed and now his name being linked to a Haitian aid scandal. I’m not sure that Warner can build enough roads and bridges to dig himself out of the hole he in. http://wired868.com/868/index.php/volley/item/91-warner-named-in-haitian-aid-scandal

Justice Gladys "De Badiss" Gafoor. Photo courtesy Newsday.

Deputy Chair woman of the Integrity Commission, the badiss Gladys Gafoor, has gone from admonishing Ken Gordon to being in the centre of a $hit storm so magnificent it may well put an end to Intergrity Commissions. It is alleged that Mrs Gafoor has been leaking information to the media: specifically journalist Andre Bagoo. In light of this President Fete to de Max Richards dismissed Justice Gafoor from the IC (and that dismissal in and of itself rife with kuchoor, because the media release was intercepted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Communications and doctored before being released to the public. No one knows who did the doctoring or why…just that it was done). The IC then called for a full investigation. This investigation led to a raid on a media house and the entire People’s Panchayat Govt rushing to condemn the police’s action, and for the AG to go so far as to deny association with the Anti-Corruption Investigation Bureau (who carried out the raid) even though they fall within the ambit of the AG’s office. Ramlogan has gone on record to the Trinidad Express as saying he, “he viewed any continued connection between his office and the ACIB as an “embarrassment” and intended to speak with Commissioner of Police Dwayne Gibbs to once again assume full control of the unit.” http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/NO_CONTROL__OVER_COPS-139168474.html. If indeed Justice Gafoor did leak information to Andre Bagoo then she has single handedly created problems for the Integrity Commission, the Government and the Media…..and people wonder why the Pantomime say Gladys is a Badiss or Epic Proportions!

Such is the influence of the “Badiss” that COP Leader Prakash Ramadhar suddenly remembered that he too had a mandate in the Parliament not as Kamla Rani’s stooge, but as the representative of a demographic, and he took to the television to make clear that his party in no way supported the attack on reporter Andre Bagoo and the Newsday.

Andre Bagoo: the little reporter who could, and may well be the straw to break the IC's back! Photo courtesy Andre Bagoo's blog.

This latest snafu with the IC has many calling for an end to the institution. What’s the point of this committee if we clearly no longer have citizens with integrity. It seems every week there’s a new problem with a member of the integrity commission. From priests who plagiarise, to entire Commissions being found lacking and having to dismantle. If we don’t have the people to man the board….then dismantle the Pappy Show! http://newsday.co.tt/news/print,0,155132.html

Another niggling issue has to be the invincibility of Hot Shot Top Cop Dwayne Gibbs. This man like Teflon! HE remains untouched by a failed State of Emergency, questionable dispensation of public funds, support of Police intimidation of the Media and general incompetence. Every week there is a new installment to the Dwayne Glibbs’ show and no one seems motivated to fire him. The Government studiously ignores all calls for Glibbs’ removal…and I’m beginning to think that Glibbs’ job isn’t to deal with crime, but to act as the Government’s Fall Guy for all breaches in the protective services…..so it’s never the People’s Panchayat’s fault….just that damned foreigner from Canada, ent Kamla Rani?

Apart from the issues with the FIFA, TTFF, Police, Media and IC, the energy industry has been having a tumultuous week that has been overshadowed. Ministers Bhoe Tewarie and Kevin Ramnarine are embroiled in transactions with Saudi Arabia that led to the US having to levy a boof on the PM and now moves to privatise Trinmar seem suspicious. Is the national patrimony being sold? And if so are members of this govt lining themselves up to benefit from the sales while the country continues to suffer?
http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/OWTU_concerned_over_Energy_Ministry_s__privatisation__move-139168429.html

Sita Gajardharsingh-Nanga. Photo courtesy Trinidad Express.

The Principal at the Tunapuna Hindu School, Sita Gajardarsingh-Nanga, got her transfer, then decided that she liked Sat Maharaj’s mistreatment of her more than she wanted to transfer; and so has declined the opportunity to transfer. Expect fireworks in the coming week on this issue….because with no more feral cattle to rustle in Icacos, Sat can now return to the issues that he loves best: blocking school gates, searching for visible panty lines, ferreting out non-Hindus, and managing wilful Hindu women who don’t know their place under him! http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/Sat__Sita_can_t_be_principal_at_2_schools-139168464.html

And with all of these issues occupying our minds we still have:
*Dwayne Glibb’s crop duster plane rented at $.9m and the reasoning behind it.
* An explanation for the Newsday raid.
* TV6 Board of Directors being called in for questioning on the Crime Watch Rape tape.
* Dwayne Gibb’s assessment by the PSC….how this man still have ah wuk?

* 3 violent murders this week.
And the usual bacchanal leading up to the festival that defines this country, for better or for worse, Carnival!

De Vice Cyah Done!