TWICKS (This Week In Clusterf@$KS): Feb 13th- 19th

Mr Fete Machel Montano and Miss-Must-Fete-Despite-Having-a-Country-to-Run!

There were many stories this week that battled for primacy of place in the Pantomime; but for many reasons the Prime Minister’s appearance at Machel Monday on February 13th earned top position. The incident took place at the start of the week and threw most of the nation into a total tailspin, not because her presence at fetes are unexpected; indeed, like any Trini worth her salt, the PM seems to have racked up more feting time than office hours since her return from the India Extravaganza. It seems too that on her way back from India she made a stop in London to buy a pair of pricey Louis Vuittons that she showed off to the crowd at Machel Monday. The PM’s detractors were loudly critical of her appearance on the stage as well as her dress code. Those in favour of the PM and desperate for this govenment to remain relevant and in power immediately dismissed the furor over Kamla’s inappropriate dress code as a “non-story”, what’s the fuss about? Do we question Rowley’s underwear?  The level of moral relatavism that was employed to shift from the real issue at hand was a clear sign that the supporters of this government have grown desperate. To not see those boots as vulgar and inappropriate and a symbol of what this government, certainly its Prime Minister, has come to represent to significant portions of the population, is to put one’s head in the sand. Kamla mounted a stage in an ad hoc manner representing not her private self, but the country as PM, and sought to honour a soca artiste with an award that is yet to be named, and whose reason is yet to be explained, dressed in exactly the sort of ostentatious bling that we decry in the nation’s youth when we talk of their value systems. What made our PM this last Monday a role model to the nation in any real sense? What made her a leader or stateswoman in that stunt on stage? Come Carnival Monday and Tuesday she intends to jump with Trini Revellers in a section whose theme is based on Africa….more pappy show for the masses. Take that in all yuh gaaaar!

The other reason this story received top billing was what the image above also symbolised for the fete goers and soca lovers. This appeared to be Kamla Rani’s public endorsement of Double M for major prizes at Soca Monarch and within seconds of entering the stage the talk went around the Hasely Crawford Stadium that Montano had to indeed still be in the government’s pocket. The Machel Hate and the Iwer Support became renewed and MMHD would spend the rest of this week battling not just his own demons about winning the competition but the spirit of the Vengeance of Moko that so many of the Carnival population would feel was his just due to publicly aligning himself with the government. Many asked, “who is the pimp in that relationship: Machel or Kamla?”

MMHD during his Groovy performance dressed as a Gladiator a la Ben Hur (not pharaohnic or napoleonic either!). Photo courtesy Trinidad Express website.

Then came Fantastic Friday and though Montano delivered two technically proficient performances (his voice was hoarse though and he resorted to bellowing, but then so did most of the competition), it was clear that he didn’t have as much audience support as he used to command in his pre-competition days. Montano would go on to cop not one, but both titles, as most people suspected; and now in the minds of most, Montano, for all his obvious talent and mastery of the musical form has sunk to the position of Government Stooge in the eyes of many. HE is in bed with government it seems, and willing to sell his social capital in exchange for real liquidity. So the PP Govt is reliant on his fan base to remain popular, populist and relevant. But the tides are turning for both HD and the Govt…

Of course one of the delicious little ironies that the Pantomime has noticed is that many people seem to want to ignore that Iwer George, who now has popular support as the wronged and robbed soca artiste who is entitled to the crowns, was and is openly PNM and benefitted greatly from PNM largesse. While then PM Manning never came on stage to wine and bling out and publicly endorse George, everyone within the industry knew that Iwer was heavily endorsed and supported by the PNM…indeed there is much to sustain rumours that George has been involved in diesel bunkering since the PNM’s tenure. So the ire of George’s fans may well be a case of political do so aint like so!

Ancil Roget leading his flock to 9% Promised Land. Photo courtesy Trinidad Guardian website.

The OWTU brought the government to its knees this week, and who don’t want to see that or concede to it hadda be smoking what destroyed Whitney Houston. Ancil Roget and his cohorts using a combination of gas and mas, turned the government on its head as he exploited the People’s Panchayat’s greatest fear: the shut down of the country on their watch! A national strike is akin to the 1990 coup for this government because it is a stigma and ghost they will NEVER be able to escape. Roget set the pack nicely. Waiting the week of Carnival they announced the strike, knowing full well that if the strike began Carnival Saturday and ran for 90 days there’d be no Carnival to distract the natives from the pressures of gas shortages, long lines to fill up and even more frustration in a place that is already a pressure cooker given the ineptitude of the govt.The government tried to grand charge with small pieces of trump like threatening to import gas and deploying the army. Game went to the union though, who got 9%. Now I wonder how the PSA 5% cap supporters feeling today?

The cornered Jack Warner

Fifagate has gotten to be too much for the Pantomime to fathom at this stage. Who aint suing little Jack Warner is who aint remember he owe them $$$ or who aint land in the country yet for the Carnival that is Jack! On February 12th’s Lasana Liburd dropped a bombshell that revealed Warner was involved in an Haitian aid scandal scheme. Warner just can’t seem to cut a break or start smelling clean. In typical Warneriffic style he threatened to sue Liburd for defamation and continued to avoid answering any real questions. The UNC party has also taken to pretending that there is no stench coming from Jack despite a clamouring public and numerous opinion polls. When Liburd contacted members of the UNC executive, either his calls got cut off or they indicated that there was no need to investigate the many problems plaguing Warner. Weird much?

AG Anand Ramlogan: Forgetful Jones? Photo courtesy Trinidad Express website.

In a move that struck of pure convenience the AG decided that he wanted nothing to do with the ACIB, despite knowing that this was a body that has been under the direct rule of the AG’s office since the tenure of Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj as AG. An& has singlehandedly convinced me that not only is government aware of precisely what went down during that raid on Newsday and Andre Bagoo’s home, but that they were probably the ones who instructed the operations and are now seeking to play a clever game of cover your ass. It is Clarence Rambharat’s article earlier this week, along with fmr AG’s Maharaj’s comments on CNC 3 that put the nail in the coffin for me. Mr Ramlogan even wrote about it during his time as a columist for local newspapers. And, just as eager to avoid the storm that the govt being linked to an attack on the media is likely to cause, the PM has readily agreed that she will remove the ACIB from under Ramlogan and place it under Gibbs, a man who has proven to us time and again that his major duty as CoP is to be the govt’s Fall Guy! What has me curios is this…why all the elaborate lies An&, when so many people would have been able to call you out on your claims of ignorance about the ACIB? Are you that convinced that the population is that gullible? Thank goodness we have Justice Rambharat’s article to help refresh your memory. But it’s worrisome that in light of the Newsday Raid you throw the spotlight on the Police Commissioner when in truth and in fact it’s really you, dear Mr AG, that has to explain why the ACIB conducted that raid…isn’t it?

The Commish!


The National Fall Guy Glibbs got his performance review this week and the PSC under Ramesh Deosaran gave the Hot Shot Top Cop a pass!  Then backpedalled, a dance so common under our current regime, and said it provisional. One member of the team even declined to sign off on the review. So now, we don’t know whether Glibbs has passed or not, what we do know is that Glibb’s continues to have a free hand under this government to make mistake after mistake and cock up after cock up in the name of National Security!




Justice Gladys Gafoor, throwing dust in dey face these days.


The Gladys Gafoor Affair has gotten even more complicated. No one knows if I-am-a-Gladys was informed by the President of her suspension, who gave the order in the Minisrty of Foreign Affairs and Communications to tamper with the President’s press release or if the President is still an independent office, because he clearly seems to be taking orders from someone…but why? What gives Max?

And in between all of this, it’s still murders, robberies and general crime on a regular. Calypsonians want more monies, Louis wants a bottle ban, road accidents aplenty and prophets throwing wine all on Kamala!

De Vice Cyah Done!

Have a Happy and Safe Carnival to All. See you Ash Wednesday!


Das Boots: The tale of Kamla Rani and Louis V…

The National Mother and Grandmother: Looking Prime Ministerial

There’s been a lot of talk online and in person about the Trinidad Express’ story on Kamla Rani’s Louis Vuitton gold hight tops. In many quarters, some believe it was a non-story. In my case, I think it was a cleverly played game of inception (whether the reporter knows it or not). The Express gave us the simple facts: here are the shoes, this is what they cost, this is where you can buy them…and oh, here’s a picture of our PM on stage holding Machel Montano’s hand wearing them….make of it what you will! The real story is not Das Boots…..but what Das Boots represents. Marie Antoinette’s symbol is cake, Imelda Marcos’ is a closet of shoes and Eva Peron’s is everything. These Louis Vs may well be the way we remember the PM’s reign in years to come: a garish, coskelle display of inappropriateness.

People like their leaders to look and act, like, well, leaders?

Compare and contrast the two looks to your left.
What a lot of people are choosing to ignore in whether this story about the PM’s shoes is a non-story or not is that, the shoes in and off themselves aren’t the story. But what they symbolise to the population are.
Panday had a billion dollar airport, a London Flat and a bank account become the symbols of his tenure in office. Patrick Manning’s was the waterfront project and the Church in Guanapo. Kamla’s reign may well boil down to what is symbolised by these boots…..opulence and inappropriateness.

From the beginning of her term in office one of the things that has NEVER characterised the PM is hard work. She is seen as a fashion plate…dresses up a lot, flies a lot, has a large entourage and seems to be as blinged out as a rockstar. Not more than two weeks ago newspaper stories arose that since her return from India, where true to form she seemed to be on parade, the PM was hardly in office. Her insecurity adviser flew gallantly to her defence to say that the PM works from several offices. She is the hardest working PM the country has ever had. Yet, while Kamla couldn’t be found at any of her offices during the day and her husband and grandchildren keep asking for her, she has been found at many fetes this past week.
And while there is absolutely nothing wrong with the PM or citizen Kamla  enjoying entertainment. There is a lot wrong when your PM’s behaviour is unseemly. It matters little that the boots cost TT$5000. It matters little that the PM can afford them, or that Citizen Kamla can afford them. The real crux of the matter with these boots is what they represent: opulence, luxury and inappropriateness in a time when the citizenry needs examples of austerity and strong leadership.
It is a time of crippling economic austerity for most. We’ve had 0 per cent economic growth for the past 3 years and at every turn Dookeran is promising a blue sky. Daily people can afford less and less on their salaries. In the last 2 years several important industries have either ground to a halt or are experiencing severe pains. Construction is at a halt, the advertising industry is feeling the pain severely, as are farmers, taxi drivers and retail store owners. And these are just the areas that I can personally attest to.

In this time of economic slowdown, with population morale at a low over all the many issues plaguing the society: inept SoE, corrupt and inept police force, regular missteps from COP Gibbs, blunderings and blusterings from the AG, missteps and misspeaks from the PM herself, incompetence from the President, our non-Integrity Commission, raids on media houses that no one but Sgt Koon Koon will accept responsibility for, it just wasn’t the right time to see the PM parading herself in a way that seemed frivolous and inappropriate.
It was silly enough that she came onstage to present an award to soca artiste Benjai that no one seemed to know anything about. To date we don’t know why Benjai got the award or what the award was for and if it was cabinet-approved. And the PM was onstage in her official capacity, not as Citizen Kamla…along with an entourage that included her husband and Minister of National Security. The talk within the HD camp (and I aint naming my sources, Sgt Koon Koon) is that her arrival onstage wasn’t scripted….in short, the government stormed the stage demanding to be let on to make a presentation…..that we are still in the dark about.

The PM in her Louis Vs

And take a moment to really assess Kamla’s image that night: gold boots and camel toe….no one told her the pants weren’t fitting well? Do we really want a PM who dresses like the girls in music videos? Is this what we want to see our PM looking like? Is this the best we can do as a PM: a person who shirks her duties, but finds time to party? Is there a difference between the PM and the average teenager who is all about the look with no substance?

Now down to the boots of the matter. How many of us can say that they are comfortable with Kamla’s constant parading, gallerying and politicking. 20 months and 24 days into her governance and she hasn’t started to do any  real work yet? The most amount of work the PM has done for her tenure seems to be handing out checks and awards during the Carnival season. I can’t wait for Soca Monarch.

There is no crime plan in sight (despite her announcing the unveiling of one 2 weeks ago), no action on Gibbs or Warner (probes that are all still pending), and there is a looming crisis in the energy sector. Yet she appears on fete stages regularly to sing Bruno Mars’ songs into microphones or to pass out nameless honours. And the dress code is inappropriate. People want their Prime Ministers to look like leaders, not like mutton dressed as lamb. Something discreet and tasteful, not garish and pricely. I maintain the only thing the PM seemed to be missing that night was powder on her chest and gold teeth…..then she’d be the rockstar that she clearly wants to be….and stop pretending to be the Prime Minister and Stateswoman that she is clearly not cut out to be.

So lemme send a special request to my PM:

The PM Going Round D Country Mashing Up Fete After Fete!

Mr and Miss Must Fete: Clad in Yves St Laurent with a dash of camel toe, Kamla Persad Bissessar seems intent on carrying on government business on Carnival stages this season. Photo of Trinidad Express front page courtesy their website.

Crimeclusterf@$k/Political Pantomime 20mts, 21dys:

Mr and Ms Fete!

Clearly I misjudged Miss Must Fete….she aint a partier….she is the FETE PROMOTER!

Imagine Kamla Rani show up on the stage in Machel Monday’s Carnival Fete……to honour Benjai?

For what?
What has Benjai done to get an honour from the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago?
None of that was made clear.

What was clear was that the Prime Minister was clearly politicking
Machel Montano was continuing to curry favour with the govt of the day (nails in your coffin son….trust meh…take all the prize $$$ you can and RUUNNNN!)

And many members of the audience were UN-Im-PRESSED!

Is the Pantomime toting?
Hell yeah!
Nothing wrong with the PM of the country, any country, having a night out in the VIP section and enjoying entertainment.
But why you onstage everynight??
Chutney Brass, Chutney Soca Monarch,  Machel Monday?

You is a deejay or you own Prestige Promotions?

Does sitting in the office of the PM mean nothing?
Is stateswomanship a lost art?
There was no reason to be up on that stage.
You aint handing over an award.
So I can only assume you was there to ramajay yourself!

Speaking of ramajy yourself….I am a Gladys come out the corner gloves swinging and leggoing some hard cuffs behind President Fete to de Max!

Suruj, head of the Ministry of Interception and Editing, jump in to bash the police as well.

Police monitoring Andre Bagoo’s house….what? They expect Gladys to roll up in the dead of night?

PSA wants a probe into top cops who doh pay their traffic tkts..

Valencia murder accused hit court….at least we seeing 1 murder for the year have some momentum towards a solution.

Prakash see the opportunity to start a campaign against Gibbs and for the Media and possibly resuscitate the COP as a viable party….after 20mts of sitting silent and allowing the Panchayat to advantage the country, Prakash now find he voice…..

De Vice Cyah Done in the place because the PIGS only know to take ADVANTAGE!