Beyond THA Elections

London and Charles...who will be victorious?

London and Charles…who will be victorious?

Monday’s THA elections, and the campaign that just ended have useful lessons in them for both our present and future political selves. The country has had the opportunity to see both PNM and UNC (forget TOP, Ashworth clearly attached to Kamla’s hip) in political action yet again and to observe the tactics and politics of both parties. If you have only been following the radio ads and media interviews; then your perception of what is being discussed and offered by both parties may well be limited. Much of what is actually happening in Tobago isn’t apparent to the Trini audience and is in fact happening at cottage meetings, not political rallies.

Either way, Tobago must be exhausted by now and certainly in a position to make decisions on Monday that will have serious impact on how the next 30 months of politics go here. Because in roughly that time both UNC and PNM will face the polls again in a general election. THA will determine the nature of the Local Government Elections….if we actually have one. And the outcome of the LGE will certainly set the tone for the next general Elections.

THA 2013 is a referendum for both parties. A loss for the UNC will tell Kamla and the UNC resoundingly that she has lost favour with the electorate, while a loss for the PNM may well lead to the undoing of The Keith and Orville London as Opposition Leader and Deputy Political Leader respectively. A win for the UNC will see them tighten their hold on the administration of the entire country; while a win for the PNM will mean that the PNM is beginning to regain its political footing in the aftermath of 2010’s crushing defeat. Either way, both parties have much to lose and gain from a victory on Monday.

But let’s look at what has transpired in the last 3 months:

At the time of writing a teenaged girl alleges that she was beaten up by an older TOP supporter for wearing A PNM t-shirt. As with all instances of female abuse under this regime’s tenure there is no comment by the Prime Minister, the Minister of Gender Affairs, Marlene Coudray or from the feminist activists in this country.

This happened in the week the government miraculously managed to bring the THA Bill to Parliament for discussion, 32 months into the PPs tenure and mere days before the most contentious THA election yet. The tabling of the Bill is largely seen as an election gimmick: a ruse by the TOP and UNC to mama guile Tobagonians into believing they matter. The Bill remains problematic for Tobagonians because it ignored years of public consultation undertaken by the THA on behalf of citizens, and has loopholes that undermine the autonomy discussion. That the UNC and TOP stalled on holding proper public consultations in the last 32 months, and then suddenly tabled the Bill during an election season, coupled with the the fiasco of Section 34, probably makes it hard for most citizens to not be skeptical about this government an its laws.

Hilton Sandy

Hilton Sandy

It is now approximately two weeks since the infamous Calcutta Ship statement by PNM official Hilton Sandy; and three months since Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar stood before an audience at Mid-Centre mall and began the race-baiting that has typified this THA election when she announced to the crowd gathered, “we know who the enemy is….get in yuh section”. Yet no one seems to remember that the person to throw the first salvo in partisan politics was none other than the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago. The same lady who, after announcing that the UNC would only be providing logistical support to the TOP, has spent almost a fortnight in Tobago, campaigning and endorsing the TOP, not in her role as political leader of the UNC, but in her capacity as Prime Minister. The message being sent by the Persad-Bissessar here again is that she is PM for only those who favour her and no one else. One would swear that there are two versions of Trinidad and Tobago: one run by the UNC, and another one left to languish and suffer for good governance

Ashworth-JackHas it been a month yet since we found out about the amazing house that was built by pumpkin and cucumbers as well as the revelation that TOP leader Ashworth Jack had not submitted documents to the Integrity Commission in two years, around the time the Pumpkin Mansion was being built? Despite complaints to the IC, they are yet to step out and question Jack’s eligibility to run for the office of Chief Secretary, despite ignoring the provisions of the Integrity in Public Life Act.

Two months have passed since the THA posted documents online about the Milshirv project. And since upload of the documents the Attorney General, who had alleged corruption on the project went silent. Until this week, when miraculously he began legal proceedings against London; legal proceedings that the Treasury of Trinidad and Tobago will have to pay for whether or not the Attorney General’s claims against London’s THA prove to be true.

Greg Bissessar at TOP rally in Mason Hall

Greg Bissessar at TOP rally in Mason Hall

The UNC has made it absolutely clear that a THA victory is extremely important to them. Some believe that it will be a psychological blow for the PNM to have lost general and local government elections and now the THA. Winning will give pro-partnership supporters something to gloat about; but given the amount of energy and resources being thrown out behind Tobago, and the PMs personal interest in fighting the campaign on Jack’s behalf, I sense Tobago is far more important than playground bragging rights.

A lot of Tobago’s importance to Trinidad is wrapped up in the THA Bill. The quest for autonomy by Tobagonians is one that most Trinidadians do not understand, and the UNC and TOP seem to be counting on that misunderstanding. Most Trinidadians are unaware that Tobago had autonomy for more than a century before being warded to Trinidad. In short, autonomy isn’t new to Tobagonians, and for us to refuse them a political status they once had is to treat Tobagonians with intense disdain and contempt. We talk of respect for Tobagonians, but refuse to let them handle their own affairs.

Another little known fact about Tobago, but one that is now coming to light with the fight for maritime boundaries, is that since the 1970s our governments have been aware that there are fuel deposits in Tobago’s seabed. When you consider what fuel revenues can mean for both Tobago’s development and Trinidad’s failing economy, you can appreciate why the TOP and UNC have come together to lay siege. As with everything else, follow the oil trail and the story becomes clearer.


In this past week we also saw Sat Maharäj and the Indian High Commissioner become entangled in another diplomatic snafu. Maharaj wants funding for a Hindu temple in Tobago, and he is seeking this funding from India. Ambassador Misra has instead advocated for a cultural centre: a suggestion that promotes cultural awareness about all of India, not just one aspect. Why is a Hindu temple more important than a cultural centre that promotes knowledge, learning and perhaps even acceptance of a culture that is for the most part foreign to Tobago. One wonders at Maharaj’s aggression towards the High Commissioner; and his decision to go directly to Delhi for funding also raises questions about the various MOUs between the two governments in the now infamous 2011 state funded trip to India. Will we ever get a complete breakdown of what was agreed to and why a temple in Tobago is now so important?

32 months into the UNC’s tenure and we are facing another election: one filled with mudslinging, race baiting, corruption allegations, underperformance and unaccountability. Crowds are being rented, election goodies are being distributed. The major difference between January 21st and May24, 2010 is that we have had more than two years of the People’s Partnership in Government. Tobagonians are now aware of what the PNM is capable of and what a UNC/TOP government is capable of. Let’s see what choice they make.


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?
79) Jack new crime plan to outline how people dress…
80) How did we achieve developed country status in a negative economy again?
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”—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
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?!!
100) After all the Section 34 bachannal Anand still ent remove serious fraud from the statute of limitations look at that.

Niggas R Us….Re-Righting History

Now while I leave many of you frothing at the mouth trying to figure out if the headline is pronounced nigger or niggah, I want to jump to a serious and pressing issue.

Kamla’s Panchayat has begun to reconfigure national history in much the same way she reconfigures Cabinet’s: in a dangerously ad hoc way. The murder toll, inaction and PR Stunts being pulled by Warnersingh in his first month as National Security Warrior is nothing in comparison to the destruction that is currently being waged on the national psyche, national history and general misinformation.

If you managed to miss it earlier this week, there was a picture circulating the web from Wesley Furlonge’s Top The Class In Comprehension Series, the edition for students in Standard Three. The picture depicts Kamla and Spiritual Baptist Mother, Barbara Burke next to an entry on Emancipation. To say that the picture and the entry are incongruous, is me being dainty. That text book entry is BULLSHIT, and the editors and the publishers of the books should be ashamed. In fact the book should be burned in its entirety. The picture shows Persad-Bissessar, decked off in African garb at a Shouter Baptist Liberation Day Celebration, at the very centre of the picture, attached to a simplified story of Emancipation. If this confusing image of a woman with Indian phenotypical features masquerading in African garb isn’t enough to confuse you and thousands of primary school children into thinking Indians were enslaved Africans as well, then the language for the story should cause some concern.

If what I just described doesn’t make sense, then try an imagine the story of Indenture with Jagdeo Warnersingh as the first man to step off the Fath Al Razack!

The text refers to a “great event” taking place 200 years ago, and then the sentence that follows it seems to imply that slavery….or the more politically correct term ENSLAVEMENT….was the great event. Enslavement is almost 500 years old. It is actually Emancipation that’s almost 200 years old, but whoever wrote that entry clearly faked a pass in FD10A or is an epic dunce!

While I don’t expect a Standard Three Book to explain the difference between slavery and enslavement, it wouldn’t hurt the already dunce writers of the entry to use the correct terms. Slavery is a system that exists in all cultures and into which people can enter into of their own choice depending on their circumstance. ENSLAVEMENT is what happens when you hunt down free people and force them to be your labour system. No African that ended up here before 1807 walked up to a European person and said, “Boss, sign me up for ah wuk in the Caribbean, nah!” Lots of other ethnic groups did that….all of them as indentured labour…..but no African before 1807. Yet, this text continues to use terms like slavery and slaves….almost as if the writer of the entry ignorant and dunce to the relevance and application of the terms and what their meanings imply.

Words like  they were “unhappy” about the treatment meted out to their loved ones leave me baffled. Really? Unhappy you say? Then, of course the perennial attempt to associate Africans with wining and entertainment, “There was then much rejoicing, singing and dancing  among the freed slaves.” Can you think of any ethnic group that wouldn’t be relieved that such a system was ended?

But the inaccuracies don’t end there.  While the Act to Abolish Enslavement was passed in 1834, it was only actually enacted in 1838.  So in truth and fact Emancipation for both domestic and field labourers only actually happened in 1838, and the Apprenticeship system from 1834-1838 might have continued until 1840 if planters weren’t afraid of riots.

The other discrepancy is that this article implies that Emancipation was a holiday for freed Africans from as far back as 1834….it only became a holiday in 1985!

Understand this, when people begin to re-write, reconfigure and re-structure the history of it’s country, you must become concerned. When that re-writing subtly changes the history of one group, or begins to privilege the history of one group over another it’s time to get angry….very angry.

Now while the text I am referring to belongs to Wesley Furlonge, there are current actions taking place here that point to government interference with national history and culture.  Recently I have heard that the Pan has East Indian origins. Government websites related to the promotion of our 50th Anniversary have privileged tassa and chutney musics over the musical instruments and artforms of EVERY other ethnic group here.

Re-writing the history of ethnic groups is nothing new. Europeans did it to justify enslavement, so they had scientists and historians create information that implied Africans had no culture, no history, and were in fact closer to primates than humans. In the Caribbean knowledge of Africa historically was surpressed. Now, when we can freely access it too few Afro-Trinbagonians care to read about it when there is FaceBook bacchanal to check and read.

Eric Williams understood well the importance of history in building a nation, and used that knowledge to his benefit. He often privileged Afro-Creole history over that of all other groups; and that perceived privileging of Afro-Trinbagonians over every one else got the PNM in trouble. Because Indians got pissed about it. They felt disenfranchised and marginalised…..and now an Indo-dominated government seems set on doing to Afro-Trinbagonians what they felt was done to them.

From Columbus to Kamla it is a politics of retribution in this Caribbean space. A politics of vengeance, of getting back a pound of flesh, of imposing clan values under the guise of ethnic superiority and insularity. In years to come Wesley Furlonge and others like him will have much to answer for.

In the meantime, I listen to the silence of the Emancipation Support Committee. When I saw the picture in this text book, I thought, now this is something for Shabaka Kambon to sink his teeth into and really play ah mas. But, alas, is not Sugar Aloes who write it, and complaining about this so close to Emancipation Day might mean no support from the public purse.

Kamla’s Panchayat will continue with their madness. Look out for more re-writing of the country’s history that privileges the Indian presence here over every other ethnic group….In fact, Colunbus wasn’t really Italian, his name was really Khemraj, is really an East Indian who sail West, and mistake the Caribbean for India and “discovered” the new world….watch and see if the story aint turn.

But let us not forget that it is not only African history that is being marginalised in this place. The Europeans, Chinese and Arabs who settled here hear precious little of their story being touted.

Every government here since the Spanish has been absolutely niggardly about its treatment of the other groups in the space. This vicious cycle of retribution politics will not end well.

De Vice Cyah Done!

The Re-Shovelled Deck :A Govt on All Fours…

The Re-Shovelled Cabinet. Photo courtesy Guardian website

(2years, 29dys)

I grew up in a house where All-Fours was a serious game. My uncle played tournaments. It would irk him to no end to see how casually his nieces and nephews would play things like Rummy without a properly shuffled deck, removal of the Jokers and proper cutting. It was from him I learned to play cards, to understand the signs of the game of All-Fours, and to know that even if I was dealt a weak hand, if my partner had a stronger hand, and we both understood the mechanics of bluffing and kept straight faces, we could come out with solid wins.

Kamla’s much anticipated re-shovelling of the Cabinet yesterday, went far beyond my expectations, and yet fell short of it in some ways. She was right to call it a Cabinet Reconfiguration, because that’s what she did. Kamla took her old cabinet to a joiner and basically asked, “How I could make this thing look and function different, without wasting the material?” After announcing the cabinet last night, the focus of everyone, from layman, to political parties to political gurus, was the appointment of the Minister of National Security. Supporters of the party hailed it as a good move, detractors frothed at the mouth, and some dashed off hastily written press releases. I was more interested in the details of the entire cupboard. My father is a joiner, is so I stop!

By now we all know who the players are in this NEW CABINET…and that’s what it is. Yes they are still calling themselves the  People’s Partnership, but the 2010 Cabinet and the 2012 Cabinet look very different. It’s almost as if we got a new government, without going to the polls…..that can’t be good, because it means that 2 years and 1 month into office, Kamla and her even larger Small Goal side are starting from scratch.

In the midst of an economic meltdown, spiralling crime rates, rising unemployment, meteoric food prices…..this government that promised to bring change, is attempting to press the re-set button and act like the last two years of misstepping didn’t happen.

The Old Cupboard….

Kamla, as card dealer, revealed two things last night: she knows that her government and governance is failing; and she knows she has to make her boldest move for Ejection 2015 (it’s not a misspelling) now!

Her speech last night was filled with the usual campaign rhetoric, but in a more subdued tone; because while Kamla’s words stated that her government had been working hard and achieving much, the Cabinet she was about to reveal said louder than anything else in the room that the PP has failed. Kamla referred to a depleted treasury, yet, we know that Dookeran came and met a stable economy; just as Devant Maharaj met a Caribbean Airlines that was in the black. We know too that in 2010 she met a crime rate that was lower than what we have right now.  But of course, this government never admits to making a mess of things, just like the last regime. So Kamla segued into listing her changes by implying that she consulted with the people and was now taking the criticism on board.

Understand that this Cabinet Re-Shovel comes in under one month since they spent $9m patting themselves on the back for being in power for 2 years and staying stronger than ever. In less than a month of that Eat Ah Food Fete the Partnership was destroyed when the MSJ broke ranks. It’s something she didn’t make mention of last night. Indeed the four parties that remain don’t like referring to the MSJ anymore because they know that in truth and fact they are no longer the People’s Partnership, but rather a UNC Alliance All Fours Team. And in future that’s how I’ll be referring to them.

This UNC Alliance is now faced with a significant task, turning the tide of public opinion that is growing against it. You see there are several levels of dissent Kamla has been coping with and her reconfiguration last night was meant to address all issues:

1. The MSJ Split

2. The COP discontent

3. The Muslim Vote Discontent

4. The Swing Vote Discontent over an under performing economy, spiralling crime, and corruption.


The MSJ Split means that the 5-party Panchayat is dead. This of course means that Kamla hs to pull the troops in tighter, closer, give the impression of being a tight-knit unit that includes everyone. Couple this with COP discontent over the San Fernando Mayorship and general feelings of being sidelined and ignored and the solution becomes clear: increase the number of COP members in the Cabinet, while giving Marlene Coudray a ministerial position. Look closely at the list of appointees and see what’s going on. No wonder Lincoln Douglas denied he agreed with Nalini Dial’s comments…and no wonder COP Cabinet Members and Executive members attacked Dial’s comments in such a savage way. In exercising her right to post tasteless comments on her private FB wall, Dial was upsetting the apple cart of new Eat Ah Food positions. Douglas publicly agreeing with Dial might have cost him a ministry. Now the COP has almost doubled the number of previously held positions and gone from 6 to 10 Cabinet posts. Several of those positions are held by people who never faced the electorate at the polls such as Bhoe Tewarie and Ganga Singh. To see Ganga Singh, whose name is synonymous with corruption at WASA be let back into our government has to be one of the most galling things on the face of the earth. Now Kamla’s Corruption Chorus Line of Goopeesingh, Ramadharsingh and Singh can just call themselves the Three Tenders.

The Cabinet still remains predominantly Hindu in terms of its religious make-up, but in the Jahaji Desi groups of late there has been a lot of complaint about the lack of Muslim representation. Whether unwilling or unable to add more Muslims, Kamla decided to kill two birds with one stone and add a COP member who comes from the most prominent political Muslim family. Her new Minister of Communication, Jamal Mohammed is the great-nephew of PNM stalwart Kamaluddin Mohammed, and nephew of former PNM Senator Nafeesa Mohammed. One member of the Mohammed Clan in Parliament must be the equivalent of about 50 muslims at least, right Madam PM? I hope those ratios work out for you.

Now  to issue number 4. Kamla is trading on a few givens with the Trinbagonian psyche. We have a high tolerance for corruption in this place, once our pockets not affected directly. Once we benefitting from a corrupt act or a corrupt person, Trinis will more often than not look the other way (Dear Lord thank you for my Tobagonian mother) and give people a bligh. And to the Europeans and Americans who don’t understand how there can be citizens of this country who’d support a man as obviously corrupt as Jack Warner being a member of government….that should now answer your question. Jack is beloved in his constituency because he gets things done…temporarily. And Trinis love a quick fix. Long term goals and vision does make them impatient…we like things to happen one time…and see immediate results…even if they worth fuck all. So an action man like Jack, who willing to put Fifa money where his mouth is will be immensely popular here. You want a wall built overnight? Jack will get it done….it’ll fall down the next time rain fall hard, but the point is he built the wall…and that’s what Trinis will remember. You want your national football team to get to the World Cup…easy peasy, Jack will get it done…but they don’t care that he has screwed over present and future generations of young local footballers to do so. So, Kamla, aware of all of this, appoints Warner as Minister of National Security. This appointment is an admission that John Sandy has failed and Trinis are fucked when it comes to the crime situation. Forget the SoE folks….the ultimate weapon in Kamla’s arsenal is about to be deployed. I feel quite certain that Jack has been given the mandate, by fair means or foul, bring that crime rate down! And this appointment is a double edged sword. If Jack succeeds, Kamla has 2015 in the bag….if Jack fails, he gets the axe and so does Kamla….if ever someone was relying on the strength of their partner’s hand it is Kamla.

Unfortunately this appointing of Jack as Security Minister means that the country will suffer in the short and long term. The appointment will further tarnish our international image. Even if Jack makes inroads into crime, it’ll be quick fixes. Downturns that will be quickly trumpeted all over the media, while the longterm side and after effects might just kill our children….23 years later local football still reeling from November 19th, 1989.

Larry Howai’s appointment as Minister of Finance is a better calculated risk. When the foreign team hired to turn FCB around from financial failure couldn’t do the job, it was Larry Howai that was promoted to do the job.  And I sincerely believe that he has been brought on board by Kamla to clean up the colossal mess that Dookeran made of the economy. Howai’s mandate has to be put a halt to the decline….and try and stimulate some growth, please. If he does that, he’ll be the PM’s blue eyed boy, because the two fronts on which Kamla was all geared to lose Ejection 2015, was crime and the economy…..sounds like PNM 2010 deja vu doesn’t it?

Mindful of the fact that she was getting rid of two Afro-Trinbagonians (and all yuh could cry for Verna all all yuh want, after what happened to Cheryl Miller under her tenure she deserved to be fired), and was likely to face a pounding for the ethnic make up of her Cabinet, Kamla ensured that she did the requisite window-dressing….and I want you guys to note that she ensured that the two (redundant) ministries that deal up with issues like culture and diversity are headed by Afro-Trinbagonians. Game to Kamla….let the black people and them complain now….Eintou if you aint get no money for you Support a Bad Habit Committee is because Douglas, not Kamla, turn you down.

She has also set herself up nicely to ensure that the grassroots battle for Tobago and Local Elections can be efficiently fought. The offensive Shoppin Toppin has been moved from everyone’s sight and put under Glen Ramadharsingh (shudder) and Delmon Baker is now at the forefront. It’s now up to Assworth Jack and his spinning TOP to do the necessary and try and bring home that THA Elections….Kamla depending on your hand boy!

Suruj Rambachan, who was  spectacularly inefficient as a Minister of Foreign Affairs and Communication Minister has now been made Minister of Local Government…..he’s close to all the plum Regional Corp contracts that make pocket lining so easy, and he can overseer the pack setting for next year’s local government elections. Chandresh Sharma has been given Transport, lucrative contracts and kickbacks for party financiers in that ministry as well.

So, now that we’ve arrived at this point I hope that the reader sees that the Reconfiguration exercise on the PM’s part was actually well thought out. She’s battling on several fronts and knows this. Yes, Jack Warner’s appointment as Security Minister is a big deal….but the even bigger deal here is that Kamla has begun to battle for 2015. Whether it will be effective now depends on performance. It is this that both the PNM and MSJ have to contend with.

Watch out too for the disappearance of the COP. With the MSJ gone the remaining members of the All Fours Alliance will begin to merge and morph and all sound the same. The COP’s identity is now entirely subsumed. No more standing up for principals and rights and Mayorships in San Fernando (ent Navi Murad-Ali?).

With a bigger Cabinet though comes more salaries to pay and more mouths to feed.

De Vice Cyah Done!

Anals of Achievement #8: Prostituting Our Values

Somewhere between 1995, the great Bas, creator of quotations and quips, coined the phrase “Politics has its own morality” and it seems that with each news cycle the People’s Partnership Government has taken it upon themselves to make that statement their mantra!

Much fanfare was made of the signing of the Fyzabad Accord because the then UNC was anxious to show the country that it wasn’t trying to get into government alone, it was doing so as part of a partnership that would keep each other in check. The UNC was only too aware of the impression it had left on the population after its first and only term in office that ran from 1995 into 2001, until President Robinson made that other historic statement and decision about morals and principles, that saw Patrick Manning’s PNM getting the edge over Basdeo Panday’s UNC after yet another hung election campaign.

During the intial 5-year term the country was treated to scandals involving:

  • Vasant Bharath’s shipments of pet rice, one that actually landed and the other that is apparently still lost at sea….maybe it’s in Davy Jones’ Locker;
  • Hansraj Soomairsingh’s (a local government councillor) body being found in a Mayaro Beach House;
  • Dhanraj Singh, Local Government Minister, who slapped an Assistant Police Commissioner in the face and was eventually arrested on 27 counts of corruption and murder. 
  • Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s hurried implementation of secondary education for all that led to children being placed in rooms above bar and in windowless warehouses in downtown Port of Spain
  • Tim Goopeesingh’s alleged creation of ghost doctor gangs, misuse of public equipment and state funds.
  • The Airport fiasco involving Brian Kuei Tung, Ish Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson.
  • Corruption at Wasa that fingered Ganga Singh as being involved.
  • Large household expenses under Gary Griffith’s tenure as head of household.
  • An undisclosed London bank account in the name of Mr Panday’s wife, who seemed to be a housewife and a London apartment.
  • Frequent travel and shopping trips.

In light of the bitter aftertaste that these incidents left in the mouths of many citizens, the UNC realised that it would have to clean up its act. It did two things: got rid of Basdeo Panday as leader; and joined up with several other political entities that were not linked to corrupt governance the way the party was.

Under the guise of a partnership that would show collective responsibility for the country’s affairs they won a landslide victory and here is where the ole mas start!

The People’s Panchayat soon put in place a moral and value system that relied on unaccountability, opaqueness; blame-throwing or simply ignoring the issue until it goes away.

Right after election the PM moved into the house of the Gopaul’s, claiming that it was safe and easier for her to do so. It would turn out months later that this Gopaul family have more than Seepaul Luck…they have everybody luck because they were benefitting from large contracts from the government. When questioned about the rightness of her association with the family and their receiving of plum government contracts such as the Pt Fortin Highway, the PM, ever the woman of integrity, put in place a committee to oversee the granting of contracts. Then she made herself chairperson of the committee. Accountability and transparency in procurements accomplished!

Not a murmur was heard from any of the other members of the partnership!

The next scandal that would rock the government and the country was the appointment of Reshmi “Sashi Rekhma” Ramnarine, a junior clerk, to the position of Director of the SIA. Ramnarine’s appointment was approved by a Cabinet that consisted of Dookeran, Ramadhar and Errol McLeod (COP and MSJ members who the citizens of the country were convinced had principles and integrity). The appointment was also signed by acting President Timothy Hamel-Smith, yet another COP member who campaigned for good governance, accountability and transparency. When news of Ramnarine’s appointment broke John Sandy and Prakash Ramadhar took to their feet to defend Ramnarine’s appointment and to declare that she was suitably qualified to be the SIA Director. They even cited Ramnarine’s possession on a bachelor degree in IT from the UWI that Friday evening in Parliament. Only to have the mark buss the following week that Ramnarine had no such qualifications. Ramnarine would not be the first such state appointment to have no qualifications, yet be in receipt of a high paying public position. Eventually what would be revealed to the country is that qualifications are unnecessary for jobs under this regime….all that is required is common sense!

With mounting public protest over the appointment Ramnarine did the right thing and resigned. Then went into hiding, then changed her name, and as rumour has it, now works in a special security department set up within the Ministry of Education. Throughout the entire SIA/Ramnarine debacle not a word of condemnation was heard from the other members of the partnership. But Prakash Ramadhar, caught with his pants down, after blindly endorsing her in the Parliament would be quoted as saying in a post-cabinet interview, “I know not the woman.” It would be the start of his internship as a Baptist Minister.

There would be a virtual clusterfuck of scandals after the Reshmi Ramnarine Affair in December 2010. There was Mary King giving herself a contract from within her own ministry, there was Nizam Mohammed accusing the Police Service of ethnic disparity and racism, there was Sat Maharaj blatantly announcing on television that he had to fire a young On The Job trainee because her pantylines were visible. No member of the Partnership asked Maharaj why his eyes were on the young woman’s posterior; no member of the partnership came out and roundly condemned Mary King’s behaviour. What we got was a quick firing, even though King insisted that the PM knew that she was awarding contracts to herself; and a quick condemnation of Mohammed’s statement by the PM, but he was never fired for making what was clearly a racist and divisive statement.

But things started to pick up speed in August of 2011, and since then we’ve been on a fast track to a total prostitution of our value system. It’s almost as if the People’s Partnership has decided to ass with what the country thinks, we here for one term and we will do as we like. I can’t possibly think that anyone in this government expecting a second term.

The SOE occurred with the full support of the Partnership, to date we have no idea what the clear and present danger we were avoiding by suspending constitutional rights and shutting the country down for 107 days were. There was talk of gang warfare between Trinidad and Columbia, that never happened.

Then we heard that Beetham residents had an underground diesel bunker and cache of guns… date there were no guns under Beetham and the diesel bunkering was being done by people who definitely don’t live in the Beetham. I think TV6 journalist Mark Bassant found a number of them in south Trinidad.

Not a word from the partnership against the SOE, in fact they rose to their feet as one for 3 days in Parliament to support it as a worthy cause.

The PM claimed there was an assassination plot against her, had 17 men arrested and at the end of the SoE there was no evidence of a plot to assassinate her, no evidence of anything at all….just a false alarm and a hoax. By December 2011 it became pretty clear that Michael Bay, Jerry Bruckheimer and Tom Clancy were writing the PR for this government. We were Clear and Present Danger meets Pirates of the Caribbean going down a road that was Too Fast and Too Furious!

January 2012 saw Gibbs appointment as Police Commissioner, the Crop Duster Plane Rental for $.9m, the $800m trip to India that we paid for, Kamla’s sister as paid travel assistant, Kamla’s family living in the PM’s residence, the AG hiring his nephew as his personal assistant, the Minister of Transport hiring the Minister of Finance’s cousin as chairman of the board to the state airline and insisting that airline experience was needed, just common sense. We  have had past chairman of T&TEC resign because it was discovered that he had 2 fake degrees on his resume. Two ministers abused the Government Travel Card to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars and then said they did nothing wrong. One minister refused to apologise!

The list goes on and there are too many to get into. What remains constant is that the other member of the Partnership either remain mum on these  issues, excuse them or turn a blind eye. The COP only finds its voice when it is being denied plum government positions, a la Marlene Coudray. Suruj Rambachan has described the Prime Minister’s blatant nepotism as good family values. Whenever the Prime Minister lies, it’s now called misspeaking, or a misstep. If the PM get’s caught in a lie she doesn’t apologise for it, she merely brushes it off by saying she was advised. In short, it’s not her fault she lied, it’s the adviser’s fault. And so, she doesn’t have to apologise….because to apologise is to admit guilt…and this government is guilty of nothing except loving this country until it hurts!

De Vice Cyah Done!


Crime Clusterf@$k/Political Pantomime 23mts, 1dy: 1st Class Ticket to Hell!


the TnT Mirror's front page story alleging that the PM's sister is not a registered nurse.....smdh!



So, in one afternoon we get three lead stories? Will there be no day that I can log on and be able to say, nothing interesting to report today folks…the government normal.

We’ve got first class sisters, spy vs spy and American gang members hiding in Trinidad….Is this a Michael Bay or Jerry Bruckheimer movie script? Because all we missing is an explosion or car chase in the next 10 seconds.

So, instead of the PM answering her own questions, the Parliamentary Buffoon was deployed once again to answer on her majesty’s behalf. So, let me get the trajectory on this straight….the State visit to India wasn’t paid for by the Indian government as our Government stated (lie 1); the PM did not pay for her sister’s travel expenses out of her own pocket (lie 2) because the Cabinet (made up of good old principled COP members) approved the payments and our tax dollars paid for it; the PM’s sister along with most of her entourage including the relative who carries her luggage, all travelled first class at the State’s expense, not India’s. The majority of the person’s mentioned in the entourage list don’t usually travel first class, but according to Perm Sec Cooper, who beginning to resemble a tick with every defence he makes of this government’s abuse of public funds, Ms Newton’s first class travel status was also Cabinet-approved (you see why Prakash, Roger and Carolyn cyah impress me? What principles?). But then explain to me why Lisa Ghany, Barry Padarath and the baggage handler all had to be in first class? Is so many people it does take to administer medication and help the PM to the ladies room? If so, then why is someone who is obviously so ill and incapacitated in charge of running a government?

And if as the Mirror’s story implies she’s not a registered nurse….then in what capacity is Ms Newton travelling with the PM?

Because the halfway Privy Council announcement didn’t quite distract us from the issue of Kamla’s abuse of State funds to advance the welfare of members of her family (doesn’t this smack of some integrity in public life breach?) Moonilal was forced to pull another trick from his sleeve, which is located at the back of his trousers, and the announcement was that this Government has been spying on us, since December 2010, and there is now a report to prove it. Moonilal is very proud of the report. Did I miss something here folks? Because the report states, according to the Express, that none of the 267 instances of interception was done on the basis of an application to a judge for a warrant to intercept, which is provided for under Section 8 of the Act. This section, however, is used when the interception is for “evidentiary purposes”. Apparently the interceptions were done under a different section of the law that allows for no warrant if the spying is done in the interest of national security and to protect the state’s economic interest and a couple other interesting areas. According to the act, the Chief of Defence Staff, the CoP and the Director of the SSA can make this judgement call……December 2010 was around the time the country was still reeling from the Reshmi Ramnarine, aka call me Shashi Rekma, incident…

And the plot thickens even further, because according to the Trinidad Guardian’s lead story this morning, illegal wiretapping and spying was happening under Basdeo Panday’s government. According to People Resembling Sandy, spying has been happening here without legislation for more than ten years. And de Bas trying to be disingenuous and say he didn’t know about it… as head of the National Security Council back in your day….and according to you the meetings were weekly, no one told you about these activities? That’s Insulting!

Now, remind me of something, this isn’t the same government that weep, wail and gnash its teeth when it was in Opposition over Manning spying on the population? Help me out here folks? Is it do as I say, but not as I do with this government? So you mean when Kamla was busy accusing Manning of spying on the government, she had also been part of an administration that had done the same thing….illegally…. without any proper legislation?

Where the PPG fanboys this morning, boy….how all yuh defending this one? Oh, wait, all yuh going to do like Bas and say it was for the good of the country?????

Seriously, can we get any more Orwellian in this state?

People dropping like flies in murders all over the country…the police have resumed their tune of drug-related and gang-related killings, after telling us in December right after the failed SoE (yeah, I said it!) that not all murders were gang-related….because of course then they couldn’t admit that right after a SoE to get rid of gangs, the gangs had resumed their activities.
In fact, if you were to go by SoE PR statistics, there’s no cocaine here, all the guns were confiscated, there are no gang members… technically Trinidad and Tobago is a crime-free state with ganja-addicted frozen chicken!

Given then that we have no serious crime here…I can only assume that it also means that we don’t have state abuse of public funds….what we have is Cabinet-approved spending for undocumented things.

We don’t have nepotism…..we have Family Values.

We don’t have credit card abuse…..we have credit card fetishes that go unchecked….and Vernella have to take this country and its Parliment for prize asses by referring to a 2004 THA document as justifcation for her overspending and abuse of the credit card….oh, wait…I keep forgetting that the PPG’s favourite hymn/bhajan/mantra/chorus/verse is the PNM do it too! Blame the PNM, Blame the PNM….

No accountability in this government, drug importation continues unchecked, violence all over the streets, a disgusted, disaffected and traumatised public, public servants being accidentally thrown into St. Anns for their own good, a tight family clique abusing the public purse….No wonder MP Amery Browne saying the MS-13 gang operating in Trinidad…..he watching them infiltrate the Parliament every week!

De Vice Cyah Done!