TWICKS (This Week In Clusterf@$KS April 1st-7th): Get Mad Now!

Members of the Partnership last week....not a word from them on Mayorgate this week...in fact they now discussing "Peace" talks.

 

Anybody even remember what was big in the news at the start of last week? News happens so fast and furious in this place now it dizzying to keep up.

Last week around this time, wasn’t Mental Health issues we was vex about, it was The COP and Mayorgate…..everybody was on tenterhooks, COP was in an emergency meeting on April Fool’s Day to prepare for their Partnership meeting come the Monday…and by the time that Monday Meeting ended, we all knew that Prakash Ramadhar (who left the country for a 3-week vacation the next day) and the COP had changed their minds about “principled politics” whatever that means and had decided Eat Ah Food was still their road march of choice. Imagine in the midst of what the party called a crisis the political leader hop ah plane to go on vacay…..Prakash you pull ah Kamla there boy….very fitting.

Oh, and Jack Warner is still on the National Security Council

George Nicholas III threw a hissy fit and resigned from CAL again and less than a day later Devant Maharaj, who claimed he was caught by surprise over the resignation had installed Min of Finance Winston Dookeran’s cousin, Rabindra Moonan. Maharaj was open and upfront with us. he admits that Moonan knows nothing about aviation, but what he forgot to reveal as well is that Moonan’s business acumen (the purported strength on which he got the job) aint so hot up either. Check the company records. Ask them how the US feel about them…ask questions.

Folks at Mt D’or held a fiery protest and blocked the bus route. Since 2000 police here have been responsible for the deaths of more than 300 people. Atiba Duncan is just another statistic to that list. I’m still wondering if he was being taken in for questioning on outstanding warrants how bullets in his back was making it possible for him to be questioned….but that’s just me.

Then there was the protest from the Cunupia Residents Association over a cement batching plant….heavy industry in the middle of a residential area.  Since the resumption of smelter talks last year, I’ve been asking questions about this government’s environmental policy…in 2010 on the election campaign trail they talked a good talk about Environmental sustainability being one of their 7 pillars of development. To date, just as with economic diversity, constitutional reform, agricultural reform, technological innovation, gender issues and a number of other areas, Environmental management policies have fallen off the radar. Disgruntled Chin Chin Road residents have been trying to get action on this illegal plant from their MP, Tim Goopeesing since 2011, to date they are being stalled, more so by the Chaguanas Borough Council. On Thursday, April 5th, at a public meeting the residents revealed that the batching plant or Motilal Ramhit and Sons has no EMA or Town and Country Approval, nor does it have any Certificate of Environmental clearance. In fact Motilal Ramhit, a known UNC financier, friend of Roodal Moonilal and holder of many lucrative government contracts (this was all announced at the meeting) seems oblivious to the concerns of the residents and it was only in March of this year that he sought to get approval for his illegal plant. according to T&C regulations, batching plants count as heavy industry and cannot be situated in a residential area, yet this plant has been up and running since last year and the noise and dust emissions are making residents ill. It is alleged that Ramhit first purchased the land for a housing development and then decided to put up a batching plant instead. Ramhit has also built a roadway close to or over a ravine, filling it up and thus obstructing the course of the Cunupia river. All serious implications for the environment….but neither he, nor his friends in Government care. It is ironic that Roodal Moonilal, the Minister with the Environment portfolio, is good friends with this man and has turned a blind eye to the issue. But then again so has the EMA, Town and Country, the Chaguanas Borough Council, The President of Trinidad and Tobago and the Leader of the Opposition, all of whom have been given a file on this current issue. One wonders, with all of the environmental and planning laws being broken here by a man who is clearly a UNC financier why more is not being made of the issue? Is it not juicy enough?

Thanks to the Newsday I’m now advised that Sunway Construction (that company linked to Calder Hart….shhhhhh, the govt does get scared when they hear it) has been granted permission to resume their quarrying activities. In the midst of Mayorgate and Millergate, who really have time to take on the environment….much less a 2010 campaign promise…..

Of course, the story that kept us riveted this week was Cheryl Miller’s weird admittance to St Ann’s Mental Hospital. The Government, with the exception of Health Minister Fuad Khan, has been very quiet on the issue. And the COP’s return to deaf/dumb/mute status tells me that they are firmly back to being the UNC lapdog.

I’ve said so much about this issue all week that I’m not sure that there is much more left to say. While most of the country has been embroiled in diagnosing Cheryl Miller from the safety of their web browsers, my interest has never been whether she is mentally unstable or not. In my mind that’s an issue for Cheryl and her medical practitioner. My issue has always been, was proper procedure followed….the trial will clearly shift away from whether Miller is insane or not, to one of either breach of Human Rights or breach of Industrial Regulations.

But because the Govt knows that it in a tight monkey pants right now you have Health Minister Fuad Khan talking out of every orifice this week, blaming the PNM for politicking the issue, revealing details from Cheryl Miller’s report that the public should not be privy too, and threatening to make people accountable. Dr Khan, are you going to take the fall? Because it is alleged, by you self on i95.5 last Thursday evening that the call to St Ann’s came from your Ministry. You have been insidiously attempting to get Cheryl Miller to be judged by the public with the information about her mental health that keeps slipping out of your mouth.

Even the Psychiatric Association got in on the politicking this week, without looking at the details of the case, they issued a statement saying that proper procedure had been followed…then we find out on Friday that Cheryl Miller, who had been sitting at her desk writing a letter was detained under the section of the act that refers to people found wandering on roads and highways. I can only assume from this that Tower D does lean onto Wrightson Road.

Attorney Dana Seetahal wrote a column on the legal implications of this case that was so juicily succinct, I may commission a statue in her honour! And it doesn’t help either that Reggie Dumas, albeit carefully,has indicated that the Govt’s about as steady as a pile of Sunway Construction aggregate!

For the people who need to convince themselves that Cheryl Miller is mad, you missing the point. This was never about the woman’s mental state and always about people in positions of power within the state’s structure abusing their power. Anyone of us could be Cheryl Miller and have a bad day at work and find that because of an abuse of authority we are detained, incarcerated, denied our rights, with no idea of when we might be free again….Oh wait, that happened for 107 days here last year….no wonder Verna and her Perm Secs felt they could get away with it in a smaller capacity this year…oh, silly me!

I can’t wait to see what this week will offer folks.

De Vice Cyah Done!

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Crime Clusterf@$k/Political Pantomime 21mts, 18dys: The Gender Card Again!

The PM, aka the National Mother, Grandmother and Special Needs Woman, collecting her Glamour Woman of the Year Award in 2010. Photo courtesy Glamour's website.

Whole of last night my brain buzzing with this quarry in Blanchisseuse thing….then I wake up this morning to read that the PM play the gender card again and my morning derailed.

Anybody who know me well, knows that the feminist Get Out of Jail Free Card of “I am a frail female” does piss me off.

To sit and read that the PM, the Leader of a government and country issue a statement that uses gender to justify her misuse of public funds is enough to make one vomit! Beyond the constraints of ailing that can affect either gender, what can a female PM at Persad-Bissessar’s age be coping with that is gender specific? Come, come, Madam PM!

I am a woman, I have different needs, and so it should be expected that I will abuse the public purse to have my sister travel with me internationally at the STATE’s expense? The Iron Lady must be corroding with this one.
Kamla Rani, don’t get us wrong….nobody begrudging you your sister as a travel companion….nobody even begrudging you the luxury of aging and ailing…but why do WE THE TAXPAYERS have to shoulder the burden that is Vidwatie Newton’s travel expenses? That is the crux of the matter. And for you to take what is fundamentally an issue of misuse of public funds and turn it into a plea for sympathy because of your gender makes you nasty and reprehensible! I said it!

Is not enough that you get caught lying when you said you paid her out of your own pocket.

Is not enough that you get caught lying when you said the Govt of India covered the expenses of your state visit to India.

Is it not enough that you sought to tarnish the reputation of a former Prime Minister and President to justify your pilfering of public funds?

The public had to find out that on at least 4 occasions the Cabinet approved travel funding to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars for your sister!

Now you come with a story that is designed to make us feel that as a woman, your needs are so different from that of any other person it GIVES YOU THE RIGHT to ABUSE PUBLIC FUNDS?

Is your husband not a doctor? Considering that many of the issues you listed in this statement refer to health and lifestyle issues, and considering that the state makes allowances for a spouse travelling with you, wouldn’t it make sense for the person closest to you, with intimate knowledge of your health issues and with medical qualifications, be the one to accompany you on your travels?

I hear a pundit is also part of your travel entourage….you preparing for the afterlife on every trip too?

The next major thing is this quarry….any environmental reporter worth salt and pepper and chadon beni could make chow and a reputation with what going on in Blanchisseuse right now. the first thing you have to know is that this Blanchisseuse Quarry issue started to get sticky under the PNM and has only worsened under the People’s Panchayat because neither parties have an environmental policy worth anything.

Somewhere around 2004/2005 the PNM reversed legislation that  made it mandatory for anyone operating a quarry to require permission from the EMA. In the new legislation anyone operating a quarry under 150 acres can do so without permission from the EMA. The PNM issued this legislation to allow for the mining of aggregate to assist in the construction industry boom that was going on then.

So, in short, our environment was sacrificed for the sake of the construction boom. This new law led to many small quarries springing up overnight in the forests of the Northern Range. These quarries have affected the habitat for wild animals, our vegetation and our waterways. The quarrying also has implications for flooding on a national level.

Add to this mix the contract signed between the former PNM Government and the Sunway Construction company…..wait, you gasp…Sunway….Calder Hart?????

Yes folks, the construction company that is allegedly owned by Calder Hart is currently doing business under the People’s Panchayat Government.

This is a government that came into power on all things Calder Hart….indeed Anand Ramlogan (remember him? the AG?) had staked his reputation as our AG on getting both Calder Hart and Parick Manning locked up for corruption. It stands to reason then that upon coming into office all contracts Trinidad and Tobago had with Calder Hart or any of his companies would have been suspended pending investigations. Especially when you realise that the Govt of Trinidad and Tobago actually losing $$$ on the deal with Sunway Construction.

So, the Pantomime wants to know:

Why have these contracts the Govt has with Calder Hart/Sunway not been suspended or cancelled? after all the OPV contracts were reviewed cancelled quick quick on the grounds that it wasn’t in the country’s best interest.

Who is benefitting from this arrangement with Sunway Ltd?

Are members of the People’s Panchayat Govt in bed with Sunway and doing business with them????

Is it that we know where Calder Hart is and haven’t brought him in for questioning An&?

Why has this govt not overturned those controversial environmental laws? (Prakash, look a worthy campaign to take up)

Is it that these questionable laws working in their favour?

Wasn’t amendments to current environmental policies and practices part of your manifesto and 120 plan? (Prakash, all yuh forget?)

Interestingly enough, quarrying continued for 21 months under this regime and it only when Calder Hart’s name get mentioned last week that Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine swoop down like Enviro Batman to stop the quarrying.

Why now Kevin? Why after 21 months of quarrying? Why only when Sunway’s name get mentioned? Is there something that this government trying to hide from the country? Might that be the reason the AG can’t find or arrest Calder Hart yet?

I have a question for The Keith too….what are you doing to ensure that the PNM policies under Manning are going to be different under you? Because this environmental mess didn’t happen in a vaccum on its own.

In other environmental issues, police and people clash over roads and social amenities. Maybe if these people were all women of a certain age with a sister called Vidwatie Newton their special needs would be addressed.

On Monday night into Tuesday morning four people were murdered. Maybe if this country was a female Prime Minister of a certain age then our special needs would be attended to and we’d get a CRIME PLAN!!!! Instead of watching Gibbs and Ewatski  not perform at their jobs while setting up to sue this government for what may be millions of dollars.

CLICOGATE has yet another twist in the scandal as it appears that $156m of NIB funds was sunk into Clico Investment Bank. Maybe the finance heads can explain to me why National Insurance $$$$$ had to be invested in Clico at a time when it was clear the company was in trouble….was this another form of bailout???????

In UNC Internal Elections news, know is water more than flour when Panday and Jack Warner saying the same thing…both men are convinced that the elections being tampered with internally. And at least one of them taking legal action.

And while Jack encouraging other members of the People’s Panchayat to speak out, Assworth…sorry, Ashworth Jack telling them to hush.

TV6 doing some interesting work on the Diesel Bunkering trade in Trinidad and Tobago that for some strange reason does not seem to involve underground storage in Sea Lots or Beetham or residents of Beetham who resemble John Sandy….did anybody tell Minister Roodal Moonilal this? Is it possible that Minister Moonilal lied to the nation of Trinidad and Tobago in parliament in September 2011?

Ancil Roget has gone on record to say that poor management at TCL is what has led to industrial relations breakdown and the strike.

And Senate Vice-President Lyndira Oudit demonstrated her colossal ignorance of Parliamentary Law that led to the Opposition Walking out of the Upper House….Oudit is yet to admit that her ruling was inaccurate…..

But that is par for the course with this Govt…Wrong and Strong and Unapologetic!

De Vice Cyah Done!

Crime Clusterf@$k/Political Pantomime 21mts, 17 dys: I am advised!

The PM - always under advisement. Photo courtesy GORTT's website.

 

Ever noticed that when the PM is setting up to say something loose, stupid or unsubstantiated she starts with, “I am advised….”

Remember the party that campaigned against smelters, promised to reforest the mountains when it came into government and seemed generally pro-environment? Well I am advised, it lied! ASA Wright Nature Centre is under the gun. Video footage has been surfacing all over the web all week and not a word has issued for from the government! Or so, I am advised!

 

 

 

Remember the party that promised in 2010 it would end nepotism and cronyism. It would end the wasting of state funds and squandermania? Well I am advised it lied.
The Prime Minister claimed that  fmr Prime Minister and President, ANR Robinson took his son with him on trips as a travel assistant at the expense of the state. And, it should come as a surprise to no one that her comments can’t be supported. I am advised she lied!

This is the same government that is currently turning a blind eye to the illegal activities of Minister Vernella Alleyne-Toppin, aka Shoppin Toppin or Vanilla Topping!

In more PSC vs COP news, the Commish has decided that he too is not signing his performance appraisal and has even hired Attorney Dana Seetahal to defend him! Ah warn all yuh yesterday…Ah tell all yuh these two Canadian Cops going to make this legal….ah waiting for litigation and a settlement that will line their pockets!
In the meantime Gibbs still over reached himself and rented a plane he had no legal right to rent…he still aint doing a thing when it comes to alleviating the crime situation here…WHERE DE CRIME PLAN?????? It getting a performance appraisal too?

 

Things heating up with TCL Strikers as they block the Mayo plant. Acting PM Mcleod warning that TCL could end up owned by Mexicans.

In more police brutality news COP Gibbs has to intervene on the issue of the raid at TIWU.  And SWWTU President Anisette calls for the policemen to be suspended.

On UNC Internal Elections front the party has been forced to extend Nomination Day especially since important things like people’s names missing from the voter list. And Hubert Loose Cannon Volney has decided to join the internal elections fray as a deputy political leader of the party.

So, on the second day of this week the PM is making up stories (lying) and assassinating people’s reputations to defend her loose and questionable actions. Vidwatie Newton is not hired by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, yet our tax dollars cover the cost of every trip she makes with her sister the PM. If there are no legal provisions for this, then this should not continue…this is wrong…this is NEPOTISM!

Where’s the COP on this? Is Prakash Ramadhar mum yet again? Peas tin fall and hit him on his mouth?

What’s the COP position on the quarrying in the Arima/Blanchisseuse area that’s threatening the wild life reserve, Asa Wright? Quiet on that too Mr Ramadhar?
What’s the point of this COP? What’s the point of a coalition govt?

Take a look at their 2010 Manifesto and see what they promised and what they’ve actually done!

The dust aint even settle on the Govt Travel Card Scandal and it’s yet another scandal with this regime!

De Vice Cyah Done!