Constitution Reform For Whom?

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

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

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

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

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Mad Men with Big Stones

Master and Commander Far  Side of the Ocean: Dr/Mr Hafizool Mohammed

Master and Commander Far Side of the Ocean: Dr/Mr Hafizool Mohammed

I chuckled when I heard about a man stoning the Parliament. I wasn’t the only one. And that should disturb us. Why? Not because I am likely to stone the Parliament myself; but because the idea of stoning this current Parliament elicits not outrage or concern from portions of the citizenry, but rather a tacit understanding of what could lead a man – mentally disturbed or not – to dry dry so pick up two stone and pelt the Parliament.

On a daily basis the country is protesting in small ways and big. The two largest protests we’ve had so far were the Section 34 march and the THA 12-Zero smack down. Trinbagonians of all levels of sanity are letting this government know that they are sick, tired and fed-up. Yet the government seems not to care. Is full steam ahead in Full Dotish mode!

Dr Indira Rampersad whose go to analysis these days for PP incompetence is race!

Dr Indira Rampersad whose go to analysis these days for PP incompetence is race!

You have Warner and Ramlogan blaming their losses not on incompetence, but race. You’ve got supporters of the government, like Indira Rampersad and Sat Maharaj propping up their incompetent and failed leaders by echoing the same race diatribes; and then you have supporters of Rampersad and Maharaj telling you to your face, don’t take them on when they talk race, you know how they stop? Well, actually, I don’t know how they stop. But I wish they would stop. I wish too that members of the Maha Sabha community would stop pretending that their leader isn’t talking race. Because the more silent you remain, the more it sounds like consent to me. Just saying…

I also wonder how Indira Rampersad, as a political analyst, can be taken seriously at her day job any time soon after that succinct piece of analysis two Monday’s ago; and whether the goodly doctor is still credible enough to teach courses in politics let alone grade examination scripts.

But Rampersad’s credibility issues paled in comparison to this week’s misstep. Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Mr/Dr Hafizool Mohammed, Master and Commander, Far Side of the World. If you haven’t read his CV in Friday’s Trinidad Guardian, please find a copy now and avail yourselves. He’d make a killing on Kindle.

Here we have a gentleman whose resume seems more padded than a marginal seat ballot box. Mr Mohammed’s referrals are impeccable: one is dead; the other simply does not exist. His time at an American Military Academy is so flawless; there are no records of his presence. His work for NATO and the Pentagon so top secret that there is no proof. Why didn’t Her Majesty’s Secret Service not hire him instead of Daniel Craig?

Reshmi-Ramnarine-and-Tim-GopeesinghAnd this man of action is also an intellectual. A doctoral degree from an online, unaccredited University, and a thesis that quotes Wikipedia and Islamopedia liberally without even citing them as sources.

And you know the scary thing? This is typical, par for the course behaviour of the People’s Partnership. I remember John Sandy and Prakash Ramadhar in late 2010 heartily endorsing Reshmi Ramnarine’s appointment as SIA Director. When the Opposition did its job and opposed the appointment there was loud criticism. The accusation was Ms Ramnarine was being opposed for the job because she was a young, Indian woman. No government has proven to be more adept at waving the race card than this one. At every misstep and criticism they have raised the issue of race and been barely taken to task for it. The whole country fighting them down and jealous them based on ethnicity, not incompetence.

Within days of Sandy and Ramadhar’s endorsement we would learn that Ramnarine’s CV was doctored. She had no degree from UWI, she was in fact grossly underqualified for her job. Ms Ramnarine resigned and now lives and works under a new identity.

Omar Khan

Omar Khan

By June 2011, Omar Khan, who had been appointed as Chairman of T&TEC, was also under the microscope for doctored credentials. It appeared that Khan’s first degree in engineering from UWI and his MBA from the Arthur Lok Jack School were both false and he had acquired his engineering qualifications through a correspondence course. And in much the same way Khan wrote his way to an engineering degree; he wrote to tender his resignation, listing personal responsibilities as his reason.

In July of that same year website ttonline.org asked the question “Is ‘Dr’ Suruj Rambachan suruj in orange shirtReally a Quack?” raising issues about the credibility of the doctorate which Minister of Foreign Affairs Suruj Rambachan had acquired from an unaccredited university in Hawaii.

You don’t need to be an ace detective to start seeing the trend of falsified resumes, unaccredited universities, fake degrees, high paying jobs and friends and family of the People’s Partnership. New Politics!

Not me nah, I only meet the man one inno!

Not me nah, I only meet the man one inno!

In the case of every person I’ve named thus far their applications and credentials would have been vetted not by one, but several persons. Using Mr/Dr Mohammed, Master and Commander Far Side of the Ocean as an example: Winston Dookeran would have recommended him, then both the AG and the Prime Minister would have looked at his application and qualifications; then they would have sent on the name to the President. In short, neither Dookeran, Ramlogan, Persad-Bissessar nor the President (either Richards or Hamel-Smith) ever bothered to run a simple background check on Mohammed’s credentials. Or, maybe they were depending on the media and the citizenry to never ask or search and thereby get away with giving an unsuitable person a job he isn’t qualified for. It makes you wonder how many more unqualified hacks we have sitting in positions they have no qualifications for and will they too be unearthed.

It also makes you wonder about Presidential nominees and their qualifications. Two weeks away from nomination day and at the height of Carnival fever in the country neither the PP nor the PNM have announced their candidates. If Section 34’s proclamation is anything to go by, the Cabinet might use Machel Monday as a convenient time to hood wink the population. In fact, given that Budget 2013 was presented to us on a stage in the midst of a fete in Mid-Centre Mall, why not announce the Presidential nominee the same way. It would be in keeping with the style of governance of this lot.

And when you think about how this government operates, is almost as if they pelting big stone at the country for the last 32 months straight. So then, technically speaking, that homeless man last week was probably just practising self-defence.

We in Full Dotish Mode…Chupke Chupke!

I Out On De Road: Section 34 Style!

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Reshmi

2. Gopaul

3. Mary King

4. Cheryl Miller

5. Nizam Mohammed

6. Dwayne Gibbs

7. Gary Griffith

8. The Crop Duster

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

10. Chandresh Sharma’s London Taxi fare

11. Shoppin Toppin and Fuad Card!

12. The Soca Warriors $$$$

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

14. The bungling incompetence of the AG

15. Silk Gate

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

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

18. Vidwattie Newton

19. Janice Thomas/Marcia/Sasha Mohammed

20. The mess that is healthcare

21. The mess that is education

22. Fucking up our energy sector

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

24. Insulting our Caricom Neighbours with the ATM statement

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

 

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

 

De Vice Cyah Done!

 

100 Missteps in 2.5 years by Xavi Silva

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

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

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

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

Rotten to the Legal Core!

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

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

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

Senator Larry Howai: Minister of Finance

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

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

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

Attorneys in Arms! Joseph Toney and Prakash Ramadhar

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

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

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

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

Legal Briefs Returned.

Karl: Damage Done to Law Association

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

 

De Vice Cyah Done!

Prakash Ramadhar: Failments 101

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

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

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

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

Accountability – No

Transparency – No

End to Nepotism – No

End to Corruption – No

End to abuses of State Funds – No

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

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

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

Both Toney and Singh are colleagues of Ramadhar.

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

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

De Vice Cyah Done!

Old Time Campaign Come Back Again!

 

 

After watching Budget Matikor and Budget Second Sunday on a Saturday in Market Square we have to know that election season well and truly under way. And what we also have to focus on the fact that the UNC is re-doing campaign 2010.

In the aftermath of Panday’s loss of UNC leadership the then Opposition, led by Persad-Bissessar and Jack Warner went into a particular attack mode on the Manning-led PNM Government. They were well within their right to question the Government’s activities and lay bare whatever information they could find so as to keep the population abreast of what was taking place. Persad-Bissessar accused Manning of Squandermania, Corruption, and Nepotism. She attacked Manning’s relationship with Calder Hart and UDECOTT. She alleged that between the two there were corrupt dealings. Rushing to her assistance were the Wonder Twins, lawyers Prakash Ramadhar and Vernon De Lima. Between the two of them they managed to unearth enough circumstantial evidence to link Calder Hart to Sunway Construction via his wife Sherrine Hart. Her birth paper was waved for all the world to see. And those of us fed-up of Manning’s overspending on things like the Waterfront Development Project while basics like Health, Education and the Environment couldn’t wait to get rid of Manning, on the basis of circumstantial evidence. And with Persad-Bissessar promising swift retribution and making Hart and Manning accountable for their crimes against the country, we voted Manning out. During that election campaign we were treated to images of Kamla and her coalition partners, all pretending to be chummy, promising good governance, prosperity for all, and a more even hand at governance under a woman.

2.5 years later, just months before the THA elections the Kamla Karavans are once again rolling. And the tired themes are being trotted out. Squandermania, both Orville and Anselm London are being accused of squandering public funds without conclusive evidence. At first the accusations surrounded BOLT contracts, then, Jack seeing the possibilities that BOLT would give him backed off the BOLT issue. Now we have the Londons being accused of poor accounting. While I have no problems with the THA being pulled up for misconduct in office, given this government’s propensity for lying, misspeaking and misstepping, I want hard proof. I want a forensic report done by an independent accounting firm that not going to be eating ah food from Kamla et al and not just wild and loose talk from a campaign podium. With no evidence yet to substantiate their claim that Manning or Hart misbehaved with public monies, I can’t believe an accusation that comes out of their mouth.

And since Anand Ramlogan is yet to launch a proper case against Hart or Manning, what he has his FB stooges doing is deflecting the matter to the DPP. Because Gaspard was appointed under the PNM the assumption is that he is a PNM stooge, and so Ramlogan’s minions keep filling up the FB blogosphere with questions about why the DPP has not yet arrested Hart or MAnning, knowing full well that you can only arrest someone if there is evidence to show guilt. Unless of course you throwing a SoE, then you can arrest who you want and throw them in jail for weeks at a time, and this govt had that opportunity in 2011 and still didn’t arrest Manning.

This attack on the integrity of the THA Majority Leader and his Finance Minister will continue until the elections are over. They will continue to imply that there is a Conspiracy between the two Londons without producing concrete evidence. They will continue to use spin, PR, and lies to throw “light” on claims that won’t stand up after the THA elections; and while doing that will no doubt be hoping that Section 34 and the growing unrest in Trinidad dies down. Because growing unrest it is. More people are speaking out. The UNC apologists online have more work to do. Which is sad, because they shouldn’t be apoligising for their party, they should be holding them accountable, just as they did Manning!

 

De Vice Cyah Done!

Compare and Contrast : A Rally Go Round!

Budget Matikor programme. Photo E. Pantomime

I from Central….Couva North. Basdeo Panday Country. I from a constituency where if Panday sneeze, 15, 000 does show up to hand him a handkerchief and ask, “Yuh alright, Boss?” Is so Couva North stop. We did real like Panday. So when after 3pm on a Saturday evening in the heart of Chaguanas I could breeze down the highway and find a park and stroll into Mid Centre Mall Carpark for a  Budget Maticor know is water more than flour and like they aint put enough dhal in the loya!

Crowd and Venue

The thickest the crowd ever got. Photos by E. Pantomime

The edges of the crowd and how the rest of the carpark looked.

The other side of the stage. That camera rig isn’t cheap to rent.

Crowd size I know is important to a lot of people who currently observing the political situation because it will help to tell us where the electorate’s head is at…so let me begin by describing yesterday’s lay out. The UNC used the part of the Mid Centre Carpark that is at the back of the mall and Hi Lo. The main stage for the MPs was at the eastern exit, the stage for performers was behind Marios. It was two massive dome stages, the kind HD normally uses for Machel Monday. Two of those in the Mid-Center Car Park takes up a lot of room. Couple those two stages with another smaller stage for their control crew and media cameras; and two more small stages for camera men and equipment and you are beginning to get an idea of how contained the space was for the event. Then along the fence area were food stalls and then on the end that is normally the main entrance to that car park where the security booth is were the portable toilets. My point is, that you can’t think of the entire eastern car-park as free and open because there were a lot of things crammed into the space…..the only thing not crammed in was people. Even with all of those stages, stalls and booths in there the space could have held a crowd of 20,000 and that would have made it difficult to move. Movement yesterday was never difficult. Only in front of the actually stage was the crowd thick…but not so thick that you couldn’t walk through and make your way to the front and take pictures. There were TOP supporters, brown band maxi taxis from the south heartland, Collin Partap had a flag crew there, as did the AG, and Ramona Ramdial. The bussed in CEPEP crews were pretty obvious.

Giveaways for the crowd…

When you consider the size of the mandate this government holds; when you consider the size of its support base; the resources it put out yesterday and all week long you get confused. Kamla announced since last Sunday that she holding a Pre-Budget Rally. There were countless radio ads for an entire week. Across FB you had Ministers using their walls to rally people, Surujrattan Rambachan and Anand Ramlogan’s walls were the ones I noted. Even COP councillors got in on the action promoting Budget Matikor. I expected to see the crowds Warner boasted about. 30-40,000. At a generous guess I’d say the crowd was about 13,000 at its peak.  And in all likelihood it was less than that. Later on that evening when i went to Price Plaza just a stone’s throw away from Mid Centre, that mall’s carpark and business places had more people going about their month-end business than Budget Matikor. Not even the neighbours on my street, who can easily be described as UNC Die Hards bothered to attend the rally.

Now this can be interpreted in multiple ways: the have complete faith in their government, or they have become disenchanted…..make of that what you will.

Where for me things got exciting is as usual the dynamics on the stage and the content of the speeches.

IT was pure UNC attack mode with Kamla warning about a gathering storm, saying the lines are drawn and telling the crowd they know who the enemy is. She reminded me of Capildeo asking the DLP to attack the PNM in the 1961 elections. We going good in this place!

You had Suruj Rambachan further extending the dependency syndrome that the UNC deplored 2 years ago by announcing 6000 jobs in short term programmes coming up. This seems to be their way of shoring up votes for THA and Local Government Elections. So if you thought the 10 Days Mania was something specific to PNM or Afro-creole people….think again. UNC pushing the 10-Days mentality hard….change? No, EXCHANGE!

Marlene Coudray got dragged up onto the stage too. And it was a painful thing to see. Coudray’s speech delivery was heart rending. There was no pep, no heart, no belief in her hype even. She seemed to be a woman still deep in mourning. And to have dragged a woman who has recently lost a child in such a way out this weekend to simply say to the crowd that Gender will be bringing new programmes onstream shows you just how insensitive and manic this government has become. The PM could have made that announcement herself and left Coudray to mourn in dignity. But this is a Government that will send 5 men to sit on television and gossip like vicious, bitter women about Rowley’s parking habits, and to attack Asha Javeed.

The AG was brought on to bark and growl….and Anand has effectively become the UNC’s version of a rottweiller. He yelled at the crowd that he not moving, not leaving. Said again and again that Rowley was a liar….but never once did he actually touch Section 34, the time line and his role in piloting the Bill. He went on to list all of the people he will be taking out lawsuits against….and I am still waiting to find out if we have benefitted from any of his lawsuits to date? Any? Has anyone been charged? Made to serve jail time?

Moonilal, announced as a man with more degrees as Rowley, then came on stage to prove just how dunce he really is. Within mere minutes of coming onstage Moonilal went on to state that Rowley got no signatures on his petition and handed the ag President a bag of paper. I was willing to forgive that lie on the basis og politicking….then Moonilal decided to play the ass with national history….a feature with this government. A people so insecure about their position and heritage here that they have to lie and re-invent history. Moonilal told the audience that Adrian Cola Rienzi founded the OWTU….not quite Mooni. Cola was its first sitting president when Butler had to go into hiding to avoid arrest. Butler still is and will always be the founder of that Union. But you see, when you don’t know, and you drunk in a fete, you will listen and applaud anything without questioning it. And that’s the kind of voter base this party is encouraging. Change? EXCHANGE!

After Moonilal we had speeches from Ramadhar, who spent time talking about Section 34 and its fallout in code and then exhaling with relief and sitting down after warning us to not repeat 1990. Too late Prakash…and your speeches at these rallies don’t actually constitute new politics. You have failed. Go to the back of the class.

In the wake of Ramadhar we had three asses follow: Ahsworth, NJAC and Warner. Their specific purpose was to recite Psalms 23, remind the audience that no murders had taken place in Morvant/Laventille for 20 days  (until last night) and that better days are coming. Tedium and boredom.

Then came DJ Larry Howai, the person I had shown up to hear…..not the conch shells and the free vuvuzelas that were handed out. And Howai’s comments were mundane at best: improved healthcare, education, lower food prices, make groceries more affordable and help people have more money to spend in groceries. No details on how these things are going to be improved or whether money spent on these areas last year were well spent. After Howai’s speech I am convinced that the thrust of Monday’s Budget will be to distract the population with focussing on decreased food prices by November 15th, and there may well be a couple stings in its tail. So look out for what may happen to gas subsidies, utility rates and the property tax.

The highlight of the evening was the PMs announcement of No Vat on food items….and my brain went fuzzy for a minute because under the PNM  between 2002 – 2007 VAT was removed from many food items. The list goes:

CONSUMER ITEMS THAT CARRY NO VAT • unprocessed food of a kind used for human consumption; • rice; • flour; • milk in any form, including processed and tinned milk; • margarine; • bread; • baby formulas and baby milk substitutes. • cheese and curd; • corned beef; • curry; • fresh butter; • peanut butter; • table salt; • salted butter; • tinned sardines; • smoked herring; • toilet paper; • yeast; • baking powder; • pasta, whether or not cooked or stuffed (with meat or other substances) or otherwise prepared, such as spaghetti, macaroni, noodles, lasagna, gnocchi, ravioli and cannelloni; • cane sugar; • cocoa powder, whether or not containing added sugar or other sweetening matter; • coffee; • mauby; • orange juice; • Herring; • Tuna; • Mackerel; • Ghee; • soya-bean oil; •) maize (corn) oil and its fractions; • sesame oil and its fractions; • chicken sausage, canned; • salami sausages; • icing sugar; • preparations of malt extract; • corn flakes; • biscuits, unsweetened; • grapefruit juice; • vanilla essence; • soy sauce; • tomato ketchup; • prepared mustard; • mineral water; • ordinary natural water; • aerated beverages; • orange drink; • grapefruit drink; and • vinegar

So then on what items is Persad-Bissessar’s government removing VAT on?

Her most desperate attempt at attacking Rowley last night was in the form of a cheque that was signed by Duprey to the PNM for party financing. The link that our Silkened PM fails to make with her cheque revelation is this….Rowley links the cheque on May 18th from Steve Ferguson to Section 34….can the PM show how the PNM when in Government colluded to free criminals? Change? This Section 34 issue is even worse than Exchange!

In summation Budget Matikor was a real let down. The familiar refrain of Blame the PNM, and anything but the PNM, and Make Sure and Don’t Vote Back the PNM was the message of the day. This wasn’t about the Budget…it’s not about food prices. It was entirely about attacking the PNM, pandering to their voter base and trying to distract from the crime of Section 34, the declining economy and the sting that is coming in this Budget’s tail. Oh, and it was about attacking the PNM, just in case you missed it in all the previous speeches!

At the end of the day what the PM and her Cabinet assured us of yesterday is that she is no longer listening to the people, she’s too busy drinking her Kool Aid mixed with Vodka!

De Vice Cyah Done

Budget Matikor!

Budget Matikor- adjectival noun to describe a party that prepares you for sex. etymology, English and Bhojpuri. Refers to Matikor night in traditional Hindu weddings when the young bride to be is prepared for her upcoming wedding and wedding night. Usually involves, food, dancing and alcohol. Budget Matikor is a party thrown by the PP to soften the people up for the bull the budget will put on us. Usage: Is Budget Matikor in we pweffen this weekend!

I just finish bag about 500,000 pholourie with some watered down pommecythere chutney. Just now me and Ambassador Baps going and booojay some lawah because it is Budget Matikor!

 

Yes folks, the pre-Budget Rally to help us forget that Kamla and her Cabinet tried to free Ish and Steve with Section 34….and to grease us up to take the bull that will be Budget 2012/2013 is under way.

The CEPEP Workers Ready!

The Flags Ready!

The Ipads Ready!

Larry Ready!

Keshorn Ready!

The stage is in front of us time to get advantageous, rape the treasury and pump we flag!

Mind you, I hearing that the headliner act, Mr Heh Haaaa might be missing ah fete….we go see if he will let Miss Must Fete party without him tonight.

 

But in all seriousness folks we need to assess a few things.

Trinidad and Tobago, the land of 9 days wonders has broken that trend with Section 34, more than 20 days have passed and we still vexed as ever about the fast one this government try to pull on us and the constant lies, half truths and misdirections they keep pulling out of hats. Instead of Kamla Persad-Bissessar womanning up and telling the country the truth she gives us 30 minutes of televised lies in a speech and then tells Ernie Ross to handle the PR and marketing for the next week. Then in that week you have her bloggers attacking people using racist or violent language to do so. I see on Suruj Rambachan page they called Rowley Rawan…the old Hindu standby for insulting anyone of afro-creole descent….liken them to the greatest villain in the Ramleela, ent? One wonders if Warner will be given the role of Hanuman or Ram in this epic, given his proximity to Sita….

So, in this past week anyone who questioned the Government’s role in passing Section 34 was attacked, called racist, threatened with violence. Reporters who were doing their job and investigating and probing public officials were targetted and attacked by no less than the Minister of National Security….imagine Jack Warner has surpassed Manning for aggression and rumours of corruption! Media workers have been threatened with having the details of their personal lives and sexual orientations revealed….all in an attempt to intimidate them and make them cower before the might of the PP. A coalition government that Prakash Ramadhar remains committed to.

Well Mr Warner, let me save you the harassment. I am a try-sexual. I will try anything once except you and your stinking government…..and I put high on that list Doopeesingh, Roodimonster, &&, and yourself! Print that son…and keep harassing me.

What continues to bemuse me is the behaviour of UNC supporters, rabidly lashing out at all and sundry in defence of their party, and in defending their party they are defending and supporting shit! Not a group will stand up and say to Kamla and her small goal side ENOUGH! Not one of them will say to her publicly, this is wrong, you are hurting the nation…..not one of them will put country before tribe and yet they continue to carry the privilege of being called citizens.

In their bid for ethnic dominance in a multi-ethnic space they have lost sight the rights of other groups…..every creed and race can only have an equal place here, after they have had their fill…..tsk tsk UNC/COP….you will suffer for your greed. Mark my words….and I will write the obituary!

So today we have a fete…because Miss Must Fete needs her weapons of mass distraction…it’s the only way she can rule (not lead…never lead…and I point fingers now at the local Feminazis who have supported her, continue to support her and willingly line up for National Awards and yet never once speak about against the foolishness).

Today we will hear about all the good the Party has done.

Today we will hear about Manning, Rowley, Hart and how TheVote for It Too!

Today we will hear Howai deliver a revised budget, because with the country vex so, Kamla will try to give an elections budget of goodies and the treasury cannot afford it.

Today folks, we will hear our Budget be delivered at a fete!

We won’t hear them account for their spending of the last year…and remember they ased for money 2 more times after the intial budget and still went over budget in several ministries. We won’t hear any analysis of last year’s spending or how we are going to weather the economic storm that is here…..the drizzle done coming down….

We won’t hear how much this week’s public broadcast on all local stations and today’s Budget Matikor costing the tax payers…..instead we will hear that the Partnership is strong and LOOK AT PEOPLE! And we have a bigger crowd than Rowley….because political dick measuring is the level of responsibility that we have put into office.

We have gotten a pack of rotten, sickening spoilt brats as a government and they need to be disciplined.

But there is a shift in the winds folks….the citizens brought it on….the government is desperate. In their backrooms and corridors the Jahaji Desi’s are frightened. The UNC supporters are frightened. The COP remain helpless…content to guzzle what they can for as long as they are allowed to guzzle…..but the citizens are waking up.

I will be at Budget Matikor…look out for the videos as I post them up on Twitter and FaceBook and Veetle.

De Vice Cyah Done!

Who is Kamla Sozier?????

Who is Keyser Soze? The movie The Usual Suspects tells the story of a crime. It’s key feature is a long convoluted series of events, with a confusing story and timeline, and so many players that makes it hard for you to figure out who the criminal is. Everything hinges on whether you believe the character telling the story: a criminal himself and the lone survivor of a drug deal gone sour.

The crime we are dealing with is legislation gone sour and 18 days later nothing adds up except the accounts ledgers for pre-Budget Rallies.

Bear with me as I try to retrace some steps. On Sunday September 9th, the Guardian prints a story that says “Ish and Steve” are going to walk free based on a law that was proclaimed on the evening of August 30th. On Monday the 10th, several persons petition the court under this very Act, referred to popularly as the Indictable Offences Act. On that same day an article appears in the Express by Clarence Rambharat that explores Clause 34 of the Act that will help “Ish and Steve” to walk free.

In the article he implies, or at least creates the impression that there was some sort of collaboration between the Opposition and the Cabinet to enact section 34 thereby creating the legal loophole that might free “Ish and Steve”.

Events follow at warp speed. On Tuesday 13th at 10 am the PNM holds a press conference stating its position on Section 34 and calling on the Prime Minister to convene Parliament to repeal the law. In the midst of Rowley answering media questions a one-sentence announcement comes from the Minister of Communications that Parliament will be convened the following day. The Government claims that this decision was not influenced by the Opposition, but rather, they are responding to the cries of the people. The same way this weekends pre-Budget Rally is a response to the cries of the people. At the time of this announcement of a convened Parliament  the population is still attempting to grapple with the Guardian headline from two days before and isn’t quite sure what Section 34 means.

The Lower and Upper House debates come and the citizenry are suitably pissed on by the Cabinet and told it is a passing shower. No one explains why the Lower House saw one wording of the Section 34 Clause, and the Upper House saw a different wording. No one explains who changed the wording of the Bill. No one explains why after the Cabinet promised no early proclamation of the Bill until all measures were in place it was enacted several months in advance of January 2013. What we are told repeatedly is that there is no conspiracy on the part of the Government to free Ish and Steve and we are reminded constantly through much coughing that the Opposition voted for it too.

Under PM Kamla’s skilful story telling, Section 34 goes from being about a breach in legislation, to PNM vs People’s Partnership thing. The Cabinet refuses to accept responsibility for early proclamation of the Bill and the Opposition is put on the defensive to explain their role in it. Then faecal matter starts to fly. We find out through various letters to the press and other media events that the Minister of Legal Affairs, The DPP, the Criminal Bar Association, the Law Association and the Chief Justice never saw, nor agreed to an early proclamation of Section 34. This then forces the Prime Minister, who has been characteristically quiet and always “unresponsible” to decide to speak on the matter on the evening of Thursday 20th, September. Before doing so, she conducts a whirlwind tour of Laventille complete with a cadre of ministers and Olympian Keshorn Walcott. By the end of the Prime Minister’s speech she reveals that she has investigated herself; insists that her government was not aware of the flaws in the Act; there was no conspiracy; decides to remove Herbert Volney as Minister of Justice because he has lied to the Cabinet; stresses to the nation that the Parliament was collectively responsible for the law being enacted; insists that Attorney General Anand Ramlogan was innocent of any wrongdoing; and gives the country a very convoluted and erroneous timeline.

But you see here is the rub, in misspeaking about the timeline the PM has opened up another can of worms. A can of worms that is now revealing that she and her Cabinet were made aware, since 2011, by Ramadhar, al Rawi and Imbert that section 34 had serious implications. Further, her insistence that Anand Ramlogan was out of the country when the decision to enact the Bill was taken seems to be incorrect. The Prime Minister insists that Ramlogan was out of the country from July 20th to August 4th.  The Cabinet meeting to decide on early proclamation happened after August 6th; and further, even if Ramlogan wasn’t here, the acting AG, according to the Gazette was Ganga Singh. So, we had an AG to walk the legislation through. The Bill didn’t walk by itself.

Then there is the curious incident of the publication of the law itself. The Guardian published the story about “Ish and Steve” walking free on September 9th. The two men petitioned the court on Monday 10th; but the law was only printed and circulated by the Government printery that same Monday, in fact the Monday evening. So how did “Ish and Steve’s” lawyers find out about the Act in time to petition the court on the Monday morning, and how did the media find out about the proclaimed Act and “Ish and Steve’s” petition before Monday September 10th? Where is the leak?

We have a crime: perversion of the course of justice; we have suspects: most of them sitting in the Cabinet. What we need now is to find a judge, a jury and an executioner.

De Vice Cyah Done!