Crimeclusterf@$k/Political Pantomime 21 mts, 19dys:

Folks, it becoming very hard for me to keep up with the many stories and angles to this new scandal with the PM’s travel assistant, Vidwatie Newton. The trajectory goes:

  1.  The Indian Government has paid for travel expenses to India
  2. I paid for my sister out of my own pocket.
  3. The treasury has been paying for all of Ms Newton’s travel expenses
  4. Kamla speaks out to say this is allowed because it happened under previous Prime Ministers
  5. Kamla now insists that she tried to pay with a check but her $$$$ was refused.

I am convinced that by midday today we will hear another story. Because this govt is a fiction machine and churns them out faster than the Sweet Valley High series. The latest story claims the PM’s money was refused. Or so I have been advised that the PM has been advised. And the Express’ sources are an unnamed past public servant  who constantly reminded us that it was “unprecedented” to have a female PM and an unnamed Minister who both claim the PM did nothing wrong. My questions would be, if past Prime Ministers had male protocol officers, why couldn’t a female protocol officer be hired for the PM?  Why give the nation so many different stories? Why lie and say you paid out of your pocket when you clearly never did? And still, what are these needs you have that are specific to a female? The story talks about clothes being ironed, and medication being taken….that’s not gender specific. And why are we paying Ms Newton a per diem, and buying an “assistant” first class tickets?
Is your travel assistant living at La Fantaisie Road while you live in Siparia? Is she also using the PM’s official car, while you use the helicopter?

When questioned about the claims she made about President Robinson, the PM deflected and referred to an unnamed Public Servant as her source. In short some unidentified person in the government told the PM that other PMs have done this and it was on that basis that she did what she did.

The Prime Minister all but said eff you to the nation yesterday when pressed by reporters about her sister functioning as her travel assistant. I have nothing more to say. What else is there to say? People are always going to complain!
We’ve just witnessed the PM use national funds, money from the treasury, indiscriminately and you are basically telling us Madam PM that you don’t need to explain anything to the country, or do better. I guess we should put our fingers on our lips, right?

Vernella Alleyne-Toppin. Photo courtesy Trinidad Guardian's website.

Following closely in the footsteps of her leader, Vernella Alleyne-Toppin yesterday refused to accept that she had done anything wrong. Instead, in a loud, strident voice she continues to claim that she did nothing wrong, is a person of intergrity, was unaware that she wasn’t supposed to use the card in the way she did. I guess the louder she says she didn’t do anything wrong, while there is a paper trail to show otherwise; and the louder she claims to be a woman of integrity, while there is a paper trail to show otherwise, we must believe her. It was left to the executive of Shoppin-Toppin’s political party the TOP to upbraid her.
But the TOP didn’t hire and appoint Shoppin Toppin….it was the voters of Trinidad and Tobago and the PM….what’s the PM’s position on this? Is she going to tell us, “Move on.”

This TOP in its categoric condemnation of Toppin’s behaviour also blamed the Ministry of Finance for allowing the misuse of the credit card to continue…Dooks what you have to say boy? And I doubt very much that Shoppin Toppin is going to apologise.

SO, in short, we have 2 incidences of Wrong and Strong Female Leadership. Both the Prime Minister and a Government Minister have abused public funds and refuse to apologise….and in the PM’s case I don’t expect to see an end to the behaviour.

In more People’s Panchayat news  the PM has been advised that there is no ultimatum from the MSJ. I confused….the MSJ there are problems within the partnership, and they giving you 2 months to address it….oh, sorry, that’s just a deadline. My bad.

The Hot Shot Top Cops can’t be disciplined or fired….and the Police Service Welfare President is hopping mad and has called the Police service Commission a toothless bulldog! Let’s face the truth Deosaran, Gibbs won’t be fired. He’s not a public servant, nor is Ewatski. They here to stay. No government gets rid of its Fall Guy if it can help it.

Little Jack Warner facing some FIFA hot water again as a German journalist and cameraman followed him around on site visits to protesting communities yesterday. Warner was yesterday drumming up support for his UNC internal elections bid for party chairman. He went on record to say sorry to protesting villagers for the poor road conditions. All part of his consistent campaign to get PURE put back into his hands. Why do we have a man embroiled in so much corruption in FIFA still functioning as a govt minister here?

Yesterday the Minister of Transport jumped into the fray in support of Maxi Drivers. And it almost come like a case of himself protesting against himself….so I wondering, Devant have a fleet of Maxi he want to change ownership on? He have a horse in this race????

And the latest at Asa Wright Nature Centre is that the mining has stopped….for how long…we don’t know…but we keeping an eye…and no government minister has bothered to explain why this Govt is still in bed with Sunway Construction…a company they vilified during their election campaign of 2010.

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!