Archive for November, 2012

One in Public Life must be always be mindful of what they say, especially in reference to others in the same light. The spotlight of the Media has been shining bright recently on the Re-Route Movement with politicians both in support of the Movement’s call for transparency (by way of a Technical Review), and against the idea that a Government must keep it’s promises and account to it’s people. Seem like a one sided argument? Well sometimes the truth is. Aside from the issue however tempers often flair and those fighting the good fight and those fighting for whatever they can grab alike are prone to allowing the filter that exists between their mind and mouth to become so filled in that the undesirable slips out.

Dr. Kublalsingh started off on the wrong foot with uncharacteristic behaviour by cursing out the Minister of Health at the protest camp outside of the PM’s office. While this was a product of the Health Minister trying to show an empty gesture of compassion on the Government’s end (especially as the Kublalsingh family had their private ambulance on standby), and the effects of then Day 5 of the Hunger strike was kicking in, it was indeed an uncalled for reaction. The same day the good Dr. apologized for the cursing itself but maintained his stance. If a tree falls and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Similarly, if a statement is made and no one of the media around to hear it, does it count? In any case, he repeated the apology but stood strong by his conviction not to let the Government mamaguy him. That issue settled, what comes from the other side now?

With the claim of legality but with no morality, the Government uses their usual unethical but unchangeable loophole to spew venom from behind their forked tongues. Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, which symbolized a new holy life for him. In a direct foil to this the UNC Monday night “forum” (aka. the Debe Circus) revived with the power of Money, Cepep and URP force, was turned from a once productive stage to a malicious monster of a show. The PM attempts to bat off criticism by implying that those against her are sexist, which I guess get to the root of the issue now doesnt it? In lieu of anything else to show other than lies about crime statistics (see police website) and what looked like a 4 page report which we were suppose to believe contained a full Environmental and Cost Benefit analysis. The only bit of truth that we revieved from the Puppet Madam was admitting that a man was dying. This prompted one of the most despicable statements ever uttered by a Minister, if not THE most. Minister of National Security, Generalissimo Jack, says that Dr. Kublalsingh is killing himself , and “he should hurry and do so quickly.” Not to be outdone however, Minister of Housing, Mad Eyeball Moonilal who usually can’t see past the dementors of public distrust circling Ghost Companies’ bankrolls, says that the Kublalsingh family, especially in regards to the mother, operate as a Cult. And here we thought that a strong family unit and support was a good thing, but under the moral code of the UNC it only applies when you are for them.

All in all, what we are left with is the usual style of the Government that we are disgusted with. No sense of decency or morals. No focus on the issues, but rather a rant on personalities and personalized insults. Wajang politics at its worst or best depending on how you look at it. Either way we have reached a new low in Government Response to a pressing public issue. No apology given, no apology needed, the venom of a viper can be countered (if treated quickly), but there is always more to pump in from the serpent’s teeth.

The Generalissimo of National Security Jack Warner in his crusade to ‘end’ crime, which amounts to targeting Laventille in a hap hazard way, saw its grand party of rainbows and sunshine which ended PNM sponsored crime one and for all. This is how it was meant to appear at least. What is all of this about? For those out there who don’t know what went on, The Minister of National Security held a “Family Day” for Laventille residents, in the Queen’s Park Savannah last Sunday at the estimated cost of $4.5M.

Overpriced Cost: The first thing that stands out is the reported cost. $4.5M for what now? Apart from top soca entertainers:
“There also is expected to be a career fair with display booths from various companies on job opportunities, products and services. As well as witnessing the arrival of Santa Claus, who would share gifts, residents can take their photos with Olympic gold medalist Keshorn Walcott.” No joke. Santa and Keshorn coming to town to fix Laventille… Now while I agree with the job booths 100%, did you really have to throw in Santa and Keshorn here?   It seems to me that this would have much better served as an opportunity for a job fair than anything. Now even with all of the goodies and candy, tell us please Generalissimo, how the hell does a Laventille “Family Day” cost $4.5M? For that price you can establish some type of employment development or specific education program for the residents. Rum and Roti Politics, Cock and Bull political development.

Coffle Transport: All of the above aside, there is an issue that really makes us do a double take to see if we heard correctly. Jack’s Laventille Event: “The event billed “one family” will see police and prison vehicles ferrying residents to the Savannah for a whole day event that will involve over ten local entertainers and groups.” Having them get lift to the party in Police Cars and Prison Trucks… ARE THEY SERIOUS?! Get them accustom riding in those type of vehicles from now, and we wonder why we have a sociological breakdown in those micro-societies…Insulting to to everyone here.

Undesirable Results: This extravagant party in which the overpriced organizers are the real winners is not going to be anything progressive enough to empower the residents of Laventille. This comes on the heels of reported big cash deals made between the National Security Minister and Top Gang leaders for them to “stop warring” in the areas and there being almost a state of martial law in the area where innocent citizens are being pushed around by joint police/military patrols. While we continue to treat the Criminal Element as legitimately accepted thugs on a national level we will never reduce crime to be able to mount an attack on the Criminal mindset. Giving out gifts (both figuratively and literally) to areas which produce criminals at an alarming rate while allowing police to ruff up who they so wish is not the way forward. In doing this we reward the wrong and let the innocent in the area to get caught in the crossfire. An outright attack on the criminals along with Social Development has to be addressed and in a way outside the scope of hampers and parties. 

On top of all of this, which amounts to little value, what is more absurd is that there is indication that there will be other family days like this, at these costs for other “hot spots.” We are One People, everyone should benefit and be empowered by our wealth here, not just a select few who use the lower class as an excuse to gauge our state funds. Bring real change to our underprivileged from depressed areas, not political candy to rot them. 

Note: News reports that the event was poorly attended. Political mamaguying is falling short these days. O and 2 were shot dead in Laventille immediately following. Go figure…

Hanging our Cultural Head in Shame

Posted: November 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissesser in her Nagar speech lashes out against Dr. Keith Rowley for him wearing a Kurta on Divali. 

I have been critical at times of Politicians using religious celebrations to play ‘dress up’ in light of the PM parading in different garbs almost monthly at a point as I think it was overdone to almost the point of mockery. Despite this I stayed silent as the PM is the PM and must put on a certain show for different sects of he public to display a sense of unity. Now however now that the Opposition leader plays dress up for an event (not the first time), in which he must be just as diplomatic given his position and aspirations, it is not okay? The PM is going down a dangerous road here I believe in not only being hypocritical but in attempting to stir up old racial perceptions and tensions in a (just slightly) more subtly manner than her National Security Minister.

When the PM not only stays silent on mad prejudice statements, misconduct of her Cabinet and goes out of her way to affirm support of the wrongs of these agents there is not much left to hold on to in he Government. All of this while for the last number of months alone there being state board Heads resignations exceeding a dozen and public Fiasco’s which have brought the Government and their position in the Parliament into disrepute. In light of these issues the response has amounted to redoubling, tripling and quadrupling Public Relation efforts, mid-term campaigning, and suggestive/direct behaviour to curtail our civil rights. Engaging in this type of behaviour points to canopy of poor governance in which light can no longer shine through. The only option that seems inevitable to bring any legitimacy and trust of the people (to any extent) back towards our State Offices, is for the PM to advise the President to Dissolve Parliament. 

We have all had ENOUGH….

Stamp Of Failure

Posted: November 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

For far too long have we accepted lower than mediocre performance and the exchanging of hats of high office in the face of crippling failure. In the last 6 months alone has this been prevalent (like never before) in Governance of Trinidad and Tobago. The Cabinet decisions have become more frivolous in their nature than can be imagined, from the former appointments of Manning’s kiddie corner ministers (following the firing of top PNM ministers before the 2010 elections) to the grand international UN embarrassment by former Health Minister/ former TnT Ambassador Cornelis-Baptiste. Disaster after disaster with little, none, or less than we began with to show, is not the way to advance as a nation, worse yet is to accept this without putting on them the Stamp of Failure.

To understand what is really going on here we must first look at what we can call “failure.” Oxford dictionary defines failure as 1. lack of success, an unsuccessful person or thing. 2 the neglect or omission of expected or required action,  a lack or deficiency of a desirable quality. 3 the action or state of not functioning, a sudden cessation of power. Not sure which definition to go with when comparing to TnT’s political failures? Good news, put all in a hat, pluck out one randomly and you will be qualified for position of PM according to current trends in Office. In this case however we have the wildcard and safety net of the Trini definition of failure: “When dey not doin de wuk.” In general as Trini’s however we set the standard of “wuk” to be very low. The simple please us (even if we complain), but the major screw ups haven’t phased us, until recent times where we as a people have shown that some of us are beginning to wake up politically (Change, Exchange, Short-Change). We must take this to the point now where we can focus on non-performers who hide behind the guise of “PR performance,” incompetence and innocence, although some are innocently incompetent (which doesn’t change the fact that they have failed).

Even before that, when a person has failed in their running for an MP or is a friends/family member of those in power, they are made a Senator? With the Senate being perverted as an end-run around Ministerial appointments (since an appointed Senator can be made a Minister, i.e. Member of Cabinet) at will. What happens too when political dead horses are put in safe seats? We get a barnyard Parliament guaranteed. Quality being given up for cronyism and nepotism. It is no wonder that there is failure when it is set up from a pre-election mindset of “we go help we own,” and a post-election cult gathering of party financiers and high members. Those who have the power to change the country, orchestrate failure at their benefit and the common man’s lose.

If we were to host the Stamp of Failure Awards, we can go back to 1962 and honourable mentions would be a list longer than the lines for The Dark Knight Rises and the PM’s helicopter fuel bill combined. For now we must be prepared to hold those in Office accountable for what is going on now rather than the sins of the past that the old administrations were voted out for. A new age of politics is being spoken about but with the same type of politics we saw in the past, the only difference being a prettier face and more conniving plots to keep the people dependent and docile. When an Official in high office fails, stamp their failure and remove them, rather than promote them to another (possibly even higher) position and pat them on the back. We must be prepared to not only hold those in charge to their promises and what we want as a nation, but to also realize that stagnation is in itself failure. The Government is mandated to perform in the sense of developing the country and protecting the needs of the citizens, not perform like they are part of some overpaid circus. Long overdue, hire them (vote), if they don’t perform, fire them (demanding again recall legislation (Constitutional Reform- RECALL). The big question that always is thrown as a defense: And Put Who? Allya go move everyone we put there? Answer: You mean to tell me that not one person in your entire blasted party can do the job right? And yes, whoever doesn’t perform, move their tail even if it has to be on a weekly basis until you put someone who can handle the work. Until we can assign the Stamp of Failure at a Governmental and Societal level, we are doomed to place that Stamp on the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago itself.

Failure is failure anyway you take it and we must look past party, class, race and any other distraction used to keep us fighting among ourselves. Stop measuring Failure and Success on Personality/Popularity and start on Performance and Results. Remember always: United We Stand. Divided We Fall.

Since our Independence (and perhaps before) we have been a nation in a deep political slumber waking up to take a peek at what is going on every decade or so. While sleeping soundly he awoke abruptly to a knife in the back with “34” carved on the handle, an a swift boot pinning us down by the throat with “National Security” printed printed on the bottom. After the firm grasping at the back of our neck by former administrations and the Hart attacks that we suffered in the past, the Government thought it would be business as usual. To the surprise of all of those in power, those aspiring to gain power, and the citizens who give power by their support, the nation woke jumped up, on it’s feet and for the first time standing fully erect. We now stare head on, with the pain of 50 years of abuse in our eyes, at the those of our own soil who would sell our skin for silver and there can be no backing down from this point onwards.

For the first time it seems that Trinbagonians have become politically aware, although some would say that Tobagoians were always politically aware and we in Trinidad even with out advancement over them are playing catch-up. We saw what we thought was the end of race politics in the May 2010 election, but little did we know that it was just an intermission that would ultimately lead to our country crumbling as Cabinet has become a Circus, and Parliament a Playground. In the past we went through the cycle of exchange rather than change, throwing one tribe our to replace them with another of a different race but the same stock. Governments Parties became like petty offenders, going into the system, learning more from those who are experienced hardened convicts, coming out, then going back in. We have kept exchanging one for the other, until recently when it came to the point where we realize that we have been short changed.

Corruption: Favoritism, Nepotism, Cronyism. Gangster-ism, Eat-ah-Food-ism, Rum and Roti-ism. By whatever terms and names, from the Queen’s English to the Creole’s Dialogue, the issues are seen through the racial, social and economic barriers of our nation. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer with what’s left of the middle class left in limbo. High profile thieves in suits, of ever shape and size, colour and creed, race and region, have held us ransom since 1962, in he guise of being in our best interest. Ironic that despite us adhering to the rules of race politics for far too long, Corruption (in all it’s forms) is the one thing that truly never discriminates. Can we continue to accept current intentional failures because of the sins of the past administrations? If we want to ever move forward in any real we we can not. Blaming past administrations when confronted with questions and refusing to take serious allegations seriously due to a clash of personalities is digging heels into the mud of misdirection and will do nothing for us but allow this cycle of high office abuse to not only be abused, but accepted. We must stand up against it and refuse to accept it otherwise we are doomed to it.

Tribal politics is dictated by the collective mind of the Tribal Loyalists and the attitude of the Tribe Leader. The Tribe leader however is doomed if he doesn’t follow the will of a system that he has trapped himself/herself in. Some of them now are starting to stand up. At the risk of losing their Tribes by displaying integrity focused on an issue rather than a personality they are setting themselves apart from the self-segregated leaders of old. Then again perhaps they were pushed to this as we on a whole in the face of the gravest injustices and defiling of our Constitution. Whether self induced or outside imposed integrity, the people and some large public figures are refusing to drink the cult Kool-Aid served to us as we have awoken and realized that the political sugar added does nothing to dilute the poison. Many of us are now awake, and it scares the hell out of those who would benefit from keeping us in perpetual slumber.

Up in arms, old tools of office holders are being resharpened and set out against those who put them there. Economical Victimization, Social Segregation and Connection Castration are the fears that are made reality by tyrants who we chosen to represent us, after being fooled with the glitz and glamour of pretty promises which by action they prove to be legal lies. When we shed our fear of this we de-power them, taking the gunpowder out of their cannons. We are coming together in numbers and the propaganda of ‘new politics’ (which is just polished old politics) is falling short. The momentum that is prevalent now by all right thinking and fearless citizens who are willing to sacrifice the now for the future must be harnessed into a bolt of energy to strike at the heart of our political system, shattering it and changing it forever. This is what is happening, and what each and every one of use are responsible to add to and push ‘forward ever, backwards never.’ 

Together We Aspire, Together We Achieve