Archive for July, 2013

Mamaguying Muslim Votes

Posted: July 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

During a term; People lobby the Government, During an election; The Government lobbies People.

It’s no shock to see politicians playing into religious demographics around election time, and really nothing is wrong with envoys to see support in respectful ways. We live in a multi-cultural, multi-religious society and it is important for all leaders to show respect to different sectors of society. What can be said though when a Government is either so desperate, or so clueless (perhaps both), that they go overboard and push all into PR and none into dealing with legitimate concerns? Better yet, how does it look when the same party seeking support has rallied around and promoted a figure who has expressed outright prejudice towards that same group? Looks like a By-Election in TnT! Now it may be worth mentioning briefly that Jack’s Party (ILP) has been accused of choosing the colour green as to garner Muslim support, but it seems more likely that he chose green to represent US Dollars, who knows. In any case, the latest display by our “Honourable” Prime Minister was a massive tribute to hypocrisy, and a testimony of how serious she takes playing dress-up.

First the surface issue. The Prime Minister attended the breaking of the fast (iftar) in this month which is sacred to all Muslims, wearing a bight yellow Hijab. Now while the headscarf is not exclusive to women of Islam, it is generally seen as a mark of them. It could be argued that the PM wore it in the Mosque (place of worship) out of respect, which would have been the correct thing to do, but her wearing it for the entire motorcade and walkabout of the area giving out ‘gifts’ and such made it clear that this was just another day of dress up for her (as under no other circumstances but lobbying votes in the area would it be worn). The colour was obviously to represent her party, which some may say was disrespectful, and others would say it really wasn’t a big deal, but in either case it was just tacky looking at best. She places herself, raising her hands in congregation with women to join in prayer in an Islamic manner (although herself holding beliefs in what is considered forbidden in Islam), right front and center for the cameras to get what she thought was a perfectly Halal photo shoot. PR milked to the limit and beyond, she moves on, all surface value.

Now the contradiction and underlying hypocrisy of the mamaguy comes into play when one takes a look at one of her most protected and promoted Ministers, the “Honourable” Devant Maharaj. A Maha Saba advocate that seems to have made statements so severe, they must have been the motivation for Sat Maharaj to up his racist statements over the years in an utter frustration of being upstaged in prejudice intent. Among the remarks quoted as made by Devant “9/11” Maharaj (in front of local as well as foreign reps) were – “All Muslims in Pakistan and other countries should be executed even if it meant wiping out whole nations and the rest of them should then move to Saudi Arabia,” “Chechens were Muslims and all Muslims were terrorists who should be wiped out,” and “At the last T&T general election, Muslims were allowed to walk around with guns and to terrorise citizens.” Apparently he also stereotyped the American rep, who he made these comments in front, but unfortunately for him, her response in a writting: “This confirms my verbal request that I not be assigned to work in future social settings with our marketing and public relations officer, Mr Devant Maharaj.” Upon gaining power in 2010, Kamla made quick work of elevating her buddy Dev to a Senator position with an appointment as a Minister. Regardless of how fundamentally wrong it is to have a man like this in office without having to account for his statements, and further passing it of as if it never happened, he remains a Cabinet member with an apparent immunity under the Prime Minister.

So here we see the Political Suitor of the UNC approaching, with the divorce papers signed in advance. Many Muslims have been divided on this issue, but like with every demographic, there are those who are defending the political and social desecration of their faith, those who are keeping quiet in fear of being disrespectful in any manner, and those who are seeking favour with the glare of the Dun’ya (physical world and possessions) so bright in their eyes it blinds them from faith. At the end of the day, this is just another religious demographic that has been targeted by a massive PR stunt, but in which the method and modus operandi are so clear that the sham and scam couldn’t help but leak out as Mamaguying Muslim Votes.

The latest in the Boldface and the Beautiful style politicking that we are now subjected to on a regular basis in TnT is the love saga of our (beloved?) Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, and the former Generalissimo Jack Warner. We all know of the major breakup that occured when Jack wasn’t picked as the UNC Candidate for Chaguanas West, which led to the formation of his new party (ILP) and daily broadcasts of his political tabannca on TV, Radio and Social Media. In response to this and the airing of UNC members’ dirty laundry in terms of corruption, favoritism and nepotism, the PM fires back in a clear case of Satan Condemning Sin by now questioning his extensively deep pockets, missing funds that were allocated to him, and a neglect of his former Constituency over the last few years. However it seems strange at the very least that after all that has been said, Jack has still expressed his compassion for the PM during all the mudslinging to the extent of putting all of the blame on the “Cabal” and none on her. The PM’s statement this week asking Jack to “Come Home” and rejoin the UNC was shocking to say the least, given her statements against him and points to this love drama being a mix of raging political hormones with a clear message of what they think of the public at large.

Jack has been viciously attacking his former Cabinet colleagues with allegations and ‘bussing files’ left, right and center. Now despite no one questioning why he allowed them to go on like this while he was working with them, he brought forward much information that needed to be revealed to the public (although the Integrity Commission, Anti-Corruption Bureau, and Police Commissioner should have also received formal requests to investigate these matters). Throughout all the tongue lashing, he kept painting the PM as some innocent pawn in the “Cabal’s” plan, rather than the political ‘bad-ting’ she has shown to be. Kamla now takes to the same political stage that she has been bashing him on to make a plea.

Over the last few week the PM has admitted to knowing that Warner is being investigated by the FBI, that he was involved in corruption, and says now that the Chaguanas West Constituency was severely neglected by him (although when he was part of the UNC she claimed him to be the “hardest working MP”). A quick thought, if he neglected his area to the extend that they consider it dilapidated almost, what does that say about the performance of the other MPs in their party? Anyway… After all the serious allegations…another quick thought, all of this happened under her tenure as PM, and even if they say they only now know about it, nothing has been forwarded to the Police to investigate him? Moving on. The PM goes on stage and in a big to woe her former “Action Man,” asks him to come home to the UNC. So according to Kamla he is in essence was a corrupt Minister/MP, the subject of several serious international investigations, and ‘ah PNM’ (according to her and many others in the UNC) yet she wants him back? Says miles about what kind of characters are in Government, but love is blind, deaf and dumb I suppose.

Has the tabannca only now set in, or is something more devious at hand? The readiness for him to be welcomed back with open arms is a slap in the face to the people of TnT. Could the UNC really be so afraid of him opposing them, or are they all in it together with Jack and playing us for fools? Whether a simple gesture between former political lovers or a deep and sinister plot to focus the media stories on them in preparation for some final grand “Uniting” of former short lived political rivals, one thing is clear; we are being taken for fools in the grand scheme of things, and this is so clear that even any kind of fool could see.

Satan Condemning Sin

Posted: July 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

“There are 3 kinds of lies; Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics”- Mark Twain. Over the course of our political history we have become accustom to empty promises, hypocrisy, and false facts. With the chain reaction of nonsense that has resulted from the Charguanas West By-election being called, we see the shameless yet sterile venom from the forked tongues of those who have high stakes in manipulating the electorate while at the same time inadvertently calling them stupid. In any case we are treated to more than a fair share of flip flopping in opinions and blatant contradictions by the leaders of the only 2 parties that can be considered really “in the race.” We are treated now to the issues of money and media (apparently the 2 staple top priorities to this Government) being of the greatest concern, depending on which side the politicians are standing on.

We have the Prime Minister’s latest prepared political rhetoric of questioning the “Bottomless Pit” of funding that her opponent, Supreme Führer of the ILP, Jack Warner has been enjoying in his campaign. While this is of grave concern, especially as the allegations of corruption on a local and international level are alarming to say the least, why is this now conveniently an issue? Why was it not an issue when the UNC was being funded by Warner in this manner? Is the PM affirming that the content of his deep pockets are questionable, especially after she has had him as a Minister with the highest ministerial Budget the country has ever seen? And what of Warner’s response that the PM always knew his pockets were deep? Unexplained financing and more than just questionable income, wrong on both side in fact, but only wrong to Tanty Kams when the relationship with Uncle Jack went sour.

Now what could be more ridiculous a notion of the current Prime Minister standing up against corruption/ unexplained financing? How about Warner standing up for democracy? Yes, the same man who made  Gestapo tactics his staple policy enforcement in National Security (his first public action as National Security Minister- Removal of Peaceful Protesters). Further to this and more specifically, he has attacked the UNC Government for their alleged interference in the Guardian Newspaper which if true is a direct financial strong arming of the Freedom of the Press. If memory serves, 1 Year ago, Generalissimo Jack was on local Television holding up a newspaper with an article from Investigate Journalist Asha Javeed. While slapping that paper he proclaimed that he ‘Knows where she lives, and who she lives with.’ (Jack’s verbal attacks/threats on media person/ public figures.). Again a case of a double wrong being called a single right depending on what platform it is being said.

We have been subjected to so many double standard in politics, especially in the last few years it is effectively impossible to keep up. Technology and Social Media have provided vehicles for the common man to point out and prove what was said, where, when, and how yet rather than fix their mix, they will talk their rubbish and then invest heavily in PR in an attempt of twist and cover up. The Moral Authority of our ‘Leaders’ lacks anything resembling Morals and basing all they say and do on Authority, as we are now forced to listen to a constant barrage of Satan Condemning Sin.

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Late last year, what was a knee jerk response to the Section 34 Fiasco and the deplorable state of National Security, opened way to facilitate the union of a rag tag force of heavy hitters in Trinidad and Tobago. Answering the call made by MSJ leader David Abdulah, were members of various organizations, both political and non-political, partisan and non-partisan. What began as a table of over 19 organizations who nobody (including themselves) thought would ever see eye to eye, became a united force to be reckoned with, under the guidance of a clearly defined mandate (which took hours on end to pan out). The Round Table was formed and all was well in the fight for a better TnT, as they would have you believe. Soon after support, legitimacy and impact was established, Camelot appeared up for grabs before even being saved. The Dynamic changed from a Round Table to a two headed dragon, that eventually began to be looked upon as a two headed jackass.

The big question; ‘Where did the Championing stop and the braying begin?’ The mandate was clear, that the group called the “Round Table” would in immediate response to the absurdities and attrocities in Government, call for the removal of the current Attorney General Anand Ramloogan over Section 34, and the removal of (then) National Security Minister Jack Warner for well, being Jack Warner, nothing more to say about that one. The medium and long term call would be for Good Governance, the kind that was promised since the PP’s 2010 campaign. After the Government in their usual brazen display of arrogance, refused to adhere to the call of the Round Table, the people were called on for their support. The 40 000- 50 000 people estimated that came out to march flooded Independence Square to the point where it literally could hold no more patrons. Members of the march who came out to support their political parties involved composed less than half of the march, people were fed up and looking for action, standing united, different colour creed and race. The Government, in their usual ‘Wrong and Strong’ attitude and trademark shameless PR tried to downplay the numbers of the march, the races of those involves (to the point of claiming that it was a black people march…), and the result being those in power laughing in the face of the people and their mandate (and promises) to serve. This given…what was the next step?

Following this momentous event that affirmed the support of the people and confirmed the Government’s mandate to serve only themselves, the chips had fallen and the intents of both sides were laid clear. The response now that was needed was apparent, the next step was to crank up the social and other pressure on the Government, past the talk and noise as they had no intention of listening to the people. This including a call for justice to be done by removal of the leader that protected them at every turn, the Prime Minister. So the leader of the Opposition, being a member of the Round Table, directed the only logical course of action. To tell on the Prime Minister… Yes, the grand ‘or else’ with the support of parties, a wide cross section of NGO’s, and the entire Labour movement, in the face of tyranny, was to tattle to the President (Via article 81. of the Constitution). Now nothing would have been wrong with this being done alongside other action being taken, but this was not the case. Talks of ‘shut downs,’ ‘walkouts,’ and other strong pressure actions within the law would have sent more than a message, but alas, impotence is usually praised as diplomatic action. That is when the dynamic shifted. That is when various groups also saw the politics being played by the Opposition Leader in the situation, backed and protected by the leader of the MSJ who formed an inner shield around him via his chairmanship. The Round Table narrowed in width, and lengthened in breadth.

The last march called by Labour boasted of between 3000-15000 persons, depending on who was asked about it. Let’s take the high end figure of 15 000 (which is very well possible), and go with that. What could the combined voice of Labour and the PNM with 15 000 supporters do that the combined voice of Labour, PNM, and the majority of Civil Society with near 50 000 supporters couldn’t? Not a damn thing… The Round Table was a hub of hope, and Media would camp for hours to hang on the combined words of a new force of the people, by the people, for the people. It has since degraded to a specific interest political parody of its former (almost) glory. Many who stayed and joined late, are those either unable to make an impact or inspire those outside of persons and groups clinging to the underbelly of what some know as their only vehicle to attempt to remain relevant, or others simply unsure of where they are, where they are going, or where they really should be. The Round Table went Wrong when it became a Rectangular talkshop of those politically dying, using lesser groups as life support.