Shoring up time?

Newsday Editorial
November 03, 2009 – newsday.co.tt

Patrick Manning and Basdeo PandayWhat is the real agenda for the sudden meeting between Prime Minister Patrick Manning and embattled Opposition Leader Basdeo Panday?

According to the official line, Manning has invited Panday to the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann’s to discuss “national issues — crime and the constitution.” Basdeo Panday has jumped at the invitation, saying “It is my duty to respond…”

Forgive us our skepticism but political observers are of the opinion that Prime Minister Manning has not changed one iota since he announced in 1995 that the PNM stands alone and falls alone. Basdeo Panday has never been one to understand his “duty” in public affairs. His position, as Opposition Leader — and defined by himself — is to “oppose.”

Given the PNM’s position that all is well in Trinidad and Tobago, that they are on top of the crime situation, that the economy is merely passing through a “blip,” and that CHOGM is going to bring massive benefits to the country, one wonders why Manning would suddenly request a meeting with the badly wounded, lame-duck Panday? Panday is spending more time fighting off the slings and arrows directed at him.

And why would Panday so suddenly become aware of his “duty” to discuss these matters — crime and the constitution? He refuses to support government initiatives in parliament, but is duty-bound to visit the Prime Minister’s expanding residential complex for private discussions?

Is this really a meeting between the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, or is it between the Party Leaders of the PNM and the UNC?

Many political observers wonder. We raise these questions in light of two separate but interesting reports. First, there is the announcement that the PNM is being put on election watch, and Manning is calling out his troops, suggesting more and more that an election could be in the air, possibly in December or January.

So is there another agenda for the Manning/Panday meeting on Tuesday? For that we look to the second interesting report, which comes in the form of a letter from Chaguanas West MP Jack Warner to his supporters, suggesting consultations between the PNM and the UNC to squeeze out Ramjack once and for all, and now of course, Dr Keith Rowley.

Given the current state of politics, could it be then that the Manning/Panday meeting is far more likely to be in the mode described by Warner, than a genuine meeting to overcome our crisis in crime?

Both men are seriously embattled, and there is rising respect for the still un-united dissidents — Ramjack, Rowley, and of course, COP.

Clearly, recent events have exposed the problems of both Manning and Panday, and this meeting seems more of a “Party Shoring Up” exercise than a meeting for the national good, according to some political observers.

Interestingly, the PNM held a meeting at Cascadia last Saturday which was addressed by Prime Minister Manning, which was viewed as the stepping up of campaigning. Indeed, PNM party chairman Conrad Enill admitted that the 15 constituencies held by the UNC would be targeted.

And now Manning and Panday will meet. What really is to be made of this?

http://www.newsday.co.tt/editorial/0,110316.html

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5 Responses to “Shoring up time?”


  • Knowing Panday and his dirty tricks, I will not at all be surprised if he sell himself to Manning just to stay out of jail and split the votes. I totally blame the few remaining supporters of Panday for allowing him to sell them out.

  • I do not want Panday to represent me or my family in any level of talks because WE DO NOT TRUST HIM. We would much rather have the COP and RAMJACKG represent us in any level of talks.

  • Cut it out Glen. Your cynicism is astounding. Politics is about compromise and this is an excellent step forward in the light of our prevailing social crisis.
    Try and develop some faith in your country, particularly the ability of our much maligned and overwhelmed civil servants to do their jobs without favor or affection.
    What I am trying to say is that your fears of judicial interference are unfounded, and Mr Manning has absolutely no power of influencing our astute local independent judges or the future CCJ Appeal Courts actions in defense of his newfound buddy/confidant Mr. Panday.
    Rest assured that even if the Opposition leader was to be publicly proclaimed as a distant cousin of Queen Elizabeth, or was to construct a Law library wing at Oxford from his own private funds, he will be convicted of his various crimes, and eventually sentenced to the full extent of the law. You can afford to ‘put this in your pipe and smoke it,’ my friend.
    A level playing field via equal rights justice . That’s what we are about in this budding democratic Republic, so criminals watch out.

  • You have failed to consider one very important factor in all of this Neal. The draft constitution requires a special majority. If I am interpreting the situation correctly, Patrick needs four opposition votes. If a deal is cut then we have daddy, daughter and daddy’s brother. That leaves only one more vote and Panday can be very convincing(especially when convincing Kamla).

    Patrick has already declared that the new constitution will be in effect before the next general election. Under this new constitution the executive president will be able to pardon all his friends and family for any criminal offence, even before the first hearing.

    Why not join forces? One becomes emperor and the other, the non-inmate friend of the emperor.

  • Of course you might be on point atheist. I was simply doing some spin bowling and throwing a legbreak at cousin Glen.
    You see , this pathetic display between these two characters is how politics has been played in our country ever since those crafty colonial masters left our shores.
    Our two dominant political rivals , ably assisted by a crafty elite locally and abroad ,are the beneficiary of a large illiterate , gullible,psychologically distraught , sometimes uncaring public.
    Both camps have utilize fear quite well , as they continue to use and abuse the respective tribal camps , all the while misleading them with lies as to why they are living substandard lives, the reasons for escalating crime, causes for non existing jobs , economic inefficiency, and why our resource laden country is fighting hard to catch up with other less fortunate nations across the globe.
    The majority of our people have been beaten up for so long , that many cannot even tell which way is up anymore.
    It is primarily why I try to inform folks that claim to care that they should stop wasting useful energies over this foolish racial boogeyman that we conveniently hear about daily my disingenuous souls with skewed agendas .
    I tend to be patient with some of our hopeless citizens stuck in the quagmire, that often choose to resort to some of the most desperate actions for survival.
    What I am most disgusted by are the few that were fortunate to escape the jungle , that still allow them selves to be used as pawns in the diabolical, ‘neo-colonialist’ game, that is surely destined to make us remain under achievers as a nation, or worst yet clones of our South American neighbor Guyana.
    You remember how they got to where they are today? A closet communist ,pseudo African prince ran the country to the ground, and his greatest accomplishment was killing off rivals such as Dr. Walter Rodney, and African people via his idiotic Jonestown interplay. He was followed by a Marxist lord and his Yankee CIA wife , and now there protege is reigning over that country , where a police service burns 15 year olds alive to seek confessions, and cabinet Minister that confess to cuddling bandits that eliminated racial rivals. That’s what cronyism and nepotism does for you in the long run athiest.
    But hey , Trinis do not really care if ‘Good-friday falls on a Monday,’or is there an alternative lurking? I stand corrected if you think so.

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