Mad Man-ning on the rampage

By Raffique Shah
March 28, 2010

PM Patrick ManningLest I am accused of consorting with the ‘drugs mafia’, or worse, being a drug lord posturing as a journalist, I need to be very careful how I couch my words in this column. With Prime Minister Manning on the warpath against enemies more imagined than real, the last I want is police swooping down on me, looking for ‘crack’ cocaine.

Crack they will find: they just need to be careful about deadly methane I emit, part of my arsenal against the criminals of today. Maybe the police would deem the gas emissions illegal, since I have no licence to mine hydro or any other kind of carbon. But in this country one never knows what is legal or illegal. A citizen who chooses to hasten his or her demise by smoking cigarettes or endangering others’ lives through second hand smoke can be charged and faces stiff fines, even jail.

But those who recklessly set bush fires that spread smoke over the whole damn country are free to laugh as hundreds of victims rush to doctors to get relief from respiratory problems that are aggravated by third-hand smoke. There is no law against that, no severe punishment for destroying the country’s forests and watersheds, and ultimately, for triggering devastating floods when the rains do come.

Then again, this is Trinidad, a country steeped in contradictions, some of them so manifestly unjust, they make you feel like a prisoner in your homeland. But back to what I really want to focus on. Surely the elders in the People’s National Movement (PNM), if there are any left, must realise there is something wrong with Mr Manning. It may be a medical condition that is psychiatric, possibly psychological, or who knows, even spiritual. I don’t know, I shan’t pretend to, since I am not knowledgeable in any of these fields.

In days gone by, when such erratic behaviour reared its ugly head, the elders would sit the leader down and counsel him. ‘Listen, Sarge,’ they would say, ‘you are doing a great disservice to yourself, to your party and your government.’ After his most recent outburst about the media being used by drug lords to target him in his one-man crusade against the illegal drugs trade, the elders would have noted the public’s response to this outrageous statement.

‘We don’t want to remove you as our leader,’ they would say. ‘We believe, though, that you need to see a psychiatrist. You have grown very irrational over the past few years, and your condition has deteriorated recently. We shall arrange for you to have the best shrinks in Cuba examine you. It will all be very quietly done. We’d tell the Cabinet and the people you have gone to Cuba for another routine check-up. They know that you frequently do, so that will not cause a stir. Lenny (Saith) here will hold the reins for as long as is necessary. But we plead with you…take our advice. Save our party, for Eric’s sake, if not ours or yours.’

Point is, are there elders left in the PNM? And if there are, do they have the balloons to engage Manning in such heart-to-Hart conversation? Dr Saith commands the PM’s respect. John Donaldson is there. Who else? With the greatest deference to PNM chairman Conrad Enill, he seems to condone everything the PM says or does. I suppose he, and others like him, would say they are ‘team players’.

Over the past decade, West Indies cricket players, captain et al, would chant the same ‘team players’ mantra. The one series the team won was against an improved Zimbabwe, and that just barely. But that’s akin to the PNM flogging a Basdeo Panday-led UNC, or Barcelona beating up on Boccarro Buffaloes. It’s a no-contest. Coming up against a revamped UNC under Kamla Persad-Bissessar, with the prospect of some kind of unity or arrangement with the COP, and now, possibly, a broad front comprising just about every trade union, NGO and groups-with-grouses, the PNM faces a formidable electoral challenge.

Frankly, I don’t give a fried-fig where Mr Manning takes his party or who wins the next general election. My life, my status, and that of most people in the country, especially the poor and powerless, won’t change for the better. We have learned the hard way that a change of government does not mean a change in the status quo as we have known it since colonial days.

But as a patriot and now an elder (I shan’t arrogate unto myself ‘statesman’ title!), I worry about where this country is heading. Years ago, when climate change was first mooted, I thought I’d be long gone by the time its effects impact on us. Now I know differently. For years many of us have warned Mr Manning about going further down the heavy-industrialisation road. He laughed at us, flaunted the prospect of three aluminium smelters in our faces.

Last week, bpTT’s Robert Riley finally spoke of the dire threats the economy could face once we remain gas-dependent: new gas finds are not keeping pace with demand. Would the PM now say Riley is on the drug lords’ payroll? I shan’t be surprised. Nothing Mr Manning says or does surprises me-not anymore. How he has morphed!

8 thoughts on “Mad Man-ning on the rampage”

  1. Martin Daly: Teacher Percy say
    The Manning PNM is not the PNM of Dr Williams. It is now anti-thought and belligerent towards any suggestion that any aspect of the country might be differently run. This belligerence grows day-by-day and the mouths of many members of the Cabinet are now so nasty that the current PNM is a sad degradation of the Williams PNM, which launched itself by embracing the people with education.

    Selwyn Ryan: Of just and unjust wars
    What is characterised as a ‘war to the death’ by the Prime Minister is however a ‘phoney war’, which has nothing to do with the well being of the people. What we have instead is the pursuit of a self-destructive personal vendetta using public funds. The pursuit of this vendetta makes it impossible for there to be the ‘respectful listening’ that Dr Selwyn Cudjoe recommends in his ‘How to Save the PNM’ columns (Express March 18 and 19).

  2. Why in God’s name does no one in the Journalism business down there,ever relate what they are saying about the drift T&T is taking(lets leave out the blaming for now), in respect of T&T’s boast that it will have become a member of the Developed World?
    There remain a few Trini lightweights up here who are awaiting this unimaginable transformation—defended on the basis that “my navel string is buried there” and once in a while that T&T is “paradise”!!!
    Such acolytes will matter not one whit, so far as where T&T is headed.
    I am open to sane questions.

  3. Well said Raff.,You are atrue leader like me,sit on the side.But you have closer info,of these shaddy characters.manning,whio was in Eric’s Dog house.Now he is trying to be a dictator.He drove the 1st.LPG Car in TNT.He is an educated ass,Why was he not in Eric’s close circle?He admitted yesterday that he made a FEW Mistakes,well let him tell TNT,what Ericx sided for THIEF,His wife should be a proud 1st.Lady,but he put her in Publis,to get pension,when they are Kicked out.I followed 1970 Revolt,as a school boy,and worst has happened,since then.Wake up TNT,Lock them all up.Get HART, DOG the bounty hunter,USA,could get him

  4. “For years ….Many of us have warned Mr Manning about going further down the heavy-industrialisation road. He laughed at us, flaunted the prospect of three aluminium smelters in our faces.

    Therein lies the crux of the PNM demise…its spelled GREED.

    Remember its “the ECOMOMY” stupid.
    In politics the PEOPLE does not matter. However sooner or later it all rolls around again to the People. Don’t ever stop writing Raff.

  5. It is often said that ‘age brings reason’ To that I’ll add , a sense of optimism as well.Now I won’t dare call Uncle Shah our respected senior Editor at large a naive , sentimental , wishful thinking ,pipe dreamer, like I would other unmentionable self loathing , divisive ,non patriots that occasionally traverse this the Information Highway.
    So you want elders in the PNM such as John D ,to step up and preach some sense into El Supremo , Big Dada Manning’s head ,eh? The same caring JohnD that had demanded and ensured that young police officers who guarded his residence remained outside his locked gate , exposed in the rain and dangerous elements like drive by criminals, back in the days , when he served as a lofty Minister of National Security, and thought he was the chosen successor to the self opinionated Doctor E? Don’t you guys remember , how the young Manning cut the juggler of all the loudmouths big wigs and Eric butt kissers once he assumed the mantle of power after the extremely intelligence Gorge Chambers caretaker government ended?
    As you are well aware, Overan Padmore, Hugh France, Cutty Joe,Wendell Mottley, Muriel Donawa,Madam Lewis , John D, and all such blind, choice Eric Williams loyalist , were never able to recover when one time , long serving Parliamentary Secretary Uncle Manning ,finished with them , and now you want any of these guys still alive, to offer advice to our PM for life? The same guys that in the past have been collecting donations in attempts to bribe any of Castro’s Cuban doctors ,so that they might let a certain scalpel slip during one of the many privileged medical operation procedures, he has been accorded by his Socialist pal? You must be kidding.
    Speaking about the pending election , and possible change due to ‘BarrackObamarian Revolution,’ by Madame Kamela , the new Opposition head, what can one say. So you think think that it is possible to run before one can creep, and political marriages of convenience can work just as well as the traditional social ones that takes place within some families across the globe , including Sweet T&T aka Rainbow Country, yes?
    Well, as we say in local parlance, ‘I rather you than me,’ Uncle Shah. Then however, who knows, 1986 was a disaster- three man rats and such complex problems. However ,the equations has changed ,since a woman is now in the mix, and we know that, these ardent men hating , sex abhorring feminist ,believe that females leaders are the be all end all solutions for all the global problems afflicting mankind , ever since Adam ate the forbidden fruit given him by Eve and the conniving serpent, yes?
    What do you know, even I am getting convince that she too can do the difficult snap election or not , but then I am not that important since I like you could never vote for either of these anti people ,elite ,political parties , even if someone plan to put me before a flying squad ,then drop my riddled body from the top of the white elephant , Twin Towers Financial Complex, for all our party loving , don’t give a darm , if ‘Good Friday falls on a Monday,’ fellow Trini nationals.

    Yes we can effect changes on the the environment as well, but a word of caution, forget rain forest ,slash and burn marijuana Cumoto farmers . You should focus instead on the folks forced to live on the East West corridor hills , in true Brazilian Favela fashion, across the length and breath of most PNM constituencies since 1956, without adequate drainage , garbage collection services , and similar vital , yet basic infrastructures ,like fellow fortunate sentient beings in the rest of the country.
    Start a movement to step back from over dependence on oil and natural gas economic over dependence , and push alternative energy programs using corn and sugar agricultural byproducts like Brazil. Encourage our party loving yuppie UWI Social Scientist students to do studies on health fallout in terms of cancers , respiratory diseases , and similar chronic debilitating health problems in our country – the result from over exposure to petro chemicals and oil productions, as well as gas smogs from our over congested roads.
    I hope Auntie Kamela is listening , as that’s something the people could buy into, and might just change the political meter. Let’s continue to love country ,and as good old Chess playing gurus , remain focus on the end game , shall we?
    I wish our collective people well, for as you know there is only so much one can take. We dodged the bullet once during your youthful 1970 forays, again in 1990 via pseudo Islamist Bakr’s silly, misguided,and destructive escapades, but our luck might soon run out during the next round, since the poor , oppressed , neglected , maligned ,and much abused of all creed, race, and ethnicity , might decide enough , and do the unthinkable by choosing to unite -before our politicians can -in efforts to get rid of real enemies.

  6. Mr.Manning isn’t suffering from severe mental illness such as schizophrenia,bipolar disorder and major depression his diagnosis is psychopathic personality disorder.The cardinal features of this disorder isn’t psychosis but a lack of conscience,incapacity for guilt and remorse and lack of empathy.The diagnosis of psychopathy is made using the PCL-R developed by a leading expert on this disorder Dr.Robert Hare in Canada.Psychopaths are pathological liars and are experts at using manipulation and deceit.Studies have shown that 15-25% of criminals are psychopaths.Senior members of the drug mafia will also be classified as psychopaths.Trinidad is a transhipment point for drugs going to North-America and Europe,the island is a narco-state, and this would require collusion between top politicians, senior police officers and the covert drug mafia.Is the media aligned with the drug mafia or is it a top psychopahtic politician in cahoots with them?The drug mafia is worried about the present political developments ,their survival and prosperity depends on politics.They may have to call an emergeny meeting with top politicians who are their business partners in this multi-billion dollar trade to assess the situation.International law enforcement and intelligence agencies such as the CIA,FBI,DEA,MI6 and Scotland Yard are quite aware of occurrences in Trinidad,they are not fools.Manning may be able to deceive the population but definitely not any of the named agencies.

  7. “Studies have shown that 15-25% of criminals are psychopaths.” Pray tell us Pitbull ,if these criminal psychopaths are of the white color or blue color persuasions.
    This can certainly make a significant difference, as we have our lifelong Opposition leader under our local equivalent of a criminal indictment for past atrocities committed ,insisting as defense I am certain, that monies from the mysterious bank accounts were special savings from his hard working days as a Trade Unionist representing his people. Then there is his close CJ Sharma pal, that barely dodged the jail bullet , since our former Chief Magistrate decided not to testify against him claiming I believe, an influx of selective amnesia, after his initial accusations. Finally, several hundred Caroni folks are still awaiting some sort of Justice ,after loosing millions in a HCU scheme gone bad, where 90% of loans were given to questionable folks -including foreign Costa Rican Diplomats with immunity. Many of these folks even claimed to have some form of solid security to be used towards the initial loan , which proved otherwise.
    As bad as the above mentioned lies might be , none can match what was done to our nation repeatedly since 1986 , when citizens went to Canada and similar pristine foreign shores claiming refugee status ,discrimination , racial prosecution , and ethnic cleansing.

  8. Strange new pressure

    Newsday Editorial
    April 1 2010 –

    For the first time in his political career, Patrick Manning is meeting dissent right in his face. And clearly it is hurting him.

    We learned of his touchiness a couple of years ago, when, seated in his barber’s chair, he overheard two radio announcers criticising him. As we all know, he drove from San Fernando to the radio station in Port-of-Spain, walked in to the studio unannounced, and berated the two announcers! It seemed at the time that our Prime Minister was totally out of touch with the fact that he could be the butt of criticism and even ridicule.

    Patrick Manning, having complained to the management of the station, let that episode fade away, and apparently continued to surround himself with persons who would only tell him good things about how people felt about him. But as he was happily basking in the delusion of his popularity, so much was unravelling around him.

    His fervent support of Calder Hart and Udecott, his confused reaction to the Church in Guanapo, and his attacks upon the construction sector and then the media, and the concern over a possible deal with Abu Bakr in 2002, have all combined to give people the courage to challenge Manning to his face.

    His first challenge came from Mr Villafana in San Juan, when the elderly gentleman told Manning not to come into his home. Manning foolishly ignored the man’s request, and walked into the yard to greet others there.

    He then tried to dismiss the incident by telling Parliament that the man was “living in Canada.”

    And it seems that Mr Villafana’s action spurred others on to mounting their own protests in the Prime Minister’s face. First, the OWTU picketed and booed him outside of his San Fernando constituency office, then residents of Valencia booed and demonstrated against him at a walkabout in their district. In the past Manning has been permitted to walk various districts — including opposition controlled areas — without encountering any dissent.

    That is rapidly changing, and the shock on Manning’s face as he is confronted by these protestors tells us how disconnected he had become. Normally, and indeed up to last Saturday at Chaguaramas, Manning is surrounded by a protective phalanx of loyal PNM workers, said to be drawn largely from CEPEP and URP. These people have provided him with the appearance of popular support, but even they, when not “on stage” for the Prime Minister, are voicing their dissatisfaction with the Government.

    While it is still early to form a firm judgment as to how genuine are the protests, we acknowledge that they represent a break with the traditional “protest for TV cameras.” It is entirely possible that the people protesting in his face have been organised by opposition groups to embarrass the Prime Minister, but the PNM has not charged this as yet, so we are constrained to believe the protests are genuine objections to the Government.

    And certainly the Prime Minister seems to consider them valid. He has begun to backtrack and withdraw the TTRA and the Property Tax legislation, and set out to try to please the population with promises of improved health care and a revival of Laventille. But we have all been there before, and we wait to see if the people who are unhappy with this Government will begin to show support now that the Government is in retreat on so many issues.,118288.html

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