PM made mistake to trust Calder Hart

PM Patrick Manning, Dr Keith Rowley and Calder Hart
PM Patrick Manning, Dr Keith Rowley and Calder Hart
By Andre Bagoo
Tuesday, May 11 2010

PNM DIEGO MARTIN West candidate Dr Keith Rowley last night broke his silence on the Udecott issue, calling on the Government to assure the nation before May 24, that all 91 recommendations of the Uff Commission of Inquiry into Udecott, will be implemented.

He conceded that the issue was “a big one” in this year’s election campaign and told his constituents that Prime Minister Patrick Manning had “made a mistake in trusting” the State company’s former executive chairman Calder Hart.

At the same time, Rowley also, for the first time in the campaign, hinted at a possible challenge from him for the post of the PNM leadership and told his constituents that he places their interest first, before those of Prime Minister Patrick Manning.

In a speech that was markedly different from the one he delivered at a constituency meeting at Four Roads, Diego Martin, last Thursday, Rowley acknowledged the personal cost he was made to pay for his stance on Udecott over the last two years and said the Udecott affair demonstrated that “something very wrong” had gone on with Government.
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8 thoughts on “PM made mistake to trust Calder Hart”

  1. Rowley insists: PNM must own up to mistakes
    Diego Martin West PNM candidate Dr Keith Rowley reiterated yesterday that the PNM has to tell the country that mistakes were made, identify who made them, hold the persons accountable and give the assurance to the electorate that they would not happen again as it goes to the May 24 poll.

  2. And we will make a mistake to ever trust you again. You are only seeking self interest and power. Never will I support your cause, for people like you never changes. You are only breeding on the ignorance of the people. The population will be enlightened when the coalition form the government and see what unity of the races is all about and poeple like you will be history from our political landscape.


  4. Rowley wakes up

    Newsday Editorial
    Wednesday, May 12 2010

    DIEGO Martin West MP Dr Keith Rowley clearly flip-flopped in his speech to supporters at Richplain on Monday, since giving his anti-climactic address at Four Roads last Thursday. Breaking his previous silence, Dr Rowley at Richplain dramatically put the Udecott scandal at political centre-stage on Monday, calling for answers from the Government.

    Last Monday at Four Roads, Rowley had merely pledged himself to be a loyal PNM sailor as he urged any disaffected members to not throw the captain, overboard on the eve of battle, but noted that later there may be a time for dry-docking and for court-martial. “I am a sailor on the PNM ship and I know what my duty is. And it does not matter what shape the ship is in, don’t give up the ship… When the ship is in battle that is not time to punch holes in the hull,” he reassured.

    Rowley spent the rest of his Four Roads speech attacking UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar for inaction in probing the Piarco Airport scandal and COP leader Winston Dookeran for allegedly drafting a UNC manifesto while still Central Bank Governor. However most listeners were hugely disappointed that Rowley had not addressed the Udecott scandal, which in fact Manning has basically ignored on the political platform, apart from vaguely vowing to “let the chips fall where they will”. In fact it was Rowley himself in Parliament who declared that the Udecott scandal was ten times worse than the Piarco affair, as the UNC reminds us in television adverts every night.

    However by Monday night, after several days of public outcry at his lacklustre speech at Four Roads, Dr Rowley had changed his tune at Richplain.

    Defying Manning’s apparent campaign strategy of simply listing the vast amount of help given to citizens in education, training and social assistance, but of ignoring controversies, Rowley on Monday declared that Udecott was the big issue this election. “I think it is not sufficient for us to pretend that this is not an issue. Something very, very wrong has gone on there,” said Rowley.

    He virtually gave the Government an ultimatum to implement the 91 findings of the Uff Report before the Election. Rowley spoke about having to pay from his own pocket to defend himself before the Uff Commission. He then said he was confident the PNM “could deal with anything”, even confronting a Prime Minister for mistakenly trusting former Udecott head. Calder Hart”. Clearly directing his fire at Manning, Rowley added, “We must not allow that kind of situation to develop again and we must hold our officers to account for putting the party into that situation.”

    We certainly would have preferred Rowley to have given this strong Richplain speech at his Four Roads campaign launch. After the Four Roads event, Dr Rowley had risked losing credibility, with a television opinion poll saying 86 percent of callers saying his speech had weakened the PNM’s chances at the polls.

    We recognise that Rowley has faced a dilemma in this whole affair.

    On one hand, Rowley has had to be careful of not being accused of disloyalty to his party, the PNM, which he may well still nurse ambitions to one day lead. To an extent his battleship analogy was somewhat correct, in that internal wrangling can hurt a party’s chances in an election. On the other hand, this whole Udecott scandal is simply so far gone, that Manning’s apparent policy of closing one’s eyes and hoping it will all just go away, simply will not work. It is out in the open and needs to be dealt with.

    No-one knows the harsh reality of the whole Udecott fiasco as much as Dr Rowley himself, who was not only fired as Trade Minister but had to incur the legal-costs and anguish of having to defend his good name when hounded. Further, Manning viciously attacked Rowley in Parliament as a “raging bull”.

    In addition, the Manning-controlled PNM machinery almost deselected Rowley as a candidate, and it is widely thought that Rowley did not know if he would be a candidate up to the very morning of the party’s Presentation of Candidates rally in Woodford Square.

    So as far as we are concerned, Rowley has done the country a great service by putting Udecott firmly onto the election agenda, however much of the Manning camp may now want to try to paint Rowley as disloyal.,120603.html

    1. A most pressing issue about the politicians in our country is, what is the importance of the office the hold or seek to hold. Is it party, politics or power. Where is the concern for the people that elected them powerful, so that the peoples’ needs be met.

  5. For every election the PNM make promises after promises but seldom deliver. And when they do it is used as a cover up to fill their pockets first and to hell with whom else suffer. Are we really that stupid to fall for this crap again? We made this mistake for so many years. Are we that dumb to not learn and make the right choices this time? Are we not encouraging servitude upon ourselves? We are holding back the power we have in our hands to govern this country by blindly voting along racial and party lines. And this has to stop. The country and I mean we the people will never see prosperity or have progress if we allow this disease to spread. It will eat away the strength we have to fight for our survival and leave us as slaves, just waiting to be oppressed by the next dictator. By not realizing that only we can shape our life and in so doing the destiny of our country, otherwise we will become breeding grounds for the next Hitler or Idi Amin.

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