PNM still attacking media

By Andre Bagoo
September 19, 2010 – newsday.co.tt

PNMTHE PNM is no longer in government, but its members are still attacking the media. In response to last week’s column, former Minister in the Ministry of Finance Mariano Browne, who was one of the key players behind the disgraced former Finance Minister Karen Nunez-Tesheira, sent me two e-mails to three different e-mail accounts. He did not agree with me, so he sought, as was his norm when in power, to attack my integrity. When a journalist simply does his job with the utmost dedication in the face of mounting oppression from an insidious Government, they don’t know what to make of it. Surely, there was something in it for me? Surely it was for a job in the PP Government?

But let me publically put you in your place Mr Browne. I did it because it was my sacred and moral responsibility to keep on doing my job in the face of all of your government’s many, many attempts to suppress and get rid of me. The same cannot be said of you or most of your former Cabinet colleagues. And as your new leader properly and decently acknowledged this week, your party paid the ultimate price for its mistakes.

It is ironic that I was thrown out of the Coco Reef Resort and Spa, Store Bay, Tobago, this month at the behest of PR and security officials of the Office of the Prime Minister. One would have expected that such a thing would never happen under a UNC/COP/TOP Government. No PNM Government never threw me out of their retreat, though they wanted to ban me from Parliament. One person remarked wryly that no Government event is a success without me being thrown out —whether PP or PNM. But the Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar herself, after I reported the incident in Newsday, did the proper thing and apologised. She was big enough to do this, even though the incident happened because of the incompetence of her lower-level staff.

This week, the madness of politics in the country came home to me rudely at a PNM post-Budget forum at Piggott’s Corner, Belmont (where I have lived all my life, incidentally). I was accosted and insulted by several in the crowd who identified me as “a UNC”, as the former Sports Minister and PoS North/St Ann’s West MP Gary “$2 million flag” Hunt mingled in the crowd. The new PoS North St Ann’s West MP Patricia MacIntosh, taking a break from the Budget debate in Parliament where she would have been within the ear of members of the Government, got the crowd riled up by saying the PP Government was only increasing funding for Indian schools (she read out a list of Hindu Schools). People in the crowd looked at me, saw that my dougla hair looked “straight” and knowing that my name is Bagoo, began to accuse me of “voting UNC”.

Then, Senator Fitzgerald Hinds told the crowd that he hopes I don’t accept a job with the PP.

“Write that!” a man behind me said. Then Rowley — in perhaps his most reckless moment —began to attack the media, three times accusing it of being in the pocket of the PP Government. My colleagues from other media houses also began to get uncomfortable, as members of the crowd threw insults our way. This could have degenerated badly.

When Rowley finished speaking we left quickly. But I was accosted on the way to the car by Hinds, who forced his hands unto the car door to stop me from closing it. He then proceeded to “apologise” for what had happened, because he had heard. After all that had happened to me, Hinds audaciously said that he hoped this week’s column reflected the quality of Dr Rowley’s Budget speech and slammed the door shut. Well here is this week’s column Mr Hinds.

12 Responses to “PNM still attacking media”


  • Without being at the meeting and believing everyone has the right to assemble without being heckled, this report misseed an opporrtunity tto teach others andd to show thee wwriuter has himself learnt something valuablee.

    The article is, unfortunately one that is vindictive, reflecting the same sentiments complained about.

    This is less commonsense and more sloganeering and politicking without class, abusing one’s station for personal reasons aat getting back, rather than for advancing public oportunities to have learnt, and to thus do better.

    A reporter has a serious responsibility to inform and especially in such circumstances one has the responsibility to make it a learning experience for all.

    Again, this article missed a splendid opportunity for the writer to teach the good values inherent in a democratic system, and also to show that he, himself has learnt this.

    In short, his venom here indicates that were the shoe on the other foot he would do to the others of whom he so petulantly complains, as was so unfortunately done to him, or as he claims was done to him.

    • Bagoo boy PNM looks like the tribe thing in africa they want to continue to encourage in T&T. Is the white man more responsible than the bourge black man for slavery? It takes two, to tango as they say. But then again life has many ironies. We have to learn not to get tie up. I am mixed and my great great grandmother was an african who was raped by her french slave master. I cried as a young boy when I learnt the story. I still cry inside for she was my roots. There are many things African that I like. I always remember Nelson Mandela saying in reply to a journalist that he is so sorry about those who discriminated against him. This was just after apartheid in his country. He showed me hatred was not in his books. God laid out a path for him to walk. However, I have african roots as most in Trinidad that look otherwise and are mixed. like Obama we most of us in Trinidad are mixed in ethnic makeup. Anyway their chant is same ole same ole which is what the PM says about the PNM (once a PNM I will die a PNM thinking) -tribalism. They do not fundamentally understand that this what is killing the wealthiest continent of Africa for ages now. Typically there one tribial group would say to another I will kill your members and sell your family into slavery as they each fight for all. Instead God wants us all to share and help others in distress. Additionally, He gave us talents and opportunity to do this. Accordingly they do not understand in this life we learn and we move on. They do not understand that God fashioned each one of us in His image and likeness and breathed His spirit in us; gave us a brain with a free will, a brain and mind and body that allow us to reach high into the heavens. Instead they choose to maintain a status co that is the madness of the former PM and his PNM cronies. God has reduced it to a baseless shell now. What is it with these PNM people who seem to have amongst other things no good attitude or discipline, who want to get, without working hard towards a goal. There are books and books on great africans world wide they can learn to emulate. The PNM once was and following 1986 and 2010 this party was wasted from its greatness. The honourable Eric Williams is continually turning in his grave.
      They do not understand they are spoiling the good name of Trinidad and Tobago and that of many foreign based trinidadians and in so doing bringing the country down in a hole never seen before. Why do these people see Trinidad as only african in content yet sing the anthem as though every word is true in the song?
      From the blogging the other ethnic group is just as bad as slavery still exists in mother India. We would be better off in the West Indies creating our own history and way forward. In a foreign country Indians and Africans do not identify with West Indian peoples unless there is tangible gain for them and an expense to us. I remember working for an Indian from India in Trinidad who treated me with scorn (I knew more than him in the field of study we were in) as I was told I would replace him. He pulled his string and is still there today – in my country? He was given continued unquestioned work permits under the PNM. Of course I was not a PNM so I suffered.
      So Bagoo boy it will take some doing again for the folks in Trinidad and Tobago to say I am Trinidadian or Tobagoian and my calypso, pan, roti, etc. has nothing to do with Africa or India so lets create our own brand and market it on the world stage and stop copying what is not ours.

      • Your response is unfortunate since it has information that is balanced but unfortunately confusaed in how it is stated.

        True, there were Africans who sold Africans into enslavement. However, does this make slavery tolerable, or something about which to demean and cstigate others today?

        Every other set of oppressed people, be they the Irish under Britain, Jews under the Naziis, Indianss under undentureship had people among their own kith and kin who, for whatever reason they chose, profit, self-saving, igmnorance, spite and revenge,sided with the oppressors.

        Does that make the Irish famines acceptable because Irish Protestants joined in oppressing Irish Catholics? Did Jews who served the German Reich abbrogate for all other Jews the right to demand reparations? Did the Arkaatis who rounded up and forced Indians into indentureship be cited today to demean Indians?

        We forget, to our commoon peril, that we are all of the same blood and heritage; and capable either of heroism or of the same treachery and violence.

        Those who forgot this ended up creeating a Bosnia, a Sri Lanka, a Rwanda.

        People in T&T seem to think they are immune to uncivil consequences when they behave in uncivil ways to each other.

        In these circumstances, it only takes a spark for the combustible tinder of racial antagonisms which have surely been set for some time awaiting that one incident; that one statement to create an inferno of unimagineable consequences.

        Thanks anywway for your attempt, it was well intentioned and good intentions and acts are surely needed by every living, breathing being in T&T today, period!

        • I dislike persons taking what I say out of conttext. Perhaps I should write a book for you to understand as perhaps you are a slow learner. People of african descent in Trinidad means you must look black and …… These people feel the country belongs to them only. Only them suffered from the the hands of the oppressor. Some of them call me white man in ignorance. In my previous blog I described my roots which is mixed and part african. But they set me aside from them. But you probably cannot hold your concentration together when you read so you only see a sentence out of a paragraph and say I am confused. You must, by your response, have a big ego to maintain. Or is it that you like to write? Nevertheless, I believe you do not like what I say about the Indians. Perhaps this is why I am confused. The so called african follow african culture in Trinidad but the indians not only follow the indian culture but they adore everything from mother India. But the confusing thing is mother India wants no part of them.

  • You are writing like you settling scores, you ain’t writing like no objectionable journalist. People like you are disgracing this profession. I have no confidence in journalist anymore in this country they all have their own agendas

  • People change jobs all the time. In todays world nobody works in the same job until they die except if they are in politics. So it is not unusual for politicians to think that the members of media should stay in the same job “til dey die”. The fact is media people can get bored at what they do because it involves interviewing the same people all the time. They respond according to how they feel on a particular day.

    The PNM still feels that they are the recipients of a vindictive spiteful media, but to my PNM friends it is the nature of beast that you are dealing with, media people always run after “the story”, because they know people live boring lives and they need some entertainment at the end of the day. Can they write every day “Rowley is a good man he is talking hard to PP”. People will not buy the newspaper after awhile. But if they write about “Rowleys’ bank account in the Cayman islands” suddenly public interest is there…. hmmmm

  • “I always remember Nelson Mandela saying in reply to a journalist that he is so sorry about those who discriminated against him.” Jerry Hussain
    The pertinent question is, was he sorry enough to see that the socio economic injustices that his people experienced under the white , and complicit South Asian Apartheid, was rectified during his reign, and that of his CLUELESS successors, or does his concept of peace, entails ‘business as usual,’ since he was not personally affected?
    Save us your Calaloo background history Jerry Hussain,as no one have absolutely any interest whatsoever. Such garbage is no different to some racist ,idiot, prefacing his stupid remarks with the equally ludicrous assertion, “I have many black friends, so I cannot be a racist.”
    You said ,”Is the white man more responsible than the bourge black man for slavery? It takes two, to tango.” Good question, Jerry Hussain, and astute self response . I would agree with you on one condition that you accept that Europeans were not responsible for 500 million Muslims and Hindus killing each other in India, Pakistan , and Bangladesh , since Independence.
    Britannia did not make Indira Gandhi introduce forced Sterilization on poor, desperate mainly low caste women, neither did they encourage the lifetime Caste system ,that forced thousands of your ancestors to remain in abject poverty , while a few elites enjoy the spoils of India , and get ready for WW111 with fellow Bride burning, political,and economically delusional, leaders in Pakistan.
    “The honourable Eric Williams is continually turning in his grave.” He should be Jerry, for firstly to see the level of ingratitude that are daily displayed by a selective bunch of people that fed at the PNM trough for decades – at the expense of the other- yet today , wish to claim that like ‘Ram Kirpalani the Magician,’ all their successes were of their own doing ,or result of some opaque noble culture.
    In the mean time, the kinky head folks ,on whose backs he rode in true neo colonial fashion , to initially gain, then maintain power , are getting the blame for all the ills of this country ,even when history was never rectified to their benefit in term of compensation for what was given freely towards the development of this country.
    Ring a bell yet, Jerry?

    • You are the joker in the pack. Does anybody ever rectify anything? He are still dreaming or perhaps in a daze.
      I would suggest you go pick up a history book and get absorbed into it or tune into CNN on the war against terror in the world. You song like you do not know what it is like to be locked up most of your young life. As to my history it sounds as though you have none or ashamed of yours. Or is it you are simply not proud of yours? So you are not a racists as you have black friends – your mind is really that small. Thats your definition of a racists. Yet you castrate Europeans…oh.oh.oh.wow. You want to talk about Ram. I am glad as he exploited his own people even in his employment structure as indians adored and wanted everything back home in mother india and Ram made them pay for it. Thats why I am confused for India would scorn you all as outcasts. Sheik Hussain was no ordinary person.

  • This reporter had an excellent chance to write a commentary that could have been objective, yet he chose to be subjective and in the process actually confirming exactly the PNM complains about. I do not belong to or support any party but the media feed us with pro PP stories. One would not get the impression that there are responsible citizens and politicians who might have opposite views and opinions, they only views printed and posted are that of PP and pro PP supporters. The media will do well to giving ‘objective’ views, whether it is pro PP or pro PNM.

  • i thought Massa days done!

  • I think by now all blacks and Indos in T&T should praise the British for bringing us here through slavery or indentureship. We endured all the perils, trials and tribulations and today we are on a laptop communicating in a similar manner and perhaps better way than our oppressors. We have to be thankful for the great transformation. Our forefathers felt the scourge of dehumanising but we the third or fourth generation were more blessed with better treatment by our own people. The future generations will undoubtedly have it better.

    Cocerning Bagoo’s article, as one blogger advised, we have his side only. I can only advise him as a bystander that as a journalist, he takes many risks similar to those in Iran, Pakistan, India and other hotspots. The end result in some of these places is startling. We cannot hide our head in the sand and claim that the political situation in the country is not still boiling. Accusations are being made frequently across the fences, and the politicians will blame the news gatherers. Any journalist has to be careful of his safety and recognise that he needs to practice diplomacy and observe ground rules in these times. The politicians, also should be mindful of the repercussions of bad publicity when they are hoping to galvanize their power bases.

  • There is no doubt in my mind or the general public that the main stream media is biased and 90 % if not 95 % pro PP. And this article proves it along with Andy Johnson and other defectors. You need to wake up and realize what is really going on here… with out an unbiased reporting or when the media becomes pro gov we no longer live in a democracy. Ah think we heading there

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