Public Outrage Did Not Break Jet Deal

by Heru
March 20, 2008

Manning's TT$400 Million Jet Dream CrashesThe spokesmen for the government on the Bombardier jet deal have been trying to convince us that the deal was aborted because of government’s insistence on a strict anti-corruption clause, and not because of widespread public outrage.

Guess what? I am prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt on this. It certainly shows them in a worse light. Instead of being guided by the concerns of the population, they have stubbornly taken the position that they are not.

They have stated that they will pursue another jet deal, as the previous deal was a sound investment, in spite of not presenting evidence to substantiate this.

Since they were not deterred by widespread public concern, then this is simply another uncaring government lead by Patrick Manning that is maintaining an arrogant and paternalistic approach towards the population. Manning and his government feel that they alone know what is best for this nation and they do not need to be transparent and accountable to their infantile population. They would not be fazed by protests.

Patrick Manning has refused to comment on this issue so far and, through his spokesmen, has demonstrated all that is wrong with politics in Trinidad and Tobago. Once they are elected they behave like monarchs who own the resources of the state.

Those of us who are not prepared to simply trust a government to do what is in our best interest (and buying that jet was not), but want the government to be transparent and accountable, are in for a rough ride. The old PNM regimes operated without transparency, the NAR and UNC did the same and this Patrick Manning regime is bent on maintaining that status quo.

The bigger problem is that there are many people in the country who simply vote at election time and are quite contented, to a large extent, to leave the government to do as they wish. They only show concern with their party in power when food prices go up or when they are not getting some basic goods and services. They will join their party in condemning other political parties by regurgitating the views of their party leaders. This accounts for most of the political banter in the country. They refuse to examine how government operates, including their lack of transparency and accountability, and how that directly affects the increasing costs and the poor quality of goods and services. They view calls for transparency and accountability as mere attempts from the Opposition to frustrate the government instead of trying to promote good governance. This sycophantic segment of the population encourages government to infantilize them.

5 thoughts on “Public Outrage Did Not Break Jet Deal”

  1. If Mr. Manning wants a jet he should buy one out of his personal income. The rest of us, citizens, still have to struggle on the ground for transportation, high gas prices, scary health care. I think what is most vexing with Manning its his way off acting like he is out of reach from the people, and he doesnt hear the cries of his people.

  2. Couldn’t agree more with Heru. PNM knows Trinis have short memories so Manning will continue his persuit of this jet as an insult the population because by the next 4 and a half or 5 years, everyone would have forgotten how he spent millions on a jet while hospitals were underequiped and crime was spiraling.

    The same people who complain about rising food prices and cost of living are the same people who put them in power. “The people always deserve the government they put into power”

  3. Penalty clause was US$10m
    Collapsed Bombardier jet deal

    Bombardier would have had to pay US$9.45 million if it was found to have breached the anti-corruption clause that put a halt to its proposed sale of a private executive jet to Caribbean Airlines Ltd (CAL), a Government source said yesterday.

    Businessman: No ties with plane maker
    Businessman Harry Ragoonanan, the man whose name has surfaced as the Bombardier agent in the failed executive jet deal, has denied that he has ever been involved with that company or that he was in any way associated with the proposed purchase of a TT$400 million Global XRS.

    Govt’s corruption buster
    GOVERNMENT has now included an anti-corruption clause as a standard element of all contracts for large scale projects, the acquisition of military hardware and similar goods and equipment.

    Progression here, retrogression there March 20, 2008
    The present deal to buy a jet aircraft is off after much public outcry (Progression!). Was the cancellation due to the public outcry? Did the Government insist on the inclusion of an anti-corruption clause come about through knowledge of a commission to be paid for the deal? Or was this a clever way to get out of the deal in the light of public insistence? On this morning’s television interview of the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Caribbean Airlines (CAL) the interviewer asked a direct question on the role played by the alleged existence of a commission but no response was forthcoming from either the CEO or Chairman.

  4. What’s the name of that book again,”Animal Farm?”
    While authority can be delegated, responsibility must be learnt.

  5. well, every action brings about a reaction, as well, every cause has an effect,the government must remember that they are elected to SERVE the PEOPLE.
    The people have to relize they have to hold every politian feet to the fire, regardless of party,their interest comes first. We must work for a more crime free society, no one must hold our freedom and our civic rights for ransom, the best is still within us all only we have to be truthful to ourselves.
    To much party affiliation thats why the politicians take us for granted,and remember that we the people is the government.
    Look with your souls and see if tou can see the burning bush as moses saw,the light within, yes that light is God seek and you will come to that realization, make it happen

    I am errol

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