There is no crisis

By Raffique Shah
October 18, 2021

Raffique ShahIt saddens me to write what I am about to, but it’s harsh reality that we must face and fight, or, if we are the unpatriotic cowards many believe we are, then we might consider joining millions of others across the world who abandon all hope in their native lands and become refugees, moving like nomads anywhere the wind and fellow-refugees take them.

Less than four years ago, we looked with great contempt garnished with a little pity as thousands of Venezuelans, supposedly fleeing Nicolas Maduro and a collapsing Venezuela, made their way to our country to seek better lives. They came in leaking pirogues, in crates-turned-into-rafts, every means available to them. Today, we stand where they did then. Just let one group of dissidents, fed up with potholed-roads or dry WASA taps, start the exodus, put some fellow-remote villagers who are upset over losing their homes or jobs in the heat of the Covid crisis, load them on some excuse-for-a-boat and head for Guyana, and all the major media houses in the world will break off from the Mexico-US border, abandon Afghanistan and Myanmar, and before you remember what cheese tasted like, Trinis on Time magazine covers!

I tell you, if there is a country that has a death wish, where the population, or one-half of it at any given time, is eager to see it implode, its economy collapse, its people pushed into poverty, its institutions fail, it is Trinidad and Tobago. I watch with shame and increasing alarm as large numbers of Trinis invite misery to join their sorry selves and help tip this once-prosperous small-island-state into the abyss of failed states. Even more ominous, they seem to think nothing of prodding the mass of mongrels into canine madness, like some fictional horror-species leaping out from Stephen King’s most chilling novels, into war against anyone who dares to think differently from them.

The bold charges I level here are likely to be labelled cheap unscientific fiction, especially by those who carry the whistles to set the dogs loose. I assure readers that I have not taken leave of my senses. I have observed the strategic deployment of agents provocateur, the lies that have been sugar-coated to look like the truth that they have systemically spread on social media and by word of mouth in communities they control, and the way they have fomented unrest, using half-truths to pollute minds that are already primed, mindlessness with short fuses and powerful detonators.

The stage is set for anarchy. Guns that seem to be coming into this country by containers, and ammunition by ship-loads, can be seen, heard, and yes, felt as they strike targets almost at will, in broad daylight, on busy streets.

In the event you haven’t noticed, we are already at war-a campaign that is waged by unseen hands, faceless puppeteers who think nothing of reducing this country to utter chaos. Note that I have refrained thus far from commenting on the charade that’s playing out in the courts, in Parliament, in secret chambers where plots are hatched. I have watched as my colleagues in the media and bright commentators have fallen for the unprocessed sewage that is perfumed to disguise the stench.

Let me tease your brains for just a bit. For how long have those who are in authority known that Gary Griffith’s contract as Commissioner of Police was due to expire, and what they needed to do to ensure that the transition was smooth? I should think three years, at least. For how long did attorneys who are queuing up to challenge the process, which they ‘stumbled’ on when Griffith was named ‘acting commissioner’, presenting an open, easy target for any two-bit attorney, how long have they known of the flaws in the law? Hell, think, man, think. They will not only have known of the loopholes, but many of them were members of Parliament who studied the laws when they were in Bills form, hence they were architects of the flaws. Sounds familiar? That’s because they are familiar.

So now they expect to tie up the appointment of a new commissioner in courts from here to London for years, then crow that the Police Service is headless, brainless, bruised and useless. And by curious coincidence, a spate of daylight shootouts has erupted, making it appear that the country is ungovernable.

Institutions like the TTPS, the armed forces and even the public service are so structured that they can and do function seamlessly smooth, whoever may be missing from the head table. The commander is killed, the second-in-command or third moves up…and the body stays intact. There is no crisis. Or, if there is one, it lies in the laps of the devious politicians who manufactured it, and who expect to benefit from it. Nuff said.

12 thoughts on “There is no crisis”

  1. “Institutions like the TTPS, the armed forces and even the public service are so structured that they can and do function seamlessly smooth, whoever may be missing from the head table”

    I agree if Rowley goes things will function better. He can take the President and Chief Justice with him. Our democratic process allows for this. It will be “seamlessly smooth” and will save the citizenry further hardship.

    I was almost in tears when Inshan Ismael cuss Rowley publicly, of course the P.M. retaliated in kind. Inshan cried on his site about how his 3 or 4 businesses closed down one by one putting his employees on the bread line. Inshan campaigned for Rowley in the last election. Instead the back stabbing Rowley denied him foreign exchange meanwhile others are getting thousands to transact their business.

    Then there is Roget who was backstabbed by Rowley. Kamla was giving the OWTU 15% Roget did not want that, he campaigned against Kamla received his 30 pieces of silver from Rowley. Big smiles to the bargaining table Rowley offered him 5% then turn around and shut down Petrotrin and put over 9,000 on the bread line. As if to rub salt on the badly wounded Roget who produced a list of the 1% businesses to boycott , he denied him the purchase of the refinery. The black Syrian wiped the smile off Roget face and turned him into a toothless bulldog who lost his bark. Roget last act of devotion to massa, saw him kneeling and praying in front the PM workplace.

    Then there is President Paula Mae…Paula can go to and no one will bat an eye. She is paid an incredible amount of tax payers money to appear once or twice per year. Cooks, guard, free food plus $1 million per year upon retirement. Paula abrogated her responsibility and made a mockery of the Constitution. Her role could have been fulfilled by a five year old. Receive the merit list of CoP nominees send it to the parliament. Instead she said it was sent to her and within a few hours taken away, by whom. The PSC like shaggy said “it wasn’t me”. Bye Paula if you stay on you will be lame duck president.

    Then the black Syrian could take the Chief Justice with him also. I need not say more about him the Law Association does not support this man or is it a woman. (Same questions asked about Paula). He has been so far the most travelling CJ. Always out of the country with a “boyfriend”. What has this nation been cursed with??? Please Rowley step away and take your two loyal lackies….

  2. “There is no crisis. Or, if there is one, it lies in the laps of the devious politicians who manufactured it, and who expect to benefit from it. “…… Raffique

    Democracy survives when responsible institutions behave with integrity and they pay particular attention to the goals of the constitution. We may view such institutions as parliament, the judiciary, law enforcement, the media and the democratic process. As it stands today, every one of those institutions have questionable agents operating within their ranks to topple our democratic way of life. Worse yet, there are those too willing to allow our way of life relegated to the quality of life that we normally frown upon. There are no honest arbiters willing to pursue integrity for the purpose of stability. Among the worst offenders of carelessness and irresponsibility is the media (print,
    video, social). IN order to be responsible, we must by instinct be able to police responses to any given situation. We are a nation with an insatiable appetite for mauvis langue, hysteria, hyperbole, innuendos and conspiracies. The media’s behavior in view of the hysteria surrounding the Opposition Leader’s willingness to bring down the President, is a case study of our wanton demise. We see no credible evidence that the President has acted in a way that is contrary to her oath of office.
    The media is yet to present any such evidence of those contradictions, yet they are willing to promote the political carelessness of the Opposition Leader. We have responsible and irresponsible politicians in our midst. The channel by which we should be able to identify them is through the media. But very noticeable is the media’s failure to apply integrity in its coverage of the fiasco. We are in trouble because integrity is lacking in the judiciary, law enforcement, the political establishment, the education system and definitely a questionable media.

    1. Political partisanship is clouding the judgment of many on this whole issue before us. I am using simple logic and layman knowledge of the constitution of T&T to offer my reasoning.
      It really can be boiled down to simple questions.
      Should the President participate or acquiest in a withdrawal of the merit list? No , she should not.
      Is this action a violation of the constitution? Yes. It is.
      Is the Parliament the rightful place to offer objections to names on the merit list? Yes It is.
      Has the PM used his influence or position to illegally interfere with the functions of the PSC? Yes, by his own implicit admission and disapproval of Griffith.
      Is Bliss Seepersad, chairman of the PSC complicit in this affair? Yes, The resignations of the other members of the PSC all point in that direction.
      This matter is no conspiracy theory cooked up by the Opposition. It is a serious string of misbehavior by public officials and violations of the laws of the country. The resulting collapse of PSC is no bacchannal.
      The parliamentary debate which will result from the motion to remove the President is especially essential so that the details of this imbrigilio could be exposed and recommendations to improve the constitution could be forwarded.
      No side should strive to gain political points from this debate but hopefully this debate would serve the useful purpose of improving the laws of the country.

      1. Mr Tman, you are right on the money. Simple and easy to understand analysis of the recent events surrounding the PSC and appointment of a new Police Commissioner those who are to be blamed.


  3. Political affiliation and bias is driving this entire fiasco. It is very interesting to note that many of those who vehemently objected to the Section 34 situation which was based on a very good law , untimely proclaimed, and who were willing to take to the streets , led by the PM himself are now minimizing this situation which is far worse. These detractors are attempting to make light of this situation with satire, ridicule and humor.
    We always knew that our Institutions were dominated by “impartial” PNM appointees, but what we are witnessing now is the open demonstration of allegiance to the PNM by people who should know better, for example the President.
    T&T will never progress socially or economically in this sort of never ending partisan political climate, dominated by political immaturity.

  4. In my early childhood, my humble village primary school headmaster always captioned thoughts in each classroom. In mine, the caption was “Knowledge is Power”. Therein lies my interest in the power of words. Raffique Shah, a former soldier, Union Leader, MP and mutineer uses words to emphasize what he sees happening in our country. IN this respect he says ” There is no crisis. Or, if there is one, it lies in the laps of the devious politicians who manufactured it, and who expect to benefit from it.”. The only classroom law lesson I received was at police training school in St James, so I do not speak with the backing of a Havard, UWI or Yale letter to my name.

    This imbroglio of “the list” being pursued by the Opposition as a constitutional “crisis” is nothing more than JUST POLITICS. If we were to follow “the list” as a noun and follow its path (process) we would see this: First – it was created by the PSC.
    Second – a member of the PSC notified Gary Griffith that he was the chosen. Third – “the list” was sent to the President for certification. Fourth – “the list” was withdrawn.
    Fifth – Opposition Leader wants to depose the President withdrawing “the list”.
    Question: Following the path (process) of “the list” is it still virgin or has it not been contaminated by the release of the information before reaching the desk of the President? Evidence shows that “the list” lost its virginity when a member of the PSC contaminated it. If so, why is the Opposition Leader pursuing
    constitutional malfunction on the part of the President?
    All of the actors in this scenario are members of the law fraternity and very much understand the constitution. The process became tainted before reaching the President’s desk by the PSC. Martin Daly, who for many years enjoyed the celebrated standing as one of the nation’s most accomplished laureate, acquiesced in the tainting and subverting of the authenticity of “the list”. So, why are we punishing the President as a reaction to the constitution?. Raffique Shah is CORRECT!
    THERE IS NO CRISIS!!!!! It is just a group of smart men and women with legal handles to their names bent on creating chaos.
    The operating actions here is process and authenticity. If the process is flawed it CANNOT be redeemed as authentic. The Opposition Leader is seeking to promote a flawed process by punishing the President using the constitution as a scapegoat.

    1. The list lost its virginity when the Prime Minister screwed it with his unconstitutional interjection at President’s House.
      Is it not obvious that the withdrawal was commandered by Rowley?
      This is how dictators operate in many African countries.
      The President facilitated the withdrawal!
      The entire PSC resigned!
      The reaction of Raffique shah is to be expected. He is a PNM apologist.

  5. What the PM needs now is a NEW set of fake emails which resulted in his victory at the polls ,to rescue him from this crisis.
    He is fully aware that in T&T there are no consequences for his actions or his verbal assaults.
    This is PNM country!


    I get the feeling each time I read articles written by our ‘wise men and women’ that they either forgot that we are supposed to be a democracy, or that maybe many of them view democracy as a process that is only supposed to work towards their own liking. They rejoice when it does and whine, bitch and cuss when it does not. Order and process are inevitable partners for true democracy. Almost every written comment, article and opinions that I have read in the media about “the list” were filled with speculation, innuendos, accusations, name calling, derogation and downright lies. Even those whose career exulted them to fame in the field of law could not write their stories based purely on facts. I am not impressed with the rendered opinions of people like Martin Daly or Israel Khan. Even they felt the need to resort to some form of mauvis langue to accentuate opinions.
    This to me is appalling, because when one reaches the zenith of their career they should remain a shining example to those with lesser skills.

    I noticed my good friend TMan as usual had many unpleasantries
    for the prime minister but none at all for the howling monkey like behavior of the opposition bench. I am not surprised at all. We live in a country where race trumps everything else. If you belong to my race, class, social standing or religion the you can do no wrong but if you are on the other side? Corbeau smoke you pipe. There is nothing commendable about Kamla or the Opposition’s behavior yesterday. Yet those of her race sees absolutely no reason to criticize her but Rowley was the devil.
    Like I said, we might as well be honest with ourselves when it comes to race in this country – we are at loggerheads with each other and politics is the mechanism by which we express those machinations. This is how TMan chose to express Dr. Rowley’s behavior “This is how dictators operate in many African countries.” – get it!!!. If I had to chose whose behavior was worthy of my commendation yesterday I would prefer DR. Rowley’s. One cannot deny that the honorable chamber was filled with monkey chants for most of the proceedings and those chants did not come from the PNM.

  7. A legal challenge by an attorney is on the way. Here are some excerpts.
    In the United Kingdom, under the UK Parliament website (2021), a motion is defined as “a proposal for debate or decision in the House of Commons. A motion must be proposed (moved) before any debate or vote can take place in Parliament”.
    It is clear that “a motion” is deliberative in nature and it is my respectful view that this meaning ought to have been afforded to this motion. In other words, inherent in the parliamentary meaning of “motion” is a right to debate.
    Even if there exists some law or rule, known or unknown, that gives the Speaker sole discretion to regulate the proceedings, her discretion cannot be exercised arbitrarily, unreasonably, irrationally and/or in violation of the Standing Orders and the Constitution. There is a saying that “those who feel they are given God-like powers, must also understand they must behave like God!”
    To this end the Speaker of the House has unnecessarily and/or unwittingly exposed her Office to a legal challenge by way of judicial review of her so-called guidelines that effectively stymied any debate

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