No mistake, pure mischief

By Raffique Shah
Septe,ber 21, 2014

Raffique ShahWhen, last Monday, Chief State Solicitor (CSS) Christophe Grant distanced himself from a very political letter that was purportedly penned by him, the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) hastily issued a statement saying that some official there had made a mistake by attributing the authorship to Grant.

Mistake, my foot! The release of extracts from that cantankerous letter on a Sunday, someone making sure that it was distributed to all media houses, was yet another instance of calculated mischief perpetrated by the offices of the Prime Minister and the Attorney General.

The intention was to have the population believe that the CSS, an independent State legal officer, endorsed the Government’s stance against environmentalist Wayne Kublalsingh with a level of vitriol that is difficult to comprehend.

When I read the release from the OPM, I certainly thought that the CSS had entered the political arena and surrendered his independence. Referring to Kublalsingh as being “disingenuous and deceitful”, “self-serving” and “a man who seeks sympathy and empathy” did not come across as expressions a judicial officer would use in responding to a litigant in a court matter.

The letter reeks of politics, and Grant was right to disassociate himself from its contents. Besides the fierce independence he must display as CSS at all times, Grant is also a calypso lyricist of repute who must defend his integrity.

Not surprisingly, after he publicly said that he had not written, seen or signed the letter that the OPM had released in his name, people pounced on the man as if he had breached protocol, confidentiality or worse. In other words, he was wrong to expose a lie on him perpetrated by the Prime Minister. Why? Because she is the Prime Minister, hence she can do no wrong?

This is really a land without pity: you are small, insignificant, so bow to those who hold high offices, whatever their sins. Keep your tail quiet. Take your blows. Never stand up to those in authority even if they are wrong and you are right.

What bothers me about this latest exposure is the depths to which the Government would dive in their battle with Kublalsingh. In a near-classical case of the sledgehammer and the fly, just about every minister pronounces on the activist and his supporters, condemning them as a minuscule minority seeking to frustrate the will of the majority.

Mark you, I think they are right in this respect. Kublalsingh must admit that those who continue to support his opposition to the Debe to Mon Desir leg of the new highway are few in contrast to the many who could not care what route the highway takes, as long as it built in the shortest time possible. Residents of the south-western part of the country are fed up with the ancient road networks that make commuting and connecting with the rest of the country a daily nightmare.

So most people could not care less if the route through the low-lying Debe and Penal districts results in flooding, damage to the wetlands, dislocation of many families—just build the damn thing.

Even more fortuitous for the Government, the new highway will service a swathe of the country where it commands almost complete support. For those people, the UNC can do no wrong.

For these reasons, Wayne and his Re-route Movement come across as mere gadflies.

Which begs the question: why is the Government resorting to lies, propaganda campaigns, bullying, in its bid to silence Kublalsingh? Why lie and implicate Grant in an all-out war you think you must wage when there is no need for war?

Indeed, ignoring the sage advice of the masters of the art of war, this Government engages in battles on so many fronts, it must be confused over who is friend and who is foe. Simultaneously, it is fighting the trade unions, Keith Rowley and the PNM, Jack Warner and the ILP, the media, civil society groups, environmentalists, contractors…

Who are their advisers on strategy and tactics? They’d better examine horns at their political operations centre!

Having said all of the above, I think I should direct some thoughts to Wayne Kublalsingh who has embarked on his second hunger strike: call it off, Wayne. Dey go kill yuh! If you expect the Prime Minister to have a change of heart, you must first believe that she has a heart. I don’t know, but I have my doubts.

I was not around in 2010 when you all—politicians, trade unionists and activists—signed the Fyzabad Accord that gave birth to the People’s Partnership. I don’t know if the Debe to Mon Desir issue existed back then, if there were any commitments by the PP.

If you feel betrayed, Wayne, you do not have to commit suicide. You have made your point, forcefully so, so live to fight another day. That will be worth more to your country than starving yourself to death.

Most of all, I hope you have learnt a bitter lesson about lying, self-serving, deceitful politicians. They use you, abuse you and then spit you out like a dried plum seed. Nuff said.

22 thoughts on “No mistake, pure mischief”

  1. Does the civil servant (lawyer) in the Chief State Solicitor’s who had knowledge of this letter have a responsibility here?
    You made no mention of that individual.
    Is that because you were so busy implicating the AG and the PM without specific evidence?
    In T&T there are four sides to every story: the government, the Opposition, the Media, and the TRUTH.

  2. The Current Prime Minister is the most scrutinized person in the political sphere. This is so solely because she is a woman and her detractors think that she does not know what she is doing. It is subliminal to the male world view that women are really good for one thing. Thus from that infantile world view if the PM said or does something she is subject to some form of ridicule. Yes a mistake was made and corrected within a few hours. The job of PM is not a 3 hour job as an armchair critic. She is on the job 24/7 attending all kinds of meeting. During the week there is cabinet meetings, parliamentary debates, national security meetings, plus meeting with various interest group. Under that fast pace environment mistakes can be made, and so we must not be too quick to presume, assume, judge and condemned.

    As for Kublalsingh his credentials as an environmentalist remains unchallenged by this reporter or any other. Yet he makes the headline news of one particular media outlet on a daily basis even reports of wife massage and salt baths etc. It is only the macos who are truly interested in this crap. But don’t tell that to the media. Note to media outlets take a look at CNN and learn how they keep dead stories alive for weeks on end.

    Kublalsingh environmental concern for Oropuche lagoon is wholly misplaced. The highway will revive the wild life that has been dead since the 1970s. Why? It will slow the movement of water and create the environment for fish, birds and wild animals. Let us hope that Kublalsingh body will become the manure for a look at creating exclusive wildlife zone throughout the nation. As he commits suicide, it is my hope that his mangie body will be given a quick ride to the crematorium. He died believing in his cause..

    1. “The current Prime Minister is the most scrutinized…….” “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown”.Most world leaders (if not all)are subjected to criticism,rebuke,slander,etc.When someone has won the “right” to lead a nation (gender is not an excuse)that person becomes “a public figure” to be “roasted and toasted” perpetually. The everlasting question:Why do some people choose to become Presidents,Prime Ministers,etc?

        1. I have resided abroad for a “very,very,long time” Shah is the journalist who “always” (when I read his articles) makes me feel as though I am in the centre of the city of San Fernando.His prose evokes a retrospective of the manner in which I “remember” T&T

          Sometimes,it upsets me to read about “an Indo trini” “an Afro trini”….however,”what goes around comes around” (smile)

          1. Reading Shah sometimes for me is like drinking dirty water. He is loyal to the PNM because Eric did not put him before the firing squad. Like a man reborn he owes a lot to Eric’s PNM. But Sword we can agree to disagree.

          2. “I have resided abroad for a “very,very,long time…..?” Let me guess Swordfish, you enjoy reading about Indo American, Afro American, Italian American, Irish American, Cuban American,Jewish American,and Pakistani American, but when it comes to your own land , hate reading about Indo /Afro Trinis, huh?
            You folks are hilarious!

    2. Before rushing headlong to your robotic defence of the ‘infallible’ PP, mull over the following quote from C.L.R James’s Black Jacobins:

      “When caught in error they [the slaves] persisted in denial with the same fatalistic stupidity. A slave is accused of stealing a pigeon. He denies it. The pigeon is discovered hidden in his shirt. ‘Well, well, look at that pigeon. It take my shirt for a nest.'”

      I know you are not stupid. Nuff said.

  3. ” Several hours later, the Prime Minister issued a release stating: “The Office of the Prime Minister wishes to correct an inadvertent error in the press release issued on Sunday, September 14, 2014 which stated that the Chief State Solicitor had responded to the letter sent by Highway Re-Route Movement Leader, Dr Wayne Kublalsingh, dated 3 September, 2014. “The letter was in fact sent by the instructing attorney from the Office of the Chief State Solicitor, who was assigned to the pending Constitutional Motion filed by Dr Kublalsingh and other members of the Highway Re-Route Movement,” the release stated.”Express.

    Please note the letter did not come from the Prime Minister office but from an attorney in the Chief State Solicitor office.

    “Mistake, my foot! The release of extracts from that cantankerous letter on a Sunday, someone making sure that it was distributed to all media houses, was yet another instance of calculated mischief perpetrated by the offices of the Prime Minister and the Attorney General.” –Shah.

    Shah again taking liberties to attack the good office of the Prime Minister and AG. Why? I guess he must write to please those who gives him his paycheck.

    1. Mamoo, you seem to forget that we live in Trinidad, not
      Tobago or Grenada. Do you or anyone else expect Ramlogan or Kamla or anyone from their respective offices to issue the comments? No! they know that it is political suicide. So the operative…….. s-o-r-r-y, I mean the ‘low ranking’
      solicitor from the Solicitor General’s office ,just happen to decide doing that on his/her own. The only thing is we will never know who that ‘low ranking’ solicitor is (ever).
      Why would he/she take it upon his/her self to do such a thing knowing it would embarrass the PM? Oh…. such a terrible thing… why would they want to embarrass the Chief solicitor? You see Mamoo, we minions are too dumb to know these things and we surely appreciate your explanations that we sure will satisfy the average third standard pupil. Maybe we should all go back to primary school, maybe there might be a few things we need to learn……. politically!
      Thanks for the explanation Mamoo.

  4. The positive part of your blog is that it is enlighten but the downside is who will consider your words.

  5. Mamoo: Of course! we can agree to disagree; this is democracy.Nonetheless, (smile) exactly what does dirty water taste like? T&T, together with Canada anticipate an historic general election in 2015.

  6. This is so solely because she is a woman and her detractors think that she does not know what she is doing. It is subliminal to the male world view ….

    The novelty of Kamla being a woman PM has worn off. She like Eric Deaffy, Chambers Duncy,Patrick Mr. Arrogant, are facing the proverbial firing squad of political mayhem. All the PMs before her got it left, right and center. If she can’t handle scrutiny, even unwanted scrutiny, then she should hand over the reigns to Dookaran or one of the party members.

  7. Basedo Pandy? That’s an easy one Royal Trini. Here is a list:-Corrupt,conniving, nepotistic,self serving, neo colonial,tribalist, divider in chief, elitist.
    As for Ahhhhh we bouy ANR/ de Castaria Kid? Well, even you a country hating, Euro wannabe national ,would agree with the rest of the global community as to a few astute depictions:- selfless patriot , principled statesman.
    HONEST individual, who cared for the rest of humanity.Brave .Ummmmmm…. “attack with full force!” Such words ,can never be uttered, by any of dem gutless, political bozos, that make up your clan ,if heavens forbid , they find themselves under similar threats,ehhhh?
    Oh, and by de way Royal Trini,’me think,’ this savvy political genius, would not have stood on a podium, in any international Organizations , and made an idiot of himself, and country, while idly boasting ,about giving out some paltry budgetary stipend , to poor, gullible, desperate families in his country, while joblessness, rampant crime, social neglect, and sub par political stewardship, was destroying said land .
    Instead, he used his bully pulpit position ,to advocate for the ICC. Additionally, he was a regionalist, who did not- for obvious reasons- only cared for Guyana, or perhaps Surinam, but all folks from the Caribbean.

    Hey mi amigo,sure , as our next general election looms, and our treasury is being raided – as we speak- you ain’t want a few additives to describe Basedo’s protégé Auntie K,and her close Spiritual adviser SAT, as well?
    Folks, I’ve said it once, twice, three times my lady, but it’s worth repeating Otra vez-“de person who can make me hate dis land of mine, ain’t born yet, ” hmmmmm?

  8. Trinidad and Tobago, a nation of beautiful people
    Saturday, September 27 2014

    THE EDITOR: It is quite hilarious that some of our citizens believe that there still exists, strong racial disharmony in this country. The fact of the matter is that we have grown as a people and those who believe that racism exists are in fact the racists.

    I say this only because race and “tribal” wars are a thing of the past. Trinidad and Tobago has been “douglarised” for quite sometime now. I can safely assert that the youth of this country pay no attention to curly, wavy, straight or blonde hair. We look at each other as individuals and appreciate each others unique characteristics.

    We find some of the most beautiful people in the world here and it’s nearly impossible to define most of their ethnicities. It’s not about “them” or “we” any more, it is about Trinidad and Tobago.

    We must give praise to our Prime Minister for her participation in all cultural and religious events across the board. She can be seen in a Khanga for Emancipation or a Sari for Divali and that sends a very good message and a model example.

    If there was so much racism as the many writers claim then why are we such a cosmopolitan society?

    Alvin K Daniel

    via emai

    1. Loyal, I say hurrah! to those like Alvin K Daniel. Maybe, just maybe he knows something that most of us don’t. And maybe, just maybe, somewhere in the future we may find out, but in the meantime, our eyes, ears and intellect are not failing us.

    2. “I say this only because race and “tribal” wars are a thing of the past.” Royal Trini
      Even our boy John Agitation ,couldn’t top this laughable diatribe, as regurgitated by this delusional , country hating tribalist, with his Royal Trini sobriquet, eh folks?
      Notice how -just like in ethnically fractured Guyana ,Sri Lanka , and Fiji,these comedians also ,only love their professed country , when a member of the tribe , or better yet, their much adored Euro Massas, are in charge?
      Hey Royal Trini,you and kind,can keep trampling on hard won rights of a people, who wrestled Independence away from Mama England,then, preserved our sacred Democracy, over most of our nation’s existence, only to have, ‘dis is our time , neo tribal , dog -with a bone ,me -me , gi-me , gi-me ,self serving barbarians,’ try to destroy same, right before our eyes, under the idiot guise, of bogus constitutional changes.
      History would show what happened, when your callous , (mother land derived)clan leaders , indulged in ‘political overreach,’ in those respective countries mentioned by yours truly.
      As for T&T?
      Well….let’s just say ,never underestimate the will of a a people to ‘push back’……ummmmmm….forcefully -even if in our case , most on the surface , “ain’t care ,if Good-Friday, falls on a Monday,” si?
      Luv humanity people!

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