How to lose friends and alienate people

By Raffique Shah
November 02, 2014

Raffique ShahMany among the upwardly mobile of yesteryear’s generations—politicians, car and insurance salesmen and budding businessmen—were sure to read Dale Carnegie’s bestselling book How to Win Friends and Influence People. Carnegie was one of the earliest leadership training gurus in America, and his books, especially this one, were virtual bibles for people wanting to wield power or become millionaires.

I ruminated on Carnegie and his most famous book, which was widely read by people of my generation (I never did, which, I suppose, accounts for my lack of success and my modest material means), after listening to Attorney General Anand Ramlogan over a period of time, and UNC campaign manager Rodney Charles speaking recently in a television interview.

I am convinced that these two have jointly authored an antithesis to Carnegie’s bestseller, theirs titled How to Lose Friends and Alienate People. It amazes me how hard they are working to turn off supporters of the People’s Partnership, drive them into neutrality if not alien arms.

Ramlogan, who has long made bombast his signature characteristic, has achieved the dubious distinction of alienating possibly 100,000 or so electors from the Partnership, denigrating them for colour of skin, places of residence and societal class.

Instead of working closely with National Security Minister Gary Griffith to bring to speedy justice Dana Seetahal’s killers and sundry other murderers who are walking free in the country, the AG uses taxpayers’ time to pen lengthy diatribes directed at “Westmoorings and Glencoe” people, at those who patronise MovieTowne Plaza, branding them enemies of the Government.

His latest salvo against such people who are in solidarity with Wayne Kublalsingh, the man if not his cause, was a bitter condemnation, suggesting that they never stood up for anything, but now stand against the Partnership Government.

After reading a few of his acidic attacks, I sat in my chair and wondered. Does this man know how the Partnership came close to wresting the Diego Martin constituencies from the PNM, or later, during the local government elections, winning control of corporations in Diego Martin, Tunapuna, Arima, Sangre Grande, San Fernando?

Does he seriously believe that it was the Ramsinghs and Boodoosinghs (apologies to my pal “Rambo”) who delivered those constituencies and corporations to the Partnership? Does he not understand there are huge blocks of voters outside of the traditional but fast diminishing Afro and Indo-constituencies who determine the results of today’s elections?

In this new electoral configuration, beacons like Peter Minshall and Merle Hodge, to name two among scores spread across the country, wield inordinate influence, well beyond their geographic or ethnic boundaries. I cannot say for sure, but I feel that these people will have campaigned against Patrick Manning and voted for the Partnership in 2010.

It was they, not the core supporters, who made the difference, and who, ultimately, delivered the seats that made Kamla Prime Minister, Ramlogan AG, and others Cabinet ministers. These people celebrated with the Partnership in 2010 and afterwards.

Now, and for some time after 2010, when they speak out on issues they believe are critical to good governance (they are supporters, not sycophants), Ramlogan and UNC diehards urinate and defecate on them. You should see the things they say about Minshall having received a house in Federation Park courtesy the Partnership back in 2011: he is a “dutty dawg”, he was “always PNM”, and worse—all because Peter dares to speak his mind, something he always did.

Ramlogan, who almost got nothing in the aftermath of 2010 elections, and who has to thank Jack Warner for him being named AG (oh yes, I know what I write!), is the pothound leading the pack-attack against enemies of the UNC, perceived or real. He and Rodney Charles, who is stuck in the Goebbels Nazi propaganda time warp, believe they can peddle manure that the masses would devour it.

Charles, who confirmed his mala fides when he lunched with Nazi French politician Marie Le Pen two years ago (a decent House Negro, he), said among other half-truths, that the “PNM (in government) enjoyed oil prices of (US) $140 a barrel”. Brent crude did reach that high—for about a month in mid-2008. By 2009 it had plunged to $60, but rebounded to average over $90 for the duration of the Partnership stewardship.

You see, these fellas believe that most of the population are “chupidees”, that we will buy their propaganda wholesale. Truth is they do have such herd-like followers who question nothing they say, and who digest their distasteful fare, repulsive advertising et al, in large gulps.

But Trinidad and Tobago is a fairly well-informed society, with high Internet penetration, especially among the Trini-to-de-bone middle classes who matter most in elections. Ramlogan has already turned friends into foes, and with Charles insulting the intelligent, whither the UNC, come elections 2015? Back behind the ethnic barricades?

With friends like these two goats in the intestines of the UNC, who needs enemies? Kamla should check carefully to see if they are not on the PNM’s payroll. After all, the “balisier bunch” has 50-odd years’ experience in winning friends and influencing enemies.

9 Responses to “How to lose friends and alienate people”

  • The biggest divider in TnT is Dr. Rowley. He call the people of Debe/Penal “dem people” and said the Hospital in Penal should not be built. When the Prime Minister gave out laptops he said “those duncey head children” don’t deserve these laptops. The over $200 million “Orange” program that was to assist poor PNMites was viewed as money that is going to be used by gangs. On Sandy “Calcutta Ship” comment he was late to respond. His latest is that he would get rid of Local Government. A very anti people person.

    As for the West Moorings crowd, the PM gave Minchell a house earlier in the year, he called her the princess of darkness, Aboud came out saying the PM would suffer from bad karma. Yes these rich elitist need to be put in their place by the AG. They thief enough. By the way no condemnation from Shah on these braying jackasses, why Shah.

  • I hope PP reads your blog and” put it in dem pipe and smoke it”

  • We are waiting for “Election Day” . The silent majority will make another change.

  • The cynics among us would often say -like Samuel Johnson-” The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”
    The neo -patriotic optimist in me , would say, the government intentions , are good, in this case, and we can all benefit from prudent , yet forceful actions , moving forward, if a speedy plan can be brought to the fore.,202534.html

    I love it, and seriously believe that our Minister of National Security, his party, and by extension government, will certainly ‘win mucho amigos/amigas, Y influence people ,’ via this move.
    Our T&T , aka Baby America, has done well , as a result of the influx of hardworking, skilled , ambitious ,law abiding immigrants. We have also paid a dear price, as the Minister alluded.
    There are those immigrants, with evil, destructive intent, who would not hesitate ,to indulge in nefarious means , to achieve ends.
    This is a subject that is close to my heart, as it is a well known fact , that numerous immigrants globally, and of course, in T&T -legal , and illegal-who have been repeatedly subjected, to some of the most blatant forms of exploitation-often times, by not too well meaning citizens.
    It is a welcome initiative ,by this administration, to try and fix the social menace , that has floundered by de political wayside , for too long.
    There is much more that we who embrace ‘Civil Society ,’ can do , to reduce poverty, economic deprivation, political-pro refugee- chaos , and similar debilitating social problems, in the country from whence most of these illegals emerged, huh?
    Governments alone are incapable, Y -otra vez -there intentions will in most cases , draw an unhealthy dose of criticism, by skeptics, si?
    Stay tuned.

    Long live- the resource laden – Twin Island Republic of T&T!

    • Rowley’s abysmal leadership gets a pass, while PP ministers who defend the party and leader gets a public whipping by an out of control media. How many media commentators have held Rowley foot to the fire for his emailgate shinanigans. None, not even the astute Shah.

  • Don’t worry Mamboo, for when the much maligned Tobago Wajang, in de honorable Dr. Keith Rowley, becomes the next PM of T&T , over the next few months, he too ,would be subjected to the same media crucifixions, like Sando Geologist Manning , Pappa Deffy Eric Williams, Bright boy Chambers, and ANR de Castaria kid/Ahhhh weee Bouy, before.
    Did I leave out anyone? Well maybe I should , since de Faddah of your nation Baz , and his protégé Kamla, enjoyed 4 year honeymoons respectively, while 4th estate agents, did de tassa whine , and limbo dances-as the first raided our treasury, and the latter , stumbled along , clothed in mediocrity, dragging our country along the part of ‘Failed state status.’
    Last I checked, she hired 40 ministers, and fired 30-something, which is unprecedented in de history of de British Commonwealth.
    Oh Andy Johnson, where art thou? Well.. we know ,too busy eating ah food, and trying to find your lost objectivity.
    Well at least we have Brother Kelvim Baldeoshingh, telling us like it is.There is hope.

    • The public agrees with the firing of these ministers, some not bearing sufficient oversight in the their ministry. Imagine one having a puff of the green stuff and having sex with a Columbian, in the mean time thief take over his ministry. What else can the PM do but flush the toilet.
      How many did Manning fire? Opps Neil I think it is only Keith who got the boot..

  • “It is not politicians who make the country a place identified with fact-free discourse and contestation. It is the other way around: an accommodating culture encourages looseness of formulation, imprecision of language, a jolly, calypsoesque confusion of fact and opinion, and a pervasive want of scruples. I decline to join any consensus that politicians are any more inclined than are others, in the creole saying, to “graze” where they are “tied”.

  • Ha ha Mamboo, mi amigo.You never cease to amaze me , with your uncanny , culturally driven penchant , to defend the indefensible-when only committed by a member of the tribe.
    Pray don’t tell me ,you are prepared to give ‘Her Madjestrick Queen K ‘kudos ,for firing Ministers , she initially, vetted/endorsed , then selected ,to serve in her government.
    In contrast , those of us who truly care about the welfare of our country, will see more merit in holding her hands to the symbolic fire.
    As for Political has been Manning , and his equally irrelevant , nepotistic drinking buddy Basdeo Panday?
    Please! No one would care ,if two Beerham Highway Cobeauxs, were to swoop down in Couva , or Sando, and grabbed these two, while they were sunning in their respective hammock, and rocking chair , then drop them off in the baracuda infested Bocas, where they would never be heard from , ever again.
    Hey , repeat after me Mamboo.This is Kamla , and Rowley time, and no one cares , as to what transpired prior to their rise to power.
    Sadly for ‘you allze ,’ your leader has a few mere months to her political reign , before the Mason Hall kid , do his thing.
    “Imagine one having a puff of the green stuff and having sex with a Columbian.”

    What de hell do these people have against foreigners, that did not evolve from the same ancestral tree-gene pool , as they are, people ? Here one of the proud , phony moralist members ,of ‘Brown /Black Trini Triumphalists Nation , ‘has a hard on for latino chicas , attempting to put food on their la mesa-by any means necessary,while serving sex starved Trinis, and this Mayaro drunkard , is busy casting accusatory 1st ,2nd, and even 3rd stones.Where were you when Tom Cat Brahmin , dead beat dad MP Sharma was busy handing out contracts to his Bollywood wannabe chick, under the watchful eyes of his loyal wife , and Party leader -just before he kicked in her face in a public carpark , at Grand Bazaar?

    Is he Mamboo aware ,that more people have died in T&T, and on a daily basis , as a result of alcohol abuse , than via puffing on Canibis Sativa -the latter of which cased the downfall of one of your Auntie K, pitbulls…ummmmm, bombastic, weedhead MP Anil, de one time Dougla Prince, who naively felt ,he was invincible, like Rammy our glorified Sando Guardian /suspect legal luminary, turn unelectable COP-UNC senator, and worst yet, AG.

    Tell you what folks , I just wish that alleged White skygod really exist, and there really was a second coming to earth of Christ , fire /brimstone, land of milk and honey future , for de faithful , as claimed my many Christians.
    If so, I would make a converted effort, to have a conversation with dis papa God, so as to ask him, why he did not make hypocrisy a deadly , punishable sin, like murder was?
    You hired , lifetime Social Worker activist Mama Verna St Rose, knowing fully well, her track record on standing up for women , and Child justice, then when she had the audacity to demand an end to underage marriage, incest, domestic violence and like social problems , as practiced by …de unmentionables, you decided to fire her , over some bogus incident, that won’t even fool your 12 year old Grandson.
    You pulled local Transparency International head guru, Madame King,into your UNC dominant PP bandwagon, to mislead de gullible Trini voters, into accepting de notion ,that your party was a wide base , inclusive one , then once expedient, kicked her to the curb , because her grandson ,got some paltry stipend for his Internet start up company, or some similar nonsensical reason.
    However as for Ramny de Perennial Easter bunny crook/simi competent AG , of Range Rover gate, Prison lawyer abuse gate, Section 34 , abs Unconstitutional Curfew fame ….?
    Well …we will wait until he maybe shoot his darling Christian wife ,through a closed door , in a fit of rage, just like that South African, savage athlete Oscar Pistorus did, before his PM , decides to kick him out like she did to several others .
    Ohhhh, how is that crazy ex judge Volney doing these days?
    Ok , he does not count. Last I checked he too was a foreigner , from de wrong region, ennnt Mamboo?
    I luv dis land, Y tu?

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