Behind the promise of a causeway

By Michael Harris
April 27, 2015 –


But there are more serious issues behind the promise of a causeway.

First of all while there is no question that the UNC did “tief” the PNM promise, we do have to ask ourselves why this particular promise. One answer has to do with what the Government is doing to the Chaguaramas peninsula. According to Planning Minister Bhoe Tewarie, the Government’s plan is to “monetise” the peninsula.

We must understand clearly what that means. The Chaguaramas peninsula is a public asset owned by the citizens of the country who visit the area to enjoy its many natural wonders free of charge. What the Planning Minister means when he speaks of “monetising” the peninsula is that he would lease this public asset to private investors who would then charge citizens to access “attractions” built on land owned by the very citizens.

Think about it for a moment and you would understand that the promised causeway, which is going to be built at enormous expense to the taxpayers, is going to be built for no other reason than to facilitate the increased flow of traffic of those same taxpayers to visit the various attractions for which they will have to pay.

It is the height of corruption and crookedness. And do not be surprised if after the causeway is built we see acres of pristine woodland, wetland and agricultural land being bulldozed over to make room for concrete and asphalt parking lots, all at taxpayers’ expense of course.

But there is even more behind the theft of this particular promise than the corruption going on in Chaguaramas. For, in this election season, promises can be worth their weight in gold to the two dominant parties neither of which have any comprehensive plan to put before the electorate for the economic and social development of the country.

In the absence of such plans, the election campaigns and the so-called manifestos of the two dominant parties, when not focused on bacchanal and mudslinging, rely on casting as many promises as possible before the electorate. These promises are varied. Some of them are directed at particular sections of the population. For example increases in the Old Age grant.

Other promises are aimed at wider portions of the electorate; for example, increasing GATE or cutting taxes or building houses, etc. Now most of these promises are understood by the electorate to be vote-buying proposals. They are naked and unadorned with no pretence at any developmental rationale other than that of garnering a few additional votes.

But occasionally, very rarely, the parties may come up with what can only be described as beautiful promises. These are promises which give the appearance of satisfying some real developmental need, yet they require no discussion or consultation with, or persuasion of, the population. No one is ever discommoded. Once there is the money implementation can take place. And everybody is happy.

The causeway to Chaguaramas is one such beautiful promise. It appears to solve a real problem i.e. traffic to the western peninsula, it discommodes no one except the fishes since it is being built over the sea, and it is going to be frightfully expensive which is going to present opportunities for lucrative kickbacks.

In short, it is a promise well worth stealing by the UNC and well worth the howls of pain coming from the PNM on finding that it was stolen.

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8 thoughts on “Behind the promise of a causeway”

  1. “In short, it is a promise well worth stealing by the UNC and well worth the howls of pain coming from the PNM on finding that it was…”

    The PNM is an ideas party the Partnership is a performance and delivery party.
    The highway to Point Fortin was their idea 48 years ago.

  2. QUOTE Al-Rawi said the issue of Section 34, the fact of the “nebulous opaque circumstances” surrounding the proclamation and other matters relevant to Section 34, and the fact that the e-mail documents pointed to a “nefarious cover-up and orchestration of Section 34”, was also an important in determining whether “corroboratory evidence” existed.

    He said the PNM, through its leader, brought forward information to the Parliament in May 2013, after Rowley had taken the information to the President in December 2012. He said Rowley, in presenting the information to the Parliament, called for the Integrity Commission to investigate to ascertain its veracity. “In the PNM’s view he discharged the responsibility entrusted to him under the Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago as Opposition Leader,” Al-Rawi stated. “We continue to endorse the need for a full substantive investigation,” he added.

    Al-Rawi said the Government would do everything to change the conversation away from the burning scandals including Section 34, most recently made relevant in the Rowley versus Anand Ramlogan Section 34 Defamation lawsuit which is currently the subject of further criminal investigation as it relates to the alleged attempts at witness tampering.

    “The Prime Minister does not have an easy task to call an election to fire herself and her government, as the writing is on the wall. Her attempts to bring Rowley for censure in the Parliament for a second time in relation to Emailgate will result in futility as it did on the first occasion. (The Government had brought a motion of Privilege against Rowley when the emailgate documents were first disclosed).

    On the issue of the elections, Al-Rawi stated that the PNM noted that the Prime Minister “had abandoned her self-appointed role of championing fixed-date elections and instead preferred to speak in riddles, saying that the elections will be held when “constitutionally due”.

    “The Constitution,” said Al-Rawi, “prescribes that general elections are constitutionally due whenever the Prime Minister call it and that in default of that, the last date at which an election can be called is three months after the fifth anniversary of the first sitting in that parliamentary term — which in the case of this Tenth Parliament-is September 17, 2015.”

    Al-Rawi said the PNM would continue to keep the conversation germane to the issues, and to defend its leader from the UNC’s persistent attempts to denigrate and destroy him. “We are conscious that a dying man often stops at nothing to gain salvation or life,” he said.UNQUOTE. I AGREE WITH ALL THAT IS SAID HERE. We face the UNC distraction all again. And not to forget the mudslinging by them.

    The Causeway is just a red herring. There will be others as in the article quoted above. The real issues are all the expenditure misteps since 2010 coupled with wrongful use of our treasury monies, mismanagement practices in state owned companies such as NGC, the recent Pheonix Park Gas Processors acquisition, Caribbean Airlines, Petrotrin, NIB, First Citizen Bank, TCL and the list goes on. These state companies indicated endless cases of fraud that need to be aired in the public domain. And then there are issues involving highway contracts and the Beetham sewerage facility and others where accountability needs to be tabled especially with contractors close to the UNC or their friends or financiers or even family and relatives from the PM to all the MPs and their choiced/hand picked managers of our state companies. THEY NEED TO COME CLEAN before any election.

    1. Jerry you are off topic here against, please the topic here is not on Al Rawi. It is on building the causeway. This copy and pace style of yours is getting annoying. I know you are new to this site, but please at least give Harris the good pleasure of engaging in some meaningful discussions. Rather than dropping these out of context meaningless utterance.

      1. The Causeway is just a DISTRACTION. UNC copies everything from the PNM. The trouble with you is that YOU CANNOT READ BETWEEN THE LINES. The Causeway is not real it is A NICE TO HAVE. It is NOT A NEED FOR T&T. You should GO BACK TO SCHOOL AND LEARN WELL according to the mighty Sparrow.

        1. The UNC copies everthing from the PNM except lies and corruption.

          All of the PNM propagandists including Faris Al Rawi (PNM PRO) have been lying about the amount of money spent by the PP govt during their term in office . They have been quoting wildly that about 400 Billion dollars were being spent .The figures quoted below are the actual budget statistics from the Ministry of Finance .
          2011 $ 49 Billion
          2012 $54.6 Billion
          2013 $ 58Billion
          2014 $61 Billion
          2015 $ 66.4 Billion
          Total $289 Billion
          The total realized budget deficits for these years were $21billion .
          This data proves that the PNM propagandist figure of $400 billion spent is wrong.

          1. BOOBOO you need to quote figures from a particular document that can hold up anywhere. …NOT..actual budget statistics from the Ministry of Finance…is this from a clerk there. This is the damn ole school propaganda that UNC continues to push down our throats. Is there any scrutiny here…dumboo

      2. Perhaps you should be using the dictionary more. I suggest that you look up the meaning of the word “BEHIND”.

  3. Rowley is anxious for the election to be called and completed before the announcement by the Police that the emails and its contents were fake.The implications of such an announcement are obvious.

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