Reducing the Parliament to a Circus

By Stephen Kangal
January 20, 2017

Stephen KangalAs a dedicated viewer of the Parliamentary Channel I am disappointed and indeed saddened to witness the proceedings of the honourable and hallowed House under the Rowley Administration being reduced and relegated retrogressively to that of a circus full of clowns, lacking in seriousness, displaying wanton disrespect and being adjourned prematurely, frequently and in a hurry in spite of the outstanding matters listed on the Order Paper.

It appears as if they, that is the Government side are either going through a period of forced detention in Parliament, having other more important matters to conduct outside of the House or adjourning early for an after- work Friday lime on Ariapita Avenue. This is how the people’s business is being subordinated by those pretenders who sold themselves as being red and ready but after sixteen months in office have showed no credible signs of real performance even after two retreats and no war on the criminals.

The much anticipated sitting of the House was shambolic on Friday 13 January.. The Minister of Finance apparently having been forced against his will and, shall I say against his political judgement that is a recurring rarity, reluctantly moved with great sound and fury motion to remove FATCA from the remit of the House Committee of the Whole and be referred to a JSC for further consideration.

In my view FATCA was no longer under the radar, possession and purview of the Ad Hoc Committee of the Whole. The Committee had concluded its work on the Bill with finality having approved the amendments. It dissolved its ad hoc role on 12 December 2016 and had to obtain a fresh mandate from the House to sit again.

The Deputy Speaker as Committee Chairman thereafter, now had custody of the Bill. He was then authorised to report to the Plenary of the House yesterday and restore the amended Bill back where it belonged.

The circus continued with the mover of the FATCA Motion, Finance Minister Colm Imbert using verbal and non–verbal language/tantrums not only to hide and sublimate his embarrassing climb- down for having wasted the time of Parliament on the 9 and 12 of December last in the worst, non-productive, arrogant, and fruitless display of going- it- alone on a Bill that could go no- where without Opposition acquiescence. That four-page pull-out on FATCA published in the print media on FACTA amendments effected in the Committee stage was wasteful.

It also appears that there was a virtual conspiracy between The Speaker and the Finance Minister to jointly and individually disrespect and embarrass the former Prime Minister/ Leader of the Opposition when the latter made spurious and distasteful allegations of non-existent absurdity against her.

As for The Speaker even though there was ample time in the sitting to accord and allow the two important Motions moved on Matters of Urgent Public Importance relating to the Petrotrin strike and the Crime Pandemic (second time) the requisite one hour each, she chose to reject again the crime motion moved by the Leader of the Opposition. Instead she opted to give the Petrotrin industrial impasse undue precedence even though she knew before-hand that the FATCA matter was going to be exclusively procedural, short and will make time available for the Crime Motion to be debated.

In fact the House as previously adjourned prematurely early at around minutes after 4 p.m even though the Gambling Bill was up for discussion in the Order Paper as if to free-up members to attend to their Ariapita Avenue lime.

2 Responses to “Reducing the Parliament to a Circus”


  • Nonsense…conspiracy between the Speaker and Imbert? Ariapita Ave liming? where do you go to come up with these wild theories? You ever viewed the circus with Wade Mark as Speaker? Did you write about the many performances of the circus then? But there is hope yet..try to critique without the heavy obvious bias…more may listen to you.

  • ‘Me think,’ MaravalGirl ,just might be on to something here, Mr Kangal,in her-on the saurface- dismissive response ,to your anti ‘Kicksin in Parliament ,’blog.
    I actually understand what you are saying,& let me see if I can lay it out in broader terms.
    You do not want a return to de Papa Deffy Eric era,where he was known to turn down his Hearing Aid,then pull out his daily news papers to read,just when the Opposition ,or one of his MPs in the PNM Dog House ,began speaking.
    Our T&T Parliament must never degenerate to the level,where an Opposition leader , in defiance of the House Speaker ,can pull out his Laptop,to check his overseas ,Wall Streets/London stocks-then when reprimanded by said Speaker ,resort to impish,politically driven ,temper tantrums ,followed by typical neo tribal ,fake Victimization ,media charades , whixh fooled no one ,but gullible ,sheep like minions.
    I know what your rebuttal to Maraval Girl would be ,re the Stewardship of Valsayne ‘Nuvo Rich -Millionare, Wade-MBA-Mark.
    Not only was that brother fair /non bias,& loyal,but forceful ,and hardworking-in, and out of the House.
    How did he show that,some ask? Well,a few months before the last General Elections,he chopped de Mason Hall Kid,Dr. Keith ,down to size, by banishing him from the House, without pay,over some inconsequential issue,few can recall today.
    No one cares, if such stupidity merely worked in the favor of the present PM ,who evolved from being this hardnose,in your face -so called arrogant – Rothwiller ,to a gentle,more human victim ,who obviously, was simply humiliated ,by an African closet Judas ,and thus ,prevented from doing what he only wanted to do -serve his Constituency,and protect the nation’s interest ,that many voters felt, were not taken care of ,by self agrandizing , political barbarians .
    He ensured that every initiative ,& or Bill ,as promoted by his Government ,was pushed forward -including Section 34, powers of Arrest for Tethron soldiers,& counting.
    Just curious ,and how is that politically naive ,Afro eat ah Food Tobagonian ,name Vinalla doing these days? Yep ,the now discarded ,politically irrelevant creature,who brought unsubstantiated ,vulgar info to the floor ,then got the green light ,to used the sacred Chamber ,to bismerch a man’s Character ,over acts he might have committed ,four decades ago ,as a naive youth ,still trying to find his way in society-much to the delight of members of the morally sound ,PP crew-one should add.
    This Wade-MBA-Nark fellow,now proudly holds the distinction ,of becoming the 1st Speaker in the history of the entire British Commonwealth ,to earn an MBA Degree,without ever attending a single University lecture, and for his hard work,was eventually rewarded by his present Political leader Kkamla,with an Opposition Senatoral position ,ten seconds after her Party/Government, was kicked to the curb. Go figure!
    Let’s keep it real MaravalGirl,I am not going to be too hard on Mr Kangal,for it is Journalists like ex PP Spokesman,Andy Johnson, who should be totally unbias ,not Columists ,a la aspiring Political party keader,Milika Panday,Political Science expert ,Hamid Ghanny,&Professor Emeritus Dr Selwyn Ryan,or periodic BLoggers, such as our Trini Center Nation Mr Kangal,Dr Cudjoe,& Uncle Shah.
    I too would like to see our government held accountable to the nation,& deliver on their campaign manifesto promises.
    Where I however part company with Mr Kangal,is in the fact that he want to swing both ways on an issue /’have his cake and eat it too’-as we say on de streets.
    Impoasible to do Mr K!
    You cannot dusmiss Dr Keith and his Red & Ready Gang,as all talk ,& do nada time wasters,while glossing over the role that Opposition orchestrated ,Political Gridlock ,is playing ,in hampering their proposed efforts.
    Just curious ‘since unlike you Mr Kangal ,I quit watching any TV ,in T&T ,years ago-but speaking of Gridlock,the role of partisan Speakers,lazy Parliamentarians,& not too subtle,grateful Trade Unionist,turned Political blokes,did our Opposition Senator ,Wade-MBA -Mark ,make the undermentioned comment with a straight face,on national TV?

    ‘Mark said he has been in Parliament for more than a quarter of a century (26 years) and “I have never witnessed a Minister or an Attorney General bringing a bill that infringes on the rights of the people and then say the bill does not require a constitutional majority.’

    https://www.guardian.co.tt/news/2017-01-18/marriage-bill-moves-lower-house-unc-abstained-protest%E2%80%94mark

    Just where was he ,when his government introduced an illegal Curfew ,across our country-unknown to their White Canadian, imported Police Ommissioner, that mainly sort to arrest and jail ,young ,poor, Afro Trini youths from places named Beetham,Nelson Street ,Lavantille,and Never Dirty Morvant?
    We know the tribal-Ethnic make up ,of his budding elite Pickaneeys ,(that his right)so if a successful character from say,Barackpore,Irin,Malony,Carenage,Los Bajos ,or Upper Gonzales/Basilon Street Belmont,comes to him ,& say , I am in love with your 9 year old daughter,can I have her hands in marriage,will he ,and that adoring wife agree;to that monstrosity?
    Here is the deal folks. When one actually cut through the Chase/whipe away de stupid,phony religious smoke ,that’s all this change is hoping to curb really.
    Exploitation of chiefly poor families ,whose deaperate parents , have no problem in selling off their 9,10,14,16,& 17 yearold girl children to the highest bidders.
    Ensuring the Right of our Law abiding ,civilize majority, is promoted ,wherein kids can enjoy their youthful existance in La Trinity-in like manner,as Basdeo Panday,Kamla ,Kennox Phillip ,aka Yasin Abu Bakr &Sat Maraj grand children,as well as this strident,outrage ,pro Rights , Senator Mark own, well protected kids.
    In essence ,prevent girls from enduring dehumanizing, barbaric ,sexual abuses ,disguised as religious Freedoms.
    Tell you what people,every day,female Opposition leader Kamla,along with her loyal ex Speaker ,prevent this Bill from getting passed ,and enforced,it’s another under age girl,who is forced to become a baby marchine ,long before she is ready,then endure well known acts of domestic abuses ,by a dominant male,deprived of an education ,and worst yet,maybe discarded . Aren’t we grateful T&T ,that Bride burning ,& Pro Islamic stoning ,is not tolerated here,as common in other parts of the uncivilized world?;
    However, sadly, Trinidad &Tobago ,Guyana,& Surinam ,leads the region in Suicides.I just wish there were politicians, or Police Chiefs with ‘Cohones,’who would denand that greater attention be placed on this area.
    Don’t worry Mr Kangal,politically astute guy that I am ,I predict ,FATCA will fall by the wayside ,via one of Donald Trump ,many Presidental Executive Orders,long before our Ash Wednesday prays begin.
    Tell you what,maybe ,I should apply for this job, as T&T Police Commissioner ,& we send Mr Hollywood/Bollywood/Nollywood actor ,Mr Williams home,to an early retirement.
    Give me the post,& I’ll open a task Force to deal with ignored murders ,too quickly labled as Suicides, then open a file ,to re examine,every report ever made,over the past 3 -4 decades- after demanding the construction of at least 20 more prisons of course,to house the culprits,who thought they escaped the law.
    That would be a fitting,symbolic , ‘anti crime motion,’huh Mr K?
    Ahhhh,we missed the days of Socially relevant Kasionians ,who were essentially extensions of the Media ,without many of us even knew it.
    That exclude you Iwah George ,& Marshall Mantano-aka Double M.
    Sing Explainer!”Dey kicksin,kicksin ,all de time,dey blowing everybody minds…In Parliament de Kicksin!”

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lO6A_J_KQw8

    Yeah Mr K,as you well know,this practice, did not begin a year ago, but way back ,when you were enjoying the colder climates ,in the Industrial Global North,putting our T&T first ,as one of our more lucky ,hard working Diplomats. ,hmmmmm?
    I’m with you,Mr K,our Dr Keith ,& his Red & Ready Gang , promised actions on money laundering ,via unregulated Casinos ,yet nada to date.
    They promised to do something re congested roads,via control of unregulated Used Car dealers.
    Again,nothing much,on that end.
    FATCA,& empowerment of women/protection of kids?Still nothing tangible to date. We differ however ,as to why so. .

    http://blogs.worldbank.org/education/eliminating-child-marriage-boost-girls-education

    To one of my pertinent concerns -Child Rights,we do not need a glorified ,World Bank Report, to tell us Child Brides, as practiced in T&T,is evil,or dehumanizing,and should be ended forthwith.
    To your concern ,it ain’t mere ‘laziness,’that’s impeding authentic action.
    Let’s together fight to eliminate this penchant for selective outrages,& join in Solidarity,to push the Developmental meter forward! Government has a vital role to play,but alone ,won’t suceed-to the same degree,the Police Service alone ,won’t curb crimes.
    Nice piece ,Mr Kangal,& equally splendid response MaravalGirl.
    Stay Vigilant T&T!
    Iluv this land,Y tu.

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