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Manning is embarrassing supporters


The fantasy world Mr Manning has re-entered is reflected by his Cabinet. The first problem is the size. How can the PNM leader justify so many more Ministers than he has seats, a whopping 29 in all? Maybe the 18-18 tie dictates that he give Ministries to every victorious PNM candidate, if for no other reason than to stop them crossing the floor, but Mr Manning has clearly stepped far over the line in this regard.

Additionally, within this oversized Cabinet sit certain individuals who, whether justifiably or not, automatically reduce the PNMís reputation as the right party in government, especially given President Arthur NR Robinsonís stated reasons for choosing Mr Manning as Prime Minister. If Mr Manning has some rational rationale for putting Lenny Saith or Knowlson Gift or Arnold Piggot or his wife Hazel in Cabinet, then he needs to give the country really convincing explanations, rather than irrelevant political doublespeak, for these choices.

Making his wife the Education Minister was an unnecessarily controversial decision, not because Mrs Manning may not be competent, but because the PNM fought its campaign on the basis of UNC corruption. By appointing his wife as a Minister, when nepotism is the historical basis of official corruption, Mr Manning shows that he hasnít a clue about the principles a government must adhere to if it is to avoid at least the perception of corruption.


The PNM has offered Winston "Gypsy" Peters more than $1 million to cross the floor.In a telephone interview, Peters confirmed he had been approached.

He said the latest effort was made yesterday, but was hesitant to disclose the amount offered.

Asked if it was close to half a million dollars, Peters said it was "much more than that."

When pressed, he said: "Much more than a million, much more."

He said the PNM had been approaching him since the election ended in a tie, "and I have said no all the time."

Asked what was his answer to the PNM's million-dollar offer, Peters said: "I am UNC. I don't have to say more than that."

He did not say who from the PNM had offered him the money.

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