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Bas! There Were Pre-Conditions
Posted: Saturday, November 12, 2005

by Stephen Kangal

The two most experienced members of Parliament demonstrated on Thursday during the debate on crime how age and stupidity have crept upon them and are adversely retarding their political acumen and agility of mind. If they were not as notable for their political longevity and were not occupying the most senior positions in the Government and Opposition that faux pas should have gone unnoticed.

But why was there a need in the first instance to inquire whether there were any pre-conditions to the Opposition/ Government talks on the crime problem when the Opposition Leader had in fact agreed to meet unconditionally? Was it the expression of both the stupidity of one and the declining political acumen of the other?

Well Bas there were pre-conditions and you did not explain nor exploit them because the lion seems to have inflicted permanent scars.

Did you not think there and then that Manning should have been made to agree to make resources available to your side to enable you to brainstorm your proposals with consultants with a view to concretising them as workable plans on crime just as the tens of millions of dollars have been spent for crime consultancy without results by the Manning Administration?

Bas did you not say categorically, and perhaps tongue in cheek, that Minister Rowley will make a better Minister of National Security than Mr Joseph and as a consequence appointing the former to the post will be one of your pre-conditions? Did you not think it of strategic importance to ask Mr. Manning since he introduced the question of pre-conditions that a prior apology to the Keith Noel Committee for the Government’s crass reaction and non-participation in the 22 October People’s March by dealing in unconvincing semantics and introducing the class, caste and colour into the argument was conditional to your advising him how to deal with the crime pandemic? What secret pre-conditions or inflexibility does he have?

Was it not necessary to obtain guarantees from Manning that your crime fighting proposals that you will put on the table must bear your DNA; that they must not be appropriated and used to lubricate the PNM next election machinery to win the next general elections having regard to the statement attributed to Minister Valley?

Is it not one of your critical pre-conditions that you will not agree to the politicisation of the police service to make that service a client of the Government as well as a potential instrument to intimidate forces opposed to Government? Have you abandoned the Constitutional Reform imperative?

Having been afforded a rare opportunity on a platter to wade into the Manning Administration albeit at the end of your intervention was not discrimination, alienation and equality of opportunity a necessary and reasonable pre-condition to be met prior to entering into collusion to solve our number one priority problem? Since you upbraided your chelas at the Divali Nagar Speech for not walking the talk was not getting Manning to agree to walk any serious proposals that you will make at the talks an undertaking you should have extracted from the floor of Parliament? Will you now allow Manning unwittingly a carte blanche to derive political mileage from your constructive engagement and the work of your unpaid security advisers when the ilk of ineffective advisers like Padmore and NARite Atwell are laughing all the way to the bank?

Bas there were many other conditionalities that you were invited to make without diminishing the credibility and statesmanship of your willingness to talk with the Government on crime. But you seemed to have willingly succumbed to the political ecology of these talks in the same unwitting manner that you entered into the infamous 2001 Crowne Plaza fiasco that summarily consigned you to what appears to be increasingly your natural and permanent habitat in Charles Street.

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