Can PM Manning Ever Get Anything Right?

By Stephen Kangal
November 05, 2009

TT CricketersWhen the ethnicity agenda gets in the way of PM Manning’s modus operandi, which is the rule, he is doomed to make faux pas after faux pas. He becomes a stranger to the stark multicultural reality that surrounds him. His groping in the dark Caucasian Minister of Sports is caught in the horns of an ethnicity dilemma. He dismisses the outstanding T&T Cricket Team as not winning anything in India. At the airport he merely “notes” the performance. He is a stoic only where cricket is concerned. This is tragic and blatant irrationality.

Not a drum was heard when the team left. Not a drum was heard when the team that seduced the hearts of a billion Indians and 800m Commonwealth citizens arrived at Piarco. Every sound bite pre- and post the final uttered by the Manning Administration is intended to telegraph indifference – to deflate the noble spirits and down play the exceptional and world-wide acclaimed feats of this young, highly motivated and ethnically balanced team.

It is clear to me that cricket has been stigmatized as an Indian sport in T&T. It will be relegated into Central Government funding neglect by the Manning Administration even though the ethnic mix of the players is truly representative of T&T’s diversity. The Government found it impossible to give aid to the TTCB to fund the team in India. But it can find $2m to erect a flag. According to their logic that flag, possibly erected by a PNM contractor, will generate more national pride and commendation than the cricket team ever did amongst 1.8bn people. With Bassarath replacing half-Indian Deryk Murray as head of the TTCB the discrimination will intensify. They cannot help it. It is in their DNA because T&T is PNM country.

Why did not PM Manning come down from the watch-tower in his castle and meet all the players when they arrived at Piarco as he did when the Soca Warriors losers returned after the World Cup? Why did Captain Ganga alone go to Whitehall leaving out the players? Were they not an indivisible team in India? Would they have crowded Manning’s new office? Was this ill-advised visit engineered to make PM Manning politically good looking?

What is the locus standi of WIPA in this national domestic cricket matter? Should not Deryk Murray of the TTCB or Manager Borde have accompanied Ganga to Whitehall?

The return of the T&T Team has degenerated into an anti-climax – a comedy of errors because of a perception of ethnicity in cricket by the Manning brigade. And the private sector is taking their cue from Government’ s position. Look how easy it is for Marlene MCDonald to find $625, 000 for the parang fete de Noel. But the outstanding performance of the Soca-Chutney Cricketers still remains unrewarded and unsung by Government. It is merely noted by Sports Minister Gary Hunt.

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20 thoughts on “Can PM Manning Ever Get Anything Right?”

  1. Perhaps Manning favors football (soccer) more than he does Cricket? Most of the world does. I do agree that there should be funding available to any and all national athletic teams if the government can blow $2 million on a flag. It may not be about race. Mr. Kangal did note that,” the ethnic mix of the players is truly representative of T&T’s diversity.” Therefore, it would seem that for the PM to do such a thing because of race would be political suicide. Why would he want that? I would need more facts to believe that the PM would not support a national team because it is racially diverse. If anything, he would want to support them more to at least seam as if he wants a unified society.

  2. STEPHEN KANGAL WRITES,”It is clear to me that cricket has been stigmatized as an Indian sport in T&T. It will be relegated into Central Government funding neglect by the Manning Administration even though the ethnic mix of the players is truly representative of T&T’s diversity.”
    The PNM agenda has always been to portray T&T as a country which is predominantly African. Even though East Indians comprise the majority population, the government and in particular, the Prime Minister fails to acknowledge this fact.
    A review of government policies, other than cricket, provide more than adequate support for the accusation against the existing government.
    Consider the following:
    The Clico bailout versus the failure to rescue the HCU depositors.
    The unequal distribution of HDC houses.
    The award of CPEC and URP contracts.
    The neglect of agriculture.
    The appointment of foreign ambassadors.
    The funding of cultural activities.
    The decisions on national awards.
    The shunning of cultural functions.
    The restriction of certain groups to congregate.
    The hiring practices in the civil service and the police service.
    Etc. Etc. Etc.
    These are facts not suppositions.These facts can be emperically supported.

  3. The PNM has a legacy of racism,it is entrenched in their psyche and started with Dr.Williams.Slavery had an indelible effect on the black mind,from an evolutionary psychological perspective it created hatred and bitterness, as seen in countries like Trinidad and Guyana.Afrocentrism dominates the PNM’s policies and decision making processes,numerous examples can support this allegation.Does the HDC housing projects reflect pluralism in Trinidad?Does the ethnic composition of the police service reflect diversity in Trinidad.Despite Indians being the ‘intellectual powerhouse’in Trinidad,how many were awarded scholarships to study medicine in Grenada?The list goes on with many questions which lucidly shows the racist agenda of the PNM.Hundreds of years of slavery definitely would have rewired the black mind engendering animosity and other traits directed towards other races.

  4. I may be wrong about the PNM, but it just seems strange and hard to believe that Manning would and could be against Indians and stay in office. Indians control the Private sector of Trinidad and Tobago. As stated before by TMAN, “East Indians comprise the majority of the population”. How does one man become and remain Prime Minister if he has a racist agenda and if it’s so obvious? That would be a heck of an accomplishment of its own. In Trinidad and Tobago, a person of one racial group can remain the leader of the country comprised mainly of people of another ethnic group, while going against the majority group on any and every issue that is important to that majority group? Say that is not so please.
    Again, I would have to hear his reasons for why he decided to support or oppose high profile legislation that impacts the majority of the population before I made my decision on him being a racist. For now, I choose to believe that the PM just doesn’t like Cricket as much as he does Football (soccer). Then again, by the way he was acting during the summit of the Americas; he may be an American Football fan! Perhaps he favors the Miami Dolphins? We should be careful with what we say. He may just be filled with self hate and that is why there is so much suffering. That would also explain why the largest group of the population feels the pain the most.

    For now, I choose to believe that Cricket is just the wrong sport for the PM and nothing more.

  5. Pitbull’s comment:”Hundreds of years of slavery definitely would have rewired the black mind engendering animosity and other traits directed towards other races” is total nonsence!
    Do not drag this discussion into the gutter.I was simply saying that the PM and the PNM are having difficulty coping with the new population realities in T&T and are reluctant to change the historical and social advantages afforded to certain sectors of the population.I am not suggesting that T&T should be Indianised, but that the country should reflect a thoughtful balance of those characteristics which satisfy all groups.

  6. If people do not know our history, some can easily get away with spreading misinformation.

    PITBULL, TMAN and even MR STEPHEN KANGAL are using this opportunity, when many of us are disgusted with the government, to spew nonsense. Not because I am opposed to the actions of this government does it mean I would casually allow this crap to go unchallenged.

    Not bailing out the HCU is not about PNM racism. The HCU did not want to accept the same conditionalities that Clico accepted to get bailed out. Former head of the HCU Harry Harnarine confirmed this.

    On Wednesday, February 11 2009, Newsday’s Editorial spelt it out:

    “Contrary to reports that had been bruited around that government while it had moved swiftly to bail out Clico and three other CL Financial subsidiaries had not moved to assist the Hindu Credit Union (HCU) it was revealed on Monday that Government had offered a bail out package similar to the one presented to Clico, but that this had been rejected.”

    It is also nonsense to claim that the government is against cricket because it is seen as an Indian sport. Of course, many Indians gravitated to cricket and not other sports like football. But cricket in Trinidad and Tobago has African and Indian players and they are all generally appreciated by the public. The government is tardy in how they treat with sports in general. UNC’s Jack Warner is always at loggerheads with the government over funding for football. Trying to tag the government with racism for not doing much for the cricketers following this recent Indian tour is a stretch – and a play for Indian solidarity as election is in the air.

    The Indian resistance to race mixing is the primary reason many Indians kept out of several jobs and government programs that they felt would encourage them to have to work closely and mix with Africans. Of course, today there are some changes, especially in the civil service with its much improved salaries (which Africans protested to improve). As a result, Indians started applying for government jobs and are quite successful there.

    For the same reason, most of the people who traditionally applied for government housing were Africans. Many Indians felt that government housing meant that Indians would have to mix with Africans and they were opposed to that (although there are Indians who have accepted government housing). Some Indians were carrying on as if the government should have invested in housing in communities specifically for Indians. The government could not realistically do that.

    You all should get the facts and stop spreading racist lies.

  7. These are facts not suppositions.These facts can be emperically supported…..Quote.(TMan)

    If Indos are the “majority” ethnic group why aren’t they winning elections hands down since 1946 when voting started in T&T?

    If the T&T population is 42 % Indo 38 % afro and 18 % mixed how is it that Indos are the majority group? (I myself suspect many afros of a “mixed” background will tell census takers that they are “mixed” based on a grandparent being of Chinese, Indian or of European ancestory etc) In North America or UK they are classified as blacks. (Eric Williams had this problem as a child while growing up in T&T many of his relatives were of French creole background, a stark daily issue for many Trinis)

    I also suspect some mixed ppl of Indian background will make a similar claim to identify with the dominant parent who may be indian as we saw with an anti black dougla boy doing s school shooting at an International school in POS some yrs ago after the election defeat of the UNC, he seems to have blamed “blacks” for being rejected from entry into the school. I strongly suspect the father as the maker of his rabid racist mindset as a way of seeking his fathers approval.(the shooting was done with his dad’s firearm)

    So “TMAN” just by shouting or repeting a lie a very obvious big lie does’nt make it true.

  8. If you should re-read my comments ,Heru, you would notice that I did not attribute the inaction of the government to racism.I pointed some examples of government programs, initiatives and funding which seem to favor their own supporters.Do not attribute remarks to me which were made by others.I am also not aware of any Indian movement for houses for Indians only, and I don’t think that anyone else is aware of this movement.To suggest that someone would be unwilling to apply for a government job for fear of “mixing” with another race is preposterous.With regards to HDC housing, statistics are only available on persons who receive houses, not on those who apply.I would like to know the source of your information.

    In the case of Mr. Samuel, he seems to be more concerned with the population stats. rather than the issues raised.Does it really matter what the various ethnic population percentages are? Mr. Samuel challenges the figures published by the statistics branch of the government of T&T. The point is that the two major groups are sizeable enough to justify fair treatment by government to both groups.Mr. Samuel’s argument, ” So “TMAN” just by shouting or repeting a lie a very obvious big lie does’nt make it true.” betrays his true feelings.He is prepared to justify unequal treatment by refuting the fact that Indians have become the largest minority group in T&T.

    The issues which I mentioned in my first comment above are real. There are documented stats. available to verify unfair treatment of Indians on every single issue and then some. Name-calling,generalizations, unsupported opinions and emotional outbursts by Heru and Samuel will not change the facts.

  9. TMan, if you read my response without being defensive and with a little honesty, you would have seen that I did not itemize which points I was making to any of you. Instead, I gave a general response that addressed various bits of misinformation that all three of you were spreading.

    Anyhow, I expected a lame response that further demonstrates why everything you state should be weighed against your propensity to lie, distort and obfuscate.

  10. Very good one Mike Samuel, and thanks for giving us an update on the statistical breakdown of our population. A former teacher I once had referred to statistics in the following manner:- “It’s like a woman’s bikini in that it reveals quite a lot, but conceals that which is vital.” By the way , when are we going to get an up to date census going?
    I am certain that many of our citizens are getting a bit tired of this perennial whining of the ‘me , me crowd,’ that would choose to inflate data and or embellish the to suite an obvious skewed agenda principally due to the fact that they believe that we are all a bunch gullible ,illiterate ,idiots.
    The irony is that if these characters seems hard press to recognize that their ill conceived strategies are doomed to fail , and will never result to anything substantial politically, as the group that they choose to daily malign are suffering similar social and economic plights , and if any meaningful changes are to accrue politically or otherwise ,empathy and alliances are inevitable.

  11. Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson have often been referred as whiners when they continuously advocate for Black rights in the USA. However, their efforts have time and time again produced positive results in a country in which the Afro-American population is a mere 12.5 to 15%.

  12. If Trinidad and Tobago is a country where the majority of the population is of East Indian heritage and the Afro- Trinibagonian Prime Minister is perceived as a racist towards that ethnic group, why then would he continue to be the Prime Minister? Surely he would be voted out if the general sentiment was that he (manning) was a racist.
    Therefore, why can’t his lack of support for the cricket team be attributed to something else other than race? It has been established that the team is diverse.
    It just does not add up which makes me wonder if the frustration that some have for the policies of the PM make them want to lie about the PM.
    I think that if anyone cares to read my post over the past several years, you will find that I am critical of the PM, but I cannot support unjust accusations about the man. Right is right and wrong is wrong.
    If the PM were truly racist, Trinidad would be different.




  14. T-Man you are certainly getting more and more ridiculous by the day in attempting to compare the institutional racism , and obvious blatant discrimination that persist in America that Sharpton and Jackson justifiably scream about on behalf of suffering African people that build that country freely with no rewards, and the Mickey Mouse cry baby show that you and the misguided few of similar ilk are trying to suggest is also the norm in sweet T&T. It would be almost like comparing Canadian apples and Grande oranges.
    Let me make this clear to you my friend , and others in the closet that share this devious mindset. Continue to cry as much as you desire until ‘all the cows come home,’ or better yet produce any globally recognize ,independent experts to study and analyze the prevailing situation vis-a-vis both races , and the results would be the same.
    East Indians in our country are a thriving community economically, and politically and any other social yardstick that can be conjured up.Whether you want to admit it or not , part of that success must be attributed to the PNM , and was often made at the expense of the needs of the people whose ancestors helped build this country freely with sweat , blood and tears.
    If anyone should be disgusted , it should rightfully be Africans that have been taken for granted as they were used and abused by the likes of Eric Williams, George Chambers , Ah we buoy Robbie , and the present regime led by future President Mr. Manning. Get the facts straight my friend , for ‘crying wolf’ can be an extremely dangerous practice.

  15. If Mannings leanings towards soccer and not cricket is racist, would’nt that by extension mean that Indians leaning towards Cricket and not soccer is also racist? What about Trini Indians loudly supporting India and Pakistan in games against the West Indies, isn’t that racist? Since predominance of blacks in the public service is engineered racism, then should’nt their disproportionate meagre numbers in commerce, media ownership etc also be an engineered process. Since Kangal’s writings predominantly argue on behalf of Indians, does’nt that render his opinion racially subjective?

    Mr. Kangal need to take a good long look in the mirror before he begins throwing stones at other folks windows. He has always been an ethnicist, and his writings have always been skewed by that slant. That does not mean that he does not have the right to hold the positions he takes. It simply means that his prism can accomodate only one side of a story.

  16. One of the world’s greatest , and often unrecognized minds of the 20th century in Civil rights /Black Power activist Stokley Carmichael once said the following:-
    “Before a group can enter the open society, it must first close ranks.”
    Obviously , unmentionable calculating rable-rousers , and conniving frauds, in usual fashion will choose to misinterpret what progressives amongst us are attempting to say on the merits of racial/ ethnic pride ,and the quest for full empowerment for members of any disenfranchised community.
    Let me hasten to add that it is only a fool that would discourage any group of people to ignore the conditions of suffering involving their own where such exist.
    It becomes a problem when members of that group tries to paint a distorted picture of historical realities as is done on a daily basis across the media by revisionist proponents.
    Please inform them that we are on to their chicanery, and would not hesitate to support their rights to speak forcefully where warranted ,while simultaneously exposing them for the world to see.

  17. Mr. Kangal and many of his ilk can only explain what they perceive to be unfair to them as PNM racism. Heru was right on the ball. The people in the society who see every thing through ‘racist’ eyes are persons who have a warped sense of things.

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