Manning’s Humiliation

Newsday’s Editorial
Sunday, April 17 2011

Patrick ManningFormer prime minister, Patrick Manning, not only had a private motion tabled in his name, rejected in the House of Representatives by vote of Government members, but suffered the public humiliation of five members of the political party he once led, the People’s National Movement (PNM) openly refusing to give him the support he clearly expected.

It was no more than he deserved as despite the public handshaking with his successor, Dr Keith Rowley and despite his words to the contrary, Mr Manning has clearly been signalling his intention to challenge Dr Rowley at every turn.

The three PNM MPs who disobeyed the decision of the party caucus to abstain and instead voted with Manning, now face the possibility of disciplinary action. Manning’s motion to allow a lawyer to question witnesses should disciplinary proceedings be brought by Parliament against him, was clearly doomed at the outset since the Government has 29 votes in the Lower House in relation to the Opposition’s 12.

Mr Manning had been referred to the Privileges Committee by House Speaker Wade Mark following on his allegations about the cost of the private house of Prime Minister Kamla Persad- Bissessar, who denied the scandalous statement by Manning.

Of mounting public interest is the split in the PNM and all eyes will now be focussed on Dr Rowley’s handling of this latest development.

Clearly the PNM, if it is to ever become the Government again, cannot go on this way with Manning’s action like a maverick holding his own meetings, not discussing the private motion with the Parliamentary caucus and even publicly criticising his fellow PNM MPs.

Why Manning should have been astonished at Friday’s turn of events is surprising to us, as his entire approach was not in keeping with well known discipline of the party and indeed of most political parties if they are to survive. Manning, who as noted earlier had not sought or received the approval of the Party caucus for his motion and never acted on recommendations from Opposition Chief Whip Marlene Mc Donald, clearly would not have tolerated such behaviour when he was political leader.

The view of the PNM Party caucus that Manning’s motion violated the principle that Parliament regulate its own business is crucial. His motion was ill-advised and doomed to failure, despite his threats to take Parliament to court and as far as the Privy Council.

Manning’s sudden concern for constitutional rights amuses us. Where was such concern when Newsday’s reporter Andre Bagoo and Newsday itself were ordered by Speaker Barry Sinanan to appear before the Privileges Committee during Mr Manning’s reign as Prime Minister? Our sin was the premature publishing of an apology which Udecott had been forced to make for its attacks on MPs. Manning sat pompously and silently in his chair as the recommendations of that committee sought not only to ban Bagoo, but ALL Newsday reporters from Parliament.

When the tables were turned however, and Mr Manning found himself having to face the Privileges Committee for much more serious allegations against Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar, he now wants the “right” to have a lawyer present to question witnesses and address the committee. How come that it is only when the heat is on him that he doesn’t want the Privileges Committee to be “judge, jury and executioner?”

Give us a break!,139071.html

11 thoughts on “Manning’s Humiliation”

  1. ‘Irreparable Damage to Manning’s Legacy’
    The failure of former Prime Minister Patrick Manning to secure the support of all 12 Opposition MPs in the Parliament regarding a motion to have legal representation in Privileges Committee matters for him and other MPs has done “irreparable damage to what is left of his political legacy,” PNM founding member Ferdie Ferreira insists.

    PNM council in marathon session after Manning drama
    THE new executive of the Opposition People’s National Movement (PNM) has had a heavy initiation, staying late into the evening yesterday in a heated general council debate over former leader Patrick Manning’s failed parliamentary motion Friday.

    PNM in heated General Council debate

    Surprising challenge to House procedure
    On Friday, Patrick Manning, the Member of Parliament for San Fernando East and former prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago, tabled a motion seeking greater involvement by legal professionals in a matter before the Privileges Committee.

  2. Shameful editorial.

    It is precisely when one is widely hated, reviled, and vilified that one most has need of and must have recourse to such a right as legal representation. It is the accused party that must assert such a right. So the Andre Bagoo and Newsday matter is not an apt comparison. But it explains the clear animus displayed in the editorial, and is what makes it shameful.

    In any case, it is in the nature of a right that it needs no permission for it to be asserted. Therefore, Manning may yet assert his constitutional right to legal representation, and take the Parliament to court if that right is denied him.

    It should be obvious that a right to legal representation, to be meaningful, must be a right to effective legal representation, which means any arrangement which seeks to muzzle the accused’s legal counsel would be violative of the right guaranteed in the constitution. Therefore to the extent the Standing Orders so limit legal counsel, those S.O. are at variance with the Constitution and therefore null and void. So Manning is right on this score. And not even a 100% majority vote of the Parliament can defeat his point in this regard.

    Be that as it may, it is indeed a humiliation for Manning, that his short-sighted colleagues saw it fit to withhold their support. Manning’s motion was headed for defeat anyway. This way all they have succeeded in doing is exposing their internal division, and it is actually Dr. Rowley, as Opposition Leader, who is exposed as weak.

    Manning will have his day in court, and will prevail as to his clear constitutional right, whatever the Standing Orders and U.K. parliamentary tradition may say. (In the U.K. the Parliament is supreme; here the Constitution is supreme.)

    Manning will however fail as to the substantive question, because he will be outvoted by the UNC representation both on Committee and in the Parliament itself.

    Meantime, the underlying question which Manning sought to raise is a matter of grave national importance, now effectively buried by a Government, which may well be guilty in the way charged by Manning, but which enjoys an unassailable majority in the Parliament.

    I for one give Manning my support. For all his faults, he is the only one in the Parliament with the intestinal fortitude to stand up for T&T. I am disappointed that Rowley would let his judgment be clouded by the same sort of “hate Manning” sentiment exhibited in this editorial.

    Clearly none in the media has similar intestinal fortitude to keep the real underlying issue alive, Newsday apparently least of all.


    Nehemiah 11. 1And the rulers of the people dwelt at Jerusalem: … 2And the people blessed all the men, that willingly offered themselves to dwell at Jerusalem.

  3. With this typical nonsensical UWI geological maneuver by Patrick Manning, some might conclude and justifiably so, that such is living poof that most Trini negroe elites, are a bunch of bumbling idiots.
    Can anyone believe this folks? Uncle Panday who is often portrayed as a selfish, divisive,country hating , political whore,is busy in Scotland wiping the butt of his British grandchild,as opposed to sticking around, and being an obstructionist to the efforts of Queen K, as she tries to bring her brand of leadership to her party, and solidify her stranglehold on power across her country.
    Take note how this fool is making a mockery of our politics , by sticking around the house, and getting in the way of the Dr Rowley ,aka the Rottweiler , and why? Only trying to stand in the way of a Tobagonian born leader, reminiscent of what was done to ANR Robinson, the Castaria kid, by his egomaniac one time PNM leader Dr Williams , and fake Muslim thugs during the 1990 coup attempt, ably assisted of course , by self serving business ,and political crooks , still hiding in the closet,21 years after, as a charade of an enquiry takes place, by UNC/COP/PP beneficiaries. Hey PNM , when would you guys have the courage to force this power mongrel to go to pasture, rebuild your party, and try and forget the dismal stewardship?

    1. Rowley was wrong to have rebelled against and undermined his then leader, Patrick Manning. As he did to his leader, so shall it be done to him … whether or not Patrick Manning rides off into the sunset. And we as a people have been wrong in how we treat our leaders. We have sown the wind, and we are reaping and will reap, the whirlwind. I do not absolve Patrick Manning. He too is reaping his particular whirlwind. But as David succumbed not to the temptation to slay Saul when he more than once had the chance, Rowley should have restrained himself. Likewise, Manning should have better honored the legacy of Williams, and Robinson should have humbled himself to the leader, all provocations notwithstanding. We the Afro-Trini, as true Israelites fulfilling all the prophecies of the Book, also exhibit all the flaws of our Israelite forefathers: we are a stiff-necked and rebellious people. We at every turn mistreat our leaders. How then can we expect to be redeemed? Instead we fulfill another curse, namely that the stranger in our midst will get up above us very high.


      Deuteronomy 28:43. The stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low.

  4. Rowley to Decide
    OPPOSITION LEADER and People’s National Movement (PNM) political leader Dr Keith Rowley has been given a mandate by the party’s General Council to meet with the party’s parliamentary caucus to find a way to prevent a repeat of the events in the House of Representatives last Friday which saw a split in the votes of Opposition MPs on a failed motion by San Fernando East MP Patrick Manning.

    Emotions run high over PNM vote on Manning motion
    PNM MP Patricia McIntosh’s suggestion that Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley sanctioned last Friday’s “conscience vote”, in which three PNM MPs voted in violation of the caucus mandate, put the PNM General Council in a “tailspin” as it held its first meeting since the party election, on Saturday at Balisier House, Port of Spain.

    Panday: I agree with Manning
    Support for former prime minister Patrick Manning position that he should be able to defend himself adequately before the Privileges Committee has come from his long-time political nemisis, Basdeo Panday.

    Michael Harris: End of the ‘grand olde partie’
    And so it has come to pass. The epic battle for the soul of the PNM which, as the quotations taken from previous articles in this column demonstrate, has been gathering for a long while, has finally exploded onto the public stage in the most dramatic fashion imaginable.

  5. We focus on the messenger and not the message. Let us ,as a people, put aside the ‘Hate Manning Syndrome’ and note that this is about legal representation. Mr. Manning is the affected citizen and if there is a flaw in parliamentary rules or regulations ie if they conflict with our constitutional right for legal representation, it should be addressed. He has a right in his personal capacity to deal with this issue as he sees fit. The Party should have supported him in this issue. The signals being sent may allow abuse by the ruling party and the Speaker.

  6. Both Mr.Panday and Patrick Manning thinks they OWN TNT, But strangely these 2 Crooks still voicing their presence in TNT for a bunch of nonentities to listen. I know there are fools like diehard PNM, UNC still waiting to go back to the polls. Look at these 2 men cannot believe that a WOMAN,give them both cutass and have more to share. Ramesh Maharah cannot be silent. He prayed for PM to make a statement on Nizam then he critercised her. He was getting a big Job in Europe, why he came back? All of them suffering from Attention and Power.
    Patos laughed at Bas when they dragged him out of Parliament. Now his own Party Kicking him out. He wants to insite RACE WAR,as in Egypt.Patos hounded the Chief Justice.Sat.He said Rowley is WAGANG.
    I am glad they all have a common DENOMINATOR,Woman,give us a good good CUT-ASS We cant get over.Kamla share more Blows.I am Looking on

  7. Manning is a cut above the rest. He is being humiliated by the same people he helped to get into politics and that is shameful. The Opposition should have stood “shoulder to shoulder” with him and support him, instead they sought to embarass and humiliate a man who only want to see democracy at work. It is my hope that Mr. Manning will find the strength to continue on and I can only wish him the best for the future.

  8. No Action On Rebel 3
    THE People’s National Movement (PNM) yesterday decided to not take disciplinary action against rebel MPs Patricia McIntosh, Dr Amery Browne and Fitzgerald Jeffery who defied a parliamentary caucus decision last Friday and voted in support of a private motion moved by former prime minister Patrick Manning.

    Khan: It’s just a storm in a teacup
    New chairman of the People’s National Movement (PNM) Franklin Khan says the divided vote by Opposition MPs was “a storm in a teacup.” Public relations officer of the party, Senator Faris Al-Rawi, says the matter was simply “a miscommunication.”

    Khan on PNM split vote: A storm in a teacup
    “A STORM in a teacup.” This is how Franklin Khan, the recently elected chairman of the People’s National Movement (PNM,) yesterday described the split in vote by Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) on Friday.

    No control over some things
    Rowley on split in Opposition voting:

    MP denies ‘ducking and running’ during vote
    PNM St Ann’s East MP Joanne Thomas said yesterday she did not duck and run out of the Parliament last Friday, when the vote was taken on a motion brought to the House by former prime minister Patrick Manning.

    PNM’s dilemma
    Trinidad and Tobago’s Constitution defines the Leader of the Opposition as the member of the House who commands the second greatest show of support in the Parliament. The person who bears the title should enjoy the loyalty of the majority of the members not supporting the Prime Minister. Last Friday when three PNM MPs defied the whip openly while two missed the vote, the Leader of the Opposition ceased technically to be Dr Keith Rowley. Standing for Dr Rowley were as many MPs as there were against him: five. There’s no challenging the numbers.

    Patrick Manning as new Mighty Spoiler
    Former prime minister Patrick Manning has made clear that he is going through a personal crisis, now that he has neither a party nor a government to lead. After heavily losing the early elections he called last year, he relinquished leadership of the PNM, but was chased out of Balisier House when he offered to hold on in the position until election of a successor.

  9. Yarouba Ilite said, “As he did to his leader, so shall it be done to him … whether or not Patrick Manning rides off into the sunset. And we as a people have been wrong in how we treat our leaders.” Brother Isrealite , were you drinking before you wrote this tripe on Trini Center, or did you drop out of school in ABC,while attending that crime ridden ,Morvant Never Dirty, rickety Primary School? Worst yet were you locked up in a 2 by 4 cell for the past 50 years of your questionable life , as this can be the only explanation for your illogical utterances. What has patrick Manning and his bunch do for you as a human being. I am absolutely certain that there are still areas in your district without running water, a decent police service, a health clinic , and sees floods from the uncollected daily garbage once a quarter inch of rain falls. The audacity to defend this fake Christian clown It was this self serving egotistical ,idiot, who was in political power since he was what 24 , forced his dumb , unelected wife upon people more, qualified , and deserving MPs, called an election 2-3 years before it was necessary,disregarded very competent candidates such as sister Beckeles, ignored loyal servants of the party such as Fitzgerald Hinds ,who had his back during the learn opposition days , and so allowed a political lightweight leader ,in Queen K ,along with the geriatric UNC ,refurbished political party , to sneak into power,without an iota of public scrutiny , and now we the suffering ,must feel sorry for him? Who was it that got into bed with a white Canadian crook called Hart , with a Chinese wife , along with criminal family , and her crooked , jealous,obviously jilted former Indo Trini businessman husband,from Central, who eventually use all pertinent info to destroy his entire government?
    If this Sando comedian ,had any decency he would resign his seat forthwith ,and go seek the real medical attention he needs in Cuba from Castro his pal , since he and his previous 4 predecessor ,have all contributed to the decrepit state of our entire Health service , after wasting billions of our oil dollars, on utter foolishness , along with due to non transparency ,and corruption .
    In the mean time , the innocent people of Tobago , must endure the revolting stupidity of a few elites , and mostly delusional masses ,located in big brother twin island of Trinidad.
    I told the Roth in a letter , what his next course of action should be,which is start to put in place a feasibility study ,to chop of the offending right hand, that is of no use ,and find useful Caribbean, and further regional allies, which can advance the island ward.
    This One hundred and something years experiment , has produced no good for the neglected souls of Tobago- in terms of industrialization, job creation,security, basic infrastructures such as a major hospital- the disgusting , neglected tourism industry – of which the entire country is solely dependent upon ,and we know the real reasons why?
    As the wisest woman that ever lived , would always advise me,”those who don’t hear would feel ,” my friend. If you doubt that, then ask former PM , and President, ANR Robinson , as he has the 1990 scars, to show for his equal folly after a life time of service to the most ungrateful people on god’s earth.
    Words of caution, and it’s free of charge :- If the corrupt , greedy , laschievious ,fake religious ,race mongrels , don’t get you,then your post tribal Yarubo, Ibo, Fulani, Ashanti, Kekuku, Xosha and Hoasa brothers , and sister would do it.

  10. Another PNM MP bats for Manning’s motion
    Opposition MP Joanne Thomas says the Parliamentary motion by former prime minister Patrick Manning was a very “persuasive argument” and anyone with “a conscience” would have supported it.

    Moonan sees new PNM senators soon
    Temporary Government Senator Rabindra Moonan says the Opposition People’s National Movement (PNM) must apologise to the nation for the wrong it did over the past 50 years.

    Senator: People fight and make up
    “Political parties are made up of people. And people make up, break up, people fight and kiss and made up. That is nothing here and it is nothing new on that side,” PNM Senator Shamfa Cudjoe said yesterday…

    Parliamentary privilege
    There exists a disturbing underestimation of the role and importance of parliamentary privilege, alarming because the miscomprehension is affecting the decisions of sitting parliamentarians. PNM MPs who sided with their colleague Patrick Manning last Friday are clearly unable to grasp that his request to have a lawyer present to cross-examine any witnesses and address the Committee when he appears before the Privileges Committee puts privilege itself on trial.

    Splitting of the PNM over Manning motion
    Perhaps it was simply a case that the PNM parliamentarians who disobeyed the decision of the party caucus to abstain from voting in the Manning motion could not completely abandon their former leader, perhaps still psychologically their leader.

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