A wild ride to elections

By Raffique Shah
February 01, 2015

Raffique ShahFor all its bountiful blessings—natural resources that allow us to live reasonably well, a mixture of races that dwell in relative harmony, a people that laugh more easily than they cry—this is a cussed country that moves with consummate ease from one political scandal to another, a society that has grown to accept a level of lawlessness and boorish behaviour that permeate it from top to bottom, from captain to crook.

If we do not get our weekly diet of corruption and conspiracy, we might roll over and die from boredom. We derive our sustenance from tracking murders and other serious crimes by the day. But it’s the political pepper-pot that garnishes the fare.

The current issues that occupy our attention are little different from what did five years ago when Patrick Manning, Calder Hart and some obscure “prophetess” took centre-stage, or months later when Reshmi Ramnarine was propelled into the spotlight when, as a clerk, she came perilously close to commanding the nation’s security apparatus.

Five years on, not one person who was said to be looting the Treasury or getting away with murder has been charged anything. In fact, we are is such a sorry state, the few culprits who were charged with corruption in the Piarco Airport scandal more than ten years ago remain free and would more than likely grow older and die before they face any trial.

The “prophetess” vanished in thin air, Hart is thumbing his nose at us from America, and Manning has the temerity to offer himself as a candidate for election for the twelfth time.
Meanwhile, the crime-busters who trumpeted their resolve to lock up every wrongdoer of yesteryear are themselves mired in wrongdoing which, many insist, is ten times worse than anything that went before.

What a mess.

In the latest imbroglio, people are wagering big money over whether or not Attorney General Anand Ramlogan will resign or be fired before the dust settles. I am not a gambler, so I shan’t put my chichi on the table. But I will surely suffer shock if he succumbs in this scandal. True, several other ministers and senior officials have resigned or been fired for wrongdoing, which is a welcome change from the earlier political culture.

If it does happen, Ramlogan’s departure under this cloud of controversy could prove to be fatal to his political career as well as to the UNC’s chances in the upcoming elections. This is the dilemma that the Prime Minister faces as she wrestles the issue at hand.

Any which way she chooses, her party is in serious trouble. If she fires Ramlogan, the electorate will ask why she appointed him to such high office in the first place. If she retains him and the matter under investigation points to him being culpable, that could well be a death-blow for the UNC.

From early o’clock in her stewardship, many people questioned her choices for certain key Cabinet positions as well as for state boards. Several of these selections returned to haunt her, maybe none more so than having the beleaguered Jack Warner as her second in command, as her choice to act as PM when she travelled abroad.

Long after Warner’s name became synonymous with serious scandals in FIFA, he was literally calling the shots in Cabinet, The PM defended him until the stench that hovered around him became oppressive, and even then, she allowed him to resign rather than fire him. By then, the damage had been done.

Warner remains a ghost that haunts the UNC (so many of them clung to his coattails), although now he is a mere shadow of what he was when Basdeo Panday breathed political life into him many moons ago.

While Ramlogan did not have the baggage that Warner did when he was made AG in 2010, the aura of office seems to have intoxicated him. He initiated legal actions against several state boards’ directors who had served under the PNM administration and, from the sanctum of Parliament, was vociferous in his attacks on perceived enemies of the ruling coalition.
Now that he faces allegations of wrongdoing of a serious nature, the PM will be in a quandary over how she deals with him.

The other issue that grabbed the spotlight was when House Speaker Wade Mark, adopting his customary sanctimonious stance, all but implicated the Judiciary in a bid to stifle debate on a matter that was not sub judice.

How he could have interpreted a letter from Finance Minister Larry Howai as an official communication from the Judiciary, defies explanation. But Wade is known to have missed the mark many times during his political career. And his apology to the House did nothing to redeem the office he holds.

As these issues engage the attention of the population, the sad reality is that however they may be resolved, we know they will not be the last such stench emanating from the stateroom that is Cabinet.

We can expect more scandals to erupt, embroiling other ministers and high officials as the battle to retain power intensifies. It will be a wild ride from here to elections day.

9 thoughts on “A wild ride to elections”

  1. “Many people questioned her choices for certain key Cabinet positions….. Several of these selections returned to haunt her, maybe none more so than having the beleaguered Jack Warner as her second in command, as her choice to act as PM when she travelled abroad”

    No Uncle Shah,she did not choose him.It was Queen Maker Jack FIFA Warner, who hitched his corrupt bandwagon to her petitcoat, so that she had no choice ,but to occasionally throw him an acting PM bone,in like manner to what she gives to Labor hater Errol Mc Cloud.
    Talking about a pathetic character ,all one can say is,George Weeks must be turning over in his grave.
    All this is however stale news ,or water under the bridge ,as we prefer to say on de streets.
    One of the most famous quotes uttered by an American, was made by its 33rd Prez,Harry Truman,ummm.. the guy who ordered two genocidal nuclear bombs be dropped on innocent Japanese civilians, in the city of Hiroshima ,and Nagasaki,so as to save the lives of American troops.
    In it he stated the following as a guideline for those forced into leadership positions.:-“The Buck stops here! ”
    “Where you at ,”as we like to say on the streets,Auntie Kamla?

    We ,ain’t give a hoot, as to why this obnoxious,overrated lawyer, turned AG, Rammy,got his job,or why he ain’t wearing some T&T prison clothes, for all the bull crap he engaged in ,since Kamla’s reign.
    He must be shown the door, before another unconstitutional law is enacted,or PP policy is initiated. Did some one mentioned illegal curfew, to arrest illiterate Afro Trini kids, or worst yet , UNC party, high stakes, financial support dealers Ish/Steve, who would quicker sell their mamas,sisters to any Los Bajos,or Caranage pimp, rather than do time in a Yankee Federal Prison,for their crooked deeds.
    We ain’t care how much secrets,on the party,Kamla , and Basdeo ,this former bag boy,ummmm ANR Aid de camp possess, before, he became one of 3 PP, National Security big wigs.
    We want him gone,before the murder toll reach 5000, like Jamaica.
    Speaking of dead carcasses of fellow military blokes, whose heads were crushed because de self serving ,Tin pan soldier , turned glorified National Security big wig, threw dem under de bus,during his meteoric rise to power, and ain’t this guy a piece of work, Uncle Shah ?


    Somewhere out there in lala land, former Brigadier Sandy, one of Kamla ,use and discard Afro Trini victims, is laughing his tail off,as he sees Griffy try to get himself out of dis political pickle.
    As my extremely wise ,Tobago Granny , would often say, to yours truly , back in de day, “do so ain’t like so. ”
    Good riddance!

    We do not care if Wade MBA Mark, married, the nice of Dr Goopiesing,or just like his PM,also have racist Sat Maraj, as his spiritual adviser. That bias bum must go kids of cronies ,party hacks, and suspect intelligent tribal members.
    What we won’t tolerate is a sanctimonious, p
    It is UWI’s right to give him an MBA, even if he didn’t attend classes like rest of regular Trinis. They could turn a blind eye to unscrupulous Professors, who sleep with female students, or indulge in quid pro quo shinanigans, so as to ensure quota scholarships go to kids of party hacks, cronies, and so called, intelligent tribal folks.
    What we won’t tolerate however, is a sanctimonious jerk,doing his brown triumphalist buddies wishes, while pretending to be objective, and above politics.
    I care that so call financial guru Howai,got a sweetheart payment deal, when he left one of our national banks, his successor too,proved to be a crook, yet he Howai, was made a Finance Minister by Kamla , only to see all our financial institutions in a mess- including our Central Bank, and Stock Exchange.
    Did anyone mention insider trading lately?
    I want this not too closeted White color bandit out of a job.
    The ball is in your court Madame PM.
    To hell with these un-electable clowns! Call your elections, three months after Carnival, or better yet, Emancipation day,as de Tobago Wajang has his own problems. …ummmm,his ducks aren’t in order,with that fake Christian, Sando Geologist ,aka Robert Mugabe twin brother ,in Manning,and his clueless wife Hazel, is still lurking.
    Let’s wish our PM well, as she deliberate, and hopefully do de right thing, hmmmmm?
    I luv this land, Y tu?

  2. Ramlogan stays. Why? It is clearly evident that David West is a bonified member of the Balisier brigade. He was given several top positions by the PNM, even supported Rowley in a matter against the AG. He is as bias as they come. The PCA office has been permanently scarred by this scandal and can no longer be trusted to be an Independent voice for the nation. It is now a heavily politicized office in favour of the PNM. The AG did not have the power to give Mr.West any position. According to the Constitution such decision was in the hands of the Opposition Leader and Prime Minister, therefore this could not be a real inducement. In supporting Dr Rowley as payback for the PCA position he should be fire by the Prez who is asleep most of the time or so it seems.

    The cabinet minister Gary Griffith surrendered his cellphone to the police in the emailgate scandal and despite calls for it to be returned it was not returned until several months later all information retrieved and carefully examined. WHAT information was in that cellphone that the PNM have in their possession that is causing Gary to squeel like a pig being stabbed. His behavior is strange to say the least. He appears to be out of his element, claims of him asking his friend West for information on a particular case against the AG is just that claims. The AG could have inquired directly as to the particulars of a case seeing he is a defendant. The court must accede to his request.

    Because of all the heresay “evidence” against the AG which we know will NOT stand in a court of Law, the AG must be left to continue his assiduous work for the nation. As for Ramesh the bush bath the PNM gave him appears to be working…..

  3. well, i got a good summary of the state of TnT politics. Neal, you ain’t easy but tell it!

  4. Oh AfroBuddahSunGod, and how my heart bleeds for a wonderful ,yet “shocked ” bloke, in Senator Hamil Smith,and just what was his crime again folks?
    As he aptly put it,”I was more expendable!”


    Now you know why folks of high caliber, aren’t attracted to our national politics,and so we are stuck instead, with rogues, and vagabonds.
    Nuff said!
    See why I miss John Humphrey ,of Sou Sou lands fame? None of this diplomatic niceties , would be coming from his angry mouth,if he knew that ‘de neo tribal -use and discard ,political neophyte, Kamla,’in typical fashion, had dumped him ,like a load of ummmmmm,…’unmentionables,’at the side of some buses ,near de Caura river ,after a savory, curry duck feast,once he had served his purpose, si?
    What is most revolting, is the fact that these undemocratic, brown, neo triumphalist miscreants,enjoy pontificating, profusely, about Mama England, fine institutions,such as de House of Lords, and Privy Council. ..,ummmm,when it suits their fancy,as as we like to say on de streets.
    The House of Lords ,weren’t created for yes men/women,neither is our upper Parliamentary chambers,but they aren’t aware of that.
    You ain’t truly independent, if Old white males ,from England decides, if your laws are constitutional,ex AG Rammy!That’s why your useless behind is gone.
    You look like a nation of stupid people ,if the CCJ, is located in your country, you pay the highest bill,re it’s upkeep, but ain’t a part of it-even as one of your own local Appeal Court judges ,was elevated to T&T President ,after he was lauded as the greatest judge in the world.
    Hopefully El Presedente Cameo, is taking copious notes ,on how they treated the independent minded, Senator Hamil Smith , in favor of a party hack,for as sure,as night, follows day-as we like to say on de streets- his time is coming.
    Seriouly though,have you ever wondered why de Bengal Tiger Panday,-290727541.htmpof dis is our time fame,and his close protégé Kamla -who fervently embraced this policy-elevated four military men to the Senate,then made them Minister of National Security ?
    As Uncle Shah would attest,and a Colin Powell showed with his simi coherent draft dogging boss G w Bush ,Military folks ,with few exceptions, operate with blinders on ,when it comes to loyal service ,to their higher bosses.
    In addition, 3 out of the chosen 4 in T&T , were retired, and so were willing to eat ULF/UNC -PP food,while turning a blind eye to their respective PM’s stupidity .
    As for de Tin pan soldier, turned glorified National Security big wig, in cuz Griffy, well,he was just an incompetent, henpecked ,clueless, loquacious, do nada hot head,with a politically over ambitious wife,telling him which toilet to use ,when de need to urinate occurred.
    It’s why he too ,is looking for a job,as opposed that witness statement fiasco.
    Hey,it’s election, in de air,and everyone wish to know, what’s the score.
    Stay tuned,for more no holds barred ,objective media analysis, from a Global political animal -voice of reason,hmmm?
    I luv dis land, Y tu?
    Long live the Republic of T&T!

  5. Just wondering what Neal is going to say when Hamel-Smith is offered another position….like UK ambassador …maybe?

    1. Hey Tman ,mi amigo,to hell with old moneyed, White ,Trini elites ,such as Uncle Hamil,and what he choose to accept, or not,after he was kicked in de ammmmmmm… shin ,by de politically savvy,Auntie K.
      Is it to jump on his expensive yacht, and sale across Latin America ,to romp on a daily basis, with under aged chicas ,or run back to Europe, to sip tasteless teas,on his slave owning ,great grand Papas Westmorland ,rolling estates?
      No one cares.
      He and Westmoorings, Federation park,and high end blokes ,ain’t care about Lavantille, Caranege, Mt Dor,Upper Gonzales, Toco,or Tobago folks,and I,and they ,’worstsara,’ain’t care about him-as we like to say on de streets!
      These ex PP blokes , all have one thing in common.They often tend to go silent ,as a Cumuto mouse ,into de sunset,once they were ousted from her Majesstrick regime.The potty mouth African former Minister,they tried to make a diplomat, Former Transparency International ,high priestess King,Basdeo clueless brother Shabas ,Tom cat MP, Pundit Shama,weed head- Dougla in Chief Anil,and that goat brain, character ,who was in change of gender portfolio ,yet stupidly fondled a airline stewardess ,on a CAL plane ,while pretending to be drunk – for all the the world to see,then threatened her,that if she talk,he’ll burn her at de stake ,in like manner to his Great Great Grand Mama,who was unable to escape to lovely T&T,as she was unfortunately, stuck back in India.
      Hope I did not leave any of 20 fired ,unfortunate ,political souls out,mi country hating Piasano?
      If so,I am sorry,as they were probably insignificant.
      Seriously TMan,de bigger question for ‘you allze,’ is this :-
      What can be offered, to de one time, Tin man soldier,turned glorified National Security big wig, in cuz Griffy,to keep him silent, about all your PP misdeeds, now that he ,and his upwardly mobile COP wife ,is foaming at de mouth ,and looking to draw Kamla’s blood,like a certain loving ,yet criminal husband,who did in his Cougar,Journalist wife,Marica,on January 24th,after their 4am,amorous dambly,hmmmm?
      This Griffy chap!Talk about a man with his pecker, stuck in his zipper,eeehhhhh?
      Everyone in the military hates him -from Command, to last recruit.If Police Commissioner Williams, boys /gals ,see him walking in the streets,they might run him over.
      If he gets convicted, as Annan Rammy ,walks free,dem disgruntled ,prison officers folks ,would force him to sleep in a special cell,with sex starved, 6ft 5 Lavantille African monsters ,with a fondness for delicate red men.
      Since he advised Your government, to scrap the OVP ship,they’ll surely let dem invading drug/guns laden Venezuelan ,Oil -gas leeching Bajans Columbian fishermen,rob him ,should his 5 million dollar yacht ,drift outside de T&T Bocas.
      Worst yet,his wife keep nipping at his heels ,to go get a job ,so that she can pay for her ……….well,we’ll leave dat alone….ummm nuff said.
      Put differently, de man can’t even organize a Coup,and has no political base, to cry to.
      I take that back,for if he stay put,he can become de next Aid de camp to El Presidente Cameo, once Uncle Keith assumes office,ain’t it, TMan?
      I take dat back, for even our ex Sandhurst Coup School trained hero,Uncle Shah, has a better chance of assuming that post,over this loquacious, do nada clown.
      You are correct, the PNM,and UNC are in de words of my late , extremely wise , Tobago Granny, “6 of 1,and half a dozen of de other,”ideologically.
      Why do think I laugh,when you cyber yapping comedians, attempt to label me,or worst yet,try to hide behind PP-UNC/PNM talking points to make your point?
      PNM ,UNC,PP,COP,same difference,as we like to say on de streets.
      Leadership matters however, my conniving piasano. They set the tone! Por ejemplo; –
      1.This is our time /corrupt ,immoral governmental stewardship-Basdeo Panday.
      2. High caliber, honest ,globally savvy,visionary,and progressive leadership-ANR Robinson.
      3.Insecurity of the highest order ,self serving ,vindictive, uncaring, cronyism/nepotism, Poor African despising /Tobago hater -Patrick Manning .
      4.Political puppet, Neophyte, in angel smile /devil heart Kamla? Well.. even you,are honest enough, to admit dat such an experiment, was a receipt for disaster, 4 years ago,when Jack FIFA Warner, using his stolen dineros ,elevated her to de throne,and de ghastly performance, and pathetic state, our country is presently stuck in,proved my theory correct.
      Leadership matters!
      Luv Humanity, and better yet ,say no to tribalism people!
      Failure so to do, can have dire consequences. Trust me when I say that,as I have been in the global political trenches, and saw manifestations of this, up close.

  6. http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/Plenty-questions-for-Alfonso-291121201.html?m=y&smobile=y

    Hey TMan, unlike you ,my country hating Piasano,I instead, was fortunate to be tutored ,by de wisest woman, that ever lived, in my late , extremely wise, Tobago Granny,and one of the favorite lines, she would occasionally throw my way,back in the day, was one she read in the Mutt &Jeff comics section, from,’me think,’de Trinidad Guardian,which went like dis:-“If you ask me foolish questions, you’ll get foolish answers.”
    One thing we can be assured of here is ,that the Right Honorable Minister,Dr.Keith Rowley ,and yes,’PM in waiting,’ weren’t asking foolish questions,but ‘the clueless, eat ah food ,retired, military bum ,’Carl Alfonso, as our 4th PP ,National Security Minister, big wig,certainly gave him-and by extension- Trini, already exhausted citizens , quite idiotic answers, ain’t it?
    Your UNC dominant PP government, in their quest to destroy our country ,embarked on a Public Service strangulation, via tribal purges,and infusion, of incompetent cronies,under qualified party hacks,and sadly,in too numerous cases,closet criminals.
    Take our Police Service for example:-1. Their first act was to bring in White ,fake expert Canadian Richard Gibbs,after forcing then Ag COP Philbert ,into retirement,paid the deer in the headlights bozo,10 times de denero,of his five predecessors,unsuccessfully tried to micromanage his department, and or muzzle the Alberta native, then used crooked ,African people hating ,Jack-FIFA Warner ,to force him out ,when he refused to roll over,like the smiling Afro Trini-actor ,Williams ,is presently doing, for their benefit. What do you have for a Police Service today? 20,000 simi trained,borderline criminal SRPs,pretending to be Police,Amalgamated ,private security bandits,transporting prisoners, to and fro,across our courts,and prisons,clueless traffic wardens,mucking up our already congested streets,and as the Opposition leader, so astutely showed ,via pointed questions, another military comedian, out of his element, whose equally stupid political acts,will ensure crimes in T&T, continue to spiral,out of control.
    Yeah,let them bring in their military drones,and war tanks,due to recommendations from Boston Irish Drunk-one time Police Chief ,Williams Braton,and that racist ,Zoo York ,Ex Mayor-Italiano-Americano Mafioso stooge, Rudolph Gulianni. Keep running these joint army /police escapades to only hunt down low end ,blue color thugs ,while white color miscreants ,beholden to this regime ,walk free.
    Since your leader, party,and si,government’s yardstick for drastic change,is to replace what exist,I am almost certain ,the voters that matter,can’t wait for the next elections, to do de right thing Tman-vote them out/send dem back to the political wilderness.
    Where you at Dr Keith Wajang Rowley? Ahhhh shucks…and what was I thinking,for that was a foolish question, on my part!
    I here you,Dr K…putting your ducks in order,ensuring that the right candidates are on board,making sure dem policy wonks ,get their talking points in gear ,tweaking the manifesto, and counting. Don’t forget …..de victory speech. be magnanimous, no gloating, the healing is vital…,hmmmm?
    Yes sireeee,for de Mason Hall kid, won’t be caught with his pants down -as we like to say on de streets.
    Long live de Republic of T&T, and may good governance be a reality, one day soon,si?
    Hey TMan, here is a non foolish question for you:- Is Patrick Manning, and de Arima -Afro Carib Penelope Beckles,still on de PP payroll,like former Journalist ,Andy Johnson?
    Stay vigilant people!
    De Guyanarization of T&T ,must never be allowed to take place!

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