25 Aug 2015

Damned Rowley

In response to this post.

" I think when the authorities say they have questions for you to answer, then you answer them."

"On principle though, I can’t support anyone telling investigators that they will respond to them when they are good and ready."

I note these two, and several others, in the same vein. I have to point out, that most of your blogs are really on the ball, but this one is misleading. You might have missed the part where Rowley said he passed the IC's letter to his lawyers for response. That in no way means he doesn't want to, or refuse to respond to the IC's request. It means he chose to answer through his lawyers, which is his right in both law and natural justice.

I'm neither for the UNC or the PNM... I was extremely critical of Manning, same as I am extremely critical of Kamla. I am on the side of justice, anti-corruption and good governance. But I have to say that after being cleared twice by the same IC (different members do not a different IC make), and once by the court (a proper forum), then make no mistake, this IC is definitely up to mischief.

Zainool Hosein lost my respect when he refused to be anything less than vice-chairman in the first instance. That matter was not so much, in my opinion, about the promise of the vice-chairmanship, but more about a man who saw a position as being more important than a sense of duty. For me, I saw a man whose personal integrity was already compromised, and time has borne that out well.

Getting back to Rowley though, it's up to the IC to reveal any new information that came to their attention. If there is none, or they refuse to divulge same, I think Rowley will be well within his rights to refuse to answer them. It's not about setting a 'precedent' as you put it. The precedent set was that he was already cleared, numerous times. He is now well within his rights to bring action against the IC for malicious persecution. However, note that he has not done this. He has opted to obey the IC by letting his lawyers take action. He is not bound by any law to accept the IC or any other attempt to frustrate him on a settled issue.

Seems as if Rowley is damned if he does, or damned if he doesn’t.

22 Aug 2015

The way to make an effective change

Trinidad and Tobago has one of the most dismal, and I dare say, corrupt and inefficient police force in the world. That’s not an exaggeration. The US Government has put the effective rate of the dunceys at 6%, a bit high in my humble opinion, but it is what it is.

However, with all the ole talk about change, here’s an example of how to make an effective change, from Kiev, in the Ukraine.

First, they fired hundreds of old police officers and replaced them with over 2,000 new ones who were plucked form a pool of more than 30,000 prequalified applicants. Roughly a quarter of the new recruits are females. All the newly hired individuals underwent a rigorous training under the supervision of enlisted US and Canadian trainers. Finally, the new officers received an increase in salary, which now ranges from 8,000 to 10,000 hryvnyas ($360-450).

That salary by the way, is roughly equivalent to a Trinidadian duncey’s.

So, to make a change we need, for the main, to fire all the Old Guard as it were, and replace them with younger, more intellectually capable persons.

Questions I ask myself

With the general election in Trinidad and Tobago being only about three weeks away, the "silly season" of stupid statements has begun, and is getting worse. These cause me to ask myself some questions primarily: "Do politicians really think about what they are saying?"

I have repeatedly heard the Prime Minister asked the question (concerning the contents of the PNM manifesto), "Where are they going to get the money to all of this?" (or WTTE). Which leads me to ask the same – where is she going to find the money to give away all of the goodies she has promised in her ‘next’ term? That leads to several other questions:

  • Is she subtly trying to say that the Treasury is dry?
  • Does she intend to train the Treasury before she leaves? She certainly made a good start!

She repeatedly says that the PNM has no plan. I find this a very curious statement, given that she keeps repeating she will do X, Y and Z but has no details of how she will accomplish these. Exactly the same as the PNM. Additionally, I find it passing strange that she is now on a wild spending spree prior to the election, and there is no definite plan for economic restructuring. The price of oil is down, Trinidad and Tobago is hardly diversified from a petroleum-based economy and already there is an extreme shortage of foreign exchange. I have not heard the Prime Minister, or the Finance Minister, put forward any plans for economic stabilisation given that a recession is now trickling down to the country. What gives, PM?

What pisses me off mightily is the fact that none of them (the political parties) will touch the issue of LGBT rights. We all know it is not to anger the religious idiots of society who are extremely paranoid and ignorant, but who carry powerful weight and numbers when voting comes around.

However, as a lawyer (and obviously fake SC) the Prime Minister should know that these issues are not actually for debate. The law has already shown that this sector of society is entitled to the same rights as any other. So making changes to the law is not a matter of opinion, discussion, or any other tomfoolery. It is compulsory, as per case law all over the world. In other words, whoever wins the elections has no choice; whether they like it or not, LGBT equal rights must be granted.

10 Aug 2015

Rottweilers and their Gumbs

Since the revelation by Anika Gumbs that she got traumatised by seeing Dr Keith 'Rottweiler' Rowley bareback,  several questions came to my mind.

How traumatised is she when she goes to the beach?

How traumatised is she at carnival?

Does her sexual partner remain fully dressed? Is she traumatised after 'the deed'?

How did her trauma compromise her status as a reporter at the Express?

Why did it take three months before the compromise and trauma trigger the resignation?

What was she doing in that three months?
What link,  if any,  does the trauma have to do with the discovery that she has contracts with the State,  from the Government,  which is currently waging a distasteful campaign of personal crucifixion against Rowley?

These aren't all the questions... There are some I think the Express has to answer too. 

What is the nature of the compromise that led Gumbs to resign?

Why was the individual not identified and the Express not insist on knowing who traumatised its reporter?

Why accept a resignation three months after the incident?

Nothing in this incident leads me to think that Ms Gumbs is making sense. There's something rotten in Denmark,  as the saying goes.

Perhaps the true story will be revealed after the election.

8 Aug 2015

Edge of Tomorrow

28676_Quad+date.inddThe film Edge of Tomorrow saw Tom Cruise play a soldier who repeatedly dies and return to the past, only to keep reliving a useless and doomed future. Does that plot sound familiar? If it does, it’s because the PP government is doomed to repeat its many failures.

I have heard this bleating before. So there’s nothing new in the ‘zero tolerance’ approach, really. Call me a cynic, but I wonder if anyone on the Rock knows what zero tolerance is? It’s not the first time I’ve asked the question.

What Kamla failed to mention is how this will be achieved. No definite crime plan, once again. Merely saying what she wants happen is not a plan as to how it will happen! Just like the movie, Trinidadians just live, die repeat.

Additionally, with the coffers running low due to reduced price of oil, and no plan for economic growth, her PP government is all about spending, spending, spending.

  • New laptops will be given to students ente­ring university and iPads or tablets will be given to primary school pupils on a phased basis.
  • The PM said her Government will continue to link communities by building the Solomon Hochoy Highway to Point Fortin and Fyzabad; the San Fernando to Mayaro highway and the Port of Spain to Chaguaramas highway/causeway.
  • She disclosed there will be a medical tourism hospital in the East-West Corridor, the San Fernando Waterfront development project and the Mayaro hotel tourism project.
  • The Prime Minister said the controversial Brian Lara Tarouba facility will be made into the Tarouba sport academy.

Aside from the usual excrement, a general election also sees some strange breaches in the law.

“The office of permanent secretary to the Prime Minister and head of the Public Service is the most senior appointment that can be made in the civil service, and as far as I am aware only the Public Service Commission has the constitutional responsibility to make such an appointment.

“Has the Prime Minister therefore abrogated this constitutional function to herself?” [Dr Keith Rowley, Opposition Leader]

It’s a valid question. But since the days of Ramesh Deosaran on the PSC, it has been flipping over backward to get on the good side of ‘Queen’ Kamla.

Chairman of the PSC Marjorie Thorpe told the Express via telephone yesterday Mendez’s position is an “acting” one based on the recommendation of the commission.

Thorpe said the PSC was written to with the respect to a recommendation to have Mendez act in the position, which was the ­arrangement to which it agreed.

The statement sounds (to me) like a cover up. Nothing unusual again there. Someone say ‘'”Reshmi!!”

In yet another quite puzzling twist, investigative reporter Anika Gumbs at the Express resigned because she was allegedly subject to ‘an unfortunate experience’ with Dr Rowley. She alleges he appeared before her bareback… at his home. Fawk, if I can’t be bareback in my own home, I’ll piss up the tailpipe of whoever made the law banning it.

She also alleges some strange comments to him. I wonder how all this happened with his enhanced security detail being around and having a family living with him. Something ent kosher with that story. As Rowley asks, is it part of the “"’norowley’ campaign? Time reveals many things, and I suspect this will be one of them.