6 Sept 2009

Putting your money where your mouth… isn’t

Several things came to my attention this morning, the tie-in to all being the fact that money is spent wantonly and wastefully by the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, also commonly known to those in the know as Patrick Manning.

None of it is really shocking. None of it even raises eyebrows any more. Think of it this way:

You start a job, do your duties. Eventually you get asked to do a favour. You get asked again… and again… and again. The favour eventually becomes part of your job role. You protest one day, maybe. It is pointed out that you accepted the responsibility so now you are stuck with it because you did not protest.

In much the same way, the money being so wantonly and carelessly spent has never been brought to censure except by a few lone voices. Now, it has become accepted as the ‘norm’ and we who protest are merely farting in the breeze.

So getting back to where money is spent and the mouth of the gov’t isn’t…

A certain stadium/sporting academy for a ‘hero’, (personally, if I was associated with this debacle, I’d do a deed poll, change my name, and hide out in some other country, still hanging my head in shame). $700 M spent and the end is nowhere near 50% completed much less 100%. The Sports minister, rightfully renamed to ‘Isaac’, is hunting for excuses, but apparently has now given up and simply stated in Parliament he is ignorant of anything to do with this Hart-felt project. He is quite correct of his ignorance.

I must point out – and deserving of its own paragraph – that Isaac requested 172 free football tickets (see below on football scams), for Parliamentarians numbering just over 40 odd. The others apparently went missing in rain and floods, but… I suspect will never be found when the flood waters subside.

A Commission of Enquiry is determined to be illegal, since it was not ‘gazetted’ before starting. Lack of printing a notice to the public has scuttled an affair that was keen to look at misdemeanours (and more severe criminal acts) in the construction sector, a roundabout way of saying ‘Get Rowley!’ They ‘shook’ the dog on him but forgot to untie the chain from the kennel. In the meantime, a reported $3M was spent on what I assume to be ‘admin’ fees since the lawyers will collect separately. Oddly enough, this has come a time when the Commissioners have been provided with what appears to be irrefutable proof that the head honcho is in cahoots with a major contractor; indeed he might even be part of the family, by law as well as money.

I am ashamed to mention that Patrick Manning aka the Gov’t is also buying 4 helicopters, at a cost of $2B, for the ‘armed’ forces, even if most of those arms are hidden in the ceilings of various police stations and probably barracks around the country. The last time the armed forces used a helicopter to my knowledge, it was to deliver the head of the police duncey service, right on top of a crime scene thus blowing away all the evidence. Perhaps when he alighted the wind blew up his arse, because shortly thereafter it was revealed by Patrick Manning, aka the Gov’t that they had an idea who ‘Mr Big’ was. Since then both the CoP and the Gov’t appear to have farted out that hot air since not even a ‘squeef’ came out after about Mr Big.

On the other hand, we have a certain Opposition MP who opposes both the Gov’t and his colleagues. He wisely spends money of a personal nature in a generous manner helping the poor and downtrodden, who appear to be everyone at this point except ministers and senators. The generous spending makes him appear to be as wise as Job, as thrifty as Moses, and as rich as Joseph (no, not Martin). The public is so damn grateful, they forget that the money being spent on them is really theirs, garnered under questionable circumstances from ticket sales for football matches in Germany through a questionable transaction with a travel agency owned by the same MP. He also had a son who got the sole concession to sell concessions at local football events which actually brought in more moolah. Funny thing is that he raked in Millions, but give back thousands.

Hey, and don’t forget, despite a court order prohibiting construction at Alutrint because of failure to obtain legally required authorisation, the work is still going on. Why? The reasoning is as crooked as some cops and politicians. “We have invested so many millions that it will all go to waste if we don’t continue.” So, they continue, forgetting the commonsense approach that even more will be lost if the court shuts them down, permanently.

I have to say, I am speechless.