29 Apr 2013

The Breaking Wall

For some time, the UNC-PP coalition held a tightly knitted position regarding Jack Warner. Regardless of the many (and there were very many) reports of underhanded and opprobrious shenanigans regarding the channelling of public funds for private gain, Jack Warner remained untouchable. This is not to say that he was not found guilty of some of these chicaneries… he was, but by agencies external to Trinidad and Tobago. In one internal instance, his guilt pronounced by the Court (in the case of compensation regarding the Soca Warriors), he merely ignored the directives of the Court (prompting a new complaint by the legal team of the Soca Warriors before the Court, namely contempt of court).

In the main, his back was fully supported by the members of the PP coalition. While some allegedly claimed he was in a position of conflict and called for his resignation, it is the view of this writer that was mere mouthing for effect, and that only to straddle the fence in case of a split in the PP coalition… a case of wanting to looking clean despite rolling in mud with pigs (as it were). Evidence though, suggests that Jack was strongly supported by all and sundry.

When the report from the Integrity Committee headed by former Justice Simmons was released, it really revealed nothing new… but it was a revelation nevertheless if only to confirm ‘officially’ what was published about Warner many times in the past. A concurrent series exposing Jack Warner, written by known investigative reporter Camini Marajh, ran in The Trinidad Express, and simultaneously corroborated many of the deceptions carried out by Warner, his personal accountant Kenny Rampersad and others. The figures of fraudulently acquired monies and assets are staggering.

Yet, despite all of this Warner’s star shone… he was labelled ‘the hardest working MP, ‘the most loved MP’, etc and the PM, a victim of her own success, was reluctant to tarnish the glow of this star that brought her to a position of a ‘World Leader’. And her failure to act was also supported by her coalition, Cabinet colleagues and UNC supporters. This perhaps, gave her the fortitude to ignore the rising tide of criticism against her inaction… or perhaps she feared, as Warner himself confessed to possessing, the ‘files’ he had on everyone, PM included.

Nevertheless, Warner was ‘forced’ to resign under circumstances which were cloudy and which will probably never be fully revealed. His resignation was threefold:

  • As Minister of National Security
  • As Chairman of the UNC
  • As Member of Parliament of Chaguanas West.

Since his resignations from these posts, there is a rising war of words in the public stage, between Warner and other members of the Coalition. Warner began by throwing many stones, beginning with the UNC-PP itself, describing it as a ‘dungeon of despair’. True, but to hear it from the insider, the ‘Action Man’ himself, gives weight to the description, not merely because he is disgruntled, but because even disgruntled (and mentally unbalanced) persons will speak the truth when they have nothing to lose.

He then went on to attack Prakash Ramadhar, Suruj Rambachan, the Prime Minister, among others. Some are lashing back and their words are blows of significant weight should Warner ever decide to shut his mouth for a moment and think on them:

The Prime Minister:

“I saw where Mr Warner is saying that he voluntarily resigned but on the other hand he is saying that some ministers forced me and made me take the decision to accept the resignation. I think that is an oxymoron because you cannot have that. You voluntarily did this and then accuse ministers or persons in some way influencing my mind,” she said.

She said she also did not understand why Warner did not cooperate with the Simmons enquiry and provide to them the same documents he produced at Thursday’s meeting.

“I don’t understand why Mr Warner did not put his side of the story. That also concerned me. I read in that report that he did not cooperate, I find it a little surprising that he did not use the opportunity to put those forward,” she said.

Prakash Ramadhar:

Congress of the People political leader Prakash Ramadhar said yesterday he was not afraid of former minister of national security Jack Warner’s platform plans to “deal” with him.

“Many people have threatened to deal with me over the years, I wait to be dealt with. I fear nothing,” Ramadhar said after a membership meeting yesterday at the party’s Operations Centre in Charlieville yesterday.

Suruj Rambachan:

Rambachan is also denying all allegations of sacking staff at either of his ministries. Warner accused him of attempting to disband the communications department at the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure because of its racial composition.

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As to whether a police investigation into Warner will be a ‘thorough’ one, I’ll let the poll on the left speak for itself.

Returning to the issue of the public bickering currently taking place, I can only imagine it will get worse and the cracks in the UNC-PP wall of support will get bigger and bigger. How soon will it break down?

I’ve always predicted this will be a one-term government and all that remains now to be seen will be who can turn themselves into a viable alternative in the coming two years, and how much feeding will take place at the public trough before the end of the two years.

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