Forward march to the Red House
latest NACTA poll has confirmed my expressed view that parliamentary
representatives, both PNM and UNC, are little more than useless.
So why should we increase their numbers?
The EBC recommended an increase from 36 to 41 for demographic
reasons. Colm Imbert argues however for 51 members of the
House of Representatives, not to provide any better representation
of the people, but purely for extra bodies to
attend parliamentary committee meetings.
Imbert overlooks the fact that Manning has made everyone a
minister, to keep them financially dependent on him, thus
his cabinet is probably three times the size of any cabinet
in any G8 country.
When Larry Achong resigned from cabinet and displayed his
two vital attributes of manhood, Manning rightly feared that
three disenchanted members could quickly escalate to six,
and threaten his leadership.
He suddenly appointed as junior ministers, elected MPs Fitzgerald
Hinds and Eudine Job-Davis, who had both been sulking in a
corner, since they were bypassed for ministries in favour
of senators. That is why there are no PNM backbenchers to
attend parliamentary committee meetings.
Then Manning increases the number to 61, ten more representatives
than Imbert. To any blind man, this is purely to overcrowd
the Parliament chamber, as justification for a new
parliament building, so he can get into the Red House.
Manning stands just behind the late Mootilal Moonan, the ambitious
mountain mover. Such is his Red House obsession that he too
will move mountains to get into the Red House.
Manning has steadfastly refused to put his Red House ambitions
to the people for discussion and instead relies solely on
a Canadian adviser whom he has paid to tell him what he wants
So while crime remains the paramount issue for the nation,
and the Ansa/McAl poll tells us that the people of T&T
want neither Patrick nor Panday, Patrick cares nothing about
the peoples concerns as he advances inexorably to 2020,
confident that with Canadian support he will get into Trinidads
Horrors to get a mammogram
went to the Port-of-Spain hospital for a mammogram after a
doctor described a lump in my breast as suspicious.
I got an appointment but on arrival they told me they had
no film. The woman doing the mammogram promised that I would
be sure to get it next time. However at the next visit I was
again given a new appointment. I asked if the machine had
broken down but the receptionist said no. I asked if the woman
who has to do it was absent but they told me no.
No one could give me any answers. Everyone just looked as
if it was a secret. I then got a new appointment for July.
Minister Rahael boasted on TV that they are doing everything
to help cancer patients. Is that how? My mother died from
breast cancer and my sister took out one breast. Is that what
the minister wants to happen to me?
Why do poor people have to suffer so? At the Sangre Grande
hospital they told me that I have to pay. It is a crime to
can President do about crime?
most people in this country, I am deeply troubled by the rising
crime rate, and the inability of the authorities to reduce
I have been a victim on two separate occasions over the years,
and in both instances the perpetrators are walking around
free as birds, and I am constantly looking over my shoulder,
having installed more locks at home and having seriously curtailed
my activities at dusk.
I am however equally concerned by the people who are turning
attention away from the institutions which are established
to deal with this problem, and targeting the President of
our country, calling him to do something about crime.
Whereas I totally support the collection of signatures on
a petition which will be sent to President Richards, I ask
the organisers of the noble effort to attach a list to the
petition outlining precisely what actions they think the Head
of State can take to alleviate the problem.
I am not acquainted with our Constitution as perhaps I should
be, but my limited knowledge in this area has in the past
caused me to invite critics of the presidency to bear in mind
the limited powers which are invested in this office.
These powers, as I recall, are also bizarre to some extent.
For example, I believe that the President can dismiss the
government in toto if in his mind it is not performing or
if some serious breakdown in governance has emerged.
I do not believe, however, that the President can fire an
individual minister, or a Member of Parliament, acting on
his own volition. If I am right, perhaps those people who
are actively campaigning for reforming the Constitution should
look at this particular item with great vigour.
But returning to the burgeoning crime rateis it possible
that President Richards can actually do something about it?
Various suggestions have emerged in the media. He should fire
the National Security Minister and take personal charge is
an idea gaining momentum.
One group has proposed that he can openly join the national
cry for urgent action by the Government and its many arms
which exist to deal specifically with the problem.
Others have said that he can call for a national debate on
crime, or perhaps use the independent Senate to convene one
under this mandate.
Perhaps also those people who have the energy and are truly
tackling the ills in our society should use the current crisis
to organise a national drive for signatures on a petition.
This document will call on the disparate constitutional reformers
to end the bickering and childishness and join forces in a
national foment, the purpose being to educate and energise
the country towards reform, with crime high on the agenda.
There is a new ingredient working in their favour. The latest
polls have indicated great voter apathy and loss of confidence
in both political parties.
This comes as no surprise.
The constitution reformers should threaten a massive no-vote
campaign starting with petition calling for meaningful action
and a deadline should be contained therein.
Finally, as an unabashed admirer of this President, I tend
to read the various extracts of his addresses in the local
press and I can conclude without fear of contradiction that
he is seriously concerned about the underlying cause of the
increase in present criminal activity, the high rate of recidivism
by young offenders and the alarming data which have emerged
to reveal the growth in the level of poverty in this county.
Let lawyers help victims
the interest of justice, but more so equity and humane treatment,
I wish once again to recommend that the lawyers who ardently
seek to rescue killers from the death penalty should show
similar concern for the immediate family members of murdered
individuals and rescue them from the financial and emotional
suffering attendant on unlawful killings.
Thus for starters, the savers of the evil ones should immediately
start tithing their often abundant incomes, and depositing
the impressive sums into a public fund for helping the families
of the butchered to obtain some measure of financial support
The rescuers of killers from hanging should also, separately,
arrange for mental counselling for the wives, husbands, children,
and others who witnessed gruesome and brutal murders or are
traumatised by their effects. After all, fair is fair. Why
love the criminal and disregard the victims?
Finally, the outpourings of concern for the life-takers and
soul-destroyers by the philanthropic lawyers should include
compulsory visits to murderers at least once a week for two
hours each time, to comfort, console, and guide the misguided.
Assign one or two killers to each concerned lawyer and publish
the list as well as records of visits.
If this is not convenient then let the killers spend the two
hours a week in the homes of the respective lawyers. A sort
of interrupted parole. In this way the lawyers can fully convert
their deep concerns into positive, personal contact with the
killers they ardently protect.
Not looking good for world cricket
T&T be the laughing stock of the cricketing world? There
seems to be absolutely nothing happening with regard to preparation
for the cricket World Cup.
Our local organising committee is stagnant. Is it mired in
politics as was the very bidding that saw us get the meagre
brown bag package?
A budget of $150 million with all kinds of political interference
doesnt anger will.
Over to you, Roger Boynes.