On the advice of reputable legal sources I am staying
away, for the time being, from the ongoing controversy
involving Chief Justice Sat Sharma and other senior public
God knows I have very strong views on this regrettable
imbroglio but I am letting wise counsel prevail. And you
know what? I did not have to pay hefty legal fees.
Without going much further all I will say at this time
is that T&T is surely undergoing a tough time in the
process of evolving into a better society for all of our
New norms are being set and it is up to us to accept those
we find palatable and reject outright those we find unacceptable.
I am looking aghast at all the moves, counter moves, who
is lying, who isnt lying, the venomous nature of
some of the statements emanating therefrom.
Look, before I give in to this overwhelming desire to
ignore that injunction, let me switch gear right now.
But I promise to return to that rather potentially bloody
punch-up at the appropriate time.
Lets look at the political situation which is just
as murky and depressing as that other issue.
What has gone wrong with Basdeo Panday?
Opposition politics is frustrating politics but was he
misquoted or did he really speak about violence if this
PNM administration is not brought down through island-wide
protests, as he advocated over the weekend?
Speaking immediately upon his arrival at Piarco Airport,
he told his loyal supporters to organise protest marches
and demonstrationsopen confrontation as he labelled
itagainst the Government until it stops its spiteful
and malicious assault on society.
The Guardian report quoted him saying in response to a
query over what he meant by open confrontation:
If the protests do not work the only other answer
Now I understand that Panday has denied making that statement
(which I havent seen) but I hardly think any reporter
would be that careless, mad or malicious to fabricate
such a statement.
In any event, even if that is not what he actually said,
it is exactly how people interpreted his statement.
What the hell was really going on in his mind when he
made that potentially harmful statement?
Is this former Prime Minister and Opposition Leader unmindful
of the serious and debilitating crime situation in T&T,
particularly at this time?
Is he unmindful of the potentially volatile scenario that
statement could trigger? But thank God Trinidadians/Tobagonians,
because of our remarkable ability to stomach all kinds
of injustices from the State and its organs, are not really
a violent people as a whole.
So that Pandays perceived call to arms
would end up like a damp squid. Nobody would take him
Yet you cannot simply write off that intemperate statement
as the ranting and raving of a politician wanting to stir
up his supporters.
There are those people who, because of blind loyaltyacross
both partiesmay very well see that as a coalition
call to marshal the troops for whatever nefarious reasons
that may enter their minds.
His stated goal of uniting his fractured United National
Congress would be better served if he directs himself
to that task instead of engendering the wrath of his detractors
by making foolish statements.
Has he ever heard of any Trinidadian violently trying
to overthrow a democratically elected government?
Except of course for that aberration in 1990 when some
religious zealots made a failed attempt.
And what did the people do? Instead of throwing their
support behind the insurgents, they looted the bloody
place, leaving several businessmen up to today unable
to recover from that disgraceful episode in our history.
The people are not going to blindly follow politicians
who advocate violence and that is a hard cold fact.
Today the country is in a mess, Mr Panday, and spitting
venomous statements would not endear you to the people
who are desperately looking for a way out of this stinking
mess we have found ourselves in, all because of the machinations
of politicians on both sides of the political divide.
Instead of trying to stir up unnecessary bad blood
among your own supporters, why not concentrate on rebuilding
a party which has now lost a lot of credibility because
of that still unseemly row among yourselves.
As I have said before, this place is in a mess and what
is needed at this time especially are leaders who would
give us some hope that there is help on the way.
Not one bent on divisiveness. God knows we have had too
much of that, which is why we are in the situation we
Please, Mr Panday, dont add to the problems, be
part of the solutionif you are so inclined.
Everywhere you turn the news is depressing, so we dont
need anymore bad news at this time. It is all well and
good for you to pursue your political ambitionseven
at this stage in your lifebut please do so within
acceptable and constitutional means.
One of these days you may get carried away with your own
rhetoric and I dont have to tell you about the possible
Just a mild refresher: a certain religious leader is in
court for saying something almost similar. You want to
go back again?