confidence in Friends
from the rally of support for Prime Minister Patrick
Manning by The Friends of Woodford Square. PHOTOS:
it on my mood of melancholy this past fortnight but Ive
decided to depart from the usual joie de vivre of this space
for today and focus on more serious matters.
In the past couple weeks, apart from mourning the deaths
of people close to me, Ive been disturbed in particular
by two events. One was the impotent performance by our Soca
Warriors against the USA in Chicago, and the other the circus
staged at Woodford Square last Friday.
On the latter, if theres one thing I hate most is
anyone taking me for a jackass, or pissing down my back
and telling me that its raining. Last Friday I got
the distinct impression that this was what was foisted on
the national community.
In the first place, who/what is The Friends of Woodford
Square, the entity purportedly given permission by the Port-of-Spain
Mayor to stage a rally in support of the prime minister.
Correct me if Im wrong, but the Opposition Chief Whips
motion was from inception and intent, futile, mischievous,
vexatious and without merit, a matter strictly the business
of Parliament, with Mr Manning needing no help from either
colleagues of the Lower House, or friends of
If reports are even marginally true, the gathering in the
Square, if anything, was thoughtless, disruptive and disrespectful
to the wider community.
Yes, there is a wider community beyond the PNM.
These reports included Cepep employees being forced to wear
red t-shirts and come to the Square, under the threat of
no pay and even dismissal; the disruption of the nations
public transportation system, causing undue hardship to
commuters, especially children; and, worse of all, schoolchildren
being deprived of their School Feeding Programme meals,
the food given to big, hard back sheep in the Square, with
the children getting a muffin and pack of peanuts.
If theres even the slightest modicum of truth in these
allegations, I say shame on The Friends of Woodford Square,
and all who contributed to the counter-productive actions
of last Friday.
The most curious thing about last Friday is that neither
Mayor, acting police commissioner, PNM officials, PTSC bus
drivers, Mr Manning or Square denizens know who organised
the rally of so-called support.
With this dotish precedent now set, lets see what
happens the next time some fly-by-night, vie-ki-vie entity
decides to assemble en masse in Woodford Square to support
any issue being debated in our hallowed and sacred chamber
Extracting the root of the problem
About my second gripe, for once Im forced to disagree
with A Jack Warner. Coach Francisco Maturana should have
already been back in Colombia comparing the retail price
of novocaine, or doing root canals.
Yeah, I am one of the countless arm chair coaches out there,
but, for the life of me, I am unable to understand this
mans tactics on the evening of September 10.
Aside from our team being completely off-balance due to
its many omissions and additions since the eliminations
began, I cant conceive how playing a 4-5-1 system,
with not the strongest quartet in defence, you could leave
your most seasoned and experienced defender on the bench
the entire game.
Why use the defensive 4-5-1 system in the first place, when
you have four points from two games and need an additional
three against your most formidable opponent, one youve
never defeated in ten encountersfacing them in their
On this outing, the arm chair coach that I am,
from the rally of support for Prime Minister Patrick Manning
by The Friends of Woodford Square.
would have gone for the maxim of attack being the best form
of defence, using perhaps a 4-3-3 system, and attacking
the US with every nerve and fibre in the first 15 minutes
of the game. Donavan, Beasley, Dempsey, Bradley and Ching
know only too well T&Ts laid-back tactics and
an aggressive opening 15 minutes would have thrown them
off their game plan.
I heard Mr Warner disclose on TV this week that after $20.6
million spent on the 2010 World Cup preparations thus far,
the Government is yet to invest one red cent to the cause.
Again, if this is the truth, it is one to be noted and something
done about it immediately.
Surely the sports minister and the Government must realise
that there are some sacred things that supercede politics,
starting with putting country first. So, for the next few
months, forget about A Jack Warner being an opposition politician,
and contemplate the bigger picturethe glory and recognition
to be achieved by investing generously in the causethe
road to South Africa in 2010.