Apr 25, 2008

PM caught with his pants down - The Rowley Affair!

The Prime Minister stated that Dr. Keith Rowley was fired for Hooligan behavior exhibited at a Cabinet meeting. He went on to state that Cabinet was aware of the plan to include a 60 room Hotel at the site of the Performing Arts Center since last year. He even produced a document showing that the Hotel was part and parcel of the Center and that Dr. Rowley should have known about these plans. Well the PM was literally caught with his pants down. The following paragraph was taken from Trinicenter.com; please read.
“The Prime Minister further rejected Rowley's claim of questionable financial dealings at UDECOTT and said that the state-owned company is being run quite efficiently. Manning said that cabinet had knowledge of this hotel since last year. He proceeded to show a plan and point out the area on it for the hotel of sixty rooms. Manning said the hotel was not put in surreptitiously by anybody; it was always part of the design. Manning further said that they had articulated to the public at some time that the Academy of the Performing Arts in Port of Spain had comprised a sixty room hotel.”
Ok now that you have read the paragraph please note that the original plans for the performing arts center submitted and approved by Town and Country planning never had a 60 room hotel as part of the plan. As a matter of fact no subsequent additional plans were ever submitted to Town and Country regarding the inclusion of a 60 room hotel for the Performing Arts Center. Please read the following paragraph also taken from the Trinicenter article.
“TV6 later showed an official document that showed the hotel was not part of the plan for the Academy of the Performing Arts. Former NAR government minister Eden Shand showed documents that contradicted what Manning said. Shand said, "Last night I heard the news about a sixty room hotel, and I know the process in this country through which you can do that. The process was town and country planning approval; you can check with them if you have that, and certificate of environmental clearance. I went this morning to see whether in fact the sixty room hotel was part of the clearance. It is not."
Now we have these facts and as a result we now know that Dr. Rowley was speaking the truth regarding the inclusion of the hotel and that PM Manning was only providing information to mislead. The reasons given by the Prime Minister for firing Dr. Rowley looks very unfavorable on the part of the Prime Minister’s office and smells of impropriety at this time.

Apr 24, 2008

Trade Minister, Dr. Keith Rowely, Fired!

Today’s report in the newspaper informed that Dr. Keith Rowley was "fired" from the post of Trade Minister. Another of the ‘old guard’ is gone. If indeed this firing has anything to do with his disapproval of the construction of the proposed 60 room hotel (and other problems associated with UDECOTT and their power to act Carte blanche on projects) then the Prime Minister needs to face the nation and explain his actions.
Another hotel in a capital city that just put in place the Hyatt - do we really need another hotel? If this hotel was proposed for Tobago then I am certain Dr. Rowley would not have complained because Tobago is a destination for tourists and the added rooms would be welcomed.
Dr. Rowley who has been a member of the PNM for over 27 years and is considered to be one of the PNM’s strongest platform speaker, as reported in today’s Guardian newspaper also angered Mr. Manning when he challenged him (Manning) for the leadership of the party. I am sure the Prime Minister kept that memory and may have considered Dr. Rowley someone who could not be trusted and not a “true team player” –who knows?
The Prime Minister has accused Dr. Rowley of misconduct during a cabinet subcommittee meeting and advised him that his Ministerial position would be revoked. Did you get that? He was not warned and this action seems to have been on the agenda plate of the Prime Minister. Just take a look and one will see that anyone with any backbone, intelligence and more importantly experience has been or is in the process of being swept away. Has anyone taken notice of the manner in which the Prime Minister addresses the nation? He speaks as if he is a preacher delivering a sermon. The liturgy always ends with the common understanding that the PNM is in control and all will be well - just hold on! Yea right, in the mean time prices are escalating and the travesty of closing Caroni limited in now shining brightly.
Mr. Manning was not surprised by the actions of UDECOTT to construct a 60-room hotel on the Princess Building Grounds in Port-of-Spain as part of a performance arts academy, which is currently under construction.
http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,77559.html Dr. Rowley had the interests of the public purse as the foundation of his action to protest and for this he was fired.
People of Trinidad and Tobago, is this why you voted the PNM into office? When you are told that the high price of food is a result of that which is happening in the World food markets don't be fooled. That is partially true but the main reason for the problem at home is that we did not plan to feed our selves - agriculture was a side issue.
So now that Dr. Rowley has paid the price because he attempted to protect your public purse, what do you think that you should do? Maybe everyone should start by letting the representatives know that you are dissatisfied with the current status quo in the country; that you expect better from them. Force the Prime Minister to explain his actions and demand to see the real plans to get the country out of the malaise that has set in. Become proactive and stop being passive and non reactive to these developments.
Do you really understand what the 20/20 vision plans are and how the government plans to get us there? I really don’t care about that at this time. What every citizen should be concerned about is, what are the government's plans to diversify the economy and more importantly provide the mechanisms to ensure that we have alternative food items produced locally to weather the growing food storm that is tearing economies apart globally.
The Rowley issue should remind people that the government was elected into office to enhance the lives of the people and not intended to promote the dreams of one man who wants to leave his stamp on the country regardless of the outcome.

Apr 23, 2008

Pan On The Net Radio - Pan Music Without Compromise 24-7

No apologies and no compromise on "When Steel Talks"

Listen to the 'niceness" - pan on the net at the link below & don't forget to check the archive playlist for more musical sessions:


Listen now link here!

Apr 2, 2008

The Speaker, Mr. Panday and the WACKy Shout Box

The Speaker of the House
In Trinidad and Tobago, the Speaker, or in his absence the Deputy Speaker, presides over each sitting of the House of Representatives, acts as Chairman of Committees of the House and enforces the observance of all rules for preserving order in its proceedings. As a result he maintains order, enforces the rules as is necessary, interprets Standing Orders and practices of the House, deals with points of order and gives rulings when called upon to do so.
The Speaker is considered the guardian of the privileges of the Members of the House of Representatives and the chief characteristics required are authority and impartiality. The Speaker is also responsible for the management and general administration of the House.
Mr. Panday
There was an incident in Parliament recently where the leader of the opposition, Mr. Basdeo Panday, refused to shut down his laptop computer when requested to do so by the Speaker of the House, the Honorable Barendra Sinanan. Mr. Panday described his behavior as “act of civil disobedience”. This act of disobedience will result in a suspension but a suspension for what? Was this episode about the use of the laptop, the disobedience of the Speaker’s instructions or his refusal to accede to the Standing Order 43(5) or simply all three? What really happened here, who is right and who is wrong? I had a conversation in the WACK Shout box that led me to conclude that these WACKonians didn’t really take time to examine the situation and readily concluded that Mr. Panday is emphatically wrong.
On the surface Mr. Panday disobeyed the Speaker so he is wrong, correct? Well it is not that simple my dear friends. You see just as there are laws that the members of Parliament have to follow so too does the Speaker. Just keep in mind that Mr. Panday is an experienced lawyer and one who understands our system of government and the law well. Sometimes there are 'principled issues' that people go out on a limb to defend - was this the case with Mr. Panday?
Personally, I believe the Speaker chose the wrong issue to use to punish the leader of the opposition. A person should have the right to use a laptop computer during any presentation whether during his presentation or to research information during someone else’s presentation - that is just common sense, for heaven's sake. The more informed the person is, the better the debate and a more productive outcome we will have. This is not a mathematics test in High school where no electronic devices can be used during an examination - that was a silly move by the Speaker and he should have known better when dealing with elected officials conducting the business of the people.
“The population is under a very grave misapprehension, this issue has nothing to do with the use of a computer. The issue is that the Speaker is trying to amend the Standing Orders of this country unlawfully, illegally, without authority and without power,” Panday said. “He cannot, by issuing a memo, change the Standing Orders. The Standing Orders contain nothing about the use of a computer as indeed it talks about not having a briefcase,” he said.
Do we know if Mr. Panday is correct with this assertion? Who understands the laws better you, me or do you think that Mr. Panday has a better understanding of the mechanics of Parliamentary procedure? How many of us understand the way Parliament operates? Is he right or wrong? If Mr. Panday is correct, then what is the precedent for the Speaker to act in this manner? Then again if the Speaker is correct Mr. Panday will pay the price for his behavior. I am not judging anyone here because I don’t know if Mr. Panday is correct about the law or if the Speaker had the right to change the rules as he deems fit. However, it seems that everyone who participated in the discussion in the shout box think that Mr. Panday is the problem. Just remember that in Haiti it was an act of disobedience that changed the rules and brought freedom to the people from the rule of France. If the leader of the opposition's principled stand is wrong only Mr. Panday will pay the price for it, Ok.
The Shout Box is very interesting indeed. It is a place where very educated individuals come to have fun – to unwind, that's it. One person who epitomizes this is Debbie from Maryland and the other is TriniRicky - most of the time they don’t care about the bacchanal in the box or political turmoil but I am sure they have their convictions grounded in stone. Then there are others who believe that they are the voice of reason and must speak out (wait one minute now, I guess that I am in that category also, ha). My experiences in the box are varied but simply because I seem to always go against the grain I usually get in trouble – on Wednesday April 2, 2008 it was no different.
I missed the Bassa segment and entered the box after seeing that Mr. Panday was tried and convicted of the crime of setting a bad example - in the estimation of my esteemed colleagues he was guilty as charged. No one seemed to care about his ‘fight’ and the silly (yes silly) rule that the Speaker was enforcing - let’s call it 'the laptop rule'. Tigress was front and center and decided that Panday is against progress and should be dealt with (he is always opposing and never supports anything). I even saw in the box that he is Guyanese and should be sent back. Just imagine a man who has fought for years in the Sugar Industry and served the country for decades is being treated in such a manner. Now don’t be misguided and believe that I am a Panday supporter. No, no, no I am not. I thought he made a fool of himself during the elections and for those who can remember he and I had our differences aired on WACK when he was a guest with Cowen Boneo moderating a political segment during the election campaign. I supported the COP (we can have a discussion about that if anyone desires).
Not a Damn Dog Bark
Just to show how biased the shout box is, to date over 100 persons have been murdered, food prices are outrageously out of control and nothing done to solve crime or help the agricultural sector. Guess what not a damn Dog bark! No one from the shout box said a word, no discussion about it, but today the Honorable Patrick Manning spoke about plans to solve the problem of the current food crisis which he was quoted as saying is a “top priority.” Wow, guess what - the box lit up. Hope springs eternal in the human breast (sweet); I hope the plans work, we have to give him a chance yap, yap, yap. Amazing, what does that tell you – it was like the election victory – talk only about the good refrain from criticizing the bad. The aircraft that crashed before it took off – remember the cry? Buy the plane; at least we will see where the money is going. The food crisis was on the horizon for some time but there was no action or reaction from the government, now here come the honorable Prime Minister with 'words' that are meant to appease but food prices keep rising.
It has been some time now that the importers have been complaining about the difficulty to source food items on the world market. The US and World wheat crops were poor - that is old news and the US ethanol production has not gone up substantially to deplete the supply of corn. These facts were available for some time now and did the government act? Hell no! So when I see the hypocrisy in the box I sigh and wonder. Does anyone recall the closing of Caroni Limited - the PM's best move as he claimed. Caroni limited was in agriculture and was the driving force in the creation of the World famous Buffalypso - our government destroyed it all. They were advised to go into ethanol production (diversification of the sugar industry) but refused because we have oil. Forget about all the downstream industries it would have created. Forget the fact that the closure of the industry put thousands in unemployment without retraining to work in other fields of endeavor. None of that mattered. The Jamaicans are now involved in ethanol production with the assistance of the Brazilians. Venezuela is assisting the Caribbean region with cheap fuel and production facilities to support the energy sector in the Caribbean region. We, on the other hand, are content to collect taxes on our resources while the multinational corporations walk away with the bounty. Do you really think that these were smart moves by your government?
And while all of this is going on the topic of discussion is Mr. Panday and the Speaker of the House - talk about a classic distraction from the true ill that face the society. To be honest if you want to be entertained, visit the WACKy shout box for your daily dose of entertainment.
Gosh ah going to bed, good night.





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