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NOT A NEW BOAT! A NEW POLITICAL SYSTEM! By Rae Samuel

posted 21 Aug 2017, 06:57 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 21 Aug 2017, 07:05 ]
"...a lot of fingers pointing 
Who's to be blamed"

Image result for cabo star
One wishes this debacle re: the hiring of the ferries for the Trinidad to Tobago run could be called a mis-step, a procedural error, a bureaucratic mix up. But that would be lying to ourselves and there are enough leaders in law, finance, politics and sport doing that to us so let us not give them a further hand.

This episode, this farce is/was a well thought-out piece of chaos, based on utter contempt for our sensibilities as a people and responsibilities as citizens.

The Minister, the Port authorities, the legal minds, in full view in the media, fed us a mishmash of statements, assurances, pledges, timelines, all consistently buttressed by apologies and affirmations from the Cabinet. So the truckers, the travelling public, the inter island commercial traders are in fact worse off after the departure of the Superfast Galicia.

Media reports suggest that technical evaluations of the vessel screamed that it was unsuitable. Yet somehow it was reportedly within two days of going into service. Are we being told that the owners of the vessel were within two days of pulling off a scam? Remember the date for the beginning of the service was being constantly revised.

There is no point asking for accountability. Ask Ish, Steve, Carlos, Kwei Tung, Lawrence Duprey, Shamfa and Camille. The owners of the vessel are again reportedly looking at their legal options. Makes one think of a rapist making a fuss because the crime was made difficult for him to carry out and now he is less than pleased.

Minister Sinanan will continue to hold office. He is in the Mario Sabga-Aboud mould. One of those who come into office from the shadows and is seemingly not held to account by the Prime Minister. Marlene did considerably less and she lasted two days. She did not cost us any money this time around either but she is gone.

So school is about to re-open, this is the high point of the Tobago tourist season, demand for goods and services are at a peak this time and we end up with apologies and a leaky vessel. But the search resumes for a suitable replacement vessel.

But we know the search we need to embark on is for a suitable replacement political system and culture and no one but ourselves can conduct. Well meaning pressure groups call for resignations but we have had resignations since the time of Patrick Solomon when he crossed the line as Minister of Home affairs to release a relative from a jail cell. Tobago I’m sorry, intones the Prime Minister. Take that to the travel agency!

Image result for rohan sinananFolks, we have to hand it to Rohan. The fellow hit a vein of form many sportsmen locally dream of but rarely achieve. Barely six months in office, he has 'sunk' the Galicia fast ferry that ran between Trinidad and Tobago, contracted a Corbeau which he may have never sailed on and almost sold us not one but two ocean dreams.

Even by PNM rich standards and legacy of corruption, Rohan may have been headed for stardom. To forever, in the folklore of the Party, be mentioned along with O'Halloran, Prevatt, Ou Wai, Calder Hart! Wow! No…not Marlene and Camille. He stormed past them real early. It’s like taking 10 wickets or scoring 200 runs on one's Test debut

True it is that those giants of misappropriation operated when we had money but that extremely casual approach to spending public funds seems a hallowed custom even today, in that organisation; whether it be for your roaming bills, your holiday travels to Tobago for one day or gifting your yes/no Foundation.

Why was it that Rohan came so close but did not pull off the scam? It seems somebody in the Port Authority’s kitchen could not take any more of the heat being stoked by Kirk Waithe and Mark Bassant. Unlike the old days paper trails are electronic and information easier to come by. The technical findings were made public just as the rust bucket was about to drop anchor in the national Treasury. So some biblical right arms are being cut off...kind of give the public doggie a bone.

Why did Christian “Vemco” Mouttet get the job? Capitalists know how to make money. Dessalines, founder of Haiti, would say the European would use his countryman's corpse to balance a scale in a coffee house. If, as asked, the information had been made available under the Freedom of Information act, there would not have been need for all this expensive process. But once again, the capitalists are showing that the shortest distance between two points is a curve - money wise anyway.

But Mario and the 1% seem to be engaging in direct rule these days. Trinidad and Tobago administration-wise is lurching from mishap to disaster at a constant rate. The State, which as Fanon states, should serve to re-assure and build a sense of calm in its citizens is creating the opposite. So out comes KFC Mouttet, as a new fresh face, to carry out an “independent” investigation. The report will go to Cabinet as reports of all investigations of possible wrong doings and criminal activity should, which means we no longer have to look for a new Police Commissioner.

Will Rohan face any consequence? The goodly gentleman is a deputy Political Leader of the Party. That is a 'buy-in' job as opposed to a paying job. You finance your way into that post. So you cannot fire yourself since you own the post. Included in the package is a form of 'diplomatic immunity''. That means you are exempt from police inquiries, Cabinet or Party sanction. That is for Marlene, Rasta Fitzgerald, Shamfa and the like. As we say in the Caribbean cockroach in fowl dance!

Interestingly enough all this is happening just two weeks after the JTUM march. It is not clear what the next move from the JTUM is going to be. Clearly the ruling class feels re-assured that it can continue with its 'smoke and mirrors' approach because the one force presently able to check its excesses is stymied at the moment. One hopes it is not a Breakfast Shed vs. Hyatt Hotel moment they are having now
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