Thursday, November 15, 2012

Letter: Another victory for AG Ramlogan

Forgive me if I don't join in the gush of commendations being heaped (yet again) upon the Attorney General, Anand Ramlogan and his hand-picked legal team that pulled off a stunning triumph in the UK arbitration courts against BAE Systems, thereby plucking victory from the jaws of PNM-prophesized defeat, in the process too, leaving the jaws of the once mighty PNM agape as never before. 

The reason why I cannot and would not mark such an outstanding achievement (yet again) by the AG by composing or distributing any pat-on-the-back letter in his favour is because if the former administration had our interests in mind in the first place, no contract would have been entered into with BAE: the millions of dollars spent and committed towards the purchase of the Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) would have been applied to more beneficial use.

 It is very clear those millions were applied by the PNM administration in another act of pappyshow, at our expense.

Over and over again we have seen and heard from the embers of the former administration that the Attorney General is chasing phantoms and pursuing tomfoolery by resorting to civil lawsuits in order to recover what I would diplomatically describe as taxpayers' monies injudiciously and or questionably spent during the nine years of PNM rule (2001-2010). 

Their protestations have fallen flat on every single occasion: the conclusion of every civil suit filed by the Attorney General has resulted in the Cash Receipts Register at the Treasury making one sound - kaching, kaching. 

Based on the statistics, the future noises from that machine will be the same melody, but will be at more regular intervals and a much higher pitch, since those to whom much had been given before May 2010 will be called upon to account for every red cent in a civilized manner, not by calling out persons in a contrived and lacklustre show of force and bullying.

The fact that the likes of BAE Systems has been forced to concede and pay back, confirms what every lawyer and judicial officer in Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean knows for many years now: we have the legal talent right here to take on even the mightiest or most fearsome wherever. 

It has always amazed me that there has never been the political will to apply it and to apply it creatively in furtherance of the public interest, the people's good. 

Coincidentally, just a day or two ago, I shared a newspaper article of 2010 where the same AG summarized his appointment as Attorney General as a continuation of his private-practice career which he viewed as a modern-day version of the battle of David and Goliath. 

His precise words were, "I was always on the side of David, and I always saw the instrument of the law as a slingshot in the hands of David, that one would use to slay the almighty Goliath.” I now ask, how can anyone, except the inveterately dishonest, deny he was being honest when his actions since coming to office have demonstrated he walks the talk?

My hope is for all of us to take careful note of the truth of these matters and what I am saying. 

I suspect the PNM would pause, reflect, then, come tomorrow, try to fashion a mountain out of some molehill in the arbitration result. 

As usual, theirs would be a failing effort. As usual, I expect nonetheless, they would not be fazed, but dazed. 

I look forward to hearing the response of the likes of Chief Secretary Orville London in particular, for, as we know, one day, one day congotay and if we measure him against BAE, we find he's not as gigantic in any way.

Liz Awai, (Cellphone: 731 3355)Bagatelle, Diego Martin, Trinidad.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai