Monday, June 17, 2013

Guest commentary - Lies, Ripoffs and corruption

File: Keith Rowley and Ken Gordon
I am beginning to come to the very reluctant conclusion that our society is hopelessly and helplessly mired in corruption. And I am not just talking about corrupt politicians (and God knows that we have more than our fair share on ALL sides of the political divide) but I am talking abouteverybody.

Let's get the politicians out of the way first: this firetruck issue, for example, stinks to high heaven. 

In a million years you cannot justify to me a cost of $6.7 million (or more than a million US dollars) to haul a truck out of a ravine/ditch/hole/whatever of approximately fifty feet. 

That is as bad as Gary Hunt's $2 million flag ... or worse, because the obvious thievery was more. And I am fed up with all those PNM hypocrites who kept absolutely silent during the excesses of the Manning regime who are now holier than thou and crying corruption every chance that they get!

I am also fed up with Keith Rowley's endless bleatings about corruption when the Landate matter is still not resolved. 

For those who have forgotten, Dr. Rowley was involved in a land development project in Tobago about 10 years ago. The sub-contractor on that project was a large company called NH International which is owned by his good friend, Emile Elias. 

A commission of enquiry found that materials and equipment had been wrongfully removed by NH International without the knowledge or permission of the engineer from a site where the Scarborough General Hospital was being built by NH International, and taken to Dr. Rowley's development. 

The commission of enquiry recommended that there be a police investigation to determine whether or not NH International "had commited any breaches of the Larceny Act", in other words whether or not the materials had been stolen. No such investigation has ever taken place, and the question has to be asked: why? No good explanation has ever been given!

I am fed up with so called paragons of virtue committing acts that cannot be justified and pretending that these actions are all right because they would never do anything wrong. 

Look at what the Chairman of the Integrity Commission did! He has a secret meeting with the Leader of the Opposition in his home over an issue which his commission is supposed to be investigating!!?!! And nobody sees anything wrong with that?!?!

Let me tell you what's wrong with that: suppose you and I are in a dispute which is going before a particular judge in the High Court of Justice. How would you feel if I went to the judge's home one evening before our trial?!? You would feel good!? No! You wouldn't! 

But isn't our judiciary composed of honourable men and women? Yes! And don't you trust them? Yes! But such a meeting would be patently wrong on the face of it and I surely don't have to waste any more words in making that point. 

Ken Gordon was wrong to meet Keith Rowley in his home. He can write all the aide memoirs that he wants ... but nobody except the erstwhile chairman and Dr. Rowley ... the two participants ... was there to confirm or deny that what he wrote was in fact true. 

And there should be absolutely no cloud of suspicion hanging over the Integrity Commission. What the heck does the word "integrity" mean, for crying out loud?!

And then look at what I wrote about the charity United Way spending money on a cocktail party. I might as well have been whistling in the wind! None of the daily newspapers see this as wrong! Nobody has written about it! Why? 

Is it because those involved are all "big" businessmen and therefore advertisers who can pull their ads if they are criticised in public, or is it that I am wrong in thinking that was a big thing and is as wrong as wrong can be?

And what has got me so riled up now? On Saturday we had a birthday party for our 11 year old son. My wife got the bright idea of hooking up a little karaoke machine that we have to our other son's lap top and downloading some karaoke music from the internet for the kids to enjoy at the party. We needed a special cable to connect the karaoke machine to the lap top.

But when we shopped around we found that the cable was going to cost $528 so we said "nah!" That was way too much. But the son of a friend of ours went on to the internet and found the same cable on Amazon ... too late for the party, but he found it! 

Guess how much it costs on Amazon? Four American dollars!! Or, if you like, a little more than TT$25!!! Talk about rip-off!! Profit is one thing, but this kind of rip-off is as dishonest as it is wrong. It makes me wonder what else we are being overcharged for in this little republic of ours! And don't bother to answer that! The question was really rhetorical!

I am as fed-up as I am upset! 

I am upset because the same people who complain vehmently about the corrupt politicians are the same ones who are ripping off the society in other ways. The hypocrisy is too much to bear! 

And we all seem to think that this is acceptable, for none of us does anything about it! We criticise the politicians, but not the businessmen or those who spend large wads of money given for charitable purposes on expensive parties! But then, in Trini Wonderland, by definition, you obviously can't be corrupt if you are not a politician!

Read more of Robin's writings in THE RAG

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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