Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Commentary: PNM members must check Rowley's record

Keith Rowley is batting outside his crease and could easily be stumped.

Speaking to supporters recently about the May 18 PNM internal election in which Rowley is facing a challenge from at least one person, the PNM leader said he is not worried because his record speaks for itself.

Oops. What record?

If PNM members take him at his word then they would have to choose someone else, especially since there is a chance that whoever is the PNM leader could be the next PM of the country. “This is serious business and this is a serious time. Choose the best man or woman for the job,” Rowley said.

I agree.

And if I were a PNM member with a vote I would think very carefully before marking that ballot paper. So far there are two contenders and neither is a great choice. Penny has not had a chance to lead so it’s difficult to say how she would do but Rowley has been around for a long time and his record is not stellar.

The list is too long but there are some serious issues about Rowley that the PNM must address if they are going to reinstate him as leader.

Here are some of them – the tip of the iceberg:

  • He campaigned against his own party and leader in the 2010 general election so he could get a chance to push Patrick Manning aside and take over the party. He is the one who said during the election campaign the captain (Manning) would have to face a court martial when the election was over 
  • He called the government of which he was a part the most corrupt ever and then turned around and said the PNM doesn’t have to answer for anything
  • Manning threw him out of cabinet for challenging decisions by Calder Hart but he was in cabinet when Hart committed his ‘sins’. 
  • He is the man who said he complained about bid rigging in UDeCOTT and Manning refused to deal with it. But he made the charge five years after it happened. So it was OK to have bid rigging as long as he was part of it but wrong when he got kicked out of cabinet. That's Rowleyu's version of integrity
  • He has never answered charges about Landate but has tried to whitewash the whole thing by saying a court dismissed the matter. What the court dismissed had nothing to do with Landate; it was about the Integrity Commission investigating him without telling him 
  • He endorsed a Tobago candidate in Tobago who charged that if the TOP won the Tobago election Indians would take over the island
  • He accused the government of setting up a state of emergency to harass and lock up young black men
  • He is the man who went to Parliament with bogus emails claiming that there was a plot by top people in government to spy on the DPP and harm a journalist 
  • He filed a no confidence motion in the PM and the government but he and his MPs refused to vote in favour of it; they ran away when it was time to vote 
  • He breached the rules and held a secret meeting with the chairman of the Integrity Commission and boasted that he did nothing wrong
  • He must convince his party members that he has no bank account in the Cayman Islands
And here are some gems from the mouth of the PNM leader:
  • My job as a Member of Parliament is a part-time job, for which I am not paid enough 
  • We will march to President’s House and tell the president that the country is under attack 
  • When you’re in Opposition you could talk stupidness 
  • Mr. Speaker, I entered this debate to make a couple of points, and the first point I want to make is that I do not mind being fooled 
  • If the Prime Minister wants a pundit in India, just grab every third person you meet 
Since he became leader of the PNM in 2010 Rowley has not advanced a single constructive idea to advance the country. His best so far has been to promise to dust off Patrick Manning’s Vision2020 plan and rename it Vision2030.

So yes, PNM members heed the man’s words and judge him by his record and choose wisely.

If I were Kamla I would pray for people to re-elect Rowley because with a leader like him she could be PM as long as she wants.

Jai Parasram – 12 February 2014

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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