Monday, June 17, 2013


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 about everybody.

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!


  1. Thank you and Good Day.
    I do not even want to think of the word 'corruption' anymore.
    Its disgraceful and shameless.
    We all have to struggle with high food bills and bank commitments,
    while with others, the more they have the more they grab.
    Its a straight case of "you scratch my back and I scratch yours"
    Please "GOD" help us.
    Thank you again.
    God Bless Our Nation, and,
    God Bless you and your family

  2. On the Gordon matter ... why are all the BIG mouth citizens' (pnm) groups so hush hush? Even the TI is tight lipped. Cat got Reggie Dumas tongue. Everybody fraid Gordon.
    I hope if he doesn't quit he gets fired. This is the litmus test for Mr President to make his first integrity move.

  3. Hi Robin, I just read your article, and I too have encountered all kinds of corruption, but, in the Real Estate industry. For example: A certain Bank approved a loan to 2 individuals of $2 million TT dollars, and used as collateral 20 acres of land in Las Lomas, which is zoned as agriculture land, with no proper road access, no electric or water, and its 3 miles deep in the forest. A vehicle cannot even get there. The correct value of the land is $450,000. These 2 men paid the owner only a deposit $200,000 and refused to pay the balance. The owner trusted them and transferred the deed to them, because they were his friends and because of another deed they had done to transfer the property back to him, if they failed to close. When the owner complained that 5 years has passed and he wants the rest of his money, they told him he can transfer back his deed. They even gave him a document to that effect, knowing they borrowed $2 million on it. The corrupt part is this.
    Value of land..$450,000 for the entire 20 Acres! 1.Who in town and country changed the zoning from Agriculture to Housing Development? In a dense forested area with no roads, water or electric? There are no houses nearby.
    2. New Valuation had to be over the amount loaned of $2,000,000. Who did that valuation? It had to valued at about $3 million for them to be able to borrow $2.mill.
    3. Who is the big man contact at the Bank involved in all this? What was his cut to approve the loan?
    4. How can they sign a deed of Transfer to the original owner, after borrowing on the property? The document was done by an attorney.
    5. The original owner wants to go to the Bank, and threathen that if he don't get the balance of his money, $250,000- he is going to expose this racket on Crime Watch.

    This country mad.

  4. Robin and others. There is a solution and there is a government that will take the bull by the horns and make T&T what it should be, a paradise for all, free from racism, corruption and nepotism. If you are truly as passionate as you write. Take the time to check out this web site and email them. It is the change T&T needs. I think you, Robin can be instrumental in this change!

  5. My problem with the web site "peoplespartyoftt" is that whoever is "the political leader" of this "grass roots movement" has not had the courage to say who he/she is. Honestly, I don't really have time to be attracted to support persons who wish to lead through the safety of anonymity. If that person really has the courage of his/her convictions then let him/her say who he/she is and who are the people around him/her.
    That's the first step. Secondly, what exactly are the policies of this group? It is very easy to criticise from behind, but what exactly (besides the obvious platitudes) does this group stand for and what are its solutions to the myriad problems facing our little country?
    When I know the answers to these two questions then I will be in a position to decide whether or not I can support it. But don't ask me to support an anonymous group with anonymous policies on faith alone. Sorry!

  6. There is a need for a politically appointed level of administration between the elected government and the civil service. These people would be tasked with transforming the political agenda, working with the heads of the civil service, into workable policy. We can then get rid of these boards, reverting the civil service back to the civil service from these adhoc private entities. How else can a government implement its policies.

    The civil service should be made manageable by removing the deadwood. If that means paying off the deadwood then so be it. People should be more responsible for themselves and then they would see how they can help each other.

    No new political party can change the psyche of the people. And it is 95% of the people. Everyone has demands. And a new political party would only have new people with new demands. Maybe we should be looking at disbanding all political parties.