Tuesday, January 2, 2018


I read somewhere once that there are two kinds of truth: the first is the unalterable bedrock of what actually happened or was actually said; the second is the malleable truth of politicians, corrupt lawyers and their clients, and charlatans bent and molded to serve whatever purpose is at hand. (I'm going to refer to them as a "Truth One'' or a "Truth Two" respectively.)

I was reminded by this when I saw all the events of December, 2017 and before unfold before my unbelieving eyes. First of all, there was the Attorney General of Trinidad & Tobago expostulating before an incredulous public that it didn't matter whether or not the emails in the infamous 'emailgate' scandal were false; what was important was what he called "the substance". Well? What was the substance of those allegations? Answer: that the then Prime Minister and several then senior Ministers conspired to murder a journalist. Okay. So? This is a most serious allegation to make. Where or what is the evidence of it? Answer: there is absolutely no evidence of this whatsoever! So what "substance" could Mr. Al Rawi  possibly be talking about? This is obviously a "Truth Two".

Then we have the 'fake oil' scandal. The allegation (which seems to be a fact) here is that the oil company, A & V Drilling, overcharged Petrotrin by almost $100 million for oil that was never delivered. This is a "Truth One". But then Dr. Rudy Moonilal stands up in Parliament (and later repeats an allegation outside of Parliament) that basically said that Prime Minister Dr. Rowley was part and parcel of this overbilling. Now this is obviously a "Truth Two". Apart from Dr. Moomilal's allegation there is no evidence whatsoever that Dr.Rowley is in fact guilty of anything.

But what is most interesting here is the way that both the police and the mainstream media have treated with Dr. Moonilal's charge. When Dr. Rowley made his infamous email allegations the press and the police were all over the scandal and the denials of the then Prime Minister and her Ministers were met with scoffs and scorn. This time the press and the police have simply ignored the allegation that Dr. Rowley may have had his hand in the proverbial cookie jar and have simply willed the potential scandal away. Why? If there is nothing there then Dr. Rowley deserves to be comprehensively cleared. But if there is something there then equally something should be done. Immediately.

Quite frankly, the very different treatment by both the media as well as the police give rise to very ugly and most unnecessary suspicions that are probably better left unexpressed at this time. But you don't have to be a genius to figure out what those suspicions are.

Then we have another example of a "Truth Two" taking place in November. Minister Stuart Young announced in early November that the Prime Minister had been invited to a conference in China at the end of November which was to be attended by ten world leaders. After that the Prime Minister was going to have a State visit in China. The only problem with this announcement was that there was no such conference taking place! But when this was pointed out to the Government, Minister Young angrily lashed out and said how the questions being asked were embarrassing to the Chinese Government!! To which I can only say what!? How? But "Truth Two's" don't depend on logic. They run on their own alternative facts.

Then we have the scandal over Massive Goseine's song about Rowley's mother and her counting. Of course, every West Indian understands exactly what this song is all about and to pretend that it is some form of art is just plain nonsense. The trouble here is not with the obvious vulgarity but with the very obvious hypocrisy of those who saw nothing wrong with the smut and racism of African calypsonians like CroCro and Sugar Aloes when they sang their smut about the UNC politicians. The truth is that the critics of Massive's song would be much more listened to if they had criticized the racist and smutty songs of the Black calypsonians in the first place. And the Indian community feels completely justified in turning to the Black critics of the song and thumbing their noses at them because of this hypocrisy on their part.

So, we are left with a "Truth One" which is that this country is hopelessly and helplessly polarized and divided along racial lines. We are left with a possible "Truth One" or a "Truth Two" (depending on which side of the racial divide that you sit) which is that the mainstream media is biased towards the PNM. And the last possible "Truth One" or a "Truth Two" (again depending on where you sit) is that the police service is also heavily biased towards the PNM. (This last is possibly the most worrying).

Can we fix this country? Yes. Do we want to fix it? Aaahh! That's the real question, isn't it? What do you think? Or, more importantly, what do you want?


  1. Another excellent article. I liked your closing paragraph

  2. Dear Robin,
    I believe that it is a Truth 1 that most nationals want our beloved country ‘fixed’, the more important questions are:
    1) do our elected leaders want what we want
    2) are they prepared to take and dispense the bitter pills that are necessary in order to accomplish same
    3) if so, who will lead the charge???
    Points, 1,2 and 3 could be Truths 2!!!

  3. Agreed. The truth is a tough pill to swallow.