Some sick politicking in T&T Parliament

Not only Trinidad and Tobago nationals across the diaspora, but subscribers to basic moral standards in the Caribbean and indeed throughout the world, should be keen observers whenever scheduled 2015 general elections take place, to see if the Trinidad and Tobago electorate, in some inexplicable collective stupor, hands any further mandate to the government of Kamla Persad-Bissessar. The prime minister and her partners in crime have become that much of an embarrassment to the country they have ruled with unapologetically reckless abandon since 2010.

The Bissessar administration has been on a track, since soon after assuming office, where each shocking episode of abuse of its governing-majority status has vied with some prior transgression thought at the time to be the ultimate in unsavory conduct of public affairs. Last week saw the government descend to yet another level a dumbstruck nation looked upon as depths not previously believed possible.

For starters, the stratagem hatched by the Bissessar crew to essentially stage a campaign rally in the Parliament was jaw-dropping distasteful, assuming the guise of (no kidding) a motion of no confidence in the Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Keith Rowley. One assumes that if the government masterminds weren’t breaking new parliamentary ground there, they found precedence for such pointlessly sick legislative tomfoolery in political practitioners as hell-bent on skullduggery as themselves. The waste-of-time forum set for full-scale excoriation of Rowley, the government people piled on with gusto. The leader of government business, no stranger to mud-wrestling style political discourse, did his customary thing, and then some. As did others in the obviously pre-arranged, choreographed gang-tackling session. It was the input from one of the least of the apostles, though, that precipitated the loudest howls from commentators, the political class and the public at large and, one more time, led to a pondering of whether there was any more ground underfoot into which these past masters of grunge could sink.

This junior minister, reading her prepared remarks, launched into a hideous anti-Rowley screed targeting the man’s personality and family history: he was born of a mother who had been raped by his father; he was himself the father of a son born after he raped the boy’s mother! It is practically inconsequential that all of this canned garbage was subsequently shown to be without foundation. That gross performance — of material in which the junior team player’s senior confederates were no doubt complicit — was what ignited anew the people’s untamed anger at their government’s routine indifference to anything resembling moral parameters.

As for the immediate calls for the individual who became the face of those foul proceedings to be dismissed, what a futile exercise. And giving further cover, to boot, to the prime minister’s well-worn and unconvincing façade of hard taskmaster, ready to discipline minions who break stride. The reality more likely being a boss lady with hands as stained as any others in her camp…if only because of her abiding so much conduct unbecoming that, notwithstanding her posture of clueless bystander, was obvious to everyone else. So, better in the instant case for the people to roll with Bissessar’s b.s. about having “summoned” her supposedly chagrined subordinate and accepted her apology. Yeah, right!

There’s also the matter, in last week’s revolting business, of the office of Speaker in the Parliament being occupied by a man who is comfortable with the projection of himself as a common or garden party hack, damn any appearance of impartiality in his designated role. The guy’s unfitness to be even a “pretend” speaker was perhaps never so revealingly highlighted as in his non-interruption and impassive digesting of the fabricated bilge spewed about Rowley’s allegedly iniquitous past. This speaker has several times before gone beyond the pale with questionable behavior. He shouldn’t be sitting where he is. But, what does it matter that he is cut loose and replaced by someone equally unprincipled and roguish?

There have been reports during Bissessar’s tenure, that polling gives her decent approval numbers. It’s an assertion that we believe doesn’t square with sentiment on the ground concerning the government she leads. Trinidad Express columnist Selwyn Ryan raised the possibility of fixed polls. But fellow columnist Sunity Maharaj noted Bissessar’s absenting herself from the legislative chamber while that vile contribution was being made last week — typical of the slithering moves designed to perpetuate the image of the unsoiled leader soaring above all the scummy goings-on below. We wonder now about that gambit having maxed out, energy-wise.

The Bissessar administration is classless, an absolute disgrace and should no longer exist. But lacking scruples, as this bunch does, doing the right thing is off limits. As they hold on to the prerogative of setting an election date like the keys to King Tut’s tomb, this locomotive from hell, masquerading as a government, roars on.

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