The real Pirates of the Caribbean… By Phillip Edward Alexander

phillip_edward_alexander (Phillip Edward Alexander is a social and political activist, a feature writer and columnist, the founder of the Jericho Project and the chairman of the Citizen’s Union of Trinidad and Tobago.)

I have heard some in the opposition forces refer to the People’s Partnership derogatorily as the People’s Pirate-ship and had to laugh. Really?

Not believing that that side had the audacity to make such a statement, I thought, how about we take a look at THAT band of merry men and compare, just so we know who is real pirate and who is pirate in name only, shall we?

First off, the co-leaders of this rag tag bunch, Keith Rowley and David Abdulah, an odder couple you would be hard pressed to find anywhere, but let’s look at their political CVs.

The PNM that Keith Rowley represents has raped this country’s treasury every time it has been in office, with the worst offences being committed while he himself (Rowley) was a senior cabinet minister. In fact, it was he who in 2009 told the nation that he (his words) “went to the prime minister in 2003 and warned him of massive bid rigging and corruption taking place at UDECOTT that was ten times worse than Piarco.”

Yet besides warning the prime minister he did nothing else for six long years and I have asked him repeatedly to either explain or defend that.

Did he make a call to the Integrity Commission to alert them to what he knew? How about the commissioner of police? Did he think to leak the information to the Fraud Squad? Or to email it to the Anti-Corruption Investigative Bureau? Or what about leaving it in the mailbox of the director of public prosecutions? Why for the entire six years he had not thought to ‘buss a mark’ in one of the daily or even weekly newspapers?

Looked at simply on the face of it and judging him by his own words spoken into the Hansard, how does he justify doing nothing with this knowledge that the treasury was being reamed for six Christmases, six Carnivals, six Eids, six Divalis, six Arrival Days, six Shouter Baptist Days? How?

How does he reconcile knowing that the prime minister was now aware and chose to do nothing, thereby tainting the entire government he led and compromising the Cabinet that he Keith Rowley chose to remain in? And if that is not a pirate ship, a gang composed and knowingly in pursuit of ill gotten gains, then what is?

And his partner in political crime and leader of the Wrong Table David Abdulah, on what does he base his moral pontificating? The sins of others? Surely not on his own marvelous successes? His stint as a senator in the Partnership was the high point of an ignoble career to date, and his choices since adopting T&T as his homeland might have forced other more security conscious developed nations to repatriate him a long time ago.

I for one am not happy with his explanations regarding SOPO and SOPO’s involvement in the attempted coup of 1990, and based solely on the evidence given to the commission of enquiry into that most dastardly act, SOPO and by extension David Abdulah both have questions to answer for this most brazen act of political piracy ever attempted in our history.

But it gets worse. Their ranks are further swollen by the ambitious and the driven. Attorney general hopeful Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj has demonstrated that one does not need to have honour to be in this bunch, and it may in fact be an impediment to membership. Having marched to have our own Captain Jack Sparrow fired from government for being an ‘insult to integrity who makes a mockery of public office,’ he (Ramesh) now joins forces with the same Jack to get them both back into government.

And what of Jack? Newly crowned friend of the enemy, enemy of former friends, I am sure this man must have to review a check list on waking up each morning just to be reminded of who he is for and who he against with each passing day.

Famous for his ‘yesterday was yesterday, today is today’ philosophy, the hollowness of that position is demonstrated by the fact that not one of his professional political relationships has been built on a lifetime of camaraderie in pursuit of the common good and every one of them either and obstacle to overcome or a means to an end.

I refuse to go down the road of the many crimes he (Warner) stands accused of here and abroad or how closely they themselves resemble piracy, I rely on the readers reading this to already be familiar with that side of history. All I hope to do here is unmask pirates hiding in plain sight for all to see.

Moving on. On Wednesday evenings one is treated to a spectacle on local cable TV by another pirate wannabe, literally exploiting a religion as a political soap box, much to the publicly expressed consternation of the real practitioners of that religion. Powerless and afraid to risk the ire of this public extortioner who uses his fifteen minutes in the spotlight to defame all who run afoul or refuse to agree with his point of view at the time, they like others (myself included) prefer to just let him bray.

How does the Telecom Authority allow this obscene threat to decency to continue? Like everyone they too seem to have adopted a ‘hands off’ approach to this described political terrorist.

I have run completely out of space before getting to the rest of this version of the Forty Thieves but I am sure I have made my point. What continues to strike me as odd in this bizarre land is not that they are brazen enough to try this in public, but that they are allowed to.

What does that say about us as a society, especially those who are willing to blink away the truth in search of the lie? How do these people defend their choices to themselves, their families and loved ones?

As a corrector of history I just wanted to weigh in on this pirate-ship talk, to separate real pirate from pirate in name only, and to make it possible for others to do the same…


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