Sunday, May 9, 2010

On Loose Cannons and Sinking Ships

I'm late to press with my week in review. I apologise, I have no excuse. When one is thinking he forgets all time. I am actually writing a piece on fear, but I'm afraid its not finished yet.

So lets hear it for Mr (Former) Justice Volney, who, in my humble estimation, has torpedoed the UNC's chances of winning St Joseph and MAYBE even a few of the Coalition's marginals. Why would I say such a thing? Because Mr Volney is a loose cannon. In my estimation the campaign on the UNC side was going along quite well until Mr Volney took the stage in St Joseph. Holding up snakes and ignoring pleas to answer the "Brad Boyce question" he was presented with a small and masterfully executed protest.

Before I go on, let me give you a history of "protest." Before Gandhi protests were largely an unheard of thing, put down violently by the powers that be. Put up a resistance and you were destroyed. No more union, no more protest, the status quo was maintained. Gandhi achieved something no one could dream of though ONE thing and ONE thing only: The media. Here was this man, not even a "black man" a "Coolie" who got people to follow him in droves doing non-violent protest that moved an entire empire, through the eyes of newspapers and radio. The advent of the newsreel also helped highlight the plight of the Indians. This is the beginning of PR and nothing could stop it.

Back to the Volney protest. The T&T Media has lapped it up, opening up a wound that has remained festering for years. Why did Volney exonerate Brad Boyce? Well it wasn't because he was white, as the "other side" would have you believe. Its simply the fact that the state, as usual, screwed up the evidence. People fail to remember that in a court of law, evidence is the key, refuting of evidence is the defenses job, by bringing new evidence to prove their case. In this case the evidence was in the favour of the Boyce's How is that possible? He who has more money has more justice, this has been the way of the world since time immemorial. Its called having power. But I digress.

Volney had every right to ignore the protesters "I will answer that question soon enough." But the damage was done, the silent protest managed to torpedo Mr Volney's campaign as successfully as a German WWII Submarine in the Atlantic. Professionally printed placards, white T-shirts (to look like COP coalition members) and a SMALL group made up of the victim's family, small enough to be seen but not enough to be a threat.


So Mr Volney responded later by stating his involvement in the case (as outlined above) No matter that the Privvy council tapped him on the head and told him he was damn wrong, but the result is as it is, Brad Boyce has been free since 1998 and Johnson is worm food. Then Mr Volney scuttled his own boat. He RETRACTED his statement and apologised. . . This is NOT going down well with the voters in St Joseph. In my table I have put that constituency in "orange" to say it could swing either way. Now its back in PNM country because the COP voters who all of this depends on have stated that they are staying away from the polls and Swartsingh had to do NOTHING but print placards and provide white t-shirts.


Kamla has only herself to blame. This was faux pas number one. The second? A double edged sword that is Robinson. Once reviled by the UNC as the architect of their demise and hard core UNC supporters were caught off guard with Mrs Bissessar's cosying up to the "betrayer." But it was masterful. The whole of Tobago loves the ANR. HE is TOBAGO, his endorsement of Kamla and the Coalition has pulled a lot of the Tobago voters into the limelight. I haven't thought of Tobago yet. I consider that PNM safe seats. But if Ashworth plays his cards right (and he is by not actually running, since that leaves him freedom to float amongst the voters of both T&T and Tobago) he can win not just Tobago West BUT Tobago East (east is the hardest constituency to win and West has always been ANR's seat.) Tobago is now back on the radar as "Marginals" in my estimation. Meanwhile the UNC hardcore are wondering if this is a sign that Kamla has begun the "betraying" that Panday had predicted on the Internal Elections campaign. . .

Then there is Rowley.

Rowley's speech on Thursday night will go down in history. In one simple shot, Rowley has silenced Manning and co. The secret weapon has been let loose on the campaign, but like Volney, he's a loose cannon. Let's look at Rowley's famous "Don't throw the Captain Overboard" speech. In it he makes no mention of the infamous "10 times worse than Piarco" statement on UDECOTT, but what he DOES do is make it clear that when he wins his seat he will be going after Manning and co. Even though he failed to critcise his leader in words, he did it in actions. The splinter group of Hines and Annisette-George speak volumes. This is the PNM infighting drawn to the front without saying a word. This is a quasi-launch of a PNM internal campaign, no mistake about it, after the PNM wins the election, Rowley hopes, he can then move to step two, he will fight to remove Manning and install himself as the next Political Leader of the PNM thereby making himself Prime Minster in a NEW PNM lead government. This is all entirely possible and will all be done PNM style, quiet and in the background. You probably won't even realise it has happened until it does. Stay tuned.

So where are we with the seats. I have already sounded off on St Joseph, but what happens in one seat affects all. The UNC needs to do damage control on Volney and so far nothing has been done. Meanwhile the PNM safe seats remain safe and the UNC safe seats remain safe. Meanwhile the opposition supporters are running around saying all kinds of things, but what is clear is that as of this post, NO manifesto has been forthcoming by ANY party and no solid plans from the Coalition has been put forth. The PNM is still one upping the opposition with plans (mind you the Vision 20/20 plans are almost 10 years old and 90% of the things outlined in such plans have not even seen beyond the theory stage. Don't believe me? Read it yourself.)

You know in the end I really do think it will definitely come down to Tobago!

But the campaign grinds on and there may be more surprises in store.

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