Home / View Point / Martin Daly / Bleeding in the Senate and in the street; and the link between the two

Bleeding in the Senate and in the street; and the link between the two

The Independent Senators appointed by the President of the Republic are currently in the news for all the wrong reasons.  One of them, albeit a temporary one, has responded obscenely to criticism, including deployment of lurid phrases, which I decided not to quote.

Photo: Temporary Independent Senator Dr Kriyaan Singh.
Photo: Temporary Independent Senator Dr Kriyaan Singh.

The said President has on occasion shown himself to be petulant in the face of criticism and not tolerant of opinions different from his.  I wonder how he would like it if, following his chosen Senator’s lead, his opinions were dismissed by reference to genitalia and bowels.

Will the troubling caucus approach, to which a majority of Independents seem to be amenable, embrace the lurid utterances of their temporary colleague?

The current controversies began with the issue whether Independent Senators should attend a private meeting with the Government to have proposed legislative amendments to the remit of the Strategic Services Agency explained to them.

It is in response to that invitation that we learned that there was now an activist co-ordinator of the Independent bench, who asserted that invitations to Independent Senators must come through him.

There followed other statements and reported events which suggested that the majority of Independent Senators might be willing to act as a caucus led by the activist.

Photo: Independent Senator Dr Dhanayshar Mahabir. (Courtesy Power 102 FM)
Photo: Independent Senator Dr Dhanayshar Mahabir.
(Courtesy Power 102 FM)

Last Sunday’s column expressed my disagreement with this.  For those who missed it, I had also earlier expressed the view that if any Government had sensitive information it wished to communicate—such as the gas price agreed with an investor, a valuation of State controlled assets or matters of national security—a private meeting might be justified.

I do not know the facts concerning the recent meeting with two of the Independents, who did subsequently vote for the amendments.  I reserve comment on it.

However, by way of example, the rumoured terrorist threat to shopping malls might have aspects to it that could not sensibly be put in the public domain but which might have to be shared privately with members of Parliament on a need to know basis.

The fall out from the conduct of the Independent Senators is continuing in ways other than language referencing genitalia and bowels. The integrity of one of the two Independents, who attended the private meeting, was impugned, leading now to a Committee of Privileges charge against his detractor.

Outside the cabals of zealotry, I am sure that sensible opinion is very concerned about the mouth washing both by and against Independent Senators. The credibility of the Senate is bleeding out.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago's Independent Senators. (Courtesy News.gov.tt)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago’s Independent Senators.
(Courtesy News.gov.tt)

Significantly the chambers, domes and plots of so called civil society have not condemned the foul mouth antics. Do these citizens speak out only when it bears down on their pockets or perceived status?

Meanwhile the streets are full of the blood that the unceasing murder rampage is depositing there. My column deals less frequently with this murder toll than previously.

This is because, as I have had cause to remind those previously wilfully blind as to where we were heading, of my prediction of “a breakdown in ordered legal control in the face of banditry and anarchy” made as long ago as 2003.

I have repeatedly suggested causes as well as some social engineering solutions naturally arising out of our diverse cultures.

Let me make another prediction: If the full story is ever told about this Senate, some dark dots connecting nepotism or friend friend and contact thing will be revealed.

There is of course a link between credibility bleeding in the Senate and the blood in the streets.

Photo: A murder scene. (Courtesy Scenecleanmn.com)
Photo: A murder scene.
(Courtesy Scenecleanmn.com)

The wilful blindness and the craven, greedy postures of so called civil society are, as already delineated, the result of a long and continuing repast on the fruit of a twisted socio-economic system and of corrupt governance.

In words equally applicable to our current murderous predicament, I asserted in 2004 that “conventional social order is on its way to being fully overthrown.” I described at that time the malignant influence of fete, indifference and greed unmitigated by social conscience.

“There is still random mortality for all. The sycophants whose children may be next in the morgue provide the curry goat and premium drinks and put on grovelling shows of respect that last as long as they can get some advantage for their business or themselves.”

Minister Edmund Dillon, like his predecessors, has on his hands an acting Commissioner of Police who obstinately refuses to acknowledge an abysmal detection rate and smilingly reaches for every excuse why the criminal elements operate with impunity.

Minister Dillon is the latest person finding himself in a Ministry of National Security hamstrung by culture and outdated constitutional provisions, which make the office that he holds an empty command.

Photo: President Anthony Carmona (right) swears in National Security Minister Edmund Dillon.
Photo: President Anthony Carmona (right) swears in National Security Minister Edmund Dillon.

Other Ministers also bounced their heads not only against the limitations on the office, but against the paramount hold wealth, hidden power and influence peddling has on our politics.

There are urgent realities to be faced.

About Martin Daly

Martin Daly
Martin G Daly SC is a prominent attorney-at-law. He is a former Independent Senator and past president of the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago. He is chairman of the Pat Bishop Foundation and a steelpan music enthusiast.

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  1. That group picture represents the Independant Party of T&T under the Carmona leadership. Comic Opera ????????.

  2. If Presidential Senate Appointees can’t honestly answer the question: “Why an I here?’ and then act appropriately, they don’t deserve the title INDEPENDENT.

  3. martin daly & TT law association….FAILED TO ADDRESS THE SSA Bill…

  4. Waite unc daily fixing tnt is like a stodge with ramgoatdeen failures

  5. Daly is right on the ball as usual.

    The underlying problem in Trinidad is ‘attitude’. No one thinks about anything except the next fete and/or party, and it’s all about ‘me’.

    The ones who think of the bigger picture are too few, and are fighting a battle against the incoming tide. Without cooperation, and a lot of effort, no wall can be built to stem the erosion of a State failing on every count.

    From apathy, to ignorance of working systems and rule of law, we can see the sheep bleating and echoing sound bites from elsewhere; never an original thought. Now, in itself, there is nothing wrong with that; systems that work in other places can and should work very well in TnT. Except change is resisted with the fervour of a geriatric eyeballing a 12 years old in hopes he can stem his ED.

    Frankly, there is nothing going on that can’t be fixed. A government with the ba**s enforce the law and get rid of the millstones (like the CoP who ‘obstinately refuses to acknowledge an abysmal detection rate and smilingly reaches for every excuse why the criminal elements operate with impunity’), the useless position of ‘President’, ‘Integrity’ Commission, revamp the Civil Service and Police Service regulations, pass modern laws as opposed to keeping those from pre-1925, and enforce those laws, will help the nation heal. Sure, a government that does that will be unpopular, and likely a one-term government, but chances are, it will be out of power for the succeeding term only. In fact, we alternate now, so why not grasp the opportunity to do some good?

    Lack of will power. Lack of caring. Lack of intelligentsia. Most of all, it’s the inability to see the bigger picture, and the personal driven ambitions to ‘tief all I can’ before being kicked out of government.

    A failed State indeed.

  6. The president is not appointing independent people in the senate

  7. Oh, I have a Dr Dhanayshar Mahabir story. So he was on TV6 Morning Show one morning along with some other guests and myself. And we all decided to introduce ourselves to each other.
    So I shook his hand and asked who he was.
    He asked me if I had the Parliamentary Channel home and told me to go look at it… :-/
    That’s telling me Dr Dhanayshar! Lol

  8. Yes but the answers lie in identifying those attempting to avoid prosecution for it appears they have wide reaching influence.

  9. One by one, our institutions crumble… And we keep on keeping on…

  10. Now link in the justice system and we will understand that the increased bloodletting in the street as in the senate is being brought about by attempts to pervert the course of justice.

  11. Listen…does Martin have a fan club yet? I wish to be President.