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STREET VIBE: That’s insulting! Condescending politicians are T&T’s biggest freeloaders

“It is sad and indeed ironic that those who have been accusing taxpayers of living off the fat of the land, are the biggest parasites of the offices which they occupy; doing all this while paying no taxes.”

The following Letter to the Editor on Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s criticism of the public for its reliance on the government was submitted by Rudy Chato Paul, Sr:

Photo: Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley. (Courtesy Caribbean News Service)
Photo: Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.
(Courtesy Caribbean News Service)

So there I was, entertaining myself on Facebook—the only entertainment I can currently afford—‘mining’ people’s business, when up jumped the now infamous 22 second video of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.

There he was, ranting like David Rudder’s “mad man”, boldly condemning citizens of this land for relying too much on government for having to build the nation’s roadways, health centres, schools “and every this and every that.”

By now, most would have seen the video and as such there is no need to quote him.  I replayed the 22 second clip several times, just to be sure of what I was hearing and make sure I understood what he was saying.

I knew when it became the talking point someone strategically placed would be required to put positive a spin on it. And I was correct—again.

Apparently the PM is of the view that successive governments, for at least the last two generations, have been doing the people of this land a great disservice by providing roads, schools and health centres along with “every this and every that.”  The various regimes have been busily moulding and shaping our entitlement mentality to which we have become so used that we now need to be “weaned off.”

Unfortunately, the goodly Doctor said nothing of the career political parasites who became fabulously wealthy simply by occupying the corridors of power—some for more than an entire generation—while their respective constituencies have been, and continue to be, systematically and intentionally neglected.

Photo: Time to roll up your sleeves!
Photo: Time to roll up your sleeves!

The PM’s logic explains the derelict condition of the roads in constituencies defined as ‘safe seats’ held by both of the major parties. Put another way, one may recall Peter Taylor, not so long ago, also accusing citizens of “living off the fat of the land.”

It is sad and indeed ironic that those who have been accusing taxpayers of living off the fat of the land, are the biggest parasites of the offices which they occupy; doing all this while enjoying exclusive tax breaks.

This means that the PM, who has been a Member of Parliament (MP) since 1991, who was also appointed as a Senator in 1987, has enjoyed certain benefits not shared with the ordinary taxman for the past 29 years. And he is not the only one.

Coincidentally, the current Minister of Finance (MoF) has also been an MP since 1991. Sadly, his portfolio has not the slightest relationship to anything resembling finance. And, like the others who occupy the corridors of power, he has been one of the biggest beneficiaries, since it is evident to all that he cannot survive in any other world—as was evident in his construction of stadium which subsequently collapsed.

For the people who came begging for our support just over a year ago, to speak to us as though we are all lazy and illiterate, accusing all of us of being dependent on the government is highly offensive.

Photo: Time to tighten those belts.
Photo: Time to tighten those belts.

In fact, the majority of this nation are hardworking people, making sacrifices, having been asked earlier to ‘eat cassava,’ while others sip on “Presidential Wine” and a political leader flies like a mosquito, from one nation to another, with nothing to show for his travels aside from accumulating frequent flyer mileage.

That the genius MoF saw it fit to raise diesel fuel three times in the last year, while fuel prices around the world have been falling, is a true reflection of his understanding of economics.

No one is denying that oil prices are down. But this insistance on financing mega projects through taxation on the middle class has managed to reduce them to the status of ‘the working poor.’

The science of reducing VAT to 12.5 % while adding it to most food items is another of the MoF’s genius ideas.

It is abundantly clear that the people who occupy the corridors of power are out of touch with the people whom they begged for support recently. Until the PM and those with whom he surrounds himself with understand the functions of government, reckless statements like the last one will continue.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley. (Copyright Andrea De Silva)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.
(Copyright Andrea De Silva)

Let’s hope there’s a sequel to his book, which reads: “From Mason Hall to White Hall, and Back.”

 

Editor’s Note: MPs do pay taxes on their salaries. That error in the initial post was corrected.

About Rudy Chato Paul Sr

Rudy Chato Paul, Sr, is passionate about gardening, music and writing and boasts post-graduate certification in Anthropology, Criminology and Sociology. He also studied Theology, which is why he is actively seeking to make Trinidad a better place rather than waiting for divine intervention. 

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434 comments

  1. A fantastic motivational speech by our Hon. Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley???.

    Nowhere in that speech did the honourable doctor refer to taxpayers having to now foot the bills for public services. All yer ungrateful DUNC people not easy! Satanic spin doctors, and racists LIARS whose only goal is to spread lies and bad rake. HAUL….!!

    God bless the people of Laventille and bring them out of their distresses. AMEN!

  2. We have become the laughing stock of the Caribbean and the entire World because we have a Jackass at the helm of our Nation, Mr Manning warned us but we didn’t listen, now he want us to wean off the trough, well tell us why should we pay PAYE, 5% ROAD Tax and HEALTH SURCHARGE you Asshole for you ride Mercedes Benz and Build New House , Look man wean your darn ass off Trinidad & Tobago once and for all. All this while we called Chambers Duncey think again people this current one ain’t Duncey he Assey.

  3. Rowley time you and dirty dwen wean your self off my wallet and go back under that rock in the forest wear you come from

  4. Don’t look for things to criticise but to build up he said a lot of positive things in that same speech ,talk about it please.When Kamla open Colour me Orange she said who don’t like it they could put it where the sun don’t shine ,I didn’t hear you or any one criticise her like that so don’t be bias.We make you out

  5. Don’t judge people by what you think because you are not in his mind .You above all person should think different ,you would not like any one to misunderstand you

  6. I am waiting patiently for when these same mischief makers and their quest for attention digs into the SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT PROGRAMME. and again singles him out for mischief making, It is also good to see all the sheeple on here quickly berating this man and I am sure that NONE of them have personally listened to the speech And I will say this now ALL THE HOLLERING AND CONDEMNATION IS NOT ABOUT THAT SPEECH AT ALL. The first person to start the ball rolling will be one of these persons calling themselves columnistd and journalista But all they really are is just common mischief makers.

  7. One on grey goose; the other on fancy imported wine: he must be own a brewery. He had better start de witch hunt to retrieve what was misapproptiated/spirited away by the previous regime. Everytime these sleaze ball politicians (male and female) mess up, the poor man must sink his hands even deeper into his already shallow pockets to fill the gap. Politicians are vampires – every last one of them! Infrastructural construction and maintenance services moreso in education and health services are but two main reasons citizens pay taxes. “Politricktians’ mess up and the poor man becomes the villian. Boldfacedness!

  8. mugabi has not one iota on how to run the country. a very motivational man!

  9. I had some hope after his victory speech but his rantings as of late comes from a man that seems to be buckling under the pressure. it’s been over a year and yet it’s still the blame game.. I am still waiting to hear about what is being done about the shortage of medicine at the hospitals. resurrecting old projects seems to be more important than a life. if he don’t want the “taxpayers” to ask for their back pay and all that, then why pay taxes? it’s not your personal account, it belongs to the taxpayers who pay your salary! time to stop bitching and moaning and get to work. if you can’t handle the heat get out of the kitchen.

  10. Poor man will suffer and feel it..politician living nice..we dont need pnm or unc we need brand new goverment they both failed us..

  11. Time for a next election get them out

  12. We have to get tough love in this country!

  13. The last time energy prices fell this far it caused the collapse of the Soviet Union (that’s right. It wasn’t Reagan. It was the Soviets being too broke to buy grain to feed their population) and what they still call the Lost Decade in Latin America. Anybody who thinks that we can maintain the same standard of living is simply not being realistic. If the government is warning the population of that then that is them doing their jobs. Honestly, who vex could vex. But this is plain old shooting the messenger.

  14. I can’t believe this debate over semantics is still going on. It reminds me of the backlash against Black Lives Matter that gave rise to Blue lives matter and All lives matter. Because they didn’t say “black lives matter as well” in the context of black lives being unrepentedly snuffed out. So in Rowley’s call to residents of greater Laventille to take an active roll in their children’s lives by being active in the PTA etc the clip that was strategically selected for political mischief becomes the talking point. SMH

    • Ahhh yes. Strategically selected. Rowley specifically started by saying what he was about to say was for the country. But because people were critical of what he said next… it is the media who set him up. :-/

    • All because people have too much ego to even consider: Maybe I shouldn’t have said that…

    • Like I said, semantics. Surely, words could be better chosen. However, having heard the budget presentation the day before which also spoke of the plans to partner with the private sector as well as UWI I understand the intent. Rowley’s point was that we depend on the government for roads schools etc as well as everything else such as our children’s performance in school among other things. In all I am seeing a narrative that the government is trying to motivate the citizens to become actively involved. You won’t get that from the clip that was selected. As in academia where knowledge of the author’s worldview adds context to a document. I have firsthand knowledge that the work of the head of news at the tv station involved here is compromised by her racist and political agenda.

    • Knit picking and pickers, the order of the day. When Kanla promised every woman or girl who had a baby, $500 dollars, that was creating the same dependency syndrome the PM was speaking of. Laventille is a place where you’d find a lot of these women and girls, and most of these children may even end up fatherless. They made stupid promises and set bad precedence. The $1 million for relatives of slain police men is one. Interestingly, they never paid a cent to them despite the promised being made over 3 yrs ago. Now it’s a “threat” from Kamla to use the court house to “make sure” the money is paid.

    • If the bar is set as low as Kamla and her gang, then we ent going anywhere. I want more than just being better than the PP. Because that isn’t difficult.

    • You’re right. And a good way to raise the bar is by not honouring that payment. Instead, let insurance coverage take care of that. I’m sure the policy I have takes care of my family if I’m to die fro a vehicle accident or any other form of death.

  15. The faster we wake up and realise we are in abnormal times,the more prepared we will be.Some of us still focusing on dotishness,instead of the serious times that has befallen us.

    • Abnormal in terms of recent social history, but our situation is what you would expect knowing the history of the country. To achieve anything near reasonable living standards we will have to at least recognise that the bubble has burst and we will have to restructure for the benefit of the whole society.

  16. WOW! How does this post with its comments help us with nation building? Is the nation T&T a lost cause?

  17. For too long we have become accustomed to politicians sugarcoating faeces and feeding it to us as candy.Dr Rowley ,with his raspy voice and Tobagonian fortrightness, is posing a serious challenge, to those of us who have become addicted to the candy fed to us in the past. The man referred to a businessman ,asking for a stimulus package in the budget,he then went on to speak about dependance on government,in obvious reference to what the businessman said. While his comments fell in most of our gardens,I hardly think that the PM expected the ordinary citizen to build their own roads and schools .

    • After the business man talk and the stimulus package he went on to say more…and that corn was thrown mainly for the Laventille people and then the rest of us.

    • “Laventille people and then the rest of us”, Rose-Marie Ingrid Lemessy-Forde, wow. Sounds like the title of the book I’m going to write about all that is wrong with Black people in Trinidad.

    • Rose-Marie Ingrid Lemessy-Forde and by extension Lasana Liburd ,do you honestly believe the PM referred to you and I, when he spoke about dependance on the government to build roads and schools?

    • Danny Holder ,according to Ms Lemmesy Forde,”Laventille people” are different to the rest of us.Jah help us,yes.

    • I did not have to hear the entire clip to know it was mischief unc3 was making.

    • I read somewhere some time ago that when slavery was abolished the ex slaves downed tools and went up Laventille to heal their wounds and reflect on the big White experience. Some gradually came back down and went back into slavery for a servant wuk and to breed for their slavemasters while the rest of us stayed up the hill inventing steelband and other cultural pursuits. Maybe not always identifiably so, but we different yes.

    • Ok Lance and Danny. I’m going to try this one last time. I recognize that sometimes people are so passionate about a particular view that when someone tries to offer a dispassionate opinion the gist of it is lost. Rowley departed from his talk about the virtues of the budget and stated. ” And I say to you the citizens here in Laventille and elswhere in the rest of the country. …” etc. I’m not saying Laventille people are different from the rest of us. I’m saying that Rowley made the separation. Now it may have been because he was speaking in Laventille. But because Laventille has been traditonally pilloried over the years for being over dependent on the government, to me that was uncalled for in his speech. In fact he took what was an overall uplifting discussion and literally gave the media fodder. And Lance if the PM was not referencing you and I when he spoke about dependence on the government, pray tell who was he throwing those words for?? The man said …”I say to YOU”. So guys there is no need to start going off on a sanctimonious tangent about slavery etc. because of my interpretation of what Rowley said. That’s all this is.

    • Good save Rose-Marie Ingrid Lemessy-Forde, I think I understood your intentions, but you must admit that your statement is open to interpretations. And also Laventille, my Laventille, has a much longer list of sensitivities than you accounted for.

    • Danny I’m glad you finally understood what I was saying. My writing “Laventille people and then the rest of us” was a quick attempt to paraphrase Rowley. I assumed people on this thread actually listened attentively to what Rowley said. Maybe your closeness to “your Laventille” made you read more into what I wrote. The first time I had a quick listen to the speech I too assumed he was referencing businessmen and contractors who have come to expect largesse from the government in terms of contracts. But right after he berated that group and he dissed economists for criticizing the lack of “srimulus” in the budget, he made a point of directing his now infamous comments to “the people of Laventille and elswhere in the wider community”. This I thought was his biggest mistake in the speech because if he had left out those words people could rightly assume he was directing his statement about “doing things differently” to the same business and contractor community. I’m still a little baffled that people like Lance who I hope listened to the speech more than once, are not getting this point. And Danny I wasn’t trying to account for any sensitivities in Laventille people. I was simply stating facts. And it is true that the general public has long held certain negative views about the Laventille community. I’m not speaking from a personal perspective..just to be clear. I dont want you misconstruing my last statement.

    • How ironic that people are talking about others not paying attention to the entire video when clearly they didn’t do so themselves.
      Really, Wired868 was always meant for independent thinkers who are willing to tussle with fresh ideas and perspective. People just have to know if that sounds like something they can manage or not.

  18. Out of curiosity I looked at the 24 minute video at the end of the letter which took a particular slant about the information shared in the 22 second clip and was astonished!!! Did the letter writer take time to listen to the context of the speech? Was there nothing of value said to the people of Laventille in those 24 minutes that needed to be highlighted? Where are we heading as a nation when selective sound bytes are excerpted to manage our opinions and we replay those repeatedly without going to the source? Let us do a bit more research and get the back stories please people.

    • carol sometimes one word could spoil an entire speech if a guy tells u he loves u a million times and cuss your mother once DAT one instance will register on your mind so what comes out of your us wat makes u lady

    • That is true and politicians have to make every effort to avoid such mine fields. However, when the context of the speech was the development of a special community that people beat up on continuously, many sound bytes could also have been used to engage others in solution finding.

  19. Since when underwear is restricted to just panties. The name suggests just that, it could be bras, whole or half slips,garter belts, waist clinchers,camisoles among others.

    • Like Dr Keithos used to run a lingerie store. Lol. Ok Dianne, which one of Sharon’s underwear should be mentioned in a press conference?

    • But in what context did he speak about Sharon’s underwear? What was said before and after he said that part? What it is you people are trying to do to this man? I never even heard about this underwear talk until this page and you Mr. Liburd?

    • He was quite rightly berating the media–and the Express in particular–for printing falsehoods about him like the throat cancer story.
      Then suddenly he veered left and ended up talking about Sharon’s underwear being possible media fodder too.
      I think it might have been too much for the print media but I heard it live on the radio.
      And he has a habit for going to such places when he is speaking off the cuff.

    • But I still don’t know what was said leading up to the “panty” talk and after that to “level” it off. You just selected a part, just to give some negative impression.

    • Garvin, I have to take a deep breath for you fellah. Read over the part where I said he was “quite rightly berating the media”… If you don’t follow after that then I cannot add anything.
      I’m not a school teacher.

  20. I’ve never considered putting a statement in context as “spin”. I encourage everyone to listen to what went before and after the 30 seconds featured. It’s on the Office of the Prime Minister Facebook as well as YouTube.

  21. This man does not understand the job of a gov t that is their duty he looks stupid in the eyes of other leaders

  22. Many of our so called journalists and interviewers are lazy and biased. They deserve a good dressing down ever so often. That being said many of our politicians are arrogant and feel that they are entitled. Arrogance and entitlement I can handle. Is not like its new. The past five years of wastage and thievery, that was too much.

    • They miss the point of development for Laventille and gone off on bacchanal and confusion SMDH. These ppl real good yes.

    • Tonia Nableon Just like how Deigo Martin was supposed to be developed? I swear people just have blinders on sometimes. I see it in Tunapuna and everywhere else I decide to drive through. The current allocations of money are going to do nothing but create more entitlement and corruption.

  23. This country will get nowhere. Granted that there is no definite proof, it is noteworthy which ethnic group is spewing the most venom. So very sad.

    • Have you seen today’s news in the USA a teacher was sacked because she said Mrs Michelle Obama is a Gorilla? We need this type of measurement in TNT. The citizens of my country are very disrespectful especially to those in authority. SMDH

    • Wait …. this from people who called KPB a drunk? And who continue to call our Prez “Powers”?
      Who are the disrespectful ones? They are following on from what happened over the last five years!!!

  24. Thats like Hillary calling the people of America who suports Trump..Deplorables…that is how Politicins the world over see us…time for change Mr Rowley….Time we demand you step down as our PM….as our Freeloadind PM…

  25. Was the PM talking to these people too…steups yes. I keep saying this is not a real country nah
    http://www.guardian.co.tt/news/2016-10-05/hdc-pay-its-renters

  26. That is why he’s into Politics for so long…Freeloading on the people of T&T…shameless…

  27. Rowley needs to resign. He lied on the platform in 2015.

  28. But Rowley living for FREE…he doh have to pay for nuttin…this must change…he gets a salary…so why he should be living FREE at our expense….

  29. PNM would not solve the nation’s economic woes, “They believe in the doctrine that it is the business of the PNM Government to help enrich people and let those few rich people throw a few bones to the poor…..

  30. rowley you not in your home take your time we put you there what goes around comes around

  31. It’s sad that no one is talking about the School Improvement Project to which this soundbite was taken. I hope this project that brings together all 25 schools in Laventille bears great fruit for the community as a whole!

    • Best contribution
      Move to the head of the class.
      Every time Laventille is being mentioned for development ppl go in a tantrum as thou its not part of TNT. They gone off on an edited tape with bacchanal and confusion and miss the point of development for Laventille. Sad smdh

    • This is the full video and it doesn’t change what he actually said which was totally offensive to the people of this country. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=V9siY9Qf1qE

    • Ginelle Garcia Darling I’ve watched the video and it doesn’t change the strategic planning that has taken place towards the advancement of the people of Laventille! If you’re watching a 22 minute plus video and only take away 1 statement; reevaluate yourself.

    • Bran Ja you don’t know me so are in no position to advise me of anything. I was speaking to the video if you can’t keep on the issue I’m not the one with the problem.

    • Ginelle Garcia you are making a singular comment on a video that is over 20 minutes; that has nothing to do with the bulk of the contribution that was made. I don’t have to be a clinical physiologist to advise you that your outrage is by a wide margin bullshit.

    • Bran Ja How much of that do you think they are actually going to get done before the corruption dries up all the funding for projects? They will effectively run the country into the ground mid way through their term. Everyone who does business globally can tell you. The projects, what money is actually being spent on and such. USD is already as expensive and valuable as gold with the average bank only issuing up to 200USD a day per client.

    • The UNC already run the country down to its lowest. The shortage of US dollar started badly during 2010-2015 the PNM inherited that shortage so stop talking crap for ppl. Cuss me done talk.

  32. I don’t see how this disproves his pt. EVERYBODY in Trinidad lives off and depends on the government. Politicos business ppl and the ordinary man. That’s the problem; it’s systematic and widespread like corruption. And saying what about dem solves nothing

  33. Nothing he says surprises me anymore. He disappointed me awhile back, and is maintaining that disappointment. He just good at talking without thinking. And every time I see ‘MoF’, I have to remind myself that it means Minister of Finance, because it looks like another phrase.

  34. it would be interesting to hear the excerpt published within the context of the entire speech.

  35. Amen. Don’t get tied up with the party politics, all of them is the same damn thing. At the end of the day is we who have to struggle to survive when the week, month or fortnight come. A big shout out to the single parents particularly & low income families because the Lord alone knows the maths you have to work to make that income stretch

  36. I am wondering if anyone listened to the whole speech?

  37. Why is it that we as Trinidadians continue to flaunt our lack of common sense so proudly? While I am no fan of the PM, when I heard the 22 sec clip, the first thing I did was to look for the entire speech. It was clear that he was targeting the business community, who responded to the budget in a negative way. He basically lashed out at those people who invest very little into the society and pay little to no tax. And we all know that. The rest of us who work for companies are taxes up front. We dont ger to chose to pay our taxes. Its paid for us, our of our salaries, in full. Doctors (with private practice), store owners, lawyers, teachers who give private lessons. None of these pay their full quota of taxes, as a group. Until these people start contributing the full share, they dont deserve to benefit from all the things taxes are supposed to provide, like roads, hospitals, etc.

  38. I think the aversion to his style was a convenient excuse for Manning and then for the Partnership. I personally like the fact that he will buff people for shoddy work. His interview with Hema Ramkissoon was fantastic. She asked lazy stupid questions and he called her on it. If people think that’s too harsh then hard luck for them. Do better. I want him to do better as well. But this is nonsense.

    • You’re talking about a prime minister who references his wife’s panties in a media interview. Maybe. Just maybe. Manning had a point.
      I won’t say he is an irredeemable person. But he lacks class.
      Just imagine that this is hud public face. What does that say?

    • Ok. I’m not familiar with this “reference to his wife’s panties”. And I’m not really interested in a prime minister lacking “class” I suppose. It’s a feeble argument when we are trying to deal with substantive issues like fiscal and social policy as this speech did. I have no patience for people hitting Kamla for her supposed drinking either. It’s a cosmetic argument by people who are too lazy to make a substantive one.

    • I don’t think I’ll ever understand people’s obsession with paper bag and their absolute obsession to ignore contents nah. Ever.

    • I understand it. I just don’t think it’s worthy of serious consideration.

    • And that’s your opinion Dan. And I don’t share it. Conduct while on the job matters to me, especially when it speaks to how I am viewed as a customer/tax payer.
      I hope your openness is across the board and not just confined to people with big titles.
      When a company shows me that I really couldn’t care less whether I have your business or not, I adjust accordingly.

    • My openness is restricted to those for whom it is not an important part of their duties. Other than that, I couldn’t care less.

    • It is not an important of the Prime Minister’s duties to conduct himself in a particular manner? I hope I never hear you poking fun at Donald Trump when he “keeps it real” then.

    • “Keeping it real” is different from denigrating sections of the population. This really is not the same thing. I think this is more akin to Lyndon Johnson conducting interviews while seated on the toilet. Annoying to be sure but not substantive or relevant.

    • But Dan, you don’t think talking about freeness and referring to education, health, and transportation facilities speaks to a government’s fiscal and social policy?
      I am all for responsible management of resources and not plunging the country into debt.
      But those services and amenities that he referenced are things I think the government should provide and provide well. When it fails to, it’s the lowest income earners who are hit the hardest.
      Additionally, to enunciate that position so brashly I think speaks to a worrying disdain for those who will be most severely affected.

    • I think HE spoke to the fiscal and social policy. I think the criticism of him is a cosmetic one.
      Also, we complain that he is not showing leadership or communication concerning the state of the economy and then when he says it forcefully we complain about his tone? Nah man. That is just pettiness. He is telling us things we don’t want to hear and so we find some reason to fault it.

    • Dan, be happy for your lot in life. But you shouldn’t speak to people about pettiness and make light of the challenges they have to endure in their neck of the words because you don’t understand it or care to.
      If you choose to do so regardless, that’s one thing. For a prime minister to also have that attitude is another matter entirely.
      I pay taxes yet I avoid the public sector whenever possible because I want to avoid the hassle and save my family from that. Not because I have money to burn.
      So it matters to me when a public servant shows me the finger and says I should hush and be happy for what I can get.
      But that’s me. And maybe that’s not you.

    • What I don’t understand is how the tone of the prime minister’s speech creates a challenge.

      Frankly, I’m not even sure I understand exactly what is wrong with his tone. Did he use obscenity? Did he call taxpayers freeloaders? The man outlined a CATASTROPHIC decline of 43% in government revenues and then said that the services provided by the government will have to be curtailed, including services that people expect. Where did he say that people weren’t entitled to expect it? He said that we have come to expect it over the past 2 generations but it is no longer feasible. Terrible news but we are quibbling about the tone.

      But say, for argument’s sake the tone was out of order. How does this create a challenge for you?

    • Dan, his understanding of the role of the government and what he sees as the deliverables of the government constitutes a challenge for me and others. And, worse, it is obviously part of a trend.
      The entire video is there. I’m guessing you listened. If you didn’t hear it then perhaps it was simply non-applicable to you.
      But remember there are many different realities in Trinidad and Tobago.

    • What, specifically, is this erroneous or misguided understanding of the role of government and its deliverables? He has constantly said that the government cannot pay for these things and if it were to borrow to cover the expenditure it would be doubtful that the government could pay it back. At no point did he disavow these services. He said that the population could not expect the same level. I listened to the whole speech before I listened to the clip. I was very surprised to hear that people took offense to the speech and that’s when I listened to the clip.

      The reason this is “obviously part of a trend” is because our exports are collapsing and have been since 2013. That’s the simple, brutal, inescapable truth. We can’t sustain massive deficits to maintain the level of service that people expect. It’s that simple. And the government would be grossly irresponsible if they didn’t make that absolutely clear to the population.

    • Dan, the massive debt the country is in has nothing to do with the government delivering roads on health centres. Or is that what you believe?
      There were some sensible things said in the overall speech, And then he sabotaged himself by referring to the “gimme gimme” mentality in the same sentence as he told people not to expect essential services.
      The “lazy press” didn’t do anything to Rowley. He did that to himself.
      But let’s agree to disagree. For me, anyone who mentions the country’s precarious financial situation while in the same breath chastising the public for wanting health centres and roads–as though the two things were somehow related–is being…
      Well, I think I’ve already made that clear.

    • How do you pay for these things? Not with money? Doesn’t that money have to come from somewhere?

      I’ll have to listen to the speech again. Or better yet read a transcript. I really don’t know where this “chastisement” came in. I think that’s just a reaction to people hearing bad news.

    • I think the revenue collection and cost cutting strategies are disastrous for lower income earners.
      Raising/adding taxes while talking about cutting costs on what should be considered rightful services/programs I think is offensive.
      I appreciate the 30% tax on millionaires but I think ppl making less than that can be taxed at a different rate from the majority of the population.
      There is a big difference between what you can do with 80k/year and 800k/year. And a big difference what the cessation of social programs/services on those two different incomes will have.

    • If you don’t know how we got into the debt, Dan, then we are doomed to repeat it. Chabeth, I’d love to hear how successful that millionaire tax is. But we won’t. We haven’t a word a peep from those millionaires and we won’t.
      Same millionaires who are getting State lands and more for a song.

    • I know very well how we got into the debt. There have been warnings about it since 2005 when energy exports reached 90% of exports. What does that have to do with the fact that we need to pay it or cut spending? This is simple accounting. You can’t spend money you don’t have. And you can either mortgage your future by borrowing to keep services (essential or non-essential) at certain levels, or you can cut the services.

    • Dan Ethan Martineau my brother. You were EXCELLENT in EVERYONE of your responses. The problem with some people in this country is that whenever this man speaks, people HEAR but don’t LISTEN.They hearing “tones”, but not the words. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the tone. And getting the opportunity to listening to the entire video just put rest to all the nonsense. The “tone” of that part of the speech was not higher, louder, stiff or aggressive than the tones leading up to it and beyond it. People heard a clip and went overboard with the comments (not surprised). It’s no different from the preview or “in-show” of a movie where they highlight the most exciting parts to gain your interest and when you go to the cinema with much excitement and anticipation, you leave the cinema with great disappointment, because the movie was boring as hell. Well it’s the same with this clip and what it was set out to do.

    • And the thing about Keith Rowley, is that he’s probably the most GENUINE politician we ever had or have in this country. What you see is what you get. But people want to see him in THEIR own image. No one can change the man. The way he speaks has ALWAYS been the way he speaks and it has probably worked for him. Because he wasn’t supposed to be PM because of his “personality” and he “aggressive”, “arrogant” and all other forms of descriptions that were supposed to work against him, according to Kamla, Moonilal and all who hate him.
      Who build the denominational schools and pay their teachers? Not the government? The Catholic and Hindu religions are full of millionaires in their congregation, but they don’t build deh own schools. So who was he speaking to when he said that? The people of Laventille? NOBODY is prepared to admit that we have this gimme gimme and dependency syndrome in this country and showed their agreement with him, but if allowed to get out of hand will only make things worst in this lagging economy. We saw how bad and excessive that syndrome was in the last 5 yrs and if it was started by the PNM, then who else better than a PNM Prime Minister is to say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH?

  39. Remember, “ALL politicians are liars and thieves!”

  40. The entire video is published in the story and on this thread Dan. And I didn’t accuse of being PNM. I just said where a particular line of thought leads.
    Nobody wants to believe that “maybe it is me”. But this aversion to the PM’s style of delivery and his thinking did not start with that clip. And it won’t end there.
    Is that always everyone else’s fault? The whole video interview is present here though.

  41. Well.said you are more that Correct I’m lost for words Rowley is the worst Storm to Destroy Trinidad .country is in crisis God please We are pleading Help.This Nation.from The PNM Wreckage .Trinidad is sinking Under the Rowley PNM its a disaster that happen .Its getting worst each day.

    • With all due respect, party politics across the board is the worst “storm” to destroy our country.
      When maggots feed off of carrion do you blame the maggots or the system that provides the carrion?

  42. For all those who are die hard … And friends of the plant. You vote for that.

  43. Actually I have been characterized as a PNM partisan before. Of course that completely ignores my work with the COP which was public record. Or how vociferous I was in criticizing Manning’s governments.

  44. I don’t think I’ve ever been accused of being a PNM partisan. Notwithstanding your implication, I don’t think there is anything wrong in what he ACTUALLY said. I don’t think it was characterized honestly or diligently. I think that using a mischaracterized 25 second clip to cause controversy in a comprehensive 25 minute speech is not “holding the government accountable”. It is lazy and irresponsible journalism which disgraces the media.

  45. There is always a temptation to think: “I am great.. My party is great… If people are thinking negative things about me or my party, then it must be because someone is feeding them false ideas…”
    I can tell you where that thinking will end Dan. There is a certain amount of arrogance there.
    It is the Opposition’s fault. Or it is the media’s fault. Or the journalist’s fault. Or the uneducated people’s fault. Or the greedy people’s fault…
    If Rowley’s people keep feeding that to him, they will do him a disservice.

    • Well, he won’t be the first PM to fall prey to ignoring the voice of the people-hehe we reach! Many politicians fail to realise their own supporters cannot win an election-it takes winning over fence sitters and opposition supporters. And to do that, educate and inform the public of the government’s policies and plans. There are consultations and committees all over but it seems even moreso the voices of the ppl are being ignored. A dangerous trend to democracy is when ppl’s voices are being shushed and legitimate concerns glossed over. And while we can sit by and criticise the media and journalists, they still provide a valuable service. How well they do it is another story. Maybe MATT can clarify how if you read three different newspapers, you end up with three different sets of facts and stories.

  46. It is time we vaccinate this nation from the deadly PNMitis disease which causes people to talk rubbish and do thiefing.

  47. Why is the port, Caribbean airlines, wasa, ttec, C TV, Vemcott , PTSC and so many other companies running at a loss for the past 50 years? Why is this so

  48. Who created cepep and urp and all the other gimme gimme make work schemes?

  49. Time to stop bumping our gums and do something positive!
    Demonstrations turn into street parties with a riddum section. And achieves nothing.
    Stop sending taxes and spending money that enriches these b******s!
    Money is the only thing these leeches respect.

  50. There were other, more relevant parts of the speech which addressed budget criticism. I think it is simple journalistic laziness and the desire to stir up controversy and get attention.

    • If only journalists did their job, we would realise how lucky we are to have the PNM. :-/

    • If journalists did their job they would find legitimate critiques of the government rather than manufacturing them out of some twisted words cribbed from a speech.

    • If only public figures did not also give them so much fodder to circulate. Btw, in the age of social media and ‘armchair journalists’ lol anyone could have taped the speech and edited it conveniently. Keep in mind, if news were printed for information purposes, most newspapers would not sell-we the public lap up scandalous headlines and stories.

    • The only way to not give fodder is not to say anything. Honestly any politician worth his salt would not pay attention to this controversy. I honestly just wish the media would stop this nonsense and actually find some real things to hold the government accountable for. It’s not like they don’t have material. We’re a country in a recession in the most crime ridden region of the world for gods sake! They have to make up things to make the government look bad? Really?

    • That I cannot dispute. Our crime rate is frightening. Murders are more gruesome. Too many missing people. No follow up on stories. If journalists too tired to follow up a story, what do we say about our poor forensic staff eith so many murders to follow up on, or our already overburdened police service? What does the MoNS do with its allocation besides recurrent expenditure?

  51. Rowley accusing Trinidad & Tobago taxpayers of be freeloaders but for a man who thinks he knows best he should know that he is the biggest freeloader as a politician he and his party and pass parties we are here today because of there greed now didn’t he and the partnership party agreed on one thing that benefited them both a rise in them pay-page they came together for that one common gold and didn’t Rowley ride the email-gate story to power what’s up now?

  52. Maybe it was that. Or maybe it was seen as the most relevant clip in light of the very recent budget presentation. And it was an early response from the PM to critics of the budget.

  53. Or they will pick the clip which is easiest to take out of context and rabble rouse.

  54. I didn’t see the news clip but a news story is maximum 2-3 minutes. If a speech is over 20 minutes long, everything cannot make it into the news story and the reporter will pick the part that he/she thinks is most relevant and affects the greatest number of people.
    I think the clip in question highlights the marked difference in comportment between when the PM is giving advice and when he is being given advice.
    Some ppl will not have a problem with someone displaying aggression in response to negative feedback. Others will.

  55. Saying it also in one of their quote unquote safe seats.

  56. THE PROCTOLOGIST STUCK HIS FINGER TOO HIGH UP THIS MANS ASS

  57. Well said Renato!! All them politicians have their own businesses too and still scraping every cent from we ratepayers to do what?!! Nothing!! Like them want ah repeat of 1990!!

  58. Smh allyu really good yes.hmmm

  59. Excuse me, you idiot! You are paid by us, the taxpaying citizens of Trinidad And Tobago, to run the affairs of OUR country. It’s a job. You are paid to do this. Yet for 52 years each and every one of you have robbed us blind and fattened YOUR pockets. What have we gotten? Rising crime, no health care, corruption in every level of Government…and the list goes on. Get off your FUCKING ARSE and get to WORK!!

  60. There are many of us who have worked hard for our income and have never benefited from handouts. We pay personal income tax, corporation tax, road tax, VAT, customs duties, license fees and other state charges. So I am not sure why we need to be admonished because T&T is now seeing hard times. Let’s also remember that politicians are the ones who created and fed this dependency syndrome for their own gain.
    As I said elsewhere, this is not the way to rally citizens behind a movement to bring about change in T&T. Anyone assuming the top post, be it PM, CEO, General Manager, HR Manager, can buff and blame. But we expect more of persons in these positions – vision, strategy, imagination, inspiration and leadership. Let’s not set our expectations low because of how we feel about a particular party. We must hold them all to the same standards.
    Schools, health centers and roads were poor examples to illustrate T&T’s dependency syndrome…so, of course, people would have been annoyed by his words.

  61. This is a typical example of a media organization editing for effect by showing a clip out of proper context. A 30 second passage at minute 15 of a 25 minute speech and people are going crazy over foolishness.

    Furthermore, what he said was not out of place either within or out of the speech. We ARE facing a budget constraint and people need to recognize that. Instead they focus on some imaginary slight like children.

  62. Things that Rowley have said or referenced while speaking to the media/public:
    “Vomit comet”, “savages”, “Sharon’s panties”, “finger in bottom”…
    Is it time to accept that maybe the Prime Minister has a problem here?

    • Vomit comet as Maxie said was picong among his peeps. As it relate to the bottom comment it was deliberately graphic to show how dotish men are.

    • All those things were said to the media. God forbid he had to tell us about a rape then. And why would he want Sharon’s panties to be on the national airwaves… Well, I don’t know what else to say.

    • EXACTLY Joann Charles. What was “wrong” with the bottom comment? because it was Rowley said it? hat he said was that MEN ALWAYS say that “I en want no finger up in my bottom”. But despite SO MANY people giving him credit for bringing this awareness to the public, which (according to the news reports), many men visited the doctors around that time to check deh prostrate. But SOMEBODY have to find SOMETHING negative to ascribe to him. But it could’ve been easily predicted that this man will NEVER have it easy as a PM, nor his party. Meanwhile, Kamla get away with all sort of dotishness. Much ado out of nothing. Thank God these media houses who’re trying to destroy him, were not able to manipulate the minds of the electorate as they were able to do, to help “KAMLAMANIA” into reality in 2010. But it was the social media where most of what was being “hidden” by the regular media, that was able to expose these vampires of the past 5 yrs.

    • Kamla certainly got away with nothing in Wired868. And we don’t plan to get into the business of giving leaders an easy ride.

  63. Politicians like they forget who put them there…come election time again they come begging…

  64. Double standards one idiot said elsewhere to a comment if PP Instituted online tax alyuh wudda march.The Idiot’s defense? Well PP say axe the tax.so they can’t impose any.Not making this shit up

  65. He had called children hooligans. The min of health Steups. The minister of energy breakaway speaking with constituents. His bouffing of keejan Haynes and now this.

  66. The problem as I pointed out is not just this speech or unfortunate words but a building narrative that does not augur well for any of us

  67. It is sad and indeed ironic that those who have been accusing taxpayers of living off the fat of the land, are the biggest parasites of the offices which they occupy; doing all this while enjoying exclusive tax breaks.

  68. He has been in politics a long time .. paid by the public purse. That is dependency. To serve with pay.

  69. The main goal of a Trini politician is to get rich. TALK DONE.

  70. We are witnessing an arrogancy far greater than the last three prime ministers! Many a mighty have been trodden on! Who was the last genuine humble leader of recent times? It seems as soon as they get in power, humility takes a back burner. God is watching and the day of reckoning will come!

  71. Allyuh vote for dat. And still wonder why some of us choose not to vote at all?

  72. Trinidad and Tobago: a place where politicians and their friends and families can live luxuriously off the fat of the land but get vex when they see u living off the crumbs of the land.

  73. Rose-Marie thanks for sharing the video.

  74. The government is saying tighten your belt but that is only for the small man. Why all of them in high office dont give up their ( TAX BREAK ) until things get better in the country, All they are saying they thief out the money , its been one year nobody is before the courts they are all jokers both sides come to fool their die hard supporters who dont know better?????

  75. Now that I’ve listened to the whole speech, my what a completely different picture is revealed. Having first hand experience with the racist and political agenda of the head of news at CNC3 I can safely say there is mischief in the way the news clip was edited. The PM may have a case here for his lawyers to look into.

    • Yes….I understand what you saying. Really different when you listen to the whole thing. There is nothing wrong, not the tone nor content, in what he said, in MY opinion. In fact, he is totally correct, and I agree with him.

  76. Too many Pontius Pilates in our Trinbago society.

  77. Boy fire for this bald head fool yes

  78. So a career politician thinks that Trinidad and Tobago’s real problem is that taxpayers expect too much from the government. And not that government corruption and mismanagement has put us on the brink of bankruptcy.
    Now I can understand why career politicians would think so. What is harder to understand is why some taxpayers would agree with that conclusion.
    It takes a special skill to get turkeys to cheer for Thanksgiving.

    • Lolololol – we have a special breed here – The Illiteratti

    • I must think that you heard what you wanted to hear Lasana – or is the speech you linked here a different one?

    • Long time people would take this shit for the first two years and when the govt release in year three to election they was happy , This generation not forgetting yuh eh !

    • Annette, listening to the entire speech did provide some context. And he did say some sensible things.
      But the 22-second clip was directed at the citizens. So he was not sold short there. And I think his statement was unfortunate.
      Worse, I think it follows a new trend by the current government where taxpayers are blamed for all the ills of the country and picked on disproportionately.

    • That’s like Jesse James telling the Dalton Gang to quit robbing banks.

    • Lasana, We will have to agree to disagree here. I honestly expected to hear him lambaste the citizens as I read over and over, and was grateful for the opportunity to hear for myself. Am I offended? NO WAY. To the contrary the context was right – we are not the USA with a Federal Reserve where, when we go bankrupt, we can go print another billion or two! That was the context – some businessman criticism that the government did not provide a ‘stimulus package’!!! It’s time for Trinidad to take stock – we are in deep debt and must work towards clearing it all!

    • I am not dealing with what he said to the businessmen. I’m offended by his manner of speaking to me the taxpayer and his interpretation of what represented a gimme gimme attitude.

    • Annette Dopwell First of all it was the manner in which he said it. Second it was the PNM who created the dependency syndrome under Eric Williams to secure votes and if you know your history you will know which ethnic group became dependent on the government. Third it was this same prime minister who demanded backpay for work he ostensibly performed while suspended from parliament. Yet threatened workers who actually worked that if they kept demanding their backpay they will wake up the next morning to find they have no jobs. That citizens should be weaned off government is a noble sentiment. It’s a pity it must come from the mouth of a man who does not know how to speak to people.

    • I was threatened for asking that backpay be paid .

    • Gerard Johnson I totally forgot that the PM asked for his backpay .

    • Jimi Jorsling The man lacks class. Remember how he dealt with the purchase of a new Benz and the reason he gave for needing a new one. Also his crass comment about his friend saying he ent letting no man push he finger up in my bottom. He speaks like he’s on a street corner talking to his wajang friends except when he goes down Westmoorings and Glencoe, then he’s like a kitchen mouse when the lights turn on.

    • That’s true. The “vomit comet”. And somehow he ended up referencing Sharon’s panties too in his response to nosey reporters.
      You really have no problem with your PM making public remarks like that Annette?

  79. He plays golf in the early morning @ the Moka Golf course. I am glad he is finding time for himself & addressing his health with good clean air & exercise.

    • Undeniably the man has balls, Kathryn.

    • Kathryn, reading all the negative comments I had to take the time to listen for myself. I am offended by anyone finding fault with Dr. Rowley stating, within the context of providing ‘stimulus packages’ for businessmen, that the Government must provide and maintain roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, and in the downturn of our economy, cannot – as America did after the Wall St. crash – go to their ‘Federal Reserve’ and print billions of dollars! This is such a timely intervention in Laventille – I’m just surprised.

  80. one of the first things this parasite did was buy a brand new top of the line Mercedes Benz with I am sure all the extras…who the fuck is he to accuse me of being dependent on the government?

  81. i.e. We are not here to work for you so get used to it.

  82. Kamla had alcohol accusations, Keith have this with more to come.

  83. The role of the state is to provide public infrastructure and security. And the role of public servants is to serve us, the public. If that’s no longer on the cards, WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE?

  84. so Mr McNeil, you “didn’t hear anything condescending”? Every once in a while something takes one by surprise….This was not one of those times.

    • Is it the word wean you find offensive

    • Nope; what I find offensive is his audacity in telling me that OUR infrastructure, paid for by OUR taxes & patrimony are “handouts” whilst using said monies to buy benz fir himself, feed the many outside chirren he is now accepting responsibility for AND gallivanting all over the globe!!!

    • Btw, you don’t find that offensive?
      I jes wha know how idiotic your thinking is nah?

    • First he call we chirren names and now he on we – de man mad!

    • Shawn Mc Neil No. In fact I did not even see the word “wean” in your post. But your judgement that you didn’t hear anything condescending in what the PM said. Highly questionable judgement in my opinion. Makes me think you must be one of those for whom the PNM can do no wrong. And before that irritates you, I am fully aware that the other rabble have their blindly faithful supporters.

    • I’m consider myself a dispassionate individual for starters. I too believe as a nation we too spoilt on a gimme gimme culture and I believe it is counter productive to growth. As for Dr Rowley speaking style, by now we must be aware of it and not be overly sensitive.

    • Shawn Mc Neil Clearly he could do with more supposed “dispassionate” individuals just like you. As for his “speaking style”, he needs to be reminded seemingly that he has pride of place at the public trough, and the electorate are his hosts and hostesses, NOT the bus boys.

    • Shawn Mc Neil who are the beneficiaries of this “gimme, gimme” culture? Are those the ones who are being taxed to the hilt? Are those the ones who get up in the wee hours of the morning, slug through the traffic, have to carefullywatch everyone around them to make sure they are safe, fight to put food on the table for their children and still have NO benefits under this government?
      Kindly note that is the majority of our population, eh!

    • I probably to dispassionate to be bothered by politicians comments. Trump has gotten to me lol

    • That could happen. Amazing though that so many millions globally accept that out of 320 mill in the US it has had to come down to those two.

    • Shawn Mc Neil heheheheheheheheheee

    • Misty Autumn Dey GO and LISTEN AGAIN! You apparently listened – not to Dr. Rowley – but to your own thoughts or the thoughts of others!

    • Annette Dopwell I listened alright to unmitigated arrogance; to a PM talking to his audience as tho he thought them complete fools; as tho he couldn’t be bothered to explain reality to them and gave them the proverbial electioneering “pat on the back” – yuh know is allyuh poor people we care about, inno; dem rich people wha handouts from we buh we giving allyuh we attention and leadership – buh we jes eh have no money tuh give allyuh nah
      AFTER he had BIGGER budgets than the last government, took away most of the assistance to the poorest in society, paying he rich friends millions tuh – hear this – powers wash a stadium, he buying benz an ting …. Buh, he eh have no money?
      Sheesh – Did YOU listen to that BS? What did YOU take from it?
      Mussee me, yes, oui

  85. I didn’t hear anything condescending, the state can no longer support a welfare, freeness mentality. Time to get serious peeps. Far better economies than ours support their populations less.

    • Roads, health centers and schools…that is what he cited. If he had said CEPEP or other welfare items it would be quite understandable…even jobs. If you can’t see the distinction then I can understand why you said what you did.

    • The PNM’s first budgt was BIGGER than ANY of KPB’s and this year it is BIGGER than her first three?
      WHAT exactly did the last government cause? AND what exactly did this government do with ALL that money in the last financial year? I can tell you what they didn’t do:
      1) They took away almost all of the help for the most disenfranchised in this country – buh dem fixing stadium with de power washing costing millions
      2) They are not paying workers (the next poorest in the society) their hard earned backpay (But dem buyng pictures and new cars)
      3)They are taking away ALL the help for students (so dat dey people can remain illiterate)
      4) They have NO bail outs (KPB had two) but dem still eh kow how tuh service we debts
      5) They are causing a lot of businesses to fold because of a lack of stimulation in the economy – putting even MORE POOR people on the breadline – whilst big business sitting pretty and getting “power washing” contracts
      6) They are taking the food out of the mouths of single mothers but have money tuh give cruise liners AD hear this to cruises that do not even come to T&T
      Maybe you cus say what it is they are ding – instead of just crushing black people to death
      We will nt talk about Health (with no medicine) education – mentoned briefly or CRIME – de PNM favourite ting (ah mean dem get THREE whole Ministers, eh)
      Ah fuhget – they did put wifi in some ten buses or so? Yayyyy

    • I usually stay away from religious and political conversations because folks tend to become very passionate in their responses but most 1st world country has road tolls for maintenance of the roads. Health care comes at a cost in most countries also despite paying taxes and free education up to tertiary level is unique to Trinidad. So if it ain’t the norm in better economies than ours what’s wrong with saying we to may have to go in that direction

    • Road tolls are taxes just like the 5% road tax on fuel

    • Every country has some public Healthcare even the poorest and the richest because governments recognize that providing basic stuff with taxpayers monies is a minimum leadership standard

    • Shawn, you see the state of the roads they will paying people to drive on? And at speed limits designed in the 1970s to boot? That’s laughable.

    • Also when you HAVE to pay the toll, that’s a tax. Londoners can afford to leave their vehicles home because they have an efficient bus, subway and rail system.
      Tax away once you have achieved that and commuters have those options. Otherwise you must understand the strain being put on citizens who are trying to get to and from work.

    • Shawn Mc Neil free tertiary education is NOT unique to T&T, eh; where you hear that? Propaganda much?

    • There are many such articles – go and Google it

    • Shawn Mc Neil and apart from ALL our other taxes we pay health surcharge and have NO kinda health care in this country – down to urgently required drugs unavailable
      Are you from T&T???

    • And why is this so and when did all this woe befall us? Change is coming Misty adjust.

    • Sham Boodram Did you LISTEN to the speech – or are do you not comprehend the english language. Dr. Rowley’s speech is 100% on target – and it is worthy of praise.

    • Annette Dopwell to your first question yes. ..your second no…and to your imputation look up two terms “sycophant” and then “ad hominem”.

    • What bull shit..he insulted me he nation..it is not his tax dollar..it is ours ..to look after the country..

    • Shawn Mc Neil all this “woe” befell us when Rowley assumed office. The question was asked already but do you live in T&T? “Free education up to tertiary level is unique to Trinidad” who tell you that? Where are you gathering your information? You are clearly being misguided sir.

    • I don’t know what is worse….. this man to say that schools and health centers are not the responsibility of the government or you people defending this asinine statement. Little history lesson…..it was the PNM that started this dependency syndrome, Kamla and the UNC was not around for 55 years and did not hold office for 40+ of those years. The PM office said that his statements were misinterpreted…….did they bother to interpret it for us? I’m no university graduate or anything like that so if he was on a higher level can you dumb it down for me?

    • Lol Arnold Pariag..all the dependency issues started in 2010

    • Rowley could spit out dirt from his mouth and you will say this is good. Most idiotic and foolish statement. Rowley said people want free Healthcare. Since when people should beg for health.

    • Thank you Lasana. I’m so happy to have listened to Dr. Rowley’s speech at the Launch of the Primary School’s initiative. To have read ALL the negative reactions is sad. Have we NOT listened to the context within which he spoke of the fact that the Government has to build and maintain roads, schools and hospitals, but CANNOT provide a ‘Stimulus Package’ as called for by the Business community! And here I am reading that Dr. Rowley “talk down to them and to tell them they are lazy sobs for expecting the govt to provide roads and schools”? Sorry! Trinis need to go back to school if that is what they received. To be honest I totally endorse EVERY WORD that was said by Dr. Rowley. I too, HATE that people from Laventille are stigmatised by all and sundry – – especially when I have friends and families whose children today are doctors, engineers and lawyers! Not when in our Young Artist Collective there are beautiful, disciplined, talented children from Laventille. And I applaud Dr. Rowley for supporting this initiative and for appealing to the community – parents, teachers and church leaders – to make of the schools in Laventille one that other areas would want to emulate!

  86. The office of the Prime Minister should take out a full page ad in the papers in order to clarify any misinterpretation in his address ….. like Carmona did! Hahaha

  87. I listened to the whole speech as it was posted in the other thread. I do remember seeing other parts of it on the news ..not just the clip that CNC3 posted on Facebook. Having listened to the speech it seems like that part about the roads etc may not have even been directed at the general public. I’ll have to give it another listen when I have time but I got the impression that he was really shouting at the business community and possibly contractors in general. If so then he should have made that type of speech at the chamber of commerce budget forum or a grouping of business people. It looks like he was talking about the dependency on government contracts. But again …..in a forum of students and parents in a Laventille setting where people always “bouffin” about dependency….I eh know if that was the best forum nah.

  88. The Peter’s Principle is evident here. I had wished Dr. Rowley well for the sake of T&T…..but the pressures of the job is making him mis-step and mis-speak

  89. MPS can afford to drive Porshe and Benz while the rest of us struggle to afford a b14 as they do not have to pay taxes on vehicle purchases.

  90. That’s who allyuh voted for; doh complain now

  91. Anybody have the entire speech?

  92. Editor’s Note: MPs do pay taxes on their salaries. That error in the initial post was corrected.

  93. One correction though. As far as I know, Members of Parlaiment, and Government Ministers pay taxes on their salaries, and allowances (apart from transport0. I could be wrong. If so, please correct me, with source.

  94. First he call we chirren hooligans – or some such; now he calling us lazy SOB;s; hmmmmmmmmmmm

  95. Well said and perfectly factual. Where do these parasites think “govt funds” come from? The taxpayers of course. And if the system needs changing, as it obviously does, then let the govt get their hands out of the country’s pockets and initiate some changes to OUR benefit.

  96. In the said speech he said he’s going to address all Laventille students as a group in a rally. Oh, no one saw that because CNC3 didn’t tell us.

    • He was preparing the Laventille students for a future filled with disrespect from politicians? :-/

    • Speeches and statements by politicians are defended or criticised depending on which side of the political divide some people belong. Time for us to be objective.

    • Can you share it here Richard Zen O’Brien? But I do have a problem with his tone eh. We have been overlooking that for too long. That’s just for starters.

    • I’ll share it later..of course the ‘tone’ is problematic..an entire dialogue is taking place on an irrelevant, ill conceived topic and my tone is the issue…my bad

    • In any service industry Richard Zen O’Brien, tone is definitely important. I bet if the restaurant, hotel or hospital where you were spending your money spoke down to you or was rude, you would immediately feel affronted.
      But this is not about tone alone. During Rowley’s election campaign, he said we will go after the misuse of public funds wherever evidence existed. And he said we will turn the country around together.
      In power, we are seeing precious little in terms of going after embezzled funds. And we getting bouffed like children and told that (I am paraphrasing) it is our fault that the country is in a mess, so don’t run crying to them.

    • That is the man tone. He never was and would never be warm and fuzzy.

    • Imbert not warm and fuzzy. But even he never referenced his wife’s panties in a press conference. Smh.

    • You know what considering we had a drunk PM in a polka dot dress singing 1 luv on her 1st Caricom meeting the panty comment did not affect my richter scale. It did not move. What I want from this government is reduction in corruption and policies that would make people’s life better. So the draws comment while inappropriate made me loose no sleep. We have bigger issues to deal with than the PM being classless. Classless and getting the country back on track I can live with. Drunk like a skunk and being advised that Reshmi is qualify to head our National Security is my issue.

  97. Dude has an editorial on a 22 second clip from a 24 min video. That’s a little frightening ESPECIALLY given what the entire speech was about. Shame.

  98. Not the politicians…their CONCUBINES are tge greatest freeloaders

  99. Well Dr. Rowley, if we taxpayers depending on the government for the basic things like roads, schools, hospitals etc, then LET’S JUST NOT PAY TAXES AND WE WILL BUILD OUR OWN ROADS, SCHOOL, HOSPITALS ETC… it’s that’s simple!! cause I don’t see politicians driving through flood waters, I don’t see their kids going to no ordinary schools and when sickness comes, they could fly out of Trinidad and get the best medical care, so in others words, I paying taxes for politicians to live nice!! HELL NO!! Dr. Rowley rewind and come again!! you all are aggravating this society!! and then want to come back and say that’s not what they meant!!

  100. Yes …..so true, they are the biggest crooks…..the truth does offend!

  101. It is what the people wanted… people wanted to give him a chance…. ? well I hope they are happy to give him a chance to talk down to them and to tell them they are lazy sobs for expecting the govt to provide roads and schools ??

  102. To take s sound bite of 12 seconds of an entire speech to convey a particular opinion an meaning is misleading CNC 3 is famous for this

    • Lolol..well listen to the whole speech, then make up your mind

    • Btw, this was a letter to the editor

    • I think you can tell something from a soundbyte if you consider the tone though. Is that the tone of a public servant advising the people who pay his salary?

      • Your comments seem to imply that you are not in favour of the PM’s advice or commentary. If indeed so, perhaps you can share with us what are your expectations of our leaders.

        As far as i am concerned, Dr. Rowley has departed from the standard in telling us what should be told and not what we want to hear. I give him full marks for that!

        For too long we have had leaders who are only politicking and not leading us. I am not one of Dr. Rowley’s fans but I do hope he maintains a realistic outlook, although unpopular it may be.

  103. Trinidad and Tobago needs a fiscal reprieve. T&T’s treasury is dying for a break from corruption, from financial mismanagement, from poor taxation practices, and especially from businesses that do not forward to the government taxes that their customers paid while purchasing products and services. We must stop relying on oil prices of which we have no control to determine our budget. We need to diversify, be vigilant in tax collection, adhere to sound accounting practices, hold the corrupt accountable, and take action when the auditor general audit report highlights discrepancies.

  104. They capitalise in good times but want us to socialise in bad times.

  105. Vernal Damion Cadogan I understand your view. While what you say is valid in relation to some sections of our society (which our PM would have been well advised to use as context in his statement), what you speak of is the result of social conditioning that is the by-product of our politics that buys votes by taking care of their own respective fascist supporters ie nepotism and make work programs. On the other hand, the PM is wrong to cite basic infrastructure that is the government’s responsibility. Finally, his remarks fly in the face of every study in Economic Development Planning that reveal that no local, regional, national or international Economic development is possible without the government playing a catalytic role.

  106. And going on about roads and hospitals, which are basic services that everyone should have access to, but still giving away millions for religious celebrations and festivities.

  107. Beg and lie.They pulled a Bush 41 on we ass.Read my lips…….TAXES

  108. I am sorry for my pnm People .I know that was coming ..

  109. I saw that video, and though I agree that his tone was harsh and his words seemingly illchosen, the video was too short to give much context as to what he actually meant to communicate.
    That being said, I don’t think anyone can deny that this is a society that has become addicted to “freeness”, particularly in light of the fact that tax collection is inefficient at best, and especially since elected leaders pay no taxes. We’ve all seen the public giveaways, hampers, homes, lands upon which many a recipient has squatted ….. it would have been better had he pointed out these things. Indeed even our monied elite make their fortunes off of welfare for the rich.

  110. The pm and his people have to be very careful. If a narrative takes root about you (true or not) it is very very hard to shake. I watched his Fatca press conference last week where he was ‘hoggish’ with kejan haynes and now this apparent talking down to people. Hubris, arrogance and stubbornness took down our last 3 prime ministers so don’t be surprised if it’s his undoing as well.

  111. can someone explain how come this government has not prosecuted the allegedly corrupt people from the last government and retrieved what they stole and gave away? Because these politicians are really pissing me off right now.

  112. This whole idea of politicians being mini-gods who speak down to their children. That’s them exploiting our colonial history I think. Everybody wants to be father or mother of the nation when that is not why we elected them.
    I still shudder at the memory of that poor old woman bowing at Moonilal’s feet and trying to kiss them after getting a government house. Sigh.

    • Not sure if it’s our history but it’s still being perpetrated by our education system and in some families. U don’t question ur elders-just regurgitate what u learnt-and children are to be seen not heard. But suddenly in tertiary education u start to think critically. And did he not study away? He should have grown and learnt from that experience. Example for other ministers to follow.

    • Lasana Liburd you said it !!!!!

  113. Thanks for posting! This writer articulates how I feel. Allegations of corruption aside, it took another administration to come and put a highway for the constitutients of two of the longest serving MPs to ease the daily traffic. And put a proper health centre in carenage. And build a primary school in the area. So was that a not so subtle blow to constitutients to not expect same performance? Not everything u think needs to be said. And if it’s said and u need a translator to clarify what is meant…hmmm…

  114. I would love to see his receipts for the tolls and construction costs he paid to use the roads that he did to get to the various educational institutions (all private of course) that led to his getting a PhD.

  115. Earl Best

    “This means that the PM, who has been a Member of Parliament (MP) since 1991, who was also appointed as a Senator in 1987, has paid no taxes for the past 29 years. And he is not the only one.

    Coincidentally, the current Minister of Finance (MoF) has also been an MP since 1991, thereby paying no taxes.”

    Rudy, are you sure of your oats here? Does the mere fact of being an Mp mean that you pay no taxes AT ALL or that you pay no taxes on your earnings AS AN MP?

    You had better not be right – AGAIN!

    • As far as I know, the salaries and allowances of Ministers and MPs are NOT exempt from taxation… it may be that “extra income” derived from office may be though…

    • Lasana Liburd

      I have been told that only the President’s salary is exempt from tax. So we have adjusted that. MPs obviously enjoy exclusive tax breaks with the importation of motorcars being one example. But they pay taxes.

  116. Sooooo we pay taxes …. Our oil and gas revenues are to do what ??? Apparently not for roads etc … ?