Home / View Point / Martin Daly / DALY BREAD: Senator Incitatus would appreciate horseplay of Darryl, Shamfa, Faris, Sinanan and JLSC

DALY BREAD: Senator Incitatus would appreciate horseplay of Darryl, Shamfa, Faris, Sinanan and JLSC

Just two Sundays ago, I discussed the inability of our public officials to beg our pardon when they blunder. They show contempt for our intelligence and our own experience when they spin improbable explanations for obvious blundering.

The Government has had a very bad fortnight of blunders and ‘no beg-pardons.’ The so-called explanations for these blunders have insulted our intelligence. The Attorney General is not at the top of the blogs and memes; that place belonged to Shamfa Cudjoe, Minister of Tourism, now overtaken by Darryl Smith, Minister of Sport.

Photo: Shamfa Cudjoe, Roman Empress... (Meme: Christian Hume)
Photo: Shamfa Cudjoe, Roman Empress…
(Meme: Christian Hume)

However, the Attorney General’s unqualified announcement—at a time when a notice of appeal had not yet been filed—of a date and time for the hearing of an appeal by the State against a stay of property tax activities was dropped on us at a particularly bad time.

It was a bad time because the blundering of the JLSC in the recent round of appointments to the High Court bench had already undermined the institutional reputation of the Judiciary. And the inevitable but shameful restart of the part-heard cases before the former Chief Magistrate was announced, without apology, on Thursday last.

The Attorney General’s improper announcement triggered new and unseemly questions about the operations of the Judiciary. That additional comess was not the fault of the Judiciary or fall-out from the we-can-do-no-wrong JLSC.

I don’t know what response the Registrar of the Supreme Court will give to the inquiries made of her by Anand Ramlogan SC, acting on behalf of the Claimant, challenging the property tax. What was likely is this: the lawyers acting on behalf of the State would have indicated to the Registry that they would be filing an appeal, wanted an urgent hearing and the Registrar may have indicated a tentative date.

That tentative date would have been subject to the prompt filing of the Notice of Appeal.

Photo: Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi.
Photo: Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi.

The proper thing for the Attorney General to do would have been to inform the public that the State was intending to appeal the decision delivered on Friday 19 May and was hoping to get as early a date as the following Monday 22 May.

Any announcement about the State’s Appeal should have been limited to an expression of an intention to appeal and of the hope of an expedited hearing.

I do not believe that the Attorney General’s unfortunate announcement is evidence of collusion between the Political Executive and the Judiciary.  It was a petulant “going to do you back” taunt—characteristic of the immature way in which our politics is practised.

Uncharacteristically for someone of her technology-literate generation, Minister Shamfa Cudjoe seemed unaware that everyone who travels abroad puts their phone on airplane mode and receives email and data by means of Wi-Fi, which is available even in every little one-door parlour or bar all over the world.

There was absolutely no hope of rationalising a TT$59,000.00 phone bill to a population under economic pressure. Minister Darryl Smith has the same problem with the TT$90,000.00 trip to Tobago.

Photo: Sport Minister Darryl Smith (right) makes a point to Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams after women's international friendly action against Venezuela at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 26 March 2017. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Sport Minister Darryl Smith (right) makes a point to Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams after women’s international friendly action against Venezuela at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 26 March 2017.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

We must be thankful for small mercies in that neither of these ministers hinted that the juicy expenses, for which they were responsible, were the result of possible sabotage. That incredible, desperate lamentation was part of the hand wringing of Minister Rohan Sinanan, Minister of Transport, over the failure of the sea-bridge to Tobago.

The lame excuses made by these fourb ministers are insults to the intelligence of the population.

Legend has it that one of the Roman Emperors, Caligula, had no respect for the Roman Senate. To demonstrate his lack of respect, he made his favourite horse, Incitatus, a senator.

The appointment of Senator Incitatus might not have been the worst insult to the Roman Senate—if only because “horse sense” is a phrase applied to sound practical judgment, which is in short supply at the moment.

Senator Incitatus therefore might have made better sense of the appointment of judges, phone and travel expenses, the filing of appeals and the poor maintenance of the sea-bridge vessels, than our persistently wrong-and-strong grappe of public officials.

Photo: A satirical take on former Roman Senator Incitatus, who was the horse of Emperor Caligua.
Photo: A satirical take on former Roman Senator Incitatus, who was the horse of Emperor Caligula.

I return now to the failure of the JLSC to release the report of the tribunal that heard the misconduct charges against the magistrate, who is now newly appointed Justice Quinlan-Williams. My dear colleague, Keith Scotland, in attempting to defend the secrecy in which the report is being held, got his Public Service Regulations in a muddle.

Regulation 109, to which he referred, deals with holding of the proceedings in private; a separate regulation, 102, deals with the report.  Reference to 109 is irrelevant.  Keith gave us a ‘9 for a 2.’

In my view, the Commission is not restricted by the terms of 102, which is the relevant regulation, especially given the public interest considerations that have arisen now that the transcript of the disciplinary proceedings is widely available in the public domain.

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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98 comments

  1. I want a leader like north Korea and the Philippine

  2. All ahh demm is A set of jokers

  3. He help put them there..now he complaining

  4. He really means half the population….he did use the word ‘ intellegence ‘

  5. It was a petulant “going to do you back” taunt—characteristic of the immature way in which our politics is practised.

  6. But Carry His CoStar In TobagoFkr Fun On Goverment Money ,

  7. Foot in mouth that is what the whole government suffering from. Set of Blasted jokers

  8. Govt come Govt go is d same bullshit d poor man go thru dey killing us and d hard part is we put dem dey whether is UNC / PP or PNM

  9. Is good to see Martin Daley could open his mouth now,I thought he went dumb since PNM in government, had a lot to say before.

  10. Its nice to see Martin has awakened from his slumber, having had nothing to say about prison gate. Ganja in “the house, email gate etc….!!!!….#Welcometoreality

  11. How can some of our learned jurist ( law Ass members , and former politicians ) who stood by and watched the citizens ( or some ) of this country rights being abused , under an SOE were a number ( thousands ) people were arrested but very few charged , now talk about constitutional matters ? its double standards at the highest .

  12. How smith reach up in politics who is he?

  13. Honestly am glad to see Mr Daily coming out.

  14. Its truly amazing to see that this conversation is about evidence of politicians misusing our funds on both sides of parliament and there are people in these comments choosing sides ..

  15. And downright insulting to the intelligence of the population too
    Or are you holding briefs for him?

  16. Daly
    How could you leave out imbert who threatens the population about a deadline on a form that they will be prosecuted
    Then when citizen through attorney files a motion
    He turns around and Says they were never I under any obligation

    Isn’t this obscene and idiotic to say The least

  17. Does the PM wife works for Martin Daly ….just asking…

  18. PNM does tief in a technical way, tstt borrow 1.3 billion Massey get 250 million from that for so called share purchase.Elias, and Rowley go a long way back to Landate and hospital project in Tobago.

  19. Ah wonder if they lamented when Moonila, Ramlogan and Kamla was doing the same fuckery

  20. Martin Daly u have know shame how u talking now,when the UNC was there doing all kinds of thing ,your mouth was close,u to should be in jail

  21. Politicians always feel d people is ass but they forget jus how they got put there they will b put out never to come again

  22. Trinidad suffers from too much hypocrisy. I gone Tobago.

  23. I was on the verge of giving kudos to the PM for his response when I heard it, but then things came to mind-:
    Why was the initial response of the ministers one of arrogance (storm in a teacup) rather than acknowledgement of wrongdoing and commitment to do better in future?
    Why was the PM the one to issue statement that essentially should have come from the ministers?
    Why did the PM think his role was to essentially micromanage these ministers, but the MoNS and MoT seem to be bungling along.
    …And the list of questions and concerns goes on.

  24. Fire all of them and bring back u.n.c lol

  25. The PM is only a figurehead, like ceremonial, allyuh ent work that one yet?

  26. When when this country have a great leader who can lift this country out of a 3rd world status and to a developing world status…been waiting for decades…

  27. Senator Incitatus? Well we had two just like it a few years ago when himself took silk and gave silk to her…..just so….guess nobody’s intelligence was insulted then……smfh.

  28. ” bacchanal, that’s the way we flow “

  29. What intelligence ????????? people who drive & kill one another I’m trying to edit this statement talk about the airport instead

  30. but thr pm bought it. he did not guide them properly.

  31. They think everyone is on the brain level of children…not even my 6yr old daughter will believe that garbage…highly paid professional lier’s

  32. The culture of the pnm they fires no one kamla fire everyone until she had herself fired ,take. that???????? for three more years.

  33. Didnt hear these words when Kamla and klan were raiding the treasury.Show us where Smith and Shamfa thief.

  34. Don’t forget the PM that backing them

  35. All politicians thinks the rest of the population is stupid!!!!

  36. These jack asses sint tired bray spit now nah ogosh

  37. set of bluffers…only idiots listen to their garbage

  38. My Sunday has been made whole !! George Leacock, ‘Sen Incitatus’, priceless !!

  39. Girl how you get ah buss head
    Ah bite myself

  40. They are there to “Get”not to “Give”

    • So sad ,most of all our PM respond ” really he should act more mature like a PM not just allowing things to get out of hands by these young minister they need ” guardiance” badly. Stop covering up for PM ELIZA SINGH