Daly Bread: Nine months after appointment of Griffith and Young; what has changed? 

I had intended this week to return immediately to the failure of all of our governments to properly assist the voluntary organisation sector in our society and to their bad practice of making funding decisions based on ‘contact’ and perceived partisan political kinship.

There is however some expectation of a comment about the recent outbursts of Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith.  There is little need to do so. Much wise advice has already been given to the Commissioner to accept that, just like other public officials, he is not above criticism.

Photo: Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith (left) makes a point to TV6 Morning Show host Fazeer Mohammed.

I certainly cannot improve on the advice of my Trinidad Express columnist Raffique Shah—given on Tuesday last—from which I quote later. Moreover, the desperate and unaltered violent crime situation requires that the Commissioner be pressed by journalists to answer questions directly, contrary to his protestation to Dominic Kalipersad, in his recent interview on TV6, that he ‘was not there to be cross examined as Commissioner of Police.’

He had a second interview with Dominic Kalipersad, on radio this time, last Sunday. It is to his credit that he tried with Dominic again because the first interview was a disaster for the Commissioner. It was all evasion, bully and bluster.

It is also to his credit that he partially recognised that his ‘passion’ could sometimes be seen by others as: “being aggressive, obnoxious—that is my style and I mean nothing by it—and people take it personally.”

The problem for the Commissioner is that speech perceived as rants does not suit the office he holds. People have no choice but to take it personally, or deplore what he says as a Trump-ish personal attack, if he dwells on the names of critics in the course of a rant.

Sadly, for him there may be more ‘cross examination’ coming his way as a result of the unrealistic expectations of success during his tenure, which he himself helped to create.

Readers with good memories will know that I never fell for the dreams of a miracle turnaround in the desperate violent crime situation.

Photo: Minister of National Security Stuart Young (left) and Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith.
(Copyright TTPS)

Griffith was appointed around the same time that Stuart Young was made Minister of National Security. In a column published on 12 August 2018 after those appointments, my prognosis was unequivocal:

“Successive governments, as well as the issuers of shallow statements, are guilty of repeatedly and conveniently ignoring critical underlying socio-economic conditions and the intersection of politics, trafficking profits, corruption and campaign finance. That is why we are in a criminal shambles and Young and Griffith may well be riding into a valley of failure.”

Nine months later—no differently than before the appointment of Griffith—the futility of the blinkered approach is yet again plain.

Whatever statistical games are played, murder is rampant and, as I am almost weary of repeating, the impunity with which the murders are committed is as frightening as the rates of murder. Kill and walk away un-apprehended remains the most likely outcome for the killer.

We are entitled vigorously to question why is this the persistent status quo?

We have daily occurrences in the country which lead to headlines that—according to a report in the Express on Wednesday last—make someone like the EU Ambassador ‘shudder’ and conclude that: “we are looking at a situation whereby violence has become the norm; where it is almost accepted.”

Photo: Murdered St Anthony’s College student Akil Phillip.

The indifference detected by the Ambassador is, with respect, not that of the people who, as correctly described by Shah, ‘cower in the confines of their homes,’ easy prey to robbery and the loss of lives of their loved ones.

The indifference is that of our rulers, whom more than a decade ago I described as ‘unfeeling kings.’ Their major concern about violent crime is how to neutralise its existence as an issue in electoral politics. The political financiers and validating elites are almost equally indifferent.

Meanwhile, as usual, one talking point is soon eclipsed by another, bigger one. The country is agog as news of the impending prosecutions of Anand Ramlogan SC and Gerald Ramdeen unfolds.

There is the added fascinating presence of Vincent Nelson QC in the alleged conspiracy. Other allegedly soiled briefs may soon be revealed.

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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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  2. Lisana doing PR for Daly. Yes Daly answer the question.

  3. “Sadly, for him there may be more ‘cross examination’ coming his way as a result of the unrealistic expectations of success during his tenure, which he himself helped to create.” very true

  4. Strange he said so little about the corruption allegations facing the embattled AG. The silence is tantamount to support. He however cannot avoid the obvious inference of possibly having something to hide.

    • And yet he did say something. Perhaps as a lawyer he understands that it is not helpful to comment much on a case at such a sensitive period.
      He said very little about Thema Williams case too while it was active and he was representing her.

    • Lasana Liburd appreciate the justification though it is still open to suspicion.

    • With the amount of money that washed through the legal profession during that period, I agree that there will be suspicion on attorneys. But you can’t call out specific attorneys with no proof.
      That would be libellous.

    • Lasana Liburd libel would be a direct accusation.

    • Lasana Liburd questions are to be answered with an answer or no comment. No one can be charged for a question.

    • When you say “tantamount to support” and “obvious inference of possibly having something to hide”… Well that is so close to a direct accusation as to be in the grey zone.
      All the same, I’d just advise you to consider my point too.

    • Lasana Liburd he was representing her. Hence it was inappropriate. I’ve never seen Daly so reticent to comment on a scandal this big.

    • Dawn Foderingham if you notice Daly haas been quiet on matters within the fraternity for some time. Check and see if he commented when Griffith attacked the Law Association over his use of camouflage and so on for instance.
      Outside of the CJ and the attempt to remove Armour as LATT president, he actually does not comment on judicial matters much in my opinion.

    • Possibly similar to the thin blue line when complaints come against policemen and the protections afforded by fellow officers?

    • Chris Mark D professionals are actually not supposed to bring down their colleagues in the public. That’s by our Bye Laws.

      Applies to all major professions and is likely the reason the public always assumes that we are all in cohort with each other.

      No, it’s supposed to be actually respectful.

    • Linda Louison then the rule when applied to skunks tarnishes the entire association. For example when they gave themselves silk, it gave silk the value of tissue paper. No one gains when corruption is a taboo subject.

    • Chris Mark D likely because they don’t strip their corrupt members of their registration. Not because of basic mutual respect.

    • Chris though I cant remember the silk details if you have time you can remind me.

    • Linda Louison Anand and co. Selected Anand and Kamla to receive the honor of silk. Imho Anand was an ambulance chaser, seeking prisoners who were after police and prison guard brutality (so I had been reliably informed by a then current attorney in the attorney general’s office). Kamla who worked in a law firm but had no slew of cases under her belt also taught law (I will not be speaking publicly of her reputation from law school as I do not have evidence beyond the word of a former magistrate).
      By what criteria were they worthwhile recipients of silk?? One surmises they sought the honor for themselves despite their apparent unworthiness.

    • Chris Mark D I didn’t remember Anand however can confirm from another source that Kamla did almost nothing during her studies and seemed to be a freshman all the time. What she was good at was learning at the last minute and for some final exam she did everyone on by getting all their own notes, learning them by heart and so she passed. Not on her own merit.

      That’s also no evidence but may I remind you that court cases do take several eye witness statements as part of ‚evidence‘ in the final analysis. Not so? So if 10 people said so …. even if eye witness statements aren’t always quite reliable due to the way memory works in human beings, at least there are enough common denominators and facts that can be derived. Such as an eye witness who actually lent her the notes. Lol not that I’m saying I heard this from that person.

      Apropos so the law can accept eye witness statements as proof. Isn’t it then very strange that 100,000s of people, pilots, generals, astronauts beside folk without degrees have seen UFOs yet still the authorities or those who haven’t seen them insist that they do not exist? At least that’s changing for the better. Lol

    • Linda Louison then we have a similar distaste for her character. I may day the source I had was less generous and alleged She gained favors by less savory means. However your description still agrees so there is no need to lambase the woman further.
      Just a quick do I know you because I knew a Louison studying accounts in The early 90’s at St James Polytechnic.

    • Chris Mark D Agreed. I wasn’t’ in the island in the 90s, that could well have been my dear sister.

    • Linda Louison ok because my bad memory which I cannot trust, came back with a first name of Yvette.

    • Chris Mark D yep that’s my sis! ??

    • Linda Louison have not a clue if she’d have any recollection of one more red fellah or my name.

    • Chris Mark D lol I’ll ask her. Though I don’t know what your ‚D‘ stands for.

  5. My Daley Bread did you get a state brief under the former AG. And if so please share your very relevant experience at this time.

  6. Martin Daly is spot on. The two gentlemen who ostensibly share national security portfolios are unfortunately politically compromised which disqualifies them from achieving any success and should be both removed from office.

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