Media Monitor: Is this the UNC, Best? Yes, it is Devant, yes, it is!

It did not take long, did it? We all knew it was coming but less than a month?

“One law for them. Another for you.”

This stunning insight on the state of the Republic, brothers and sisters, comes down to us from the Upper House via Facebook. More accurately, it comes from a member of the august Upper House. Perhaps that should be the once august Upper House—and that’s not because we are now in September.

Photo: The powers that I have…

The member’s name? Senator the Honourable Jayanti Lutchmedial.

The member’s reference is to the non-incident in Bayside Towers in which the police twice turned up to stop a poolside party involving reports say, 40 people. Twice, the reports are clear, the police left again without arresting anyone.

In a TTPS media release dated 11 April 2020, Police Commissioner Gary Griffith issued this warning: “To those who believe that the Police do not have the authority to stop activities on private property that can affect lives during COVID-19 YES WE CAN.”

Four months later, he is much less certain. Certain gated communities can do that to you.

Anyway, for those with short memories or little real interest in these things, Lutchmedial is one of the six senators appointed by UNC Political Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar whom Devant Maharaj roundly condemned. The other five eventually named, after her party’s 19-22 10 August General Election defeat, were Jearlean John, Damian Lyder, Wade Mark, David Nakhid and Anil Roberts.

Photo: UNC Senator Jayanti Lutchmedial.
(Copyright Office of the Parliament 2020)

Maharaj, ex-UNC senator, ex-UNC minister, would-be UNC senator, would-be UNC minister, would-be journalist and would-be Kamla career killer, called them: ‘bland and insipid (…) appointments, which only highlight the UNC’s incapacity to transform itself into a party to attract new voters’. And in the very first sitting of the 12th Parliament, Roberts and Lyder attracted early attention to themselves, having had to be pulled up by Senate President Christine Kangaloo.

This week, Maharaj has a problem. Truth be told, he has many problems, but the specific one detaining us here is Lutchmedial’s post.

“Why is a senator commenting on something with no facts?” he asks, also on Facebook. “Is the Kamla Kindergarten implying that the police is bias for the 1% and contributing to a racial stereotype?”

His prose is not the most elegant—on Facebook?—or the most grammatically correct but you get his drift. And your instinct is to agree with the sentiment provoking the first half even if you cringe at the level of provocation inherent in the second.

Enter stage left a second member of Kamla’s sextet, Senator Nakhid.

Photo: Senator David Nakhid during his unsuccessful bid to be Tunapuna MP.
(via UNC)

Announcing his intention to ‘take this fight’, the defeated candidate for Tunapuna signs off with this gentlemanly compliment to his fellow UNC member, whom he terms ‘a rank political opportunist’:

“You sorry excuse for a human being!!!”

That is preceded by this:

“Man up short man with your heel lifts.”

And he offers Maharaj advice to the effect that: “If you have doubts about the TTPS, take it up with Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith, don’t hide behind the post of the Honourable Senator.”

Maharaj may not have played international football but he makes clear that he knows something about both attack and defence.

“I read with consternation the post of Senator David Nakhid which is inchoate and incoherent,” he hits back. Before adding, incredibly, that: “The violent assault on the English language and grammar is offensive to the reader.”

Image: UNC Senator David Nakhid takes aim at former senator and activist Devant Maharaj.

Yes, Devant Maharaj. Criticising someone’s English! On Facebook! I swear. I couldn’t make this stuff up.

“The sentiment of Nakhid in defending his fellow senator Facebook post is exactly the type racist (STET) drivel that pervaded the UNC election campaign that cost the party the victory…”

Which is where I left it. I had had enough. But I went away thinking that, if that is what we are to expect in the Upper House, heaven help Madam Speaker in the Lower House.

Have you thought about what you are letting yourself in for, madam? Asking for a friend.

Late yesterday, I told the same friend that the only two who have not so far sullied their Senate records are Mark and John.

He steupsed loudly. “Yuh mean in the New Testament? Allyuh Trini really have short memory, oui. Nine days!”

When that failed to elicit any real response from me: “Mark didn’t sully he Senate record?” he asked contemptuously “Yuh mean in the 12th Parliament?

Photo: UNC Senator Wade Mark.
(Copyright Office of the Parliament 2020)

Which really, truly frightened me.

I mean, things are really brown when you are free to choose from among a million or so citizens and that sextet is the best you can do.

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About Earl Best

Earl Best
Earl Best taught cricket, French, football and Spanish at QRC for many years and has written consistently for the Tapia and the Trinidad and Tobago Review since the 1970's. He is also a former sports editor at the Trinidad Guardian and the Trinidad Express and is now a senior lecturer in Journalism at COSTAATT.

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