Monday, 18 June 2012 02:30
By Rawlston Pompey
Through life’s difficult and winding pathways, there had been numerous instances “…when apparent ill-advised decisions were taken; …questionable missions were planned; …when events and/or functions, whether privately, institutionally and/or organizationally considered; or …when critical matters affecting public policy, public interest and that of State may have been perceived as connivingly orchestrated and secretly executed.
Not infrequently had there been reasonable suspicions, thereby triggering public reactions, spurring accusations and wild speculations and provoking intense discussions.NECESSITOUS EXPLANATIONS
Even with the apparent persistent futile probing of a watchful media, were complaints aired over the lack of pertinent information by the curious and inquisitive citizens. In many instances, and dependent upon the developments, the proffered tersely delivered explanations had either been advanced as “…Due to circumstances beyond my or our control; …Due to adverse economic conditions and/or financial constraints;; …Due to shortfall in revenue collection; …Due to inclement weather; …Due to the unavoidable absence; …Due to exhaustion; …Due to illness; or …It was the lesser and better of two evils.” The list is in-exhaustive. In the case of the failed attempt at withdrawal of the "…NO CONFIDENCE MOTION, " that was reportedly DUE to non-conformity to procedural formalities of the rules of the House.
Frequently, dependent upon emerging situations, it may sometimes necessitate explanations and/or rationale from policy-makers. The explanations offered had been as mindboggling as they had produced “…mind-shattering consequences. Invariably, spirit was dampened; …hope faded; …dreams and aspirations dashed, leaving many throbbing hearts with high expectations, but “…disappointingly wounded, frustrated and in despair.” This commentary, therefore, was specifically written and intended to provide some enlightenment, interspersed with light moments of anecdotal humor.CONCIDENTAL DEVELOPMENTS
Frequently explanations proffered for such situations may have been seen as sparse and mindboggling. For instance, when the “…Wadadli Power plant” surfaced in the public domain, the focus of attention was on the Honourable Prime Minister DR. BALDWIN SPENCER and non-resident Ambassador to China His Excellency DAVID SHOUL to provide information.
Consequent upon a subsequent press conference with contractual parties and governmental representatives, it appeared that explanations offered fell short of media demands and public espectations. Coincidentally, when the “…No Confidence Motion” failed to leaved the Parliament’s Order Paper, the focus of attention had been placed on Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition Honourable LESTER BIRD and Parliamentarian Honourable ASOT MICHAEL.
Like the former, the latter also came under intense Parliamentary, public and media pressures for explanations. The Mover who was forced to provide explanations, may have unwittingly pointed an "...accusatory finger" at the latter, who quickly raised a "...Red Flag," sternly warning that he would offer "...TRUTHFUL" resistance in any attempt to be "...MADE" a "...GOAT," with or without "...SCAPE." SHOW ME THE MOTION
Developments at Parliament, may make today’s kindergarten students more fascinated by the song, “…There is a brown girl in the ring.” As such, most might be inclined to prompt tolerably cheerful and accommodating parents, guardians and teachers to repeat its singing over and over again. Such had been the nature of childhood past time. Conversely, with the hustle and bustle of adult life, there had been very little time for childhood fantasies or singing nursery songs. In light moments, however, when fond memories may have been evoked, reminiscing on those glorious childhood days, most may have found some nursery songs refreshingly nostalgic. Many may even have joined in with the chorus “…SHOW ME YOUR MOTION- Tra-la-la-la-la.” Assumedly, at the end of a hectic or perfect day, Members of Parliament must have been familiar with this nursery song to the extent of leisurely singing it at bed time to face another day.ADVENTURISM
The aborted “…No Confidence Motion,” that had sparked controversy, was seen by political scientists and others as “…ADVENTURISM.” Nonetheless, critical matters of State may also have prompted Opposition Leader Honourable LESTER B. BIRD to submit for the Order Paper against his opposing number, Honourable DR. BALDWIN SPENCER. The Motion involved several controversial issues, including allegations of lack of transparency in governance and “…financial accountability.” Firstly, there was allegation of “…Mal-spending on “…Romance thick with Rhythm that appeared to have ended in financial accounting blues.VEXED ISSUES
Then there were other “…VEXED ISSUES” emanating from confirmed suggestions by Minister of Sports Honourable WINSTON WILLIAMS, contradicting Parliamentary presentation by Finance Minister Honourable HAROLD LOVELL. The Sports Minister was adamant that reports that he may have been privy to, suggested “…costly and over-paid sums of money for incomplete fencing at sports facilities and non-existent Bathroom facilities; …that the Treasury Department was endeavouring to recoup particular sums. This situation was further compounded by apparent poorly constructed and dilapidated Sidewalks; …Roads and drainage with crater-like holes to suggestions of overly costly electricity generating plants of reportedly questionable conditions and operationally hampered by the sparcity of essential fuel rods.PREDATORY ASIAN TIGERS
The alleged costly expenditure appeared to have occupied the attention of media owner WINSTON DERRICK and employee ALGERNON ‘Serpent’ WATT, Members of Parliament Honourable MOLWYN JOSEPH, former Ambassador LIONEL ‘Max’ HURST, COLLIN SAMPSON, Senators LENNOX WESTON and PAUL ‘Chet’ GREEN had been seeking explanations on their respective interactive radio programmes. Then there was a “…LONE” pack of “…WOLVES” roaming around and may have driven fear in the Honourable GASTON BROWNE as they seek to devour some rare intrusive “…PREDATORY ASIAN TIGERS.” These efforts were followed by constant rhetorical comments, speculations, suggestions and innuendos by many seemingly, dissatisfied, aggrieved and fretful members in the wider society.FOREGONE CONCLUSION
Interestingly, when the much-hyped “…MOTION OF NO CONFIDENCE,” was scratched from the Order Paper, through default and/or want of conformity to Parliamentary procedures. It was a foregone conclusion of the outcome. There was to be no reliance of the bluff and/or scare tactic called by Culture Minister ELLESTON ADAMS that “…What my constituents advised I will follow.” Such following was sure to relegate him to a back seat, where there may have been more grumbling for organizational treachery. There was to be no reliance of the bluff and/or scare tactic called by Culture Minister ELLESTON ADAMS that “…What my constituents advised I will follow.” EXTENDING COURTESIES
Given those developments and the potential for chaos and confusion, the Devil may have left his Bridge at Willikies Village to ensure that all hell was broken loose among the Mover and the clearly “…one-sided” supporting Parliamentarians. Recognizing the presence of, and according House Speaker D. GISELLE ISAAC-ARRINDEL and Honourable Prime Minister DR. BALDWWIN SPENCER, with courtesies and respect, he appeared to have ensured that raising Hell outside the Chamber might have saved Members extra time in convening a special session to determine which member/s might be suspended for possible breaches of the Standing Orders. It was very unlikely that the Honourable GASTON BROWNE would have followed any prompts by the Devil. Likewise, the Honourable Senator PAUL ‘Chet’ GREENE had absolutely nothing to fear.NO EVIDENCE OF DEFECTIONS
There was no “…EVIDENCE OF DEFECTIONS” and the conspicuous absence of the seemingly embattled Health Minister Honourable WILMOTH DANIEL appeared not to have affected the numerical position of Prime Minister SPENCER in a significant way. The reasons purportedly advanced through the media by Mover of the Motion, Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, Honourable LESTER B. BIRD, was that “…an unavoidable state of indisposition” had militated against his further attendance for its move and/or debate. There were suggestion of “…cold feet or timing” may have thwarted the Parliamentary move.BETRAYING PUBLIC TRUST
A midst the chaos and confusion, it was the extraordinary comments by the nation’s Chief Legal Advisor, Member of Parliament and the Executive, Attorney General Honourable JUSTIN SIMON QC in providing “…privileged information” that had brought “…shock and awe” to a clearly puzzled citizenry. Coincidentally, the citizens seemed as equally suspicious not only of what may have been secretly conspired and/or transpired, but also of both the expected Mover of the Motion Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, Honour LESTER BIRD and Prime Minister Honourable DR. BALDWIN SPENCER, the member it was intended to be moved against. For fear of “…BETRAYING PUBLIC TRUST,” the Attorney General, obviously had no intention of shaving his well groomed “…snowy white beard” to be part of any conspiratorial acts. Comments of “…clandestine approaches” appeared to have cast dark clouds of suspicion on the veracity of his health and wellness of the expected Mover of the MOTION, by people on both sides of divide.THE SPENCER DOCTRINE
It may have been perceived as a comment impulsively uttered without meaning when he said “…I have my head on; …I know what I am doing.” Relate the “…SPENCER DOCTRINE” to governance and Parliamentary MOTIONS, rules and procedures, prudence dictates that “…NO CONFIDENCE MOTIONS,” may be pursued wisely and decisively. This doctrine, whether conjured up for reasons of expediency, speaks to “…Thinking before acting,” Hence, within a competitive or unstable political environment, such doctrine calls for public officials, and particularly Leaders to have their “…HEADS ON.” Thus, for all intents and purposes, with decisiveness, confidence, skill and poise, actions may be initiated, not only with the element of surprise, but also “…at the right psychological MOMENT.”ASSESSMENT-STRENGTHS/WEAKNESSES
In emphasizing the importance of such “…MOMENT” and its applicability to matters unrelated to cricket, it might be effectively used with success, but at the right time. Hence, Leaders, whether in Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada and Montserrat, may use the “…cricket strategy” to good advantage. The tactical bowlers must first make “…ASSESSMENT” to counteract and/or tame not only overly aggressive batsman, but also those who may savor the moment, not just to cause frustration, but hanging around at the tail to amass centuries. Thus, bowlers must ascertain batsman “…techniques, strengths and weaknesses” in determination of the surprised use of a short-pitched delivery. For effectiveness, apprehension and their wickets, such delivery may be directed either at the wicket or rib cage and to be delivered with utmost “…fire and fury.” Either ball strike bat or batsman dropped flat. However, woe beyond to the ball that deviated from the target, striking edge of bat and took flight high over to the ANDY ROBERTS stand. Ask legendary cricket icons, former West Indies fear-some, two-some fast bowlers “…ANDERSON MONTGOMERY ROBERTS and CURTLY AMBROSE.”BROWN BOY IN THE HOUSE
In rare circumstances, there is a turn of event within the House of Representatives. These events though unrelated to nursery songs, they may be so depicted to reflect a culture of childhood fantasies and humor. Given recent parliamentary developments, Members might just be as fascinated as the more matured students, should the lyrical content of the original song be revised to read or sing “…THERE IS A BROWN BOY IN THE HOUSE- Fa-la-la-la-la; …Who sought to abort a MOTION, Ta-la-la-la-la; …That angered Parliamentarians Ta-la-la-la-la; …Causing widespread disaffection- Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la; …Over its ABORTION-Fa-la-la-la-la; …Some voiced strong OBJECTION-Ta-la-la-la-la;…Some called for EXPLANATION - Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha; …Some called for REINSTATEMENT- Fa-la-la-la-la-la; …Somebody might be faced with EXPULSION- Ta-la-la-la-la; …Some agreed with such ACTION-Fa-la-la-la-la; …When it was time to declare their INTENTION- Some shouted- Na-na-na-na-na-na-na.” For Parliamentary Members MOLWYN JOSEPH and ROBIN YEARWOOD and Senior Counsel ANTHONY ASTAPHAN, they might be inclined to choreographically sing “…Ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta.”BAA BAA BLACK SHEEP
For the indomitable Member of Parliament Honourable ASOT MICHAEL and the bearer of “…bad news,” if only to shrug off suggestions of “…chronic organizational disunity, individualism and errancy,” he may have been forced to sing the nursery song “…Baa Baa Black Sheep.” He may not have walked through the “…valley of the shadow political death,” Thus, the only evil he may have to fear, might just be the wrath of his parliamentary colleagues. And since he sports only a “…meticulously groomed moustache,” there may be no “…shearing of wool,” sufficient to fill two bags. Hence, there will be“…none for the Master and none for his Dame.”PARLIAMENTARY RULES
Incidentally, as it affects Parliamentary Rules and procedures on “…MOTIONS,” Standing Order 31 speaks not to deferment or postponement, but specifically to “…WITHDRAWAL OF MOTION.” Thus, it states “…A motion may be withdrawn at the request of a Mover, after it has been MOVED, by the leave of the House Committee, before the question is fully put thereon, provided there was no DISSENTIENT voice.” For clarity, the word was given the meaning “…Showing or expressing disagreement with the beliefs or opinions of a majority” [Encarta Dictionary]. Hence, barring no “…defections,” and even with the conspicuous absence of Health Minister Honourable WILMOTH DANIEL, a “…majority decision” may have been very likely in preventing withdrawal and/or defeating the Motion, which ABORTION seemed to have been shrouded in secrecy and mystery and fatefully ended in controversy. The Standing Orders 31 (1) also provides for NOTICE to be given as required for consideration of withdrawal.CRITICAL FACTORS
Movers of “…No Confidence MOTION” shall consider the several tested and proven “…CRITICAL FACTORS.” These include (1) “…Time until mandated election; (2) …Reasonable expectation of forming another Government; (3) …Motion may be moved in very rare circumstances; and (4) …Exercise of Royal Prerogative ALONE.” [Wikipedia Dictionary]. Thus, acting rationally and with compelling reasons for so acting in the people’s and national interest, an astute, pragmatic, independent and impartial Head of State may force “…IMMEDIATE RESIGNATION.” Though KING FRANK I had often expressed abhorrence to the monarchy as Head of State, the Oath of Allegiance demands “…Long live the Queen.”CONSTITUTIONAL PRACTICE
Where a democracy allows for democratic principles to be at work, dissatisfied citizens through their Parliamentary Representatives, may seek to bring respite through the Parliamentary processes. Research has shown that it is a “…Constitutional practice that if a Government wins a CONFIDENCE MOTION, it is able to remain in office.” Conversely, “…if a Confidence Motion is lost, then it is obliged to RESIGN or seek a DISSOLUTION of Parliament, and call General elections” for a new mandate to govern. Such practice was known throughout the British Empire. Consequently “…Heads of State must respond in one of two ways (1) “…Ask another individual whom he/she believes will command the confidence of Parliament to form the Government; (2) …Dissolve the elected Parliament and call general election to elect a new Parliament.”FUNCTIONS OF HEAD OF STATE
The practice allows for the Head of State “…shall examine whether individual has the backing of a “…Parliamentary party; …A Coalition of parties and members of Parliament; or …An agreement of support with ENOUGH Parliamentary seats to withstand any confidence challenge.” Further research show that if this cannot be done, Parliament is dissolved and election is called.” Wikipedia defines a “…Motion of no Confidence” as …a Parliamentary motion whose passing demonstrate to the Head of State that the elected Parliament no longer has confidence in (one or more members) of the appointed government.”POLITICAL JUDGMENT
There has been a “…CONCEPT” reportedly called “…POLITICAL JUDGMENT.” Such concept was said to have bedevilled many aspiring and seasoned politicians, both the elected and un-elected, but more so, the “…adventurous and/or risk takers.” Invariably, for various reasons, people have reposed confidence in those they truly trusted. Unwittingly and unsuspectingly, they become victims of miscalculation, indiscretion or errors of judgment. Frequently, the resultant effect was either that of demise, disappointment or embarrassment. Factored in this scenario, must be the unpredictability and impulsive nature of mankind; …his temperament-rationality or irrationality; …his intelligence, capacity and power of influence. These are natural human characteristics and behavioral tendencies. They were known to have affected every sphere of human interactions and endeavors, both secularly and religiously.IGNOMINIOUS ABORTION
Clearly unperturbed, yet demonstrated no evidence of jubilation or elation, Prime Minister Honourable DR. BALDWIN SPENCER had prevailed unchallenged, when it appeared that the “…No Confidence Motion” had suffered an apparent”…IGNOMINIOUS ABORTION.” Critics had likened it to a “…miscarriage of an unwanted pregnancy,” conducted by a “…quack doctor;” void of medical or scientific knowledge and expertise, and performed in conditions adverse to good health, but conducive only to excruciating pain and death.STRANDED WOUNDED AND GROUNDED
Though not endowed with the professional surgical and precisional skills of Surgeon DR. JOSEPH ‘Joey’ JOHN, in the aftermath, the Honourable ASOT MICHAEL appeared to have been left “…disappointingly stranded and egoistically wounded.” Indicating an intention to “…draw sword,” if circumstances demand, such had been seen as purely “…psychological rhetoric.” That said a person may sometimes choose to act upon his own volition or impulse. Frequently, it was usually done without warning, consultation, authorization and/or consideration of repercussions and/or consequences. Given his response, reasonable inferences may have been drawn that other than “…denials and/or refuted deals,” there may be “… much more in the mortar than the pestle.” Up until now, it was obvious that he was “…GROUNDED” in the LORD.ORGANIZATIONAL LOYALTY
Notwithstanding, the Member’s “…ORGANIZATIONAL LOYALTY,” it was obvious that he had no intention in allowing his moustache to be shaved, neither by Attorney General Honourable JUSTIN SIMON QC nor other Parliamentarians, be they colleagues, friend, enemy or foe. Thus, they may continue to sing “…There is a brown boy in the House” for as frequently as they may desire, the chorus may still be “…Na-na-na-na-na-na-na.” The Honourable Member appeared distraught over his organizational public censoring for revelations made by Attorney General Honourable JUSTIN SIMON QC, respecting his handling of the skewed “…Motion of no Confidence.”AT THE PARLIAMENT
The distraught Member may have eliminated suggestions or perceptions of “…blind loyalty,” by his stern, but vexatious warning. However, his seemingly“…HELL BENT” inclination in breaking loose the chains at “…Hell’s Gate,” to release the “…TRUTH” about the derailed MOTION, may very well border organizational code, ethics and discipline. Thus, such declaration of intent may come with devastating consequences. Since he may not sing “…THERE IS A BROWN BOY IN THE HOUSE,” he might very well sing “…Rock of ages, cleft for me; …Let me hide myself in thee.” However, should he decide on something more in keeping with that frequently obtained at Parliament, he might just be moved to sing; “…At the Parliament; …The Parliament; …Where there was always heated argument; …And the Members always want to have their way; …Then came one day when a MOTION rolled away; …It was moved by Red; …Against the Blue; …For things we disagree; …And now all want to put the blame on me;…Now neither the Red nor the Blue; …Knows exactly what to do; …But all of us know; …When election comes around; …Some Candidates will be falling flat on the ground.”