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Raffique Shah


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'Lynching' in the House

By Raffique Shah
March 29, 2015

Desperation bordering on panic pushed the People's Partnership into the abyss of indecency last Wednesday, which will be recorded as the day the Partnership lost the 2015 general election.

Driven by unbridled greed to hold on to power, hence the Treasury, by any means necessary, the Partnership members, all of them, even those who remained silent, are guilty of gang-raping Parliament, of reducing it to the biggest brothel this side of the Atlantic.

They should hang their heads in shame for allowing Vernella Alleyne-Toppin to abuse parliamentary privilege and engage in vile behaviour.

But then, you must first have shame to feel ashamed. And shame is an emotion that's sorely lacking among this lot—and I repeat for emphasis, every one of them.

I did not tune in to the debate on a motion that made no sense, so I was unaware of what had taken place in the House. By the evening news, though, when I heard snippets of what Alleyne-Toppin said, I was dumbstruck. I could not believe that this woman was dredging up 60 years of history, and worse, fabricating events (as we would later learn), and calmly reading this putrid sewage into parliamentary records.

I watched the faces of the Prime Minister and other senior Cabinet members: surely, I thought, one of them would intervene, stopping her in her tracks. I watched Speaker Wade Mark to see if he would rescue the Chamber from indignity. He sat in rapt attention, as if he was listening to Shakespearean prose coming from the mouth of a latter-day Portia pleading with Shylock in a Venetian court on behalf of a hapless Antonio, "...The quality of mercy is not strained..."

But there was no mercy in Mark's court. There was a parliamentary lynching in progress. They were flogging Keith Rowley to death—or so they thought.

It mattered not that Alleyne-Toppin was prefacing her poison with "this is a true story" rather than "once upon a time" as all fables should start. Every member who sat in the House that day is guilty of condoning if not participating in lynching a man for crimes he did not commit.

To suggest that Rowley the man was the product of the rape of his mother, as is now recorded in Hansard, is a crime against his deceased parents that is unforgivable. To imply that he raped a young woman, a criminal act that resulted in the birth of an unwanted son, something we now know was the figment of Alleyne-Toppin's diseased imagination is, well, unimaginable.

But she said it all under cover of parliamentary privilege, and not one of her colleagues has disassociated himself or herself from it. In fact, a few of them apologised to victims of rape, not to the victim of Alleyne-Toppin's lies. Hell, not even Tim Gopeesingh, who admitted to having a cutlass-wielding, planass-administering son, had the decency to commiserate with Rowley.

Based on their silence, or worse, their call for Rowley to answer questions that were never posed (Alleyne-Toppin made what she said were statements of fact), we can safely assume that none of them had affairs outside their marriages or "outside" children; that the women MPs, in biblical terms, know only their husbands; and that they are all paragons of virtue, people who never sinned in the eyes of God or man.

In which case I can proclaim myself an angel with heavenly wings and halo: yeah, right!

I don't know if the PP-ers understand how they are blowing whatever little hope they had of being re-elected to power. Every week, almost ritually, they are shooting themselves in the foot, in the face, all over. If it's not a minister or activist misappropriating funds, or cussing "niggers", it's paying and bussing supporters to rally around the coalition because "de borse tell we to come here". How embarrassing.

Or driven by pure hate, its campaign strategists, activists and ministers, seeking to destroy Rowley, end up saying or doing things that make the man a martyr. In fact, it seems that the PNM can halt costly campaigning in which they cannot compete with the Partnership, and prod the Partnership into making mistakes by the minute and missteps by the mile.

In one fell swoop last week, Alleyne-Toppin turned off thousands of thinking people in constituencies that matter most for the Partnership. Outrage poured from the conventional and social media, with people so disgusted by the woman's crassness and her colleagues' insensitivity, they are openly withdrawing support. Only the sycophants remained anchored.

Now that Rowley's son and the man's mother have exposed Alleyne-Toppin as being a stranger to the truth and all but endorsed the father as being a good man, the PNM leader could not ask for a better or more timely endorsement.

The Partnership's motion of no confidence in Rowley has backfired in their faces. Let's see what next they will do to alienate voters. They seem to be working hard to lose the election.

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