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Jack right to treat FIFA with contempt

Friday, May 3 2013

THE EDITOR: The meeting at Pierre Rd was a refreshing breath of love, gratitude, loyalty and service in a society where such emotions are significant by their absence.

Unfortunately, the Parliamentary debate of the subsequent day proved a shocking reaffirmation of harsh, vindictive and hypocritical reality. It was a depressing and, to me, disgusting spectacle of political opportunism and desperation. The leader of the Opposition, with ambient light reflecting off his shaven(?) pate, fulminated at length and venomously against a well loved favourite of the masses, who, unlike former and colleagues on both sides of the political divide, served the people, regardless of constituency or political affiliation, for the princely reward of TT$1.00 p/m.

Without ever alluding to JAW’s unique altruism, his fabled generosity or his embarrassingly effective performance in office, after Rowley’s lengthy peroration the unwary could have been forgiven the impression that the target of his venom, accompanied by desk thumping colleagues, was Calder Hart, or any number of his PNM colleagues for whose financial depredations the PNM has long been condemned in the court of popular perception.

The gist of Rowley’s argument, lavishly embellished in a time consuming quest for credibility, was that as a result of his FIFA association Warner’s Ministerial appointments had been a source of national and international embarrassment. This coming from the leader of a party during whose overlong stint in power TT became the butt of Caricom humour, as they reduced it to the status of “the sick man of Caricom”, might have proven hilarious were it not tragic in its hypocrisy!

I was sorely tempted to disrupt those “august” proceedings - if only to enquire upon what moral ground did any member of the PNM assume the right to impugn the integrity of anyone?! Which of Warner’s critics contributed to elevating local football to World Cup status? Which of them ever pulled their own pocket for a constituent in need.? Are these the deeply flawed political refugees from justice who seek to pillory Austin Jack Warner?

Much has been made of Warner’s studied refusal of FIFA’s demand for explanation from him. Sufficient to state that had that body denied me the pension which after 30 years service was my due, I, too, would treat them with Warner’s studied contempt as a matter of principle. This refusal is a further measure of his confidence in the absolute faith in his integrity invested in him by supporters on every side of the ethno/political divide. If this refusal as suggested by many, is the only evidence of his guilt, then justice in TT is not merely blind, it is dead and buried.

TG Mendes

via e-mail

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