Dear Mr Warner
I must commend you on your performance during the budget debate in Parliament and especially your comments regarding the suggested “parroting” by members of the government benches during their contributions. This was particularly funny because of your own comments during your budget responses during your three years in government.
If you’re inferring that the government members are obligated to occasionally laud themselves during their contributions, your contributions seem to be plain pandering. While I certainly don’t expect you to remember them entirely, please allow me to refresh your memory.
In 2010, during your budget response you stated:
“I heard the good when I listened to my colleagues on this side and those at Nos. 41, 42, 43. I heard the good when I listened to the Member for Oropouche West, Miss Stacy Roopnarine. I realized that she was the youngest Member in the Parliament and I compared her to the Member for Arouca/Maloney, and I said, ‘Chalk and cheese’. I said that the future of the People’s Partnership is in good hands.
When I heard other Members, even the Minister for Sport and Youth Affairs, the Member for D’Abadie/O’Meara- when I heard the Member for St. Joseph, despite what the last speaker said, and the Member for Pointe-a-Pierre, when I heard the Prime Minister tonight – I do not know where our Prime Minister gets her energy from, because I left her in St. Augustine at the university at a matriculation ceremony and here she is back down again in the Parliament up to this time – as a matter of fact, when I heard all the speakers on this side, I felt good.
I felt that our Prime Minister had made a judicious judgment in her selection of candidates and speakers. I commend her very highly. When I heard the Member for Tobago West, the Minister of Tobago Development, and the Member for Tobago East, who are now within the pale of this Government, I said even the future of Tobago is in good hands.”
In 2011, during the budget debate again, you stated:
“I am saying, thank God we have a progressive Government on this side, and we can move this country from this prophecy of doom and gloom. Doom and gloom is hypocrisy personified, as far as I am concerned. Mr. Speaker, I have no intention of pretending I am an economist; no intention. I stick to my limitations, if others do not do that. I would leave the arithmetic for the economist, for the Minister of Finance. I will deal with the politics of the budget, as far as I am concerned. The Minister of Finance is most competent to do that. In fact, in this Chamber, I do not know anybody who is more competent than he.”
In 2012, however, you intrigued me the most, especially the last line of this quote, in which you said:
“Mr. Speaker, let me first say, I want to thank the Minister of Finance and the Economy because I believe that what he gave this House, this country, was a well balanced budget. Mr. Speaker, this is not a budget for haters; this is not a budget for dreamers; this is not a budget for people who wish this country doom and gloom; this is a budget for sustained growth and development.
I also want to make the point that – in fact, before I say that, let me also thank Mr. Dookeran, the Member for Tunapuna, for his tutorial in economics – his lesson. I sat here and listened to Mr. Dookeran and I thought I was at university, I was so moved – it was a continuity. He explained the fiscal policies which he had set and how the present Minister of Finance and the Economy is building upon them. It was pretty to listen to him, contrary to the last speaker.
So, Mr. Speaker, therefore, I am saying that they may preach doom and gloom, they may say all things negative about us on this side, but I want to make another quotation. This time I am going to the Bible. I want to tell the other side that no weapon formed against this Government shall prosper and every tongue that shall rise against this Government, in judgment, God shall condemn.”
All three quotes were taken directly from the Hansard records posted on the Parliamentary website.
Now, I understand that your views have changed since these words were uttered in the hallowed halls of Parliament. I have to wonder though, while you were inferring the wrath of God upon all those who opposed your government, whether you expected God to do so despite the alleged corruption, ill-doings, et al. Only during your latest budget response did you claim that “Corruption in this country has become institutionalised and I, Jack Warner, contributed to that…”. This of course was all said from an opposition bench rather than the government bench you sat on during the previous three.
Mr. Warner, our leaders have to be held just as accountable for their words, as they are for their actions. You cannot expect us to believe that the government, which is as corrupt as you claim, would have been acceptable to this nation had your portfolios not been rescinded. So please, do not try to validate yourself and your party by maligning your past affiliates out of spite. This nation deserves a better class of politician than that.