Patrick Manning has been on his ‘sick bed’ since January 2012 when he suffered a stroke but every now and then he emerges to make some kind of khochoor using social media and the conventional press.
The latest is his baseless and silly suggestion that it was Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar who was ill and that she used her ailing sister, Sally Ahmad, as the excuse to get to New York for treatment.
For the records, the Prime Minister left Trinidad on Dec. 27 to be at the bedside of her sister, Sally, who underwent surgery for a stomach ailment last Thursday. She returned home on Sunday morning.
But Manning isn’t buying that and some media have decided that Manning’s story is worth several inches of space in the newspaper.
Manning built his ridiculous story on an anecdote that he alone knows seems to remember, telling his Facebook family that it was a PNM Prime Minister, the late Dr. Eric Williams, who used subterfuge to deceive an unsuspecting population.
This is how he told his story: “Dr. Eric Williams at one time became very ill, needed urgent medical attention and required to be hospitalised. On his way to the hospital he picked up one of his Ministers to accompany him. They arrived at the hospital the Minister jumped out, sat in a wheel chair and Dr. Eric Williams pushed the Minister into Casualty. Once inside and behind closed doors the Doctors proceeded to immediately work on Dr. Williams.”
Manning described it as “a clever move that averted public concern and diverted attention with regards to the Prime Ministers health” and then poses the question: “Is there not a similar situation today?”
First, what is clever about deceiving citizens? And why lie about something like that? That seems to be a part of the PNM’s philosophy.
Even a five-year-old would find holes in Manning’s story. When did it happen? Who was the minister? Which hospital treated Dr. Williams? Why did he have to hide the facts?
This kind of behaviour has become typical of Manning – making up stories to suit his fancy with no credible evidence to support any of it. Like the time he told reporters that he had to go to Cuba for medical treatment for a cardiac problem because he couldn’t trust local “UNC” doctors, whom he said might have killed him.
Manning might know of trickery of the sort he wants to pin on the Prime Minister because he himself might have done it.
Do you recall his pappyshow when he came home from Cuba in 2011 after what he said was surgery to remove a cancerous kidney? He felt so compelled to show that he DID have surgery that he pulled up his shirt for the media to show reporters his surgical scars.
Manning is the one who has abused the state and the people. Since his stroke the Parliament has been generous in granting him continuous sick leave. If he is that sick (and there is great doubt about that based on his personal activities) then he should have done the honourable thing and resign instead of leaving his constituents without a representative in parliament.
But he wants to eat his cake and still have it while trying to undermine the Prime Minister and her government using every underhanded and devious trick he could pull.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar doesn’t have to hide any illness she might have. When she had to go to hospital she did not hide behind anyone and she told citizens the truth about her issues with diabetes and hypertension. When she was admitted to hospital in Barbados there was nothing to hide. When she had Dengue, she took time off and stayed at home; there was nothing secretive about it.
It was a PNM leader and Prime Minister who lied and deceived the people, according to Manning. And Manning himself might have done the same, which is why he feels that the PM needs to hide if she is sick. Often people see others as reflections of themselves, which might explain why Manning is always eager tell his incredulous stories in order to malign people.
Being ill is not something of which a leader must be ashamed; deceit and subterfuge is what we need to reject. And based on Manning’s story, that appears to be a trademark of the PNM, not Kamla Persad-Bissessar, the UNC or the PP.