20071031

I Wayne - Book Of Life

I Wayne's new video 'Book of Life' and 'Need Her In I Arms' from the upcoming album on VP Records,'Book of Life'. Featuring 16 brand new tracks that are sure to excite roots and dancehall fans alike. In stores Nov. 6th 2007.

Real Talk DVD Magazine

20071030

Facebook Msg - de friggin worse yes

I got the following message from a Facebook friend and it really makes me wonder about the information available...

I thought we in the INFORMATION AGE or has it passed?

"I is ah man watching some new game show called "Merv Griffin crosswords" and yuh could imagine my absolute fucking shock and dismay when dis bacKside is tuh read ah question. A Jamaican percussion instrument.. AND IS TUH HAVE DE NERVE TUH SAY DE ANSWER IS STEElDRUM YES!!!!!!! Eh, I is man tuh let tings slide at times but oh god man when dis shit go stop??? Email dese assholes at info@programpartners.com and demand some sort of public retraction. We small as ah island but by no means invisible.. Shit man."

20071029

Ernie Smith imagines a 'Duppy Gunman'

I've always LOVED this song and its great to hear the inspiration from the artist himself.

Ernie Smith imagines a 'Duppy Gunman'

published: Sunday | October 28, 2007
Mel Cooke, Freelance Writer
If ever there was a case of a songwriter starting a song with the opposite of the real life situation which inspired it, it is Ernie Smith and Duppy Gunman.

Written one Saturday night in 1974, recorded the following Monday at Federal Studios, released that same mid-week and soaring to the top of the charts ("in those days everything I did went to number one except Power and The Glory. Michael banned that," Smith told The Sunday Gleaner), Duppy Gunman tells the tale of a romantic liaison that could have been. It opens:

I an I man forward
Pon a different scene
I an I man collie weed
I an I man queen
Everything was irie
Getting in the groove
We jus' a come dung to movement
When someone sey don't move

However, while there was a 'queen', there was no getting down to movements.
"I had just played a gig. In those days I had a friend who used to help me lift the equipment. Coming home from the gig I got a girl to go home with. I dropped him home. Me and the girl going on a liaison. I got the feeling like my friend is sitting there," Smith said.

Violence and duppy
Ernie Smith in 1973, one year before 'Duppy Gunman' was released
The friend had been in the back of the VW van he was driving.
"I said 'It feels like Robbie is still sitting there. I said 'It must be a duppy'. Then I thought about the violence and I said 'or a gunman'. I said 'It is a song'," a laughing Ernie Smith told The Sunday Gleaner.
Hence the chorus:
It mus be a duppy or a gunman
I man no fin' out yet
I an I did so frighten
All de daughter name I feget

He may or may not have forgotten the 'daughter's' name by now, but he did forget whatever intentions were at hand before the song came. "I never bothered to go home with the girl. I went to my real home and wrote the song. She was very upset," he said.

There is some similarity to that real life anger in the fictional musical tale, as Smith sings "The nex' day de daughter ask me, what happen to yu las' night, jus' when yu ready fi work de show, yu ketch stage fright".

And one line that was definitely taken from something that really happened was when Smith sings "One ting me know fe certain, spread it round the town, it no mek no no sense yu run before yu foot touch the ground".

"There was a guy who described sitting in his living room and watching a thief in his pear tree. All he said was 'hi sah' and the man started running in mid-air. When the man hit the ground his feet were like a car burning rubber. That is where that line came from," Smith said. He was told that story a couple weeks before the song was written.

Sometimes Smith changes the name of the speedster recorded as the point of reference for fleetness of foot in 1974 ("Quarrie was a bway to I man las' night, him coulden falla me") to Asafa Powell and he says no other outstanding Jamaican sprinters have been used in between. And on occasion he adjusts the chorus and sings "I an I did so frighten all me underwear I feget". "Sometimes I sing it like that if there are not too many children around," he said.

The distinctive trombone featured on Duppy Gunman is the work of Trinidadian Jerome Francique and the Now Generation Band supplied the music.

Smith laughs as he says he hopes non-Jamaicans who jam to the song understand the lyrics and adds that "A lot of non-Jamaicans who are into reggae understand the song".

And a song that was "an instant hit" has been a lasting one as well. "These days when I do that song anywhere I ask the audience to join in and sing the chorus. They know every word," Smith said.

20071024

Shaggy - Bonafide Girl

Bonafide Girl feat. Rik Rok, from the new album by Shaggy, "Mr. Boombastic" himself,'Intoxication' from VP Records/Big Yard Music Group. Shaggy is back with this blazing new release on Nov 13th.

20071018

Alison Hinds - Soca Queen

Caribbean's Queen of Soca Alison Hinds set to release highly anticipated debut solo album. (Album in Stores in CANADA)

Hailing from the tropical island of Barbados, and crowned the undisputed "Queen of Soca" by fans worldwide, the British born Alison Hinds is set to introduce the rest of the world to the power and passion of Soca (Southern Caribbean) music, which is rapidly gaining popularity among music lovers around the globe. Since its dominant reign at the top of charts throughout the Caribbean, to New York City's prominent HOT 97 airwaves, to the BBC Radio in England, to Canada's premier music channel Much Music, Alison Hinds’ first single and video Roll It Gal has been gaining major global momentum, setting the stage for the highly anticipated U.S. release of her solo debut album, aptly titled Soca Queen (1720 Entertainment/Black Coral) on Tuesday November 6.

Soca Queen is an upbeat collection of original songs, which captures Alison Hinds’ passionate sensual vocals, infectious driving rhythms and spirited lyrics. Armed with the stronghold support of her worldwide Caribbean fan base, the superstar touch of executive producer Salaam Remi (Amy Winehouse, Nas, Fugees), and fortified by the highly regarded Caribbean production team comprised of Shel$hok (Wyclef Jean, Machel Montano, Maximus Dan), Chris Allman (Rupee, David Kirton), and Nicholas Brancker (Shabba Ranks, Simply Red, Rob Flack), the Soca Queen is prepared to broaden her domain.

On releasing her first solo album, the Queen of Soca proudly proclaims, "Soca is what I'm known for, so I want the music to represent who I am. It's infectious and happy, but can still say something and touch lives." Upon its initial release throughout the Caribbean, Alison Hinds’ first single Roll It Gal shot to the top of the charts in Barbados, Trinidad and throughout the Caribbean almost instantly, where it has become a summer anthem. The video for Roll It Gal was ranked No. 1 for ten weeks on MTV's TEMPO (MTV network's channel devoted to Caribbean Music, viewed in over 20 Caribbean countries).

Currently, the Roll It Gal video has been added to MTV Jams, VH-1 Soul and is among the most viewed videos on MySpace.Com. The smash anthem Roll It Gal is also available for download on iTunes! worldwide, AOL, Yahoo! and all premium online download destinations. Additionally, Roll It Gal ringtones are available on every major wireless carrier throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Alison Hinds is on an unstoppable roll as she continues to tantalize legions of jubilant fans with her provocative, sexy, high-energy concerts throughout the US, Canada, Europe and the Caribbean, including upcoming appearances at the carnivals in London, Brooklyn, and Miami. Recent tour highlights include: a featured guest appearances at the annual Reggae Sumfest (Jamaica's leading Reggae festival) along with LL Cool J, Shaggy, Buju Banton, and a special performance at the ICC Cricket World Cup opening and closing ceremonies, which was broadcast to an audience of over one billion worldwide.

Soca Queen Tracklisting

  1. The More - 4:38
  2. Faluma - 3:58
  3. Roll It Gal - 4:01
  4. Thundah - 3:25
  5. Blazin' - 4:44
  6. Island Girl - 4:20
  7. Caution - 3:56
  8. Ladies Rule - 4:18
  9. My Space - 4:05
  10. Good Morning - 3:33
  11. The Show - 3:40
  12. In The Name Of Love - 4:17
  13. Soca Nation - 3:46
  14. Togetherness - 4:20
  15. Roll It Gal (Rishi Rich Remix) - 3:26


http://www.myspace.com/alisonhinds

Radioactive Fireball


Just to update on 'FIREBALL' who's 'What I Want' has made it onto mainstream compilations in the US. Fireball's operatic style has certainly caught the ears of the international listening public. He has been added to the latest installment (October '07) of the X-MIX Radioactive Rhythm & Top 40 Series. Check out Track #6!

For those who haven't heard/seen it yet I posted the vid that is on YouTube here

http://bandwagonist.blogspot.com/2007/07/fireball-what-i-want.html

20071017

Nike, Rane and Serato

Nike, Rane and Serato team up to create the Air Force 1 and Scratch LIVE Package to celebrate the AF1’s 25th anniversary

As part of the Air Force 1’s silver anniversary, Nike has collaborated with cutting-edge partners Rane and Serato to create a special edition AF1 and White Scratch LIVE package. The collaboration recognizes the intersection of sports, music and innovation within hip-hop culture.


For the past 25 years the Air Force 1 has made a journey from an innovative performance product to a hip-hop icon. In recognition of this, Rane and Serato have worked with Nike to produce the truly innovative Scratch LIVE package for the digital-age hip-hop DJ.


The Serato Scratch

Central to hip-hop culture is the DJ, whose developed and perfected skills now benefit from the latest technology with Rane’s Serato Scratch LIVE – a revolutionary product that enables DJs to control digital audio files on their laptop with vinyl control records on their turntables.


Air Force 1 and Scratch LIVE Package

Popular Japanese company Head-Porter was approached to create a custom-made bag for transporting a laptop, the Scratch LIVE units and accessories. Constructed from white ballistic nylon, the bag features the Nike pivot logo which references the iconic sole detail of the AF1. To complete the pack, the commemorative White/White AF1 shoe sports the Scratch LIVE logo and incorporates the same white ballistic nylon used for the bag.


A limited number of Air Force 1 and Scratch LIVE packages were created for leading DJs around the globe. Unfortunately, none of these packages are available for purchase.


About the Journey of Force

Nike has always been obsessed with making the athletic experience better through functional design. At Nike that means designing with a purpose, and understanding the sport and the culture that surrounds it.


Over the past 25 years the Air Force 1 made a journey from an innovative performance product to a cultural icon. To celebrate the silver anniversary, Nike incorporated the feedback of athletes and the community that has embraced the AF1 over the past 25 years to bring unparalleled craftsmanship and meaningful enhancements to the AF1. And the journey continues. With the AF25 Nike launches its newest FORCE innovation in performance basketball, the platform from which to build the future of Nike basketball.


About Serato

Serato Audio Research formed a product partnership with Rane Corporation in 2004 with Serato Scratch LIVE. Scratch LIVE is a revolutionary product that enables DJs to control digital audio files on their laptop with vinyl control records on their turntables. Since then Serato has expanded its reputation for excellent pro DJ products. Serato was founded in the studio world for its Pitch ‘n Time pro audio plug-in which is loved by audio engineers the world over, and has been recognized as the market leader in time and pitch adjustment since its inception in 1999.
For more information, visit Serato.com


About Rane Corporation

Rane Corporation is an established innovator in problem-solving audio tools, professionally engineered with a focus on science, price/performance, and not frills and hype. Designed and manufactured exclusively in the United States, Rane’s product distribution is worldwide. Rane’s primary marketplaces are DJ (performance, club, mobile & recording), Live Sound (FOH and monitoring) and Commercial (music & paging, networked systems) featuring innovative analog and digital audio products for each category.


Nike promo


Click image above for high-res (print) jpg.

20071013

Desperate Houseflies

Check out jointpop's new documentary "Desperate Houseflies" on the 25th Oct at Movie Town.

20071012

Michael Franti and Spearhead : Hello Bonjour

Lets Talk Numbers

"Some Man Ah PLAY Number 2 TOO"

Ever since the COP's REAL RED Event in Woodford Square every politician has become an expert in estimating crowd size. The best so far has been Mr. Dr. Manning... I think that Honorary Doctorate really helping him out.

The first argument was on how many people attended (REAL Red) and how many people the Square could actually hold. NOW I myself haven't attended any of these events but I have been to the venues in dispute and I also have seen some big crowds. I won't venture into the numbers game myself but I think if the POLICE have their official estimate we should go with that.

The BIG winner in this controversy (so far) has been the UNC Alliance. They are claiming 45,000 at their Drums of UNITY event @ Mid Centre Mall Car Park, Chaguanas. Yes there were alot of people and I believe them when they say how many people were there because they know for sure how many people they Bused, Maxied and Taxied to it. It was a great exercise in mobilization. It was a great show of FARCE FORCE.

At Woodford Square the day before the PNM (Patrick) claims they had 25,000. Initial plans were to have 41,000 people... 1,000 from every constituency. Special sailing of the Fast Ferry from Tobago probably didn't have enough space for the 2,000 people. Mr. Dr. Manning also plans to ask tell the executive to make October 6th a special day on the PNM's calendar, a mark of respect for the bumper crowd they had. I wonder if the PNM under (a real doctorate) Dr. Eric Williams ever had such supporter turnout. I not old enough to know... or care.

Skinner Park saw the COP and they claim much the same figures as the PNM. Its also the same estimate the police provided for the REAL Red Event. This is why I say that the UNC are the big winners.

45,000! WOW! I think the last time I saw a crowd nearing anything like that (in Trinidad) was at the Queen's Park Oval. NO... Not for cricket. It was a concert featuring Richard Marx, Christopher Cross and Air Supply. Most of the stands were full and at least half of the playing field.

Another case where the numbers apparently can be skewed is during the screening process ala PNM. I don't know how they do it but from media reports that have been substantiated by other party members it has a formula of its own.

First off, were polls of the sitting MPs that sampled (in some instances) less than 10% of the electorate. STRIKE ONE!

Then came the actual cut of day for nomination papers. This was back in August... I stand to be corrected but I remember hearing Marcia Henville on Power 102 interviewing an activist from Morvant/Lavantille who wasn't able to be nominated because she didn't follow the correct procedure and have all her papers ready by the particular date. STRIKE TWO!

The final strike also deals with the nominations. Certain Nominees were rejected even though they had the support of 90% of the party groups of an area. Was it that the one or two groups that disagreed hold so much power? This also leads me to question how Amery Brown really oust Ken Valley if Valley was the only nominee? I tort nominations were closed? STRIKE THREE!

At the end of it all the only numbers that matter are the ones on Polling day. The PNM in Trinidad & Tobago have a history of getting approximately the same number of votes (by constituency) every election (claims of voter padding not included). When there is high Voter Turnout the PNM has problems. They Lose (1986) and even tie. Even though the numbers in the ties aren't as high as the Loss there is clearly a pattern. When enough people want change they have to make the choice to change by acting on it.

This general election promises to have a High Turnout... I mean the amount of disgruntled people I keep hearing.

I know I am going to exercise my franchise... for the first time too...

Don't forget... Local Government elections were postponed in 2006... when is that election gonna be?...

20071007

Tessanne Chin- Blackbooks

Follow up single to the breakout Hit 'Hideaway'



www.myspace.com/tessannechin

Westwood Park

In this season of intrigue I happen to stumble upon locally produced soap opera Westwood Park available for download.

Westwood Park: S1 - E01
From: Wysiwyg Films
Running time: 40 min
Director: Danielle Dieffenthaller
Producer: Danielle Dieffenthaller
Writer: Bernard Hazell, Antoinette Hagley, Danielle Dieffenthaller, Writers Inc.
Cast: Dennis McComie, Debra Boucaud Mason, Roland Hagley, Alicia Allahar, Simone Harris, Natacha Jones, Richard Ragoobarsingh, Learie Joseph, Dianne Smith, Maxine Williams, Theresa Awai, Wendy-Ann Garcia, Princess Donelan, Wendell Etienne, Maurice Brash, Jade Drakes, Rajendra Bajnathsingh, Cyril Collier

Westwood Park weaves the story of the Du Soleil and Gunn-Munroe families, whose affluent lifestyles and picture-perfect smiles become less than idyllic on closer inspection. The manipulative and power-hungry Herbert dominates the Gunn-Munroe clan, while the conscious and upstanding Jonathan heads the Du Soleil family. In Season One, the two families, residents of the affluent Westwood Park neighbourhood, are locked in a tenuous friendship, underscored by intrigue and passion, as they approach their unification through the impending marriage of their children. This delicate relationship is tested even more when the sexy and alluring Maya descends upon Westwood Park, unleashing demons from the past and throwing the lives of its inhabitants into utter turmoil. Set in lush and luxurious locations rarely seen in Caribbean dramas, Westwood Park is driven by the universal topics of love, hate, power, lust, greed, corruption, romance, heartbreak and the strife for social justice and consciousness.

20071006

Valley of...?

Mr. Valley said yesterday in no uncertain terms that he hopes Trinidadians see what is coming further down the road if they do not act now...

got the following in a group I was invited to join on Facebook...

I am addressing this message to all persons who cherish T&Ts democracy, of all political parties, or of none, and of all ages. I appeal to you to put country first.

The forthcoming election is like none before. This is not merely a contest to choose a government to govern our beloved country under our present constitution.

Political leader Patrick Manning has declared his intention should he win, to change the constitution of T&T, to become Executive President. This threat cannot be taken lightly, because many of Manning's actions betray a frightening dictatorial streak which citizens must reject, by registering to vote, and more importantly, by voting on election day.

I submit the following for your consideration:

1. I came to know Mr Kenneth Valley in 1987 when we both served in the senate. He was appointed a PNM senator by Manning in his party's darkest hour, following the NAR 33-3 victory at the polls. Valley has since been a loyal PNM front man, a deputy political leader, Chief Whip and leader of government business in parliament, and a cabinet minister highly respected by the business community which he serves. That all constituency groups have nominated him and no one else, to contest the next elections, is proof enough that the people of Diego Martin Central want him as their representative. Yet Manning rejected Valley, based on a flimsy poll of 240 persons in a constituency exceeding 25,000 and seeks to replace the peoples' candidate with a candidate of his own. Not only is Manning subverting the PNM constitution by his secret poll, he overrides the wishes of the people, and disregards Valley's performance as a minister.

2. Almost half the elected PNM representatives chosen by the people are being removed to make way for Manning's nominees. The peoples' representatives must choose their leader, but the roles are reversed, and the leader is choosing the representatives for the people. This surely is democracy turned on its head.

3. Manning rejected the offer of Mr Anthony Garcia, Fatima College principal and a former TUTTA president, as a candidate for the elections. The far-fetched reason given – Garcia's son is married to Christine Kangaloo, a minister in his cabinet. While thus indicating his distaste for family connections in his administration, he nevertheless appointed his wife a cabinet minister. These events amongst others, demonstrate his preference for pliable individuals around him. He feels threatened by persons of substance, who can think independently.

4. Manning has built himself a $148 million palace but abandoned President House to rot and ruin. President Max Richards meanwhile has been made to make do in the "maid's quarters" behind the crumbling President House.

5. When Uganda's head of state President Musevini visited recently, protocol required that T&Ts head of state President Richards should have welcomed him. But Manning jumped ahead of President Richards' and pushed Richards aside.

6. Without any scruples, Manning subverts the constitution of T&T and the PNM, and to pamper his ever burgeoning ego, he willy-nilly disregards accepted protocol.

7. The Red House is revered by many as T&Ts historical seat of government. All the debates of our colonial past, the voices of Cipriani, Butler, Albert Gomes, the Sinanans and Capildeos, Raymond Quevedo, Eric Williams - all echoed in its hallowed chamber. Our independence was ushered in at the Red House in 1962; it witnessed the lowering of the Union Jack, and the raising of T&Ts flag. It withstood and survived the violent onslaught on our democracy in 1990, and so much history dwells within those walls. When unveiling the plaque in the parliamentary chamber recently to honour her late father, Erica Williams urged that the Red House remain the seat of our parliament. Yet without any consultation with the people, or even the parliament staff, Manning seeks to eject parliament from the Red House to make it his office, and even to squat cheek and jowl on the steps of the Red House, encroaching on the sanctity of parliament, and compromising the separation of legislature and executive.

8. Under Manning's draft constitution, a constitution with little input from the people, the people, you and I, will have no voice in electing the Executive President as in the United States. Instead, the PNM executive controlled by Manning will choose the Executive President. If he becomes Executive President, Manning will simply extend his powers to include those now vested in President Max Richards, and Richards will disappear. With his handpicked MPs he will have total control of parliament. He will influence or control the appointment of every state officer, including members of the judiciary. Many of Manning's decisions have demonstrated bias, either political, cultural or racial, and citizens like Marlene Coudray, Fareeza Mohommed and Devant Maharaj have had to resort to our courts to redress injustices. The Maha Sabha got their radio licence 5 years late, on the orders of the Privy Council.

Guyana had Forbes Burnham. Zimbabwe has Robert Mugabe. Will Trinidad and Tobago vote to preserve its democracy? I urge you all to put country before party, put country before politics, put Trinidad & Tobago first.

Michael J Williams
Maracas Valley

20071004

Who Is Your Leader?

I heard a lil pice of conversation today and apparently the UNC Alliance is leaning toward naming Kamla as their leader. Mr. Cadiz was on radio this morning dodging the question of one single leader only trying to emphasise that the Leadership Council is a first in World Politics and that it works.

The belief in nominating Kamla comes from gathering the support of women voters. Apparently there have been polls to suggest this. Naming Kamla now neither strengthens nor weakens the UNC Alliance because I still see it as a ploy for votes from a damaged Alliance. Who is to say that if the UNC Alliance happens to win the general elections that the same said Council won't change their minds about leadership?

The Council at least realises that Mr. Panday for all his years of service to the country isn't what the people want. But this leads me to question the choice of Kamla... Isn't she the same one who endorsed Mr. Panday... will her leadership be HER LEADERSHIP? or will it be Bas' prompting?

this is just my take on my MACO... Jack is back in the country and they meeting right now in Emerald Plaza...


UPDATE - Jack & Bas in power sharing agreement... I waiting to hear Cadiz comments now... 

Dr. Kirk Meigho (DNA) was interviewed by Julian Rogers on C's Campaign 41 this evening and also seemed to want Kamla as the leader of the Alliance... Dr. Kirk had a meeting with the Council on Tuesday that didn't go as well as he would have liked... Leadership was one issue. Apparently Dr. Kirk's plan for T&T involves 2 Prime Ministers and a Federal President. I know Bas doh want to hear nuttin about that...

20071003

Don't BLINK!... as yet

TSTT has been advertising for the past couple of weeks. This is their answer to FLOW's Click service. Its called Blink Broadband. Right now the coverage area isn't that large but promises to grow as the months go on. Both TSTT and FLOW aren't really winning any points with limited availability of their services. FLOW hasn't fully upgraded all to Digital but already looking to have a fee increase. While TSTT fighting a cellular WAR with Digicel and rolling out the new Broadband to 3 communities. BANANA REPUBLIC (without agriculture)!

TSTT sends me an email about being a valued customer... this is after I wrote to say disconnect me.

Dear Valued Customer,

As a valued customer of TSTT, allow me to take this opportunity to personally thank you for your business to date.

You may already be aware that TSTT has been a proud investor in the nations Internet infrastructure over the years. We have been working assiduously over the last year to achieve a dramatic modernization of our network which now allows us to
efficiently deliver broadband services to world class standards.

We are pleased and excited to introduce you to blinkbroadband and to inform that you have been specially selected to experience the ultimate in broadband service.

This service is soon to be deployed throughout Trinidad & Tobago, beginning this month with customers served by the West, Diego Martin, and San Juan exchange areas included in the first phase. The second phase, inclusive of four additional exchanges, is due to begin by mid November. Look out for updates announcing the arrival of Blink Broadband to your area.

Blink Broadband simply put; is broadband redefined, brought to you over one of the most sophisticated networks operational in the world.

So confident are we in this new service that we are certain that you will visit our website at www.blinkbroadband.tt or call one of our customer service representatives at 62-BLINK to review our new array of packages. We look forward to being of
continued service to you and to your feedback on our new service offering.

Yours sincerely
Trevor Deane
Executive Vice President Broadband
TSTT


Trevor, I can see an exchange from my bedroom window and I not in the initial rollout! I guess I am not as valued as I thought and will stay without the service. TSTT's pricing is comparative to FLOW's and they Install for FREE along with a FREE Modem? All of that FREENESS and I still want a Smart Choice Discount.

20071001

I Voting for Valley...

I've seen and heard this alot over the past few weeks with some people coming outright now ezpecially as PM Mr. Dr. Manning announced the election date. I have no problem with people announcing their intention. I find it very useful information. I also think it good that his constituents are supportive of him. I think that Manning should listen to them. No one else was nominated for the seat. So why wouldn't you want Mr. Valley?

The Express has a leading headline today that says the PM want Ms. Universe. It seems weird to me that a man who wants to be a pastor (and drive an articulated bus) would want to highlight someone who actively persued and had a child out of wedlock. Completely againts the rules of organised religion. Then again the PM understands that people make mistakes and can be forgiven. He can simply overlook this and see that Ms. Universe has something to offer the country.

PNM WANTS WENDY
Former Miss Universe tipped for Valley's seat
Anna Ramdass aramdass@trinidadexpress.com
Monday, October 1st 2007

Former Miss Universe Wendy FitzwilliamPROSPECTIVE PNM CANDIDATE: Former Miss Universe Wendy Fitzwilliam
Former Miss Universe Wendy Fitzwilliam has been tipped as one of the prospective candidates to replace Diego Martin Central MP Ken Valley.

Fitzwilliam, who is currently the Vice President/General manager of Evolving Technologies and Enterprise Development Company Ltd (E-teck) might be one of the "new faces" Prime Minister Patrick Manning spoke about at a PNM political meeting in St Augustine last Friday, it was learned yesterday..

If Fitzwilliam decides to fulfil any political aspirations, the election battle will become a Queen versus Queen scenario as former Miss Trinidad and Tobago representative for Miss Universe Nicole Dyer is an active member of the Congress of the People (COP) and also their public relations officer. It will soon be revealed whether Dyer will contest any political seat when the COP presents its slate of candidates.

Fitzwilliam won the Miss Universe Pageant in 1998 and later became involved in social work. She was honoured by the United Nations with the title UNAIDS goodwill Ambassador, a result of her commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS.

She also a holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from the University of the West Indies and was said to have been doing a remarkable job at E-teck-a Government company mandated to develop Trinidad's non-energy sector through the creation of new industry.

Speculation of Fitzwilliam's candidacy is high in the political arena, "I have heard about it, and if it is true then it will be very interesting," Dyer told the Express yesterday.

The PNM screening committee-blanked Valley, the current MP for Diego Martin and a call for new candidates was made.

Valley was screened as the lone candidate for Diego Martin Central last Thursday at Balisier House, Port of Spain but, was given the boot one day later-on Friday, the day Manning announced that General Elections will be held on November 5.

That very evening Manning told a massive crowd at St Augustine that the PNM will be presenting new faces and future leaders of Trinidad when the party presents its slate of candidates at Woodford Square, Port of Spain this Saturday.

Members of the Diego Martin Central Executive have maintained their staunch devotion and support to Valley and were not surrendering to any "new face" for that constituency seat.

Sources told the Express that Valley who has been fighting for a second chance since a PNM poll rated him as a low performing MP will continue to battle Manning who is hell bent on shaking up and changing the party for the elections.

The party was non committal on Fitzwilliam's candidacy.

"Right now it's an internal process going on and we have no official position in that regard," said PNM's Public Relations Officer Jerry Narace.

"It's news to me" said Valley when told by the Express about Fitzwilliam's possible candidacy.

Valley said he had no comment to make on being blanked by the screening committee.

The Express tried in vain to contact Fitzwilliam yesterday.


Meanwhile Valley reacted yesterday and I definitely heard a quiver in his voice. He's upset. Very Upset.

Screening a sham, says Valley
Juhel Browne jbrowne@trinidadexpress.com
Monday, October 1st 2007

MP Ken ValleyGod's plan: Kenneth Valley
Trade and Industry Minister Kenneth Valley has described his screening as the unopposed nominee for Diego Martin Central by the ruling's party's screening committee last Thursday was "a sham."

The PNM Diego Martin Central constituency executive was instructed by Prime Minister Patrick Manning, in his capacity as the party's political leader to find another nominee after Valley, the area's MP and PNM deputy political leader, was screened on Thursday.

His screening had been postponed for two weeks after he was referred to the PNM's disciplinary committee which eventually cleared him for screening.

"The screening was a sham and the question is whether my constituency does not have a legitimate right to have me as its candidate," Valley said in an interview with the Express yesterday.

He said that only the members of the PNM Diego Martin Central constituency executive asked him any questions during Thursday's screening as is allowed in the party's constitution.

"Not one member of the screening committee asked me any questions," Valley said .

He said the constituency executive's chairman said it only received Manning's instructions to find a new nominee yesterday morning, after reports on television on Saturday night and in the newspapers yesterday that he had been rejected by the committee.

"It seems the newspapers and the television stations were informed before the constituency," Valley said.

He said the constituency executive chairman told him that another of the PNM's deputy political leaders, Culture and Gender Affairs Minister Joan Yuille-Williams will be meeting them today at 6 pm.

Valley said he and his constituency held a church service yesterday morning and he "was at peace."

"When you see madness happening you try to see what is God's plan," he said.

Valley, the longstanding high profile PNM MP who has served twice as a Government Minister within the last 26 years said the controversy surrounding his screening would have repercussions beyond his constituency in the upcoming General Election.

"Somebody seems to have a desire to have the PNM lose the election and I would just stand by and watch. Of course, the party is not a man," Valley said.

He said he has not thrown in the towel and will continue to fight to become the PNM candidate for the Diego Martin Central for the sixth time.

"I will test all the processes of the party," Valley said.

He said the constituency executive had already informed him that they intend ed to again recommend him as its nominee for Diego Martin Central, despite Manning's instructions.

"As they have told me, they are going back with their candidate. It is up to the central executive. If the internal processes of the party will not work, the county will have to take note of what is happening," Valley said.

The ongoing controversy surrounding Valley's screening has led some to conclude that Manning just does not want him to contest the upcoming General Election.

On Friday, Manning said in response to a question from the Express that he had "no issue" with Valley and the issue merely involved an adherence to the PNM's screening process

"So at every stage there is an opportunity to do something different from what was done before," Manning said .

The PNM's constitution, however, gives the party's political leader a veto vote with regard to nominees recommended by any constituency executive.


Valley along with everyone else in the party is well aware that what the PM wants he gets...

PNM leader has veto
Monday, October 1st 2007

The PNM's constitution gives the political leader a veto vote with regard to the screening of nominees.

The document, which is available on the PNM's website, outlines the screening process as follows:

The nominees selected by Party Groups, and Constituency Youth Leagues shall appear as summoned before the Political Leader who shall be assisted by a - Screening Committee.

The Political Leader and the Screening Committee shall interview the nominees in consultation with the Constituency Executive or Executives concerned, which shall meet separately, before the meeting with the Screening Committee, to assess the Party Groups and Constituency Youth League nominee and determine which (if any) of the nominees will, in their opinion, be most acceptable.

The Political Leader shall not be bound to accept the recommendation of the Constituency Executive.

If, after consultation with the Screening Committee, the Political Leader considers the Executive's recommendation unsatisfactory, he may require the Executive to make a new nomination.

The Screening Committee shall comprise the following Officers of the Movement:

The Political Leader-Chairman

The Party's Chairman-Vice Chairman

The Deputy Political Leaders-Members

The Party's Vice Chairman-Member

The Lady Vice Chairman-Member

The General Secretary-Member

The Elections Officer-Member

The Public Relations Officer-Member

The Party Operations Officer-Member

The Political Leader, in consultation with the Screening Committee, shall make written recommendations to the Central Executive whose decision shall be final.


Democracy in action...

I just hope that all who say they voting for Valley mean it. It makes no sense to clamour for a representative and subsequently support a crapaud when given that option.