Saturday, July 26, 2014

A Planned & Determined Attack...

What began with the interception and publicizing of an email correspondence between a senior government Minister and myself by Senator Camille Robinson Regis on the People's National Movement's campaign trail snowballed into Sampson Nanton's two night hack job attack of my personal charity, a barrage of investigative reporters questioning my every involvement in anything under the sun from school to church, and devolved quickly into an unleashing of the most vile attacks and accusations by PNM PRO Faris al Rawi on national television and in the Senate, an almost exclusive focus on me by the slanderous duo of Inshan Ishmael/Wazim Daniel and their agents on the Islamic Network and social media, all of this in such an outpouring it caused people all over the spectrum to take notice, not just of the content, but the ferocity of the attack, and to ask why.

And if that weren't enough, on the heels of all of that I was warned of a slew of pending pre-action protocol letters coming from certain anti-People's Partnership law chambers, whose sole purpose I have been told is to distract me and bog me down defending all manner of accusations alleged to be guided by the hand of none other than the same Faris al Rawi, as well as at least one credible threat against my life that was carried on the evening news.

Why so much?

And believe it or not, it gets worse. On Thursday we received a report from an intelligence source naming a list of fake social media profiles, who the identities were and who they were fronting, and which, when released on Facebook, had the effect of sending social media into a tailspin. The sheer volume of fakes standing cheek by jowl with normal everyday people posting party pics and sharing recipes stunned many, and caused administrators of groups to ground themselves, dizzily mediating between multiples of personalities emanating from singular sources conversing with 'themselves' to distract and deflect, with one very determined fake operating under the name 'Annie Nevarro' defending to the death her/its right to be someone who they clearly weren't, someone who herself is a public personality of sorts in the Spanish speaking world, a bilingual freelance writer and host of the popular page 'Latina Moms & Healthy Living' on the Miami-Verse' website by the name of Veronique de Miguel who, when alerted as to the use of her image and identity to perpetrate a fraud was aghast and thankful as she begins action to protect her own brand. Now the Annie Nevarro personality has threatened legal action and to go to the media over her being 'outed' and exposed, causing many to ask who would be represented in the courts should the matter reach there, the fake identity? Or the person faking it?

But it begs the question, these things cost money. Hit men, lawyers and internet trolls all cost serious money, who would have the resources to put behind an attempt to destroy me, and equally important, why?

Is it because I am seen as a credible threat to the Political leader of the People's National Movement in the battle for the Diego Martin West seat in the upcoming 2015 general elections?

In the very paper where this column is published a former editor in the person of Maxie Cuffie who now plies his trade in another newspaper while he readies the launch of the PNM's propaganda publication the Magnum or Magnus or something along those lines, even he with whom I have had nothing but the most cordial and friendly of professional relationships over the years has been thrown into the anti-Phil fray, sent to baby sit me as it were and answer any claims I make against the PNM, of which he is now a public and frontline spokesperson.

Why such high level attention?

To hear them speak I am a failure, a con man, a fraud, a thief, an abuser, a woman hater, a lousy father and a shady character, I mean, the list is so long it's almost legendary, but more importantly, if all of that were true, why bother with me? Didn't Shakespeare caution through Hamlet against the virtues of protesting too much?

Surely if I have no credibility and could never amount to a serious threat to Rowley's hegemony, why such a ferocious and continuous attack?

Perhaps it has to do with the numbers.

A snap poll recently conducted in Diego Martin West showed me neck and neck with Keith Rowley twelve months before an election is even due, before a campaign is even announced, with my greatest lead being among those who consider themselves non-aligned, who traditionally vote on delivery and issues.

Those people to whom tribalism has no place in politics, who are prepared to place their vote for the candidate most likely to give them the representation they desire and the service that they know they deserve. After twenty five years of under-representation by the incumbent it is already clear in the minds of even many die hard PNM supporters, that they could not possibly do any worse if they tried. The traditional PNM communities within the constituency devolved and went backward during his tenure. Home ownership is down, illiteracy and truancy is up, as are drug use and murder, with the constituency becoming both a flood zone and a crime hot spot despite him having been a senior Cabinet Minister for much of that time. The residents of Shorelands and environs are still livid over what he did to them in the Renaissance Towers impasse, the people of Carenage who have been waiting in vain for their fish market and health center, the people of Bagatelle who have been pleading for lights and facilities for their play-field so that their young men could be better occupied in the pursuit of other more meaningful endeavors, even the middle class who are tired of having their possessions washed away during the annual flood season all because the then Minister of Planning forgot to plan and their representative in the Parliament (ironically one and the same person), refused to insist that he do so.

Clearly and from all indications the campaign for Diego Martin West promises to get worse before it gets better if this is the point from which the other side begins. I am being beseeched to keep my campaign clean and above the ad hominem and personal attacks and my team, although incensed at some of the more flagrant displays and slander, are people who operate on the highest levels of decency and who have built their political and activist careers on integrity and service. My father referred to the behavior of the Rowley camp as the last gasps of a dying animal. I have been advised to observe the movements of the matador as he engages his quarry, how his actions remain poised and above the fray no matter the ferocity of the attack. Be guided, be like water they say, in the end what you would achieve is the taming of the raging bull, something many are eager to see accomplished.

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