Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 4th 2015 Contents A10
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt October 4, 2015
RHONDA KRYSTAL RAMBALLY
Former legal affairs minister Peter
Taylor says a letter he penned in
August to Dr Keith Rowley was not
meant to see "the light of day" and
was "not for public consumption."
It is still unknown to him, he said,
how "my private thoughts" ended
up in the hands of another newspaper.
He was thrown into the national
spotlight on August 30, mere days
before the September 7 general elec-
tion, when Newsday published an
article about the letter which Taylor
penned to Rowley.
Taylor was bashed by the public.
He experienced some uneasiness and
But last week, in an interview at
the Guardian s Chaguanas office, Tay-
lor insisted he had no ulterior motives
and sought to clear the air on what
actually happened. "I don t crave
office and I am not a career politi-
Taylor confirmed he wrote two let-
ters---one to the director of the
National Operations Centre (NOC)
highlighting a matter he thought
needed investigation about an inva-
sion of his privacy. That letter was
also sent to "most protective agen-
cies," he said. The other letter, deemed
personal, landed in the public domain.
"I wrote a letter to Dr Rowley but it
was not intended for any public con-
sumption. It was a mix up and was
not supposed to see the light of day,"
Taylor said. He said the August 13
letter was unedited and not refined.
"The fact that it ended up in the
public domain means that one now
has to take the good with the not so
good," he said.
History will absolve me
Taylor questioned the timing of
the publication of the letter which
was dated August 13.
He said he was very angry when
he read the article and knew it would
have been construed adversely
because it was at the height of the
"I made every effort to not have
it published but they went ahead."
He said, "You re damned if you do
and damned if you don t."
Even while he claimed he faced no
alienation from PNM supporters after
the incident, Taylor said, "Let s just
move on. I am in charge of my destiny
and I will control the narrative of
what is said about me. I will not let
anyone else define who I am or define
who they think I am. There s a lot of
speculation, but history will ultimately
But it s not the first time he s found
himself being bashed by the public.
Taylor s 2010 statement that people
were "living off the fat of the land"
created public discontent.
He said people did not understand
what he meant.
"People went to town on me, but
this matter now is personal, it is dif-
ferent," he said.
I served with distinction under
The man who acted as attorney
general of T&T on two occasions
dismissed claims that he was paid
by the last government to create a
scandal involving Rowley.
Taylor said he wanted to set the
record straight with those who felt
he was up to political mischief or
being spiteful towards the leader of
"To those who might have spec-
ulated that it was done for monetary
gain, perish the thought. I served in
the Cabinet with distinction based
on the number of times I was invited
to act by Mr Manning. My own
integrity would stand for itself."
Taylor was selected by former
prime minister Patrick Manning to
serve as minister of Legal Affairs.
During his tenure from November
2007 to May 2010, he was also
appointed in acting positions on 11
occasions---twice as attorney general,
twice as minister of Trade and
Industry, twice as minister of Public
Administration and five times as
minister of Agriculture, Land and
Taylor said he was still a part of
the PNM family; while not active,
he was still a life member of the
Taylor said as far as he was con-
cerned, the August issue was "done
and dusted and settled."
These days, he s focusing on
preparations for the publication of
the second edition of his book Flirting
with Destiny, and he is also starting
a global charitable organisation.
What prompted NOC letter?
Taylor said he discovered after
about 15 months of sustained inva-
sion into his private life that mes-
sages between he and his fiancée
were being sent to third parties. "I
could not understand where it was
being done and who was doing it.
I am not into drugs and human traf-
ficking, so why are you using state
resources to have me under surveil-
He later learnt that the NOC was
conducting surveillance on him and
his family. He found it strange the
previous government would be inter-
ested in his life. So, he wrote a letter
to the NOC indicating that he wanted
it investigated. In fact, he dis-
covered it was not the govern-
ment behind the surveillance.
The matter has since been
addressed. Taylor said he and his
fiancée are expected to wed soon.
Taylor said as a former politi-
cian he understood that he had
to take the good with the bad
but the matter was not a political
matter, it was a personal one.
He urged the media to respect
people s expressed wishes for
"It was a grave injustice not
only to myself and those close
to me but to everyone who
might have been affected.
"In the interest of serving
some narrow, political objective,
they totally ignored and com-
promised their journalistic
integrity," he said of the other
Taylor: Let's move on
...no mischief in letter to Rowley days before election
Former legal affairs minister Peter Taylor with former US Secretary of
State Madeleine Albright, in Washington DC, in March 2011.
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