Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 20th 2013 Contents interview
www.guardian.co.tt SUNDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2013
with Clevon Raphael
Q : Mr Warner, before
getting down to brass
tacks, let s do some
housekeeping in the ILP...
A : Sure (at his Kantac
Mall, Tunapuna, office
of the Sunshine News-
paper Thursday afternoon).
When would the party become
formalised and wasn t it supposed
to be last September?
November 30. Elections came,
which made it difficult to be done
at that time. The COP took two years
and they are yet to organise them-
Who is the ILP s treasurer?
The party doesn t have a treasurer,
we have a general secretary and in
today s world that encompasses the
treasurer, and we have a 156,000
Can that be verified?
You can send in anybody you want
to verify it but not Cordner (former
Flying Squad member Mervyn Cord-
ner), a person who appears to be
some kind of a policeman to whom
I have spoken with for just 60 sec-
onds and that could be verified any-
Mr Warner, there is the criticism
that the campaign has reached a
personal level, to the extent that it
has never reached in our political
(Protesting even before the ques-
tion is completed) Don t blame me
for that, and I am disappointed that
the Prime Minister can condone
these kinds of attacks by the Attorney
General and the Minister of Housing
in particular, and I will tell you some-
Before you continue, Mr Warner,
haven t you been guilty yourself in
carrying out these personal attacks
on certain ministers in the PP coali-
(Legs crossed, a position he main-
tains for almost the duration of the
interview) If you look at the record,
I have responded and not even
enough. I have always maintained
during the Chaguanas West by-elec-
tion that our campaign should be of
a very high level, repeatedly. And
that if they cannot come up to our
level we must not go down to theirs.
So how do you explain the accu-
sation you made last night that a
government minister was frequent-
ing the home of a lady during the
absence of his wife from the coun-
(Turning slightly around in his
swivel chair) I said so to demonstrate
that they have as much cocoa in the
sun like anybody else.
You said you advised your people
not to go down to their level...
(Interrupting) When you could
take people s character and talk about
people with police charges and being
deportees, when you could go on a
platform and destroy people s family
and so on...
Mr Warner, couldn t it be said
that you sank to their level by mak-
ing similar accusations?
As I said, I responded in kind just
to show them that I am capable of
doing what they are doing.
You are accusing PP speakers of
demonising women. What were
you doing when you said, about
three weeks ago, your wife could
trust being alone with the Warner s
helper, but not so the helper of a
former PNM woman minister?
Mr Raphael, neither PNM nor the
PP have any divine right over gutter
politics, but at no time did I make,
on my platform, gutter politics the
be all and end all in politics.
In one breath you are saying
rather cheekily "I won t go there,"
but in the same breath you made
all kinds of personal and, if I may
so, salacious accusations against
your PP adversaries. Weren t you
contributing to that kind of gutter
(Scowling) You may very well say
so, and I repeat...neither the PNM
nor the PP have any divine right to
So if you cannot beat them join
No. No. On the contrary, if I join
them I would do it every night.
Mr Warner, you said I have
shown no revulsion over the attacks
on the ILP s interim deputy political
leader Anna Deonarine. What about
the parents of Minister Glenn
Ramadharsingh who broke down
in tears over your accusations
I didn t know that crocodile tears
could move you also (with a straight
face). I could cry right now if you
want me to, you know.
Mr Warner, last week on the
campaign trail you made what peo-
ple considered a scandalous charge,
when you told your supporters that
the PP Government was planning
to plant drugs, arms and ammuni-
tion in St Joseph, so that Ian
Alleyne would find them, which
would then make him look good as
a crime fighter.
I never said so...never said so!
Well, correct me then...
I said the reports I have is that
they want to foist Alleyne on St
Joseph and then they want to plant
drugs and ammunition which he
would discover and then he would
look good as a crime fighter.
Even though you just said you
did not say it, by repeating what
you said you heard, isn t that being
irresponsible coming from a former
minister of national security and
one who is aspiring to be the coun-
try s prime minister?
(A deep frown) Clevon, you see
the trouble between me and you is
I am speaking from the basis of
knowledge, which you are not. And
the persons who came to me are
very credible. (Accusing some jour-
nalists of not doing their jobs in a
Mr Warner, you said on the cam-
paign trail that you have a list of
some journalists who received
houses allegedly from the State?
I have it.
So what is wrong if journalists
buy a house?
I don t want to go on journalists
for all the right reasons.
But you have been attacking
No. Mr Raphael, why are you
being so oversensitive? I did not
know you were coming this morning
with this level of sensitivity. If you
are oversensitive, I am not. I have
been given a list of people who have
been given houses.
Listen, I was in the Cabinet where
you have not been and I heard min-
isters saying there, "I have x and y
and so on..."
Let s move on. Mr Warner, the
PP platform has been accusing you
of having a somewhat tacit under-
standing with the PNM to split the
votes, so the PNM would win
tomorrow s local government elec-
You want to me to dignify that
piece of foolishness?
Jack defends dive
into gutter politics
"As I said, I responded in
kind just to show them
that I am capable of
doing what they are
neither PNM or the PP
have any divine right
over gutter politics, but
at no time did I make, on
my platform, gutter
politics the be all and
end all in politics."
As far as the interim political leader of
the recently-formed Independent Liberal
Party Jack Austin Warner is concerned,
only one of the party's candidates in to-
morrow's local government elections is in
court facing criminal charges.
Warner, who fell out with the PP Gov-
ernment and formed the ILP, denied that
the ILP is a one-man show. He refused to
take blame for the mud raking witnessed
in the campaign for tomorrow's elections.
Continues on Page A13
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