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Bell to campaign for PNM
George Bell, the man accused of hosting a meeting with the People’s National Movement (PNM), politicians and a known criminal to destabilise the country, feels that Dr Keith Rowley has the right approach and principles to govern the country. Bell also admitted to supporting most of the PNM’s policies. Even though Bell upholds the party’s policies, he said when something displeases him, he speaks his mind.
“You know, when something foolish is done the criticism is necessary. There may be times I would not agree with some of those policies,” he said. In an interview with the Sunday Guardian on Tuesday, Bell said he and Dr Keith Rowley were schoolmates having attended Bishops High School, Tobago, and that relationship has remained cordial up to this day.
“We would acknowledge each when we cross paths, but we don’t talk on the phone or visit one another’s home. That is as far as it goes. I believe Rowley has the right approach and principles to govern this country,” he said. Bell was also associated with the PNM’s St Joseph constituency a few years ago, which was victorious at the polls.
With two elections due before 2015, Bell said he had no problems offering his services to the PNM for the election campaign, stating that the People’s Partnership Government had no chance of returning to power because of their continued missteps and poor governance.
I will write Speaker...I want it to be entered in Hansard
Bell, 60, said the results of the THA elections tells that the Government is on its back foot. He shot into the spotlight when National Security Minister Jack Warner, in delivering his contribution on the Defence Bill in Parliament on March 8, accused the PNM and him of trying to destabilise the country with “Soldier Barry.”
Warner said, COP member and attorney Vernon De Lima, SC, was also present at the meeting held at Bell’s St Joseph, home. Warner accused “Soldier Barry” of being involved in an alleged plot to kill Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar. De Lima and “Soldier Barry” have since denied being there, while Bell insisted that the meeting was held to discuss issues facing the country.
“Warner’s statement was unnecessary and uncalled for. Not one of the people in that meeting that was held in my house was involved in criminal activities.” He challenged Warner to speak outside of Parliament. “I will certainly be writing the House Speaker and copying the Prime Minister, every Parliamentarian and President of the Senate in terms of what happened there. I want it to be entered in Hansard, one way or the other.”
Who showed up at the meeting? Asked if he would hold another meeting at his home, Bell said, “I have no problem with that. That was part of our rights and it was not unusual. If we had gotten together at the bus terminal, is the same thing we would have talked about.” Bell said he was invited to host the meeting at his home, but refused to say who made the request. Keeping the identities of the attendees close to his chest, he said, “I can only assume that maybe some of them were PNMites.”
Could it be that someone misreported to Warner what was said at the meeting? “Anything could be possible. It might also be someone just inadvertently talking to their husband or wife and the message became distorted.” Bell could not say if the meeting was secretly taped. “It does not matter. I have nothing to hide.”
Having served in aviation, tourism and the media, Bell, who resigned as CEO from the Tobago Regional Health Authority in 2011, said he met Warner once, when he was area manager for BWIA in 1990, but maintained it was on a professional level. Bell said several factors were working against the Government, including the brutality against activist Dr Wayne Kublalsingh, Section 34, the Reshmi Ramnarine fiasco, turning the country into a military state, which have brought T&T into disrepute.
“Our image is certainly not a good and happy one on the outside. People could say what they want. You could ask anybody in the Caribbean and internationally what are their thoughts on Trinidad. It is not likely to be a positive one. People are not satisfied.” There are too many mistakes, missteps, missing in action and misjudgement by the Government, Bell said.
Bell said he felt elated when Kamla Persad-Bissessar was named as the country’s first PM. He said the plummeting of the Prime Minister’s performance rating was a reflection of the Government. “The buck stops there. Essentially they are tainted. They know that.” On and scale of one to ten, Bell rated Warner’s performance at zero. He urged Warner to earn the trust of the national community.
Bell said the entire country needed to be reconstructed and re-engineered for its people to move forward.
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