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This profile was last updated on 5/19/14  and contains information from public web pages.

Pennelope Beckles-Robinson

Wrong Pennelope Beckles-Robinson?

Lady Vice Chairman


Employment History

  • Prime Minister and Founder
  • Senator

Board Memberships and Affiliations

  • Loyal Member
115 Total References
Web References
That was the view of Pennelope ..., 19 May 2014 [cached]
That was the view of Pennelope Beckles-Robinson, who challenged Dr Keith Rowley for the post of political leader during yesterday's national executive elections.
Thanking her supporters, Beckles-Robinson said, "We just have to recognise that we have to do better the next time and of course the next time should be me leading the PNM. Beckles arrived shortly after 11 am to cast her ballot at the Arima Central Secondary School. She was accompanied by her husband, Noel Robinson. He is a party group vice chairman but his name was not on the list of electors.
The voting process was slow as Beckles-Robinson said she took some 45 minutes to complete the exercise. There were some 15 positions to be filled on the executive. She complained about the frustration and distress of members who lived in distant communities such as La Fillette, Blanchisseuse and Valencia who would have wanted to vote but were unable to do so. She said it was ridiculous and outrageous that there was only one poling station for the large Arima constituency.
She said while it might not have been deliberate, the party must take blame for the late availability and inaccuracies of the voters list. "As far as I am concerned the party simply was not ready for a one-man-one-vote. she insisted. That is not good for the party. I think it is a whole question of repercussions for the party later on because this is a process the whole country is looking at," she said.
According to Beckles-Robinson, the PNM's base support was not sufficient to win the 2015 general election. She said denying your own members the right to vote will adversely affect the party in the future. "They are the same people you have to go back and beg to vote for you because your base is clearly not enough for you to win," Beckles-Robinson added. She also said the PNM must seek to woo members of the COP and other parties for the next general election.
She said she had no intention of leaving the PNM and continues to aspire to lead the party.
In response, Beckles-Robinson ..., 11 May 2014 [cached]
In response, Beckles-Robinson did not confirm or deny she had queried Rowley's source of funding for the campaign but would only say, "I await the report and will then make my comments. I know what I know but I will make my comments when I get the report."
With just one week to go before the election, Beckles-Robinson, 53, told Sunday Newsday on Friday that her campaign has not been costly simply because she did not have the funds.
"My campaign has not been high-profile because I do not have the funds," she said in a wide-ranging interview at her law office, Uptown Mall, upper Edward Street, Port-of-Spain.
Beckles-Robinson said her campaign has been funded largely from contributions from businessmen, members of the legal fraternity and even some of her own family members.
"There are just people who support me," she said.
Due to its costly nature, Beckles-Robinson admitted that she was only able to afford the broadcast for three live meetings during her campaign, the most recent being at the Mickey Trotman Recreation Ground in Pinto Road, Arima, last Friday night.
"My focus has really been on the ground," she said, adding that candidates on her Team Penny slate have even opted to do their own advertising to keep overall costs to a minimum.
Although she downplayed recent polls which put Rowley as the frontrunner in the election race, Beckles-Robinson said while she is not overly concerned, such surveys "do offer an indication (of an outcome) and are not to be taken lightly."
She queried the methods that were employed in the survey, noting that it was mainly PNM members and UNC supporters who were sampled as opposed to the PNM's rank and file.
Beckles-Robinson noted, however, that the surveys still favoured her to take the PNM into next year's general election.
"I am still the person with the cross-over appeal," Beckles-Robinson said.
Win or lose in the election, Beckles-Robinson is pleased about the manner in which she had conducted her campaign.
"I have been enjoying it, meeting the people on the ground and listening to their concerns," she said.
Having contested five major elections during her 24 years in the party, she admitted that the campaign was also challenging at times.
"It is a lot of hard work and it takes a lot out of you," Beckles-Robinson said, adding that she is still to get a comprehensive list of possible voters from the PNM's elections supervisory committee - an issue that has been on the front burner of her campaign within recent weeks.
Beckles-Robinson, who held several ministerial positions in the Manning administration, says she will not fade into oblivion should she lose the election.
"I have all intention to remain committed to assist the party in returning to government come 2015," she said.
The outgoing lady vice-chairman of the PNM, Beckles-Robinson said she is aware that she may face some form of ostracism within the PNM in the aftermath of the eagerly-anticipated poll but insists that such scenarios are part and parcel of politics.
Beckles-Robinson also recalled that late President and Prime Minister Arthur NR Robinson and Queen's Counsel, Karl Hudson Phillips, who were once part of the PNM, had also left the party's fold for various reasons.
WHAT will be the effect, if ..., 12 Dec 2013 [cached]
WHAT will be the effect, if any, of the attendance of fired Opposition senator Pennelope Beckles-Robinson at a recent function hosted by Housing Minister, Dr Roodal Moonilal, in his Oropouche East constituency?
Beckles-Robinson has claimed entirely innocent motives, saying she was merely "in the area" at that time and popped in to enjoy a curry-duck competition.
A newspaper reported Beckles-Robinson as saying she has been a loyal member of the PNM for 23 years and does not plan to switch allegiances, nor has she been asked to by anyone. Yet the PNM leadership is clearly hopping mad over Beckles-Robinson's attendance.
These precedents give some solace to Beckles-Robinson, but the PNM hierarchy will surely argue that they are different to the case in hand.
The PNM hierarchy might voice fears of the chance of any political trade-secrets that Beckles-Robinson might let slip over a glass of wine if socialising with political rivals, and be peeved at the potent symbolism of the sight of the PNM's Lady Vice Chairman attending a UNC-aligned function.
Some will say her recent firing as an Opposition Senator now frees her to speak and act at will, yet others suggest she has angrily snatched up her marbles to stomp off to find new friends of a different political hue.
We anticipate much activity within the PNM arguing over Beckles-Robinson as the party heads to internal elections due early next year.
Ultimately the PNM will decide if Beckles-Robinson has or hasn't broken party protocols by attending a UNC-linked curry-duck competition.
Campaign huddle: Pennelope ..., 12 Feb 2014 [cached]
Campaign huddle: Pennelope Beckles-Robinson, right, candidate for the post of political leader in the upcoming People's National Movement (PNM) internal elections, speaks to members of her campaign team during a cottage meeting at Radix Beach Resort at Church Road, Mayaro, on Tuesday night.
Pennelope speaks out on party reaction to her challenge for leadership:
On Tuesday, Beckles-Robinson said many party members had an issue with her contesting against Rowley and were mistaking her meekness for weakness.
Beckles-Robinson was speaking at a cottage meeting at Radix Beach Resort in Mayaro. She said: "I have been a member of the PNM for 22 years. The minute I indicated I would consider running for the post of political leader, all hell seemed to be broken loose. The fact is, I was good enough all the time, until I made the statement. Having made that statement, all of a sudden you are hearing all sorts of things." Beckles-Robinson, who listed her achievements, said: "Those who questioned my loyalties need to look at my track record." "I want to make it abundantly clear that there are some who are saying this is the wrong time. What is a good time? she asked. After many years of being a part of the PNM, Beckles-Robinson said: "I am ready to be leader of the PNM." The main reason why she decided to run the race for leadership was because people made a " resounding call" for her to contest the party's first election of a leader using the one-man-one-vote system. Beckles-Robinson is Rowley's only challenger. Her greatest inspiration came from former prime minister and founder of the PNM Dr Eric Williams, she said. One of the problems faced by PNM members was that they did not know the history of their party and the contribution it made to Trinidad and Tobago, she said. Beckles-Robinson said: "If they want to challenge my leadership at any point in time, follow the history of the PNM." Beckles-Robinson said she chose Mayaro to have her first of a series of meetings because Williams inspired her to run for leadership. It was on the beach in Mayaro that the nation's first Cabinet meeting was held in 1956 under Williams, who was then Chief Minister. Beckles-Robinson said: "We are making history. This is where I begin my campaign for leadership of the PNM." The issue of gender has been raised as a campaign issue, but Beckles-Robinson said it was the "women who work night and day to put the PNM in office". "People are extremely angry and aggressive. We don't know how to talk to each other and people mistake quietness sand gentleness for weakness," Beckles-Robinson said. She encouraged all citizens to be more productive and "burn the midnight oil" if they wanted to see changes in the country. Beckles-Robinson listened to the pleas of constituents, who complained about infrastructure and transportation, and said she will do every­thing she can to assist.
Meanwhile, vice chairman of the PNM's ..., 9 Mar 2014 [cached]
Meanwhile, vice chairman of the PNM's Arima constituency John Joseph said while Rowley had his full support, a show of hands vote last month showed more support for Beckles-Robinson.
Beckles-Robinson yesterday said she was conscious that the issue of endorsements no longer has the same value as when the delegate system existed. She said it was now a matter of one man, one vote.
"In one man, one vote you are not directed by anyone to vote so you vote according to who you believe is the best man or woman for the job," she said. She said the process was totally different from the delegate system. Beckles-Robinson said she would not get caught up in the matter of endorsements since she would have to target each person who is a member and can vote."
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