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Archives 2013

Year of the Fall December 29, 2013
Politically, 2013 will be remembered as the year of unprecedented multiple elections. It was the year that marked the beginning of the demise of the People's Partnership; the year in which Jack Warner's meteor burned brightly before it died an unnatural death; and the year that saw the People's National Movement (PNM), for yet another time, rise, Phoenix-like, from the ashes of defeat, to position itself for a return to power.
The singers...and the songs December 22, 2013
Just when it seemed that we would end 2013 with only memories of macabre murders, of innocent children being battered and slaughtered by barbaric adults, two Caribbean singers rescue us with their vocal and musical prowess, with the food of love that transcends the pettiness of insularity, lifts our spirits and maybe even our souls.
Bas, Ram and Jack December 15, 2013
Among the three of them, Basdeo Panday, Jack Warner and Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj have accumulated 220 years on earth.
Night the world stood still December 8, 2013
Last Thursday night, for moments ranging from seconds to hours, the world stood still. People paused or stopped doing whatever they were engaged in, diverting attention to their radio or television sets that, in hundreds of languages, broke the news that Nelson Mandela had died.
Prisoners of Birth 2 December 1, 2013
In the wake of the gruesome discovery of six-year-old Keyana Cumberbatch's decomposing corpse last week, there are deafening cries for swift justice for the beast who murdered the child.
Prisoners of Birth November 24, 2013
Avid readers of fiction, more so Jeffrey Archer fans, will immediately note that I stole this headline from one of the writer's successful novels, A Prisoner of Birth. I did this deliberately, for several reasons.
Prove me wrong, PNM November 17, 2013
Much to the dismay of its detractors, the People's National Movement (PNM) bounces back like the proverbial bad penny almost ritually every five years since it first lost an election in 1986.
Facing Elections Nightmare November 10, 2013
Many readers scoffed at my suggestion in last week's column that a rapprochement between UNC/COP and the ILP was a strong possibility in the run-up to the next general elections, due no later than August 2015.
Vengeance of Moko November 3, 2013
When the votes are counted tomorrow night, the St Joseph by-election will bring to closure what may well be the most torturous year in the electoral history of this country.
Kamla croaks away October 27, 2013
Type the name "Kamla" on the Google search engine and see what comes up. That "Kamla", a very common Hindu name, instantly yields Trinidad and Tobago's Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, suggests that she is the number one "Kamla" in the world—something we should all be proud of.
Nastiest campaign ever October 20, 2013
The street I live on is about 200 metres long, with two side streets, each 50 metres, making it a grand total of 300 metres. There are 24 residential properties located here, with two empty plots.
Corruption and deception October 13, 2013
Over the past 40 years, since the first oil boom began in 1973, allegations of corruption against government ministers, other politicians and senior public officials must have exceeded the one-thousand mark.
Who needs politicians? October 6, 2013
The street I live on is about 200 metres long, with two side streets, each 50 metres, making it a grand total of 300 metres.
Plea for Gordon September 29, 2013
Really, it's a messed-up, mixed-up world in which someone like young Ravindra Ramrattan falls victim to indescribable madness, to savagery clothed in religion. Even as I ponder the enormous possibilities that were terminated in murderous gunfire in far-off Kenya.
Plea for Gordon September 22, 2013
Republic Day in 1976—Friday, September 24th—remains etched in my memory, a vignette in my colourful life during which I often collided with history. On that day, age 30, I entered Parliament as a frontline member of the ULF, having been elected to represent the Siparia constituency.
Plea for Gordon September 15, 2013
When House Speaker Wade Mark invoked the contentious constitutional provision that an elected MP, Herbert Volney in this instance, must vacate his seat upon resigning or being expelled from the party on whose slate he was elected to Parliament, it piqued my interest.
Plea for Gordon September 8, 2013
Rather than re-shuffle her Cabinet for a third time in three years, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar should have considered resigning and calling fresh general elections.
Plea for Gordon August 31, 2013
I choose to reflect on the nation's Independence anniversary through the prism of a glass half-full rather than half-empty. We endure so many negatives in this country—our daily dosage of murder, lawlessness from top to bottom, pillage of the national purse—that if we did not know how to laugh in the face of adversity, we would implode from cerebral constipation.
Comic cops August 25, 2013
Not since late Commissioner of Police Jules Bernard publicly declared, "I'm a toothless bulldog!" have I heard so many outlandish statements coming from the mouths of senior officers of the Police Service.
Plea for Gordon August 18, 2013
The ten leading stories in last Friday's online Express related to Jehue Gordon's golden performance at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow. While that was a welcome respite from the daily fare of murder and mayhem, it told a sad story of just how starved this country is for good news.
Jack's shelf life August 4, 2013
There is no tectonic shift in voting patterns coming out of the Chaguanas West by-election last Monday, as some politicians and political analysts posit. What happened was simply this: the constituents, who are predominantly Indians and supporters of the UNC, used the ballot to tell the party's leadership that it could not foist any "crapaud" on them.
Buffoonery reigns July 28, 2013
"When thieves fall out, honest men come by their own," says a centuries-old proverb. I think though, that when friends fall out, dubious men and women tumble into disrepute in unimaginable ways and pillars of political society are reduced to pillars of salt.
By-election a blessing July 21, 2013
"When thieves fall out, honest men come by their own," says a centuries-old proverb. I think though, that when friends fall out, dubious men and women tumble into disrepute in unimaginable ways and pillars of political society are reduced to pillars of salt.
It's time to pay the Devil July 14, 2013
In the euphoria of the People's Partnership resounding elections victory on the night of May 24, 2010, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, in her acceptance speech, identified only one member of the UNC executive for praise: Jack Warner. Before mentioning Warner by name, she had thanked only God and the people who voted the Partnership.
The lion in winter July 7, 2013
From a distance, I watch the Grand Old Man slowly making his exit from a world that is far from the perfect place idealists like him had hoped to see in their lifetimes.
Voice of reason way superior June 30, 2013
As I watched the political circuses perform in their big tents over the past few weeks, their patrons seemingly satisfied with the acts and acrobatics on offer, my mind turned to the adage, Vox populi, Vox Dei (The voice of the people (is) the voice of God).
Labour pains June 23, 2013
I Monitored this year's Labour Day celebrations with mixed feelings. I was sorry to have missed the annual pilgrimage to the shrine of organised labour for the fourth year, but that's another story.
Thanks, pa June 16, 2013
Fathers like mine—ordinary men, barely literate in most instances who worked hard to provide for their families—are remembered only by their immediate families and maybe some friends and people in the communities in which they lived and died.
All the Queen's donkeys June 9, 2013
The dilemma I face every week writing a column must be no different to what my colleagues in all the print media do: what can I write about that's reflective of good things happening in the country? Surely, there must be positives in the society, nation-building initiatives, achievements by citizens that are worthy of public praise.
No to jungle justice June 2, 2013
At all times, human beings must be able to distinguish right from wrong; it is what differentiates us from other life-species. At all times, too, man must have the fortitude to stand up for what is right, to speak out against injustice, whatever the consequences he may face for his outspokenness.
A matter of trust May 26, 2013
I cannot quite figure out why so many people are shocked by Keith Rowley's "revelations" in Parliament last Monday, or alarmed that the string of e-mails he read into Hansard; at first blush, appears to be as bogus as Clifton De Coteau's black mop.
Cut CAL to the bone May 19, 2013
If anyone can produce proof that there was a time when this country's state-owned national airline, in whatever incarnation, made a real profit over a sustained period, meaning at least one year, I would surrender my sanity and vote in the next election.
Suffering in silence May 12, 2013
She had first contacted me a year ago, via a circuitous route, to relate a problem she faced at her Diamond Vale home and to see if I could offer any advice. Last week, the pensioner called again. Her problem remained unsolved.
Make poverty history May 5, 2013
"Madam," a drunken Winston Churchill is said to have whispered to the socialite sitting next to him at a formal dinner, "Would you go to bed with me for five million pounds?" "My goodness, Mr Churchill!...well, I suppose...," she hesitated.
Massacre of the moral minority April 28, 2013
The issue here is not Jack Warner's amoral attitude, his disdain for integrity in the conduct of public affairs. We have long established that Warner does not conform to the rules of the engagement, be it campaigning in an election, running a ministry or navigating the murky waters of global football. We expect no better from him.
Marathon madness April 21, 2013
Being an avid athletics fanatic, a distance running devotee, I was all excited over last Monday's Boston Marathon. I missed out monitoring the event via live streaming because of a commitment that I could not forego. But as soon as I returned home, I went online to check on the results, especially the top winners' times.
Margaret Thatcher: Sinner or Saint April 14, 2013
Speak no ill of the dead, they say. It is an Omertá-like Mafiosi code that binds hypocrites international, that global brotherhood sworn to covering up the dastardly sins of leaders like Margaret Thatcher, who are lionised in life and eulogised in death, thus distorting history to the extent that the truth be buried forever.
We are not obese April 7, 2013
Trinidad and Tobago is not the third fattest nation in the world. In fact, I venture to add that we would hardly rank among the top fifty countries when it comes to obesity. What are the scientific bases for my bold pronouncements?
PM following predecessors March 31, 2013
If there was anything surprising about the Prime Minister's frontal assault on the media and journalists, it was the expression of hurt and outrage emanating from the nation's newsrooms. Really, people, I cannot believe you were shocked when the PM labelled us "rogues".
Don't demonise soldiers March 24, 2013
The purpose of the Defence (Amendment) Bill 2013 is to add soldier-power to Government's crime-fighting initiatives, although if you read the one-clause legislation you would think otherwise.
The Warner way March 17, 2013
And hypocritically, we wonder why the moral-social fabric of the society is torn apart, nay, shredded, by a culture of violence, of lawlessness, of nihilism such as we have never known.
Chavez – catalyst for change March 10, 2013
Hugo Chavez cast a giant shadow over the Western Hemisphere during his relatively short life. Few world leaders can claim to have influenced the course of history and geopolitics the way he did. For more than half-a-century, visionaries formulated and articulated ideas for the creation of a new power centre that resided outside of North America and Europe.
'We done dead already' March 3, 2013
If this country observed the rule of law to the letter and applied it evenly, someone or several persons would be in jail by now over the Flying Squad issue. I can think of any number of charges that could be proffered against Sgt Doctor Mervyn Cordner if the man is telling the truth about its establishment and/or existence. Even if he is lying, he should be under arrest.
A murderous mess February 24, 2013
A kind of madness has taken possession of this land, a savagery that has numbed the nation. There is, too, a feeling of hopelessness among the population. We surrender our lives and our souls to a barbarism that, though alien to us, has somehow sprung from within. We ask: how have we arrived at this pitiful pass?
Carmona's coming February 17, 2013
President-elect Anthony Carmona will assume office in a few weeks amidst great expectations by a large number of citizens. Ever since the judge was named as Government's choice for Head of State, people from all strata of the society have been effusive in endorsing his nomination.
Carnival is happiness, harmony February 10, 2013
Whatever our differing views on Carnival, one thing we can agree on is the heights of happiness that the festival engenders at all levels of the society.
Calypso dead February 3, 2013
Calypso, the unique art form that defined Trinidad and Tobago for a hundred years, that clever, creative combination of lyrics with rhyme and melody to haunt the living and awaken the dead, is dead. Gone to a great cultural mausoleum that exists somewhere between the Bassman's Hell and cyberspace.
Outrage, not race January 27, 2013
The flogging that Tobagonians administered to the People's Partnership in last Monday's THA elections was no "wake up call", as many pundits and analysts suggest. Sensible people see it as an outright rejection of the crass, class-less, vulgar politics that has characterised the Partnership ever since the coalition came to power in 2010.
Gambling on bare Jack January 20, 2013
The ferocity with which the two main parties, the PNM and the People's Partnership (yes, the PP!), fought the 2013 THA election, suggests that they see this battle for an anticipated 25,000 or so votes as a life-and-death struggle.
Race in our politics January 13, 2013
Hilton Sandy's Calcutta ship gaffe may well sink the stalwart's personal political pirogue—after the elections, not before. The furore his Freudian slip has triggered would hardly influence the outcome of the THA election.
Playing politics with Tobago January 6, 2013
The constitutional relationship between the islands of Trinidad and Tobago is too important an issue for structural changes in the status quo to be implemented in the heat of an election campaign.