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Archives 2015

‘do so ent like so' December 29, 2015
I am surprised that so many people are surprised by the termination of services-firing, suspension, the euphemistically-couched "sent on administrative leave"-of several senior government officials, the most prominent being Governor of the Central Bank, Jwala Rambarran.
Injustice to a soldier December 14, 2015
Last Wednesday, amidst much ceremony but little pomp, Major-General Kenrick Maharaj took his last parade as Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and proceeded into retirement, one month short of his 56th birthday.
Recession was predictable December 7, 2015
This recession did not creep up on us like the proverbial thief in the night. It was long in the making. In fact, from as far back as the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, when Clico collapsed and the price of oil plunged from a brief high of US $140 a barrel to $30....
Sending the wrong signals November 30, 2015
If "Santa Colm" assures the populace that their Christmas will be bright, not blue, then we have no reason to doubt the man.
The last 'pahalwan' November 23, 2015
The battle for leadership of the UNC has ignited a discussion on leadership in a broader context, with the party's founder, Basdeo Panday, weighing in on the issue.
Boors will be boors November 16, 2015
I address two issues of public importance today. First is the emerging controversy over this country's attendance at the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) meeting to be held in Malta next week.
Land of freedoms and freeness November 9, 2015
I cannot understand the national outrage over the video posted on the Internet that shows several Trinidadian Islamic "jihadists" somewhere in Syria
The party's over November 2, 2015
Choosing a leader to take the United National Congress forward, backward, sideways, or keep it stagnated, is the business of members of the party.
Police under fire October 26, 2015
With crime, especially murder, being the number one issue on the national agenda for more than two decades, the police cannot escape being targeted as the most blameworthy for the barrels of blood in which the nation is swirling.
Scale of squandermania mind-boggling October 19, 2015
If a mere ten percent of the sums of money quoted by almost every new PNM minister as having gone to waste or astray under the previous government is factual, then at least a billion dollars was squandered or stolen during the tenure of the People's Partnership.
Up today, down tomorrow October 12, 2015
I switched on my television last Friday just in time to see and hear a stern-looking House Speaker Bridgid Annisette-George say to former minister and current MP for Caroni Central Bhoe Tewarie, "You have three seconds to wrap up...starting now!"
Weathering the storm October 5, 2015
Tomorrow's Budget presentation by Finance Minister Colm Imbert is the most eagerly anticipated Appropriation Bill in many years. The main reason for heightened interest is the depressed state of the economy.
Ruminations on religion September 27, 2015
Not being a religious person, I must confess that religion (used here collectively) confuses me, and quite often frightens me. Mark you, I am not disrespectful towards religion or religious persons.
Lowest common denominator September 20, 2015
Last week, at the opening of the new law term, two main speeches were delivered. The first was a feature address by former President of the Republic and principal of the UWI St Augustine campus, Professor Max Richards.
Projections, not predictions September 13, 2015
My last two columns, one titled "Rowley rising" and the other "lament for a falling leader", were seen by many of my readers as being almost prophetic in the wake of last Monday's election results.
Rowley rises September 6, 2015
If I had to identify a singular, dominant development from the tiresome, months-long election campaign, it would be the emergence of Keith Rowley as an orator and a leader of distinction.
Lament for a falling leader August 30, 2015
Tomorrow being Independence Day, falling exactly one week before the general election, offers Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar an opportunity to play one final campaign hand-bestowing national awards on persons she believes can help sway votes in her direction.
Half truths and manifestos August 23, 2015
I don't know that the majority of people in the country are influenced in any way by the manifestos presented by various parties-in our case two, one from the UNC/PP and the other from the PNM.
SS Trinidad Sinking August 16, 2015
Amidst the din of election campaigning—hundreds of 'Kamla has a plan' ads on all television stations during prime time, DJ music systems scouring the country daily, public meetings broadcast nightly on almost every radio and television station, more ads popping up every time you click on the Internet...
An issue more important than crime August 9, 2015
We columnists are on a roll during "elections season", but in my 34 years of writing commentaries, I have never enjoyed a long, scandalous, comical campaign as the current one.
Wet brown paper could cut Jack August 2, 2015
In days of old here in Trinidad, people one or two generations ahead of mine used an adage, "when yuh crooked, wet brown paper could cut you".
Questions over jailbreak July 26, 2015
Trust Trinidad and Tobago to make history of a most dubious nature at a time when most countries similarly endowed are forging ahead in positive ways.
Please, not the Country Club July 19, 2015
When you don't have a sense of history, especially your own, you can end up saying or doing the stupidest things, convinced that you are yourself making history. Take the UNC's choice of venue for its last Monday night meeting, the Country Club in Maraval.
The Third Force July 12, 2015
We must really be a nation of "cunumunus", one-point-one million fools (if we believe the EBC number of registered voters, which is another story) for an array of politicians, would-be and have-been, to treat us with the contempt they do.
Mismanaging the economy July 5, 2015
In the pre-election polls conducted thus far, the issues that are of concern to the electorate are crime, unemployment, corruption, health care and rising prices, mostly in that order.
It's the economy, clowns June 28, 2015
If, in what may be described as normal countries, a week in politics is a long time, in abnormal Trinidad and Tobago, a week can be likened to a lifetime. Last week, most scribes and commentators in the media engaged in heated exchanges over the latest bacchanal in the Integrity Commission.
Jack's revenge June 21, 2015
Jack Warner is not a mad man—or delusional, as the Prime Minister euphemistically puts it.
If he was, then the PM, who chose him to act in the highest office in the land on several occasions, and assigned him to the national security portfolio three years ago, must be madder than him.
More CEPEP, URP 'lochos' June 14, 2015
As she enters uncharted territory seeking a second term in office, the Prime Minister exudes a measure of confidence that is at odds with a widely-held perception that her People's Partnership coalition will lose the general election.
Shame and scandal, indeed June 7, 2015
Corpus Christi morning, I come awake, latish, closer to seven o'clock. I tune in to BBC television to see what's happening in the world, since, Thursday being a Christian holiday, the local electronic media stations will have no real news.
Karma, boy, karma May 31, 2015
If, in what may be described as normal countries, a week in politics is a long time, in abnormal Trinidad and Tobago, a week can be likened to a lifetime. Last week, most scribes and commentators in the media engaged in heated exchanges over the latest bacchanal in the Integrity Commission.
Coping with the generation gap May 24, 2015
If the adage "the law is an ass" is held to be true-and over the years, I have heard eminent persons, many of them lawyers, cite it as gospel-then I must confess that some very senior attorneys in this country are confusing me to the point where I am beginning to think that I am an ass, or they are a pack of donkeys.
Coping with the generation gap May 17, 2015
If you allow yourself to be consumed by politicking that more so in the run-up to elections, is a deafening cacophony that can distract you to death, you miss out on not-too-subtle changes that are altering the landscape fundamentally.
Coping with the generation gap May 17, 2015
IIf you allow yourself to be consumed by politicking that more so in the run-up to elections, is a deafening cacophony that can distract you to death, you miss out on not-too-subtle changes that are altering the landscape fundamentally.
Vengeance could strangle you May 10, 2015
I seldom agree with pronouncements made by Basdeo Panday, such is my mistrust of a man I came to know before he became a big name in politics.
A horror story May 3, 2015
One year ago, in this space, I wrote a column headlined "Dana's Death in Vain". It was written exactly one week after the popular, respected senior counsel Dana Seetahal was shot to death in what everyone who had his or her say, described as a "well-executed assassination".
Causeway a lost cause Apr 26, 2015
On the morning of Monday, March 23, when I became aware of the massive traffic gridlocks in several strategic arteries across the country occasioned by the police purportedly conducting legitimate roadblocks, my immediate reaction was, "This is mutiny!"
Bulwarks of democracy Apr 12, 2015
Collectively, the so-called trolls on social media may be a pain in the rear for bona fide journalists and columnists in the mainstream media, operating as they do behind anonymity and bound by no rules of engagement or laws of libel and slander, while we have so many strictures, from word-count to sanitised lyrics, we write under the gun, in a manner of speaking.
Age of innocence Apr 5, 2015
The Easter weekend has always been a period of intense religious activities for Christians in the country, and one for recreation and relaxation for others in the society.
'Lynching' in the House Mar 29, 2015
Desperation bordering on panic pushed the People's Partnership into the abyss of indecency last Wednesday, which will be recorded as the day the Partnership lost the 2015 general election.
Buying and selling government Mar 8, 2015
The bell has rung, the gates are open and the campaign for general elections 2015 is underway. Over the next six months, political parties that matter and those that don't will spend an estimated $300 million in a frenetic bid to be elected or re-elected to power.
Political volcano erupts Mar 1, 2015
A political volcano has erupted with full force, spewing rocks, ash, lava and fetid gases across Trinidad and Tobago's landscape.
Which party will right these wrongs? February 22, 2015
Now that the Carnival is over, we can expect electioneering to intensify, with a maximum of seven months to go before the general election is held.
Kaiso, boy! February 15, 2015
I waited patiently for Calypso Fiesta, the Mother of all Calypso shows, which featured 41 of the top calypsonians for this year.
The political executioner strikes...again February 8, 2015
I sense that Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has cast her political fate to the wind, doing what she thinks she needs to with mere months to go before a general election.
A wild ride to elections February 1, 2015
For all its bountiful blessings—natural resources that allow us to live reasonably well, a mixture of races that dwell in relative harmony, a people that laugh more easily than they cry—this is a cussed country that moves with consummate ease from one political scandal to another...
Fit for the military January 25, 2015
There are many arguments in favour of extending the compulsory retirement age for members of the armed forces, the strongest being the fact that there are retirees receiving full pension at age 47, many of whom are fit and healthy and can easily work for another 20 years, which most do.
Talk Raoul, talk history January 18, 2015
Raoul Pantin and I never worked together as journalists in the 40-odd years that I knew him. Yet, in some curious ways, our lives and paths intertwined and intersected, particularly during the major political convulsions in the nation's history.
Medical System a Mess January 11, 2015
The public medical institutions in this country are in crisis. Note well that I did not say the "healthcare system" because while there have been some initiatives in promoting healthy lifestyles and preventative health care, these have not reached the mass of the population.
Killing Us Noisily January 5, 2015
Eight o'clock Saturday morning and as I start writing this column, all is quiet on my block, suspiciously so. It's cool and sunny, and I hear birds chirping, see them flying past my windows.