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Archives 2020


Periscope on Budget Oct 05, 2020
I am hopeful that Finance Minister Colm Imbert's Budget 2021 will remain open to ideas that may come from ordinary citizens or professionals or anyone else even after he will have presented it to Parliament tomorrow.
An accidental MP Sept 29, 2020
When I look back at it, my life that is, the many sharp, unpredictable turns I made that often intersected with the history of my country, I cannot help but feel fated to its destiny, inextricably linked to its history.
Total disrespect Sept 22, 2020
I do not believe that the Commissioner of Police, Captain Gary Griffith, is a foolish man. He may be egotistic, over-sensitive, loquacious, combative. But foolish? No. I make this assessment of him purely by watching him from a distance, listening to his pronouncements on people from every strata of the society whom he perceives as being his critics.
Budget by everyone, for everyone Sept 15, 2020
I imagine that every citizen who is conscious of the state of the country's economy must wonder what magic Finance Minister Colm Imbert will weave when he presents his sixth consecutive Budget in a few weeks.
Opportunities lost Sept 7, 2020
Early morning Independence Day. I switch on the television, remembering that there would be no military parade this year, thanks to Covid-19, the Great Destroyer. So what is there to watch? On CNC3, I catch the last few words of the Prime Ministerórerun of an interview he'd done with Natalee Ligoure a few days ago.
A new beginning Sept 1, 2020
It came to pass in this not-so-blessed year 2020, that persons of far greater faith than I can imagine, convinced that God, in whatever manifestation they believed Him to be, was signalling the end of an era, epoch, curse, call it what you will...
Race is not my compass Aug 24, 2020
It pains me to return to the issue of race and politics in Trinidad and Tobago, but since it seems impossible to dismiss its impact on not just elections, but on the body politic of the nation, I feel obliged to address it.
New prospects for small parties Aug 17, 2020
One of these not-so-good days, some fool will vent his or her racial spleen on the anti-social media or in some public place once too often in a rant that has gone too far...
Making of a megalomaniac Aug 03, 2020
Eight days from today, Kamla Persad-Bissessar expects to be named Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago after she leads the United National Congress to victory in the general election...
New prospects for small parties July 27, 2020
I It would be remiss of me if, having chosen to comment on the 2020 general election, I ignored the many small parties and independent candidates that have entered the race.
Resurrecting the dead July 20, 2020
I had no intention of intervening in the campaigning for the general election, which is due to be held in three weeks. It is well established that politicians say the darndest things in normal times, and they become outrageous when they are soliciting votes from the electorate.
Much ado about nothing July 13, 2020
I don't know why Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar thought it necessary to appeal to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to invite a team of observers from The British Commonwealth and/or CARICOM to witness the conduct of the general election that will take place on August 10.
Rowley's date with destiny July 6, 2020
It is perhaps a measure of poetic justice that a People's National Movement government is facing a rebellion by elements in the party's core constituencies in the capital city of Port of Spain and its environs, that on the eve of an important general election when the party needs its members more than they need the party.
Election an illusion of power July 1, 2020
It's difficult to get a good grasp of what's happening on the ground regarding the general election, which will be held in the next three months.
Of Symbols and Substance June 23, 2020
Christopher Columbus had his comeuppance coming for a long, long time. Five hundred years, to be more specific. Here was an Italian adventurer, brigand and explorer who persuaded Queen Isabella of Spain to invest in an expedition he had been obsessed with-sailing into the unknown West and finding the mythical city of gold, El Dorado, and claiming it, and other lands, on behalf of the monarch.
The leader must rally the masses June 16, 2020
Finance Minister Colm Imbert, and by extension the Keith Rowley-led Government of Trinidad and Tobago, missed out on an opportunity to rise above the noise that tends to drown out sensible discussions about serious issues when Imbert presented the mid-year review of the fiscal 2020 Budget last Friday.
The issues that matter most June 9, 2020
America was set to implode sometime soon when four police officers, going about a patrol in Minneapolis, did what many of their colleagues routinely do-subdue a black suspect with excessive force and recklessness, and quite possibly oozing rabid racism. Within minutes, George Floyd, who moaned "I can't breathe" several times as one police officer knelt on his neck, was dead.
Do not squander this opportunity May 26, 2020
If there is substance to the saying that in every crisis there are opportunities, then the COVID-19 pandemic has delivered spectacularly, if only we the inhabitants of the twin-island republic of Trinidad and Tobago would recognise them for what they are, grab them, and infuse them into the post-pandemic recovery narrative and action plans, just so we understand they may never be on offer again.
Hypocrites with selective amnesia May 19, 2020
So what if Trinidad and Tobago sells a shipment of gasoline to Venezuela? Why must we citizens be concerned with or ashamed of such sale, once we are paid fairly and promptly? Why do members of the government employ fusillades of terminological inexactitudes in a bid to evade telling the truth about the transaction, a truth that might free their consciences?
Compassion and consumer power May 12, 2020
Based on comments I've heard or read in the media on the likely economic realities that will confront us when Government eases the COVID-19 "lockdown", I am worried about the future of Trinidad and Tobago.
Memo 02 to Team Recovery: Freeze motor imports May 4, 2020
Memo 02 to the post-COVID-19 Recovery Team: Gentlemen, and the few ladies among you, greetings. I have chosen to communicate with you in full glare of the public because I do not wish to be seen as saying and doing nothing when my country needed every citizen to contribute what he or she could in the aftermath of a disaster such as the world has never experienced.
Hungry people, angry people Apr 27, 2020
My younger brother Farouk caught me unawares one evening last week when he telephoned me saying, "The PM used the 'F' word today!" "What?" I asked in shock, thinking that either Prime Minister Keith Rowley or Farouk was going off.
Assessing the leader Apr 21, 2020
When a nation wages war, and when that war is just, it is the duty of every able-bodied citizen to support his or her country, each according to his ability.
Hooked on foreign foods Apr 19, 2020
Large mobs of presumably hungry consumers virtually laid siege to fast-foods restaurants across the country last Monday evening after Prime Minister Keith Rowley announced that all restaurants and retail food services will be closed for business until the end of this month.
After crisis food rationing? April 6, 2020
When we will have overcome the COVID-19 multi-pronged attack on Trinidad and Tobago, we will face associated problems ranging from the economy under severe stress such as it has never been before, with unemployment at a crisis level, disruption of the education system leaving all stakeholders confused, and possible shortage of foods.
Best of times, worst of times March 29, 2020
In time to come, when future generations write about us, about our behaviour during the great war against COVID-19, they may well resort to the Charles Dickens' classic, A Tale of Two Cities, which was set in a tumultuous period in European and world history, 1775-1792.
Of coincidences and conspiracies March 22, 2020
I admit that it took me some time to come to terms with the seriousness of the COVID-19 virus. When the highly contagious bug first struck in China late last year, I followed its development with more curiosity than concern.
Battling COVID-19 March 16, 2020
I suppose it's human nature to panic and go into the survival mode if there is a threat to life, especially when one's family might be at risk, however remote the chances of someone dying from the COVID-19 virus may be.
An incomplete revolution March 2, 2020
Fifty years after the Black Power Revolution shook Trinidad and Tobago's foundation, many people, mostly older folks, are trying to quantify what benefits, if any, were derived from those tumultuous events.
Kaiso 'til yuh puke February 25, 2020
I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of many calypsoes I heard during the first half of the Calypso Monarch finals last Thursday night. My self-regulated sleeping hours did not permit me to take in the second half, which I'm sure was better.
Pan Potential February 17, 2020
As I savour some of the best offerings from this year's Carnival from the comfort and safety of my home, I cannot help but think of the thousands of performers and revellers out there who, even as they immerse themselves in the gaiety of the festival, must ponder the possibilities that they might become victims of some criminal act before the day or night is over.
First Citizens, second citizens February 10, 2020
The recent announcement that the T&T Securities and Exchange Commission and Bourse Securities, Hassan Rahaman and Imtiaz Rahaman have reached an agreement whereby the latter three parties will pay the SEC $2.8 million.
Robbing Hoods February 3, 2020
The recent announcement that the T&T Securities and Exchange Commission and Bourse Securities, Hassan Rahaman and Imtiaz Rahaman have reached an agreement whereby the latter three parties will pay the SEC $2.8 million.
Focus on one war, fellas January 21, 2020
As the heavily armed hardcore criminals consolidate their murderous stranglehold on our country, striking with seeming impunity anytime, anywhere they choose to, the powers-that-be go into the panic mode and respond with fusillades of "gobar" rather than superior strategy and firepower.
Amen, Brother Gregory January 14, 2020
If we think that the Trinidad and Tobago economy is in for another rough ride this year, possibly rougher than what we experienced over the past five years, we should read some of the grim global economic outlooks projected by international agencies such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs et al for almost every country in the world.
Simple things that count January 8, 2020
No major infrastructural project exposes the huge, costly gap, both in time and money, between the decision to undertake critical public works projects and their implementation and delivery to the populace than the extension of the Solomon Hochoy Highway from San Fernando to Point Fortin.