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All I want for Christmas

By Terry Joseph
Dec 22, 1999

Don't believe everything you hear. My two front teeth are going good for the moment and the little bicuspids are bearing up nicely too. What I had in mind as this year's gift was something distinctly different.

Actually, Santa, all I want for Christmas is for you to use your magic to make a few things happen. I know that other guys are writing their requests too and since you have a reputation for pleasing all the good people, I will just mention a few items and hope you get my drift.

Boss, my request is going to cost you nothing and by the same opportunity, save you a lot of chimney work. The elves would not have to go back into production at this 11th hour and the gift will serve for the entire nation.

Here's the deal: If you could just get a few public figures to live up to their pledges, or conversely, to not promise things they are incapable of delivering, I would solemnly swear to become a good boy and maintain that condition forever more.

For instance, Santa, let us revisit the matter of that compilation disc from the World Beat Music Festival, that the Tourism and Industrial Development Company (Tidco) sincerely promised would be in music stores by Christmas. Remember that the sales of this CD were supposed to help the Treasury recover some money from the $8 million spending spree (that they originally promised would cost us nothing). Here we are, just 48 hours to Christmas Eve, with not even a demo-copy in sight and no apology in lieu.

But let us go back, Santa, to a time much earlier this year and the Miss Universe Pageant and muse on how they promised that it would not cost us more than $30 million. We gave up on that. But do you remember the $2 million fraud? Well, although they told us in July that an arrest was imminent, Santa, boy? Not a soul get lock up. And while you have that file open, Santos, find out how much revenue the stage they rushed to buy has brought us to date and what else Tidco has in mind for the small man -so I could warn him!

But don't see this as bashing any particular State agency, boss, because they are not alone in this game of "tell the natives anything to keep them quiet".

Santa, you remember last August when the Mayor of Port of Spain launched Calypso Week? Didn't he say that by the end of the year he would have in place a fund for singers who have fallen on hard times? And what about the kiosks he was going to set up around the capital city with one-touch computer access to total information on any calypsonian? Santa, they feel we does forget, or what?

Right now, I am sure that my fellow sufferers would settle for mere updates on some of these promises. Ask the Culture and Gender Affairs Minister what became of the Carnival Institute that was launched last July and what about the appointment of a director or, for that matter, a director of culture. And on the other half of her portfolio, find out why she remains silent about a calypso that likens women to gardening implements and has as its chorus: "She's a hoe! She's a hoe!" Didn't she promise to defend the dignity of women?

Could you also use your considerable influence to get Prime Minister Basdeo Panday to make a definitive statement on whether during discussions with Pan Trinbago about a parcel of land in Chaguaramas, he told them: "The land is there, go and take it"? Because if that is so, he should really want to explain how on Saturday night last, he could so calmly reverse that position to now say that the same property is now too precious for pan.

Mark you, we are not only worried about these most promising politicians. As a matter of fact, those who do not vow to do anything at all are equally disturbing. Take the case of Wendell Mottley. You think you could get him to stop waffling and actually promise something?

And could we get a commission of enquiry to actually find something for once? Or is it easier to get Mervyn to hush?

I hope you get the general principle from these few examples and can do something for us in this area please. Because, Santa, I would really like for all of my fellow sufferers down here to have a very Merry Christmas.

PS: This one is not for me, you understand, but I have a friend who asked me to ask you whether he could get a peep at your adult list of where all the naughty girls live.

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