19th May, 2000 By A. H. Hotep

UNC Shopping Cards

It seems like our tribal Prime Minister's vindictive antics has frightened many in the business community.

The Prime Minister launched these party cards with his picture on it, where supporters or should I say party card holders will get up to thirty percent discount on goods and services at participating businesses. There are several things wrong with this initiative to improve his popularity. There is the issue of Governmental interference in fair business practices.

When any government approaches small businesses people to support their party, most of these spineless business people feel compelled to comply given the vindictive nature of the politicians. Most of them know that their businesses will not be able to survive political victimizations, and this government is notorious for intimidating business people. The government is further encouraging unfair business trade, as some of these businesses will expect to benefit from government favors while businesses that refuse should expect to suffer for following their democratic right to choose who to support, and to keep that private.

Many business people would not like to appear to be supportive of any one political party for fear of them loosing customers who do not support their choice.

It is no wonder that the Prime Minister announced that these businesses were small to medium businesses. They would never be able to convince the large conglomerates to go along with that scheme; they are capable of surviving government's intimidations.

What happens if some people in the country get fed-up with the dishonesties of this government and decided that violent confrontation is the way to go. There are businesses that the people can target for aiding and abetting this tyrannical government. It is no wonder that the government has not named the supporting businesses.
If they do not name the supporting businesses, how is this plan to work? How are the cardholders to know which businesses to patronize to get the discounts? Is the government going to privately give the cardholders the names of the businesses? How would they know which people are faking support to get the discounts only to reveal this information to forces that would like to attack these businesses for being so brazen in their support?
Would other businesses reduce their prices to compete, only to increase them after the election to recuperate their losses? What about other businesses that may not be able to survive the unfair competition, will they close?

Then there is another side to this story. If many business can show us that they can afford to offer a partisan thirty percent discount, then that means their prices were inflated.

Then there is the longstanding Indian tribal practice of selling goods cheaper to Indian people and higher to African people.
This seems to be a way of giving that practice legitimacy. If the government does not make the list of businesses available, then I can assume that these racial businessmen will be asking their Indian customers if they have a party card. They will never ask African people this question for fear of confirming to them their personal and business political/racial allegiances.

This political shopping card is doomed to fail and even I will not support any business that flaunts their support of any corrupt organization. However, on the other side if they give a list of businesses, the people who do not support this government should not support them.

May 21, 2000

After numerous calls for the names of the businesses that were offering these UNC discounts, this list was given to the media.

UNC card stores

•Dr Fuad Khan, 40 Alfredo Street, Woodbrook;

•Dental Associates, 62 EMR St Augustine;

•Alexandra Medical, St Clair;

•Stallion Surgical Services Ltd, Gulf View Medical Centre;

•Moonan’s Stationary Shop, High Street Rio Claro;

•Trinidad Industrial Sales and Services, San Fernando;

•Spectra Designs Ltd (interior decorating), Chaguanas;

•S & S Persad Supermarket, Tabaquite Road;

•Next Generation (clothes), Tabaquite Rd, Rio Claro, and

•DS Printers and Brokers Ltd, Chin Chin Rd, Cunupia.

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