Archive for the 'UNC' Category

First World, not failed state

By Raffique Shah
December 06, 2019

Raffique ShahTrinidad and Tobago is not now a failed state as many people claim it is. But it is precariously positioned at critical crossroads where, should the government and the populace take the wrong path or worse, stay put and do nothing, the country can descend into an abyss that would reduce the economy and the social fabric that has thus far held us together as a model nation to nothingness.
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The bitter taste of sugar

By Raffique Shah
November 26, 2019

Raffique ShahI breathed a sigh of relief when I read my Express colleague Mark Wilson’s column last Friday headlined “Big Sugar, Kamla? Not so sweet.” I had just read the newspaper’s editorial which, in essence, supported a proposal made on the elections campaign by United National Congress leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar to resurrect the country’s sugar industry if her party returns to power, presumably following the 2020 general election.
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Chasing a crooked shadow

By Raffique Shah
November 20, 2019

Raffique ShahSometime between three and four o’clock on the afternoon of the general election of 2015,(September 7), my daughter Leila shouted from her room, “They have extended voting hours beyond 6pm!” “What?” I asked, “Who extended it? I am watching the television, and there is no such news.” “Kamla (Persad Bissessar),” she replied. “I just got an email from her.”
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Periscope on local government elections

By Raffique Shah
November 8, 2019

Raffique ShahFour weeks before the local government elections, and nothing tells me that there will be any more excitement than there was on November 28, 2016, when the customary one-third of the one million registered electors bothered to vote (34.34 percent to be precise), with the results being as predictable as the campaign was boring.
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Greed is killing us not so softly

By Raffique Shah
October 16, 2019

Raffique ShahSome day last week, after I had eaten a very modest lunch, I was snacking on a few locally-manufactured crackers when my wife asked, “You still hungry, nah?” She has noted with unnecessary concern that I eat smaller portions, which I attribute to ageing and my now mostly sedentary lifestyle, the latter imposed on me by my infirmity. I don’t need calories that I won’t burn as I did during my very active pre-Parkinson’s life. That reality notwithstanding, the urge to snack on junk remains undiminished, much to my dismay.
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69 ‘rescued’ from Arouca church

69 rescued from cages at Arouca church
These people both men and women are believed to be victims of “modern day slavery” and “human trafficking” according to Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith who spoke to the Guardian Media Limited’s Lead Investigative desk Mark Bassant earlier on Wednesday just outside the Transformed Life Ministry Rehabilitation Centre.
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Budget biggest ‘bag’ thieves lay their hands on

By Raffique Shah
October 07, 2019

Raffique ShahIt is a newspaper commentator’s dilemma—having to write on the Finance Minister’s annual budget presentation, as readers expect him to, both before and after the Appropriation Bill is laid in Parliament. This becomes even more challenging when the package covers the year leading to a general election when the Government, and here I mean any government, engages in distributing largesse like the proverbial “parsad” at “pujas”, throwing goodies at the electorate with the expectation that they will yield votes.
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Shame and scandal in the HDC

By Raffique Shah
September 26, 2019

Raffique ShahIn the wake of the cancellation of a lopsided, scandalous multi-billion-dollar contract between the Housing Development Corporation and China Gezhouba Group International Engineering Company (CGGC) for the construction of 5,000 housing units, it is alarming that no public official has been called to account for the many concessions the Chinese almost escaped with but for the vigilance of the much maligned mass media.
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Crabs in a barrel

By Raffique Shah
September 16, 2019

Raffique ShahI had no prior information that the Express had commissioned a poll on Dr Keith Rowley’s performance as Prime Minister after holding office for four years, far less that publication of the results would coincide with my return as a columnist in last week’s Sunday Express.

So you can imagine my shock, having written on the propensity of politicians to use race as a weapon in the war for power, on reading responses to key questions in the Nigel Henry poll, based largely on race. In fact, the race-lines were so sharp, they startled many people who thought we had long overcome that primal instinct, that we were well on the road to electing politicians based on their policies and performance, or potential to perform, rather than their colour of skin or texture of hair.
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A word to the wise…

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 3, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeJoy Cushman wrote that Barack Obama revolutionized his campaign “by putting his faith in hundreds of volunteers. ” She continued: “I was a top organizer in his 2008 campaign and trained thousands of campaign staff workers. If Democrats want to win in 2020, they must get back to investing in everyday people again” (New York Times, August 26).
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