By Raffique Shah
December 06, 2021
Wouldn’t it be… ’er, amusing if the Farley Augustine-led, Watson Duke-bred Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) canters away to win the Tobago Stakes in tomorrow’s rerun of the House of Assembly election?
The last time these two political parties met, less than one year ago, the encounter ended in a controversial six-six tie which gave Duke bragging rights, not without merit, since his brand new PDP made sweeping gains in overall votes and in the number of seats it captured. Still, they did not dislodge the wily PNM which used incumbency as an instrument to get another shot at controlling the THA, which they have held since 2001.
Continue reading Tobago’s date with fate
By Raffique Shah
November 01, 2021
How many of you remember the video posted on one of the social media networks in which a girl, looking no more than 15 or so years old, standing before her smartphone’s camera, put an expletives-laden cussing on the then-prime minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar?
Many people recoiled in horror: no, this could not be happening in this God-fearing country, some screamed. Others thought the girl was merely registering her displeasure with the Prime Minister and her government, so what?
Continue reading Patriots, assemble!
Ramesh: Speaker upheld the Constitution during motion on President
By Renuka Singh
October 26 2021 – guardian.co.tt
Senior Counsel Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj has defended House Speaker Brigid Annisette-George’s handling of last Thursday’s motion by the Opposition to remove President Paula-Mae Weekes.
While the Opposition clamoured for the motion to be debated and attacked Annissette-George for refusing to allow it, Maharaj said the Constitution does not allow for a debate until the matter is passed by a two-thirds majority of the Electoral College.
Continue reading Ramesh: Speaker upheld the Constitution
By Raffique Shah
October 25, 2021
I don’t know if it has yet dawned on Kamla Persad-Bissessar and her colleagues in the Opposition United National Congress that their ill-conceived motion in Parliament, which sought to trigger the impeachment of the President of the Republic, has backfired so badly that it seems set to terminate Persad-Bissessar’s political career, and possibly eliminate the UNC as a political force in the country.
Continue reading Portia tames Kams
October 21, 2021 – trinidadexpress.com
Predictably, the Opposition Leader’s motion to remove the President crashed and burned on the Parliament’s floor with a wide 47-24 margin of defeat.
From the start, this was a misguided motion that smacked of over-reach and succeeded only in bringing a healthy public debate on the role of the President to a premature end.
Continue reading From high drama to farce
By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 11, 2021
Karen Tesheira, in an insightful presentation on the budget 2022 statement, said, “A budget is far more than a number of figures cobbled together. It speaks to the government priorities, its values, its vision and its imperatives—in other words, its strategic plan for its citizenry.”
She titled her remarks “Government for the Rich and Powerful”, and reminded us of one of the main conclusions in the European Bank’s “Economic Inclusion Strategy [EIS]” (2017–2021): “The opening up of economic opportunities to previously under-served social groups is integral to achieving a transition towards sustainable market economies.” (Express, October 6)
Continue reading We Ent Wukking Anyhow
By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 14, 2021
The UNC represents the true spirit of Trinidad and Tobago,… all the poor, humble working people, farmers, small business owners, ordinary men and women, from north to south, east, west, central, the urban, the suburban, the rural, the swampland, the coastal, and floodplains, the hills and the lagoons.
—Kirk Meighoo, The Checklist (2021)
If V. S. Naipaul was Kirk Meighoo’s intellectual guru initially, he later turned to Lloyd Best for intellectual guidance and direction. Since a “half-made society” (a term that Naipaul used disparagingly) is a literary conceit it could not bear the sociological weight that Meighoo thrust upon it. Meighoo argued that Politics in a Half-Made Society (hereafter Politics) was “a slight reworking” of his doctoral dissertation. This led Anton L. Allahar, professor emeritus at the University of Western Ontario, to write: “I have never seen a doctoral dissertation in the social sciences that was devoid of a theoretical perspective and a clear statement of methodology.” (Caribbean Studies, 2005).
Continue reading Decentering Dr. Williams— Denigrating the PNM
By Dr Tye Salandy
September 08, 2021
I certainly empathize with the government as it is navigating difficult decisions in the management of the economy and society during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, the issues facing the society are mostly not due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but deeper social issues that have never been properly addressed by any of the governments in power. These unaddressed issues of inequalities, flawed models of development and governance have undermined our ability to be resilient, to cooperate in nationally beneficial ways, and to contribute to the decisions that are taken at a national level.
Continue reading T&T’s Political Culture Affects COVID-19 Response
By Stephen Kangal
August 29, 2021
Tobago is a small island of 116 square miles. However, the geographical location of Tobago is very strategic. It helps in configuring and generating significantly the total maritime area that is now attributed to T&T resulting from the conclusion of maritime boundaries in 1990, 2006 and 2010.
Were Tobago to secede from Trinidad the current maritime boundaries concluded with Barbados and Grenada will become those of Tobago alone.
Continue reading The Strategic location of Tobago as a Pivotal Maritime Asset
By Errol Pilgrim
July 25, 2021 – trinidadexpress.com
John Doe is not a government minister, neither is he head of any government department.
Mr Doe is among the thousands of ordinary workers in the public service entitled by law to tax-exempt purchases of motor cars.
Like his counterparts in other statutory bodies and throughout the public service, Doe is a travelling officer entitled – pandemic or no pandemic – to motor-car tax exemptions and a travelling allowance.
Continue reading Car exemption hypocrisy