Category Archives: PNM

Living to steal another day

By Raffique Shah
May 07, 2024

Raffique ShahHowever lofty the ideals they may shout from the rooftops, when you get down to base, when you reach the gutter where most of them reside, politics is not about ideals. It is about naked power.

Jean-Paul Sartre, French philosopher, wrote in his masterful introduction to Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth: They bring nothing new, they create nothing new, they simply regurgitate what their masters fill in their heads. Centuries after the great intellects introduced them to concepts such as democracy, you can hear them in the ex-colonies, now independent states, screaming as if they invented the words, “Government of the people, for the people and by the people”; “Liberty! Equality! Fraternity!”
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Corruption’s demonic face

By Raffique Shah
April 23, 2024

Raffique ShahIn the 40-odd years that I have been writing a weekly newspaper column, I admit that much of my work has been dealing with politicians and corruption. Over the years I have tried to address other issues such as the economy, our education system, crime (how can I not write about crime?), and so on. But I always seem to return to base, in a manner of speaking—meaning politics, politicians and corruption.
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The Indian connection

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
April 02, 2024

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeWhen Eric Williams went to London in 1955 to discuss PNM’s programme with CLR James, George Padmore and Arthur Lewis, he also visited with Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, the sister of Jawaharlal Nehru, prime minister of India. He raised the possibility of republishing Nehru’s autobiography with the latter writing a new introduction to it.
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Maccoes, not spies

By Raffique Shah
April 02, 2024

Raffique ShahEvery time I watch or listen to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley deliver an address or a contribution to some pre-election forum, I sigh, shake my head, and think: what wasted words.

I have watched Dr Rowley develop over the past 25 years or so, from a bar-room brawler poli­tician to a formidable spokesperson who has earned his place as the leader of his party. He struck me as being bright when after joining Patrick Manning in opposition in the ’90s he went on to become a frontline speaker who helped resurrect the party.
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These men of straw…

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
March 28, 2024

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIn Inward Hunger, Eric Williams revealed that on the very day he left the Anglo-America Caribbean Commission on June 21, 1955, he began discussions with members of the Teachers’ Economic and Cultural Association about the formation of a new party in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T)— the People’s National Movement. “The basic strategy,” he said, “pending the discussion and organisation, was to reach the public.”
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Dr Rowley’s public vulgarity

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
March 18, 2024

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThe Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago was at his most vulgar on Thursday, March 9, when he sought to scandalise my name at a public meeting at Enterprise, Chaguanas. However, his public performance revealed more about his moral blindness, his public vulgarity, his intellectual narrowness and aggressive narcissism. No one who read my 28-page, carefully footnoted lecture could have arrived at his conclusion.
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Election bell ringing

By Raffique Shah
March 12, 2024

Raffique ShahOnly a fool, a fanatical partisan politician, or an academic seeking to enter the profession of predicting election results would venture to predict the results of the next Trinidad and Tobago general election, due sometime over the next year or so. I have watched with interest how incumbent prime minister Dr Keith Rowley gave his first signal, when at one of his party’s meetings last week he spent some minutes on the topic and declared the election will be “the most serious you have ever taken part in”. I found that statement intriguing: every election is important.
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Protecting our historic legacy

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
December 11, 2023

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIn 2013 the people of Tacarigua waged a valiant struggle to prevent the UNC government from establishing a sporting complex on the Orange Grove Savannah, now called the Eddie Hart Savannah. The plan, developed by Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SporTT), a limited liability the Ministry of Sport set up to act as its key implementation agency, called for building a 25-metre swimming pool, a cricket ground and football field, a pavilion, a 400-metre running track, and a car park.
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Rebels at the Gates

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
November 21, 2023

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeTwo months ago, the Center on Law, Equality and Race (CLEAR) at Northeastern University School of Law invited me to comment on Dr Godfrey Vincent’s book, Rebels at the Gates: The OWTU in the Era of George Weekes. I accepted the invitation because of the importance of Weekes and the OWTU (the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union) in the labour and political life of the island. This event took place on Friday.
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Bloody Tuesday

By Raffique Shah
October 03, 2023

PART 2

Raffique ShahRamdwar (Dennis) shouted, “Gas!”

Gas, meaning CS: Crowd Dispersal Gas commonly known as “tear gas”.

The police wasted no time. It was like the proverbial “dog whistle”. Every “ranker”, Randy Burroughs and his “Flying” squad were there, as well as a large contingent of recruits, pounced on the peaceful workers and farmers raining blows with riot staffs, which were thick and heavy. Many bones were fractured on that day.
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