Category Archives: PNM

If you start with a lie…

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
January 30, 2023

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI wish to congratulate Christine Kangaloo for having been elected to the highest office of the land. Whatever her strengths and/or weaknesses, she now represents all Trinbagonians and so we ought to pledge our allegiance to her. As she said in her acceptance speech: “Now that the election is over, I look forward to serving our country in the only way I know how—with love for all and with an unwavering belief in the innate goodness of our people.”
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Talk Done

By Raffique Shah
January 23, 2023

Raffique ShahWill the Prime Minister tell the nation what he expects to achieve by staging a national consultation on crime, which he announced recently? When he made the headline-grabbing proposal, which seemed to me an outburst triggered by extreme frustration, Dr Keith Rowley came across as a leader who had nothing more to offer the population on the one issue that impacts their lives daily, although statistics might well reveal that in reality, fewer that ten percent of them have come face-to-face with violent crimes, and far fewer have been victims.
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It’s always political

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
January 16, 2023

“Democracy is not maintained by legal and constitutional texts alone.”

—Attorney Kiel Taklalsingh

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeA few days ago, the Prime Minister defended his Government’s choice of Christine Kangaloo for President of Trinidad and Tobago. He argued that those people who objected to the Government’s nomination were indulging in “nothing but pure politics… There are people in this country who set out deliberately to mislead the country, and I go as far as to say, incite the population”. (Express, January 9.)
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Patriotism and its vulgar application

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
January 09, 2023

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOver the past two weeks Minister Stuart Young has proclaimed his patriotism and his commitment to the central tenet of our National Anthem: “Here every creed and race find an equal place.” Anyone who objects to his interpretation of this aspect of the anthem is accused of being a racist or, as he said recently, of playing “the unsavoury race card”. He has accused me of attacking him “on the basis of race” (Express, January 2).
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Pride in our origins

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
January 02, 2023

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeTwo weeks ago I cautioned the People’s National Movement about the Prime Minister’s desire to foist Stuart Young upon the party as its next political leader. I also asked party leaders to recognise how important black people are to the sustenance of the party.

In his response, Minister Young accused the editor of the Express and me of being racist for publishing my observation. He commented: “The Express editor has taken a conscious decision to use racism as the foundation for an attack against me and I reject this… It is important at moments like this when media and others attempt to attack persons based on race, and a promotion of racism, that we, the citizens, reject them and their messaging, and I do so.” (Express, December 19.)
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Unravelling of a nationalist party

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
December 19, 2022

PART II

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeWhen the People’s National Movement started its mission in 1956, its primary responsibility was to uplift all members of the society, particularly the underclass, and to ensure that each party member was treated fairly. It also held out the promise that each member could rise to the highest levels of the party.

Although the founding members understood that genuine democracy implies one-man-one-vote, they also recognised that equity (the quality of being fair and impartial) should be the base of the party’s mission rather than the ubiquitous notion of formal equality. They believed that the promulgation of formal freedoms is an empty gesture if the necessary political structures were not in place to achieve them.
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A case of narcissistic sycophancy

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
Submitted: December 04, 2022
Posted: December 06, 2022

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeBy the time you read this column, the Hon Keith Rowley will have been re-elected leader of the PNM by as much as about 75 to 80 per cent of the vote. In so doing, party members have placed their seal of endorsement on everything he has done, thereby taking full responsibility for the downward spiral in which the country finds itself. On the very weekend in which he is elected leader of the party, we will be witnessing a record number of homicides in the country.
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A sacrificial lamb

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
November 28, 2022

“Little lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee,
Gave thee life, and bid thee feed
By the stream and o’er the mead…”

—William Blake, “The Lamb”

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeTwo weeks ago I spoke about the incivility in our political culture and the need to refrain from making savage attacks against one another. Many people responded favourably to my article. Richard de Lima, writing from Ontario, Canada, observed: “I have been reading your columns in the Express several years, which though always informative, sometimes stimulating, and often entertaining, have not prompted me to write you before. On this occasion, I feel obliged to extend my compliments to you on the penetrating remarks made about the conduct of PNM ministers and other senior party officials in regard to challengers for various positions in the forthcoming party elections.
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No place to hide

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
November 14, 2022

“There’s no hidin’ place up there,
Oh, I went to the hills to hide my face,
The hills cried out, ‘No hidin’ place;
There’s no hidin’ place up here.”

—An Afro-American spiritual

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThings have been warming up (or deteriorating) lately in the political arena among those who see others as pothounds; those who consider themselves as thoroughbreds; and those who accuse challengers of the established order as possessing sinister motives.

Stuart Young, Minister of Energy, demeaned PNM members who offered themselves for leadership positions in the party’s forthcoming elections. He claimed that since 2015, some of them have done nothing but criti­cise the party leaders “like little pothounds barking at our ankles as though they are the opposition and now they want to put themselves forward and call themselves firstly PNM members and then secondly want to be PNM leaders”.
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