Monthly Archive for December, 2018

A most joyful Christmas

By Raffique Shah
December 25, 2018

Raffique ShahIn the spirit of the season, I write today about one of the more memorable Christmas experiences I had—when I returned home days before Christmas in 1966, having spent 27 months in Britain training in the military.

My story has to be viewed in the context of the period, a mere 16 years after the MV Windrush had transported 500-odd West Indian immigrants to work and rebuild post-war Britain. The 70th anniversary of that epic voyage, and the plight today of what is called the Windrush Generation was, coincidentally, the focus of much discussion in 2018.
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A Christmas Gift

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
December 25, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOn Sunday last, the Lydian Singers’ concert, “The Gift,” explored “the gifts of Gold, Frankincense, Myrrh…and Music” at its final concert at Queen’s Hall Auditorium. There were many outstanding performances. I was enthralled by Pat Bishop’s practice of blending local and foreign elements and her insistence that our musical forms can achieve standards of excellence that occur in other societies.
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Media trapped by trivia

By Raffique Shah
December 19, 2018

Raffique ShahFor a country that is beset by myriad fundamental problems—real, imagined or contrived—it is amazing how easily the entire nation can be distracted by trivia.

Almost as side issues in the media, two senior politicians square off over what percentage of employed persons earn less than $6,000 per month, the benchmark for bare survival; hardly mentioned are the 10,000 or so workers who have been thrown on the breadline for the year. The national debt rises higher than Mt Cerro del Aripo; the murder toll crosses 500; and potholes on our roads exceed properly-paved driving surfaces, are all relegated to lower-ranked media attention.
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Evaluating Trump, Trini-Style

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
December 17, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeBrian Moore is one of my best friends. He is Trini-to-de bone when it comes to discoursing about national and international matters. He is a contrarian and has dogmatic views about issues. He was not unduly worried when Donald Trump was elected to the presidency of the United States. When many of us were desolate about the prospects of the U.S., Brian declared defiantly: “America got what she deserved. Trump is not a U.S. aberration. He is the quintessential expression of who and what the U.S. is.”
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‘We dogs dead’

By Raffique Shah
December 11, 2018

Raffique ShahIn my column last week in which I lamented the collapse of Petrotrin, I submitted that one of the tragic consequences would be the oil refinery falling into the hands of foreigners (by lease or purchase), and the workers who were terminated returning to seek employment with the new operators, prepared to work for substantially lower wages and salaries than they earned with the State-owned company.
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Whose History Anyhow?

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
December 11, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOn Thursday and Friday of this week I will launch my new book, The Slave Master of Trinidad, at the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago and the University of The University of the West Indies respectively. The first is a private affair, under the auspices of the Hon. Keith Rowley, Prime Minister; the later is a public affair, “featuring a review (of the book) by Sir Hilary Beckles, the Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies.” No one could think of a more auspicious way to introduce this book to the reading public of Trinidad and Tobago.
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Day of moaning for Petrotrin

By Raffique Shah
December 05, 2018

Raffique ShahDuring last Friday’s unofficial “Day of Moaning” for the official demise of State-owned oil giant Petrotrin, I detected more than a hint of hypocrisy among the moaners. I must confess that your not-so-humble scribe was prominently positioned amidst the thousands of Trini-Pharisees who had saved their saddest faces and rehearsed their most somber vocal tones for the tragic occasion.

I admit that mine was an ego issue, one in which my wounded pride provoked extreme prejudice against my fellow-Trinis for having shamed me, for having shattered my dreams of seeing us as a people take control of the commanding heights of the economy, and successfully steer them to take their place alongside the best such enterprises in the world.
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Reparatory Justice

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
December 04, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThe Jamaica Gleaner, it is true, was impetuous. On November 25 it announced that the University of Glasgow (UG) and the University of the West Indies had reached an agreement regarding reparative justice. According to the Gleaner, UG had agreed to pay “£200 million (approximately J$34 billion) of value in reparation payments to The UWI.”
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