In the shadow of Commonwealth excess

By Stephen Chan
December 03, 2009 –

Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2009A Commonwealth summit in Trinidad and Tobago was careful to shield delegates from the plight of nearby slum residents

Sea Lots is a slum that lies only a kilometre from the luxury hotels where the presidential and prime ministerial delegations from 53 Commonwealth countries, including the Queen, gathered last weekend in Trinidad and Tobago. Two huge cruise ships were tethered alongside it to provide overflow accommodation for the great and good. Many of them were confined to windowless cabins.

Sea Lots is an embarassment to Trinidad and Tobago. The government tried to screen it away from view during the Summit of the Americas last April. The locals called the barrier the Obama Wall, as it was meant to prevent the visiting president from catching sight of the slum. He would have smelt it, though. A fish factory sits on its edge and every open drain reeks of fish.
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7 thoughts on “In the shadow of Commonwealth excess”

  1. This may also explain why Hannah is not getting sufficient financial support from the government. Giving her what she needs would mean acknowledging that Sea Lots exists and would draw quite some media attention to it.

    It would be a major setback after pastor Patrick has tried so hard to bring up our international image with mansion(head of state must not look low class), summit(bring Obama and sign paper), CHOGM(bring queen and sign paper), all the recent irrelevant laws(passed so that we are in compliance with the will of international organizations that determine what is best for the world), NAPA(dancing fountain and all), CEPEP/URP(same thing except that one works and one gets free money so that we can say that unemployment is negligible,i.e.<5%), ignoring influenza A H1N1/dengue(Anti-PNM diseases), acquiring numerous water taxis(the first few never being filled to capacity on any run and one bought in an nonfunctional state that has never touched T&T water), ignoring the call to deal with crime(an international phenomenon, meaning that there is no need to take it seriously until there is no nation to point at and say, "look, dem worse than we"), brushing off the comments on property tax(it makes things fairer and more balanced but for some reason people want fairness and balance with less cost to them – how selfish we all are) and failing to address the rising cost of living(this is the only country in the world where recession and inflation can exist simultaneously but we were always unique in going backward and forward at the same time, with development and construction respectively).

    How we go do dat? We cyar do dat! The Prime minister has spoken(coming straight from the hart). I am referring to his last address to the nation. I want to leave the sarcasm out when I say that I thought that something important was going to be said but it turned out to be CHOGM.

    Back to my main point. The child is dying. She needs a piece of liver being supplied by her mother.The ministry of health has given something like 100,000, of the 1.3 million. Additional funding is necessary, as far as my understanding goes, for post-op care and airfare. The minister tried to pass off the responsibility to the junior minister(can't remember the idiot's name) but as the media personnel tried to press jerry further he hung up the phone(this is why i keep saying that the government is not racial but is simply trying to kill everybody not in support/not dotish). Jerry later promised to speak on live radio but never called back.

    The idiot(junior minister) explained, after being contacted, that the rules were already bent to give what was given and nothing more can be done by the ministry. He was asked to request that the minister take a cabinet note for the matter and he agreed(this was either Friday or Monday and still nothing). Being further pressed, the idiot said that if they saved this one child's life, they would have to save the other forty-something and any to come in the future. He continued, stating that the mother would most likely come back to the government to beg for funding for post-op care. This jackass was not aware that policy already guarantees post-op funding). You want my theory on this? The dead cannot get money from the government.

    It seems that the government cannot waste money on non-foreigners.

    The citizens(pensioners, disability grant recipients and men still waiting on pay, included) have stepped up and answered the call. The last report I heard today gave a figure of about 700,000(inclusive of the ministry funding). This is just above half and every day that passes reduces her chances of survival.
    I can't ask you to sell your computers but the RBTT account number is 8917113188.

    To anyone who thinks that I am using dying children to bash the PNM or simply to be a complainer: TELL THE SCUM TO STOP GIVING ME THIS KIND OF DOTISHNESS TO WORK WITH.

    Maybe I am getting too emotional. If you think about it, dying children is an international phenomenon. Look how much ah dem deadin in Africa.

  2. “acquiring numerous water taxis(the first few never being filled to capacity on any run and one bought in an nonfunctional state that has never touched T&T water) …….brushing off the comments on property tax(it makes things fairer and more balanced but for some reason people want fairness and balance with less cost to them.”
    So our poor ,desperate and supposedly concerned friend atheist seems to be pretty worked up about non functioning water taxis , and escalating property taxes. I was about to suggest praying, but forgot that according to your phony soubriquet, God does not exist. You too are awaiting the growth of us humans three legs, and a tails as evolution continues.
    Seriously, was he and other cry babies equally perturb for the plight of Tobagonians who since 1962 have been huddling on smelly , overcrowded , animal boats , laden with vermin and human vomit ,as they trek back and forth between Scarborough and POS for basic necessities , that you in Chaguanas , Las Lomas , Barataria , Westmoorings,Maraval , and Fizabad takes for granted?
    He want’s the folks living in the Brazilian-like Faveles in John John, Never Dirt Upper St. Babbs Rd Belmont ,and Mt Dor Rd Champ Fleures to pay progressive land tax as well,just like thir more fortunate cousins on the flatter pristine quarters. Sorry ,although I feel your disappointment , it just ain’t happening so long as 76 year old Mr. Panday cannot claim victory at the polls this century my friend. Perhaps there is a God after all.One just cannot tell in whose class interest, he or she is catering to, atheist.
    Last time I checked ,our fervent anti genocide activist Dr. Goopiesing , was locked in a supremacy battle with competing immigrant Nigerians and Cuban doctors , as our health service degenerate to the dogs , but atheist suddenly awoke to the fact that we have a problem of health care neglect for the poor children , underprivileged parents , powerless senior citizens that cannot hop on a plane to Cuba, Miami, and London for splendid medical treatments like the cronyism ,and nepotistic monarchical arch-rivals Panday and Manning.
    He seemed contemptuous of African children that die daily due to the over saturation of idiotic , greedy selfish leaders on that underachieving continent. Let me see , perhaps Asia led by nuclear obsessed industrial giants India, Pakistan, and China are doing a more commendable job , and may even be worth emulating instead , eh atheist? You are free to believe that.
    What comedians indeed! Brother Tommy Joseph ,you better watch out, and I am not telling you twice ,‘de atheist’ want’s your job.

  3. You are at the pinnacle of “look dem worse dan we!” I have said before that I admire the Scandinavian nations – not China, India, Pakistan……… You accuse me of waiting for a third leg but why would I need it if I can’t locate your rear end. You accuse me of supporting UNC but you fail to see that their existence is irrelevant. The only thing I agree with you on is that Tim is racist and as annoying as you are.
    If you really would suggest praying, find me a link that will prove that it works. They use a different method in the atheist regions of the world. It involves getting into a massive crowd and strangling politicians one by one until they do what their employers want.
    Tell me, Neal, why so quick to defend dotishness? Did you get a contract, scholarship, freshly paved road or just a sip from a golden cup(the dregs after patrick was finished)?

  4. It is either one of three things at play here good folks in the wider community , and I beg your indulgences and request any help you can offer.I might not be doing a good job in explaining myself , atheist never read any of my blogs before yesterday,or the good guy is deficient in some form and cannot comprehend our loving Queen’s English.
    Let me again go on record atheist and indicate that I owe no allegiance to any political party in my country, especially the PNM. It is one of the reason , that I need not hide behind stupid phony names , or be timid in forcefully communicating with anyone that I feel does not have our country’s full interest at heart.
    The PNM party unfortunately since 1956 haS been controlled by a bunch of black elites that have used and abused Afro Trinis exclusively, while ensuring that every other racial and ethnic get ahead at their expense.
    As for the UNC ,it is the same kaki pants, just they prefer to do their dirty work from the opposite side of the tribal divide, and once in power,quite stupidly , tends to display true ungratefulness and so usually have no uses for others that initially got them there along with their own bases.
    Do you really think that I am advocating praying atheist . The thing is I feel the same contempt for evolutionary nuts as I feel for all religious fanatics , especially the conniving elites that control them.
    So your lovely Scandinavian nations are all socialist God haters, whose people practice the art of strangling political enemies, atheist? Don’t worry , we are also watching them as they begin to loose that pristine, white monolithic racial look ,with the recent influx of Muslims into their countries determined to marry ,spoil, and or corrupt their women with novel cultural norms.
    I am in agreement ,the UNC as presently constituted is irrelevant as a political force in T&T.
    They emerged as a grassroots party just like the PNM , that over time has lost it’s way ,as dysfunctional reactionaries continues to dominate , with a not so subtle ,narrow neo-racial socialists agenda. This can never work in our country, unfortunately, just like Baker and his thugs were ignored in 1990 by a sophisticated people more concerned in stealing milk and TV sets during his failed coup. Is there a way forward in light of this seeming confusion? I want to think so. Promise to keep the conversation going cousin atheist, for if we cannot form consensus due to minor differences , think for a moment of the many others with limited options , that are close to loosing hope.

  5. I do not hide behind the name I use. There is no means by which anyone can confirm a persons name on this blog so I have simply chosen a name that will allow you to have some understanding of what I am about. You seem to interpret my manner of focusing on the issues to be timidity but allow me to contradict myself and say that I am a bit too careful.

    First you say that you do not support any political party but then, when you speak of UNC, you somehow managed to include,”as presently constituted.” Unless my Queen’s English is abysmally bad, I would say that you have let slip some bias. Perhaps you are aware that their internal elections are coming. Do you like Ramesh or has Kamla caught your eye?

    So we are in agreement when it comes to politics(more or less) but you suggested that I have suddenly awakened and nothing could be further from the truth. Pressure has been building since I was educated enough to understand but I fear that when breaking point is reached, it will amount to nothing. It seems that you are more knowledgeable about local history so I expect that you would understand what I mean when I say that in the last few years it has gotten much worse. In older times there were still cover-ups and diversions that fooled people into a false sense of security(more or less). The average idiot could settle down and focus on racial discrimination but just look at the topics on this very blog and see how very serious things have become.

    The time for government to sit back and enjoy the spoils of our black gold has ended. People are looking to them for everything that they should provide but they don’t know how to do it as neither citizens nor politicians have seen a real government before. The people have been beaten down too many times and have no viable alternatives. They no longer wish to discuss politics because they see no way to break free from this vicious cycle of lies and betrayal. Even if a new hope were to surface, the distrust would destroy it before it leaves the ground.

    Lately, they have broken the local political protocol and are just doing what they want. Bear with me on this – I am aware that they have always done what they wanted but it was in a more sanitized manner and there was, at least, a false sense of them respecting us.

    I really have nothing against you, Neal(don’t call this defensiveness), unless your last name is Parsanlal.

  6. Let’s keep it reaL shall we atheist. For the record, I take nothing personal, that is said to me across this forum , irrespective of how hash, nor should you.I suspect that- with few exception -those of us that choose to remain engage, possess one principal goal in mind, love of country and its vast array of wonderful kaleidoscopic people .
    As for me, such is the case , but equally ,I yearn for a world where social equality , economic prosperity , and political stability prevails for the benefit of all mankind. If you, I , and others fortunate to be bloggers on Trini view ,can proffer some solutions to makes such ideals a reality , so much the better.
    I share your opinion that we have been quickly running down a slippery slope as it were-and I might add -our tribal culture that lend itself it self to political gridlock contributed immensely to the problem throughout the neglected sectors of the country.
    Some seem to think unfortunately that the problem began yesterday, and selective apologist on all sides of the Trini divide ,wish to lay blame every which way but inward.
    It is imperative atheist, that the committed middle classes that despise this perennial underachievement of our country, remain pragmatist, and fully grasp the entrenched two party political realities in our country. The PNM or UNC are not going to disappear any time soon my friend, irrespective to how their enemies think, and only stupid 3rd World savages still see merits in military coups orchestrated by bumbling Sandhurst and West-point engineers that are incapable of even digging a proper drain to save their lives from invading birds.

    The 1986 Panday, Robinson , and Karl political NAR alliance was the best opportunity we had to make a difference , but we won’t bore readers at this juncture as to why they fail. Can we say selfishness, limited respect for the other , and blatant distrust by the power brokers who due to political immaturity ,wanted to perform magic of ‘having their cakes and eat it’ at the same time.
    Panday ,Ramdath , and Sudama destroyed Robbie ,and in the process indirectly elevated an ex horse cop footballer Imam Baker , and empowered Lord Manning and his wife Lady Hazel . Robbie as President, got his sweetest revenge agains his alleged traitor Panday in 2000/2001 post elections. Karl went on to become a leading Caribbean high powered legal luminary , and then an ICC Judge , as he said to hell with dem crazy Trinis politics, while the much despised Ken Gordon continues to take care of his media fiefdom.
    It is true that the much touted daily bogus cries of governmental directed racial discrimination, interethnic genocidal labels won’t stick, when examined in more informed ,respectable global circles . Now if you and I recognized that , so does the political divisive agents that perpetuate them – so the fundamental question is – why do they persist in such foolhardy adventures? It’s call desperation , that results in pandering to a mainly illiterate base.
    Very perceptive of you to observe my deliberate UNC “as presently constituted” remark. If they choose , the UNC can definitely beat the PNM , but can never win again with Mr. Panday and his minions at the helm. The masses though considerably dumb in the views of more competent local experts, can decipher when their collective interest are threatened and will rally behind what they believe are progressive leaders. We should not hold our breaths, but hopefully for the good of the country , both leaders would soon prudently choose successors and leave them to do their jobs.
    You asked, “Do you like Ramesh or has Kamla caught your eye?” I know nothing of Kamla , and generally do not care much for the breed of female politicians that have emerged in most of the Third world including Trinidad and Tobago. Many we have seen – even within our own country -with few exceptions, are snobbish elitist ,that are very terrible , and extremely insensitive to needs of suffering , as such, even within their loud rhetorics they clamor only for cosmetic changes ,in similar fashion to the males male counterparts. As for Ramesh Lawrence Maraj the fromer T&T AG , UNC Chief Whip, and astute pro Privy council , and one time anti death penalty Human Rights legal activist? I prefer to sleep on a bed of Tabaquite flower garden scorpions , alongside a venomous African Black Mamba snake, between 100 (Indian )Naja Panchami festival Cobras ,or on top of a dangerous Brazilian Anaconda , than to trust myself to be within 5 feet of this lawyer and close confidant of both Mr. Panday and Abu Baker.
    Jokes aside,on a final note ,any coalition or alliance that emerge in our country ,whose sole purpose is to defeat and or eliminate the PNM ,would eventually fail, for this is not the way in which nation building , and sustainable development will take place .
    Let’s keep them honest , do our part regardless of how small , and make efforts to reach out to progressives where they exist as we strive to elevate this Rainbow Twin Republic gem. Who knows, Sweet T&T can eventually evolve in a baby Norway ,Denmark, Iceland, Sweden or Finland,which obviously would put a smile on your face , yes?

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