Inauguration of TT’s President

Public scarce on President’s big day
Judging from the crowd that turned out to President George Maxwell Richards’s inauguration ceremony at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo yesterday, it was clear that the people of this country prefer to party to the max with the President during Carnival, than to see him sworn in for another term of office.

Inauguration of TT’s President

Small Is Beautiful
President George Maxwell Richards is calling on Trinidad and Tobago to ensure it does not become a failed state.

Speech gains high marks from Pennelope, DPP

Pres warns T&T against becoming failed state

Pres ‘bigs up’ youths
…at first-ever public swearing-in ceremony

Defends his venue
The nation must be more aware of ceremonial events and their meaning that are part of the official activities of the country, President George Maxwell Richards says…

TT already failed
OPPOSITION LEADER Basdeo Panday yesterday declared that TT “is already a failed state” and President George Maxwell Richards’ public inauguration ceremony at the Hasely Crawford Stadium yesterday, was a waste of taxpayer’s dollars.

15 Responses to “Inauguration of TT’s President”


  • I doubt that when people say they want more involvement in the politics they mean that they want to bear witness to more pomp and ceremony. I suppose in one respect, the president’s public swearing-in served as a distraction from the government’s embarrassing jet deal (in the works). In another, it showed just how much the government is willing to abuse the public purse. Really, what is it with this costly celebratory spectacle? Isn’t the business of election and appointment supposed to be about getting the country in order and not about unnecessary banquets that these ‘royal highnesses’ are throwing to the common people from time to time?

  • So glad that the President has a wider vision than some of the narrow minds that comment. He correctly identified youth involvement as being critical to turning this country around. The nay-sayers would have it that nt many people attended. Note this. It was a weekday. The only people free to go on a weekday are people who are in business for themselves. All others need to ask somebody’s permission.

    Those of lesser vision would not have seen the necessity for providing time off. But, crowds of school children gathered to see Prince Charles and Camilla two weeks ago. Not a single shot in the papers showed any empty seats. Some commended him for taking public planes, forgetting that a whole ship was sailed down her from England, empty, to accommodate them.

    My people cannot see, or will not see, that what we show to impressionable youth is important to their vision of the world. We offer them daily negative ideas, and wonder why they are lost and murderous in their intentions. The President’s vision has my support.

  • this idiot talking bout a failed state.. all he doing is wasting tax payers dollars he is the biggest receiver of state sanctioned welfare. his only contribution to this place is wining for carnival and reading a speech that someone else wrote for him.

    when oh when will be be free of theses vampires!!!!

    hypocrite telling others to do better when he himself only doing worste

  • Perhaps Bullraj would have more credibility as a critic of Dr. Richards if his sentences began with capital letters,andhe did not use four apostrophes at the end. Finally, the word ‘worst’ ends with a ‘t’ not an ‘e’. Old grammarian curmudgeon that I am, these things affect my perception of critics of people with earned doctorates.

    I have not recieved state sanctioned welfare, not even an old age pension.Now, I do not believe that the electeed and appointed leaders of the state are gods, or are sacred, they are human.
    Wold Bullraj run the country better? Perhaps he should form a party and contest the local elections?

  • There are two kinds of critics in this world. Those whose motivations are based on the common good. And those whose motivations are narrow, transparently malicious, and has more to do with the image of the person they are criticizing rather than the policies he or she might be advancing. A rose of a different color would most assuredly get receive a more favourable reception from the latter, even if all the other things were equal.

    What we are witnessing here is what is referred to as “a piling on” by elements rabidly antipathetic to the object of their derision. All you need to do is to abstain from comment in a particular thread and examine the trend. It is almost lynch mob like in its development, and enthusiasm to strip the humanity from Patrick Manning and the PNM. One cannot help but ruefully observe that there are strong yearnings and nostalgia among many in here to see the face of a convicted felon grace the political leadership of Trinidad and Tobago.

    Of course I do not mean that everyone who comments critically in the particular thread is motivated by the same partisan adrenalin rush. But the fact that someone hurling epitaphs like “idiot” at Richards does so in a piece that flagrantly abuses the dictates of grammer, profundly exemplifies what is meant by “the pot calling the kettle black”. Objective readers perusing this blog will no doubt be able to discern who better qualifies for the description “idiot”.

  • The President is part of an entire political process that is oligarchic. Leaders here do not feel they have to account to the people and the President’s office is set up to be the least accountable. We simply could look at the fact that government placed a ban on non-sporting activities at the stadium, but when the President chose this venue for his inauguration and some people questioned his choice of venue given the ban, the response was, ‘the President can get any venue he wants; he is the President!’ No rational given there at all – just a raw demonstration of power.

    We cannot be opposed to colonial, royal-type, oligarchic institutions and be comfortable with these offices as they are. There is too little transparency and accountability. The elitism in those offices is a carry over from British colonial rule. There is too much of a love affair with the trappings of colonialism in Trinidad and Tobago.

    Also, the President and his advisors should have known that given the public uproar over government’s attempt to purchase a jet, many people were not in the mood for an elaborate show of authority by a head of state who is largely a ‘rubber stamp’ for the government.

  • Panday’s claiming that T&T is a failed state is akin to a former CEO criticizing a company after he had looted it right, left and center. The fact that he can still become Prime minister of T&T is an example of the raw demonstration of double standards and special privileges. Most Felons go to jail for stealing a lot less money. I am less concerned about the faux pas of a ceremonial official than the spectacle of a convicted criminal pointing an accusing finger at others from the well of parliament.

  • The chosen site or ceremony is not what is significant here, but rather the quality of the speech made by the President.
    This President once again, like those in positions of authority in T&T, offers no specific solutions to the problems facing the nation. His empty rhetoric offered some emotional appeal but no concrete or workable actions to allievate the sorry state of the nation. Even Mr. Manning in a recent speech referred to the fact that we are living in “troubled times”.
    It is not enough to be instructive to the children in attendance , but the Pres. has to present a process and to suggest a plan to take the nation out of its critical state and prevent it from becoming a “failed state”.

  • Ruel Daniels,

    “I am less concerned about the faux pas of a ceremonial official than the spectacle of a convicted criminal pointing an accusing finger at others from the well of parliament.”

    By the laws of Trinidad and Tobago, Basdeo Panday is not a convicted criminal. His conviction and sentence were squashed. The Court of Appeal has ordered a new trial. It is on that basis Basdeo Panday can sit in Parliament.

    As despicable a person as I find Basdeo Panday (as well as many others including members of the PNM), the system of governance in Trinidad and Tobago allows people like them, who we believe are guilty of corruption but have not been convicted before the courts, to be parliamentarians.

    I am not as concerned about Basdeo Panday as I do not believe he can ever become Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago again. He is not even an effective Opposition Leader.

    However, I am more concerned about those people now holding the reigns of power who are repeating the wrongs that caused me to campaign against the UNC and former PNM regimes.

  • [b]This President once again, like those in positions of authority in T&T, offers no specific solutions to the problems facing the nation. His empty rhetoric offered some emotional appeal but no concrete or workable actions to allievate the sorry state of the nation. Even Mr. Manning in a recent speech referred to the fact that we are living in “troubled times”.
    It is not enough to be instructive to the children in attendance , but the Pres. has to present a process and to suggest a plan to take the nation out of its critical state and prevent it from becoming a “failed state[/b]

    But does his ceremonial position require him to offer specific solutions to the issues inundating the state? Yes, I can accept and understand frustrations over the pomp and frippery at a point and time when the nation is back a wall in respect of crime and violence. But isn’t charging him with a responsibility no other ceremonial head of state in any part of this world is charged with a bit over the top? And would’nt he be stealing the thunder of the Prime Minister, so to speak, by doing what you require him to do?

    This was an inauguration ceremony. This was not the kind of forum that leaders provide nitty gritty ideas about problem solving, even if it was his responsibil;ity to do thus. In addition, if the specifics of the solutions to the issues of T&T were so simple that they could be announced or proliferated at a ceremonial gathering, we would not be having this discussion.

    The speeches of those being inaugurated at these kinds of ceremonies are always emotional. They are always trite, generalised, massaging the periphery without venturing into the core. Are the problems and issues of T&T so ordinary that the solutions to them can be given in a half hour speech? It is not the criticisms that I find uncomfortable. It is this tendency to use even the most mundane of ceremonies as a “gotcha” tool to vent animosity. And that takes the criticisms into realms beyond the objective.

  • sorry ruel all them big words reminds me of winston dookeran………u seem to be on the same plane as those who are supporters of state sponsored stupidity………well it takes all kind to make the world a derelict place to be

    linda sorry to buss ur bubble..dis ent english A clarse

    u parang the wrong house

  • Well when you begin calling people idiots bullraj, you need to communicate that sentiment in a format that does not line you up under that very description on.

    There is a whole heap of stupidity inundating the mindset of people in and of T&T, and most it is not state sponsored. Hypocrisy has become a way of life so to speak, the norm as opposed to an abberation in terms of the politics of T&T. And there are very few throwing stones who do not live in palaces made entirely of class.

  • Ah waitin’to see what specifics all these bloggers, busy criticizing, would suggest. Could one of you issue, via this blog, a five point plan for rescuing us, and our children, from the morass of crime and murder, including infanticide by parent? I am tired of you guys cutting down, and not building up a damned thing.

    et me give you a start:

    Dear.Mr. President and people of Trinidad and Tobago, here are my ideas of what the president should have been saying on Inauguration Day…

    Go for it fellas. Let’s see your brain, and not your invective at work.

  • To Linda Edwards:
    Here are the answers and suggestions which you seek…an article by
    Selwyn R Cudjoe

    Creating community

    Today, young people fear neither God nor man.
    Our young people need to know what we expect of them and the common values that hold our soci-ety together.
    When I grew up in Tacarigua in the 1940s and 50s, my mother made sure I attended Tacarigua EC School while my grandparents immersed themselves in their Yoruba religion.

    Each year, we celebrated the Christian holidays (Christmas, Easter, etc) but on those glorious nights of October when the Shango drums rang out through the village we all went to Mother Gerald’s Shango tent. Cousin Lily’s thanksgivings, Tantie Lenora’s devotion to the Shouter Baptists, and the respect we paid to our ancestors on All Saints night were parts of that corpus of ritual belief that gave village life a sense of purpose and wholeness.

    In those magical days, Shango and Obeah kept our community relatively stable. Murders were far and few in-between; we left our doors open because we trusted one another; stick-fighting, an African martial art, held a prominent place; my mother conducted her sou-sou, an African practice of thrift; and folks came together to help one another during harvests and the building of homes (gayap).

    In all of these practices a sense of community transcended our individual concerns. Victor Turner describes this condition as the pull of communities, an intuition that transcends our coded roles as individuals—a bonding of human beings who are fundamentally equal and associated together in community.

    Inherent in these practices was a notion of “dread” that kept our community together. The power of Shango, the fear of Obeah, the respect paid to our ancestors on All Saints night, and the respect for our elders told us there was something larger than our puny selves that kept us within the straight and narrow.

    No matter how much of a badjohn (anti-social) a person was, when the drums of Shango called, man and woman left their home and headed toward the palais for a communal rendezvous. Those who believed in Shango immersed themselves in its rituals; unbelievers respected the power of the Yoruba god.

    In those days we paid reverence to a force that was larger than us and which contributed “an essential generic human bond without which there could be no society” (Turner).

    Today, young people fear neither God nor man. The quality of dread does not exist in their universe, very little is worthy of respect, and their experiences teach them that there is nothing outside of the self.

    Instead, we preach (and they believe) a gospel of prosperity that glorifies the pomp and vanity of life around them, we revel in the life-giving properties of material prosperity, and legitimises a quest to achieve unlimited pleasure.

    Therefore when President Maxwell Richards analogises the nation’s predicament to that of “a state that fails” rather than “a state that prevails” and sees the solution of our problem as laying inside the “school bags” of our nation’s children, he does not represent fully the challenges our young people face. Beyond draining the school bag metaphor we need to examine what we are asking of this generation of school-bag carriers?

    Our young people need to know what we expect of them and the common values that hold our society together. We should reason with them rather than hector them, explain what is required of them rather than re-echo the same tired appeals, respect their intelligence rather than violate their rationality.

    A society cannot exist if it is not grounded in common beliefs nor can it go forward without having a sense that we are working toward the same ends. We can start this process by aiming to achieve a few common objectives: no one should leave school without knowing how to read and write (we used to call it the 3Rs), without a knowledge of our country’s literature and history, and without knowing the common values that undergird our society.

    No young person should arrive at maturity (that is, around the age of 20) without having performed some form of supervised community service. He should have a mentor, be it a university student or a responsible adult. Each adult should lead a disciplined personal life (we are the ones from whom they learn their anti-social behaviour) and each primary and secondary school teacher should be computer literate.

    We should encourage more research about our country’s past and present, involve each young person in community activities, and inculcate into every young person a sense of individual worth and personal responsibility. We should use our media (both print and electronic) to promote the values that we deem desirable and place greater emphasis on civic, aesthetic, and spiritual (not necessarily religious) education.

    Our government should spend less on spectacular buildings and more on libraries, cultural and sporting centres.

    We also need to encourage our “edgemen,” that is, our budding prophets and artists “who strive with passionate sincerity to rid themselves of the clichés associated with status incumbency and role playing to enter into vital relations with other men in fact or imagination.” Let us encourage them to stick to the aesthetic and philosophical vocations that grip them as youths.

    In this day and time, if would be nice if we can offer our young people what my elders offered me: a sense of dread and the possibility of human flourishing.

  • these people need to realize the BIG issue of what is going on in trinidad and tobago!!!!!!!!
    we are better than that.. how low will we stoop man! imagine people in guyana now laughing at we!!!

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