Dictatorship Politics in TnT

By Dr. Kwame Nantambu
September 15, 2008

PM Patrick ManningWhile the leaders of the labor/trade union movement should be lauded for attempting to shut down the country on the 8th September, “Day of Protest”, one must, however, posit this protest action within the context of dictatorship politics, political immaturity and those people electoral politics in TnT.

Patrick Manning knows that the same people who may rant and rage and even misbehave on the “Day of Protest”, however, on election day, they will not vote for those people; they will vote PNM. That’s the stark reality of electoral politics in TnT.

The leaders of the labor/trade union movement must realize that Patrick Manning is a democratically elected dictator. Ergo, they have to utilize/wield the power of the ballot to get rid of dictator Patrick Manning and his regime.

These leaders must send a very clear and concise message to Patrick Manning and the PNM: We the People brought you into office and We the People will take you out of office.

In other words, if the leaders of this movement want to get rid of the Manning’s regime, then, they must mobilize the power of We the People and make sure that the PNM does not win any seats in the upcoming local elections.

This is the only potent electoral message they can and must send to Patrick Manning and the PNM. This will be the clear signal to the PNM that political maturity is now a reality in TnT.

The fact of the matter is that dictators understand one thing and one thing only, that is, power. In this specific case of democratic dictatorship in TnT, then, the only thing that Patrick Manning will react to is the power of We the People.

Put another way, in the same way “money talks and BS walks”, votes talk and marches, protest actions, shutdowns, etc., walk— “Resistance two” notwithstanding. The stark reality is that the only outcome that Patrick Manning must be forced to pay attention to as a democratically-elected dictator is the number of seats the PNM wins and/or does not win in any election.

Patrick Manning must be made to understand that even though under the rubric of democratic dictatorship, the dictum is :”The Prime Minister has spoken”; however, under the rubric of people’s democracy: We the people will speak. We the people must and will always have the final say, not you, Mr. Prime Minister.

The leaders of the movement must inform all those who stayed home on 8th September that they must not vote for any PNM candidate in the upcoming local government elections— the PNM has got to go by any and all means necessary.

On local elections day, We the People must signal to Patrick Manning and the PNM candidates that We the People are sick and tired of being “bamboozled, hoodwinked and took” by the PNM for the past fifty years. Enough is enough.

Furthermore, on local elections day, all the people who stayed home on 8th September must wear T-shirts that say: DO NOT VOTE PNM : DAY OF PNM ABSENTEEISM. We the People must tell Patrick Manning that we totally refuse to continue “stepping up with you” and the PNM.

It is at this crucial and survival juncture that the insidious nexus between dictatorship politics, political immaturity and electoral politics not only becomes inimical, detrimental, diabolical and antithetical to the core national interests of TnT and its citizens but Vision OO/OO also rears its ugly head amidst the grandiose splendor of Manhattan/San Francisco/Miami-like tall buildings bequeathed with the ubiquitous flooding of downtown Port of Spain and its environs whenever a miniscule amount of rain falls.

In the final analysis, until some modicum of political maturity were to become a vital component of TnT’s body politic coterminous with the complete eradication of those people electoral mind-set/modus operandi, then, the formulation and implementation of real, genuine, effective people-oriented public policy “will remain a fleeting illusion to be pursued but never attained.”

Shem Hotep (“I go in peace”).

Dr. Kwame Nantambu is a part-time lecturer at Cipriani College of Labour and Co-operative Studies and University of the West Indies.

23 thoughts on “Dictatorship Politics in TnT”

  1. I have much respect for the work Dr. Nantambu has done in making the world aware of the historical contributions Africa and African’s have made to the world. But on this political issue, i have to say that a complete change of the neo-colonial politics in T&T is what we need.

    A change from one government to the opposition or any other party in that current climate of watered down British Parliamentary politics of T&T will not suffice.

    Trinidad and other caribbean islands will not sleeep, while Latin America, the soil of which the islands were seperated millions of years ago, are awake and roaring! It’s is only a matter of time before these western, Empire backed cronies fall under the weight of the struggling masses in laventille and caroni.

    What is needed and what will happen is the formation of a party that will address the needs of these people who have given so much to the nation only to be sold out for foreign hydrocarbon interest.

    A revolutionary party, one that is will not lie to the people. one that will not sell the nations resources and industries like the current one is doing.

    As we write, the CGA(Citrus Growers Association) is being sold, because it is “loosing money” i.e poor management.
    all that is needed is proper management, a new vision which should include the modernization of the plant and it managerial approach. and the re-energizing of the nations agricultural sector to produce, like before, the local citrus needed, instead of importing, as is done today.

    Instead the government prefers the sell a great percent of CGA to private interest! this is clearly to fulfill the requirements of the IMF/World Bank, though the PNM will not say so.

    The top heavy approach to “development” in T&T ushered in under this and previous governments prove this fact. it is a text book approach by the government to slowly introduce the “liberalization” of the economy.

    The foreshore is the prime example of this approach where business and government are being “advanced” and “merged” at the expense of social and national services.

    Where are the new day care centers, primary Schools, secondary schools, hospitals, elderly homes and Health centers?

    Illiteracy has become looming factor in T&T and unless something is done about the conditions of run down schools we shall slip back in this race. How can student advance to UTT without the conditions or schools to get them there?
    Are we to expect entrance passes from students who’s classrooms are falling apart?
    What will happen is mostly the rich will attend this “free” University because the poor will not be prepared!

    There should be a modern hospital in every region of T&T. But i wont expect that from the corrupt puppet government’s such as the ones that are recycled on our soil. The tobago fiasco is suffice to kill that argument.

    NAR, PNM, UNC, COP or any other western backed deception will not bring change to the nation. they are all variations and creatures of the same exploitative “parents” Britain and America. And as we all know “the fruit does not fall far from the tree”

    Thus we have the upcoming deceptive move, at the behest of Dad (America) to transform the nations constitution into one better suited to his liking, Having a president instead of a Prime Minister
    being able to tie into the constitution his new “terrorism” laws “which will bring US military bases to the region” to counter the Latin American peoples movement towards freedom and have all sorts of clauses in it, which will allow for the plundering of the nations wealth by US/British/German and other “business” organs of the respective governments.

    This is what we have to make the nation aware of. Not the petty “bachanal” politics that keeps them passive and confused about the conditions they live in.

    Of corse those who belive the illusion of a middle class in T&T and Big Business such as the drug smugglers, now legal enterprises “we all know who” sector like it that way. the can go on exploition our nation while casinos, prostitution, crime etc etc is running rampant, thus delving the nation into further immoral confusion.
    Which is exactly why the “poor” youth are doing what they are doing today in T&T.

    We must expose those elements in T&T, for to long now has this important issue been swept under the rug. The ones who bring in the drugs, guns are closely involved with the corrupt “leaders”.

    We must expose this connection in order to begin to win back the people from their captivity.
    We have to show that those drug smugglers do not care about T&T and should be in the line waiting to be hanged!
    It does not take a much to do this, They are the same ones who had stolen a part of the nations heritage in the Bucco, pegion point section of Tobago for their own private purposes, showing total disrespect for T&T.
    They are the same one’s who are exploiting “poor” food service workers in their restaurant’s on Maraval road. Let us get them out to! not just the government that they help fund.

    Any true workers march must address these issues or else it is just a farce!

    A government that stands on these types of principles is what we need.

  2. oooo Neil!! Sounds so mouth-watering. Much admiration for you for being so optimistic, I am too; but your colourful presentation of what could be the ideal road to recovery and prosperous future makes one want to throw his/her hat in the ring and pick up a political rod and march hand in hand with the others brave enough to take that same trip.

    I have been tempted so many times to pack up and leave Toronto and head back to T$T and pick up the fight for my people; then I stop and think, are there others willing to drop their buzy life style of Partying, beach and river lime and pick up the rod and march? Will I be giving up my “OK” life in Toronto for a suicidal mission? I have been waiting and watching for such rivals of the mass destruction currently plaguing the country; for people colour, gender and partisan blind to recreate what we once had and double or tripple that. I’ve seen and heard a lot of rhetorical language and people looking for a piece of the power just to secure theirs and their family’s future and the hell with the others.

    If and whenever those soldiers ever decide ENOUGH IS ENOUGH and call on me, i’ll be willing and able to answer that call. Until then, I’ll keep blogging and planting whatever seed I can to encourage others to be strong and keep faith that something good will happen, that God will actually look behind him and see our country and the suffering being endured.

  3. People had their chance with the COP to break away from the corruption and racist politics but maybe it’s the fear of being under “Massa” as it was evident that the part had alot of persons of European Descent this is why Afro and Indo Trini’s did not want to support such a party and I’ll be frank T&T has refined racial politics into an art form where once Afro Trini’s get in power the Police is free to beat up on Indian-Trinidadian men and you wonder why Indian men will never support the PNM check your self.
    The PNM followers will follow Patrick Manning blindly until all of T&T is dead!

    They need to wake up and realise when they are starving and they can’t afford a hops bread that Patrick Manning Don’t Love you!

    It’s funny to hear the PNM bigwigs that prattle their arses in the banks about how they have enough money to look after 3 generations of their family while the poor man has to struggle to put a meal on the table on a daily basis.

  4. I am fully in agreement with Neil, concerning the illusion that any real change is possible under the corrupt political parties that all bow to the same class interests that are inimical to the interests, resources and welfare of the masses of TnT.

    Dr. Nantambu’s appeal, while a voice in the wildernes, is important in bringing some segments of the society to the realization that the ruling PNM, and by inference the other parties, is not the solution to our problems.

  5. I think that Trinis need to start honestly asking themselves what they are looking for in National leadership.

    The last 4 respondents have presented some really interesting views, and it is encouraging to see that people don’t just accept the PNM, UNC,CoP because they represent our perceived individual”racial” interests. This is what “divide and rule” is really about, and sadly, I think that the majority of Trinis have bought into divide and rule over the last few elections.

    How T&T could move away from this would present a very interesting discussion. In the very least, I think that new political blood is required across the board. But who is going to let in new blood…Patrick and Basdeo? Yea…I guess if the new blood panders to their views, or if the new blood is their relative!!

    Trinidad requires a revolution of sorts…over the current mindset, over the old ways of doing things, and definitely over our current expectations of our politicians.

  6. I think the change in “mindset” has already occured. What is needed is organization and struggle that would involve, inspire and empower the masses to throw off the yolk of their oppresor and his indigenous overseers. The people know instinctively that all the “solutions” offered for their pain and suffering are akin to a confidence scheme. The “divide and rule” on the basis of appeal to racism is the most potent weapon at their disposal, throughout the world. They also include religious bigotry when this is to their advantage. All of these approaches are not new, but have existed since the dawn of class society and utilized in the Christian Crusades, as the buttress of the feudal system, throughout colonial conquest, during slavery, and now under capitalism.

    No system bent on oppression and exploitation has been eternal. This one will be no different. The people would make change, despite Manning, Panday, Dookeran and other apologists of the exploiters.

  7. Philip, Every contribution on this blog is welcomed and appreciated. The time and energy it took to concentrate and write a piece is note worthy. However, while we try to encourage and motivate Trinbagonians to take the current situation in the country serious we also need to speak to them and “not at them.” We can’t empower them or teach them if the linguistic jargon we use is not comprehensible to them. This is not a time to be sending them to the dictionary or thesarus to put together a synopsis of what we are saying. Plain English is best. It’s nice to see a fellow Trinibagonian in command of such expressive jargon, it shows that we are keeping up with the rest of the world, but most of us are still lagging way behind. It is those of us lagging behind that are holding steadfastly to the old doctrine, Manning, Eric Williams, Chambers, Panday and others to name a few.

    ” They also include religious bigotry when this is to their advantage. All of these approaches are not new, but have existed since the dawn of class society and utilized in the Christian Crusades, as the buttress of the feudal system, throughout colonial conquest, during slavery, and now under capitalism.” 90% of Trinbagonians have not a clue what is involved in that paragraph! How then can we turn around and blame them for the various positions they take; they don’t know better and speaking in tongues does not help.

    I hope my critism on our piece does not bring about contempt, but helps to navigate to the true language that most nationals will certainly pay attention to and given a fair opportunity to explore different ideas we may present on blogs like these.

  8. Might i suggest something like this:

    You raised a good point Neal. To That i will say that those of us who have been exposed to “reality” being on the outside looking in after having been inside. Must make their contribution to the freeing of T&T from these corrupt exploiters. It has always been so through out history as you rightly pointed out.

    What is needed is a TTUF (Trinidad & Tobago United Front) a party of non-sectarian “progressive” elements, combining the unions, party’s of similar orientation, youth organizations, Women’s organizations, cultural organizations, the PSA and the progressive elements of the public and private sector etc. All formed into a coalition that will smash the western neo liberal multi party petty politics of T&T.

    One that will have a program that reads like this:

    We seek to impliment a wide range of much needed social reforms desperatly lacking in T&T

    1) The building of a new state hospitals in 5 regions of the country (South, West, East, North, Central). A project that will be at the top of the agenda for this government, It will begin as soon as we are in office. The projected completion being 2016. It will include training of hundreds of medical personal to meet the nations needs, by a program of cross training and consultation with our regional sister Cuba and our international one’s such as Canada, utilizing UTT and our partners respective houses of academia.

    The major hospitals to be constructed in port of spain (To replace the general hospital) and Central.
    Tobago: (The completion of the Scarbarogh General Hospital)
    And where as these will be specialized hospitals and will also serve the dual purpose of training as well,
    The remaining regions will have hospitals of a lesser but no more important responsibility.
    The back bone of this project will be the building and staffing of medical community centers across every impovrished sector of T&T to be staffed by those trained in the program. Tobago having centers in Castara, Goodwood, Charlotville and Bucco.
    Thus creating a role for the “New Doctor”, Nurses and medical staff in the nation.
    Some of the community centers will cater exclusively to the elderly and children.

    2) Reviving the agricultural sector by ushering in new agrarian reforms with a concentration on bio fuels such as ethanol thus limiting dependancy on hydrocarbons. Whiles exploring the possibility of soy farming to support the the corn and cane ethanol production, We shall educate the population on this issue so that the clear choice will be seen by all. This inititive will slowly but surely detach our hydrocarbon dependent economy away from its foreign “interest”.

    We shall also re-introduce rice and citrus farming by creating farming communes, issuing land grants to trained farmers, these local farms will be subsidized to produce the necessary output required for local, regional and eventually international consumption. Thus rescuing the now dead agricultural industry that is an imperative for any nation that seeks self sufficiency.
    We will support this by building the necessary state of the art factories and utilizing a modern approach towards the management of this industry. Thus minimizing the dependency on Guyanese rice and citrus imports.

    3) Subsidising aqua farming while complimenting the National Fisheries.

    We shall introduce a wide range of coastal and inland county fish farms which will see the introduction of species from the south pacific and other regions such as Ahi tuna, and Mahi Mahi to compliment the growing specialized taste or needs of the foreign markets. While increasing production of the national fisheries output by implementing a badly needed state of the art upgrade of facilities, combining that with a management overhaul. For the local market we shall farm species such as fresh water Talapia as well as local species to subsidize the nations poor and needy.

    4) Ensuring “all” National utilities and companies run at their most efficient level by implimenting the necessary upgrades and training where necessary. We intent within the first two years in office to have 98% percent of homes furnished with the necessary water and electricity lines. “Where ever” there is a home we shall go! thus finally putting to an end the water shortages and blackouts that has plagued nation’s poor so chronically since the 1970’s

    5) Natural gas: currently in 2008 in T&T most nationals still have to purchase tanks of gas from local companies to prepare food at home.
    What we propose is the laying of the infrastructure and the running of underground pipelines through out every region of the nation to provide affordable natural gas to the stoves of every national within geographical scope. Thus ushering in the 21 century standards that have been ignored by previous and present governments.

    4) Education is the right of all. This being so we will ensure that the nation maintains a highly literate and educated status by preparing the youth with the necessary tools and environment to do so. We do not believe that the run-down classrooms and antiquated curriculum of today provides for this. We further see a more “devastating” division between the rich and the poor with regards to who has access to a good education at the primary to university level. We there fore propose:

    The upgrade, and necessary construction of “all” schools in T&T. Pre-K, Primary, Seconday Schools, Trade and the completion of UTT (This also will be a priority to be done within the first 2 years in office, with UTT’s completion being in 4).

    Given the national crisis and its effects on the nations youth brought about by the current and previous governments introduction of casinos, prostitution, crime, drug running etc. We propose a solution to once again instill a sense of purpose and nation hood in the youth today which they only know when the soca warriors wins a game.

    Mandatory National Service:

    We shall institute a program of mandatory national service (MNS) for the youth of the nation. This would become effective upon turning 16. It would include cross regional training, i.e. the youth from Caroni will train in another region and vice versa in the following industries.

    Medical: Work along medical personnel in hospitals, emergency management, community medical centers.

    Agriculture: working with farmers and national agro industries

    Military: Compulsory military service age 17, with a two year required service, irrespective of “class” all must participate.

    Hydrocarbons: Working in the nations oil and natural gas industry

    Bio Fuels: working with national farms, assisting in harvest etc
    (this falls under agriculture as well)

    Aqua/Fisheries: Working with the National fisheries and fish farms
    Food: Working in National School feeding programs, Hospitality

    Utilities: Working with the National utilities e.g WASA, T&TEC, TSTT.

    Tourism: Working in National Airport, Ferries, Rails Etc
    Conservation: Working on projects to safe guard our National parks and treasures.

    Government Administration: Working as an entry level trainee in all administrative organs of government.

    We shall also include exchange programs with our regional and international sister countries.

    On Government:

    We believe that all are Trinbagonians and therefore do not seek to seperate the population based on ethnic groupings while taking into consideration each historical, cultural and socio-political contributions to the nation. We believe that the to long neglected Carib indiginous population in Trinidad are the origional people of this land. We therefore shall include a representative of their ruling council to sit permantly on the partys central executive.

    We believe in a government of the people ran by the people, therefore we shall institute Regional Ruling Councils (RRC) across T&T.

    1)Each RRC shall elect its representatives from the cross spectrum of the region to comprise a sector or board of 12 members.

    2)One elected representitive, shall chair the council and report to the national central government on the regions needs and plans, which shall be supported by the National Central Government.

    3) Anyone belonging to the region can be a member of the council regardless of class, ethnic group, or gender.

    4) It will be illegal for private industry to have representation on the peoples (RRC)

    4) to sit on the elected board one must be 21yr’s or older.

    The Government structure:

    President Vice President
    Central Executive
    National Central Government/Tobago Central Government
    Ministries/Ministers/Armed forces
    Regional Ruling Councils

    (Most of the ministries will remain intact with the exception of office of the president and the attorney general. In the case of the attorney general each region will have an attorney general thus eliminating the prestige and central power, the attorney general will be attached to the central executive, also the office of the president as a ministry is irrelevant therefore eliminated. Tertiary education will be removed from the ministry of science and technology and be placed in the education ministry where it belongs). Also we have added a National&Regional Emergency ministry to better guard against the natural disasters faced in the globe by man made and natural disasters. We shall also restructure the ministry of National Security to better prepare that nation for the treats faced in todays globalized world, we shall therefore rename it the Ministry of National Defense. We shall feel out the process of ministries and along the way make adjustments suited for the nations future.


    National & Regional Emergency
    Agriculture, Land and Marine Resources
    Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs
    Foreign Affairs
    Legal Affairs
    National Defense
    Planning, Housing and the Environment
    Public Administration
    Public Utilities
    Science & Technology
    Social Development
    Sport and Youth Affairs
    Trade and Industry
    Works and Transport

    Regional Ruling council(RRC): These represent the true voce of the people, through these councils, projects that will build and strengthen communities will be implemented. The building of roads, hospitals, schools, medical centers etc, will all be done by and through the governance of the RRC in conjunction with the (NCG) National Central Government, and the relevant ministries. i.e If a region has an issue with lack of water, or roads to be fixed. Instead of going through the cluttered bureaucracy of going down to the nearest WASA office to wait in long lines, only to not have the problem addressed because of a back log coupled with poor management.
    The (RRC) through its elected body or council which will represent the constituents that comprise the council, will make all those decisions on their own, having the autonomy to do so, then through an elected representative report directly to the NCG which will then support the approved venture. Thus freeing up WASA to focus on solutions and not creating more problems instead.

    On issues of law:


    We believe that the nations father Dr Eric Williams was correct when he made into law only nationals could own land in T&T, therefore we shall Reinstate the constitutional clause that was removed by a previous government who’s only concern was getting a share of the wealth from those development deal’s. Which has encroached on the environment and people of Trinidad, but Mostly Tobago. Where today real estate is out of the reach of those who have toiled for the country.

    Therefore we will repeal the (Foreign Investment Tobago Land Acquisition Order) whereby foreigners must now obtain a license to acquire land for any purpose on the island of Tobago. This act, though made into law by the current government to address the burning concerns of the citizens of T&T still falls short of the required solution. We all know that through bribery, one can still go around this law.

    So we will make it “constitutional law” that “only” Nationals by birth can own and purchase land in T&T, all other’s can enter into lease arrangements that cannot exceed 30yrs.

    Price regulation:

    For to long now goods and services have been at the control of some unscrupolous business men, we shall set into motion the necessary pricing control mechanisms to ensure that the nations poor can acquire the goods and services needed at a fair price.

    Tax Control:

    We shall repeal the criminal Vat tax that was forced on the nation by the IMF/World Bank during the early 80’s. This tax has become a noose around the neck of the nation’s people who can hardly keep abreast with the rising prices of today.

    Utilities Rates:

    We shall reduce the utilities tax/rates that have steadily increased while service has decreased to catastrophic levels and CEO’s such as WASA’s have salaries of over $9,00,000TT. We shall make it Law, that every house hold must get affordable basic necessities such as water and electricity and gas.

    Foreign Private Enterprise:

    We do take into consideration the contributions made by those Foreign private enterprises that seek the nations welfare and well being, this as it may we shall not be leinent with those who seek to exploit the nations people and their wealth. There fore we will not be in support of any type of “Free Zone” enterprise on our shores. We support free trade, that right of a nations people to benefit from their trade agreements with other sovereign nations, while respecting the very notion itself that all nations are sovereign.

    Therefore we shall seek regional initiatives with our Latin American, Caribbean sister countries and intensify the trade initiatives and investments with our International trading partners such as the Chinese, India, Africa, EU, Canada etc.

    We will reserve the right to terminate or re-negotiate any deal done by the previous government that was not in the interest of the Nation.

    Local enterprises:

    We recognize that Local enterprises have played a key role in the development of the nation. Therefore while we understand the need to limit it’s ability to over price, and shall monitor its compliance with safety laws, workers rights, fair trade etc, as with the international companies, We will work together to create a more egalitarian economic model, one which will benefit the National interest of which all nationals are equal partners, first.

    On Indigenous rights:

    Recognizing that the decendants of the indigenous Carib population have been residing in T&T since the year 250BC, 7000 years. And in keeping with the United Nations Declaration Of Right OF Indigenous People’s adopted by the General Assembly, 13th September 2007.

    We shall therefore seek to ensure and redress the historical abuses done to this neglected population in the following areas, whiles
    giving the Santa Rosa community “total” autonomy over the decision making and governance of each, through the ruling Council Of Elders and the Queen/King.


    1) A Community Hospital Center, Primary School, and Pre k center shall be established in the Arima Santa Rrosa community to re-dress those lacking needs.

    2)A state of the art National Amerindian Museum shall be erected and established to house all carib cultural and archaeological artifacts:

    3) We shall revise the notion in the national educational system that the term Carib is equated to “cannibalism” and “beer”.

    4)We shall work with the community to Establish a “National holiday”. Which will be called “Hyarima Day, The National Day OF Solidarity With Indigenous Peoples” (December 1st of every year)

    The day will commemerate the December 1st 1699 Arena uprising that led to horrific death of many heroic Caribs, who were defending their land against the Catholic Church brutal colonial missions of that time. It will also be used to reinforce the need for “true” national hero’s such as Hyarima “The Great” the last Carib cheif that fought the colonial forces successfully up to 1699 and led the liberation struggle now called The Arena Massacre.

    This day will be used to highlight nation and international injustice, and reinforce the importance of the Carib to the nation, for they has given us among other things, through the fusion of the Amerindian, African and Spanish cultures, the most memorable way to celebrate christmas by infusing parang and pastel culture into it.
    A viable fishing culture that had sustained the caribbean fishermen up to the 20th century among other things.

    4) We shall also shall also address the legal question of land that was illegally t confiscated during the colonial occupation. Starting with the San fernando hill that was ounce a sacred sight for ceremonies and worship, we shall give back those hill to the carib, whiles aiding in its up keep and redressing the negative ecological impact brought about by mining and tourism through the years.

  9. Felix, forget the part about Neal raising a good point i was commenting on something he raised in another section of this blog.

  10. Felix, it is never my intention to do what you have here accused me of doing. You may be surprised at what the people know and understand. I don’t believe in assuming what people may or may not know or want to know. You are making a serious error in believing that you have to mince words and concepts for the masses to understand.

    Neil, your contribution to this dialogue is remarkable in its scope and detail. This would require careful analysis and evaluation before any type of meaningful responses can be offered. The governence structure you provided with a NCG and Regional Councils, gets closer to grassroots participation and decision-making, that is in theory. Even the ruthless exploiters would see no problem with this model if they are able to control it. In theory, there is nothing amiss with the US “one person one vote” system of democratic representation. Yet, every City Council, state legislature and the Federal government serve the same capitalist interests that are permitted to dominate lawmaking relative to property rights and economic and financial transactions. How do we prevent this from happening here in TnT, if we don’t address the role and interests of foreign capital, financiers and transnational/global corporations in the development of TnT? Should the government of TnT exercise ownership over our national resources on behalf of our citizens? Why are we afraid to nmationalize our oil and natural gas?

    These are some initial reactions to your very outstanding effort.

  11. I was neither assuming or accusing you of anything, it was just an observation. I asked my oldest daughter and my uncle to read what you posted. In the end, I had to explain what you were talking about. I grew up amongst those elders whom never had an education, some education (standard 1 and less) and the younger one who had a form 5 education. Amongst them all they had difficulty deciphering the essence of a message with such expressive jargon. If we want to convince them of certain ideas and open their minds to a better way of life and that it depends on their choices, we need to communicate with them effectively; speaking to their level of comprehension is vital not trivial.

  12. Thanks philip. I am still developing the judicial and other programs to tackle those issues as well, but i think that, in the case of the present climate of T&T politics, in order to truly get what we all know we need, like complete Nationalization. The people will have to be in total support. Those are not decisions that individuals can make on behalf of the Nation. The current climate is not one where the people are totally convinced that their suffering is such that you can move right into a socialist revolution.

    Therefore you have to get into power on a ticket of progressive reforms that can effect change, then, having already won the peoples confidence by delivering on the promises of the much needed social reforms within the first year. And having the backing of the people in the changing of the corrupt organs of government as the “only” medium to get more needed social change.

    You can now begin to fully educate the nation on the socio-political nature of their previous conditions. Convincing them that this is is the only way to effect further change. Through National Political Education. And you would not be lying to them, and they will know this through your actions!

    But”Only”with the backing of the nations majority can this be achieved! and it can be done! because unlike what some would have us believe the majority do not want devisions! they want food that they can afford, Jobs, access to education and homes, why? because they are POOR! it is them we have to speak to, that is why felix point is valid.

    “We have to play dead first, to catch cobo Alive”!!

    I understand what felix is saying, i don’t think he disagrees with you at all it’s just that we all share progressive views that have to be made clear to the populace. As different as they might be to to the present ones espoused by the UNC COP and PNM. The success that these exploiters have, lies in the ability to communicate their programs, as exploitative as they may be! in simple, bachanal terms. So we have to refine our language so like felix said, a child and an elder gets the point.

  13. Today I read an article on the Express that Manning is planning to have a Rose Garden installed in the PM’s residence. Looking back at all the Billiions Manning spent on the PM”s residence and the Billions he has planned to spend, it just hit me that Manning has insider information that no one else knows. A man who’s takes a blank cheque from the taxpayers and just does as he pleases is sending a subliminal message via the upgrades that he, Manning, is planning to occupy the PM’s residence until his death and possibly beyond. In my opinion his actions speaks louder than words. He is treating this property as his own personal parcel of land. I believe that Trinibagonians should band their bellies and be prepared to suffer, be murdered, raped and robbed for a long time to come; cuz manning ain’t goin no where.

    He also said “The design, the design of the residence and diplomatic centre is a very advanced eh. It’s an advanced design and it was designed for official entertainment. Trinidad and Tobago is assuming NEW PROMINENCE IN THE CARIBBEAN and in the Western Hemisphere.”

    Manning wants to carry the flag of THE MAN that made Trinidad and Tobago prominent. He will carry the flag alright, the first out-right dictator with a facist demeanor and a “do-k-dam” attitude of what anyone else has to say. when he gets cancer in his scrotum and diabetese with a touch of parkinsons and can’t wipe his own arse, then and only then will he realize what he has done to the Trinbagonian people. Then again, there are idiots perfectly capable of putting Hazel in the white house because it’s manning’s wife. Is there really hope? I wonder.

  14. i have a question, please answer honestly and truthfully. To anyone, I will not hold it against you or attack you in anyway for your honesty and truthfulness. I respect others’ opinions even though i may disagree.

    Is there anyone here that is an ardent supporter of Manning? If yes, Can you please enlighten me with some facts as to why you support him. I have been searching in every nook and cranny to find one reason to be a “ya” person for manning and can’t seem to find any.

    Please don’t patronize me with silly answers. I’m very serious and I always welcome constructive critisizm and always open minded to be educated where i may be ignorant.

  15. Felix I have attempted to lay to rest this issue before , by showing you an others how people think and operate in the real world. This is not some obscure theory I am putting forth. It’s simple , ” if better cannot be done let the worst continue.”If Mr. Panday and his Party as well as the million other fraction cannot come together like was done once in 1986 to put a viable alternative in place that can convince the people that they mean business, are caring,as well as honest, then Mr. Manning and his wife in all their nepotistic ugliness will be around long into the future when you and your great grandchildren are retired, fedup of beautiful Canada and wishes to return home. You and many others can get your rocks off spewing hatred , and the so called African party and the idiots that follow them, but that can never translate to victory at the polls. Until the political pundits in the opposition recognize a simple fact that we all are in the same boat in terms of neglect and underrepresentation , and are porepared to put our progressive miunds together in genuine patritosm then Canada is all you’ll have . Werlcome St Vincent, Grenada and all the desperate Caribbean islands that wants to be part of the T&T experiment.
    Be part of the solution, and stop being part of the problem my friend.In the words of a great irish American leader JFK, “ask not what your country can do for you, but….”
    According to another FDR,” the only thing to fear is fear itself.”

  16. Divide and rule has been institutionalised in TnT politics from as early as colonial times, the late Albert Gomes, Eric Williams, Rudrinath and Simbonath Capildeo, Bhadase Maharaj they all practiced it. The problem with TnT politics is one that is epidemic throughout the world today, nobody wants to sacrifice their self interest for the betterment of the wider community. Right now the UNC-A, or COP is not a viable alternative to the PNM, the trade union movement is nothing but a toothless tiger and history has proven that political accomodations in Caribbean politics never work.

  17. Vaughn you just might be on to something here. Your conclusions are that the task is mammouth, care to suggest a viable solution? We aren’t the first country or region that confronted such challenges, and won’tbe the last time for some creative thinking agreed?

  18. Neil,
    I read your manifesto, and I must say that it’s well thought out, and well presented but any meaningful change to the body politic of any country has to be mobilised from the grassroot level. People have to educated to the fact that politics affect their everyday lives and as such their involvement should not be relegated to an electoral campaign season. In Cuba, that is exactly what happened it was a peoples revolution, and that is why even today it still stands as a beacon of hope to all who would wish to take their destiny into their own hands. The politicians of today are a selfserving and cravacious lot who’s only goal is to be the locusts of society, they rape the people’s patrimony and move on to their villas in Miami with swollen bank accounts. Until the people recognise and realise that they have been duped, hoodwinked, runamok, by these bandits dressed up as politicians we will not see real tangible change in our societies and people like you and I Neal who’s hearts bleed for our people and our country will continue to be viewed with distrust and antipathy.

  19. Good point’s Vaughn. Here is an interesting development.

    Social Development Minister Amery Browne speaks during yesterday’s post-Cabinet news conference.

    KYLE JEREMIAH (Express Reporter)

    “Government is making significant monetary increases in its general assistance grants to assist with the “vulnerable circumstances” of impoverished citizens who cannot provide for themselves, Social Development Minister Amery Browne announced yesterday”.

    “He said the increases should benefit some 15,000 citizens”.

    Then the article went on to show the Minister made increases from $5,000.00 TT to 10,000.00 TT in the case of the housing assistance grant and quite a few others as well. It all appear’s to be quite a noble effort indeed on the part of the Minister but a closer look at poverty index in T&T would show the reality.

    21% of the nations 1,047,366 population = 219, 946.86 of the people are living under the poverty line according to the most recent 2008 “conservative” figures. A very high figure indeed

    So while increases were made to programs that are highly “selective” and short term, spanning a few months in some cases FOR 15,000 NATIONALS. The “real issue” of addressing the “general” needs of the remaining 204, 946.86 of the impoverished people of T&T remains masked under this short term, quick fix solution.

    This is in keeping with the slick “politricking” of the government and opposition, who are very much aware that if not contained, the poor will rise up and topple them just as sure as murders, robberies etc are all a tell tale sign of events to come. Even the elite is crying out because it has spread to “their areas” and it has begun to affect “their” business.


    One T&T
    One Caribbean.

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