Voice of reason way superior

By Raffique Shah
June 30, 2013

Raffique ShahAS I watched the political circuses perform in their big tents over the past few weeks, their patrons seemingly satisfied with the acts and acrobatics on offer, my mind turned to the adage, Vox populi, Vox Dei (The voice of the people (is) the voice of God). I sat in my chair and wondered about the wisdom—or folly—of this proverb that scoundrels through the ages have used to invoke divine blessings for their dastardly acts, based solely on the fact that the people supported them.

Simply put, it means that overwhelming public support for a party or an individual or a position cannot be wrong. I beg to differ.

Last Monday night, tassa drums rolled outside of Rienzi Complex as supporters of nominees for the UNC candidacy for the Chaguanas West by-election engaged in Carnival-like abandon.

Inside the building, a group of Muslim imams met with Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

Now, imams are notorious for their condemnation of just about every cultural expression in the country, but more so drumming and wining and drunkenness—all of which was taking place on the compound.

And with some “hijabis” and “mullahs” wining and waving placards on the outside, there was the voice of the people.

That was but one classic instance of the voice of the people blending with the voice of God.

A pundit as a nominee added holy value to the mix, and with Jack Warner being both Hindu and Muslim, the invocation of God’s name was hardly far from the madding crowd.

If He was not there in person, He was certainly present in spirit, more than likely by the litres, carefully concealed in people’s car trunks.

Will the voice of the people truly reflect the voice of God on by-election day? We who do not know where to look for the Father, far less the Holy Ghost, may never know.

Satan might just slip through the cracks.

The young and vibrant Khadijah is the party’s choice, to which I mutter, “Ameen!” (The imams will forgive my sins for that simple utterance).

While she may enter the fray with Allah’s blessings, and Kamla’s, not necessarily in that order, question is will Khadijah enjoy the support of the people? In a few weeks, we shall find out.

I find it difficult to link the voice a supposedly good God with the often-discordant voices of the people.

Jack has so enjoyed the musical voice of the people, he will put God out of his thoughts and plunge into battle in anyone’s territory—UNC’s, PNM’s, DLP’s, even the ghost-land of Bhadase.

In Jack’s world, and that of his diehard supporters, the voice of God thunders, “There is no sin for Ye who enter my Felicity-dom! T’iefing is a blessing…the more you t’ief the merrier I shall be…my collection cup runneth over!”

The PNM, listening to unidentified voices, chose a sacrificial lamb that magically turned into a little ol’ ram that hopes to punch a hole in the UNC dam.

He’s got high hopes, grant him that. Who knows what voices the lad is listening to.

For those who really believe that the voice of the people is the voice of God, ponder these historical truths. Hitler and Mussolini enjoyed overwhelming support among Germans and Italians, respectively, and among many million Whites of other nationalities, including French (the Vichy government collaborated with the Nazis), British (King George V was among Hitler’s admirers) and Americans (who opposed war until the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour).

If the adage is accurate, then Hitler and Mussolini reflected the voice of God. Right?

In Trinidad, Eric Williams won every election he led the PNM into.

For those who argue that he stole elections by rigging the voting machines, how do you explain the licks he shared with the ballot box in 1976?

Or George Chambers’ 26-10 victory in 1981?

Were those statements by the majority of voters the voice of God?

While the lifeblood of democracy comes from the voice of the people, there is an abundance of evidence that the masses often spout untreated sewage.

Maybe I should revert to ancient history, to the latter 8th century, when English scholar Alcuin of York, as adviser to the great Charlemagne, told the monarch, “…Those people should not be listened to who keep saying the voice of the people is the voice of God, since riotousness of the crowd is always very close to madness…”

Talk, mih boy!

Alcuin also advised Charles (on his policy of forcing pagans to be baptised on pain of death): “Faith is a free act of the will, not a forced act…You can force people to be baptised, but you cannot force them to believe.” The King abolished the death penalty for paganism.

There was a voice of reason, which, in my humble opinion, was way superior to the voice of the people, and maybe even the voice of God.

6 Responses to “Voice of reason way superior”


  • Jack will go the way of Ramesh another egomaniac who thought that the UNC base will support him. Unlike Ramesh, Jack may attempt to wrest the Leadership of the UNC, of course all of this was done before with the argument that the Prime Minister and leader of the party are two different positions. Jack will discover that the P.M.is no Panday and does not carry a checkered past.

    There are still a lot of questions surrounding Jack, the Center for Excellence, who owns it FIFA or Jack? The front companies and the money laundering along with the Warners real estate in Florida, the money that was suppose to go to Haiti, the bribery scandal in CONCAF, along with the FBI investigation of the Warner clan.

    Warner has done an excellent job so far of staying out of jail. He has operated as the Jamaican drug king pin who had the fierce loyalty of poor Jamaicans, many who were prepared to die to protect this man. And for good reason, he fed and clothe the poor. That is until “uncle Sam” wanted him. What the Prime Minister saw in that FBI dossier on Warner shocked her so much that she had no choice but to give Warner the “boot” upon her return to TnT, from her US visit. My advice to Warner do a duck and run.

  • What a revelation!!!!! Isnt it the same kind of thinking that said that Jack was qualified to be in the Cabinet and hold a FIFA job at the same time? Did’nt the illustrious AG bring ‘expert’ advice to prove that Jack’s appointment as minister and FIFA executive was NOT an affront to the laws of T&T???? This goes to show that contrary to our historical beliefs and understandings, T&T now is an “anything goes” where “expert law advice” can be bought, Doctorate (Phd) can be bought, MBAs can be bought, MBEs can be bought, state positions can be bought and so does everything else.
    I feel sorry for those who thought that this is the kind of change Trinidad wanted.

    • The Prime Minister has shown astute leadership, she has acted when it is necessary. Jack Warner has shown at times deep error in judgment. The bribery scandal as recorded by MI6 show Warner offering bags of money in exchange for votes. The CONCAF inquiry by an eminent Bajan reveal some of the most corrupt acts that could not be ignored by the Prime Minister. This coming from a man highly regarded in legal circles. In addition to that there is the FBI dossier on Warner showing I am sure money laundering. To those Warner supporters it took the PM some time but history will show she did the right thing.

  • What you are saying about Jack now is both public knowledge and something which the UNC and Kamla never acknowledge until now (too late). Jack’s political and personal integrity was polished by the UNC in order for him to serve their causes. Now that that is no longer possible we hear all the “truth” about him. Your government went through all kinds of law professionals to scantify his usefulness, now you are asking us to finally accept the truth? Where were you guys all this time? Is ALL and ONLY about political aspirations? There is nothing honest aBOUT KAMLIAR! WHILST TECHNICALLY, she is PM of all the people, listening to all her statements, she really is PM of “her” people.

    • Jack has been one of the most hard working MPs Kian, up at 4:00 a.m. In the morning. The reason you PNMites abhorred him was because of his work ethic. However, Lucifer fell when sin was found him. He was called the son of morning, light and music flowed from him. A majestic and beautiful angel. One day he assembled one third of the angels and launch an attack on God. God kicked him out of heaven and he became a fallen angel using his powers for evil instead of good. He became an adversary using God’s creation to turn against God. This type of scenario always befall those who hunt and take power unto themselves. Power must always be held in humility or it will corrupt. Lucifer believed that power resided in himself. He said “I will” five times “I will ascend”, “I will be like the Most High”, ….. Kian, the thirst for power and its trappings can take anyone into the bowels of hell, beware my friend.

  • Jack should not have given up as an MP for his constituents but should have gone to them and ask them. His giving up the chairmanship of the UNC and Ministerial role of NS is understandable because of the damning report on the FIFA issue headed by his CARICOM brother. It is my opinion that the PM has gone down the wrong road bringing back memories of Club 88 (an arm of NAR) and ANR. The common denominator here is Winston Dookeran who is there to witness the saga again. The question is if it was okay for JAW when the FIFA issue was at his heights (not forgetting Jennings contributions)getting approval for building the UNC then what’s the problem now? Well, the PM can be set up by the cabal to get their prey(KPB) ‘et tu Brute’. It is a shame to see this being played out for free on the international stage, whereby we become the laughing stock of the world when we cannot even manage a small country like T&T.

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