Crucifixions and Resurrections

By Raffique Shah
April 20, 2014

Raffique ShahThe UNC minister or activist who mobilised a gang of hooligans to disrupt a public meeting staged by dissident Barrington “Skippy” Thomas last Thursday evening should be taken before the party’s firing squad and shot—with “goat pills”. He (or she) has done irreparable damage to the United National Congress’s image, if that is at all possible.

Let me explain. Before that display of hooliganism, I had heard the name “Skippy” mentioned in the media from time to time, but I paid no attention. I did not know what the man looked like, and cared even less for his thoughts. As far as I was concerned, he was just another eat-a-food party hack, hollow between the ears, unworthy of my time or attention.

On Thursday night, though, a friend telephoned me, asking if I was listening to Skippy’s crucifixion. I had no idea what he was talking about until he explained, saying the action was live on radio. So I tuned in. I was shocked by the cacophony that emanated from the airwaves: flatulence from the platform, excreta from what appeared to be a mob running wild.

By the time the melee ended half an hour or so later, I would learn from the radio reporter that half the small gathering at the indoor venue were placard-bearing UNC supporters who disrupted a meeting called by Skippy, who had promised to “bare all” about the happenings in the ruling coalition. They jeered him, mounted the stage in a threatening manner, but he carried on.

In fact, he was about to stage a “questions from the floor” segment, but wisely cancelled that when he saw the hostiles queue up to flay him.

Now, as I remarked earlier, I don’t know this “Skippy” fella and I have no time to waste listening to his woes or exposés. But when the party, or some person or people in the party, could expend time, money and manpower to prevent him from speaking out, it signals they would go all out to silence him.

Why? I ask. What information could this “peewat” possess that makes him dangerous, a threat to the Government? Why would they resort to the kind of hooliganism at public meetings that I thought we had seen the last of in the 1960s? I campaigned for the ULF in the 1976 elections, I spoke at meetings in Water Hole, Diego Martin, Belmont, John John, Morvant, La Brea—and nowhere did I encounter any­thing like that.

Often, there were hecklers: Shah, yuh talkin sh..! Yuh is a dawg! And being a good platform speaker meant mastering the art of responding with a witty retort that would cause the crowd to erupt in laughter. Indeed, I lament the loss of the heckler, victim of mass meetings that see thousands of supporters transported to choreo­graphed performances complete with drama, lights, action.

What happened last Thursday, though, not only took us backward a few decades, but set the stage for downright dangerous campaigning in next year’s election. Because whichever UNC fool thought it was a great idea to hound Skippy to the ground might well be tempted to do likewise at a People’s National Movement (PNM) meeting: send a gang of URP workers to placard and disrupt the PNM.

Can you imagine what could happen in such case? Campaigning could degenerate into violence, the consequences of which we dare not even think of. Bear in mind that today’s missiles of choice are not bottles and stones and rotten eggs of yesteryear. Today, we are talking of guns, machine guns. The spectre is positively frightening.

I note National Security Minister Gary Griffith swiftly denounced the disruption and spelt out the law on such activities. But no one in the ruling party is owning up to having stage-managed the unruly intervention. They are suggesting it was spontaneous combustion. Yes—and Skippy is a priest!

There was the man confessing to having organised similar disruptions on behalf of the party. He publicly tore up a CEPEP contract (so he said), which exposed another side of the rotten governance that the People’s Partnership has inflicted on the country, contracts for the boys and girls. He hinted at gross irregularities in many other areas.

His biggest self-indictment was confessing to having stayed silent while all these wrongdoings occurred. As a sideshow, the trio of Ramesh Maharaj, Jack Warner and David Abdulah, who seem to turn up at every anti-UNC, anti-Partnership happening, also engaged in some confessions of sins of commission that must work wonders for their souls this Easter weekend.

Maybe it is not coincidental that we are witnessing a collective washing of their PP-ed hands, Pontius Pilate style, as the rulers of the country descend into an orgy of crucifixions—of their own, their one-time friends, and of journalists, the latter being the politicians’ perpetual “bobolees” to beat up on not only on Good Friday, but year-round.

Are we in for uncertain times! As elections draw closer, there will be amazing scenes. Judas will walk with Jesus. God and Mammon will confer. Rawan and Ram will embrace. And there will come to pass some political alliances and resurrections that will defy rationale. Brace for it.

3 Responses to “Crucifixions and Resurrections”


  • Amen Dr Rev Pastor Shah. Imam Shah you could real write. Yes sah. I have been taking lessons from you Mr Guru. Yes Sah ever since you started to write. So if I start to write good like you one day remember you are one of my Tutors.
    Hero Shah when you were in the army anybody out here knew you could have written so?

    Right. You might remember that Skippy was one of the first Negro supporters of Panday’s UNC. He was the Tobago Activist who braved the avalance of PNM.

    He became more famous with his fast by the Red House eternal flame against something in Tobago ‘Ah fraid ah get sued if I mention it. It was about building constructions of hospital and so on and how they were transformed from a dream to a reality.
    Internal or external Investigation and commission to inquire will expose that Skippy is a brave guy for what he believes.

    I do not know if he can give us a blow by blow account of what happened with Glen so that we can decide for ourselves if this Guy misbehaved or not and if he did if the penalty fit the crime.

    I do not know how polite this person was when they went to talk to a Minister. If they were Tobago PNM militant activist and the witnesses were the same.
    The talk is he behaved badly so I asked a TV talk show host what did he do and this brilliant talk show host answered that everybody is saying that he behaved badly. Then he cut me off and I did not even know as I kept talking. It was when I was watching the replay I realized what took place with my approaching comment.
    I don’t know what happened as I was not at ring side so what if Skippy was going to enlighten us on that Master Raffique?

    As I said or tried to say. I am well doted after your sermon and I am just trying to say something here.

  • The way I see it “skippy” lost his job and was angry at all because of the bake and cheese he could no longer afford. So with the help of the most corrupt (show me your friends and I can tell who you are) politician Jack Warner he suddenly become “corruption buster”. This over night conversion from manicou to mahapeepee must have shocked those close to him in the UNC. The UNC is a different party unlike the Panday’s UNC that was prepare to take abuse from the PNM. The Roget, Rowley’s and Ramesh will soon come to that understanding. Power has a way of changing people and if you want to behave as an enemy of the State your days of folly will suffer some set back. People may decide to terminate your time card early.

    The best thing “skippy” can do is to keep a lid on it. Most people don’t like their names to be mentioned in the public and labelled as being corrupt. Besides these days you can hire one of the boys from the hill for a few thousand dollars to meet with an accident. Times have changed and those locked in the past will soon realize this. Power have a way of changing people and wajang, bullies take note.

  • Wake us up when Gypsy, Dagga, McCloud,and the Tobago West Doctor Baker, decide to speak out/revolt, mi amigo.
    Speaking of “bake and cheese Manicou ,”Mamboo, did your grateful Mr Speaker, Wade Mark ,listen to his adoring wife , and return his unearned UWI , MBA degree as yet?
    Rumor has it, that he had to give her a detail breakdown ,as to his whereabouts, during the numerous months , she remained at home ,cooking his favorite breadfruit oil downs, all by her lonesome, while he pretended to be at the once independent educational institution, allegwdly ,learning how to manage money.
    Did no one tell our pal Mamboo, aka ,’de Mayaro Drunkard ,’ by way of the Demarrara river , that authentic Trinis ,no longer eat cheese , unless it is spread generously,on their tasteless pizzas? Bake and catfish…ummm Shark ,is the craze now Mamboo. Get with the program!

    “Times have changed, power has a way of changing people and if you want to , these days you can hire one of the boys from the hill for a few thousand dollars to meet with an accident….”Mamboo

    I hear you buddy! Translation , “dis is our time ,” as stated by your ‘FAddah of your Nation ,’ Papa Basdeo, and echoed by his protégé,si?

    Por ejemplo -Tribal scholarships from Uncle Goepiesing UWI,while ‘picky head /Black hen childrens , ‘are barred from state funded Hindu schools. Party hacks business contracts, systemic Stalin like purges, of the public Service,and high end offices , followed by replacement with tribal bozos, many of which are holding faulty credentials, si? We get it Mamboo.
    As to the important subject of Trini criminality, that is giving National Security Minister Cuz Gtiffith , andc his still acting Commissioner of Police , Uncle Wil,such headaches ,re ,as you so clearly stated-which I paraphrase -of paying off ,simi literate criminal goons ,to do your dirty work,just how is that trial coming along ,involving the husband of the late billionaire ,Extra Food heiress, Madame Naipaul….ooops , sorry, the several , culprits who murdered her?
    I luv this land, people, but tell me , with so called citizens like the Mamboos of the world , who need enemies, hmmm?

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