No longer blinded by our eyes

By Dr. Selwyn Cudjoe
December 04, 2016

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThe People’s National Movement (PNM) ought to chill; ask what it is doing wrong; recharge its battery; and then take it from there. It lost the local government election and people are losing confidence in its leadership.

This is one situation in which loud talking and grand charging are unlikely to solve the problem at hand. The situation calls for calm, cool and reflective thinking. The election results are clear: The PNM won seven corporations (down from eight in the last elections); the United National Congress (UNC) won six. The PNM and UNC received four seats each in Sangre Grande. PNM lost about 12 seats to the UNC.

The popular vote is more telling. In 2013, PNM received 188,383 votes; UNC 122,346. In 2016, PNM received 174,754 votes; UNC 180,758. UNC increased its votes by 58,412 or 47.4 per cent; PNM votes decreased by 13,629 or 7.53 per cent. Conclusion: UNC supporters were enthusiastic about their party; PNM supporters were indifferent.

In 2013 PNM supporters were raring to get rid of UNC. On Monday they sent PNM leadership a message. They voted with their feet. They rejected the PNM Government attitude toward them. This is not a good sign for the PNM.

On election night the Prime Minister said he was “very pleased with the results. It was a handsome victory for which we’re grateful”. He should not be pleased with the results. He should be grateful the PNM did not do worse.

In August I wrote: “I do not know where my party is going but I know it is not performing at its inspiring best. At a time when there is much unrest in the island; when the society is plagued by a spate of killing, the least the Government can do is to demonstrate it understands the pain the people are undergoing.”

I continued: “The PNM is in danger of going backward if it cannot inspire a passion for justice, self-responsibility, and national pride in its citizens. Must the party wait until it finds itself in hot water, like the unpretentious tea bag, before it assumes its leadership role in the society?”

Today, the Government is in even hotter water; a condition the election results confirm. Somewhere it took a wrong turn. Last week I outlined some of the Government’s achievements. I also urged them to attend to the problems of black people who “are being shortchanged”.

Previously, I noted the Government was not paying sufficient attention to its own optics. I wrote, “Stuart Young is the new poster boy. I know nothing about his or the AG’s political experience or philosophy, but I wonder how do Marlene McDonald, Camille Robinson-Regis, Fitzgerald Hinds and other PNM stalwarts feel about all of this?”

Recently Rohan Sinanan was given the Ministry of Works and Transport; Kazim Hosein, Rural Development and Local Government; and Franklin Khan was made Minister of Energy. Colm Imbert is the Finance Minister; Faris Al-Rawi is the Attorney General, and Stuart Young is a Minister in the Ministry of the AG’s office.

With the exception of Hosein, the aforementioned are the most visible members of the Government and the party. No one else really seems to matter. In his inaugural address to the PNM on January 15, 1956, Dr Williams declared the PNM to be “a convention of all and for all, a mobilisation of all the forces in the community”. Today, reasonable members are asking: where is the black presence within this convention and what role are its members playing in the governance of the country?

During the election campaign Prime Minister Rowley asked why the UNC focused so much on Imbert. Could it be that they see what the PM does not see. Could it be, that in the minds of UNC and PNM members, Imbert has usurped Rowley’s position thereby relegating blackness to invisibility within the present spectrum of Government?

Might it be that party members reject their role as suppliers of slave labour for the party elites—doing the bull work while the spoils are distributed to those who are wealthier and better positioned?

Might it be that blacks do not see themselves as being fully represented at the table of equals? Can it be that blacks do not believe their interests are being properly represented in ways they think they should be at the governmental level?

The PNM will see what it wants to see. It may even want to lie to itself, but as the English poet Robert Brooke advised one should not aspire to voluntary blindness. He wrote: ”Learn all we lacked before; hear, know, and say/ What this tumultuous body now denies;/ And feel, who have laid our groping hands away;/And see, no longer blinded by our eyes.”

This local election was a referendum on the PNM leadership. Gregory Taylor, a Sangre Grande resident, puts it best: “After a year in office, people are fed up with the PNM.” He seems to ask: how much longer, must we “be blinded by our eyes”?

10 Responses to “No longer blinded by our eyes”

  • Zombies Professor… I guess ‘they’ found that process of Zombification as we see with the Guptas in South Africa… And Now in T&T…

    They say that Malema will pull off a ‘Trump’ in South Africa….


    *Eusebius McKaiser: Heard the one about Trump and Malema?

    “That means we’re ripe for anti-Establishment politics that skewer the political elite who loot from the state and throw crumbs at the marginalised millions.
    We have a political elite that’s also in cahoots with big business, an elite which assumes that romantic nostalgia about liberation narratives can stave off the electoral death of the main party.
    Obviously I’m referring to the arrogance of the ANC and its imprudent disregard for the fate of millions.
    But I’m also referring to the DA. If the ANC mirrors the Democratic Party’s failure to deal with inequality and economic injustice in the US, then the DA mirrors the mistaken assumption of the Republican Party that you can ignore awkward moral questions about inequality by merely focusing on economic growth and reducing the cost of doing business.
    It doesn’t take a genius to see where these oversights will be headed. Not least because our anti-Establishment politician has already emerged.
    His name? Julius Malema. He’s our own Donald Trump. And just as Trump’s Orange Revolution caught everyone off guard, so Malema’s Red Revolution may yet deliver an electoral surprise that upsets both the DA and the ANC.” *

  • Sorry… Here is the Article..

    Eusebius McKaiser: Heard the one about Trump and Malema?

  • The Prof seems to be perturbed by the influx of Indians and non-Blacks in the cabinet.
    He is suggesting a return to Black dominance in the PNM, but wait a minute isn’t the PM as Black as they come?
    Both parties in T&T have ethnic labels and are perceived as such in spite of attempts to diversify.
    Is the Prof’s analysis as complicated as it seems or is it that the Roti belt came out in full force (over 40% in most areas) to support the UNC?
    The PNM escaped in Tobago with the Calcutta ship comment because there are relatively no Indians in Tobago, but in Trinidad Roti politics could not survive. If Rowley wants to stimulate the Roti belt, he should continue to utter his nonsense and take the Prof’s implicit suggestion to fill his cabinet with Blacks only.

  • Governing is always more difficult than being in Opposition. With governance comes the tough decisions that has long term implications for the nation. Whilst the Opposition can stand and promise euthopia, they don’t have to deliver. There are three stages in a marriage, (1) enchantment (2) disappointment and (3) acceptance. Similarly I would say in governance those rules apply to any new party in government. The only diffrence is the length of time between 1,2 and 3. If after over a year your supporters are not as enchanted but disappointed that is not a good thing. Nevertheless you still have four years to make the marriage work.
    So time is on your side.

    The formulation of the cabinet since Eric to Manning was 4 Indians as ministers. That was the numerical status as to the PNM rule of governance. Entire the wily Panday with a smaller cabinet and a 50/50 ethnocentric proposition. He had to bring in people who were not elected and thus entered into a 55 day standoff with Robbie over 7 unelected people selected to enter Parliament. Panday stood his ground similar to the 56 day standoff between Speight and Mahendra Choudry. Choudry loss but Panday won. Kamla followed the same model, jumping Jack assume the position of Minister of Works but later turned against her and became the chief attack dog for the PNM/ILP combo. Every week giving the nation an expose’as to the rabid lifestyle entrenched within the UNC subterranean culture meanwhile ignoring his own thiefing and wickedness which was blacker than the blackest kettle.

    Dr Rowley is face with a dilemma. He has move beyond the number 4 and risk alienating his base as this article suggest. He has appointed some very experience people as well as some inexperience ministers who are confused as to their role. The talented Indo faction of the PNM, the inexperience Afro section, the controlling Syrian ministerial puppets and the tainted PNM old guard. The PNM under Eric is diffrent from the PNM under Rowley. It is a party that has achieved much but is seeking to reinvent itself in the face of 21st century thinking.

    The challenge for Dr.Rowley is keeping the base happy. Given the forces that are present within the cabinet that will be a challenge. Kamla was able to deliver “en masse” after a year of planning. This is the time for the PNM to start delivery, the next 6 months is crucial. The PNM should not think about winning the next election, they should just focus on working hard for the people….. Because that is what is needed presently.

  • “…the wily Panday ….,”blah, blah, blah….”The challenge for Dr.Rowley is keeping the base happy. Given the forces that are present within the cabinet that will be a challenge.” Mamboo

    Did you call Basdeo ‘Wily?’ Good griefs, it just can’t get any worst, can it ? Then again, unlike our Trini elite /prep school hermano Tman, this character Mamboo, unfortunately , only attended primary school during the August Holidays, when the doors,and gates were firmly locked.
    Just kidding- or maybe not.
    Hey Mamboo, I was on the verge of giving you some kudos, for attempting to make a plausible argument -until you had to go and mess it up , by citing that ultra corrupt , unpatriotic, divisive , nepotistic, vindictive ,political has been -Basdeo Panday , and his political lightweight , equally clueless, and neo tribal protegee Kamla ,as some opaque arbiters of inclusiveness , and glorious stewardships. What folly!
    This closet Maxis Baz , was one of the morally depraved , political creatures , who jumped out of the -once proposed,’ Caroni Racing Complex’ -gates, to sing high praise ,for de late , 90 year old Cuban , ex henchman ,Fidel Castro, but yet ,a few years ago,as an ex PM himself, lacked the decency, to even attend the funeral of another ex PM,and President, in ANR Robinson.
    Yep and what is so funny,so much so that it ain’t funny, the same naive joker today ,will do anything, to ensure his daughter become Prime Minister in this country, & worst yet, want African folks,to support him in his quest. Ain’t happening Mamboo, so keep hating on Dr Keith, and his trusted , protective Uncle Papa Niza.

    Tell you what folks ,if there was any justice in La Trinity, this ‘fake victimhood- all talk , do nothing of consequence -joker, Basdeo,’ would be still doing time in one of our Prisons- along with his CJ pal , Ex Justice Sharma, and more so, his entire family , deported to Karachi, de Kashmir India/ Pakistan war zone, or the Himalayan mountains.
    Here is de deal ,when it comes to political realities in this underachieving Republic, and no,I don’t care , which of your national , phony intellectuals , media pundits,and so called,high end ,political experts disagree with this analysis.
    Dr Rowley has absolutely no challenge in keeping any base happy, for the same reasons , Kamla , and her, ‘dis is our time,’ mentor Basdeo didn’t.
    Get it in your thick skull Mamboo! Your T&T,for all of the idle talk,is divided along tribal lines. The two political parties ,are exactly the same ideologically.
    Their respective leaders, will pontificate profusely, about curbing corruption, and controlling crimes, when in the Opposition , then proceed to scratch each other backs , while in government.
    They’ll denounce the economic proposition of the other ,when out of the drivers seat, then continue the same policies, once in power- except of course,if it includes bringing in 3 high speed , border patrol ships ,into operation, and , or ,opening de doors of a still closed, Couva Children hospital.
    Tell us Mamboo, how did all those guns, drugs, and illegal aliens , enter your country , and does Kamla and her PP Gang has blood on their hands, each time , another murder , or maiming take place?
    If the the Couva Hospital , with a Chinese huge loan ,was not only constructed , but was opened with much ribbon cutting fanfare ,so that your leader could – obviously-get credit for it’s construction ,during her tenure, who is responsible for ensuring that it’s fully staffed, and equipped to function?
    However I digress.
    Victory has historically accrued in your country , based on how the respective parties, were able to appeal/ entice voting fans, of the other.
    Now if the PNM/ Red ,& Ready Gang ,won 95 out of 100 elections , since 1962 , then even you, are smart enough ,to draw meaningful conclusions-and no , I don’t give a rats behind ,as to how many – ‘put their fingers in their mouths , then in de air, to see which way the breeze is blowing-Douglas ,’are born each day, in this country.
    Fool me once , shame on you , fool me 5 times in 54 years, then I’m the idiot. Trust me when I say , the electorate ,aren’t idiots.
    You, and your likeminded Siamese Twin Tman, can get on your cyber temper tantrums , and talk Incessantly ,until all dem South of de Caroni Water Buffalos come home, but there will never be another Panday, or Bissessar ,as PM , in this country.
    Better still, tell de tribe , to go out, and cultivate a progressive , Afro Trini Leader, who can drag ‘you alze ,’out of the next 15 year Political Wilderness ,to the promise land, otra vez.
    Oh,and by de way Mamboo,for your information, characters such as rotund , loud mouth , obnoxious, legal -eat ah food lawyer , turned , grateful Opposition Senator , in Wayne Sturge -Knight ,Tobago bypass surgery freak -Dr Baker, or self loathing bozos ,such as Winston Peters, aka Gypsy, and Wade-MBA-Mark , won’t do de trick.
    Who de hell is going to challenge the Mason Hall Kid for his post, again Mamboo?
    Please don’t tell me is de Black Arima Carib- Penelope Beckles. Last I checked , she is now happy , doing what your COP boy, Winston Dookie did the last 4 years-hang out in Zoo York , voting yeah, and nay , on glorified UN General Assembly Committees , time wasting – white paper formulating -round table meetings.
    Dr Keith would last as long as he deem fit . Hopefully , before his days are over, he’ll do something tangible to secure his political legacy- especially as it relates , to his still over neglected place of birth , Tobago.
    Long live de Republic of Tobag….., oooops ,.. lo siento, Trinidad , & Tobago.
    Dis too shall end, for trust me when I say, de rejected stone , shall eventually become de cornerstone ,as we like to say n de streets.

    • Neal wrote ” Dr Keith would last as long as he deem fit . Hopefully , before his days are over, he’ll do something tangible to secure his political legacy- especially as it relates , to his still over neglected place of birth , Tobago.”

      Everyone Nealos is born with a “statute of limitation”. Historically, all Prime Ministers from the balisier patch Eric, Chambers, Manning expired at age 69. Dr. Rowley is 67 years old and in a few months destiny will arrive. As for legacy he has fathered at latest count 4 children from diffrent wombs. I suspect more will be causally introduced at family gatherings. No media uproar! See Neal at a certain age we come to acknowledge our past and move forward with less baggage and even brag about it.

      Neal you remember how the media jumped at the opportunity to lambaste our own Caribbean Queen KPB for having family members stay at Prime Minister residence. Well it is a known fact that the entire Rowley clan along with friends and relatives are there savouring the fat of the land. When a reporter dare to ask him about it the PM said in local parlance “I could dam well have whoever I want come and stay there”. Now that is man. KPB was driven out and choose to spend her time in her home doing the nation business. The PM residence during her time was crawling with balisier snakes.

      As for Tobago the most corrupt Emporer recently made his final speech. That island is a legacy of corruption where billions disappeared during Orville tenure. Yes the legend of Dr. Rowley stained the minds of the elderly, one even saying he left 6 “jockey shorts” on the clothes line when he raced to the airport for Trinidad. A few years ago on his return after killing several goats and having a feast, former National Security Minister Joseph part of the PNM strategy team went out for a swim in the morning and the sea made sure he did not return to his family. Yes strange things do happen in that island. But I end here…

  • The chickens are coming home to roost. As we draw near to the end of this year, the visage of TNT is sadly becoming indiscernible with the daily pill up of bodies all over the place. Just yesterday “mother of 5 killed”, “rotting corpse of 20 year old woman found in warehouse”…. The disappearance and assault on women and children is like a dark sinister monster stalking the land. That 20 year old girl was doing the normal shopping but turned up dead. Where are the voices of Neal, Kian and others, these PNM apologist who have drunk the balisier juice mixed with cool aid. Indeed balisier house is silent waiting perhaps for the storm to pass, three ministers of national security drawing large salaries and perks but none come forward to meet with families or console the victims of such vicious attacks.

    The saddening part about the whole security situation in TNT is police in uniform are actually knocking on doors arresting citizens and stealing from them. Former police officers and dishonorably discharged army officers are now working with the criminal elements to unleash a rampage of terror on the citizenry. Where did it all go wrong??? When were the guardians of public trust converted to a life of crime. This is particularly disturbing and a cause for concern. Yes the police working with the criminal elements in south are moving women to Tucupita in fast moving pirogues,some claim sightings of these women in the mainland. Ria was taken in a vehicle, citizens gave a description of a man wearing a police cap marked “police”. Folks there are good cops as well as bad cops. I have family and friends who are cops.

    The time has come for the police service to clean up the internal mess; unless that is done immediately the nation will collapse into “fail state”.

    On another front after 14 months and two budgets, one $63 billion and another $50 billion, the highest budget item went to National Security. Taxes from the bottom of the house to the rafters, one can only say the mafia has taken charge of the nation. This government is yet to prove it have an economic vision, all citizens are hearing is soothing words of comfort. Don’t worry we will finish the Point highway, we will finish Lara, we will finish such and such. Under Kamla there was plans for the green, silver and blue economy, plans to develop infrastructure. Yes there was murders etc but it was balanced off with some good economic news. All that is gone. The balisier brigade has gone silent….. Even the sedition threatening Roget has behaved like a school boy told to sit at the back of the classroom.

    Where Are the indomitable voices of common sense that littered the airwaves during the PP time in office. No Wayne “Mr Environment” Kublalsingh, no Kirk “8 people” Fixin TNT, no “nasty mouth” Roget, no “spitting dirty water” Verna. Or how about the thousands of “balisier juice drinkers” who daily mocked, belittle, and scoffed at Kamla. The toads of paradise have all gone silent. Living in the lagoon during my childhood days, it was a night of singing when the first rain fell, the toads were loud in their croaking chorus late into the dark night. Today the rain is no longer falling and everything has fallen silent!

  • Now on to more important things Mamboo. It ‘s time to quit loosing sleep over Kamla , Dr Keith ,and Basdeo Panday.
    As the headline of the Doc’s blog said- take the blinders off!
    Here is de seal mi country hating pizanno. Nobody will marry their underage grand ‘pickanees,’ or have sex with themuntil they are mature enough,and ready, ,and worst yet, none of them or their parents ,are getting kidnapped, and or murdered any time soon. Trust me on that.,236970.html

    Finally, our leaders are coming to de understanding ,that children have rights as well, even if they cannot vote,236959.html

    So the savagery continues , and should we still point fingers Mamboo?
    Stay vigilant T&T!

    • “Nobody will marry their underage grand ‘pickanees,’ or have sex with them until they are mature enough,and ready, ,and worst yet, none of them or their parents ,are getting kidnapped, and or murdered any time soon. Trust me on that.”– Neal.

      According the 2015 UNICEF report, “State of the World’s Children” (.pdf), the countries with the highest rates of child marriage before age 18 are:
      1. Niger* — 76 percent
      2. Central African Republic — 68 percent
      3. Chad* — 68 percent
      4. Bangladesh* — 65 percent
      5. Mali* — 55 percent
      6. Guinea — 52 percent
      7. South Sudan* — 52 percent
      8. Burkina Faso — 52 percent
      9. Malawi* — 50 percent
      10. Mozambique — 48 percent

      Nealos the descendants of slaves abandoned the concept of marriage a long time ago. That is why a 29 year old mother had nine children and she can’t tell who the fathers are. The bastardization of the Africana race continues to this day in western culture. It is the prime reason for thriving gun culture in TNT and Jamaica. The father is seed planter who is looking to find a new plot each week to plant his seeds. Whilst children born are basically left to form their own family aka gangs.

      I wish Dr. Cudjoe will engage if his time allows in a study of this cultural phenomenon of the disengaged Africana father in his role of parenting, as well as the engaged ones and what was the salient effect of slavery on the black psyche.

      Having met African people from the continent I can say they strongly value marriage. It is a big event in African villages similar to Hindu marriages in TNT. Obviously something was lost in the transatlantic journey and we must seek to change that…

  • Sorry Mamboo, but you are barking up de wrong tree, mi country hating Pizanno. You ,I am certain, got married at 11 , to your 10 year old wife , then made your 8 kids,and no one complained.
    I too had one of those good for nothing bastards, for a father ,and was raised by my Grandmother from 8 weeks , to 16 years (when she died) and so ,I decided to cut the habit , by getting married at the age of 22, wherein , I gave my own kids ,all that was necessary ,to take them to the next level- productive human beings ,with sound values.
    I don’t fault your India , or Pakistan , because they had the clout , to keep their names of the UN list of countries ,that treat girls, and women ,as foot cloth.
    Maybe you should adopt that same attitude , when trying to understanding the behaviors, of similar underdeveloped states in Africa, where girls, and women ,are treated in similar fashion, as 3rd class citizens.

    Let us therefore, try not to get distracted ,and instead focus our energies on our little enclave , T&T. We want laws, and committed law enforcement officials , who would lock up parents who encourage underaged marriages, or turn a blind eye, to their little ones, who they know, were impregnated by hombres , prior to the age of consent.
    We want the health care officials -be they nurses, midwives, or doctors , to be held accountable.
    We want your revolting , pro criminal, anti child welfare Hindu Priests ,and Islamist Imams, to feel some heat , for thinking they can marry 9,10 , 12, 14 ,and 16 year olds – many of which got pregnant, prior to their parents deciding to seek a remedy to- wink/ wink- eradicate the tribal shame, which was incurred .
    We want social welfare officials to get off their butts, and speak out , where they know these criminal acts are taking place. We want teachers to earn their salaries, and bring the necessary authorities attention to take action where they see abuses.
    I agree with you Mamboo, every under age , impregnated young lady ,ain’t as fortunate ,as Dr Keith baby mama , who was placed on a plane, to go to Canada 40 years ago, where she was able to raise his illegitimate kid peacefully.
    Since we are certain that all Indo Trini hombres ,aren’t marrying their baby mamas , we won’t be too hard on the likes of a Dr Goopiesing for producing his ,closet criminal ,out of wedlock son- that is obviously still acting out his anger for being abandoned by Papa Goopiesingh.
    We likewise , won’t chastise that female abusing, pundit -in UNC PP EX Tourism Minister, in MP Sharma , aka businesswoman Sasca Singh Sweetman ,for producing an illegitimate kid, and not supporting same- for his own reasons.
    Translation:- There is enough blame to go around. But this isn’t about politicians . It’s about children, who need our protection. If I can get your ex PM Kamla , and Dr Keith ,to bury their differences, and treat this social malady ,that has affected both tribes ,as a priority, it’s a win/ win for our society as a whole.
    Enough with the neo tribal pissing contest Mamboo,as to which tribe is more civilize, or not. No one gives a rats behind ,outside , of quasi educated , media clowns- which I’m sure you aren’t – even though , you are trying hard to convince us that you are.
    Your ancestors in India , Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan,and Sri Lanka, are just as savage , as those Africans scattered across the globe. Am I right, or am I right.

    Stay vigilant T&T.

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