Tag Archive for 'Politics'

Crabs in a barrel

By Raffique Shah
September 16, 2019

Raffique ShahI had no prior information that the Express had commissioned a poll on Dr Keith Rowley’s performance as Prime Minister after holding office for four years, far less that publication of the results would coincide with my return as a columnist in last week’s Sunday Express.

So you can imagine my shock, having written on the propensity of politicians to use race as a weapon in the war for power, on reading responses to key questions in the Nigel Henry poll, based largely on race. In fact, the race-lines were so sharp, they startled many people who thought we had long overcome that primal instinct, that we were well on the road to electing politicians based on their policies and performance, or potential to perform, rather than their colour of skin or texture of hair.
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Two Trinidad and Tobagos

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 11, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeAs Boris Johnson, UK prime minister is finding out, and Keith Rowley, T&T’s prime minister has found out, it’s easier to be on the opposition benches and spout invectives than it is to be in the driver’s seat making consequential national decisions. Boris lost pivotal votes last week in the British parliament as his Tory diehards voted against him. Even his brother—Jo Johnson—resigned from his ministerial post and his seat in Parliament. Boris is likely to have the shortest tenure as a UK prime minister.
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A word to the wise…

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 3, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeJoy Cushman wrote that Barack Obama revolutionized his campaign “by putting his faith in hundreds of volunteers. ” She continued: “I was a top organizer in his 2008 campaign and trained thousands of campaign staff workers. If Democrats want to win in 2020, they must get back to investing in everyday people again” (New York Times, August 26).
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Oil in turmoil

By Raffique Shah
August 29, 2019

Raffique ShahI had planned to write a column sometime before the 2019-2020 Budget presentation on the successor-companies to State-owned oil giant Petrotrin, seeking to have the Minister of Energy and/or Corporation Sole (the Minister of Finance) inform the public of their progress or regress or stagnation. I thought that in the spirit of transparency, especially after citizens were stunned when we were told in 2017 or thereabout that the one-time pillar of the national economy was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and mired in multi-billion-dollar debts, we the public should know early o’clock if the new enterprises were faring any better.
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The Search for Truth

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
July 04, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeMy article last week, “The Labyrinthine World of Doublethink,” must have touched a nerve. I received comments, some good, and some bad, from a wide array of people. This suggests that I was not understood entirely or that many interpretations could be taken from my article.

Any time a writer has to explain his work it means that he has not been as clear as he should have been. It’s a difficult task to convey what he believes to be true when his medium requires the use of language whose nature can be elusive. It’s always a struggle to get it right.
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Fools rush in

By Raffique Shah
July 01, 2019

Raffique ShahI feel a sense of déjà vu, of having been there, seen that, whenever some self-proclaimed leader or obscure group announces the formation of a new political party—which seems to be a frequent occurrence, with three major elections looming large on the horizon. While this is merely democracy at work, citizens exercising their right to run for political office, too many fools are rushing into a maelstrom that wise men avoid like the proverbial plague.
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Beware: nasty election campaigns ahead

By Raffique Shah
March 20, 2019

Raffique ShahIf you thought that Vernella Alleyne-Toppin had plumbed the depth of depravity when, in the run-up to the 2015 general election, the then Tobago East MP launched the most scurrilous, vulgar attack on People’s National Movement leader Dr Keith Rowley, believe me, you haven’t seen the nastiest political campaigning yet.

Alleyne-Toppin had been allowed by House Speaker Wade Mark all the time she needed to allege that Rowley was a biological product of rape, and that he, in turn, would later end up committing the heinous crime to father a son. The alleged victims openly denied Toppin’s baseless charges, which were read into Hansard in the presence of her political leader, then Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, and other People’s Partnership parliamentary colleagues, none of whom intervened to stop the nastiness.
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Kamla’s Position on Venezuela Ascended the High Moral Ground

By Stephen Kangal
March 09, 2019

Stephen KangalIn the face of rapidly unfolding political and diplomatic events globally and the current isolation of T&T for its ill-advised decision to recognize unwittingly and side with the internationally denounced illegal and illegitimate regime of Nicolas Maduro bilaterally while pursuing a contradictory neutrality/ non-interference position at the multilateral Caricom and UN levels, it appears to me that Kamla outwitted Prime Minister Rowley in her strategic support for Interim President Juan Guaido.
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While I Am Here!

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
February 25, 2019

“Until all races see each other as brothers and sisters and not as competitors or enemies Trinidad and Tobago is not going to move forward.”

—Kamla Persad-Bissessar

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI congratulate the Hon. Kamla Persad-Bissessar for the brave speech on race relations in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) that she delivered on Monday, February 11. While I do not agree totally with the accuracy of her “short history lesson,” thinking in and of the future is much more important than being mired in the commess of the present. Demeaning Persad-Bissessar’s important insights by castigating the probity of her having Malone Hughes, a brother who was charged and fined several times , on her platform does a disservice to a brilliant analysis of our present condition. It reduces a pressing existentialist issue to a misguided rant about non-sense.
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Do not politicise war against crime

By Raffique Shah
February 20, 2019

Raffique ShahBuried in the last paragraph of a document titled “Interim Gang Report 2018”, which was compiled by the Organised Crime and Intelligence Unit of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service and featured prominently in the last Sunday Express, was one of the main reasons why criminal gangs conduct their savagery with impunity, making a mockery of all attempts by new Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith to rein in their murderous rampage.

Said paragraph concludes: “…Extensive co-ordination between the TTPS and the T&T Prisons Service is crucial to expand investigations and gather intelligence to address the growing threat gangs pose to T&T.”
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