Tag Archive for 'Raffique Shah'

Weathering the storm

By Raffique Shah
October 04, 2015

Raffique ShahTomorrow’s Budget presentation by Finance Minister Colm Imbert is the most eagerly anticipated Appropriation Bill in many years.

The main reason for heightened interest is the depressed state of the economy. With low oil, gas and commodities prices, hence lower-than-normal revenues accruing to government, citizens are waiting to see just how the new administration proposes to navigate the ship of State.
Continue reading ‘Weathering the storm’

Ruminations on religion

By Raffique Shah
September 28, 2015

Raffique ShahNot being a religious person, I must confess that religion (used here collectively) confuses me, and quite often frightens me.

Mark you, I am not disrespectful towards religion or religious persons. If I were, I’d be alienated from most of my family, relatives, friends and fellow-citizens, almost all of whom are praying people who belong to one faith or other among the scores that form the tapestry of this cosmopolitan country.
Continue reading ‘Ruminations on religion’

Lowest common denominator

By Raffique Shah
September 21, 2015

Raffique ShahLast week, at the opening of the new law term, two main speeches were delivered.

The first was a feature address by former President of the Republic and principal of the UWI St Augustine campus, Professor Max Richards. The second was the customary speech by the Chief Justice, a kind of state-of-the-Judiciary report which, I submit, is a veritable regurgitation of judicial woes that can be re-read year after year with only minor changes to the text.
Continue reading ‘Lowest common denominator’

Projections, not predictions

By Raffique Shah
September 14, 2015

Raffique ShahMy last two columns, one titled “Rowley rising” and the other “lament for a falling leader”, were seen by many of my readers as being almost prophetic in the wake of last Monday’s election results.

Had I made public another document in which I analysed the results in all 41 constituencies from 2007 onwards, using historical data and trends, and projecting the 2015 results (which I circulated only to close friends), I might have been accused of being an “obeahman” or “seer”.
Continue reading ‘Projections, not predictions’

Rowley rises

By Raffique Shah
September 07, 2015

Raffique ShahIf I had to identify a singular, dominant development from the tiresome, months-long election campaign, it would be the emergence of Keith Rowley as an orator and a leader of distinction.

Here is a man who started off the marathon campaign with all the negatives which any prime ministerial aspirant could be burdened with, but he overcame them with aplomb.
Continue reading ‘Rowley rises’

Lament for a falling leader

By Raffique Shah
August 30, 2015

Raffique ShahTomorrow being Independence Day, falling exactly one week before the general election, offers Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar an opportunity to play one final campaign hand-bestowing national awards on persons she believes can help sway votes in her direction.

Of course, with serious uncertainties over her re-election and a second term as PM, she would also want to give thanks to individuals and organisations that stood faithfully with her through a rough five years during which mistakes, missteps and blunders were as routine as, say, the rising sun.
Continue reading ‘Lament for a falling leader’

Half truths and manifestos

By Raffique Shah
August 25, 2015

Raffique ShahI don’t know that the majority of people in the country are influenced in any way by the manifestos presented by various parties-in our case two, one from the UNC/PP and the other from the PNM.

In fact, I believe few people, likely less than ten percent of the electorate, read these voluminous documents. In my case, I sought the synopses of the presenters because I know they will have highlighted what they saw as the fundamentals of what they would implement if elected, and certainly their most marketable offerings.
Continue reading ‘Half truths and manifestos’

SS Trinidad Sinking

By Raffique Shah
August 19, 2015

Raffique ShahAmidst the din of election campaigning—hundreds of ‘Kamla has a plan’ ads on all television stations during prime time, DJ music systems scouring the country daily, public meetings broadcast nightly on almost every radio and television station, more ads popping up every time you click on the Internet, assaults via phones and emails—I have yet to hear one frontline politician tell the people of this nation of the grim times the country faces if oil and gas prices keep tumbling, as they have done over the past two months.
Continue reading ‘SS Trinidad Sinking’

An issue more important than crime

By Raffique Shah
August 8, 2015

Raffique ShahWE columnists are on a roll during “elections season”, but in my 34 years of writing commentaries, I have never enjoyed a long, scandalous, comical campaign as the current one.

It’s so good, or bad (depending on one’s perspective), readers have taken to telephoning or emailing me with suggestions as to what I should address.
Continue reading ‘An issue more important than crime’

Wet brown paper could cut Jack

By Raffique Shah
August 02, 2015

Raffique ShahIN days of old here in Trinidad, people one or two generations ahead of mine used an adage, “when yuh crooked, wet brown paper could cut you”.

The word “crooked” in that context usually meant “a run of bad luck”, although in the instant case of Jack Warner, to whom it now applies, it could be a double-entendre. And if wet brown paper could cut you, then you were really deep in the doo-doo.
Continue reading ‘Wet brown paper could cut Jack’