Tag Archive for 'Raffique Shah'

Castro: colossus of the Caribbean

By Raffique Shah
November 28, 2016

Raffique ShahIN response to a request from one young reporter for me to comment on Fidel Castro after the legendary Cuban leader died last Friday, I blurted out: he was a colossus of the Caribbean who walked the world stage tall like a giant.

I don’t know if my one-sentence summary of the complex character that was Fidel was original, but I certainly think it was accurate. Never before in the history of the Caribbean had we seen a leader of his stature. And, like him or loathe him, the titans who straddled the world stage during his 50-year tenure at the helm of Cuba dared not ignore him, with many of them grudgingly respecting him.
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The corbeaux are circling

By Raffique Shah
November 23, 2016

Raffique ShahThe campaign for next Monday’s local government elections has degenerated into a dogfight that is dominated by fluff, innuendoes, outright lies and a teaspoon of violence which the main combatants, PNM leader Dr Keith Rowley and UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, hope will generate a large voter turnout and salvage their respective political careers.
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Every crook can govern

By Raffique Shah
November 16, 2016

Raffique ShahSixty years ago, Trinidad and Tobago philosopher CLR James penned a lengthy essay titled “Every Cook Can Govern”. As I recall its theme, having read it in the late 1970s, CLR argued that direct democracy, as practised in ancient Greece centuries before the birth of Christ, was the best form of governance ever.
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No interest in US elections

By Raffique Shah
November 08, 2016

Raffique ShahToday is a big day in American politics. In fact, the battle between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump for the presidency of the most powerful nation on earth has excited probably half the world’s population, who will have monitored the bruising election campaign and who will follow the count tonight until a winner is declared.
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Making the ordinary look extraordinary

By Raffique Shah
October 26, 2016

Raffique ShahWhen an act of kindness that should be an everyday occurrence is cause for national celebration you know the society is in moral decay.

Further, when academic achievements by pupils who come from ordinary homes in so-called depressed communities are hailed as extraordinary, Trinidad and Tobago, we have a serious problem.
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Baying for Al-Rawi’s blood

By Raffique Shah
October 19, 2016

Raffique ShahTrinidadians, as they would themselves say, “like too much confusion”.

The latest bacchanal began when Opposition MP Roodal Moonilal displayed and tendered in Parliament two photographs that purportedly show the teenage children of Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi “gallerying” (Moonilal’s word) with what appears to be a short-barrel rifle or a sub-machine gun.
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Water at $2 a day

By Raffique Shah
October 11, 2016

Raffique ShahThe Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) came perilously close to prompting me to gather a truckload of raw sewage and dump it on the doorsteps of the executive suites of the utility’s offices.

Recently, I received a bill from WASA which warned that I owed an outstanding balance of $590.40 that was due immediately, as well as $196.80 for the current billing cycle, October-December.
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Powers he does not have

By Raffique Shah
October 04, 2016

Raffique ShahThe unseemly public spat between President Anthony Carmona and Prime Minister Keith Rowley, if it gets any nastier, could bring both offices and office-holders into further disrepute, and add to the list of public offices, officials and institutions in which citizens have lost or are losing confidence.

We can take it as fact that based on the structural political divide in the country, at least half the adult population believes that Dr Rowley is wrong, that he is lying. We should not be ashamed to admit that most people judge politicians not on facts or evidence adduced, but on partisan politics, whatever the issue or whoever happens to be under scrutiny.
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Never lose human compassion

By Raffique Shah
September 28, 2016

Raffique ShahYou think we have problems in this country?

With days to go before Finance Minister Colm Imbert delivers the Government’s 2017 budget, Trinis by the thousand sit in bars across the country sipping beers or whisky, and amidst the din that is common to such establishments, shout to be heard: “Breds, we better drink up, yes…from Friday, we may not be able to afford Johnny Walker Blue!” Big problem, that.
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Pay the Devil

By Raffique Shah
September 17, 2016

Raffique ShahAnyone who believes that this Government can continue to spend money to fix the country’s many problems the way successive governments have done, seemingly forever, is either a fool or someone who regards us as a nation of fools.

The harsh reality we face is when the good times rolled, most of us, from politicians and the business elites to plebes and philistines, intoxicated by the flow of petrodollars, felt we could and should spend, spend, spend, and let the Devil take tomorrow.
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