Tag Archive for 'Raffique Shah'

We must do, or die like stray dogs

By Raffique Shah
January 11, 2017

Raffique ShahIf fantasy could be magically transformed into reality, as Dictator-General of Trinidad and Tobago, I would harness the approximately $10 billion per year that is wasted on cigarettes, alcohol and gambling and put that money to productive use.

But then I’d be a dead dictator before I could even proclaim the prohibitions, since I verily believe that 90-plus per cent of my countrymen smoke, drink alcohol or gamble, and many of them engage in all three vices.
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A decisive year ahead

By Raffique Shah
January 04, 2017

Raffique ShahIF asked what is the number one problem facing the nation as we enter 2017, the overwhelming majority respondents would say violent crimes, especially murders. My beleaguered fellow citizens, having survived another bloody year during which killers showed utter contempt for law and order, see a slide into anarchy looming large.

But I submit that the perilous state of the economy is the biggest threat to national stability, and the Government’s apparent inability to formulate strategies and plans to resuscitate it is the gravest danger the country faces.
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Little boy that Santa Claus ignored

By Raffique Shah
December 30, 2016

Raffique ShahIf there is one universal truth about Christmas, it is that the festival is about children, most of all their innocence that runs so deep, for two thousand years adults have convinced them that there is a Santa Claus who dwells somewhere near the North Pole, and whose life-mission is to magically materialise toys and gifts that he distributes to little boys and girls across the world during that one night of the year.
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Clueless on crime

By Raffique Shah
December 16, 2016

Raffique ShahA tragedy of our time is when we are outraged by the gore of one of the daily dosages of murder, we erupt into a cacophony of protest, condemnation and cries for the return of the hangman, such expressions lasting no longer than the proverbial sno-cone in the midday sun.

I predict that before the dirt settles on Shannon Banfield’s grave, seasonal parang music, alcohol and black cake will numb the senses of all but her loved ones whose pain will, understandably, last forever. And an avalanche of Carnival-related activities will further distract us from the atrocities that are committed daily on the killing fields of Trinidad more than Tobago.
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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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