Tag Archive for 'Selwyn R. Cudjoe'

Missing Their Mark

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 17, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeDr. Keith Rowley and the PNM came through the Petrotrin debate looking much better than Ancil Roget and the OWTU. Moreover, Rowley’s rationality and levelheadedness triumphed over Roget’s tentativeness and impulsiveness. Initially, I thought Rowley and the PNM would have won the battle and lost the war. I am not sure this prediction still holds. It’s a pity though Roget did not outline his refinery-saving proposal before (Express, September 14).

My neighbor, a shop steward of OWTU, has another view of things. He believes the strike was “partially successful. It was supposed to demonstrate to the political leaders that we need to change how we do things and to remind them that the people are still in charge.” “The union,” he said, “used the day to protest the selling of our national assets to foreigners.”
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The Tricky Ways of Democracy

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 11, 2018

“Democracy will never be supplanted by a republic of experts.”
—Thomas Piketty, Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI want to compliment Dr. Keith Rowley for the informative and well-argued address he made to the nation on Sunday about his government’s intention to get rid of the refinery operations of PetroTrin. One may not agree with everything he said or the conclusions he arrived at, but it was courageous of him to share his thinking with the nation.
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Killing the Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 03, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeAesop, an enslaved man from Ethiopia, once told a fable, “The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg.” It goes like this:

“A man and his wife owned a very special goose. Every day the goose would lay a golden egg, which made the couple very rich.

“‘Just think,’ said the man’s wife, ‘If we could have all the golden eggs that are inside the goose, we could be richer much faster.'”
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A Wounded Animal – Pt 2

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
August 26, 2018

PART 2

Reporting the world and its past, the past as a wound, the present as loss, has been Naipaul’s dedication and business, a sort of unillusioned mourning” (Frank Kermode, London Review of Books, 4 May 1989).

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIt was a Saturday evening in the fall of 1988. I had just arrived at Wellesley College in Massachusetts and was having dinner with a colleague when my nephew shouted from the first-floor bedroom: “Uncle Selwyn, Mr. Naipaul on the phone.” You could have heard a pin drop. Everyone became silent.

I went upstairs to answer the phone. In my best Trinidadianese, I intoned: “Good evening, Mr. Naipaul. This is Selwyn Cudjoe.”
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A Wounded Animal

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
August 20, 2018

PART 1

“If being afflicted with asthma [as Naipaul was as a child] shaped personality and character, then, perhaps it made him [Naipaul] a wounded animal. —Savi Naipaul Akal”

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOn May 13, 1979, Irving Howe reviewed V. S. Naipaul’s A Bend in the River in the New York Times. Although Howe praised the novel effusively, he knew little about the man or the society that produced such a talented writer.

On June 24, 1979, Michael Thelwell responded to Shiva and Vidia’s comments about Africa and asked the Times: “Had the brothers Naipaul not existed, would you have had to invent them? One suspects so. For how else would it have been possible for little brother Shiva to pontificate in your columns that the African soul is a blank slate on which anything can be written, onto which any fantasy can be transposed.…
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“Don’t Talk About It; Be About It!”

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
August 12, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeMy first impulse was to congratulate the government for voting to appoint Gary Griffith Commissioner of Police (CoP). Whatever Griffith’s weaknesses, his appointment promised to give the police force the stability it deserves and the country the space it needs to breathe easier; that is, until Stuart Young, “Ad-minister of everything but master of nothing,” was recycled into the Ministry of National Security.

Without even being confirmed, Griffith hit the airways telling the population what he would and would not do although prudence dictated that he meet with the leadership of the police force, learn from their experiences, and tell them of his plans to make the force a more efficient unit. After such discussions, he could have determined how best to attack the monster called crime.
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Strengthening PNM

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
August 06, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeFrancis Bertrand has been a PNM member for 49 years. He joined the party in 1969 and became a member of its Youth League. His academic and sporting brilliance at Presentation College led to a scholarship to Long Island University in New York. After he returned home, he became the mayor of Point Fortin and served for two terms as president of the World Conference of Mayors.
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Open Yo’ Eyes & Ears, PNM…

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
July 30, 2018

“Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not.” — Jeremiah 5:21

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeAny party that has any pretensions to be relevant to its people needs to take time out to listen to what they are saying. The recent by-election came and went. The United National Congress won a seat—it increased its margin of victory-and the People’s National Movement (PNM) lost a seat—its margin of victory decreased. One would think the ruling party would examine why it didn’t do as well as it wanted to.
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Preparing the Way for Kamla – Pt 8

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
July 24, 2018

PART 8

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeWhen a government cannot even buy a boat to convey its citizens from point A to point B; select a commissioner of police as its murder rate soars; or be up front enough to tell its citizens the cost of building a hotel it says is in their best interest, then that government has lost its raison d’etre to lead.

Any party that says it represents the interest of a particular group but which, after sixty-two years in existence, that group is relatively worse off than before, then that party needs to question its performance? That party may even need to reinvent itself to accommodate the wishes of that group.
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Preparing the Way for Kamla – Pt 7

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
July 18, 2018

PART 7

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOn July 14, 2003, my mother took her bath, got dressed, went to the polling station located at St. Mary’s Children Home, Tacarigua, and voted for PNM. Two weeks later she was dead. She never voted for any other party in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T).

When Eric Williams arrived on the political scene in 1954 my mother worked in a white woman’s kitchen. When he defied the colonial powers and proclaimed the dignity of black and brown people (“Massa Day Done,” he proclaimed), my mother saw him as a political messiah and PNM as the vehicle to take her out of a house of bondage and into a land of liberty.
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