Misplaced Philanthropy

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 20, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOne cannot help but be amazed by the indigestible piffle that emanates from the mouths of our politicians when they speak about issues concerning the society. We hear their speeches and read their statements, yet we wonder if they understand what they are saying and the implications of their actions.

Take, for example, the prime minister’s response to the concern that most of the students who were selected for the national mentorship program in energy are Indo-Trinidadians. After fierce criticism about this imbalance, he replied with self-evident pride: “I initiated this program by sending out personnel to find our national scholars…trained in areas of expertise useful to the Ministry of Energy. We decided that those who had done extremely well, with first class honors, should be gathered to rebuild the pool of expertise in the ministry and enable the country to cope with the requirements of the energy sector….
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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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Racism—last refuge of a scoundrel

By Raffique Shah
September 09, 2019

Raffique ShahWhat possessed United National Congress leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar to unleash a loose cannon in the form of ex-soldier Carlton Dennie on an unsuspecting audience of party faithful a few Monday nights ago, we may never know.

Surely she could not have known beforehand that the corporal, who had somehow been elevated to head the intelligence arm of the Strategic Services Agency, was about to cast a giant-but-crooked shadow over her beleaguered UNC that seems to be locked in battle with the incumbent People’s National Movement to lose the next general election.
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Robert Mugabe: An African Hero

September 07, 2019

Robert Mugabe

Robert Mugabe died on September 06, 2019 at the age of 95.

On the passing of former Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe… I salute Robert Mugabe for his enormous contributions towards freedom and decolonization. Demonized in life and death for retrieving stolen Zimbabwe land, he will go down as one of the bravest leaders on the African continent. Thank you, sir.

Dr Tye Salandy

We at RaceAndHistory.com, AfricaSpeaks.com and Trinicenter.com hail the contributions of former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe towards African liberation in Zimbabwe, the African continent and the African diaspora.
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Ordinary people, extraordinary lives

By Raffique Shah
September 04, 2019

Raffique ShahThey will cremate Miss Eileen sometime today somewhere in Florida where most of her daughters and only surviving son live. I hope the passage of hurricane Dorian does not disrupt the final rites for one of the matriarchs of the village of Bokaro (now “Frenchified” to Beaucarro) where I grew up and spent my formative years. She was one of two surviving women who were bred-and-born in Bokaro, the other being Lucille Warrick who also migrated to the USA, and who is, give or take, of similar age to Mrs. Eileen Prince, 93, when the latter breathed her last two Thursdays ago.
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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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Independence, sedition and legislative violence

NOTE: We have updated this post on September 03, 2019 at 4.12 PM with its original longer version. A shortened version was previously posted here and carried in the Trinidad Express.

Of Independence, sedition and legislative violence: how elitist laws have damaged the nation

By Dr Tye Salandy
September 02, 2019
UPDATED: September 03, 2019

Sedition, careful, careful how you talking … hey hey!

Sedition, careful, careful whey you walking

Incompetent idiots have genuine patriots

Always under escort in the sedition court.

—The Mighty Sparrow (Sedition)

Dr Tye SalandyThe Sedition Act, used recently to charge Watson Duke (and earlier Michael Seales and Abu Bakr), is a dangerous law that has no place in our law books. This Sedition Act, along with marijuana laws, anti-loitering laws, vagrancy laws, and obeah laws, is part of a long list of colonial laws that are still on the books.
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Great Is the PNM…

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
August 30, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIt used to be that you couldn’t beat the PNM when it came to election strategy and election campaigning. We may have to reconsider this truism. This time the PNM might be sleep-walking into an unpleasant election defeat.

The Marlene accident has put a dent into the party’s façade that will be difficult to repair given the party’s hallowed precept, “Morality in public affairs.” Marlene was an accident that was waiting to happen. It makes little sense trying to transfer the responsibility of her indiscretions (or so it seems) to the Manning administration so as to let the present leadership off the political hook.
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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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