Category Archives: PNM

A case of narcissistic sycophancy

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
Submitted: December 04, 2022
Posted: December 06, 2022

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeBy the time you read this column, the Hon Keith Rowley will have been re-elected leader of the PNM by as much as about 75 to 80 per cent of the vote. In so doing, party members have placed their seal of endorsement on everything he has done, thereby taking full responsibility for the downward spiral in which the country finds itself. On the very weekend in which he is elected leader of the party, we will be witnessing a record number of homicides in the country.
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A sacrificial lamb

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
November 28, 2022

“Little lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee,
Gave thee life, and bid thee feed
By the stream and o’er the mead…”

—William Blake, “The Lamb”

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeTwo weeks ago I spoke about the incivility in our political culture and the need to refrain from making savage attacks against one another. Many people responded favourably to my article. Richard de Lima, writing from Ontario, Canada, observed: “I have been reading your columns in the Express several years, which though always informative, sometimes stimulating, and often entertaining, have not prompted me to write you before. On this occasion, I feel obliged to extend my compliments to you on the penetrating remarks made about the conduct of PNM ministers and other senior party officials in regard to challengers for various positions in the forthcoming party elections.
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No place to hide

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
November 14, 2022

“There’s no hidin’ place up there,
Oh, I went to the hills to hide my face,
The hills cried out, ‘No hidin’ place;
There’s no hidin’ place up here.”

—An Afro-American spiritual

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThings have been warming up (or deteriorating) lately in the political arena among those who see others as pothounds; those who consider themselves as thoroughbreds; and those who accuse challengers of the established order as possessing sinister motives.

Stuart Young, Minister of Energy, demeaned PNM members who offered themselves for leadership positions in the party’s forthcoming elections. He claimed that since 2015, some of them have done nothing but criti­cise the party leaders “like little pothounds barking at our ankles as though they are the opposition and now they want to put themselves forward and call themselves firstly PNM members and then secondly want to be PNM leaders”.
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Talk to me

By Raffique Shah
October 10, 2022

Raffique ShahThis race, Karen (Nunez-Tesheira), is not for leadership of The People’s National Movement. It is for leadership of the country, the nation. It requires someone of stature and fortitude who can take Trinidad and Tobago by the scruff of its neck or other body parts, shake the masses into facing the reality that we can work our way out of the deep hole we have dug ourselves into, and from which we can clamber out only if we stand shoulder to shoulder and use our collective strength.
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Academic oasis

By Raffique Shah
September 05, 2022

Raffique ShahI was scanning the local television channels last Tuesday for any Independence-related special programming they might feature on the eve of the 60th anniversary, when I realised CCN TV6 was about to run live coverage of the formal opening of the Dr Eric Williams Memorial Library and museum in Port of Spain.

As the cameras panned the guests arriving for what was likely to be one of the feature events of the anniversary, I experienced a wave of nostalgia, memories of what seemed to have been many years ago when Erica Williams, daughter of the late prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago, first communicated with me about her project.
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The cries of our people

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
August 29, 2022

“The horner man crying; Somebody horn de horner man…”
—Anil Roberts on Keith Rowley

“I could take a horn if I get one. I ain’t sending nobody to kill nobody.”
—Dr Keith Rowley’s response to Roberts

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThese are the sentiments of two of our leaders on the eve of the Diamond jubilee of our Independence. Serious people treated Roberts’ characterisation of Sharon Clark-Rowley, the prime minister’s wife, with the disdain that it deserved. There was no reason to drag her into the gutter, as there was no need to elevate such spurious nonsense to the level of serious national discourse. As we say—if you play with the dog, you get bitten by the fleas.
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Show me your leader

By Raffique Shah
August 29, 2022

Raffique ShahIt’s not so much that we have little or nothing to celebrate on the 60th anniversary of our Independence from Britain, as so many who swear they are patriots, but whose patriotism swings with the pendulum of their political party’s fortunes, which almost always are linked to their personal fortunes.

It’s more that our democracy has been carved up into near-equal but uneven parts in such manner, to misquote Irish poet William Yeats in his near-prophetic masterpiece, “The Second Coming”, “…Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world/The blood-dimmed tide is loosed and everywhere/The ceremony of innocence is drowned/The best lack all conviction/While the worst/Are full of passionate intensity…”
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Finding African farmers

By Raffique Shah
August 15, 2022

Raffique ShahIt pains me whenever I feel it necessary to confront the race issue in my column. I see it as a waste of valuable column centimetres where those of us who have been selected by the managers and editors of newspapers to highlight and comment on matters of national importance instead find ourselves discussing drivel.

But there comes a time when columnists cannot ignore attempts by influential people in the society resorting to race, playing the race card when everything else fails them, in the hope that controversy might save them from oblivion, a fate politicians fear more than they do the hell-fire that is promised to believers and non-believers alike for the sinful lives they lead, convinced they are so clever, they can fool even the Creator.
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An unforgiving electorate

By Raffique Shah
August 08, 2022

Raffique ShahContinuing where I ended last Sunday, by the turn of the millennium and the century, the Opposition United National Congress had positioned itself to capitalise on the vulnerabilities of the People’s National Movement, which had been weakened by the mass movement of 1970 (Black Power) that was driven largely by the children and grandchildren of the PNM.
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