Category Archives: PNM

The politics of redemption

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
July 04, 2022

We must never forget that there is something within human nature that can respond to goodness, that man is not totally depraved; to put it in theological terms, the image of God is never totally gone.

—Martin Luther King, Jr, A Testament of Hope

PART II

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI had hoped to write about another aspect of the Foster Cummings debate, but other questions arose since last week which means I have to clear a lot of ground before I continue these observations.

Reading (or the explication of texts) is not so easy as many people believe it to be. A theologian goes to theology school to learn how to interpret theological texts (we call it exegesis). The lawyer goes to law school to learn how to read legal texts (whether the original intention or from a contemporary setting). Literary scholars go to graduate school to learn the most fortuitous way to examine literary texts.
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SEA Results Must be Published

By Stephen Kangal
July 03, 2022

Stephen KangalPrimary students write an annual competitive SEA Examination that determines, inter alia, where the students are to receive their best secondary schooling of choice to foster their academic development and their career paths.

These results have been published since its inception.

First the PNM interfered with the CAPE scholarships criteria by cutting down the number and even tinkering with the allocation based on subjectivity.
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Doh mess with ma name

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
June 13, 2022

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeAkan people of Ghana, from which my lineage springs, have a naming ceremony eight or ten days after a child is born. It is called the Outdoor Ceremony, where the child is brought into the outdoors to see the light of day.

During that ceremony, the child is given a name that confers a specific identity upon him or her. Not a tear is shed if that child dies before the naming ceremony. It is as if that entity never existed, so precious is a person’s name in that society.
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If the priest could play…

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 24, 2022

Liberty trains for liberty. Responsibility is the first step in responsibility. Even the restraints imposed in the training of men and children are restraints that will in the end make greater freedom possible.

—WEB Du Bois, John Brown

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeWhen we voted for the PNM in 2015, we felt that we were voting to end corruption and to bring to justice those who had stolen from the State. Unfortunately, we were wrong. Seven long years after PNM’s ascendancy to power, no one has been found guilty of any major crime of corruption, but then again, all those allegations may have been a mirage in our collective imagination.
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The price of progress – Pt II

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 02, 2022

PART IPART II

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThe general election of 1946 ushered in a new phase in Trinidad and Tobago’s political development, in that it was the year in which universal suffrage was introduced into the island. In that year, Patrick Solomon formed the West Indian National Party with Dr David Pitt, which later became the Caribbean Socialist Party.

Between 1950 and 1956, Albert Gomes, who considered himself “the logical successor to Captain Cipriani”, formed the Party of Political Progress Groups to contest the 1956 election. Owen Mathurin argues, “Gomes’s outstanding ambition was to outdo Cipriani and replace him as the hero in the hearts of the black working class.” Although the Colonial Office saw Gomes as their “blue-eyed boy”, he was not regarded as the champion of the working class, as he had seen himself.
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In a ‘freeness’ state

By Raffique Shah
April 18, 2022

Raffique ShahIf we think this point in our history is the worst in our existence as a sovereign state, then it’s easy to blame the incumbent government for taking us there.

After all, the People’s National Movement (PNM) held power longest—35 of 44 years in the last century, 30 of those consecutively (1956-1986), and unless the party is removed from office by means other than elections—its current term expires in 2025, it will have ruled for 19 years in this quarter-century.
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I am the State!

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
April 11, 2022

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOne is always flabbergasted by how democracy functions (or malfunctions) in Trinidad and Tobago. Recently there was a Cabinet reshuffle in the Government. Clarence Rambharat, the Minister of Agriculture, resigned. He expressed his desire to return to Canada to be closer to his family and yet one week later he was named or, as the Express describes it, “rocked back” into power. (Express, April 3.)
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Creating a failed state

By Raffique Shah
April 11, 2022

“Breathes there the man with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said¸
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne’er within him burn’d
As home his footsteps he hath turn’d
From wandering on a foreign strand!
If such there breathe, go, mark him well
For him no Minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
Despite those titles, power, and pelf, all in self,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And doubly dying, shall go down,
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonour’d and unsung.”

—Sir Walter Scott (1771—1832)

Raffique ShahRarely do I use poetry in my prose, and rarer still my use of such an extensive quote to open my column. However, as I pondered the issue I want to address, and to bring it to life quite differently to readers and, hopefully, more readers and leaders in the society, those considerations guided me to one of Scotland’s great men of letters, Sir Walter Scott. He succinctly summed up the depths to which many leaders and their vocal supporters descend into and the ostracism they deserve for such sins.
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The Political Leader as a Man of Culture

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
April 04, 2022

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeA few weeks ago, Express journalist Ria Taitt asked PNM political leader and Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley whether he would be presenting himself as a candidate for the leadership of the party. He responded: “I was elected in a general election for the term 2020 to 2025. I have a responsibility to complete the mandate that the electorate gave me, but I can only do so by being the PNM leader. My term of office as PNM leader ends this year so there will be an internal election, and to serve out my mandate as Prime Minister I am obligated to seek an extension of my term as political leader of the PNM.”
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Good people must speak out now

By Raffique Shah
March 14, 2022

Raffique ShahI do not know the former chairman of the Energy Chamber, Eugene Tiah. Never seen, met or spoken with him. I know only that he appears to be well respected in the energy industries by his peers, and presumably by the overlords of the downstream and petrochemicals industries, a vast, multi-billion-dollar contributor to the national economy in which the State has significant interest.
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