Riding into the valley of death

By Raffique Shah
October 31, 2010

Raffique ShahTHERE are few reasons why the People’s Partnership Government should portray itself as a victim of circumstances the way the NAR did in 1986. Back then, Ray Robinson and his “party of parties” inherited an almost empty treasury. The George Chambers government had faced declining oil prices from OPEC-driven “highs” in 1973-77 to “lows” by the time Chambers assumed power in 1981.

For those with short memories, and many who were not around when the NAR obliterated the PNM by a 33-3 margin of victory, the new government had to hasten to the IMF to rescue the sinking economy. Among measures the IMF demanded, which the NAR complied with, were drastic cuts in public expenditure.

These included the withholding public servants’ COLA from 1987, and imposing a 10 per cent cut in their salaries in 1988. It cut expenditure on social programmes, unemployment rose, as did the cost of living. Besides the split in the NAR, the party faced discontent among those who had supported it in 1986. Mass strikes and demonstrations ensued, culminating a successful “day of resistance” in March 1989.

The rest is history. In fact, by 1991, the NAR was history. The People’s Partnership is somewhat different in structure to what the NAR was. Also, the circumstances in which it beat the PNM were quite different. Chambers paid the price for Eric Williams’ oil-boom profligacy. Patrick Manning drove the nails into the PNM’s coffin by a combination of reckless spending and gross insensitivity to public opinion.

When the People’s Partnership took power, funds in the Treasury were low. But it was by no stretch empty. Our foreign reserves and money in the HSF were solid. Our debt to GDP ratio was manageable. And although revenues had dropped significantly, mainly because of low gas and oil prices, they remain at reasonable levels to allow the new government some breathing space.

To put it bluntly, the People’s Partnership did not need to cut back on social programmes. If anything, it has increased expenditure in these areas, created new programmes—most justified. It added new features that have not met with universal acceptance (like the “laptops for every child”). The Government has also been very generous to religious and cultural organisations, and it has paid out more money to flood victims than the PNM did in all its years in government.

However, when it comes to treating with public sector workers, it has signalled that it’s “wuss dan de PNM”. Incomplete negotiations between the PSA (and other public sector representative unions) and government is something the People’s Partnership inherited. Pennelope Beckles and Amery Browne should bear that in mind when they march with protesting public servants. The PNM had years of plenty during which it ought to have settled with all public sector unions.

Instead, it hid behind the obstructionist PSNC and failed to offer government employees anything. It also blocked new industrial agreements at enterprises like TSTT and First Citizen’s Bank (to name two state-controlled enterprises). So the PNM cannot now gloat over the fire the People’s Partnership Government faces.

But these factors do not absolve the People’s Partnership government from its responsibility to right the wrongs the PNM inflicted on public sector employees. There is no justification for offering the nation’s public servants a one per cent increase in salaries over a three-year period. Over this period, all MPs and senators received more than 50 per cent increase in their emoluments. Senior managers in many State enterprises and institutions awarded themselves generous increases or bonuses, or both.

Clearly, something is amiss here. I am not suggesting that the PSA get all that it’s asking for. I firmly believe, too, that two additions should be made in any new agreement. First, the increases awarded should be graded, with the lower-paid workers enjoying a higher percentage than those at the upper end. Secondly, all industrial agreements henceforth should contain productivity and performance clauses.

Too many workers in the public sector hide behind strong job-security while they short-change the public they are paid to serve. From police officers to teachers, and public officers who interface with citizens seeking their services, there is inexcusable indifference to service and productivity.

There is nothing wrong with government demanding productivity clauses in new agreements with public sector workers. Citizens deserve value for money. And avenues for firing (not suspending with full pay!) unproductive or hostile workers should form part of the new concordat.

Having argued for some equity in whatever settlements they arrive at, I add that both government (as the biggest employer in the country) and trade unions must be prepared to meet the challenges that will elevate us from a Third World mentality to First World performance.

The government must start by showing its bona fides, by having the CPO make a decent offer to the PSA. There will be give-and-take. But in the end, public sector workers must not feel they are the “bastards” of a skewed system that does not recognise their contributions to country.

If it fails to budge, and should Finance Minister Winston Dookeran stick to his one-per-cent gun, then the government may face dire consequences. Governments have fallen on less contentious issues. The People’s Partnership government must not feel it is invincible, or immovable. That’s precisely what Manning thought of his regime five months ago.

It’s an illusion that misled many in power to ride, eyes wide open, into the Valley of Death.

31 thoughts on “Riding into the valley of death”

  1. As usual an excellent , refreshingly balanced , and most welcome analysis Uncle Shah.
    Now before they all turn into salt ,I should venture to add a few major distinctions, that might be able to make Queen K- in all of her Indira Gandhi reincarnation manifestations- along with her enabling , delusional Jackals ,cause for pause, as they continue to look over their shoulder like symbolic Lot wives. Here are my points:-
    1.Robbie was born on the wrong island of Tobago and a merely tolerated , as being more palatable than the lifetime racist Basdeo, so folks in big brother Trinidad could not help but sock it to him at the opportune time , with the obvious help of folks in high and low places, in business, fake religious quarters , as well as in and out of political power at the time.
    2.The PP party was given an overwhelming mandate for change, and led by what appeared on paper to be a rational leader ,of a balanced government , had sound ideas for leading the country forward.
    In contrast ,as a leader, Ahh we boii Robbie , was a groveling ,self aggrandizing, arrogant coward, and a insignificant part of a minority Tobago 2 seat party alliance, who felt that he could run against the tide, and tame the politically ambitious tribalist tiger Bas, as he in turn attempted to rule as if he was de First amongst Equal, Caribbean Winston Churchill.
    What a pitiful idiot,who thankfully he got his revenge as President years later, score one for Machiavelli ,and his cold dish meal mantra , so help us!
    You are correct, if these fools think that for skewed political reasons,they can run roughshod over people’s rights, fail to provide viable jobs, denounce ,and treat dedicated ,public servants -that must in reality,eventually carry out their policies -like scapegoats and imbeciles,while pushing the narrow interest of their cronies in business , as well as selective fractions within their enclaves , then they have a thing coming , and may well be advised to enjoy their moment in the sun , as they will most definitely be defeated come next election, and force their political party to flounder in the political wilderness for another 15 or more years .
    We wish dem well,as history always tend to bite those in the butt that refuse to learn from past experiences.

  2. ‘Public Service’ now if that isn’t a term that has devolved into the realm of oxymoronic. Forgive me, but when public servants ‘everywhere’ understand the purpose of their occupations, maybe then they’ll earn sympathy. Otherwise they’ll remain layers of inbred, poorly managed bureaucracies, where access is granted not on the basis of expertise but the degree of familial and feudal ties.

  3. The main reason why the PSA allowed the PNM to mistreat them in the past was because the executive were supporters of the PNM government.It is no accident that PNM MP’s choose to march with the union. Their primary goal is to destabalize the existing government, not to show any kind of solidarity. It’s politicans doing what politicans do best…deception.
    I agree that the existing salary offer is insulting, but the PSA executive is playing political games. There are rumblings by its memembership and strong opposition from within against further job action without a serious attempt to negotiate.
    One of the major problems that the PP government is facing is destabilizing activity by senior civil servants and others in positions of power who refuse to accept the results of the last election.

  4. excellent article….the PP’s use of propaganda to govern will be their downfall…ppl not that stupid!!

  5. Great article my Soldier Brother. .. I hope they are listening.. and while you are at it please give some advice to the Brig. (wang).

  6. “The main reason why the PSA allowed the PNM to mistreat them in the past was because the executive were supporters of the PNM government.”
    Based on your typical twisted logic, pray tell us ‘Mr tribal masturbator,’ why folks at Caroni Ltd allowed the ULF/CLUB 88/ & UNC ,to mistreat them in the past , even as late as the HFCU meltdown ,where most were encouraged like docile lambs to the slaughter to invest in, as opposed to the Unit Trust , and similar, more viable state centric financial institutions?
    In your lofty position as spokesman for the PP regime, feel free to advise dem to fire the whole bunch of Civil Servants since they’ll never trust them , then encourage them to hire new members either exclusively from the selective supporting enclaves , the wonderful business community ,or better yet , import 60 thousand or more form Canada, USA, or Mother Britannia, as folks from those respective countries, have been known to do a far superior job.
    You know the sad thing is that this comedian do believe this nonsense he is regurgitating, as he was fed this from the day he was old enough to milk dem water buffalo , he rode to school daily in the village of Matlot, yes?

    1. While I agree with much of your analysis, your completing comments–not that I am above these myself–discredits your arguments.

      What’s wrong with, or is deregotry in riding a water buffalo to school, and in milking one?

      I didn’t ride a buffalo, but sure milked a lot of goats to help our parents pay high-school fees for my sister and me (that is until Dr. Williams’ policies guaranteed our younger brothers and sisters entrance into QRC and Bishops, etc).

      In fact, one of our most productive milking goats, my mother named “prayers”, and I believe we still have its skull somewhere in recognition and appreciation.

      In addition, such tasks taught us early to be depenfdable and to take responsibility for our parents’ property, and to our duties assisting us now as adults and parents.

      Thus, I think a fellow blogger, one who is usually wrong, but having ridden a water buffalo to school, can’t be all bad, deserves an apology!

  7. i miss yuo SHAH..hit them hard ..all comers speak yuh truth fearlessly ..take no prisoners..uncompromised journalism is a dying art,i agree that public servants are a most disgruntled lot who short change the people who pay their salaries,but this is a national problem the discourteus attitude it a way of our people and until we realise that our learning and training institutions need an overhaul..i mean we needto re-educate our people…we will have the problem..so why punish public servants? our leaders are usually dishonest and self serving practicing nepotism and graft..so wither thou goest?..ent!..when you look at the people they put into positions of power ,its like putting cat to watch butter..again and again the same old crooks dressed up in jacket and tie enriching themselves and their families at the epense of us all.. what to expect but a doh -care -damn society? pay public servants a living wage

  8. Mr.Shah it always a pleasure and learning experience for me to examine the inside of great minds through their writings.I sincerely hope the leaders of our great country pay attention to your warnings and recommendations.
    I noticed your piece have spawned comments by one that attach himself like a leach and attempted to suck the life and derail the entire premise and intent your article.
    This Mr.”N” under the guise of agreeing with you went on to spout and spew his hate with such vitriol that would make the Grand Wizard of the local KKK cringe.
    His attempt to defame anyone in a leadership position in Trinidad’s Government past or present that do not meet his race or tribal requirement has now become his rallying cry and mission.
    He is totally void of any real ideas or solutions but somehow feels compelled to hijack others effort to find an answer to our country’s problems and claim it as his own as he has attempted to do here.I know this racist fringe element in Trinidad will eventually dissipate in a generation or two but we should sit idly by and allow them to influence young vulnerable people that may fall prey to these lunatics.

  9. Raffique Shah:

    Raffique are you the same one I know that went to St.Phillips & St James College/ Presentation College in the mid 50’s??? I relocated to the US in the 70’s. If you are, I will like to get in touch with some of our classmates. Thanks for your response.

  10. Actually Neal, I was chauffeur driven to one of the best colleges in T&T.
    Can you not tell from my comments that I belong to the ruling class?

  11. Nah , nothing you cold aver do, or say on this board ,or in your future life, could ever convince me that you were ever a member of that class. As a matter of fact, you would never recognize class , if it fell off the CN Tower and strike you in the head.
    Your papa might have been a low caste character, cutting grass to feed the pigs of an upper class family perhaps in Federation Park, and this might explain why his 11th of 20 children in T-Man , is such a self loathing creature ,that despise even his family name, to the same degree he hates his own country- until May 24th 2010 that is.
    Incidentally, that kind of reminds me of another , yes, classless, certain national ungrateful, Nobel Literature Prize winner , that would drain every bit of blood in his body ,so as to replace it with – in his estimation, more pristine liquids- and take a Chaguarnas market cutlass ,to peel off his black skin , so as to convert himself into a European , if such was ever possible.

  12. Th sweet savour of victory has given way to the lime juice of seeming to make some people pay for not voting them in 100%. Programmes that are beneficial to the people,in any civilized country, are maintained by the incoming government, and if necessary, pushed further. Nixon’s victory in 1968(USA) was a case in point.Peace Corps volunteers were afraid that he would abolish the programme.He was not that stupid. It seems though that “government by badmind” means cut back on everything that the PNM did, water taxis, Coast Guard vessels for patrolling our vulnerable coastline,protecting us from drug dealers posing as fishermen and yachties, summarily firing senior police officers, and the list goes on. It is as if the party in power is daring the people to do something about their rough ride over them. There is an “It good for you” attitude that cannot bode well for the future of the country.

    In a previous incarnation of the miscreants that now run the country, the Postal System was abolished and privatized, making us the only country in the world I know of, with a privately run postal system. Suppose a terrorist mailed one of those “printers” through trinidad. It would sit at TTPost for weeks until it exploded, without anyone knowing it was there. That group also got rid of the Ministry of Health, creating the Regional Corporations of illhealth instead, with untold damage to the lives of newborns. It is said that those two areas were heavily populated with people of African origin. Now there is the witch hunt in the police service, but so far a lot of the people they “ketch” have the wrong names. They blame Laventille for the crime rate, but the Karmaths get arrested for drugs and ammo. and it goes on. We shall see how this government of badmind progresses. Thank God my pension does not depend on them. May God forgive my people for the train wreck they created, because they hated Mr. Manning.

    1. There is nothing factual in this comment by Linda Edwards.
      Water taxis are being continued and expanded.
      The Coast Guard is continuing to patrol our coastline. An extravagant OPV contract was cancelled.
      Regional Corporations of Health were established by the former government.This was considered an excellent idea at the time.
      The postal system has been restored.
      Since most of the murders occur in the POS area,that is the area which boosts the crime rate.
      No one racial group has a monopoly on crime. All Trinis have accepted that fact, governments included.
      Pensions have been enhanced and available to all citizens who qualify.
      Finally, comment of this type seem to foster division rather than cohesion, especially when these statements are not factual and are motivated by political disappointment.

  13. You are right about one thing, Neal, I am much like Naipaul, except that the blood in my veins was not drained but naturally European ( part that is).

  14. Great article. You are a man with common sense, what an insightful and well written article. Hope the new government will read and follow through.

  15. Neal how can I put this in simpler terms or layman’s terms so you can understand.
    I know nothing I or anyone say would change your views and the way you behave.You see your behavior and everyone else in the world is determined by two factors.

    1)The way you see the world.

    2)The way you see yourself.

    Since in some cases you have no control of the events and actions of others around us,it is the way we interpret and understand this information which determine our behavior.
    The way you see yourself is another thing.By your writings there are many indications that you may have been an abused child or had many hardships in your early years,with many unresolved issues which you have not yet worked out.
    This backlog of unresolved issues,I believe is the reason for your lashing out at the society from whence you came.
    Since you fail to see the lamp post in your own eye here you are pointing out the speck in others in order to find some sort of solace for your failed state.If you do not make peace with yourself you will be doomed to live a life in a state of constant anger.You will end up like Harry Williams,he is a perfect example of a person totally consumed by hatred and anger and now finds it impossible to assimilate into a normal society.

    You and Harry Williams are the remnant of an old era,the era of honorary white hood entrusted by the old British Colonialist,now is a time to develop your own identity, relinquish those old titles and leave those ghost of the past behind.Indians and Whites are not your enemies but fellow Trinidadians if you are indeed a Trinidadian.If you do not free yourself from your slave mentality it will cause your demise.Just look at Harry Williams and ask yourself why you have nothing and live like a refugee in a land of plenty when your people have been the Government for over 90% of it’s independence.

    1. “There are many indications that you may have been an abused child or had many hardships in your early years,with many unresolved issues which you have not yet worked out.This…I believe is the reason for your lashing out at the society.Indians and Whites are ..your enemies .If you are indeed a Trinidadian, free yourself from your slave mentality.It will cause your demise. You have nothing ,and live like a refugee in a land of plenty,when your people have been the Government for over 90% of it’s independence.”
      What an astute observation indeed ,by morougamax, of which I am most grateful, especially for the fact that he was able to save me a ton of money all in one swoop. To walk around with a special hatred demon just for precious, docile ,mainly magnanimous,European white folks , and my dear ‘Black Indian Trini, Half caste, brothers and sister, was too much to bear.
      After all the lives of some 20 million Jews, 800,000 Tutsis, Former Yugoslavian Serbs,Croats, and Muslims, Bantu Christian Sudanese, Tamil tigers ,and 500 million Hindus and Muslims in India Pakistan , and Bangladesh were all eliminated , and their carcasses scattered for the world to see , simply because of folks with that ingrained psychological hatred from childhood traumas, yes?
      Yet some fools have the temerity to think that Morouga could not produce anything of worth , simply due to the fact that it is some useless , backward ,dungheap ,in an insignificant section of our country. Sorry , not my country , as the arrogant morougamax , and numerous others of his ilk , suddenly believes that since they are presently in the political drivers seat ,it is theirs alone to enjoy, pillage ,and destroy at will, then abandon for distant shores ,when it is no longer useful,even if most of his families are 2nd generation Trinis , that ran away from the Berbice rice paddies , or the Demerara, piranha infested river before pseudo African Burnham , neo Maxist Dentist Dr. Jeagan , closet CIA wife Janet , and Kremlin trained god son ,Jagdeo, destroyed them all. This is what we’ve come to ,folks, and must contend with due to our political follies . First, dey claimed that “dis is our time,” after the crooked Bengal Tiger ,was able to pull off a victory out of the jaws of defete once, and now since May 24th 2010 , the obnoxiousness , blatant disrespect , and contempt , and ungratefulness , for the other ,is on full display , due in great measure to the elevation of Queen K ,with the ardent help of Uncle Jack, dey wish that we should all take the next sail boat out of the Twin Republic ,and jump off blind folded, with our hands tied behind our back once we reach the Bocas.
      What a tragedy!
      Thank you morougamax for the heads up, but Lord how I despise these social miscreants. May the BlackSunGod have mercy on their soul! I take that back may he impart a million parcel of calamities on this unwholesome character. Ahhh , cut it out Neal! I wish you well my friend , since centuries of dehumanizing European savagery ,as played out by slavery ,could never turn me the great grand child of kings and Queens , into a similar uncivilized animal, as blue eyed Massa, and his admirers, that claimed to come from ‘NEAR the Caucus Mountains.’

      1. Thank you morougamax for the heads up, but Lord how I despise these social miscreants. May the BlackSunGod have mercy on their soul! I take that back may he impart a million parcel of calamities on this unwholesome character. Ahhh , cut it out Neal! I wish you well my friend , since centuries of dehumanizing European savagery ,as played out by slavery ,could never turn me the great grand child of kings and Queens , into a similar uncivilized animal, as blue eyed Massa, and his admirers, that claimed to come from ‘NEAR the Caucus Mountains.’

        I can see that the effects of your childhood trauma is far worse than I first imagined.You seem to have serious physiological damage,which may be the reason for your schizophrenia causing you to refer to yourself in the third person.

  16. Off topic, tangential, so Neal and Tman need not read.

    The trumpeting headlines and comments that castigate Mr. Rowley for what he said, is so much smoke and mirrors. A tornado watch in my part of the world, says, keep an eye on things. A tornado warning means take immediate cover, funnel clouds have been spotted. Panic is not a way to strive for party unity. All them calls for Rowley to resign, led by Jack, is to move a handsome man out a de place and let His Ugliness be king of the roost. Kamla should resign for her crude comments about the price of aid. Even the Big Bad Wolf, papa USA ties aid to favors, but none puts it so crudely. You know that statement one day for watchman, one day for thief? I shudder to think what out fate would be among the islands if we were hit with major disaster. Would they be expected to dance in the streets in sheer bliss? Its only Trinidad and Tobago, trinidad really that has this attitude to our Caribbean people, and the attitude is not driven by those who share the legacy of slavery. Show me how you treat my brother and I know how you will treat me.
    The breakage from inside can be covered by loud condemnations of Dr. Rowley, but if you listen, you would her glass shattering, and I’m not talking about the tea cup allegedly thrown in Parliament some seven years or so ago.

  17. Madame L ,your Dr Rowley could jump and prance , or preach until the cows come home, but he would never set foot in our country’s Parliament as PM of this country while trying to be what he is not, and still riding that dead horse PNM apparatus to battle .
    Ah we bouy ,Robbie tried that too ,and got two bullet in the knees for his efforts, after decades of boot heels in the rear end,from the self opinionated, so called Father of the Nation Deaffy Dr Willy, remember?
    Someone should tell the good Dr Rowly aka the Rot, that he has the wrong type of pigmentation , and came from the wrong island ward ,to be palatable for mainly confused Trinidadians, still striving to be Caribbean savior , while neglecting their own.
    If he however wishes to regain a legacy , and become something of worth in the Caribbean , then he should finally take up a cause that Robinson the coward , lacked the gut to fully peruse in the interest of a desperate , God fearing , yet neglected people.
    You can ‘pick sense from nonsense,’ as you claimed to have obtained an enviable high end education, and so should be able to decipher where I am going with this. Long live the abandoned folks of the Island Ward of ‘Tobacco,’ aka Cocrico /Chachalaca land.

  18. When would people like Neal and others like him that answer the tribal battle cry of Dr.Cudjoe they either oblivious to the fact or just don’t give a damn that they are willing to squander through their actions and words the gains and hard work of great men like Dr.Martin Luther King,Malcolm X and other black leaders of the past who paid with their lives for much of the freedoms we enjoy today.
    These card board heroes like Codjoe and his protege Neal would not be able to stand up to the weather of a good fight or a mosquito bite far more to be held accountable for their actions and words that they contemplate and spew here and in other forums of debate.
    While these paper tigers beat their tribal drums of war,the disregard the consequences of their vile treats to the society at large where most people live in harmony.The attempt to use “divide and concur” a page out of the playbook of the old colonial masters to get their fifteen minutes of fame is pathetic.
    Why is it whenever a black man of great stature like Mr.Jack Warner finds himself free of bigotry and hate and is willing to work for the betterment of all people these tribalists always feel threatened.Mr.Warner is a great mentor and inspiration for Trinidadians of all colors and to him I say kudos,no Cujoes.

  19. Mr.Shah I apologies for using your forum as a battle ground against people like Neal and others that come here to vent their racially biased rants.Maybe you can address in your next column the issue of the gorilla in the room which is the underlying racial tensions that exist in Trinidad that is peering it’s head in this forum.

  20. Listen to this, self hating , pandering coward ,that choose to refer to himself as morugamax , as he strives to entice the good , and wise Uncle Shah , to intercede on his behalf.
    I am almost certain that our chess playing , Editor at Large , must be having a good laugh at such follies , as he fully knows that I am as much a racist , as perhaps he is ready to jump into bed with some loud,foul mouth , misogynistic , local or foreign musical BRAT , simply because he is a critical patron of the art.
    Listen buddy , as a founding member of the ULF/UNC/com PP,Uncle Shah if he had desired , would have become the PM of this country a long time ago , if he was inclined to swing the way of his neo racist , corrupt,ideologically suspect,nepotistic , tribalist , insecure rival ,Basdeo.
    To think that this ‘delusional comedian, Banor’, still believe that my concerns while driving on this here information highway, are simply about Africans , Indians, and Europeans.
    For your information my friend , it is progressive folks like myself, you and your misguided crew,should be jumping over a stool to become engage with in terms of honest ,sustainable , country development dialogues, as I am one of the last of a dying breed , that seriously cares about the interest of all 1.3 million, and growing of our wonderful citizen.During the past 20 years of my life I was able to see up close the impact of the evils you naively suspect , and accused me of pursuing, and knows fully well , that it is something I would not wish to see occur here.
    All I seek via this forum ,and across our nation, is less revisionism, more respect for all nationals, an equal socio- economic playing field for fellow Trinis irrespective of race, class,country of origin, or ethnic make up.
    This begins with making historical wrongs right, and equitable sharing of all the national spoils, by forward thinking leaders. If you , jokers like T-Man ,and Khem , interpret such as racism , be my guess.
    As a foot note , let me again go on record and say that Uncle Jack Warner, is perhaps one of the most savvy business, and political mover we have been able to have around, as it was his sole actions that ensured the revolutions that occurred across our nation on January 24 , and May 24 2010 respectively.
    However , if you clowns think for a moment that he is simply willing to sit on his thumbs and play second fiddle forever, then think again. Hopefully your love , appreciation ,and adoration , will continue unabated , long into the future – even during his quest someday -sooner , rather than later- to become as Jeffery Archer say in his Bestselling novel ,’First Amongst Equal.’
    Love country our tribe, and remember, I wish you well- but only if you wish to move beyond rhetorics ,and do the same or me.

  21. I see that the effects of your childhood trauma is far worse than I first imagined.You seem to have suffered serious physiological damage,which may be the reason for your schizophrenia causing you to in one hand offer an olive branch and the other using rhetoric calling me”self hating , pandering coward ,that choose to refer to himself as morugamax”.
    Neal you are a PHONY,a PAPER TIGER and a COWARD to choose the route that you have chosen,to say the things that you have said,inciting hate and division in our nation,I will not relent until you cease and desist from making your wild baseless racist statements or I will fully exposed for what you truly are.

    Now that you are done licking Mr.Shah’s boots of to a shine,why would he(Mr.Shah)be afraid to tackle the issue of the underlying racial tension that still affect many of our citizens today.
    You believe this is too trivial an issue to get his attention
    that would be for him to decide.

  22. Thanks for all the comments, folks. But let’s not go to war over what, in the larger scheme of things, are relatively trivial. We must always agree to disagree–and do it nicely!

    Sam David, yes, I did attend SPSJ/Pres Chag 1958-62. I spent 4 terms at the ‘old college’ (Jack Warner was there at the time–older, higher form) before moving to the spanking new Presentation College. I spent forms 2A-5A Special with fellas like Swally Mohammed, Sookram Ramesar, Alfred Murray and many more. I was also a cadet with the likes of (my seniors, all) Knolly Modeste, David Rollock, dennis Bryan, Carlyle Lynch (now a priest), and so many more. Fond memories. You may email me at: rafex1970@gmail.com.

  23. Is there still a cadet corps in the nation’s schools? One reads so much about youth indicipline, and criminal activity, that its hard to believe those avenues that temper youthful exuberance still exist. I believe I asked earlier about club athletics, which had declined significantly after the nationalization or dismantling of local industries.

    One must give the Colonials credit when they deserve it, their sport clubs did much to preserve and affirm the unity and communal affiliation of their respective constituents, its one of the more positive examples the native leadership should adopt; instead of spending much of their political capital on the negative attributes.

  24. Those of you who want a refreshing change from the despair of Kamlaritis should go to youtube and type Child Of A Tropical Mating in the search box. Its a different dimension of political commentary. I hope Raf, that you remember a significant document I gave you when you were editor at the Mirror in Barataria, in the 80’s.I was the BMW driver.

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