Tag Archives: Politics

Autocracy, not democracy

By Raffique Shah
June 16, 2024

Raffique ShahWell before I thought about writing a column on the internal elections in the United National Congress, I deliberately decided that I will not focus on individual candidates but more on the process. In demo­cracies such as ours, there are always several interest groups that comprise the backbone of the parties which differ very little on critical issues such as the economic policies, crime and punishment, education and so on.
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Living to steal another day

By Raffique Shah
May 07, 2024

Raffique ShahHowever lofty the ideals they may shout from the rooftops, when you get down to base, when you reach the gutter where most of them reside, politics is not about ideals. It is about naked power.

Jean-Paul Sartre, French philosopher, wrote in his masterful introduction to Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth: They bring nothing new, they create nothing new, they simply regurgitate what their masters fill in their heads. Centuries after the great intellects introduced them to concepts such as democracy, you can hear them in the ex-colonies, now independent states, screaming as if they invented the words, “Government of the people, for the people and by the people”; “Liberty! Equality! Fraternity!”
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Corruption’s demonic face

By Raffique Shah
April 23, 2024

Raffique ShahIn the 40-odd years that I have been writing a weekly newspaper column, I admit that much of my work has been dealing with politicians and corruption. Over the years I have tried to address other issues such as the economy, our education system, crime (how can I not write about crime?), and so on. But I always seem to return to base, in a manner of speaking—meaning politics, politicians and corruption.
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No HOPE, only disappointment

By Raffique Shah
January 16, 2024

Raffique ShahTrust Trinis to set the stage for another type of public misbehaviour. It’s as if the near-collapse of good manners and social graces that have led to a behavioural pattern that span the spectrum of classes from young miscreants and criminals, to parliamentarians and holders of public office, have become the norm.

At the state funeral last Tuesday for former prime minister Basdeo Panday, we witnessed some spectacles that would cause shame and disgrace in the ­average society anywhere in the world. Here in Trinidad, though, we have once again managed to make everything into a joke.
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Principles in politics

By Raffique Shah
November 01, 2023

Raffique ShahI know, I know: the words principles and politics hardly go together. They are more like an oxymoron. But fool that I am, until the day I breathe my last, I shall strive, in whatever way I can, to have politicians and their publics see the wisdom of insisting that they find ways, making principles an imperative for those who seek high public office, and for those who put them there.
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See No Evil, Hear No Evil

By Raffique Shah
June 26, 2023

Raffique ShahI am convinced that the problem with politics and governance in this country, the fact that we never seem to get it right, that having wavered between PNM in control for thirty consecutive years to the party losing in 1986 33-3 then complaining about every government having freely elected them, maybe we need to look at ourselves, not the politicians.
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Voting Rights in America

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
January 24, 2022

“Slavery is not abolished until the black man has the right to vote.”

—Frederick Douglass (1865).

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeA few days ago, in the United States Senate, the Democrats fought vigorously against the suppression of the rights of black people to vote that were passed by 19 Republican-controlled states of the union.

In spite of their best efforts, the Democrats failed to achieve their objective, which led Carl Hulse to opine: “It was a disheartening moment for congressional Democrats, who put the full force of their majority behind the issue, despite the long odds of success” (Boston Globe, January 26).
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Let Medical Professionals Speak on COVID Vaccines

By Stephen Kangal
December 23, 2021

Stephen KangalThe emotionally charged response of Prime Minister Rowley to the Sunday Express feature article is exclusively more political than the requisite scientific in relation to his weak defense of the alleged low efficacy of the Sinopharm vaccine.

He procured it with a secretive agreement from the Chinese with a huge cost — loan in a large quantity without obtaining any expected guarantee about its expected efficacy level even though scientists from developed countries refused to accept it as a genuine vaccine because trial results were not published globally and were not accessible.
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Grounds for the Resignation of PM Rowley

By Stephen Kangal, Caroni
December 12, 2021

Stephen KangalThe landslide vote of 15,000 plus in the 14-1 melt-down that the PDP amassed in Monday’s historic THA Elections is an unmistakably overriding vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Rowley.

He was the chief protagonist in the Tobago campaign as well as the architect of the aborted Autonomy Bills that incited the wrath of Tobagonians by non-passage. These Bills were woefully short in details on what Tobago demanded as autonomy for their island Government.
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