Tag Archives: Raffique Shah

Talk to me about patriotism

By Raffique Shah
January 24, 2022

Raffique ShahIt didn’t take Nobel Prize-winning economists such as St Lucia’s Sir Arthur Lewis, or the USA’s Milton Friedman or Paul Krugman, to project that as the world economy emerged from an unprecedented virtual lockdown that lasted three, four, who knows how many years during the Covid pandemic, commodity prices, especially those of goods and services that are critical to the recovery of countries across the world, would rise rapidly, putting them beyond the reach of the poorest nations and the poor in every nation.
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Army of the vaccinated

By Raffique Shah
January 17, 2022

Raffique ShahI am writing this column on Saturday morning, so I have no idea what the PM would have announced at his media briefing in the afternoon.

But with the drums of political war growing ominously louder by the day, and increasing in volume and tempo, and those who are looking to unseat his Government long before the due date for fresh elections, buoyed as they are by Watson Duke’s sound licking on the PNM in the recent Tobago House of Assembly election, they are doing everything to frustrate him, to goad the PM into calling snap elections, which they believe they can win, whoever “they” may be, whatever their agendas.
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Bring back the ‘Bull’

By Raffique Shah
January 10, 2022

Raffique ShahNot even George Orwell, who wrote the right-wing classic Animal Farm which summarised workers in power, post-revolution, in the worst possible light, could have scripted the post-Covid tragi-comedy that premiered a few weeks ago, when the Delta variant of the virus first showed what it could do, and now Omicron is breaking box office records, leaving mankind stupefied.
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Covid and gas pains: who’s crying now?

By Raffique Shah
January 03, 2022

Raffique ShahThe Covid-induced confinement imposed on citizens by the Government provoked a range of reactions—from anger and drunkenness to solitude and self-pity. Some persons came perilously close to crossing the thin line between sanity and insanity.

I was lucky to have lived the multi-faceted life I did before the pandemic—soldier, adventurer, prisoner, politician, teacher and a range of other life-skills that prepared me for just about anything I might face during the pandemic. Of course, as a human being and more so a humanist, I was shocked by the mass of people globally who were impacted by the virus, by how many were dying “live” before the lenses of reporters’ cameras, ­agony etched on their faces, questions writ large on them: why me?
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Be done with the lies: They’re killing us

By Raffique Shah
December 27, 2021

Raffique ShahTwenty twenty-one will be recorded as the year in which the Earth was battered by calamitous events that seemed set to fulfil the biblical end-times that Man has feared from the dawn of civilisation, or the advent of religions.

There were heat waves that sparked forest fires that ravaged Western America and huge swathes of the vital Amazon jungle, and shockingly, the Tundra region in the sensitive Arctic Circle.
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Do your duty, dammit!

By Raffique Shah
December 20, 2021

Raffique ShahI do not believe there is a common factor that unites people of any particular pigmentation or persuasion across the world, except, perhaps, religious doctrines that are deemed to be the “words of God”, written or revealed by the Almighty Himself, hence not subject to alterations by man.

Those of us who have studied history know only too well that in the name of religion, of spreading the word of God, atrocities were committed, entire civilisations were wiped off the map, and the anointed soldiers of God just moved on to other souls to be saved by swiping heads off bodies, then raiding their treasures.
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One-half apology to Farley

By Raffique Shah
December 13, 2021

Raffique ShahOkay, I am prepared to give the new governor of Tobago one-half an apology for writing last week that he is a fool. “Be nice to the young man, nah… he trying to put together an energetic team to first salvage, then turn around the island’s economy…”

I gather as much, I responded, listening to him speak… But you and I know talk is cheap and promises even cheaper… until we see hard evidence of his performance, I shall stick with the half-apology.
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Tobago’s date with fate

By Raffique Shah
December 06, 2021

Raffique ShahWouldn’t it be… ’er, amusing if the Farley Augustine-led, Watson Duke-bred Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) canters away to win the Tobago Stakes in tomorrow’s rerun of the House of Assembly election?

The last time these two political parties met, less than one year ago, the encounter ended in a controversial six-six tie which gave Duke bragging rights, not without merit, since his brand new PDP made sweeping gains in overall votes and in the number of seats it captured. Still, they did not dislodge the wily PNM which used incumbency as an instrument to get another shot at controlling the THA, which they have held since 2001.
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Fear of the needle

By Raffique Shah
November 29, 2021

Raffique ShahOne of the fundamental though unwritten rights citizens in every country in the world enjoy is the inviolable, unfettered right to be an ass. Or a coward. From the uneducated, the ignorant, to brilliant scholars among the intelligentsia, and otherwise sensible people who are law-abiding and look and act normal in every circumstance, aberrations occur that debunk the presumption that every human being is endowed with some degree of intelligence, acting totally irrational, asinine in the extreme, leaving sane and sober people around to ponder if they are looking at and listening to men or animals, no disrespect intended for the latter species.
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Afterword on ALNG Train I

By Raffique Shah
November 22, 2021

Raffique ShahMaybe the headline of my column today should read instead, ‘Thanks, PM, for standing up for TT against immense odds’, which would surely incur the ire of a large number of citizens of this country who, I am convinced, bow their heads in hypocritical reverence every night when they communicate with their Gods, beseeching Her to cast failure after failure on the incumbent PNM government. Their bitter hatred for Keith Rowley is all that matters. It’s more than enough reason to create chaos, confusion and collapse, blame for which can be heaped on the said Rowley.
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