The ruling party is hoping that the bribe of freshly paved roads and an increase in old age pension grants will secure enough votes to win the general election on May 24th thus delaying or eliminating the need for certain big boys to go to jail. Only the gullible will think the money for these reelections schemes came from the pockets of politicians and not the pockets of citizens. Most of the population was grateful to the Government for throwing some money their way and not throwing more money at the Malaysians, the Chinese, the Summits, the undulating stadium or other forms of corruption. The crowds at the ruling party’s and opposition partnership party’s rallies on Sunday seemed big though the Coalition’s crowd seemed larger from TV. If popular support won elections then the ruling party should be scared – it doesn’t but they are.
The competition for votes to stay out of jail is vicious and the Government seem to have made a decision to let the public know what it has accomplished via expensive full-page ads and TV spots paid for using taxpayers’ dollars. This shows what the ruling party’s stand on integrity is but few will care. Fortunately, the ruling party is loved by many contractors for their stance on the issue of spending taxpayer’s money corruptly.
The fallout from a general elections is considerable and if the ruling party loses the election many who are now Government Ministers will be wondering how they will survive on no income, little skill and no Bus Route Pass. Some, who now live in mansions or hotels, may have to settle for a little town house somewhere or a big condo or jail cell somewhere else. The retention of power is not just about being in a position to meddle in things that will keep people prison-free but about losing the position of being a super bully. But these are still early days and the bullies may still end up with the power to bully any citizen they choose.
Recently, I was talking to a group of form 5 students about career selection and I was not so shocked when just below half the class said they wanted to go into the blossoming and rewarding field of corruption. Only a few years ago students wanted to become doctors, lawyer, engineers, economist and fast food cooks then that all changed with the drug trade. Now, even the attraction of being a gang leader, a community gang leader, drug pusher, pimp, URP Forman, coastguard man or Syrian has given way to becoming corruptible at several levels including the highest ones. I laughed to myself and realized these students were still dreaming so I told these students it is not good enough to say they want to get into corruption and they must have a plan.
One student, a boy, stated he wanted to get into the political side of corruption while many more wanted to be on the contracting side of things. At this stage I couldn’t believe these students were so ill-informed and I had to point out that there was also a great degree of corruption in the private sector where there was not only a high degree of nepotism but contracts for building new offices are given to friends of directors rather than the most competitive contractor who did not factor in kickbacks in his bid. I also had to indicate that corruption was like a religion and I wasn’t talking about pedophilia but the fact they must also peddle garbage to the masses to get people to worship them so they can be forgiven for their obvious thievery if discovered.
Naturally, no talk to the young ones can take place about corruption without the mentioning of jail so I pointed out, quite sternly, that corruption was against the law and to be successful at corruption they must have the law, especially the police investigating team and forensic investigators, on their side. I stressed that corruption is a group activity and these people will become part of their corruption network and it’s not just the big cheese that gets the entire cake, condo or church. They laughed at me said “Duh!” Many said they were already members of the youth arm of suitable political parties to start their career path and network rolling. At the end of my talk I didn’t feel hollow or nauseated but instead, I felt a sense of calm knowing the youth of today will become, not garbage collectors, but wealthy garbage collection contractors bribing public officials for jobs. I felt reassured that the next incomplete highway to nowhere will be built by a corrupt local contractor and not an imported, unscrupulous Malaysian company. The future of our country is in good hands and the example set by the generations before will not have been in vain. Our future is bright but it’s just that we are too incorruptible to see.
You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em
Know when to fold ‘em
Know when to walk away
Know when to run
You never count your money
When you’re sittin’ at the table
There’ll be time enough for countin’
When the dealin’s done
Kenny Rogers – The Gambler
So, anotheralledged family man has bitten the Trinidad and Tobago dust. Like the Street Lighting God, he didn’t bite it voluntarily or with a smile, but he bit it like the sun and in a way, by the bullying forces of the press and the politicians.
Our local newspapers and those opposed to the tall and sometimes Chinese direction the country was heading, decided to gang up on a man who was legally here and banish him from the country; away from both persecution and prosecution. A man, who by his own assessment, did the country proud by ensuring his boss’s will be done on time and within padded budget. A religious man who collected offerings on behalf of his boss has left, not only the buildings, but the country.
The ink on his resignation letter has not even dried and people are already worried, asking “who dey goe put?” But as Beyonce is fond of saying in song, he is Irreplaceable. Some say they will pray for him in Gunapo while others say we will now get water. Some sick people concluded that the problem at the hospitals will suddenly be solved and doubles will miraculously once again cost $2.00. Almost overnight, traffic into Port of Spain will flow smoothly and without any harsh words aimed at the Arrogant Shortsighted Defender of Government Stupidity. There will be no more tall buildings in the country, not because the builder resigned, but because de money done.
I don’t know why people in this country are making a little mole hill into a big mountain again. Everybody knows that our Bible-quoting Prime Minister will never use his powers – official and unofficial – as a Prime Minister to grant anyone favours, including himself, or members of his family, or even a seer-woman. He will never command a Borough Corporation to clear a road leading to a construction site for a church. He will also never order T&TEC to provide electricity to this church construction site. He will also never be involved with any company that hires the Chinese instead of the Voters to build any church. The Prime Minister might be powerful but he is a smart man of integrity and that is the only reason why he is not in jail. Our Prime Minister is so honest, he is almost a perfect role model for our country and Government Ministers. I now feel like a common criminal after washing my car with a hose last weekend.
Here is the deal, Pat. I will vote for you so that you will win the next elections and continue to be the Big Cheese. By winning elections you will have the power to prevent both you and your friends from going to jail and enjoy the safety of a dedicated security detail. How does that sound? But – there is always a “but” – I want money for nothing, chicks for free and a tee-shirt. Deal? No back stabbing this time, ok. I am glad you are a man of many words.
Everybody wished they had a billion dollars to give away but many of us wouldn’t do it, I suppose. I don’t know, maybe I would. Too much and too little money can make us do crazy things but how much is enough? Well, Peter G. Peterson is giving away one billion dollars US, but unlike the billions politicians giveaway, the money is his. You can read his reasons in the article as it appeared in Newsweek but I want to quote a small bit from it:
Our representatives, unlike our Founding Fathers, see politics as a career. As a result, they are focused not on the next generation, but on the next election. When the long-term problems are large and real, they anesthetize us, mislead us, divert us—anything to keep us from giving up something or having to pay for it. Too often, our political leaders are just enablers, co-conspirators in a disingenuous and greedy silence. Our children are unrepresented. The future is unrepresented. The moment is long overdue for us to become moral and worthy ancestors.
We in Trinidad and Tobago suffer the same problem with politicians and several of our MPs are in it for the power. But we have an even bigger problem; we are still governed by a heartless Father and his equally callous band of followers. Every time the people complain to our Father either he, or a physically and intellectually short person speaks harshly to us. They are only concerned about winning and unfortunately, destroying who and what they can’t.
“The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power….Power is not a means; it is an end….not power over things, but over men….In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement….There will be no loyalty, except loyalty toward the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother….Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.” ~ George Orwell Nineteen Eighty-Four, 1949
Pro Max will resign if The Party wants him to. He is a creature of The Party and not one of his concience or principles.
Pro Max was installed by the Party because he was clever enough to appear fair while being biased. Our system was not designed to be fair but to make it impossible to prove it was unfair. Pro Max was installed because The Party thought he had good Party survival instincts and not have to depend on clandestine phone calls to understand what is the next step. That is the skill The Party requires for the position. If Pro Max no longer has that skill or is unwilling to bend beyond breaking point he will have to go.
The Party’s confidence in Pro Max is all that matters and the public’s lack of confidence is just a minor irritant. Anyone in The Party will be disposed off if they jeopardize the Party’s power. The Party Members’ fear of disposal and the common hate towards enemies are the glues which The Party needs to keep members together. If the glues ever get weak The Party will fall apart and The Party will do whatever it takes to bond for Power. If a boot has to stamp on the people’s face for The Party to survive it will be stamped. Power to The Party; to hell with the people. That is our system of Government.
note: Please feel free to substitute the name of your favorite, or least favorite political party for The Party. Please also feel free to substitute the name of any person appointed by The Party for Pro Max. It really doesn’t mater.That is our system of Government.
I don’t know if people have noticed that statements by Government Ministers are no longer featured in the Political section of the daily Newspapers but under Entertainment. The recent statement by The Minister of Works reaffirms the correctness of this trend when he blamed Technocrats of his Ministry for the delays in implementing the breathalyzer in Trinidad and Tobago. The Minister did not say to whom these delinquent Technocrats reported or even if they were obligated to take instructions from any Minister. After The Minister’s statement there was a hush across the room and fear in the eyes of more than half the crowd. Thankfully, no date was given for the implementation of this dreaded device and it was business and Bloody Marys as usual.
The Minister went on to reveal that a 50 million dollar plus contract was awarded, hopefully not UDECOTT style, to a contractor to implement a traffic management system along the East-West Corridor. The system will include many high-tech devices such as Closed Circuit Cameras which can snap clear photos of people breaking red lights, driving on the shoulder and hugging the front seat passenger who may not be a spouse or of the opposite sex. These photos are expected to stand up in court since the charges would neither be due to victimization nor would the Integrity Commission be involved. What the Minister did not say was the system has to be implemented with great haste because he dreamt on more than one occasion that the Interchange would do very little for people from the East heading into Port of Spain in the morning. The Minister offered no solution for the bottleneck into Port of Spain, Government interference in various Commissions, or The Prime Ministers recent scandalous outburst in Parliament.
April 1st did not escape Hilliary Clinton today as she jokingly said to reporters “Today, I am challenging Senator Obama to a bowl-off,” “A bowling night. Right here in Pennsylvania. The winner take all,” she went on to say. But when one of Senator Obama’s aids received the joke via fax he thought it read blow-off, probably because he was expecting it sooner or later. The misread challenge didn’t go down well with the Obama camp and one aid was reported to have said the challenge had Bill written all over it. The Obama camp has since declined the invitation.
The Sly Fox spewed venom on those who didn’t choose him causing his true colors to be exposed in public. The Fox’s premeditated outpouring of his wicked spirit made everybody uneasy except his diehard supporters who normally cheer at anything their misleader throws up. His two partners in failure were almost as spiteful and their lust for power and the treasury prevented the duo from seeing what others see in them; nothing. It is now clear that the three racketeers, The Fox and The Banker, and The Traitor, believe hate is the best quality in a leader and what the country needs more of.
One reason people choose a particular political party is for the same reason they choose a particular sports team, religion, or Carnival Band. It fills a psychological need. Naturally, nobody goes around telling themselves they are voting for party H or going to the Sunday worship of religion G because it’s psychological. That would be unromantic and may even trigger bouts of depression characterized by wild sex on yachts. Humans need to belong to groups with nice sounding names in order to have an identity. It gives people a purpose and their leaders some extra income. Religion, political affiliation, team support, social standing, bra size and vibrator color are some of the more popular groupings. These groupings may be inherited, acquired through a process of intelligent analysis, or simply be as a result of being invited to join because one met the specifications. Some people may even end up belonging to a group by chance, for example, green may have been the only color on sale at the toy store on that lonely night. Despite our best efforts, some groups we are hopelessly stuck with.
Belonging to a group is not the end of it, and finding reasons why a person’s selected group is better that the other groups is also necessary. It’s no point thinking your selected group is made up of a bunch of wimps and misfits. My chosen group must be able to beat up your chosen group, is what people think. This is where the mudslinging, cutting up of banners, renting of polls, and the spray painting of vibrators in the dead of night comes in. People need to be happy with the thought that their group is the best and the reasons can be illogical and comical. Some groups use fear of other groups to gain and retain support, while others use concerts. One criterion some people use to select a group is the apparent size of the group where biggest means the best. Others use the group’s sense of fashion and how well their leader can act while rolling his “r”s. Even people who do not support any religion, political party, or have no social standing belong to unofficial groupings. These would be the people who either think and analyze, or are too lazy to think and analyze.
Choosing a group may be no different to choosing a car color or girl in a bikini. Any one would do since both would provide the same basic functionality regardless of car color or bikini stringiness. The only difference is one particular auto color or one particular type of spandex enclosed shape may look better and impress friends more in the daylight.
It would appear there is no such thing as only choosing wisely and ultimately we choose what makes us happy because Man is ruled by emotion, not logic.