Corruption in Trinidad and Tobago – An Overview


It takes two to fuel corruption, the corrupter and the corruptee and just like the chicken and the egg no one knows for sure who came first but many are glad they are both here. I often wonder what Trinidad and Tobago would be like without corruption. Would there be as many high-price condos, Benz, Beamers, Jaguars, Audis, Porsches, Range Rovers, highways, box drains, flights to the US, high foreign exchange demands, happiness and scantily clad women on the scene. Would there even be a national stadium much less a big abandoned one down South. Would the churches even get as much forgiveness money and the millions to thank their gods for the wealth?

Corruption is a striving industry in Trinidad and Tobago and it is many things to many people and everything to some politicians. It is the way some public servants can face wealthy business men without the shame of overdue mortgage payments and middle-class poverty hanging over their heads. Corruption is possibly nature’s way of leveling a playing field or building an airport. It is always good to speak out on corruption and probably almost as good as getting away with it. The institutions to prevent or discourage corruption in this country are incorruptible and without the boosterless brakes they provide, corruption would not be as sophisticated as it is today.

The politicians like to suggest on the political stage that without corruption there will be more money for schools, teachers, poverty and drugs but without corruption there might not be a single person willing to get into politics. Corruption brings hope to not only the politician, the businessman, and the public servant, but to the nation and the better investigative journalists. Corruption not only feeds us, it entertains us on Sunday. It provides legal fees to half-dead lawyers and their lawyer friends. It gives the underpaid lawyers in the DPP’s office more work than they can handle. It is probably the predicted growth in the corruption industry which prompted the building of a huge law school down south. Corruption is addictive and any attempt to stop it will cause bribes to be paid to unstop it. Like fleas and ticks corruption is nearly impossible to get rid of and sucks our blood to stay alive.

Trinidad and Tobago Government Gives Population Buns


Hot Cross Buns - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hot Cross Buns – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Government of Trinidad and Tobago has declared 2015 The year of the Hot Crossed Buns and in marking the occasion Hot Crossed Buns will be distributed through the country to every citizen and visitor, both legal and illegal. Naturally, a contract has been awarded to a new but mysterious baking company called Sistrum. This blog was reliably informed that it was only on Monday the Government went out to tender for the Manufacture and National Distribution of Hot Crossed Buns with an Extra Cross (Double Crossed Buns). The tender was evaluated on Tuesday and awarded the same day. Only one bid was received (Sistrum) and was said to meet and exceed all the requirements of the bun specification including the raisins per bun, thickness of the crosses, minimum bun diameter, amazing golden color and mouth-watering smell. The whole process was transparent.

A spokes person for Sistrum said the buns will be the first thing they ever bake and they already had the conveyor belts used in a quarry to crush local stones. It was only last week Sistrum received 1000 mega-large ovens from China and a Hot Cross Bun expert. Asked how come they had the ovens and an expert on order the spokes person said it was just plain luck and they like to order all kinds of things all the time. The contract is said to be worth tens of millions of dollars given the price of Hot Cross Buns on the international market. The established large bakeries in the country think there is something fishy about the whole deal but a Sistrum executive says this was probably due to the Lenten season. When the Minister of Finance was asked where the money will be coming from to fund the buns he simply said “eat yuh bun and shut up nah.” When further pressed about the unprecedented short time (one day) for the tender he said in any country emergencies happen and items such as buns must be procured at short notice. Asked if the supply of buns was a national emergency he simply said “no bun, no fun.”

The Prime Minister, in a short release from her office, said that every man, woman and child will be given buns and people should not worry too much about the award of the contract or how much taxpayers dollars Sistrum will be getting but instead enjoy and savor the flavor of the hot, hot cross buns. The army, police, NGOs, gang leaders and Jack Warner will be given the task on ensuring an equitable distribution of the baked goods. The man-on-the-street has applauded this latest Government initiative and has cancelled orders for buns from bakeries such as Linda’s, St. Mary’s and Kiss . “We like how de government moving and everybody is entitled to freeness like  education, box drains, tablets, lap tops and buns and thing. We hope we getting Easter Egg too nex year and turkey for thanks giving.”

The Trinidad and Tobago Police Force are Bullies and the Government, Thieves


police

The Police Force in Trinidad and Tobago is a joke and a despicably bad one at that. It was easy for me and nearly every citizen in this country to come to that conclusion after the deliberate act of terror unleashed by Police onto the population in the form of nationwide roadblocks of Friday 20th March 2015 and Monday 23 March 2015. This caused people who had to go into Port of Spain for work to get there in 5 hours instead of the usual 1 hour or so. These roadblocks were meant to cause nationwide chaos and to terrorize the population, nothing else.

incompetent

The reasons for these acts of terror are not apparent but some say it was meant to send a signal to the Government and population by the Police Force that something like the July 27th 1990 coup is on the near horizon. Others say it was tied to the wage negotiation with the Government which is not going in the Bully’s favor. Regardless of the reason the deliberate act of terrorism by the Police Force it showed the country, in a most convincing manner, why crime is out of control in this country. It now appears that most of the Police Force are thugs, bullies and genuine idiots who are not interested in protecting and serving anyone but themselves and their Master. It now appears to the public that most of the members of the Police Force are either borderline criminals or practicing criminals and little else. They are much like the Government.

thief
It sounded like a joke to me but the Minister of National Security (not Gary Griffith) launched an investigation into who gave the orders to terrorize the country. This investigation will take two weeks which is a ridiculous amount of time to find out who is the Mr. Big of the Police Force. Would heads be rolling after the report is read and then understood by the powers that be? Would arrests be made and the Terrorists tried in court? I doubt there will be a productive outcome of the investigation since inaction by the coward Government is more their style. Maybe Kamla will stall, fumble and mumble and then call a Commission of Enquiry  so that friends of The Party could continue to fill their pockets with funds of the Treasury. It is this continuous enrichment of the chosen minority which has angered all of us and if this blatant “thiefing” by the People’s Partnership is not stopped and remedied then the uneasiness will continue. I hope this Government is able to understand what the writing on the wall is saying and it is not saying “thanks for all the box drains.”

Anyway, it’s too late for this Ali Baba so let’s elect another.

A Police State or Police in a state


Ploice

Road blocks by the police, and not burning tires and old fridges dragged across the roads are the cause of the latest horrific and unbearable traffic jam heading into Port of Spain this morning. Some say the local police, not know for their ability to fight crime very well, are using roadblocks to press for a wage increase. Some say if this is what the police are indeed doing then it is a form of terrorism. However, I am one of those citizens who do not believe radio DJs and refuse to acknowledge our police officers will stoop lower than a FIFA executive to get a few hundred dollars a month more from tax payers. The Police will never make children suffer for hours in traffic or get the Beetham bandits to steal from motorist trapped in a roadblock which is protecting and serving those who need the money most.

police

Like the wannabe likable politician will say “Most police officers are honest and hard working men and women. They don’t beat up all honest citizens, they don’t get involved in many car stealing rings, they don’t carry much coke and weed in their trunks for drug dealers, and they respond well to crime and criminals.”

The Police Force is here to protect like a condom and serve like a diseased Union Leader without a condom. The Police will not force the country to its knees even if it has the ability to do so on any morning they choose to go into self-service mode. The Police can easily bankrupt the nation’s productive ability and confidence in them in a flash. Need we be reminded in traffic again? It appears the Police just stated that this is either now a Police State or Police in a state.

Blackmail?

The New Carnival Mentality


Trinidad CarnivalFor too long the term Carnival Mentality was used in a very derogatory manner to describe the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago. When someone is described as possessing a Carnival Mentality it means that person is lazy, carefree, unproductive, promiscuous and prone to smiling too much while having the ability to enjoy oneself in the most genuine of ways. It meant the person or country with this mentality can achieve nothing meaningful in life even though they showed true signs of real happiness. I might have agreed with this statement several years ago but I can’t anymore.

Trinidad and Tobago is now a world Carnival powerhouse and to do so requires the country to be productive all year as such an event can not be created in a couple months. Carnival involves so many people from nearly all sectors effectively planning and producing in now what seems like second nature to the country.

The organizational abilities to pull off one small all-inclusive fete are tremendous much less the big ones like Beach House, Brian Lara, Moka and UWI. The Carnival big bands like Bliss, Fantasy, Harts, Island People and Yuma are now million dollar companies operating throughout the year and survive and grow using prudent and innovative business skills and not laziness as previously advertised.

The musical talent which Carnival produces is nothing short of mind boggling and I wonder if it was not for Carnival would there be so much young people taking pan, guitar, keyboard and violin lessons in Trinidad and Tobago? Machel Montano and Machel Monday is now a worldwide phenomenon which not only shows off musical talent but professionalism both on stage and behind the scenes. This is not a one man show but it involves hundreds working in sync towards the goal of perfection and a properly working sound system. This concert is nothing short of exceptional in terms of planning, organizing and enjoyment.

The Carnival Mentality has now given rise to the growth of the fitness and health obsessed in Trinidad and Tobago. These individuals are increasing in numbers yearly. The obsessed and not so obsessed now frequent gyms and reduce bar visits and hence drunkenness simply to look dynamite in a carnival costume. Sadly, this does give rise to highly egoistic people with a craving for tight clothes and loose eyes.

Carnival also drives the detractors to buying more books and it has produced a few book worms who are hopefully more beneficial to society than the scantily clad but the world needs the scanty just as much for it gives life purpose. The bookworms and noise-phobic make every effort to avoid the hedonist who revel and ogle at the revelers. It is only because of this Carnival Mentality they can now boast about their sense of moral superiority. You always need the bad to make the good look and feel better.

Without Carnival and the new Mentality it produces we would be just be another island in the sun selling rabid boredom to the rabidly boring.

Healdine Abuse, Sorry to Say


Trinidad Express

Trinidad Express

With all that is going on the political arena in Trinidad and Tobago, the Trinidad Express took the time to use its precious mind-swaying front-page to highlight a suspected personality flaw in the country’s top, home-grown, international Soca superstar, Machel Montano. Maybe it was because his alleged bad attitude took place at a town school fete is the reason it was given grossly exaggerated importance or some other ulterior or political motive – I don’t know.  I doubt the newspaper is being paid off by some Big Men with shares and money to distract the public from the real issues that are, and have always been plaguing the nation for some time – greed, dishonesty and wife-beating abilities of our elected and selected politicians. Maybe the newspaper is trying to tell the public that the thing we saw around the dark clouds was not a silver lining but the main ingredient in an orange juice shipment.

When I read the headline article I was sadly disappointed and enraged that the sound system was not up to professional standards. Also, that the reaction by the superstar, which seems to be a rejection of sloppiness, should now engage and enrage the normally weak minds of editors, journalists and other rum-oriented citizens via the front-page is unfortunate and even tragic. That Mr. Montano might be throwing temper tantrums all over the place for some very good reasons and a couple bad ones is not new, news or close to headline news. However, the discovery of a decomposing body which might be that of the missing Caribbean Airlines director is depressing and frightful thus should be fitting as a the main headline and a lifesaver given the need to alert unsuspecting visitors merrily flocking our shores for Carnival.

We are a country whose minds are shaped by our manipulative headlines and the chronic ignorance and bias of participants of talk shows rather than our ability to analyze anything beyond the superficial and emotional surface. If citizens of the land of the Humming Bird, corbeau and rotting corpses could see beyond their biases, hate and fear we would not have elected Team Manning and certainly not even give birth to, much less voted for Team Kamla and her band of smart men and thieves.