Trinidad and Tobago is a comical place and it’s not just because the name of the country is so long there is not enough space on many of its own official Forms to accommodate its spelling. No, it is funny because of the amount of people who operate in their own little vacuums all over the place. People who swear their vacuum is the the right vacuum and the best one. Take the so-called Debates Commission vacuum. This Commission is trying to get at least the two most likely potential leaders to debate “issues affecting the Country” on the same day. When I read the daily hullabaloo in the content-starved daily media about the ups and downs of staging this sideshow you would swear this Great Debate would be very influential in influencing the public in deciding which hangman will pull the leaver. Grow up Debates Commission, this is Trinidad and Tobago where people decide which party they voting long before they are even conceived. Besides, politicians always say the the nicest things possible when General Elections is in the air so who needs this sweet talk and cheap talk moderated on live TV by people who most likely don’t even know what the daily life in Biche or Icacos is really like or that these towns even exist. Just tell us who the major shareholders are for each party and we good to go.
It is the election season in in Trinidad and Tobago once again and like Christmas of late, I just can’t seem to get into the spirit. Also like Christmas, I have only just realized there is no Santa Clause and too much ham is not good for you. A General Elections in Trinidad and Tobago gives the country hope but with the certified bunch of jokers (politicians) offering themselves to the public like a desperate prostitute on a Friday night on the Avenue, there is little good to hope for. Tempting after a gallon of rum but deadly for your health. Still, we must exercise our civic duty and vote for, not the best party for the country but the best party for you.
Election season is a time when we must forget the past and think about our future, according to failed politicians and the political parties they represent. For me, I can’t forget the past so I think the future is mostly hopeless. But God is a Trini and loves us for our pan, jam, whine, Shark and Bake, and Ali’s Doubles. But, God and love aside we must make our finger count on Election Day so I have thought of a few issues that may sway a voter to one of the many political parties burdening the public with a choice.
Here are the issues which politicians must have a firm view on else they will be branded wishy-washy or spineless:
(1) Legalizing of marijuana
(2) Legalizing of Gay marriages
(3) Repeal of blasphemy laws
(4) Jack Warner
(5) The insanely low price of gasoline
(6) The insanely low price of electricity
(7) The insanely low price for water
(8) No land and building tax
(9) Keeping people dependent on handouts to get elected
(10) Selling shares in a political party and paying dividends in the form of government awarded contracts
(11) Board members lying about qualifications
(12) Selecting incompetent Board Members and the reappointing them
(13) Making lawyer friends rich for no good reason
(14) Science and mathematics education
(15) Scientific research
(16) The glut of ACCA, Management, MBA and LLB graduates
(17) The shortage of science, mathematics and engineering graduates from real Universities
(18) The useless Information Technology degrees from so-called higher learning institutions (UWI is the only one with a real IT degree)
(19) The intolerable light pollution situation
(20) Victimization of people who look like they from the other party
(21) RaspberryPi in schools
(22) God and atheist
(23) Shortage of affordable housing for middle income earners
(24) Middle income earners
(25) Under employment
(26) Murder, corruption and box drains
If I can think of more I will post them. Ideas from readers are also welcome.
Local personality, charming politician, and football fiend, Jack Warner, said to his tens of thousands of followers and detractors last night at the airport that corruption built,”I’ll be back.” Mr Warner, a self-made self-terminator, was about to get on a flight bound to a land not too far away. He was accompanied by armed security guards who will ensure he gets to his final destination safely.
Many were sad while many were glad. “You could say what yuh want, Jack could run he mouth,” said one supporter clad in a spent-green tee-shirt. A detractor dressed in bright yellow swore a little too casually about how Jack used to be good until he turned green. Panday, a one-time very close friend and an almost-enemy of Jack, and now a career political dead-horse, said he wanted to hug Jack but felt he might get, or even be, carried away. Ramesh, another popular, fulltime dead-horse and professional opportunist thinks Mr. Warner was misunderstood by those who liked him and fully understood by investigators.
A noticeable chunk of the general election economy will be seriously hit by Mr. Warner’s sudden departure as mike men, tee-shirt makers and green paint suppliers start to count their losses. When the leader of the Opposition was asked to comment he simply said “I told you so.” The Prime Minister did not immediately return calls for a comment from this blog but shortly after released a brief statement saying “Jack Who?”
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.
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.”
Prominent Trinidad and Tobago attorney and Senior Council Dana Seetahal was murdered in Woodbrook, Trinidad and Tobago on May 14th 2014. A gunman pumped five bullets into her while she was on her way home and since that time Trinidad and Tobago’s finest have been investigating and beating man on wheelchair. No one, as far as the public knows, have been arrested for the murder and no motive for the crime was ever suggested by the police. However, criminologists have suggested the wheelchair beating was caused by a collective momentary dip in IQ of the officers involved while others have been wondering what IQ. Nevertheless, without the help of the police, the public has a fodder of theories as to why Dana Seetahal was murdered but the only thing we know for sure are those Big Men of Crime in the country can get away with anything. Don’t stop the Party.
A Google search for Trinidad Orange Juice cocaine will have in the top five listing at least one article where we are reminded that on December 2013 around $US 100 million of one of our local favorites was discovered stuffed into Trinidad Orange Juice cans and seized by US authorities. The public instinctively felt this case would go cold as it surely must have involved the Big Men of Crime in the country. Don’t stop the Party.
I wonder if our current Minister of National Security can assure the public, with action rather than words or emotion, that the Big Men of Crime in this country are being actively dealt with. The public of Trinidad and Tobago has always felt that Big Men and Big Politicians are one and the same so there never will be any motivation for any investigation much less arrest.
We all know it doesn’t matter who is elected into power as Big money speaks louder than little integrity. Who can stop that Party?