Despite all the learned talk, the Chaguanas West by-elections is not about good governance since the average citizen of this country has no idea what that means or care to Google it. The successful candidate in this election, aka voters’ choice, will be the person who the majority wants to be in charge of their most primal need, the need for proper box drains. We are a country, despite possessing valuable natural resources for decades, are still dreaming of having big box drains in our communities with water flowing so fast that it will have no time to turn green or mine fish. What voters have come to realize is that whenever Parliament meets it is to decide, after all is said and done, how proper box drains will be distributed throughout the country.
We as a country complain publicly about the high crime rate, Clico and HCU thieves, corrupt people in government, low IQ people in the media and stray bullets in our living room since those are the things every living human must complain about in the open. However, those public concerns are not our real concerns as we realize they are like bachac, impossible to get rid of safely. For citizens of this country our box drain life is like our sex life in that we don’t talk about it publicly unless it is damn good.
In choosing a box drain leader, the people of Chaguanas West will have to go with their guts. We all know that Jack, the owner and CEO of the Independent Liberal Party’s (ILP), has listened to more box drain woes from citizens of this blessed land than any person on the planet. Because of his compassion for the box-drain-challenged, Jack is considered by many to be the foremost box drain authority in the country and probably the entire universe. I am not sure how much Kadija, the United National Congress (UNC) candidate, actually knows about box drains but she has been campaigning in the area with the Prime Minister, giving out gift boxes which might be symbolic of both future box drains and empty promises inside. Avinash, the Peoples National Movement (PNM)’s candidate, is a farmer and because of his party’s track record may prefer to build an aluminum smelter or church with state funds. Regardless of the victor in these elections there will be fireworks on the night the results are known with the country being the biggest loser.
Our local history textbooks of the very distant future will say how Jack Warner was a somewhat good man but misunderstood by tens of millions worldwide, including Andrew Jennings, Camini Marajh and a several investigators. Jack would be compared to Robin Hood even though he never shot an arrow or stole from any one person. He would be portrayed in some books as an urban legend, a mythical figure who the skeptical skeptics would say, despite photographs, political speeches and audit reports, never existed. Such kindness and cunning could never lie in the heart of the same man, they would say. The books will present scores of photos showing Jack handing over cheque after cheque to delighted people who worshiped him as a God with money.
History will say he was a man known for his willingness to build box drains for the poor and downtrodden. The books will acknowledge that despite his many flaws and law suits, he would eternally be known for his ability to listen to the problems of the frustrated on a weekly basis and act appropriately, unlike the other Members of Parliament who rose to legendary dignitary status after winning an election. Jack Warner will be known as a man who did some right but no wrong locally.
Like all urban legends, Jack will linger on minds of both the mindful and mindless. His parting would be seen to be an aborted reentry by his friends and backstabbers alike since the Prime Minister could no longer fake ignorance of one man’s deeds twice in one term.
Clever Packaging of Fast Food
Trinidad and Tobago is a frustrating country to live in not only because the police service can be selectively incompetent so as to intentionally start unrest but the population gets constant mixed signals from the authorities. On one hand foreign fast food franchises are government-encouraged and causing traffic all over the place while on the other the Minister of Health accuses citizens of being too fat and unhealthy from fast foods thus becoming a drain on the treasury. Not a big drain as kickbacks paid over the years to politicians and their friends but a drain on the public purse by the public is always looked upon with the highest disgust by holders of high office.
Hot cross bun
Yes, we as a country need food and jobs but it seems we are doing this at the expense of our health and foreign exchange. We are a bad food society and the lines of people buying fried food and chips at locations nationwide will always vastly outnumber the amount of people lining up to greet any former political hero on his or her way to buy something down town. I can sympathize with the Minister of Health’s frustration as citizens always complain about the level of health care available while lounging on a couch, enjoying KFC and a massive Pepsi backed up with a current roll without raisins.
Despite high taxes on cigarettes and alcohol, these companies are immensely profitable due to the addictive nature of their products and the foolish people who buy them. It is no different with fried food with salt. High taxes are never a deterrent with addictions and taxing bad food to pay for dialysis seems as foolish as giving crooks access to the treasury and depending on integrity laws to keep them honest.
We need to take our lives in our own hands and fight the attraction of these toxic substances being sold for high profit and packed in cleverly designed fast food boxes and brown paper bags. Saying no to bad food will benefit the economy and the happiness index of the country. The turning of our collective backs on bad foods will start a good food revolution and also force doctors into more productive and humanitarian professions such as farming and engineering. It will be a win win situation.
24 billion TT$ in Clico so far and no accountability
1.6 billion TT$ spent on Piarco Airport and 1 billion traced to offshore banks
Dear Kamla and Anand,
I am now more than a bit concerned that corruption from the Manning era is flourishing under your watch. Despite all your ranting about setting up an Anti-corruption Commission, I have heard nothing about this essential service. I don’t know if such a Commission exist since a Google search shows that it was last mentioned early in 2011. I blogged about such a measure in January 2011, full of hope that finally a Government in power will do something about the corruption infestation that is still plaguing our land.
What has happened since this People’s Partnership was elected is that senior government ministers are now partying with the obviously-corrupt public officials and some suspected big drug men and money launders are courting and liming with the opposition. By now, despite rants form politicians on both sides, the population knows that Section 34 was no accident and it was one of the few things that the Government, Opposition and other higher powers agreed on for the good of the “better people” of our land. Our marketed-as-fearless Prime Minister said back in January 2011 “If it is that a man works for $1,000 but he is driving a million-dollar BMW, then where did that money come from?” What I want to add is “Where did some of the directors of various Ministries get money to build their $10,000,000 dollar second homes in Trinidad, and buy new Prados and BMWs.” These homes are places where some self-righteous Government Ministers party with dubious characters (public servants) who might well be sponsoring the Government.
Much of the population is feeling betrayed by the Government and Opposition as people are realizing the depth of corruption and money laundering in this country. Both political parties seem to have a hand in allowing these activities to flourish as these political parties and party officials benefit immensely from dirty money. These parties are unpatriotic and their main goal is to ride the backs of voters so that they can protect the Mr. Bigs of our country. What lies beneath our political parties stinks even more than what we see on the surface and what we see on the surface is rotten beyond belief.
A Betrayed Voter
Aranguez – May 2010
As hard as it is to believe, the following is based on actual events that took place in the former Democratic Country of Trinidad and Tobago over the last few days.
“Attack the press and the people with full force” shouted the Trinidad and Tobago Cabal (formerly known as the Government) as they saw the treasury and iPads slipping from their grips. It was just two years ago they hoodwinked the population into casting their votes for a dictatorship disguised as a democratic party and were hoping that the nation kept behaving like sheep and goats. But as good luck would have it, the plot to free their treasury-plundering leaders from a life in jail, without the benefit of any access to extra-slippery butt cream, was exposed by the soon-to-be-strangled press of the land.
This one cataclysmic event, along with the nightmares of deeds of the Last Party in Power, jolted the country out of slumber and the usual sheep and goat behavior of the nation was transformed almost overnight to the behavior of wolves. The Cabal, on seeing this transformation, grew angry and flew into a blinding rage because they knew that jail is no place for butt-hole party leaders. “How dare they expose us” shouted the King, and the Queen and the Chief Corrupt Lawyer of the Cabal. “Don’t they know who is boss.” So, both in fury and desperation, every woman and Jack in the cabal asked all their minions who were given, getting, or about to get party favors, to come out and support the Dictatorship at a free brain-numbing event to show the protesting nation how mindless mass support can make a hugely unforgivable wrong, alright.
Aranguez – May 2010
After your speech last night, I can say you are now in the same league as Patrick Manning – incompetent beyond words. It is either incompetent or part of the conspiracy plot but believe me, incompetent is the better choice.
It seems you were the last person in Trinidad and Tobago to realize that Mr. Hubert could not be trusted around the laws of the country. What does that say for your other choices of members of your cabinet? Is Mr. Hubert the only one who can not be trusted? Your judgment apparently leaves a lot to be desired and I now truly believe that we will have many more disgraceful and unpatriotic lies and schemes which you and your cabinet are planning to “unintentionally” unleash onto the public.
If there really was a new level of accountability from the Government when the People’s Partnership replaced the PNM you would have also fired Mr. Anand and throw in Jack for good measure simply because they were telling the population “move on, nothing to see here.” Really, nothing to see here! Maybe you should have also resigned in order to show the population what good governance really looks like. Your speech last night does not signal the end but the beginning of the end for your party. It’s so sad it had to come to this.