Tuesday, September 2, 2014


$10m scheme for MPs worth a second look

It appears far too simplistically an open-and-shut way to dismiss the proposed Constituency Development Fund as just an opportunity for corruption. Before any elaboration, let alone precise planning or implementation of the idea, however, Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley has raised fears about its consequences. Read More »

Slot machine country

With the controversial constitutional amendments almost in place, the national budget is next. These are two cornerstones of the People’s Partnership re-election thrust. The budget debate gives every government a platform to tout its achievements, the opposition the liberty to disagree. Next week’s no different. The big money talk will waft for some days, but after, the long-unsolved problems of tone, leadership, policy and representation will gnaw. Run-off and recall aside, what will Minister of Finance Larry Howai do for decaying rural and semi-rural communities? Read More »

Ethical political conduct

Yes, I know: that phrase is a contradiction in terms, not only in this country. “Yesterday was yesterday and today is today,” says someone who should know. “Politics has a morality of its own,” says another who should know even better. “Morality” is a much abused word, flung about by priest and politician alike. I tiptoe around it. I prefer “ethics” — at least I have a pretty good idea what that means. Some others in the society do as well, and have been courageous enough to draw up what they call a “Code of Ethical Political Conduct”. Read More »

A letter to the Middle Earth

The raison d’être of any third party even before our independence arrangements is to secure a place not only in the national dialogue but in parliamentary deliberations. It is their defining political objective. Otherwise they are reduced to the margins, hither thither from pillar to post, wandering like Ibn Batuta. Read More »

National Awards missteps

We congratulate all recipients of National Awards and thank them for their service to community and country. To one degree or another, all have distinguished themselves sufficiently to have been considered worthy of national praise, gratitude and accolade. Read More »

LifeSport on my mind

Throughout the Independence weekend, I found myself celebrating less —thinking of the $400 million LifeSport scandal more. Read More »

What might have been

I was out of the country last week when the Constitution (Amendment) Bill was being debated in the Senate. My schedule was such that not only did I not have time to write my column but I was not able to keep abreast of developments through the online versions of the daily papers. Read More »

Democracy wins...

“Whatever the merits or otherwise of this new legislation, (Kamla) Persad-Bissessar can count this as a political victory…(which) lies in having accomplished what former prime ministers have paid mere lip service to—concrete constitutional reform.” Read More »

Beyond tear-shedding, sober realities to ponder

By any measure, last week’s joint funerals of three young men, who had been shot dead by police in a single August 17 incident, marked a poignant occasion in contemporary Trinidad and Tobago experience. Rising to the occasion, remarks by Pastor Kirby Jackson of the La Horquetta Gospel Foundation merited attention wider than the pulpit of the church from which he delivered his homily. Read More »

August Senate

Since Roman times the month of August, at least the first half of the month, has been poorly regarded. This had to do with the hot summer weather in the Northern Hemisphere and superstition about radiation from the rise of the star known as Sirius, also called the Dog Star, to which animal sacrifices were sometimes made. Read More »

Race, Wealth, and Constitutional Debate

During the recent debate on the reform of the Constitution, the PNM was accused of whipping up ethnic fears about social collapse. It was argued that the PNM’s objection to the run-off vote provision was said part of a strategy to establish and demonise the Partnership. Read More »

Ebb and Flow of a People’s Independence

the farcical ending to the constitutional debate, in which the Prime Minister abandoned her high platform of majority representation for horse-trading so choreographed as to raise suspicion, did no justice at all to the heights of excellence scaled over three days of sparring in the Senate. Read More »

In blessed T&T, ‘change’ gets a hard time

For a 2014 Independence weekend rumination, anything resembling an endorsement of Prakash Ramadhar is certain to trigger fearsome volleys from that legion of haters rampaging in the badlands of the Internet. Masked and hooded like the Iraq/Syria jihadists, unidentified so-called bloggers could, for all I know, be awaiting my unguarded passage in some darkened area. Read More »

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