Corruption is nothing new, according to Sparrow
They say you have the right to criticise
but then you are victimised,
And without any reason.
Many a time you find yourself politically paralysed
By that same good citizen.
Yet these fakes and phonies
Enjoy a long life of luxury
While they spread corruption throughout the country.
When they should be arrested
They’re protected and respected in the society.
In lust, in greed, in fraud, in strife they specialise
Double deals, double deals they idolise.
If you brave enough to open your mouth and criticise,
One time you are ostracised and or victimised.
Still they go unpunished and unaccused of any crime,
While on the backs of the ordinary man these vultures climb.
They use their riches and their power, make a mockery of the law
And have the law protect them same time
And in a million different ways they violate the law.
It’s the same good, no good bastards who oppress the poor
With their false declaration, tax evasion,
Defrauding customs duty.
These good citizens are the architects of economic slavery.
From: Album: Many Moods Of Sparrow, 1967.
It’s very difficult to imagine that the year of the above calypso by Sparrow was 1967—46 years ago. It is as if it was written last week. When this was written there was no Partnership Government, no highway project to Point Fortin and the political party in power was the PNM.
What is very clear is that Trinidad & Tobago has not evolved very much beyond the sectarian, selfish, bourgeoisie dominated politicians that Sparrow identifies in 1967. There are many today who rather than seek long-term solutions to this ugly characteristic of our politics, will have us believe that this is a new phenomenon originated by the present Government. If one were to be guided by the lyrics of Sparrow’s calypso it would seem that many of the ills we complain about today were around when many of today’s politicians were still in school.
As we approach another set of local and general election we must be cognizant of the need for a new political culture. There must be among us true patriots who are willing to end the cycle of selfish politics.
There must be individuals willing to rebuild our communities, prepared to ensure that a few dollars are diverted from nepotism and directed towards buying a few more beds for patients in our hospitals and expanding out water distribution system so that another poor family in some remote village can access pipe-borne water.
There is a smell of change in the air. People are looking beyond the boundaries of traditional party loyalty. Trinidad & Tobago is poised to rise from the decades of upper and business class oppression and build a nation of good citizens dedicated to building a better Nation.
God Bless Our Nation.