Thursday, August 30, 2012
Imagine an environment where all businesses are 'made' to contribute five per cent of their annual income to the redevelopment of the communities in which they operate; not on roads and bridges mind you, but on community centers, sports facilities, learning institutions, music academies and other people developmental initiatives. We live in a country that is barely visible on the map yet despite its diminutive size has given to the world superstars in such a diverse array of disciplines it boggles the mind. And still, in spite of these successes we continue to labor on mindlessly, pausing to celebrate successes when they occur without contributing to their development in any meaningful way. Brazil produces possibly the best footballers in the world because you can play football in Brazil 24 hours a day. How many Dwight Yorkes would we produce if this was so here? What could be the impact on the local fashion industry if we had a Jimmy Aboud Memorial Fashion Academy founded and funded by his legacy? Or the impact on Carnival if all mas bands operating in Woodbrook and environs were made to contribute to a Peter Minshall School of Mas? If the magic behind the Machel Montano show Kernel Roberts is the product of Lord Kitchener, then why aren't we building numerous performing arts schools named for the same Kitchener, Sparrow and even Beryl McBurnie funded by business and used to mould and channel the energies of our exuberantly talented youth?
Forget patriotism and national pride for a second and get down to real economics; the savings to companies in security and advertising alone would be more than worth the contribution as no one would be allowed to 'touch' a business that supports the community they operate in, and how much more 'top of mind' could you get than a mother sitting in a park provided and maintained by the supermarket chain she shops at? With a contributory 'business community redevelopment fund' available to boards made up of representatives of the same business community, the home owners and the arts, education and sporting fraternities, places like Diego Martin, San Juan, Laventille, Curepe, Newtown, Chaguanas and downtown Port of Spain would experience a renewal from the ground up and even a gentrification where families could be encouraged to return and re-establish neighborhoods where desolation and squalor now stand. The provision of numerous lit football, hockey, basketball and cricket fields within depressed communities would do more to reduce gang membership and violence than any policing or legislation ever could, and organizations like the Jericho Project could benefit from support for its Second Chance initiative that wants to remove the homeless from the nation's streets and redevelop them into full contributing members of society.
I remember noting that when the Kirpalani Roundabout was renamed it effectively put an end to the legacy of one of the greatest captains of industry and commerce this country has ever known, and along with names like Motilal Moonan, Francis Hadeed, Boland Amar, Sydney Knox and even Jimmy Aboud, it is a shame and a disgrace that nothing is done to constructively remind future generations of these and other pioneers.
There is a saying – 'When the people lead the leaders will follow,' and I daresay this is an excellent opportunity for us all to win. I would like to call on all Chambers of Commerce, Manufacturers Associations, Hotel and Tourism Association and any and all other commercial bodies to support this initiative not just for one song on one day, but to demonstrate real and meaningful patriotism that will redound to the greatest return on investment for the largest number of people all the year through.
Posted by Phillip Edward Alexander at 6:51 AM
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
I know it is impolite to begin a conversation with a question, but in this instance I have no choice but to ask, is Trinidad & Tobago on its way to becoming a police state? On the anniversary of a still not yet properly explained State of Emergency where the rights of the citizens were trampled upon for no given or justifiable reason, those responsible are playing fast and loose with their obligation to the population and are ignoring the growing calls to explain what exactly was the thinking behind the move. And the reason I say fast and loose is that, for something like a State of Emergency to work then certainly the people have to agree. Imagine the consequences to government if for any reason the national consensus becomes that the government abused its power for no good reason, on what would it rely to exercise its authority in the future? What would be the result if the government tried to declare another state of emergency and God forbid, the people refused to comply? See how quickly the ground on which we walk could become slippery? In a democratic republic where the rule of law is supreme and the Constitution of the Republic the Supreme Law, one must always return to the people in whom all power is vested if not for a fresh mandate then to at least explain your actions when they appear at odds with the people's will. It is only in dictatorships, police states and absolute monarchies could the will of the people be ignored and their concerns easily brushed aside, but unless there are individuals in the government with royal delusions, the signs as they exist point in another more sinister direction.
Minister of Everything Jack Warner's singular decision to enlarge the police service with first five and now ten thousand Special Reserve Police officers is troubling and one has to be concerned as to what exactly is taking place with our democracy. People who specialize in law enforcement who continue to insist that ours is not a manpower shortage problem but a manpower management and deployment problem are being ignored by those with no knowledge whatsoever, and the belief that the solution lies in an arms race and an escalation of violence may well further lubricate the landscape with an inexhaustible supply of blood long before anything even remotely resembling success could make itself known. Jack's tongue in cheek calls to police to be more severe with the criminals they encounter may result in a push back that none of us can envisage at this time, and in a country that seems more and more ready to boil over, adding more fire could only end in more tragedy and loss of life on both sides.
Personally I worry for my country. I believe that crime, especially violent crime is being allowed to run unchecked to encourage the people to erroneously choose a suspension of human rights and civil liberties as an option, ignoring Benjamin Franklin's admonishing that 'those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither and will eventually lose both.' There is nothing good down this road that we are on but the concentration of all power into one man's hands and this must never be allowed to occur, especially in a time when people all over the world are literally dying to wrest power back from similar self imposed strong men. Students of history know that it is not so much those who facilitate wrong that are most to blame, but those who have the power to prevent it and sit idly by and let it happen. An informed and active electorate is more powerful than anything in the maintenance of a democracy, and it is time our people moved from the sidelines of voting (maybe) every five years and getting more actively involved in the decisions that are being made on their behalf.
If I am wrong then surely we could lose little by deepening our democracy and empowering our people. But what if I'm right?
Posted by Phillip Edward Alexander at 7:15 AM
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
An Act to provide for the establishment of a Special Reserve Police service.
[11TH APRIL 1946]
1. This Act may be cited as the Special Reserve Police Act.
2. In this Act—
“Commissioner” and “Deputy Commissioner” mean respectively the persons appointed to the offices of Commissioner of Police and Deputy Commissioner of Police in accordance with section 123 of the Constitution;
“constable” means a constable appointed under this Act;
“dependants” means such of the members of the family of the deceased member of the Special Reserve Police as were wholly or in part dependent upon his income at the time of his death, and where such member of the Special Reserve Police, being the parent or grandparent of an illegitimate child, leaves such a child so dependent upon his income, or, being an illegitimate child leaves a parent or grandparent so dependent upon his income, shall include such an illegitimate child and parent or grandparent respectively. However, a person shall not be deemed to be a partial dependent of a member of the Special Reserve Police unless he was dependent partially on contributions from the member for the provision of the ordinary necessities of life suitable for persons in his class and position;
“district” and “division” mean police district and division as defined for the purposes of the Police Service Act;
“First Division Officer” means any of the officers specified in the First Schedule to the Police Service Act;
“Police Service” means the Police Service established by section 3 of the Police Service Act.
3. In addition to the supplemental bodies of Police established under the Supplemental Police Act, a new supplemental body of Police styled “Special Reserve Police” shall be established under this Act.
4. (1) The Special Reserve Police or any part thereof may be called out for service by the Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner or any other First Division Officer in cases of external aggression or internal disturbance, actual or threatened.
(2) The Commissioner may, whenever additional police may be required for the preservation of good order, the protection of persons or property or the performance of any other duty exercisable by members of the Police Service, call out members of the Special Reserve Police on full-time, part-time or temporary service.
(3) Every member of the Special Reserve Police shall whether or not he has been called out for service under this section attend and carry out such parades and drills in such places and at such times and in such manner as may be ordered by the officer in command of his division, and when he has been called out for service under this section, shall carry out such duties of the Police Service and in such places and at such times and in such manner as may be ordered by the Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner or any other First Division Officer or by the officer in command of the division or by any member of the Special Reserve Police who is senior to him.
(4) Every member of the Special Reserve Police shall, while on parade or at drill or on duty obey all lawful orders which may be given to him by the Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner or any other First Division Officer or by the officer in command of the division or by any member of the Special Reserve Police who is senior to him.
(5) No member of the Special Reserve Police shall leave his division during any period in which the Special Reserve Police is called out for service under subsection (1) without the permission of the officer in command of the division, and if the permission is granted he shall comply with any conditions attached to the permission.
5. (1) Every member of the Special Reserve Police who commits any of the following offences:
(a) insubordination; (b) wilful disobedience of a lawful order; (c) any contravention of section 4(5); (d) absencefromparade,drill,ordutywithoutleave;
(e) making away with, pawning, selling, losing by carelessness or wilfully damaging a uniform or any part thereof or any article which has been supplied to him at the public expense for the performance of his duties as a member of the Special Reserve Police;
(f) any act, conduct or neglect to the prejudice of good order and discipline or in violation of duty in his office, or any other misconduct as a member of the Special Reserve Police,
shall on conviction before the officer in command of his division be liable to one or more of the following punishments:
(i) dismissal; (ii) reduction to a lower rank;
(iii) a fine not exceeding one hundred and fifty dollars;
(iv) extra parades, drill and duties.
(2) Any member of the Special Reserve Police who is dissatisfied with the decision of his senior officer in any matter may appeal to the Commissioner, who may make such order as the circumstances may require, and whose decision shall be final.
(3) The Commissioner may, without any appeal, reduce any punishment imposed by any senior officer on any member of the Special Reserve Police and no sentence of dismissal shall be valid until confirmed in writing by the Commissioner.
(4) A member of the Special Reserve Police shall not be convicted unless the charge against him has been investigated in his presence and he has been given sufficient opportunity to defend himself.
6. SubjecttothegeneralorderanddirectionsoftheMinister, the Commissioner shall have the general command and superintendence of the Special Reserve Police, and he shall be responsible to the Minister for their efficient condition and for the proper carrying out of this Act.
7. (1) Subject to the provisions mentioned above, the Special Reserve Police in each division shall consist of such numbers and ranks as may from time to time be directed by the Commissioner, with the sanction of the Minister.
(2) The powers and authority of any member of the Special Reserve Police under this Act may be exercised in any part of Trinidad and Tobago.
8. Every male person who is— (a) over 18 years of age;
(b) able-bodied; and (c) of good character,
shall be deemed to be qualified for appointment as a member of the Special Reserve Police.
9. TheCommissionermaybywritingunderhishandappoint fit and proper persons to be members of the Special Reserve Police and such members shall be assigned such ranks and be posted to such division or district as the Commissioner may direct.
10. (1) On appointing any person to be a member of the Special Reserve Police under this Act, the Commissioner shall deliver or cause to be delivered to him a precept authorising him to act as such.
(2) The precept may be in the form contained in the Schedule.
(3) When he receives the precept, the person who is appointed shall take and subscribe, before any First Division Officer, the following oath of office:
I,.................. of ........................, do swear that I will well and truly serve the State as a member of the Special Reserve Police for Trinidad and Tobago; so help me God.
(4) On receiving the precept and taking and subscribing the oath, the person who is appointed shall become a member of the Special Reserve Police established under the provisions of this Act.
11. Any member of the Special Reserve Police may at any time on giving one month’s notice in writing to the Commissioner resign his appointment as a member.
12. The appointment of any member of the Special Reserve Police may be revoked at any time by the Commissioner.
13. Any member of the Special Reserve Police who, without reasonable cause, neglects or refuses to serve when called out by the Commissioner, the Deputy Commissioner or any other First Division Officer shall, unless he is dealt with under section 5, be liable on summary conviction to a fine of three hundred dollars or to imprisonment for one month.
14. (1) Every member of the Special Reserve Police who resigns his appointment or otherwise ceases to form part of the Special Reserve Police shall forthwith deliver up to the person appointed by the Commissioner for that purpose every article whatsoever which has been supplied to him at the public expense for the performance of his duties as a member of the Special Reserve Police and which he has not been expressly authorised to keep or use for his private benefit.
(2) Everypersonwhofailstocomplywiththissectionis liable on summary conviction to a fine of three hundred dollars or to imprisonment for three months and any Magistrate or Justice may issue a warrant to search for and seize all such articles as aforesaid which are not so delivered up, wherever the same may be found, and to arrest the person in whose possession the same may be found.
15. (1) When any member of the Special Reserve Police dies any person in possession of any articles which had been supplied to such member at the public expense for the performance of his duties as a member of the Special Reserve Police, shall be bound, within fourteen days after the death, to deliver any such articles over to the member of the Police Service in charge of the Police Station nearest to which such person resides.
(2) Anypersonwhocontravenesthissectionisliableon summary conviction to a fine of one hundred and fifty dollars or to imprisonment for two months; and any Magistrate or Justice may issue his warrant to search for and seize all such articles which are not so delivered up, wherever the same may be found, and to arrest the person in whose possession the same may be found.
16. There shall be established in the manner hereinafter mentioned a fund to be called the Special Reserve Police Reward Fund (in this Act referred to as the “Reward Fund”) and the fund shall be kept by the Commissioner and administered in the manner directed by this Act and shall be appropriated to the payment of—
(a) such rewards as the Minister may from time to time award or direct to be paid to members of the Special Reserve Police; and
(b) such special compensation for injuries received by members of the Special Reserve Police in the execution of their duty as the Minister may from time to time award.
17. The Commissioner shall keep an account of all moneys paid into and disbursed from the Reward Fund, and shall submit to the Auditor General at the end of each month a statement showing all receipts and disbursements and shall state thereon the reasons and authority for each disbursement, and shall deposit all moneys received for the credit of the Reward Fund as soon as practicable in the Post Office Savings Bank to a special account. When the sum standing to the credit of the Reward Fund exceeds two thousand four hundred dollars the Minister shall decide to what purpose the surplus shall be put.
18. (1) Every member of the Special Reserve Police while on duty in the capacity of a member shall have, exercise and enjoy all the powers, authorities, privileges and immunities, and shall perform all the duties and have all the responsibilities of a member of the Police Service constituted under the Police Service Act.
(2) A member of the Special Reserve Police shall be deemed to be on duty in the capacity of a member when he is called out for service under section 4 (1) or (2).
(3) AnyfineimposedonamemberoftheSpecialReserve Police under section 5 may be deducted from any pay to which he is or may become entitled under this Act, and, if so deducted, shall be paid to the credit of the Reward Fund; and any bribe or gift of money coming into the possession of any such member, and the value of any goods given as a bribe to any such member, shall be paid to the credit of the said Fund.
19. Members of the Special Reserve Police shall not be regarded as workmen for the purposes of the Workmen’s Compensation Act, but the principles of that Act may be followed in computing compensation granted under this Act in respect of permanent disability or death.
20. (1) AnypersonnotbeingamemberoftheSpecialReserve Police who in any way pretends to be a member thereof for the purpose of doing any act which such person would not be entitled to do, if not a member of the Special Reserve Police, called out for service, is liable on summary conviction to a fine of seven hundred and fifty dollars or to imprisonment for three months.
(2) Any person who has in his possession any badge or baton or other equipment furnished for the use of a member of the Special Reserve Police and who does not satisfactorily account for his possession thereof, is liable on summary conviction, in addition to any other punishment to which he has subjected himself, to a fine of seven hundred and fifty dollars or to imprisonment for three months.
21. MembersoftheSpecialReservePoliceestablishedunder the Defence (Special Reserve Police) Regulations 1942 at the date of the commencement of this Act of any rank shall be deemed to be members of the Special Reserve Police established under this Act and to hold corresponding ranks therein and it shall not be necessary for the Commissioner to deliver a precept to any such member nor for any such member to take the oath of office prescribed by section 10.
22. (1) The Minister may make Regulations generally for giving effect to the provisions of the Act.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the power conferred by subsection (1), Regulations made under that subsection may provide for—
(a) the organisation of the Special Reserve Police;
(b) the establishment of different ranks and the precedence and command to be had or exercised by the holders of such ranks;
(c) the conditions of service, enrolment, promotion, demotion, resignation, dismissal or suspension of members of the Special Reserve Police;
(d) the training of members of the Special Reserve Police;
(e) the discipline and guidance of the Special Reserve Police;
(f) the setting up of Disciplinary Boards to investigate breaches of discipline and to award punishment, if necessary, and the powers and duties of the Disciplinary Boards;
(g) ensuring the compulsory attendance of witnesses and the production of documents before any Disciplinary Board;
(h) the payment of wages and of subsistence allowances, travelling allowances and out of pocket expenses to members of the Special Reserve Police and the rates at which and conditions upon which such wages or allowances or both shall be paid to different ranks of the Special Reserve Police;
(i) medical attention and examination of any member of the Special Reserve Police who sustains injury whilst on duty;
(j)the grant to members of the Special Reserve Police who are injured in the execution of their duty of sick benefit and the conditions upon which and the rates at which the benefit shall be payable to members of different ranks;
(k)the grant to members of the Special Reserve Police who consequent upon injuries received in the course of their duty as such are permanently incapacitated from following their normal employment or whose earning power in such employment is impaired, pensions or gratuities and the conditions upon which and the rates at which such pensions or gratuities may be granted to different ranks of the Special Reserve Police;
(l) the grant, subject to the following conditions and such other conditions as may be prescribed, at such rates as may be prescribed, of a pension or gratuity to the widow and child or children, or dependent, of any member of the Special Reserve Police who dies as a result of injuries received: (i) in the actual discharge of his duty; and (ii) without his own default; and (iii) on account of circumstances specially attributable to the nature of his duty;
(m) supplies, accommodation and uniform of members of the Special Reserve Police;
(n) controlling the use of transport for the carrying out of duties by members of the Special Reserve Police.
(3) Regulations made under paragraphs (h), (j), (k), and (l) of subsection (2) shall be subject to negative resolution of Parliament.
(4) Notwithstanding the repeal by the Special Reserve Police (Amendment) Act 1967 of the former sections 12, 20 (2) and 21(1), (2) and (3), these sections and any Rules or Regulations respecting the Special Reserve Police shall remain in force and continue to have effect until other provisions are substituted therefor by Regulations made under this section.
(5) For the purposes of subsection (2) (l)“child” includes—
(a) a posthumous child;
(b) a stepchild or illegitimate child born before the date of the injury and wholly or mainly dependent upon the deceased member of the Special Reserve Police for support; and
(c) anadoptedchild,adoptedinamannerrecognised, by law, before the date of the injury, and wholly or mainly dependent upon the deceased member of the Special Reserve Police for support.
Posted by Phillip Edward Alexander at 12:35 PM
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Take the firing of (former) Ambassador to the United Nations Therese Baptiste-Cornelis for example; referred to as a 'recalling to headquarters' instead of a dismissal, one is left to wonder to which headquarters was she recalled and where was it located? Is it even on planet earth? Surely as Ambassadorial appointees answer directly to the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister herself is not known to have or operate any headquarters, this release for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs asks more questions than they answer. Was this misdirection? Over to you Suruj.
When Planning Minister Bhoe Tewarie, in his response to the public outcry against the perverse 'imitation' National flags being flown on flagpoles on public buildings claimed that they were just 'pieces of cloth,' was that not misdirection? Because if not, then what is? The accepted definition of the word 'flag' is - 'A piece of cloth, usually rectangular, of distinctive color and design, used as a symbol, standard, signal, or emblem.' When these pieces of cloth, as subjective as they may then be are hoisted and flown on officially recognized and stipulated flagpoles, what are they then? Over to you Bhoe.
Take also the vapse holiday regally granted by the Prime Minister which put everyone outside of the rent-a-crowd and the 'colour me any colour you want once you paying me' crowd into a tizzy. From the business community which was left with short notice and a mad scramble to undo all the plannings and preparations for the hectic first day of the work week, the restaurants, bakeries and caterers who had to dump or give away their preparations, to those reeling from the weekend's disastrous flooding and landslides still caught up in cleaning and repair, the holiday that was held out as a celebration for the Olympic athletes ended up being anything but. To make matters worse the event was so badly handled that the Government had to apologize for omitting and ignoring other members of the T&T Olympic team who were not honoured at Monday’s Piarco celebration, leaving Communication Minister Jamal Mohammed no choice but to say: “We do apologize if the impression was created that we had forgotten or ignored the other athletes.” Now if Monday’s celebration was specially in honour of the man who won the gold medal, Keshorn Walcott, why did the celebration include Njisane Phillip at the expense of the rest who arrived back in the country at the same time? Over to you Jamal.
Requiring much more than spin doctoring, the situation left TTOC general secretary Brian Lewis to fall on his sword and describe the faux pas as “unfortunate and disappointing” and that the TTOC accepted full responsibility. Lewis went on to say that it was because of problems in communication at the airport that only Walcott and Phillip were presented to the huge crowd, contradicting novice spin doctor Arts and Multiculturalism Minister Lincoln Douglas who jumped in and said (as excuse) that some of the T&T track and field athletes had not returned home on Monday but had gone to another athletic meeting overseas, leaving the general public with three versions of what should have been the same excuse to choose from. Was this misdirection? Over to you Lincoln.
To everyone looking on the question that wants to be asked is why the mad rush to celebrate? Was it as some surmise that the medal success was being seen as the ultimate distraction to a people jaded by the antics of the entire government? And if a crushing natural disaster and the winning of a gold medal in the same twenty four hour period isn't enough to distract the people from their disdain for the situation, then what, pray tell, will? Over to you Kams....
Posted by Phillip Edward Alexander at 12:16 PM
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Clearly something was lost in the rush to respond and questions need to be asked as to the army's role in any relief effort, were they there to assist the police? CEPEP? The Regional Corporation? WASA? Outside of search and rescue, relief and restoration, the only other role that needed playing by any state organization was the maintenance of law and order, and surely as that is the police services's mandate and role then just as surely the army personnel should have been place under their direct authority, not so?
More important than response is sensible response in my opinion, as in these circumstances lives could unnecessarily be lost due to negligence or, as in this case, misdirected state sponsored hooliganism. Contrasted with the police officers whose performance was a notch above exemplary, the gains wrought by by 21st Century policing were clearly evident and will surely be missed and perhaps this is precisely why our soldiers should never be 'precepted' as they do not currently have the training nor possess the skill set to manage in a strictly civilian environment. Again, I am not in any way trying to diminish the severity of the moment or take away from the circumstances, but if ever there was an example of the difference between the army and the police service and the respective roles they play in our country, this was it.
I have not published the video as I am making it available to the Authorities first to determine what should be done with it if anything. As of this writing a copy has already been given to the Director of Public Prosecutions and based on his advice I shall also make it available to the media, the Ministry of National Security and the Army Chief of Staff.
Posted by Phillip Edward Alexander at 5:26 AM
Thursday, August 9, 2012
It also presents a wonderful opportunity to put the political leader Prakash Ramadhar on notice – either performs under the COP's mandate or be replaced, as he more than anyone else is responsible for the party's dismal fortunes and where it finds itself at this time. His inability to hold to the guidelines that spawned the COP out of opposition to Panday's claim that politics did and should have a morality of its own should be grounds enough for his removal, as is his flip flopping on important national issues. Are the founding principles not challenged by the appointment of Jack Warner to the Cabinet, his open flouting of the Parliamentary Code of Ethics by his presence in that Chamber and his series of ethically questionable acting Prime Ministerial appointments? Prakash's own public opinion on that issue and his later turn-about raises many concerns that should best be left to the good gentleman to address, but are again reasons enough to rescind his appointment. What about the continuous fraud being perpetrated almost daily against the people by the (senior) partner in the partnership, the UNC? Are these not challenges to those very values? The overt and covert challenges to democracy, the still unexplained state of emergency, the detention of citizens with little or no evidence, the reneging on promises used to achieve office are all opportunities for the leader of a Congress of the People to speak out, yet in exchange the media reports that the current leader chooses to remain silent, which again begs many questions as to where his loyalties truly lie.
The best opportunity here though, bar none, is the opportunity presented to put some perceived wrongs right and remove Joseph Toney from office. His elevation to leadership came after an extremely questionable election that saw many of the founding members quit the party in disgust, with many believing that the results should never have been allowed to stand and that they were only allowed to (despite open conflict if not revolt within the party) because he presided over the very meetings that were supposed to decide if the election was totally rigged and his ascension a fraud.
Questions have to be asked of these two gentlemen and their appointees, questions such as - who do they speak for? Who or what is guiding your policies? Make no mistake, the COP has a lucrative opportunity being part of a coalition in government, but it should not be allowed to continue at the expense of the party's soul. Rumors that some COP MP's are steering the trajectory of the party through tantrums and threats at the executive level to leave if they do not get their way should be met with the very discipline they themselves fail to display. If you are no longer guided by COP principles then by all means leave. Anil's wiping of Jack Warner's face at a public event was comical at best, and Lincoln Douglas' threat to 'leave the COP' if the COP leaves the government as he has 'nowhere else to go' should not be what decides party policy.
What happens now is up to the members. Any new leadership should be elected with a mandate to hold to the party's founding principles and to expand the membership base through a sustained expansion into all forty one constituencies. This 'new' Congress of the People should have as its motto “....Onward to Governance,' and there should be a very clear distinction as to where the UNC ends and the COP begins.
Posted by Phillip Edward Alexander at 7:40 AM
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Take hammer throw for instance, who in T&T ever pelt a hammer? Or a shot putt for that matter? Now 'Pelt Mango,' we would bring home the gold in that for sure. They could have a big tree in the center of the stadium and hang the medals high up on the tree and who lick down a medal get to keep it. They could do 'Tief Mango' too as a variation, which would be just like 'Pelt Mango' only the competitors would have to scale a wall and evade two German Shepherds and a pothound in heat while trying to pelt at the medals.
And cycling, we are never going to be as good as those other nations because cycling is not our thing. Trinis don really like to ride because that takes works and well, Trinis doh really like to work; But "Bad Drive.' If Bad Drive was an Olympic sport we win gold, silver and bronze every time. I observed in the 'heats' for the cycling there was a little bad drive (bad ride?) section, and as we specialize in 'run yuh off de road' techniques there would be no stopping the Trini contingent in that event.
And as we on this, who did we send up as our 'Shooting' team? Obviously not fellas from Richplain, Never Dirty and Hard Bargain because we woulda win. I want to take that one up with the selectors, I feel we get short changed there. You can't send Westmoorings shooters when Beetham shooters practicing every day.
Look Trinis just not set up for 'old time' sports for things like Synchronized Swimming. You ever hear such nonsense? Now Synchronized Running we could do, but instead of a starter pistol we would need someone dressed like a police shouting "Stop Tief!" at the start. Somebody said to me we shoulda get a medal for the Synchronized Resignations that just happened, but as them fellas was Canadian I don't think we woulda get to keep the medals. Fencing, we not into Fencing. We could do Fence Climbing, although they might say that that already included in Tief Mango. Pentathlon we could do also, but they would have to change it up for us. Instead of the 'traditional' definition of - 'ride an unfamiliar horse, fight with pistol and sword, swim and run,' they could change it up a little and try something more like - 'open an unfamiliar door, rummage through an unfamiliar purse, snatch what you find and run.'
I really think we need to make a representation to the IOC to have our views heard and our events included in any future Olympics if they really want it to have a truly international feel because this frilly thing not cutting it and somebody has to say it. Time for some REAL sports that our athletes could take part in, and I would also like to suggest the inclusion of 'Lock Neck,' 'Pick Pocket,' 'Breaks From Work' and 'Tief Tyre' too.
Posted by Phillip Edward Alexander at 6:46 AM
Monday, August 6, 2012
Apologies in advance to Denyse Plummer
AH LEAVIN..........(bastardized lyrics by the one and only PEA)
They say meh country so stressfull, so tense
With race hate, young jail bait, too much violence
Boy pack up and go, leave sweet Trinbago
I tell dem hell yeah (hell yeah)
How de people small-minded, macoscious and loud
Of bobol and scandal they boastful and proud
Yet somehow I see, all this foolery
As just the starting, it deteriorating
You see dey just tief mih tennis shoe
Nails, hammer and a tin of glue
mih full line of washed clothes too
Meh neighbor just tell me
Ah leaving (ah leaving)
Meh navel string so deep but dey might tief dat if ah fall asleep
Where else in de world you know
bullets flying po po po
People cussin' yuh so and so jus so in the street
Ah leaving (ah leaving)
Better believe mih ah fraid if ah stay here ah go dead
I see a people creative who ent come for fun
Make sawed off from old steel, turn pipe into gun
So why should I stay, it could be me there one day
I tell dem no way (no way)
Comradery so special just join up de gang
dey will teach you how to shoot and dey will teach you how to sprang
But doh think dey kind, iz one setta bad mind
So ah heading New York, hold all de old talk
You see ah just had to run back home
because ah leave mih poor dog there alone
and ah feel ah go have to moan
when dey tief he too
Ah leaving (ah leaving)
Meh navel string so deep but dey might tief dat if ah fall asleep
Where else in de world you see
even police does have to flee
when dem bad boys start to get on bad in town and city
Ah leaving (ah leaving)
Is here wey conceive me, but if ah stay here ah go dead
Mayaro, Maracas Bay (dey raping)
Savannah wey children play (dem shooting)
yuh old car yuh roller skate (dey tiefing)
de bicycle yuh leave by de gate (dey spranging)
De Oval, down in St. Clair (dey robbing)
dey mugging you without fear (and laughing)
Down in de carnival (pick pocketing)
De Soca Chutney Bachannal (bottle pelting)
I wake up one morning and before I stretch
mih bedspread mih pillow case ah realize ah get ketch
mih clothes and mih bag even mih dirty wash rag,
I getting outta here (outta here)
Humming birds and black birds used to sing in de trees
but now is only mosquito and one setta fleas
Wild dogs in de street, looking for meat
it bloody scary, dis place gone crazy
You see ah just watch ah football match
Wey Trini and Yankee clash
So much goal dem yankee lash
Meh head still dizzy
Ah leaving (ah leaving)
Meh navel string so deep but dey might tief dat if ah fall asleep
Where else in de world you know
Despite having money for so
Vagrants does have to bend down low and drink from ah drain
Ah leaving (ah leaving)
Is here wey conceive me, but if ah stay ah go dead
Barb wire, roll wire, we living in jail
And dey still getting through to share licks in we tail
we living in fear because dem bandits just doh care
I going home and pack (home and pack)
Dey tiefing all yuh silver dey tiefing all yuh gold
If yuh only play yuh standing still dey go tief yuh heart and soul
So who want to leave, because dey believe
Dat out dey easy, I say wait for me
You see ah just had to run outside
De wrecker nearly take mih ride
De man like he have no pride
and he watch mih cut eye
Ah leaving (ah leaving)
Meh navel string so deep but dey might tief dat if ah fall asleep
Where else in de world you know
Big man does get on so
Carrying on like a so and so for days in the street
Ah leaving (ah leaving)
Is here wey conceive me, but boy it get real, real dread
Mayaro, Maracas Bay (we hiding)
Savannah wey children play (we running)
De government corrupt for so (an tiefing)
Even de blasted bake and shark (dey faking)
De Soca and de Carnival (iz now a sex ting)
Ah fed up of de bacchanal (ah leaving)
Posted by Phillip Edward Alexander at 7:42 AM
Saturday, August 4, 2012
Leadership Appraisal – Political Leadership in Parliament
Kamla Persad Bissessar – Political Leader of the UNC - Member of Parliament for Siparia – Prime Minister:
This candidate appears to be a victim of the 'Peter Principle' and may and may have been (accidentally or by design) promoted beyond her abilities. Her inability to respond to public calls for the removal of non-performing friends in high public positions leads me to believe that she is either unaware of the concepts of nepotism and cronyism or may be a genuine stranger to their consequences. On her watch the country has been embarrassed internationally on numerous occasions, most recently by the elevation of a member of international disrepute to a very sensitive post and the installation of what could only be described as a known loony bird as this country's representative to the United Nations.
Recommendation - It is my recommendation that Mrs. Persad Bissessar be given a written directive again outlining her responsibility to the people, failing which she should have her own position terminated for failure to perform in the line of duty.
Dr. Keith Rowley – Political Leader of the PNM - Member of Parliament for Diego Martin West – Leader of the Opposition
Dr. Rowley has benefitted in no small way from the fall from grace of his immediate predecessor and one would have thought that that would have been incentive enough for him to perform. His inability to properly account to the nation for the ethically questionable performance of the last administration (of which he was an integral part) and to distance himself and the party's leadership from any such behavior under his watch and in the future raises many flags and begs many questions. His further inability to enunciate a new vision for his core demographic or the nation as a whole for that matter brings into question the likelihood of him ever being considered Prime Ministerial material and he may well have risen as high as he is apt to.
Recommendation – Dr. Rowley still has political cache in some quarters and should be reminded of the consequences of failure to perform at this level. He should be guided as to his responsibility to the nation as 'government in waiting' and to answer to the people (who STILL holds his Party and many who are counted among his ranks in very low esteem) to their satisfaction and not to any self determined point.
Prakash Ramadhar – Political Leader of the COP – Member of Parliament for St. Augustine – Minister of Legal Affairs:
This candidate has been nothing but a great disappointment ever since he was elevated and has broken many political hearts, especially of those who saw in him the future and a brand new day in local politics. Some say that the shoes he followed were too big, while others attribute his performance to a lack of political experience. His flip flopping on major issues, his inability to hold to the founding principles of the Party he leads and his failure to listen to his membership leaves us little choice but to recommend that he be replaced at the soonest possible time.
As none of the other minor political Parties have leaders who are also Members of Parliament their performance to date, whether they are part of the coalition now in Office or not has been ignored as they are irrelevant to the political landscape at this time or perceivably in the near future, the time frame of which this report is most concerned.
Posted by Phillip Edward Alexander at 5:37 AM
Thursday, August 2, 2012
I want to redirect the conversation a bit and ask a question of Corporate T&T, why is everything so over-sexed all of a sudden? Our advertising companies seem to be led by the motto - "Have something to sell? Drape a vagina on it." Every other billboard features a scantily clad, usually gyrating young woman looking ready for anything. Offender in Chief Angostura ought to be ashamed of itself with regard to its rum campaigns over the last three or four years where women have been portrayed as objects to be used rather than people to be respected.
Now, assuming that the Company is populated with educated people, wouldn't you expect them to know better, specifically the widely accepted link between highly sexualized entertainment and the subsequent increase in violence against women in no small part due to their now 'dehumanized' status?
The other main offender, Carib brewery has for years used women's scantily clad bodies to promote their wares, but the Angostura campaigns have eclipsed even them. Where is our Advertising Council in whom common decency guidelines are entrusted, do we even have one? We have been told that life imitates art, and if this is the sum total of the art being forced down the throats of our young people everywhere they turn, day in and day out, what do we expect them to become? How are our young men supposed to view our young women if our young women appear so keen to give themselves up for this purpose?
What about that other sacred (profane?) cow, carnival, and why is it still being referred to as culture? Whose culture is this? Where is the creativity and originality? One of the accepted definitions of culture is - “The arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively.” So what does that mean in our context? For carnival to be culture designers for bands like Tribe, Spice, etc would have to be considered artists, but where is the art? In what world is decorating a vagina with beads and feathers an art? Hiding a nipple while selling our young women's naked breasts for profit is an art? Based on existing laws, if some of these bands had their band launching in a 'bar' in Central the owners would have been arrested for indecency, so why the double standard?
Why are we not discussing the impact of this 'over-sexing' of the nation's young people on our already challenged social system? Is this how women really see themselves or want to see their gender portrayed? And what do these 'women' think should be done with them when time passes and age changes the value of their taut bodies, should they be relegated to the back of the room, disposed of quietly? How are mothers supposed to see themselves or to be viewed by society for that matter?
There is something fundamentally wrong when a country begins to work AGAINST itself and its own best interests, and giving little girls a skewed self image by teaching them to engage the world genitalia first is not the way to build a first world or a developed nation. Where are the women's groups to express condemnation over this dehumanizing and objectifying of our young girls for profits regardless of cost? We all have a responsibility to shape the type of society we want to live in and pass on to the next generation, and while we may sow this wind in the joy of mindless exuberance, we may well reap a whirlwind of sorrow when the consequences of this obscenely, anti-social behavior finally comes home to roost.
Posted by Phillip Edward Alexander at 2:21 PM