•April 26, 2010 • Leave a Comment

This was an issue during the last elections and is and issue in the current one: the proliferation of advertisements (in all forms of media) by ministries, statutory bodies, state enterprises and entities.

Just because something is not illegal does not mean that it is ethical (and vice versa I suppose…).

My humble suggestion, as soon as the date for elections is announced, all advertising (not already committed / officially booked) by state concerns should cease, with the exception of those promoting essential services.

Use the party’s campaign funds to promote the party, not taxpayers’ money.



Rescue Me

•April 24, 2010 • Leave a Comment

So you can probably tell from the nature of this blog that I am not a fan of the People’s National Movement (PNM).

However, I am not so far gone in my dislike for the party that I am unable to acknowledge that in its many years (in total) at the helm of Trinidad and Tobago’s Government that some good has been done – laudable initiatives, legislation, policies, projects and programmes.

I am not so far gone in my dislike for the party that I am unable to acknowledge that in its many years (in total) at the helm of Trinidad and Tobago’s Government, that there were several noteworthy PNM-ites (Ministers and the like) who were genuinely individuals of integrity, who did good by our country and our people.

I am not so far gone in my dislike for the party that I am unable to acknowledge that in its many years in existence, the party has a certain (admirable?) level of organisation and efficiency.

As I come from a long line (paternal) of anti-PNM voters, I am glad that I have not lost all perspective, that I can still be fairly critical-thinking.

Notwithstanding, there are two (2) major things that I dislike about the party:

i) The blind loyalty and faith that it has engendered in its members and followers.

The “moderate rebel” in me worries about the “PNM ’til ah dead” mentality, the “I born an’ will dead a PNM” attitude. It seems almost like a religion, “opium for the masses.” It does not matter what ills or transgressions this party and its leaders have (or may have / proposed to have) committed against Trinidad and Tobago and its peoples, PNM members and followers (especially of a particular socio-economic grouping) just will not budge, not even an inch. I am more than a little concerned when elected members of Parliament ignore their responsibilities to their constituents and countrymen to support the “party line” (initiatives, legislation, policies, projects and programmes that are clearly not for the greater good but are in the party leadership’s interest).

I just cannot see myself surrendering my identity to form part of such a group, even an organised one like that.

ii) The personal leadership qualities of Patrick Manning.

I do not like him, “my blood cyah take him.” It has reached the stage where I cannot  even listen to him / hear him speak (and I could listen to / hear most members of his recent Cabinet…).

I just cannot see myself voting for any party candidate that has Manning (or a Manning-type) as a leader.

So the questions I ask myself are:

i) After the many years (in total) of a PNM-led Trinidad and Tobago Government, am I satisfied with where our country is at and where we are going (initiatives, legislation, policies, projects and programmes)?

ii) Is there any political party that is as organised as / can become as organised as the PNM?

iii) Is there any political party leader out there that I like / could like?

iv) If I am not satisfied with where our country is at and where we are going (i), but I do not have affirmative answers for (ii) and (iii), come May 24th, would I be willing to take a chance?

I am thinking yes.


P.S. I am trying to get my hands on this article:

  • Primary Group Influence on Party Loyalty, by Herbert McClosky and Harold E. Dahlgren, in The American Political Science Review, Vol. 53, No. 3 (Sep., 1959), pp. 757-776

Although dated, it looks like a good read.

Double Take

•April 24, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Mosquito and I started this blog during the last elections because we felt that we had something to say.

In the intervening years (mere months really), professional, academic and personal commitments have prevented us from posting as often as we would like, but here we are again…

What has changed from then to now?

On our way home, we still see the same graffiti that was put up last time around: “Remove PNM Blight” (and next to it “Vote UNC A”)…


The Barrel that Lives on St. Vincent Street : an Interview

•March 1, 2010 • 1 Comment

Since late 2008, I have noticed this barrel (see photo below) on St. Vincent Street., Port-of-Spain.

The Barrel that Lives on St. Vincent Street

Curious about its attachment to that particular location, I decided to interview it.

The text of my interview is as follows:


Mango: Can I get your name for the record?

Barrel: Barrel Jr. or Junior.  Pa was much bigger than me. A Port barrel (or drum as he preferred to be called!).

Mango: How did you end up on St. Vincent Street and how long have you been there?

Barrel: Hmmm. I know I was here for the Summit of the Americas, the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and at least two Carnivals. I get some real good wine…

Mango: What’s your job? Are you covering a hole in the pavement? Do you hold some secret but useful contents?

Barrel: Job? I just there. Chillin’. Taking it all in.

Mango: Don’t you wish that you could be in another location?

Barrel:  Why would I want to move? I in a real good spot! I can check out the road-side action from the Magistrate’s Court, Attorney General’s Office and even the Red House!

Mango: So you don’t feel that you’re in the way there?

Barrel:  In the way? Hmmm. People have to get out of MY way, not the other way around, if that’s what you mean. The young, the old, the differently-abled… When the pavement real busy, they have to step out into the road. Dat is power! What I don’ t like is getting confused for a bin or a toilet. People feel just because I there, they can rest garbage on top of me, urinate near to me (dogs too!).

Mango: Is there anything you would like to say to the authorities?

Barrel: Fix the pavement. Those dam cracks wear down my base! Put up signage around me so that people will know to get out of my way (I don’t like being jostled!), to not use me as a bin, to not pee on me. Oh yes – and bring a lady barrel for me. It gets lonely out here.

Mango: Thank you Barrel for taking the time to chat with me.

Barrel: No probs. Stop by any time.


Authorities, as lovely as the barrel may seem (at least in my imaginary interview), it does not belong on the the pavement! It is an obstruction and an eyesore. Port-of-Spain, “Athens of the Caribbean,” its inhabitants and visitors, deserve better.


Tief Head: What I am Worth

•February 28, 2010 • 4 Comments

This entry is a continuation of Tief Head. Read it when you get the chance and you will understand why my posts tapered of in early 2009.

Life in the Public Service has been sucking me dry.

What could have provoked me into blogging again?  Earthquakes and tsunamis? RATT? KamJack? Property tax? Mystery church behind God’s back?



What else?!

Contending with the work-ethic and accountability issues is one thing.

[Absences without adequate notice; three-day work weeks; 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. arrivals; breakfast; hour and a half lunches for shopping and beauty treatments; KFC eating after the hour and a half lunches; eyes glued to pc screen checking out YouTube and Facebook; ears stuck to office telephone for convos with boo, ma, cuz, bff; radio blaring; three weeks to complete three-day tasks; need to leave office to do “sumting”; days spent completing home-work, community work, second wuk, not work work; 2:30 p.m. departures; refusal to sign in / out on attendance book].

However, when I discover that after over a year of changing jobs (from supervising no one and dealing with a potential client-base of less than 35 persons, to supervising 3-4 persons and dealing with a potential client-base of more than 1000 persons) that all I get is a lousy $1500 increase (that is taken up by tax anyway!), I have to ask myself what is the point?

Money is not everything, but it certainly takes the sting out of dealing with certain work-place shenanigans.

If I do not get adequate monetary compensation, will I eventually resort to deriving my compensation in kind (flexi-hours, flexi-resources, flexi-work)?

I hope not.

I remain yours truly, committed to excellence (motivated by doing a job well done, not by money),



~ The work-ethic and accountability issues (bad-behaviour!) described cannot be attributed to all employees in the Public Service. However, in my own lil Department, I have witnessed all of them.

~ I enjoy my job (I just do not enjoy…)