Tag Archives: trinidad and tobago

Lyndira to Jack: Boy, ah hittin’ the road

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The fanfare that came with Jack Warner’s Independent Liberal Party continues to die down from what can be seen as members leave one by one, the latest, Lyndira Oudit.   The exact reasons for Oudit’s departure is unknown and her relations with whatever is left of the ILP going forward are also unknown.  Nevertheless, the ILP has lost political steam and if there was a possibility of coalition with the PNM, it seems highly unlikely, but was it ever possible. Consider the marriage of such bedfellows.

While one can assume there was much disappointment in the loss of Mr. Warner from the People’s Partnership in 2013, as a political event that was a lifetime ago.   Despite the breakup and the eventual break away of Chaguanas West (CW) and some gains in local government elections, with several high profile resignations one must really question whether this party the ILP is quickly become a one-man show.  A man who was considered a hardworking government minister and delivered to the people of CW and to the people of Trinidad and Tobago under the People’s Partnership Government has all but lost his political way.

Now aligned with the PNM Opposition forces, the same PNM Opposition who questioned and pressured the current to get rid of Mr. Warner.   Given the FIFA baggage and an on investigation, one must continue to wonder about the dealings and desperation of the PNM leader Dr. Keith Rowley in his attempt to win the 2015 general elections.     Once again the PNM is caught is an apparent tailspin and so many questions arise about the strength of a coalition if any that could have existed with between the ILP and the PNM.

First, it would have been a coalition built on spite and possibly hate.    Given the on going dismantling of the ILP which began since the end of the Local Government Election in 2013, the actions of Mr. Warner who once held the Chairmanship of the UNC and given what one would call a “safe seat” has been nothing but spiteful efforts to malign the government.   While the extent of Mr. Warner’s issues with the Honourable Prime Minister is unknown, if there is any, his constant talking points of the cabal and whether during Parliamentary contributions, in the Sunshine newspaper or party sponsored radio programmes he has demonstrated his intentions.    This would have been the spite aspect of the coalition.

Second, many who turned away from Partnership and during the CW and St. Joseph by-elections and the local government elections are returning to the fold.   While everything may not be perfect within the Partnership the possibility of a coalition with people who embraced the light of new politics when they voted overwhelmingly in 2010 for the Partnership to consider alignment with the PNM, the reality of such a coalition with PNM is now becoming evident.      The evidence over the last four is present of never before historical people centered delivery and development of the Partnership government against an almost 30 plus record of governance and historical stewardship of the PNM.    The people of CW should note the exodus of high officials from the ILP and consider the drifting of the party towards the right-winged political ideas and ideals of the PNM, some of which includes poor representation, underdeveloped constituencies and the now ignoring if not outright marginalization of their ground troops.

Third, as the PNM continues its screening process there is much speculation that current representative Nileung Hypolite will be booted for Fitzgerald Hind in Laventille West.     How well with this settle with the party stalwarts is left to be seen?    While some of this is left over party infighting since the internal elections, it shows the overall level of alienation the PNM under the leadership of Dr. Rowley has with the ground troops and base of the Red Army.    The ground troops and base have had little input in the line up so far of those selected to compete for the PNM in 2015 and many are disconnected from the ground.     The type of cloudy headed representation historically given to PNM constituencies is bound to continue.

What does the three points above have to do with the ILP and Oudit’s resignation?

Given that a leopard cannot change its spots, if any attempt at coalition between the PNM and ILP were to be the negotiation process would or should have began.   It is expected that the PNM will contest all 41 seats a national party as have always been the case; but a coalition with the ILP the discussions would have already began, but just how would these discussions go.

After the political bashing and pressure unleashed by the PNM on Mr. Warner, those former Partnership supporters are now weighing the hypocrisy should they join forces with PNM against a government with a track record of delivery under responsive and decisive leadership including firing cabinet members when the public trust was breached.     This is what ILP member must consider and not necessarily Dr. Rowley’s statement, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”  This is has a striking parallel to a woman playing into the hands of a known abuser and falling in love with man who is going to neglect her and the children he fathers with her.   This is representation PNM style.

On the flip side, there was a falling out between the Partnership and the people of CW.    There were differences of opinions and the people choose to exercise their constitutional right an affiliate themselves with a party of their choosing.   However, it appears that things are not panning out as planned and the people are left with two choices, political homelessness or representational abuse.    The PNM’s track record and historical stewardship compounded by the nature of their behavior, especially that of their disconnected leadership is frightening enough to consider the possibility to such a coalition.

While some have returned we must be mindful that PNM is a threat to the future development of Trinidad and Tobago under the leadership of Dr. Rowley.   The party remains visionless and daily it continues to alienate voters.   A leopard cannot changes it spots and perhaps this is revelation that Lyndira Oudit got that make her decide to call it quits as Political Leader of the dismantling Independent Liberal Party.

 

 

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Shubh Divali

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The Festival of Lights will shine brightly and light up the dark night of our land as we celebrate Divali, a festival celebrated by Hindus worldwide.   Given our multicultural heritage, this festival has graced the shores of Trinidad and Tobago since the arrival of our East Indian Brothers and Sisters and lit up dark October or November nights based on the lunar calendar.

As part of our rich heritage and culture, this celebration of universal principles and values is a national celebration and it is with the spirit of understanding and respect for equality in the public space of all creeds we wish our national Hindu community and all nationals by extension, Shubh Divali.

The universal principles of this festive time are lessons from which we all can learn. The ideas that light triumphs over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance are timeless, eternal, and powerful concepts.   So much is captured those concepts that will be philosophized by the sages throughout the ages to come and those that have passed.

How do these concepts apply to our current national state of affairs? This is not an attempt to mix up religion in the national politics, according to Swami Achuthananda, “In India, the religion is the culture and the culture is the religion. You cannot learn one without understanding the other.”   This has instructive purposes for Trinidad and Tobago.

While we are not in India, we live among and work and lime among the descendants of India and our national ideals promote equality of races and creeds. To this end knowledge of the culturally and religious traditions of our neighbors, friends, co-workers, teachers, Members of Parliament, Cabinet Members, Prime Minister and the twenty five percent of our population who are Hindus promotes national harmony, continued diversity and tolerance.

These are the value questions festivals like these promotes because they are when they embedded culturally and ethically.   When pitted against the rough and tough national politics and picong life of Trinbago, these universal messages must resonate with us and actively promoted by our leaders and those in government must support them because they are the philosophical underpinnings our of our national ideals.

Our values should be the basis for our votes, not our phenotypes and genotypes.   The political progressiveness of our current government is disbanding these archaic ideas and creating a climate where people, without regards to race and religion are served by the state without any form of discrimination.   The dark spaces of our politics must be illuminated by light and this can be best demonstrated by accurate knowledge of what is happening in our country.

Our stance on issue such as crime, family values, the less fortunate, educational, national development, and greater equity in the distribution of national resources and a vision of shared prosperity among the all citizens are the deeper meaning behind decisions making and issues of governance.

As members of our national community celebrate this auspicious time may the many blessings of this season of togetherness, family, wealth, charity, happiness, peace and prosperity fill our homes, communities and our country.   May the light illuminate our paths as we continue to grow as a nation.

Shubh Divali.

Blindly Criminalizing Black Boys & Men: The Life Sport Narrative

 

How do you deal with the supposedly criminal elements in a society?   For the past month there has been much in the media about the Life Sport Programme.   So much so that the programme was removed from the Ministry of Sport and placed under the Ministry of National Security.   Additionally an audit is underway by the Ministry of Finance to bring some clarity or to bring to light any allegations of “wrong doing” in the Life Sport Programme.   We will address Life Sport from a perspective that is beyond the hype and analysis of the mainstream media and trying to bring all the connected pieces tonight in against the backdrop of the recent debate to censure Minster of Sport Anil Roberts.

 

According to Sport Minister Anil Roberts over 2000 young men (the majority of whom are “Afro-Trinidadians”) were enrolled in the Life Sport Programme all across the country.   He listed over 40 areas throughout Trinidad where Life Sport centers were opened to provide services, which included tutorials in Math and English. In sum, there are allegations out there about the Life Sport Programme, but these allegations including “1400 ghosts,” (still to be proven or not) strikes at the heart of something critical about our developing society and how we deal with crime and the supposed criminal elements in our society.

 

First, we all know where the “hotspots” are in terms of crime.   Sadly these hotspot areas are the most economically deprived parts of Trinidad but economic deprivation does not make them any less citizens of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.   Economic deprivation is a manifestation of the myriad of social problems that all communities’ face, but when resources are lacking and poor public policy stigmatizes and criminalizes geographic areas and the people who live in them we must examine the political structures and dynamics that has created the troubling things we see today.

 

Second, Trinidad as a society thrives on bachannal and hearsay. Given this, propaganda almost always trumps analysis (which is often missing).     However, at the Tobago Policy Forum we use history as a defense against propaganda and we reject the ideas of neocolonialism (the new colonizers who replaced the British), which has been the dominant political philosophy that has governed Trinidad and Tobago since 1962.     Against the backdrop of the racial politics that exists our attention now must be turned to those who have been politically manipulated and blindly misled even to the point of working against their own interest and in doing so creates and supports a narrative that criminalize their own children.

 

Third, what does political history of Trinidad and Tobago has to do with what is taking place today especially in terms of crime and the hotspot areas?   Dr. Kwame Nantambu, Professor Emeritus at Kent State University in an article entitled, Eric Williams: Opiate of the people sheds some light on this matter.   He states,

 

“Africa was their forbidden fruit. It is in this specific context that Prof. Eric Williams did more visible, mental and psychological damage to the psyche of the Africans in TnT compared to the visible, physical damage the Euro -colonial slave- master ever did.In terms of African history, Dr. Williams became the new Euro – centric-colonial Massa. He mis-educated /edjumacated Africans in TnT. During his tenure, African – Trinbagonians “‘ent see Africa” at all, at all, at all” while their historical – cultural glaucoma / cataract still persists and remains unabated, unattended and uninterrupted, as of this writing. During his tenure, the state / condition of the country’s libraries went to the dogs and their puppies, en masse. According to social commentator Dr. Hollis Liverpool:” Eric was ah avid reader lady; now dey close de central library.” During his tenure, Euro-centric historian Dr. Williams never gave Africans – Trinbagoians ” time to celebrate” and internalise their inherent Africanness to its maximum –the Prime Minister’s Best Village Programme not withstanding. Everything African was always posited within a feeling -good, looking – nice, carnival jump – up, having -ah-good-time, nutting serious, one -time -affair, party-time and liming atmosphere and context. It was never presented as anything of serious, sustained, historical, cultural, indigenous value and consequence- and still is not even today. The fact of the matter is that Eric Williams went on along with and/ or maybe initiated, encouraged and sanctioned this Euro- centric trivialization and programming of Africa. Today, everything African is just political mammaguay, congosa and pappyshow -One ah – day Africanising is the game a la Dr. Eric Williams. Prof. Eric Williams subjected Africans in TnT to Euro – centric “brainwash education”; no small wonder they continue to act like “Certificated” fools. Intellectually, Dr. Eric Williams never took African -Trinbagonians out of the European plantation sub-conscious mind-set; in other words, sub-consciously they continue to act like slaves while consciously, they are supposed to be emancipated. Pan African Nationalist, African – Trinbagonian Kwame Ture once stated: “If you don’t know who you are then you would not know what your interests are.”

 

Fourth, the criminalization of the Life Sport Programme and the blatant labeling of participants as criminal elements within the programme are beyond unfortunate.   Yes, the programmed should be audited and the required investigations should be done but should we enter the communities where Life Sport centers were opened, but we must examine the impact it had on the lives of these young men who participated in the programme.

 

The narrative presented by MP for Diego Martin Northeast, Colm Imbert must be condemned. He used the terms “criminal or criminality” at least 15 times during his Private Members motion to censure Anil Roberts until we lost track and stopped counting.     This is where we refocus on attempting to answer the first question we posed above, about dealing with the criminal elements within the society.

 

Some residents of Laventille who were tired of the crime in their community held a candle light vigil last Thursday.   This was commendable because in reality there are people who sleep under their beds and on the floors of their kitchen to avoid flying bullets. We must go beyond vigils to re-education. We must also consider the rather transient nature of these communities whereby there is a core of older folks who have lived in Laventille for many years and over time have housed their children and grandchildren; but many people have left the these urban hills of Port of Spain to take up residence elsewhere in Trinidad and Tobago or even abroad while others move in, often temporarily. The transient nature has removed the community structures (such as the village councils) that have were present in the past.

Nevertheless, there is a political structure that conveniently uses the residents of Laventille then criminalizes the very sons of their supporters after they have failed to provide any meaningful measures of employment and sustained economic development. The same can be said of Morvant, Covinge, and Carenage all of which are areas we have spent time in.

It is unacceptable to criminalize the Life Sport Programme and the impact so far it has made on the lives that might have been previously lost to the streets. We must see through the politics, the propaganda, and the self-serving people who are standing on the backs of exploited people to ride political waves.


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SEA on the Chopping Block???

When universal secondary education became a reality in Trinidad and Tobago it was a good move for the country.    In principle secondary school placement for all children contributes to the development of the nation.   Our inherited colonial education system from the British has created an interesting dynamic whereby some schools are “more prestigious” than others.

Many of us would remember the Common Entrance exam.   When some students failed this exam, it crippled their development and more or less carved out a space for them in the society and the types of jobs they would eventually take on.    Fortunately, when it was eliminated, and these lifetime roles were no longer determined at the age of 11 and 12.

The successor of the Common Entrance Exam was the Secondary Entrance Assessment, (SEA).    Students now have multiple options and based on their performance are guaranteed placement in a secondary school.  With talks of the possible elimination of the SEA by the Minister of Education Dr. Tim Gopeesingh the opportunity to discuss the way forward is now a matter of public interest and discussion.

In all reality there might be good evidence for the elimination of the SEA but the question must be asked, what would determine the criteria for entrance?  The elimination of SEA is something that cannot and probably will not be done overnight because it will require some major transformation of the primary school system.   Attention would have to be given to the curriculum while continuous assessment will become the order of the day, which will have a direct impact of how students are taught.  .

Furthermore, many of our students slip through the cracks of the educational system and little or no services are provided for the academic and socioemotional challenges they face.  Before SEA is eliminated, the government and all stakeholders must provide a solution to deal with our special-needs population, whether they are autistic or diagnosed with some type of learning disabilities.   Our teachers currently lack the strategies and capacities to effectively handle these students and in many regards they are pushed to the side and labeled dunce.

Would the elimination of the SEA bring an end to the “prestige schools” syndrome?  I don’t know because this is something that exists the world over.     My position is, if and when the SEA is eliminated (which I believe it should), we have to take a hands on approach with our schools.   We would have to tackle the problem of endemic failure of all low performing schools in urban and rural areas.

Will students be zoned to the nearest secondary school?  This would ruffle some feathers and probably not the best solution.  The development of specialized secondary schools is an area that the Ministry of Education and the “prestige schools” should further explore.   The fact of the matter is our secondary educational system is still colonial and unfortunately trapped in somewhere in the 19th or early 20th century.     A 21st century education system is needed to continue to facilitate the development agenda.

There is much to consider with the possible elimination of the SEA, however, if it is done correctly it has the potential to reform the educational system and thrust it into the 21stcentury, but it should be thoughtful and make every attempt to eliminate the “prestige syndrome” while creating better schools where all students can thrive and grow.

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Tobago Carnival 2014, its a wrap: postmortem talks

While I was not in Tobago for Carnival 2014, social media comments and the morning call-in show on Radio Tambrin provides enough evidence to draw conclusions about what happened.   All this evidence is important and those in charge of Carnival should have a listening ear with hopes of improving the Carnival Season in the near future.

Approximately TTD$9 million was spent on Tobago’s Carnival in 2014.    While it is the expectation of many Tobagonians that the Tobago House of Assembly contribute significantly to the Carnival Season, it is also important that the people know where their monies go.    After a transfer of cash from the THA in such large proportions it is only right that the people know who benefits.   This adds to any government’s record of credibility, good governance, accountability and transparency.

There is little to no evidence that documents Tobago’s Carnival as a revenue-generating event Tobago House of Assembly.  What percentage of the investment is recuperated and put directly back into the coffers of the Assembly?  While individuals such as the food vendors, the lady selling souse, and the guy who owns a bar will make some money during the season especially on Carnival Monday and Tuesday, this is money coming directly from pockets of Tobagonians into these small business owners and entrepreneurs.

What then happens to the TTD$9 million spent?   Money does not vanish into thin air; it is simply reallocated to finance something else after good and services were provided.   We know that some of the money would to things like prizes, equipment rental such as stages, sound, lighting, chairs and some to bandleaders to help them with costumes.   Those responsible for planning the season and dispensing public resources should account annually as to where the money goes but go beyond a financial report to a comprehensive report of the happenings of the entire season.     If we are to move beyond the ‘eat ah food’ mentality that has negatively plagued the island, the appropriate policies will be develop to ensure a carnival season we all can enjoy.

Such a report, if done correctly will highlight where the mistakes were made and make recommendations that will be implemented.    However, there is a need for individuals with competence that will examine what happened with ‘critical eyes’ and not ‘eyes for criticism.’  Tobago as a whole can benefit from this but all too often our judgments are clouded by party politics to the detriment of our overall society.

A significant portion of the population claims that they are excluded stating that their ideas are not welcomed at the table.  If any society intends to develop beyond its current capacity it must fully utilize its human resources, bringing critical minds to the table, to effectively plan and execute something of substance, worth and value.     No single idea is better than an idea that is built upon by others and thoroughly evaluated for faults before execution.

No one should ever question the loyal of Tobagonians to their island whether they reside in Tobago, Trinidad, New York, Miami, London or where ever they choose to live.   Our small population will have political differences but we must never allow this to delay or destroy the development agenda.     Our destinies are so intertwined that we should never allow divisions (not differences) to fester or allow a small group of people to dominate, creating an oligarchy as opposed to a democracy.

Lastly, a word on planning.   Effective planning takes time.  The planning for Carnival 2015 should begin tomorrow after one day of rest.    The Carnival fraternity must also do more and not wait on the THA to make funding moves.   They are ones who should be front and center leading the charge for a season that engages us culturally so a good time can be had by all.

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The Political Round Up Part II: PNM, Perception, Penny (and more)

 

In Part II of The Political Roundup for February we will turn our attention to national politics dealing mostly with the PNM internal elections.   We will explore Constitution Reform nationally and its significance to Tobago.   Additionally we will further explore the political maneuverings of Internal Self-Government.  

Rowley & Beckles

Let us begin with the internal elections of the PNM.  From the looks of it, when the PNM faithful votes in May Dr. Keith Rowley will keep his current post as Political Leader.  From the outside, the candidacy of Penelope Beckles-Robinson can be viewed as an attempt to strengthen the party and attract new members, but the discourse on social media (a good pulse of public opinion); the tide has turned against Beckles-Robinson and her candidacy is not welcomed.   The attacks against Beckles-Robinson on social media are telling but what percentage of these individuals are registered party members who will actually vote in the election is all that matters.    The party establishment for the most part will back Dr. Rowley the anointed candidate as they have always done with the next in line.  However, the ‘villianification’ of Beckles-Robinson also has the possibility to backfire on the party because the perception of ‘doing it to their own’ will only set up greater offensives moves by the PP and the type of campaign they will wage in 2015 to remain to government.   

While there will be enough time to write more on the internal elections of the PNM the next few months there will be interesting developments as it plays out.   Dr. Rowley will have to use this time to look prime ministerial and change perception for the floating vote. Perception of these ‘old school’ PNMites does not sit well with a large part of the population, and in politics, perception is a lot and it matters.     The victories in 2013 gave the party some momentum but the party has to also demonstrate that it is ready for government, has the capacity to unite the population and can secure a working constitutional majority in the Parliament.   Getting their hands on the treasury though important should be the least of their concerns because they will only set themselves up and their own words would be used against them.  Nevertheless, we will have enough time to explore this but let it be known, 2015 is going to be a fight and a very expensive general election.   

Let us now move on to the issue of Constitutional Reform.   This would be further addressed in greater detail but it must be included in this roundup.   The People’s Partnership will bring a Constitutional Reform Bill before the Parliament but we are not sure about its passage, it is doubtful. There will be tremendous opposition from the PNM, but this too can be a political trap for the PNM and a tactical strategy of the PP.  Some Opposition MPs have already went on the record stating that they will not support any constitutional changes, and this is a possible strategy to paint them as the status quo, the party of no change, (not even a Penny, (for the sake of picong).   The PP will use history and everything the PNM has said while ever in power to the present to shift the focus from its current record, allegations of perceived corruption and the mistakes of past four years. While Rowley has tried extensively to define himself as anti-corruption, standing up to Manning in 2009 against UDeCOTT, whether its passion or anger on Rowley’s part, the Opposition Leader has to clean up this image and show his capacity to engage and not outrage or instill fear in others.       

On the other hand, should the bill pass, the 2015 election will proceed as normal, but the government formed afterwards will not last an entire five years because of the pending changes in the constitution.   This will be done so there is no unfair advantages and to accommodate the electoral changes of the reform. 

What about Tobago?  

Tobago has to make itself a greater part of the national conversation in many matters but when it comes to Constitutional Reform many now believe a mistake was made on the part of the Commission.  During the consultation Chief Secretary Orville London suggested that the Commission take into consideration the on going debate on internal self-government.  The Commission obliged to the request and while it is an Independent Commission, during the time of the consultation it was strategic for the PP to tone it down and give some concessions after the defeat of the TOP in the January election.   

There was no direct engagement on the Tobago issue of internal self-government between the government and the Tobago House of Assembly during the latter half of 2013 and the Prime Minister did not bring it up.    Nevertheless, people were asking for clarity between the PNM in Tobago and the PNM in Trinidad because the PNM historically supported greater autonomy for Tobago.   Media reports from the Chief Secretary and the Opposition Leader showed that they were not on the same page, going as far back as April 2013 when London asked the Commission that Internal Self-Government should not collide with Constitution Reform.

A meeting in January convened by Chief Secretary Orville London brought together the leaders of the TOP (Ashworth Jack), the TPT (Hochoy Charles) and Neil Wilson, Chairman of the Tobago Council of the PNM and called for a for a ‘one voice approach.’   Plans to meet again in February fell through, as Ashworth Jack was not able to attend delaying the talks.  Jack expressed some skepticism after the first meeting, but a subsequent PNM meeting in John Dial as well as Ministry of Tobago Development meeting about Constitution Reform may have unsettled some nerves about this ‘one voice approach.’  

London’s consensus approach must be backed up my some genuine commitment from the PNM in Trinidad to support whatever gets laid in the Parliament.  London was quoted in the Tobago News;   “The ideal situation should be one where there is almost consensus before it does not matter who takes it to the Parliament.”   This sounds ideal, but politics is not the ideal world, it is the world in reality.    

The Commission was faulted for conceding to London’s request.    If Tobago’s autonomy was dealt with fully by the Commission the ball game would have turned out differently and while there is more to say about this, if the Opposition is showing no current support for Constitution Reform, if the Tobago question was included, it too would be squashed but we don’t know what will be the outcome after it is tabled in the Parliament.       

In Part III, we will deal with the TOP, the ILP, the Ministry of Tobago Development and other happenings as we conclude the Political Roundup for February.

Did Carnival Loose its Soul?

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Last year was the first time that I came close to Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago.  My intention was to go to Trinidad last year while in Tobago, but that failed to materialize because I had to work.   I had zero expertise in Carnival and besides seeing some old mas in Roxborough more than 25 years ago; it was a totally new experience for me.   Luckily, the North East Sea Turtle (NEST), a local environmental group formed a band and I was quickly convinced to play mas with the group who was raising awareness about sea turtles and the effects of poaching.    So, from not know anything about Carnival I was reporting on Carnival from ‘inside the band’. While I had a good time in the hot sun that day, this article is not about that experience.   This article is about Carnival, the media, the messages communicated and its sociopolitical impact on the nation.  

First, I am not against Carnival.    The cultural arts are important to any nation.   The little mas I played with the turtle band makes me want to play mas again for an authentic experience that will happen ‘in timing’.    I was not much of calypso and soca fan but now being able to tell the difference, I appreciate the historical evolution of kaiso, calypso, soca, and chutney-soca.    I find value in the social and political commentary provided by calypsonians and I am hilariously entertained when political calypsos are sung during elections.  So then, what is my problem?

The front cover of the Daily Express on February 10, 2014 had the headline “Pregnant Children in danger, DEATH RISK, Doctors warns of teens going to backyards abortionist.”   The carefully selected picture featured Kerwin Du Bois surrounded by at least five women (See Picture Above).  I have some experience in selecting a cover story for a newspaper, with the number one goal in mind: it has to sell.    It is an editorial decision because the front page is what everyone sees before making the decision to buy the paper if one is not a daily reader.    

There are many telling questions that the front cover of this paper raises.    What messages are being communicated?  Obviously sex and we all know that sex sells.    In fact that entire front cover was about sex.   A value statement is also being communicated?   That is not for me to decide, but it is telling.   While the picture had nothing to do with the headline of ‘Pregnant Children’ there is a connection.   The message communicated by the telling photograph has a profound impact on the values of society.    Not only does it exploit women but the front cover alone tells of the place women have in our society despite the strides some have made in areas such as politics.   

By no means should we censure the media, but editors make deliberate decisions and the bottom line is important as opposed to teaching values, which in all reality is not their job.    As I further analyzed the front cover in its entirety, questions such as teenage pregnancy and abortion comes to mind.   Is there a connection to the front cover (or similar experiences) and the decisions of those who are unaware of these messages.   They become victims of what is perpetuated by such a front cover.   Furthermore, it raises the question of women and the ability or lack thereof to terminate a pregnancy.    While this is not about the value statement about abortion, the fact that women die when they seek back alley abortions is also telling, because women do not control of their reproductive rights.   

People should be able to have a good time during Carnival and many do, but if we should seriously analyze our society as it is in its present reality, Carnival has lost it soul.     I don’t know what Carnival was like ‘back in the days’ but I am confident from what I have heard that Carnival has lost its way and its effect on the overall culture should be carefully analyzed.