From Castara to Calcutta…

London and Charles...who will be victorious?

London and Charles…who will be victorious?

Tonight is the great THA Debate. All of Tobago and most of Trinidad is waiting with bated breath to see how Hochoy Charles, Orville London and Ashworth Jack will perform.

By now everyone is aware that the UNC has sent over a highpowered team to Tobago and they are all shacked up at everybody’s favourite high-priced love hotel Coco Reef. Jack Warner, Vasant Bharath, Suruj Rambachan and Roodal Moonilal are currently prepping Ashworth to answer questions tonight.

I expect Jack to come out swinging about how Tobago has been mismanaged under both Hochoy Charles (Ring Bang Adda) and London (MilShirv and PNM mismanagement for how many years). In both instances Mr Jack may well have some substance, but most of it will be lost in the fluff, stuff and nonsense that Moonilal et al will be prepping him to say.

Ashworth-JackJack’s biggest achievement tonight will be to distract the Tobago Audience:
1. His association with the UNC, despite the fact that he is being financed and prepared by the UNC

2. All of the corruption, squandermania and mismanagement that has taken place under Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s tenure.

The PM at a press briefing. Photo courtesy Jyoti Communications website.

The PM at a press briefing. Photo courtesy Jyoti Communications website.

Jack will be trying hard to switch focus from Section 34, the SoE, Reshmi Ramnarine, Gopaul Contract, the $7b Highway, and the most recent move to breach our Constitution, Warner’s announcement that soldiers will be given powers of arrest. That announcement has occurred with nary a comment from any corner. It’s either the Opposition waiting on Warner to shart in his own pants and cause a Constiutional crisis, or everyone so distracted with THA Elections and getting Hilton Sandy to apologise that they;ve missed the implications of Warner attempting to usurp the power of the President  – Commander in Chief of the Army – as well as pervert the purpose of the nation’s Defence Force.

Hilton Sandy

Hilton Sandy

Between now and January 21st you will notice the TOP Campaign will shift from the Milshirv issue…which is a non-issue because they really have no evidence on which to accuse London of corruption…Nice try Ashworth and Anand….and instead they will ride Hilton Sandy’s Boat from Calcutta comment to the death.

Let me say unequivocally that Sandy’s comment was asinine. And asinine on many levels. It is common knowledge that Tobagonians are clannish and protective of their culture and space…even Afro-Trinidadians are treated like outsiders. It is also common knowledge that in the past decade the Indian population in Tobago has increased steadily and since the last election there have been more and more Indians moving over to Tobago and island that historically they didn’t develop or have any real interest in. But for Sandy to make the comment is to indicate that:

1:Indians aren’t considered to be part of Trinidad and Tobago and;

2: The PNM is openly indulging in race politics as well.

As a political move that is particularly stupid given the PNM’s history. And from an individual perspective Hilton Sandy showing his petticoat.

But let’s also not lose sight of the fact that Tobagonians have ample reasons to be wary and cautious of a UNC government. And unfortunately, UNC has come to be equated with Indian, just as PNM is equated with African.

The UNC has unfortunately become a caricature of all the stereotypes that abound where Indians are concerned. There are the rumours of alcoholism, the nepotism and corruption, the constant pre-action protocol letters to subdue and silence criticism, the constant lies and the mishandling and disappearance of public funds.

From a Tobagonians point of view it’s all well and good if that happening just in Trinidad. Because all Trinidadians to their mind tricky and corrupt….but when you want to shift that sort of culture over to Tobago en masse then Houston, Castara going to have a problem.

There is also the issue of land settlement. Tobagonians are notorious for not administrating for land. Vast tracts of land pass from generation to generation without any paperwork being processed. What has been happening of late is members of the Indian community in Trinidad going over to Tobago and taking advantage of this land situation. So no one holds a deed for land and they go over and pay the taxes for it, occupy it and eventually own the land.

It seems like the dispossession of Emancipation all over again for some and underneath this land issue seethes the fears and insecurities of almost 200 years of history.

Couple that with Devant Maharaj who writes columns filled with racist prejudices every chance he gets like this one here in South Asian Outlook.

Imagine an entire article that focuses on complaining about CSO stats…when it is his government that has been responsible since 2010 for conducting the survey and releasing the stats.

Ironically enough, no one ever seems to think it necessary to call for the resignation of Devant Maharaj, Sat Maharaj, Jack Warner, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Neil Parsan or Nizam Mohammed. Yet as of this morning everyone and the NJAC calling for Sandy’s head.

Sandy did shit….but if none of the abovementioned people have to step down from their position then on what grounds are we calling for Sandy’s head?

But Ashworth going to hope hell hard that he can continue to distract the voting population with the race talk, while the corruption and competency discussion gets swept under the mat.

London would do well to establish that no one has raised a question about Milshirv since he released documents and continue to warn Tobagonians about the implications a UNC-led TOP has for corruption and competence in the island’s affairs.

As for me…..I can’t wait to hear Hochoy Charles tonight….I feel he going to be in ripping form!


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7 thoughts on “From Castara to Calcutta…

  1. This was the same thing I have been saying all along. I do not agree with Mr Sandy’s statements but the hypocrisy displayed by Ashworth and Sat calling on him to resign is what irks me. Where was the voice of Ashworth and in relation to similiar insensitive statements made by Min Warner, PM Kamla and the rest of the cabal.

  2. Correct me if im wrong, but i dont see the comment as racist per say, why would Trinbagonians want Indians from calcutta coming and taking land using resources? The PP clearly has shown an affiliation and preference towards India (Indian trip, no visa restriction etc)

    • Well Denzel In Trinidad they up in arms, but I imagine In Tobago there is an entirely different perspective on being invaded. The race issue plays well to a Trinidad audience but not to Tobagonians.. Which is where the elections taking place. I feel people forget that.

      • i don’t see it as a race issue, if the comment was about Trinidadians of east indian descent from Siparia as opposed to Indian people from Calcutta, I could see the racist argument. As it stands it could be xenophobic, but in light of the current government’s proclivities i would go as far as to call it patriotism and defense of sovreignity

  3. Pingback: “Silly Season” with Tobago’s Elections · Global Voices

  4. I think, though unfortunate, the comment has been blown out of proportion; there must be more important issues to address; the flurry of puerile comments, prompted by an immature press, is an indication of inability to grasp the essentials of ‘government by the people, for the people and by the people.

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