Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 20th 2015 Contents A31
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I was born in Trinidad and migrated to
London in August 1999. I have lived there
since but every two to three years would
return home for Carnival since I miss all
aspects of Carnival but more so the
Panorama. My family still lives in Wood-
brook and my favourite steelband is
quite naturally Phase 2.
My support in ranking of steelbands
has been Phase 2, Despers, Renegade
and All Stars. Over the years since their
existence in the 80s, I have begun to ad-
mire and respect Exodus from the east
but, like several pan fans from the west,
we really prefer not to admit that this is
indeed as good a steelband as those
I recall clearly, as this was my last
Panorama before leaving for the UK,
when the results of the 1998 competi-
tion was announced, the audience
shouted its disapproval as Exodus was
placed second. It was very evident that
Exodus had won!
Fast-forwarding to 2014, in the opin-
ion of the vast majority, Republic Bank
Exodus should have been placed higher.
This was evident from the fact that they
had won the People's Choice.
There is something different about
Exodus which makes the band stand out
from the crowd and which other bands
should emulate. Whether they win or
not, that "something" never changes. I
must also mention, they seem to under-
stand the need to get Panorama more in-
ternationally accepted through their
presentations year after year.
The fact that for some years they
have not been using canopies has not
adversely affected their volume/sound
when compared to the other big guns.
On the contrary, I feel that their music
sounds cleaner. Maybe the others should
follow or Pan Trinbago should mandate
that for the upcoming International
Panorama in August, bands should pay
particular attention to their image. This
is an opportunity to market this instru-
ment and its music to the World and we
must exploit it to the max.
The other card that has become popu-
lar and is fast outpacing the race card is
the "does not respect ladies" card. When
all seems lost in keeping the growing
popularity of the Opposition Leader in
check, this card is laid, face-up, on the po-
litical table for urgent debate. Having
walked away from accusations of having
wined on a young lady who obviously
was just having fun (some would say
that it is the UNC strategists who sent
her to do that) Dr Rowley walked
straight into the "does not respect
ladies" card last Tuesday night.
I grew up with the old-time local say-
ing that if somebody is harassing you
verbally and trying to make life difficult,
"is because is love dey love yuh." And
better yet, what they are doing was de-
scribed as "Tobago love."
Over the years Tobago love has
changed, politically and in real time to
mean "Love Tobago." Dr Rowley was
born and bred in Tobago. And, uncom-
fortably, far too many of the electorate
are starting to fall in love with him.
The "does not respect ladies" card has
now come into play as an instrument of
political torture in the strategy to
demonstrate that if one (especially if
that someone is the sitting opposition
leader) speaks ill of the Government
with regard to corruption and bad gover-
nance, he does not respect ladies. The
card maintains that any man thus la-
belled, is not fit to become the prime
minister of T&T.
In short, Dr Rowley's attempt at politi-
cal humour will be used against him until
the election bell is rung. In this take-no-
prisoners upcoming general elections,
the UNC strategists are not laughing.
The new card is cannon fodder.
How can those economists sit on
television and say that public ser-
vants have no right to get 14 per
cent increase in salary? Do they
know the salary a public servant
gets? Most people think that every-
one of us gets a million dollars, but
we do not. Public servants---some of
us---get from $3,000 to $4,000 a
month after tax. Can those econo-
mists live on that?
We live by loans, little food, hire
purchase, giving ourselves a treat at
month-end. All this while merchan-
disers raising goods by three and
five dollars every chance they get.
These economists clearly do not
go to the grocery or market with a
list. If we just make a slip by a few
dollars, then it's no sugar to
sweeten the same juice that we
have to chinks to buy.
Not even the ministers know
about public servants salary be-
cause they only sign contracts. I
guess they assume we get the
All those who are speaking are
getting double-figure salary. And Mr
Duke also has no right to give any-
one the impression that we have to
get wheelbarrows to take home
monies which will be taxed 25 per
cent. And all that money might just
go into our children's education,
money owed to the bank and stores
etc. Right now one million dollars
can fit in a suitcase, Mr Duke, so
wheelbarrow my foot!
Imagine a person having worked
for 33 years in the service and still
making $7,000. A month. Promo-
tion does not come easy, it takes
years to move up. And so it is the
same with the salary.
Do not be fooled T&T, the public
servants are just really getting ser-
vant salary---but then again the ser-
vants are even making more than
us. We are happy and thankful to
God for an increase so that we can
improve life temporarily in some
way or manner. But, we still have to
be always watching the dollar.
Exodus has just got
that 'something' extra
Public servants live on loans, hire purchase, little food
cannon fodder for UNC
PNM political leader Dr Keith Rowley chats with a resident during a walkabout with the party's candidate
for the La Horquetta/Talparo constituency, Maxie Cuffie at Brazil on Tuesday. PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
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