Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 21st 2013 Contents A28
letters on sunday
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt July 21, 2013
FOR SALE BY MORTGAGEE
On site stands a steel shed and comprises Corner Eastern Main Road and
of 11,121 square feet of land
Churchill Circular Road,
The Senior Account Manager
Commercial Business Centre
First Citizens Bank
Corner Park and Henry Streets
1. The Property is being sold "as is" and subject to any statutory outgoings that
may be outstanding at the point of sale.
2. The Mortgagee does not bind itself to accept the highest or any offer.
3. Unsuitable bids will not be acknowledged.
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Today we live in a country
which enjoys unprecedent-
ed levels of affluence. At
the same time, social ills are
increasingly prevalent; families
are disintegrating, communities
are unravelling and social capi-
tal, the glue that holds societies
together, is dissolving.
The ensuing instability is evi-
denced in a rootlessness and
ruthlessness largely identified
with, but not restricted to, our
youth. This may well be the
cumulative effect of neglect
over decades: perhaps the unin-
tended consequence of incon-
sistency between policy out-
comes and the needs of the
socially and economically
A money culture has evolved
where unusual surges in wealth
have bred unusual corruption.
Moral decay stalks the land in
the form of financial, political
and ideological corruption: each
reinforcing the other.
Can inordinate wealth and
abject poverty co-exist with
democracy, especially in a small
state? Can a country be consid-
ered democratic if its govern-
ment addresses mostly the con-
cerns of the privileged? These
questions trouble us as much as
many other countries across the
In his book Affluence and
Influence the author, Martin
Gilens, demonstrated that "...
America s policymakers respond
almost exclusively to the prefer-
ences of the economically
advantaged." The book explored
how political inequality in the
USA evolved over time and the
extent to which growing dispar-
ity was shaped by interest
groups, parties and elections.
The analysis revealed virtually
no relationship between govern-
ment policy and the needs of
the disadvantaged when the lat-
ter s preferences diverged from
those of the affluent. Wealth
and power are inseparable!
Similar studies may not have
been undertaken here. But,
should we be alarmed by the
obscene surge in personal
wealth, its perceived links to
corruption and the unrelenting
pursuit of political power and
the concurrent insidious under-
mining of critical state institu-
Campaign finance reform
What is the progress on the
much touted campaign finance
reform? Whose interests are
served by inertia on this matter:
the political class, the affluent,
When money rules, politi-
cians can be bought and ideol-
ogy bows to insatiable greed.
Money feeds on itself, creating
a cult of wealthy movers and
shakers, powerful controllers.
Pre-occupation with money
breeds an intensity to be ever
more willing to cut corners to
augment the coffers.
A relatively uncomplicated
wrecking service converts to a
major project in vehicle recov-
ery. Human nature just cannot
resist. The opportunities for
filling campaign war chests are
seductive. Parties are reduced to
mere commodities in the politi-
cal marketplace for sale to the
highest bidder; for future con-
siderations of course. And
democracy becomes a farce!
Many are convinced that the
country is held to ransom by
the overpowering influence of
affluence; and that this has
been the case for quite some
time. We seem to like it so!
Winston R Rudder
- The tragedy of
We lost our father, mother and their
two best friends at the hands of a
reckless young driver in the month of
March, 1999, in one clean sweep. Those
memories even now are so vivid that
no matter how time passes, they re-
main with us.
On hearing of Justice Kangaloo's
passing, the memories were brought
firmly to bear again. The similarities
between the two accidents are un-
canny; my father was High Court judge
and my mother a housewife. A car
driven by a reckless speeding driver
crossed from the east-bound lane of
the highway unto the west-bound lane
and hit my parent's car. The four occu-
pants of their car died. In Justice Kan-
galoo's accident it was the same
crossing of the highway, the same type
of reckless driver, the same amount of
people who lost their lives.
The carnage on the roads just keeps
increasing: one inexperienced driver,
one drunk driver, one speeding driver, a
defective car, one cellular user, all obliv-
ious to the dangers that it can produce
on the road.
As a society, we say that the police
are at fault, but that is far from reality.
The police cannot stand outside each
party and breathalyse every driver.
We the families who have suffered
death at the hands of reckless drivers
ask you to consider, before you take
that one-too-many drink or drug that
makes your faculties seriously dulled,
before you sit behind a wheel of a de-
fective car and drive recklessly, how
long will you make it before you take
your own life, those in the car with you
and other innocent people in other
cars? In seconds you could destroy
Justice Kangaloo will always be re-
membered for his sense of humour, his
sharp legal mind, his accomplishments
family wise and country wise. He has
contributed to the jurisprudence of
T&T in a very real sense and the case
law that he has helped to create will be
an asset to the judiciary and people of
this country for a long time to come.
out of the gutter
The American Presidential election
demonstrated how an election should
be conducted. Neither President
Obama nor challenger Mitt Romney
attacked each other's character. In
backward banana republics politicians
always have some "mark to buss"
which is shockingly irresponsible and
In the Chaguanas West by-election
both the PM and Jack Warner are
busy slugging it out. The PM has
made many below-the-belt jabs at
Among them is "Jack is working for
the PNM." Do you really believe that
Mrs Persad-Bissessar? Your "action
man" was an undercover agent of the
PNM? Kamla, Jack Warner is more
UNC than those closest to you.
Jack is also guilty of attacking per-
sonalities, from Suruj to Roodal to
Khadijah. The latest fear tactic an-
nounced by the PM is she must win
Chaguanas West in order to win gen-
eral election in 2015. They are not both
Madame PM, in order to win 2015
go back to basics. Most of the things
the PNM used to do, do the opposite
providing you possess the ovarian for-
titude. Do you need 150 State Boards?
Cut them down to 10. Do you need to
stay in the Air Jamaica agreement?
Start blacklisting contractors for
shoddy work. Create a price schedule
of work for contractors. Revamp the
public service. Speed up the selection
of a Police Commissioner.
Make every minister, including the
cabal, declare their assets to you and
then to the Integrity Commission. Do
like the late Eric Williams. Let them
sign an undated letter of resignation.
Ensure all doctors are on duty and not
at their private practice. Stop giving
away our great grand children's money
Those changes are the only guaran-
tee of success in 2015 and not retain-
ing Chaguanas West.
Do not fool yourself. Accept the fact
that uncle Jack is going to win the
election. Madame PM, make good use
of your 28 seats after July 29.
With one week to go before the "mother of all by-
elections" on July 29, we should all pause and
ponder who to believe.
It is no longer just about winning the hearts and
minds of the electorate residing in Chaguanas West; it
is about treading a fine line between accepting a Trin-
bagonian mishmash of political mind altering jargon
that will persuade us to believe the unbelievable and
emerge unscathed from the brainwashing procedures.
We are not being asked to give up our accepted and
practised religions. We are instead being asked to be-
lieve in a parallel deity that promises to solve all political
It is only in T&T that we flirt with the varying tech-
niques of brainwashing and expect to emerge untainted
by the "religious koolaide" that we willingly imbibe at
each political meeting. Rum and roti politics never left
us. It has morphed into the formation of political cults
which promise us political wine and honey forever more.
Should we be visited by some alien species on July
29, and be asked "take me to your leader," will it be
Kamla Persad-Bissessar or Jack Warner?
The first three lines of my favourite book which ex-
plains propaganda and brainwashing reads: Attempts to
change the opinion of others are older than recorded
history and originated, it must be supposed, with the
development of speech ---Brown, JAC, Techniques of
Persuasion: From Propaganda to Brainwashing.
THE INFLUENCE OF AFFLUENCE
Brainwashing the order of the day
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