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STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
No. 4. SUNDAY, DECEMBER 21, 1969.
pulled off the
Whoever said this was a "trick or treat" budget was wrong. It is in fact
all trick confidence trick and no treat. As for the proceedings of the
debate, that was,quite literally a pappyshow.
The pappyshow did not come about because the 'Honourable House"
was dishonoured by the antics of Government and Opposition alike. It
came about rather because the whole Opposition Government
charade is staged and stage managed. Whatever the opposition does or
says, the government will not take it seriously. Its majority and the fact of
"party discipline" ensure that. Since there is no politics of principle or
conscience in the PNM and so long as all patronage and preferment derives
from the Prime Minister, the party discipline will hold at least in the
House. The government side therefore plays the game called "don't get
caught out" even when it means ducking questions and covering up.
And remember this hurts me more than it hurts you.
Agony in the
Spotlight ADRIAN ESPINET
For sheer boneheaded miscalculation, it would be hard to beat Senator
Donald Pierre's bid to rush the spotlight over the incident of three.
children found smoking marijuana at St. Francois Girls' School.
What the uptight Minister of Education saw as a chance to appear in
public as Defender of the Moral Faith ("I had the welfare of 700 girls to
consider ... it was a difficult decision ... blah, blah, blah") is likely to end
instead by exposing the moral, psychological and political bankruptcy of
himself and his party to the harsh glare of public scrutiny It is a measure
of Pierre's simplicity that he could not foresee some of the far-reaching
consequences of his political opportunism in working off his lust for glory
on three adventurous little girls,
Among the first of the consequences conceive a situation in which decisions
can be taken in their own proper spheres,
is public exposure of the outside the umbrella of the P.N.M.
essentiallydictatorial conceptions of theocracy .
government held by the P.N.M. Beyond this, the incident points to
It d b fil f fundamental flaws in the power structure.
regime. It would be futile now for Nobody feels competent to take action
Dr. Williams to deny the old charge on their own initiative and often with
that the Ministry of Education is a good reason; they know damned well that
petty depotism; after Pierre's action is impossible without the personal
fatuous display every thoughtful fiat of the Minister, the Prime Minister, or
y wonder that myth ritually known as "the
person in the country is wondering Cabinet." One would like to know, for
why a government minister should instance, what Mrs. Valere, the
have to rush off to a school in the headmistress of St. Francois, thinks and
middle of the day to deal with a feels about all this ham-fisted farce of
disciplinary problem just as, some calling in the Minister of Education and
time ago, we all wondered why Dr. Culture to deal "on the spot" with three
little girls. We know the Minister's
Max Awon had to rush off daughter is a teacher at the school, and
personally to St. Francois to pacify the report is that on hearing the glad
some girls frightened by an tidings she telephoned to daddy quick,
earthquake. quick. But what does the Headmistress
All th ese incidents simply feel? One might expect she would resent
demonstrate the P.N.M. government's this violation of normal procedure, that
steadfast preoccupation with the idea of
personal intervention, its inability to Cont'd., on Page 5.
The Opposition for its part does not
then have any incentive to responsibility.
Its members can go through their paces -
the fool, the buffoon, the gadfly the
schismatic leader, etc., a4d- -car
concentrate on its internal strife and
factionalism. Government members will
even help them. The one constraint is
that they dare not seriously criticise
- policy -or Williams. ,And the -reason for
this is that they themselves need
"something for the constituency" and
though they may state it in the House it
remains with Williams wearing here the
hat of Minister of Finance to give or
withold in the committee stage. In a way
then, the Opposition are almost as much
Williams's creatures as are his own
backbenchers. This clearly is the reason
for their unfailing sycophancy.
When Williams therefore berates their
contribution saying that they sound like a
local authority rather than a national
Parliament it is at once very true and very
much his fault apart, of course, from
the fact that none of them has either an
overall grasp of the situation nor a
sufficiency of information. And that is
what allowed Williams to pull off his
confidence trick. But for this we can
hardly blame the Opposition. After all,
members on the Government side are in
exactly the same boat.
Very little reflection is needed to see
why the budget had to be a confidence
trick. It was plain to the untrained eye
that the tide of opinion was running
strongly against the PNM and
dissatisfaction was rife with the tinsel
achievements of thirteen years of
Williams's government. The people felt
that the economic and social situation
was out of hand. The magic of Williams
was dimming. Nothing was left to
motivate party members, and the
organization was in disarray and disunity.
All that Williams and the PNM had was
office, for as we have seen, power to
change or to prevent change has long
been out of their hands .. As the final
stages of the Budget speech were to show,
the economic situation as wellwas
Williams the man, his party, his
government, and his country were in
trouble. Something then was needed to
show that Williams was still in control
and had not lost his touch. Something
was needed to show him in the best light
and win back public sympathy. This was
the opportunity the Budget offered but
only if it was handled very carefully
indeed. It was.
By Cedric Frank
There were two aspects to arranging
this the attendant circumstances like.
the dash to Washington, the impending'
UNESCO visit, the Castro revelation, the
uncertainty about timing, and finally the
phasing of the budget debate. These were
designed to guiaritee Williams the centre
of the stage. The other was the content
and presentation of the budget.
The hearty congratulations showered
upon the Minister of Finance by members
of both sides of the House -reflected on
the effectiveness of his confidence trick
rather than on the provisions of the
.budget or the realities of the situation it
reviewed. It complimented, that is, not
his talent in economic management but
his talents as a con man.
The irony of it was not that
honourable members were unaware of it,
but that honourable members were
premature. The con was not just the
Budget, but the whole debate. This
unfolded in full only when Williams
spoke again to sum up the debate and
It was one of government's own
unrecognized bright young men who gave
me the first clue to the fraud that the
budget is. The tone of this budget is both
self-congratulatory and optimistic to the
point of vaunting. It openly reveals for
the first time that the expectation of a
boom in the 70's derives from the oil and
natural gas discovered off the North
Coast. This is all well and good. Of course
we must realise that it will take some
eighteen months to two years for
equipment to be brought in and installed
- all before the wells start producing.
Import duty exemption was recently
extended and renewed for the oil
industry. This means that the net
contribution to government revenues will
be nil until the wells start producing and
(one year after?) royalties and profits tax
begins to be paid. But don't forget how
complex are the rules by which oil and
gas operate. No profits may, be declared
What about local involvement? For an
offshore operation this will be minimal.
Transport? sea transport mostly, and
doubtless in boats belonging to foreign
Materials? there is no question that
these will be almost all imported.
Cont'd on Page 7.
Page 2 TAPIA
From Georgetown to Kingston, the entire political regime is bankrupt.
Yet nothing in the constituencies to replace it.
In Trinidad & Tobago we have managed to reach the end of 1969
without having a single political party in the land; only the usual
theatre. On stage-centre, the PNM and the DLP's have run solemnly
through the routines of Annual Convention and Parliamentary rote. In the
wings, to left and right, the WFP and the Liberals, miraged by the
stage-lights of electoral chance, have begun the quinquennial rituals
Then there have been the rumours and the announcements. Thrice have we been
blessed with glad tidings of imminent new politics. But the shopping days left are
hoplessly too few. The prudent thing to do is to put the year sadly to bed. Santa's
.missed -his way.
Whatever we may be told by the Government propagandist masquerading (under
several pseudonyms) as analysts in the Sunday morning press, there is no party here. A
party is a bridge between the people and the State. It specializes in full-time politics. It
must therefore possess working machinery among the people as well as the means to
run the Government.
When such a thing exists, it is highly visible; it does not have to be proclaimed.
Constituency organisation, programmes to deal with national problems and men
.equipped to run the government cannot be concealed behind "discreet organisation."
Nor can a party be confused with a crowd in the public square. This we have been
taught by the PNM, and no cheap imitation can hope so quickly to unlearn us. Still
more, a party is not to be confused with a bunch of government mercenaries in
disguise, staging exercises in the constituencies. Audience and applause can be
bought for the Government with State funds; but they cannot be had for the party in
office when commitment is lacking. On party occasions, Williams now speaks to
audiences of six and eight. And the population has shut up shop altogether in the
University of Woodford Square and its Constituent Colleges.
We therefore have to establish a party from scratch. That means building brick by
brick. As it emerges, it will be highly visible. It is the work of building it that throws
up the men, the programmes and the constituency organization. And after the havoc
wreaked here by Williams, the task is taking some time. Many people have lost faith in
reason, lost hope in organization, lost.confidence-in their own judgement. They want
action now to finish up with the imposture.
Those who wish to retain their trust in solid work are therefore asking the question:
do we have time to build? May not the election come tomorrow and leave us in the
The answer is, of course, that office is less important than the work. If the work is
sharpening perceptions, raising standards of public analysis, winning experience of
organization, knowledge of self, and confidence in the value of initiative and
dedication, the population will be better able to deal with any monkey business on the.
part of any government. And that is what is important.
But there is more. Williams is now in the same position as Gomes before him. He
needs to postpone the election as long.as he possibly can. At the moment the DLP is
far too disorganised for racial voting to proceed as usual. The population is here and
now willing to experiment with new movements.
In this context, the PNM cannot count on winning more than sixteen or seventeen
seats. We have elsewhere totted up those who in 1966 were already waiting for a new
movement and those who are coming onto the roll for the first time and have
absolutely no use for the Old Brigade. We have also estimated the number who have
.defected from the old political groupings since 1966.
The Caesar must have made his own calculations. He cannot have failed to ask
himself the meaning of all the fires he is having to out: Rodney, Anguilla, Michener,
Five Rivers, Camacho, St. Francois, etc. He has had a rude awakening to what the
teachers and the manufacturers are thinking. He must be extremely hungry now that
the thousands are no longer ranked in their numbers in Woodford Square.
And if he has missed it all, there are many to tell him. Prevatt, Donawa,
Hudson-Phillips, Pitt, Thompson, Kamal, for example. As things stand, not one of
them can get back. Their constituencies have left them with no illusions. Some need
time to complete their transactions; others need breathing -space to make a
Nor can the Maximum Leader solve his problem by ditching them all. It would
demoralise the team even further. And then how will the election campaign be
mounted? It will expose to the population what many already suspect: that there is no
party, only a man at the helm.
There are not even replacements for the men who should go. Where are they to be
found? At the top of the IDC and the National Sugar Company? On the Prices
Commission? Ha ha!
In other words. Williams, more than anybody else, needs to postpone the election.
He is the only man who absolutely cannot afford to lose. The persona is too insecure
to risk defeat. To be in the running at all, is an advance for other office-seeking
movements; but to be less than first is for Williams a disaster.
Williams will therefore have to wait and use the time to rehabilitate his movement.
He cannot succeed, of course.
The Ministerial fiasco in Tobago is dramatising the failure of the old politics of road
and school building and Xmas work. What is needed is moral insight, vision of a new
society and capacity to excite the nation and to stir up the youth.
To help him in this, Williams has been taking over the programmes and the language
of this movement, but he cannot copy the way of living and relating. He does not have
the moral authority to adopt our programmes because the implementation requires
dedication and sacrifice on a scale he could never command. Yet he is too arrogant to
see himself in this way. He would almost certainly want to wait two years in the hope
of retrieving the situation. The Third Plan, his announcement on Cuba, and the rosy
predictions about the economy, all show very clearly how he is thinking.
But suppose he decided to make a dash for it and to hold the election for Carnival
1970. The man after all, is an inveterate zig-zagger, not noted for his political
judgement. Always likely to do something foolish. Well, it would not help.
An early election would almost certainly produce at least four groupings in the
Legislature, none with a majority. The confusion in the constituencies will reflect itself
in Parliament. The effect of that would be to make the Executive even more important
than it is now. And since none of the groups willing to stand in an early election
believes in anything in particular (except office), a coalition Cabinet will not be able to
decide anything apart from how to divide spoils.
This will set up a demand for a strong man to rise above both Executive and
Legislature. We will have reached Duvalier or Truiillo. The "Indian model" of
Republic will then fit nicely. The extensive powers now enjoyed by the Queen
(Governor General) can be made substantive rather than merely formal as they are
now. All that will be needed will be a puppet Prime Minister and a Doctor ruthless
enough to transform the ceremonial role of the Presidency. There is no shortage of
At that point, the nation will surely appreciate the need for a genuine political
party, organised in such a way that the population can control the State. It could be
We therefore have to concede that the situation is desperate. The only hope in the
short run derives from the opportunism of all the contending movements. With the
kinds of groups which will get into Parliament in an early election, any number can
play. The "new" politics is quite capable of an alliance with one of the DLP's.
Negotiations have in fact been going on since April 1968, and the subsequent reliance
of the "new" leadership on financing by former DLP businessmen tells us which way
the wind is blowing.
This means that Williams may well be the odd man out in the ensuing coalition.
And a lot of people are at present happier with this prospect. They reason that it
would "open the system up" by breaking the PNM stranglehold.
It really does not matter. Now that we have analysed the problem for Williams, he
does not dare to hold an early election. Meanwhile, the work continues.
Given all this, the strategy of genuine new politics is to re-introduce reason into
politics, to bring back judgement and cool. New politics must insist on honesty and
morality in public affairs; on open discussion and political education; on community
organisation and popular participation; on integrity, dedication and intelligence.
Trinidad and Tobago thought it was opting for all this in 1956. It has discovered its
mistake. Yet the moral impact of so bitter an experience has opened the way to
charlatanry and empty-headed opportunism. Too many are unwilling to trust once
more in seriousness and solid building. We are afraid of information, analysis and
In our disappointment with Williams and the PNM, we are inclined to let
indignation and invective carry the day. We are so angry that we want to get rid of the
establishment at any price. We are falling for the notion that it is possible to "take
power first" and then settle the programme, then create the grass-roots organisation,
then find the men with the integrity, tolerance and competence to run the country.
But some of us are holding out for sanity. We cannot in all honesty guarantee that
this way of playing will save the game. We are not Gods and we are offering no
Messiahs. We are merely men, standing up for what we believe to be the right thing.
And if anything is new in politics here, it is just that.
Something Old, Nothing New
Page 4 TAPIA
PUSSONAL NONARCHY I
The Paradox of Power in Trinidad
The outward appearance is of a man completely in control. The truth
is that this is not so. The centralization of power has not increased
efficiency; it has failed to produce results. The rot has set in and the
confidence of the country has been lost.
We are not going to rehearse here the long litany of corruption and
scandal in a government that claims to represent morality in public affairs.
No. Let us look at it this way instead.
The impending departure of
William Demas, Economic Adviser
to the Prime Minister, and architect
of two development plans is one
clue. The real question here is why? ..
Ostensibly he is going to run the ^
Carifta Secretariat. However, in a
piece written in the Express on the A
anniversary of Independence he lets
drop inadvertently that the
economy lacks viability. This was ,
known evei. before the Plan; it ,. '
formed th. basis of the Plan
Strategy. The extent to which this o
is really based on hopes for oil and .
gas has beccime clear to all only -
with the recent budget.
A viable economy can and does satisfy .
the reasonable economic requirements of '
the population -jobs for all, wages and
salaries that are adequate for comfortable
living, a sufficient supply of goods and
services at a price the population can
afford, avoidance of extremes of poverty, -
adequate social security.
It is very important to understand
what is meant by this' lack of viability.
Most fundamentally, it means that as
things are currently organized neither the
government norany-local interests-have a
sufficient share of the economy, nor
control of economic instruments. As a
result only half-hearted efforts can be
made to reduce the level of
unemploymentand these are bound to
fail. This is the basic reason why the
Draft Third Five Year Plan aims only to
keep the number of unemployed constant
at 53,000 or so. This one reason too why,
as the Budget fails to say clearly, the
economy did not grow in 1969 or 1968.
Lack of viability means as well that as
a result of this lack of control we do not
produce enough of the right things. Thus,
for example, if overnight, or even at the
end of five years, we were to find
ourselves with full employment we would
still find ourselves with the following
overwhelming economic problems:
(a) First and foremost a lack of trained
and capable managers to run the
economy. Reason? The foreign
dominated economy is just not. providing
managerial experience and training for
locals on anything like a sufficient scale
and the government either cannot or will
not make it, though this is government's
overriding responsibility. Neither a
business school nor a department of
management will accomplish this task.
What such institutions can do is give
formal training to people who have
already had or will have the exposure.
Everything here now depends on the way
business decides to treat the graduate.
(b) An overwhelming balance of
payments problem will arise. Both on the
side of goods for local consumption and
of the machines and techniques (as well as
expertise) needed to keep a full
employment economy going, we will
need to rely even more heavily on
imports. We will not have altered our
export sector significantly. Imports will
vastly exceed exports. Our invisible
earnings abroad are insignificant, and
borrowings abroad will just about move
into the phase where for many years
payments on old and new debt will be an
Meanwhile, of course, the foreign
enterprises,here expanding both in size
and number, will have to be exporting
their profits to their parent companies.
(These are the rules of the game). The
commercial banking and insurance
companies especially, having made high
profits on financing consumption will be
flourishing and adding to the economic
imbalance. The reason for this is that the
structure of production and the patterns
of ownership will have remained
untouched. Without touching these we
terms of alliances with Millette or with
Best and to have decided that in terms of
grasp and vision Best was his man. The
problem for him was, and still is, to come
to grips with the recognition that he can't
buy Best,and that even if he could this is
Oh shimz, Kalam, when I tell you to sell Tobago, is advertise I mean.
are not touching the real problems in the
(c) As well as balance of payments we
will have an inflation problem on the side
of demand for goods. The efforts of
enterprises to overcome rising prices by
paying higher salaries will just feed the
inflation. The root cause of the
maladjustment the structure and pattern
of production will still remain unchanged.
For exactly these reasons, and more
especially because of its inability to come
to grips with problems of manpower and
organization, neither this plan nor the
1983 full employment target will be
fulfilled. That is to say events not men
are firmly in the saddle. But there is
good reason for this.
You see, control of economic
instruments and real economic
self-determination require real
institutional change, and the critical area
is the business sector. These instruments
the Williams government has beeh unable
to forge because politically it has not
been able to come to grips with the
business sector; Rather than controlling
this sector it can be said that the business
sector has controlled it.
There are two important things to see
here. Even when the oil and gas finds are
exploited we will not have the real change
we need. Some prosperity we will have,
though only a short-lived one. Control
will not be accomplished though. More-
over, the business sector knows this.
The business sector knows this. That is
why its confidence in the Williams
government has fallen to near zero. It is
an open secret that it feels we are on the
road to ruin and failure and is casting
about for an alternative.
This is the position, too, even within
Williams's Cabinet. At least one of its
members has been known to ask the
a new politics. This is a movement which
transcends any one man and rises from
real roots in the community.
The Labour community, of course,
early lost confidence. They saw that
Williams' alliances with foreign interests
meant that he could not seriously meet
what the society needed in terms of a
policy for labour. Most important, labour
saw early that not only could Williams's
strategy allow them no real assistance but
it must deny them self-determination and
autonomy. The containing of labour
initiative for change became a major item
of policy. The ISA, the coping stone of
the nation's labour policy, finally put
paid to any views mat Williams intended
labour to have a role in the building of
the national community.
Within the party not only is there now
an amount of "back-chat" and minor
rebellion that was hitherto. inconceivable,
but the organization itself is in
considerable disarray and "on the run".
Grass roots opinion, long frustrated by
opinions and structure imposed from
above, constantly erupts: to make a
mockery of the propagated view of a
monolithic structure. Diego Martin and
the Tobago West eruption are only the
tip of the ice-berg.
Tobago is in many ways the most
interesting case. There the magnitude of
disaffection in the party groups was most
clearly seen. Williams recognized the
impending loss of two seats he once
thought safe. But it is the panicky and
inept nature of his response that is really
important for it shows all the limitations
of this system of government.
This isWilliams's Ministry. Both policy
making and policy execution here has
'been faulty in the extreme. The
.government was plainly out of touch with
the population. The party had clearly
failed as a channel of communication.
Williams' response was first a piece of
"showing the flag." He organized an
instant "Meet the Farmers" tour. All the
panoply of Prime Ministerial power and
decisiveness was brought into play. Lands
were to be acquired, access roads built
and an instant circus a Committee of all
Ministers of Cabinet-set up to visit
Tobago monthly and "deal with its
problems!' The ordinary machinery of
government and politicians is clearly seen
to be unable to deal with the problem -
Super Williams to the rescue.
But surely fourth time around the
sham wears a bit thin Meet the Farmers'
Tour, Meet the Manufacturers Tour,
Better Villages Tour. After a flurry of
seeming activity it all settles down to
another nothingness. After all it is, as we
have shown, very much Williams's
government. All the machinery is at his
disposal. When the government fails to
act it is his instrument that fails unless
we can argue that he is not in charge.
In Tobago, both on the evidence of the
Convention and because of the Tobago
population's sceptically amused reaction
to his efforts, we must conclude that
Williams is not in charge. The population
is in ferment and the work of community
organization goes on apace. The situation
has gone beyond the man's means to
Two other groups in the society serve
to show how far the rot has gone.
THE REAL CRISIS
No government can successfully rule
which has lost the confidence of the Civil
Service and the intellectuals together.
Williams has alienated both.
The long series of compromises on
fundamental principles, the whole
materialist bias of the regime, the lack of
serious commitment to the ideals of
development, the loss of political
honesty, the attempt to build character
and courage in the community by
robbing it of initiative and independence
and giving it empty slogans instead these
have alienated the intellectuals. This
alienation has been deepened by the use
of power or bribery or both to stifle
This Civil Service, in the clutches of a
movement which seeks ,to control all
advancement, all initiative, has a long
string of grievances on wages,on working
conditions, on its status in the whole
system of government. We do not
propose to outline these here. They form
part of another piece. The important
thing is that as a result of the most
extraordinary piece of bad industrial
relations ever, the Civil Service is in a
state of retreatism. Together with the
intellectuals its brightest members have
taken Williams at his word- "If you don't
like it, get to hell out of here"- By virtue
of the climate Williams has created, the
country is being deprived ot the most
precious of all resources its brainpower.
The population is voting with its feet.
What we see then is Williams holding
all the levers and, by his own lights
operating them. But he has lost the
confidence of all major groups. This loss
of confidence clearly extends even into
the Cabinet. He is sitting on the creativity
of all groups in the society. What we must
realise is that by virtue of these facts he is
a ...-jor obstruction in the way of the
country solving its own problems. This is
quite the obverse of the logic whereby he
is seen as its major hope.
27 George Street, P.O.S.
TAPIA Page 5
DONALD PIERRE'S ASONY
From Page 1
she would insist on her right to take the
first steps and make provisional decisions
before the issue is formally referred to a
Mrs. Valere's silence on these matters
is not reassuring; it suggests the usual
flabby complaisance we've grown so
accustomed to under the P.N.M.
dispensation. Fear for one's job; fear of
making the "wrong" decision; fear that
the thing is too "big" for one to handle -
these are the components of our
dependency syndrome, and they play
havoc with all rational administrative
Of course, on the Minister's side, we
know what the party line is; we've been
hearing the shuffling of the cards for a
long time, and this particular incident has
been in the nature of a windfall to the
party. "VICE IN OUR SCHOOLS: WE
WILL MOBILIZE THE WHOLE NATION
TO STAMP IT OUT." Diversion, Red
Herrings, obscurantism are the last
refuges of governmental bankruptcy.
"Avoid drugs like the plague" Williams
.has been trotting around warning (or
inciting? one wonders) the youth
camps, the schools, the community
centres. Backed by the lurid and witless
penny-catching press, this has no doubt
looked like good strategy to the P.N.M.
brass. Now things look better than ever.
Now when we ask why they have done
nothing about education in thirteen years
of sound and fury, they will point
gloatingly to the belles of St. Francois
and tell us that education in Trinidad is
being destroyed by drug-addiction. The
army is called out, magistrates are invited
to become more pompous and more
sadistic than ever, headlines shreik, the
war against windmills is on. And once
more (they think hopefully) the people
will stop asking awkward questions.
Nothing shows more clearly than this
kind of misapprehension the
government's loss of grasp and realism.
Indeed, we can see clearly now, they have
never had it. Living, in the small dry world
of palace intrigue and personal politics, of
emblems and late-Victorian exhortation,
the P.N.M. government has remained
utterly blind to the meaning of
movements in the society. If Donald
Pierre, for instance, had understood
anything about this the last thing he
would have thought of doing about the
three girls at St. Francois would have
been what in fact he did.
"I never heard anything so ridiculous
-and pompous in my life," was the
comment of one St. Francois student on
Mr. Pierre's homily against marijuana in
the course of his expulsion ceremony
before the assembled school. Somebody
ought to tell the Minister that the 700
girls about whose "welfare" he has
expressed so much well-publicized
concern do not take him seriously at all.
A good many of them are better
informed on these questions tharn.he is,
and his Victorian approach is not likely
to impress them. (See, for instance, the
unsolicited piece contributed by a school
girl in this issue, in our Discussion and
Dissent column, P. ) The point is that
the fact alone of the girls' trying out
weed should have told Mr. Pierre
something. They are not concerned with
him or his world, which they believe to
be utterly corrupt. Smoking marijuana
may be officially a crime; but more than
that it is a demand for change especially
when you find three little girls doing it.
Of course, its hard to see the writing on
the wall when your back is to the wall,
but these artless dodgers need to
remember that 62% per cent of the
population are under 25, and they are
utterly fed-up with the sickness of
Victorian double-think. If Mr. Pierre
thinks he can save his balisier tie by the
ritual exorcism of three little girls he is
quite wrong. Not even the expelled girls
take him seriously; they knew more
about what they were doing than Mr.
Pierre knows about hwat he is doing.
The final point about Mr. Pierre's
divertzssement is a constitutional one.
Many people must be appalled that the
decision to exclude their children from a
formal education should lie with one
man. Does the Minister of Public Morality
really have this power? And, if so why?
Surely the decisions about what goes on
in a school are a matter for a schools
Cases like this underline the need for a
real separation of powers. The future of
our children must not lie within the
self-interested discretion of politicians. As
a people we need to begin taking
education seriously. Donald Pierre's
convenient agonizing in the Spotlight are
unlikely to give us any help in this
REVOLT OF THE MISSES
VIEWS OF A 15- YR OLD SCHOOL GIRL.
The "Generation Gap" is the term used to describe the separation of the younger
generation from the older. The present situation with the Generation Gap is quite
complex, yet I think it can be analyzed to some extent.
The older generation tends to have
definite ideas about various aspects of DIANE TRACY
life. Girls should wear long dresses to hide
their legs, they should be seen and not means that the word is not in the
heard. Mothers find that if their dictionary. "Bad words" are words that
daughter's legs are exposed it is most the older generation does not use.
unbecoming to the female sex. In the According to them, it would be
view of the older generation, it is not "degrading." They are proud and would
right for a girl to go out with a boy alone not under any circumstances lower
until she is at least 17 or 18. Many themselves to such indecency. This just
mothers around the age of 40 or 50, or shows how ignorant they are.
sometimes younger, find it disgraceful for Drug-taking and other things happen
a girl to appear in a bikini, exposing most because the younger generation wants a
of her body. What is even more to the
point, girls are not allowed to see certain change. They revolt against everything
films. Mothers do not like thier daughters that is right and proper in the views of
to see films in which actors or actresses the older people. Hence we have hippies,
appear in the nude. They forbid their drug addicts, and homosexuals. Drugs are
daughters to see this type of film because, harmful because they make a person feel
according to them, they are "bad." he is something when in fact he is not.
One of the most important things that Maybe the break-away from society is not
any child should know about is sex. Most quite right, but it is a move which should
mothers leave their children to guess have been made long ago. Stop being
about sex. The adventurous ones are "sophisticated" and realize what is really
curious and so have to find out for happening in the world, and more
themselves. So, although they are young important, what is happening in your
and unmarried, some take the first family. Give the boys and girls a free
hand. Don't keep them confined to the
opportunity to find out for themselves, home, as this can lead to serious trouble.
They have sex. Unfortunately, some Let them go out, let your child know
become mothers and are at once placed in about life, sex, drugs, and whatever is
a vulnerable position. How can parents happening in the world. Do not wait to
blame their child for this? When a mother discover your mistakes. Tell your child
hides the facts of life from her daughter, the facts of life before it is too late.
she is really giving that child an invitation
to find out for herslef. Maybe she doesn't
know this, but this is exactly what she is
The older generation and some TAPIA HOUSE GROUP MEETINGS
ignorant members of the younger SAN FERNANDO-
generation who have been taught to obey AVANT GARDE CLUB, COFFEE ST.
all the rules of society, such as "good TUESDAYS-BEGINNING JAN. 13
manners" and so on, believe there is such 8 pm
a thing as a "bad word." When you askTUNAPUNA-
them why they think a word is "bad" T APHOUSE91TUNAPUNARD.
they say, "Well, because it's a bad word." TAPIA HOUSE, 91 TUNAPUNA RD.
That, of course, is no answer and reveals THURSDAYS RESUMING JAN. 8.
that they only say it because someone 8 p.m.
else has said it and they have not taken the
trouble to analyze the matter carefully. ADULT EDUCATION CLASSES
Anyone who disagrees can give a potent WEST INDIAN HISTORY AND LITERATURE,
argument why there is no such thing as a TAPIA HOUSE, TUNAPUNA, FRIDAYS 7 p.m.
"bad" word. Pornography is all in the BEGINNING FEBRUARY 7th.
mind of the human being. I have come to
the conclusion that the term "bad word" THE PUBLIC IS INVITED TO REGISTER
From Page 1
Employment? We have no doubt
that for erecting the wells and getting
them producing hordes of specialist
foreign workers will be imported. Perhaps
only for land-based pipelaying will
significant employment be generated.
The refineries and natural gas plants
will in their turn require heavy imports
and highly capital-intensive (foreign
specialist?) construction and little
immediate employment. They will also be
a long time a-building.
We can therefore look forward over the
next three years to mounting import bills,
a heavy capital importation both to be
paid out of future oil revenues. Suddenly
it seems that the oil boom may be five
years in coming.
When Williams says therefore that the
country is on the verge of a boom we
must examine carefully the evidence he
He says for example that the level of
Gross Domestic Product 1968-9 was
about maintained at 1967-8 levels. Had
there been any advance it would have
been clearly spelled out in the statistics
and crowed over. The crowing was
In fact, not only did the show of
output not grow, but it was probably
somewhat diminished. The key here is the
gross of Gross Domestic Output.
This includes replacements of Capital.
Part of what was created in 1967-8 was
replaced in this figure so that
replacements for 1968-9 had to be a
bigger figure than for one previous year.
If both GPD levels are the same, then
output (1969) net of replacement will
have to be a smaller figure than the
previous year. We therefore have to
conclude that 1968-9 saw a slight
economic setback. It is clear that the
government is demanding plaudits for
what in fact was a reverse.
What is more, the sectors where
increased output was recorded were
(except for bricks and cement)
consumption sectors. NO IMPORTANT
ADDITIONS WERE MADE TO THE
NATION'S PHYSICAL PRODUCTIVE
CAPACITY. Such additions, according to
.the budget, are scheduled for
1970-factories, brickworks, hotels, etc.
They therefore cannot reasonably be
expected to be operational until 1971.
The self-congratulation is therefore
premature, to say the least.
On the other hand, the symptoms of
trouble are clear for all to see. The sugar
market is becoming tight, so that sugar
export earnings are threatened. Partly in
response to this Caroni Ltd. is pressing
hard on the mechanization issue -
LOCAL EARNINGS and EMPLOYMENT
ARE SERIOUSLY THREATENED.
Even before it has got off the ground
the Nation's housing programme is in
serious difficulty. National Housing does
not have either the high calibre personnel
or the organization to see it through. This
is why, as Mrs. Teshea admitted, the
consultants have been called in.
But on another level the whole
programme is misguided. The issue of
local financing and mortgaging cannot
stand the light of day. We shall deal with
it in a subsequent issue. The other major
question is Government's intended
massive intervention (via contractors,
with scope for bobol).
This is not what is called for. The
history of matchbox developments -
from Diamond Vale to Trincity, is a sad.
one of consumer resistance and failure.
An arrangement much more
decentralized in' detail and with much
greater consumer involvement is
necessary. We shall see.
Social Security is a story for another
place. There remains the question of
agriculture (subject for another issue of
the paper) and finally the Government's
recent sudden discovery of human
'resources and a possible role for trade
unions in the country.
We could and should properly devote a
whole issue of this journal to these
subjects. For the time being, however, we
will take a short-cut.
These are two aspects of the
government's capacity for and machinery
of implementing development plans. As
we all know, human resources planning
has been neglected by this government
although, or perhaps because, it is the
most fundamental and difficult area of
development planning. Seriously pursued
it would demand radical change in the
orientation and operational organization
of the Government. The Government's
record on plan implementation is
unimpressive as a result. It has, too, partly
for strategic reasons and partly by
oversight, alienated trade unions.
Now that these two are brought to the
fore in public discussion we must evaluate
what is offered.
A weak Labour Ministry, low on the
Government's pecking order, cannot be
expected to carry out a serious trade
union policy. Nor does it seem that it is
expected to, for its appropriations in the
estimates are only marginally higher than
In any case, the many linkages between
Unions and Human Resources Policy have
not been identified by the government.
Vocational training, Placement, Social
Security Administration, Workers Banks,
etc., are only some of the many areas. No
policy on Human Resources Utilization
has been enunciated, so that it is hardly
surprising that the Government would
not know where to begin. In any case it
would have to break down labour's
thirteen-year accumulation of suspicion
and frustration before it can begin
anything. Since current policy cannot
satisfy both labour and industry, we fear
that this exercise is doomed.
The whole industrial relations system is
what needs overhaul, of course, and the
government's tinkering with ISA is only
scratching the surface of the problem,
which involves working conditions,
control of enterprise, discrimination,
incomes policy etc., and in which the
Government itself is doubly implicated as
a malefactor in its personnel policy. The
general outlook here is not an exciting
one, and all the signs call for a change of
TAPIA Page 7
men and measures to clean up the mess.
This is even clearer in the area where
Williams confessed that the country was
in real trouble, the system of tariffs and
preferences on which the country
depends for its export markets.
The signs have been there for all to see
since before Independence. The
ostrich-like policy of increasing
dependence on tied markets was Williams'
own preference in the face of all the
evidence. This policy is now in shambles
and he is still trying to find a "capriche"
to make the thing look good when what
we need is a radical restructuring of the
economy and a liberation of our external
This task Williams cannot accomplish.
Internally it has too many social and
political repercussions he cannot handle.
If he keeps power we shall drift into the
seventies on an oil and gas boom out of
which foreigners will make a lot of
money, but our real problems will not
be tackled seriously. We will emerge with
high imports, high exports, heightened
dependence on oil and gas, and incurable
The budget "capriche" will have
worked. An optimistic budget, a
miserable Opposition performance,
Williams making them look small by
showing they didn't deal with the
problems which he did not reveal,
Williams turning round and begging
public sympathy by showing that the
country is in real trouble.
The trouble is oftrqourse trouble of
Williams's own making, and it's clear that
he can't get us out of it by doing more
of the same.
That's why it's time for change not
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Page 8 TAPIA
The following letters have been received by us during the course of the week. We
publish them in the public interest.
The vital public debate over the
gramatical propriety of a line in our
National Anthem has reminded me of a
very similar disagreement between a
friend and myself a few years ago as to
the proper wording of the popular local
saying ZANDOLIE FIND YOUR HOLE.
My friend, an M.A. from the
University of Tampax, Florida, maintains
that the common version FIND YOUR
HOLE is correct. I myself (Ph.D.,
University of Modess, Alabama) hold this
view to be profoundly mistaken. In my
opinion the operative word in this
statement is not the verb-word FIND but
the possessive YOUR, which in the
original (and correct) version of the
saying was HI;. The saying should thus
run ZANDOLI: INDS HIS HOLE.
I might add twrt I am supported in this
view by many o: the best-known world
authorities, and other views are little
short of nonsense.
Hoping this letter will stimulate
further healthy public discussion,
I remain, etc.
Dear Sir -
Re the controversy over the correct
version of the proverb ZANDOLIE FIND
(OR FINDS) YOUR (OR HIS) HOLE: I
have been in consultation with an
eminent American Professor of English,
wh-oRe DSayCanussiwho assures
me that both (or eiter) versionss (or
version) are (or is) correct.
"What determines correctness," Fr.
O'Shay-Canussi opines, "is simply usage."
Since the 14th century, whatever
anybody has said is correct, says Fr.
I remain, etc.
Dear Sir -
As the author of the saying
ZANDOLIE FIND YOUR HOLE; I
would agree that the correct version is
ZANDOLIE FINDS HIS HOLE, but this
is very difficult to pronounce when your
mouth is full of chilibibbi
I therefore invoked the rights of poetic
licence in using the version ZANDOLIE
FIND YOUR HOLE, which is easier to
say and less wasteful of chilibibbi.
I remain, etc.
Dear Sir -
Speaking frankly as a leading business
man and politician-designate, I think we
should all get together and forget our
petty differences. I am prepared to offer
a fine motor-car as a prize for next
year's Carnival Queen.
I remain, etc.
13 years of Xmas
The budget is tax-free. Another reason, another season, for making whoopee!
Or so it might seem if we neglected to pause and look back on the first thirteen
years. What is the position? Education, Health, Industry, Transport and Community
Life are in a veritable shambles; the employment situation is hopeless; and agriculture
is nothing short of a kamality. Everywhere it is crookfighting and prevateering.
Examine the record in the next issue of TAPIA.
What has it cost us? Where has the money gone? Who has paid for "free" education?
for the race horses and the apartment buildings? for the family farms and all the real
Where has the money come from?
Taxation on Persons & Business
Earnings & Royalties
Borrowing at home
Total Receipts of Government
$ 1859 m
BLOWING HOT AND COLD
From Page 6.
the position of leadership once held by
Capildeo. But .Bhadase, feeling himself a
patriarch; possessed with the power of
life and death according to ancient law
has intervened to disherit all claimants to
The progressive and the Young
Socialists I leave for, another occasion.
The group I want to discuss now are the
conservatives, of whom Ramjit Kumar is
the best remembered. He has been
charged with introducing the slogan
'apaan jat' in the politics of Trinidad and
Tobago. Popular history records him as
the racist par excellence. Much has been
made of his landslide victory 1946, with
overwhelming Indian support over the
Butler candidate in the election of 1946.
It will be recalled that at that time Butler
had embraced a number of Indian
professionals within his fold.
This judgement against Kumar seems
to be unjust. It emanates from a failure to
make a proper evaluation of the man in
the context of his time. Ryan himself, the
historian of the period, is reluctant to
condemn him. Of high caste in India,
Kumar was soldier, engineer and man of
letters. He therefore- shared the
'paternalistic: pretensions of the ruling
class, and showed concern over the
condition of Indians here.
Indenture, the form of Indian slavery,
was abolished only in 1917. Before the
Wood Commission in. 1920 Negroes tried
to deprive Indians of the right to vote by
calling for a literacy test when the bulk of
the Indian population was illiterate. Like
Nehru, Rienzi, and others before him,
Kumar saw the need for Indians to accept
the new habitat and build. But, like the
members of the old Indian Congress, he
wanted to secure Indian minority interest
within the constitution. He therefore felt
that Independence should be delayed
until economic and political freedom for
all was guaranteed.
This is why it is shortsightedness for
some of Marxist persuasion to talk about
a 'leap in the dark' as being necessary for
social progress here and now. Such a
notion assumes a homogenous society,
which does not exist here not yet. It is
precisely because Kumar recognized this
limitation, and articulated the wish of
Indians for greater security, that he was
hailed as their champion and won their
Largely because Negroes felt that the
Butler Party was multiracial due to the
presence of Stephen Maharaj, Rienzi, and
the Sinanans, they have branded Kumar
and those who returned him to represent
them as racists. Curiously enough, Butler
was at ,that time playing the same game
that the DLP and others are playing
today Doctor Politics. Dismissed as ap.
illiterate demagogue by the educated
urban Negro class, Butler turned to
educated Indian professionals both for
intellectual light and for winning Indian
'support. This point has been justifiably
emphasised by Lloyd Best.
Of all the influential Indians of recent
times I find Kumar the most interesting.
He recognized the need for Indian Power,
if I may borrow from current
phraseology. He saw it as necessary in
equipping Indians with confidence as a
first step toward racial integration. IT IS
THIS PHASE OF INDIAN CULTURE
WHICH JAGESSAR DESCRIBES. His
Indian Iceberg is a notable reaction to
Murray's Afro-Asian Consciousness,
published in the first issue of Tapia.
But Jagessar's view is partial. It does
not take in the entire scene. He does not
observe the rate at which integration is
taking place as a result of educational
opportunities, income growth, internal
and external migration. He is as mistaken
about the dynamics of integration as
those Marxists who see social develop
-ment in terms of class conflict, black and
white, Indian and Negro. He is the
founder of a Marxist Club on the UWI
campus, yet he overlooks the dialectic!
Black Power advocate Stokely
Carmichael has enlightened us that before
,a group integrates it must first close
ranks. And Jagessar' has noticed' a new
Negro consciousness of self arising, a
racial and cultural upsurge. Some may be
,wrong in' believing that we will see an
equivalent consciousness growing among
Indians;s wishful thinking.'
But it is Jagessar who is mistaken.
Indians have had their Iceberg since the
'40's. They looked back to India. It
released tremendous energy and
enterprise is business, in music, in
literature, in education, Negroes are
having their hot summers now, They look
back to Africa to make the vital contact
necessary for working out an authentic
relationship here. Viewed from this angle
the goal of racial integration cannot be
far off. The 'long empty road of
frustration' is at an end.
Yet we must bear Jagessar's caveat in
mind that we may be looking at Indians
through Negro eyes. Here I believe he is
on solid ground, Not Negro eyes he
means though, but the Afro Saxon's.
Owing to his early start in the education
rat race the Negrd has disinherited
himself. He is unable to relate
meaningfully with his environment.
Sparrow has seen this; they beat me to
learn at school, if me head was bright I
would be a damn fool.
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"The past few years have been
characterized by indiscriminate spending,
and injudicious proliferation of civil
service posts, and a gross abuse of
perquisites and allowances, all of which
combined are economically unsound,
politically impossible, and morally
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