Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072147/00231
 Material Information
Title: Tapia
Physical Description: no. : illus. ; 43 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: Tapia House Pub. Co.
Place of Publication: Tunapuna
Creation Date: September 19, 1976
Frequency: completely irregular
Subjects / Keywords: Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Trinidad and Tobago   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )
Dates or Sequential Designation: no. 1- Sept. 28, 1969-
General Note: Includes supplements.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000329131
oclc - 03123637
notis - ABV8695
System ID: UF00072147:00231

Full Text


TEL : 662-5126.

Tapia Secretary Lloyd Best as he entered the Tapia House last
Monday night lo watch the televised results of the elections.


The only thing

t h s~c~no

the Prime Minister cannot
do now is to govern well.
He has all the power now,
in the ruling party, in the
government and in the
Parliamentary Party of the
Tapia Secretary Lloyd
Best offered this comment
on the prospects for the,
country following last
Monday's General Electionm
in which the PNM won 24
of the 36 seats to give
that party another term in
Best who lost his own
deposit in the contest for
the Tunapuna seat which
was also won by the PNM,
has predicted that the
situation in the country
will be "unstable from
the word go."
Asked whether he
thought the return to
power of the PNM by
such a' large majority
means that the population
is satisfied with conditions
in the country, Lloyd
Best replied that he
expected the "active
unease" in our culture to
persist throughout the
course of the new Parlia-

"The behaviour of the
country is a constant
sign of the of disapproval-
civic arrangements," the
Tapia Secretary said. "Why
is it the PNM hasn't been
able to get the country to
work?" he asked.
Best cited the driving
on the roads, "the grasping
oligarchy, the mad scramble
for advantage, the resort to
Carnival at every opport-
unity" and the voting
behaviour as evidence that
the population has been
constantly acting up
against the state of things.
Best maintained that
the population has been
submitting to exploitation
while trying to "make the
best of the degradation."
He explained: "It is my
premiss that humanity is
distinguished by an instinct
for what is higher and
nobler. But this instinct
for what is higher is not
to be confused with the
capacity to do something
about it."
The Tapia Secretary
promised to make a full
statement soon of his own
views on the elections.

Council.meets Sunday

THE TAPIA Council of
Representatives w i l l
meet at the Tapia House,
Tunapuna on Sunday,
September 19, starting
9.30 a.m.
This decision was
taken at a meeting of
the Tapia National Exe-

cutive last Wednesday
Among the matters
down for discussion at
Sunday's meeting are
the General Elections
and the resumption of
Tapia's Annual General

He noted, however, that
he disagreed with the
Marxist contention that
degradation necessarily
provides the conditions
for organised revolt.
In conditions of degra-
dation, he argued, "the wit
and capacity to fight are
dulled. Only the instinct
for freedom remains."
And this instinct tended
to express itself in all
kinds of irrational ways.
Best considered that the
widely expressed surprise
that Tapia had not made
a better showing in the
elections was a recognition
that Tapia had been trying
to urge the country to a
nobler realm.


The most important
factor in the disadvantage
people suffer is that of
fragmented identity. "Is
being a citizen of Trinidad
and Tobago more impor-
tant than being African,
Indian or Tobagonian,"
Best asked.
Because people lacked a
sense of "which is your
main label, in times of
stress people don't know
where to assign priority,
and they fall back on
primordial loyalties," lie
Best held that the
immediate cause of Tapia's
defeat in the elections was
the racial polarization fol-
lowing the United Labour
Front motorcade through
areas in north Trinidad on

Saturday, September 11.
The motorcade, Best
thought, generated tradi-
tional anxieties, and gave
an opening to the ruling
party to warn people
against the- dangers of
- splitting-the African vote.
The Tapia Secretary :e-
plained that the political
education process had stop-
ped since the rundown of
the PNM which had initially
come out on that scene.
Factors which had
affected the capacity of
other parties to carry on
the political education
were the weakness of the
media, and the restrictions
of the Public Order legisla-
tion since 1971.
"For many years the
public has been unable to
form political judgements
Then in 1976 there came
on this scene this deluge of
political parties. Apart
from the PNM, all of
them got TV exposuretfor
the first time in the last
week of the campaign. It
was an overdose of the

The Tapia Secretary
conceded that there were
"weaknesses" in the Tapia
campaign deriving not only
from the general conditions
in the country but from
internal factors as well.

Asked whether he
thought the results of the
election had discredited
the strategy of displacing
the PNM in its traditional
strongholds, Best said:
"It can't be otherwise.
It's the inevitable starting
point. You have to start
where the world is. Political
parties in a country like
this must come into being
with a racial bias.
"Just as how the party
to replace the DLP had
to start in the DLP tradi-
tional constituencies."
"The creative political
task, however, was to
create that middle ground
where Africans and Indians
can reach each other. Not
exploiting race. but assert-
ing unity."

What you see is what you g'ot. the s'' at is iS>!tislin,' .talioln
is typical of the way the elections were organized hrroulghi, iti
the country.

Vo.6 N.3

N T: Vj 'J 1-::,.






BY 103.0 the figures
tumbling out the TV
establish a clear pattern:
in constituency after con-
stituency Tapia is running
a poor show.
Not only is the PNM
winning but in its strong-
holds it is leading by
hundreds of votes.
On the 13oulevard
ouTsiae, a rapia supporter,
normally a genteel lady,
bursts into expletives,
smashes a glass against a
tree and storms back inside
for even worse news:
Hamlet Joseph is losing


"I could dead tonight,"
a panman watching the
dread TV says. He gets up,
walks outside into the
street. "I going out there
and dead tonight! I-give
my whole life to this thing
and that iS what the people
do? Oh God!"
He walks away in the
direction of East Dry
River, looking for some
pan to beat.
At the comer of Wood-
ford Street and Tragarete
Road, on the steps of the
Barclays bank, a small
pan side is celebra

"Ay, man. Put up some-
thing nuh. We looking to
make ah bottle."
"We going south! Lewwe
go south by Panday and
Shah and them."
"Naw, man! Lewwe go
by Barrow. He bound to
p Ce,

stunned faces. Big women
on ,the. verge of tears and
the men trying to talk
defeat out of them.
"I ain' mind losing, man.
It ain't that. But you realise
what it is my people just
phDone rings. Diego Martin
East, West lost.
In the dead silence on
the Boulevard a car rolls
slowly past the office.
A man sticks his head
out the driver's window:
"What happen? All yuh
having a wake or what?"
Somebody shouts another


Two cars pull up, then
three, four, seven. The
crushed cadres coming in.
"Tunapuna!" somebody
says. A few people look-
interested. Defeat pins
everybody else to the TV.
Selwyn Ryan analysing
the returns. The individual
he named "BEST CLOWN"
in his pre-election article
is winning convincingly
out there.
A Tapia member writes
down the latest returns,
snips to his feet.
"Fantastic", he says.
"Trinidad and Tobago has
totally rejected what Tapia
was offering. The voting is
straight race. We are right
back in 1956."
He goes home to sleep
off this scary conclusion.
Cadres come in and go
out, the younger ones
assertive: "Tapia forever,
man!" "They ain' go last
the five years." "Now is
the time to really get it
"Tunapuna is where the
action is!" another shout
goes up.
By this time the defeat

is so heavy it is bound to
be true. People" respond.
"Tunapuna!" Cadres
start to check out trans-
Somebody turns off the
TV and somebody else
takes it away.
A Tapia POS convoy heads
for Tunapuna.


Nobody is talking about
it in the cars going up but
everybody is very upset-
about Lloyd Best in part-
icular losing his seat; Lloyd
and Hamlet Joseph.
That is some very heavy
load to carry and the
people in the cars carry it
with jokes, with scandalous
theories about the elector-
ate. "And the poll very
low you know," a cadre
At the Tapia House in
Tunapuna there is prepara-
tion for a get-together. A
DJ. Some eats. Drinks.
And specially printed
cards that contain the
Tapia candidates inside and
a Syl Lowhar quote on
the outside: "Freedom is a
precious thing and it is
worth fighting for." A
memento to mark Tapia's
victory. Or defeat.


Lloyd, Denis, Ivan, Allan,
Michael, the candidates
and their supporters,
cadres and people who
backing Tapia in general
are gathered around the
TV set still spewing figures,
confirming the earlier
pattern in the voting with
a vengeance.
It is clear that Tapia is
not winning a single seat.
A young girl is -earting

against a post crying. An
old man sits on a chair and
in the yard, his face
expressionless, staring into
Somebody tells the DJ
to play some music. The
DJ protests: "All yuh make
up all yuh mind, yes!"
Somebody else has told
him not to, so people can
hear the results.


A couple Tapia mem-
bers sort it out. People
who want to -watch that
madness on TV, go inside
the house. Other people
want to hear music and
The TV set goes blank.
Bob Marley comes up
on the speakers: "Oh what
a rat race. ."
One of the candidates
jumps to his feet, moving
to get the music turned
"People want to lighten
up themselves," a cadre
tells him. I He goes inside
to watch the TV.
Lloyd is saying in the
drawing room inside: "'You
should have heard tilthe cam-
paign out here. Race down
the line.'
People keep coming and
going and each time
somebody brings news it is
worse. The figures now
show (lie l'NM moving
towards a comfortable




rEMBER 19, 1976





amn n.

In the Tapia House out-
side more people are
beginning to dance. The
dancing tonight has an-
extra dimension to it.
People are dancing because
they don't want to stand
still and weep. "This coun-
try," a cadre at the bar
mutters, "is something
In between the dancing,
political analysis is flowing
free sheet. Eventually
people begin to focus on
an event that could have
triggered the ULF motor-
cade of Saturday, Sept-
ember 11.
The motorcade had
moved out of central Trini-
dad and driven through
Port-of-Spain, going down
as far as Carenage and
Diego Martin. An eye-
witness gives this account:


"It was about three
miles long. The front cars
had big green and red
flags and there were mini-
buses full of tassa drum-
mers, They had a loud-
speaker- system so
powerful, you could hear
it a mile away.
"The whole motorcade
is Indians. And they driv-
ing down the Eastern'
Main Road chanting
"'Don't vote PNM' and
Indians on the pavement
waving to them and
Africans watching that

Photos-by Gerry Llewellyn
and say, eh-eh. Not so. Is
PNM or them."
Marley wailing again:
-"Oh what a rat race."
The party is thinning out.
Tuesday is a normal work-
ing day, no matter the
loss on Monday. Lloyd
and a couple late limers
go on talking inside the
house about what it all
means and where we go
from here.
On the drive back from
Tunapuna to Port-of-Spain
there is no wild cheering
in the streets; no mood of
victory anywhere. The
long-awaited election is
over and the country is
dead silent, like at a
funeral. (R.A.P.)






THIS statement by Tapia-
man Ronnie Grant was
originally submitted to
TAPIA in January 1973.
After spending 17 hours
last Monday in a Trou
Macaque, Laventille poll-
ing station representing
the interests of Tapia
candidate Yaxee Joseph,
Grant thought we might
wish to reconsider his
statement for publication.
IS 1973, time to do some
positive thinking. Take a
definite position in this
society. Is- wha scene we
really on?
The time has come to
take a side. We have, as I
see it, to stop fighting and
gambling with ourselves on
the blocks, get together,
discuss, pool our ideas for
a real serious change of


A life in which our
children would have the
chances we did not have
to become whatever their
ambitions dictate. A
society where natural
talents are harnessed at an
early age and directed in
such a way as to enable
them, when grown, to
acquire a sense of belong-
ing to their homeland.
It ent easy, we all know
that. But wha we go do?
Revolution is a must or at
least this is what we should
be thinking.
We must believe in some-
thing and work as hard as
possible to achieve it.
Some of us can make it
in this system.
This I know, because


Eastern Main Rd., Laventille
(Near to Trotman street)


Galvanise, Cement,
Blocks, Tiles,
etc, etc.

our talents are plentiful
and it is much easier to
selfishly achieve something
material through skul-,
duggery and toadying, the
only two means left open
for us in this corrupted
society of ours, than to
make the sacrifices neces-
sary for a change of system
which we have grown
accustomed to for all our
lives. A system which was
obviously planned to take
away our man and woman-
hood and leave us seemingly
vulnerable to bribery and
other corrupted means of
fulfilling our personal
We still have tine. Start
recalling now our sense of

values and give priority in
our lives the nation's future
rather than to selfishness.
Stand up and demand
our rights, regardless of
the consequences.
We must realise that in
order to successfully effect-
the type of change that is
needed, it is bound to cost
us something, our jobs,'
freedom, or possibly our
But we must prepare
ourselves mentally and
physically to die if need
be for a cause that is
both unselfish and just,
and aim to place our
nation among the few pro-
gressive nations of the

JiC Sealy


For the better type of book

The reader will find a number of chapters which aim to
introduce him to the basic principles of Indian, Arabic,
Oriental and African music both as subjects of great interest
in their right and as interesting comparative studies, helping
to illiminate his understanding of his own tradition. Then
the early centuries of that tradition itself are given extended
treatment. What the reader will not find here are learned
speculations on the nature of ancient Greek or Assyrian
music-as far as possible this history is concerned with f ving

This book is packed with facts and figures about the
stars who become world-famous and the record which
sold a million (or more) copies. From Caruso to Bob
Dylan, Grosby to Presley, Paul Whiteman and his
Orchestra to Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones, Al
Jolson to the Beatles, Ella Fitzgerail. o Barbra Streisand,
it sets out in Chronological order the story of every
best selling discs with biographies of the stars, the
group, details of the films and shows which achieved the
ultimate accolade.





AS THE onrushing floodtide swirled about the
beleaguered handful of Tapia souls last Monday,
neither did the Tapia House fall down nor did
the spirits of the people there crumble.
"Your victory," Jamaica's Foreign Minister
Dudley Thompson cabled the PNM leader next
morning, "confirms my belief in the judgment
of the people of Trinidad and Tobago."
The people of this country know what's
best for themselves: that was the view from as

far away as Jamaica.
And in so -far as the
General Elections last
Monday and the campaign
before elicited the will of
the people, we have to
conclude that. the people
probably do know what's
best for themselves.
"This is PNM country,"
sang one observer on elec-
tion night.


Press time indications
are that some 200,000
electors did not vote at
all. Such, too, is the in-
heritance of 20 years of
party politics in this land,
which has been dominated
by the People's National
Movement asserting its
commitment to political
The election results,
however, confirm a lack of
disapproval with the state
of things, that amounted
to a decisive endorsement
of the ruling party's bid
for another five years of
Things never actually
remain the same: they
either get better or they
get worse.
Power is more central-
ised than ever before. The
device of the undated
letters of resignation from
the House of Representa-
tives is due to be replaced
by a constitutional provi-
sion aimed at guaranteeing
the unity of the parties
represented there.
Despite all that seems
to suggest about concern
for the solidarity of the
party system, the Repub-
lican Constitution as it
now stands still empowers
the Prime Minister to draw
his entire Cabinet from
his own appointees to the
Senate,from people who
-may not even be members

-of his party at all.
Those who labour
whether in oil, sugar or
the Special Works are
no nearer to getting a
hold on the reins than
they ever were. The Oppo-
sition in the House may
be able to put turnpentine
in the Government's tail,
but will the' tail wag the
Still, some of the
earliest commentary on
the election results reflects
the fervent hope that the
existence now of an
Opposition in the Parlia-
ment would lead to a
rejuvenated political sys-
tem and a restoration of
faith in its viability.
The lingering attach-
ment to this view suggests
that many people's belief
in spirited opposition in
the House as both the
'prescription I'or and the
sign of political health.
remains unshaken by what
has gone on in the last 20
"In the years immedi-
ately following the forln1i-
tion of a PNM Govcrnintni
in 1956 Parliament \\ais a
vigorous and lively institu-
tion," wrote the Woodinig
Commissioners. They con-
tinueCl: "-veryone wanlteC
to see' how it would work
and most people were
anxious that it should. 11t
did. But it did not lake
long before interest uegatn
to wane."
Why? The Woodlin-g
Report cited such actors
as the inappropriate taic-
tics employed by the then
Opposition I)LP: leadership
rivalries and disputes witlh-
in that party ;and the fact
that the PNM Government
more and more set its face

Queen's Park Savannah, Sunday, August 12
Photos: Gatiy Woo Chong

against entcrttaininig ques-
tions from opposition
members and Pivate Bills.

Then there has been their
marked tendency oft the
Government to use its
majority to rush 1Bills
through the Hlouse' and
the Senate, a procedure
which has had the elTect
ol' reducing the staitunl olf
the legislature to tlhi olf
a rubber stamp 1'r the
enCdorseientC o0f executive
Well, tile, l.\ccLtive is
now, if anything, stronger.
T'lie undated let ers assureL
automatic 24 votes f'or
any Governlment measure.


Will the JLi [ opposition
he able to do better lhani
the DLP which it replaceil
in thlie 1076 elections? Is
there anything superior
about Ithe wiay it pitrciprlc
itself loir olf ice
If aill thie U I.(" did \u.i-
tc inheril :li n 1mii a ]iil ii ici
conse iluency oI iltace a inL
to adopt t lIe irLiaditionl( iI
p(dlitic ll method olI huild-
ing' roundlL i li'new octol"
le iler, I en thl e is lil I e
hope hIlil we'll achieved lh
l( ngei d lor sl ;ilitii y ;ni (
"'h illlth" of our politicAl
'\re V \\'"e V lh I l k W lo
Square i lOne?'.
I l n t sa \. h 'i rl:i i
tIh e' oi.' niiiis conlinill s. Ai id
thliL' new pulilics'?' 'I it
c'an'l slop do si; 'llm.s. It
Irem aiills ;s ;L i iniccti iol into
the bloodstireami ol Trini-
d(id and Tobahgo, 'Cpre--
senlIted by a resilient
minority nowv bhcset by
virulent ;nlti-hodJics.
"Thle fact is," w1ot1c


airl Lovelace un forget-
tably, late in 1970 in
answer to Naipaul's essay
Power, "neither has the
i ioin i yt come about
in our society nor is the
excitement over. The work
remains to be done."
Work. 1lardMwuk and
sacrifice for what we
eliieved: that is the record
which can't be taken away
Iromil Tapia. Ioa it we went
with what we had and
still have and our best
was found to be not good

I am satisfied that our
cLSse was put, however
deficiently, however lack-
ing in savvy. and it was
Found wanting.
"Tapia has a major
selling job to do," I am
earnestly advised by a
publishing executive, an
aIcklnowledged talent in
marketing, in the Savan-
ntah last Sunday.V
l e can't help but be
impressed by what Tapia
hIas to say," hle continues,
" ihul it's not getting.
:i C0o s."
I ic is one of thle far-
spreCilding crowd assemCbledC
Ihi lt bI elutil'ul afternoon
blcl'orie lthe Q(ueeIC's Park
Hotel, iuapia's constituent
issembliy ul T~iinl people,
., it itrnel oult. A Ouster's
;:isl S lin l -I'or s, yl e l i
I Is lc'.
(' lithorns tllooted inl
. p'*t tsi;, ;ls dmrki iess fell
ii;.d sp ;lkecr ill'ter speaker
c'mi over :s illthe election
hlid gone ailrenlly. "Win.
inse or dLiriw"; "Tapii is
lihe nimovemienlit )l ttomior-
Iow\". "lihc work starts on
I' iesday mn ning": "'our
campaign is 1nolt t i n cnd"
"we have ilet derision for
vbcking something that is

sane, solid and sensible,
hate and scorn every-
Unbelievable. Twelve
hours or less before polling
was to begin, Tapia speak-
ers were pitching still at
longei-term goals, at
abstract notions like the
realization of a "vision",
a "new world".
A new government, the
possible outcome of the
next day's exercises, was,
if at all it was to be
realized, but a step in that


But nobody ever forgot
the "if". Maybe it was in
the understanding that
such triumph as was at all
attainable in the short run
had already been won. That
crowd, the vastest Tapia
Assembly ever, was the
triumph, what it had all
added up to the subtotal
for this stage of the
"I don't feel any sense
of disappointment or
defeat at all," said Angela
Cropper in the wee hours
of Tuesday when it had all
been said and done, and
the Tapia House was the
setting for rare drama.
And later in the week as
the defeated candidates
reported to the Tapia
House, there was incredible
enthusiasm for getting-
ahead with the work at
Was it poise, or was it
purpose? How traumatic
would it all prove to be to
the young people who
pledged so much to enter-
prises of hardwuk and
building from the earth?


And then what of the
demonstration effect on
the wider Tapia constitu-
ency that still remains, of
this reputation of idealism
and rationality.
The Tapia analysis is
not one they- have been
fed like dogma. In so far
as it came across like
received doctrine to the
hard core, it was largely
an elaboration and integra-
tion of partial insights
that people, not only
intellectuals at the UWI,
arrived at on their own.
It is undeniable now
that not enough people
came to appreciate the
situation we perceived a'nd
described as a perilous one.
so L'ir from moving ur-
gently to organise them-
selves to deal with it.
The future seems to
start with the necessary
reckoning of the meaning
of the support and the
votes we received and
didn't receive.
In both cases, what will
provide the im.'filse for
the fresh iniiitlit e is a
careful estimate not so
much eol \h;atl \\'we got from
the countryiv or didn't get
but of the thought behind