Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072147/00272
 Material Information
Title: Tapia
Physical Description: no. : illus. ; 43 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: Tapia House Pub. Co.
Place of Publication: Tunapuna
Publication Date: Sunday, January 02, 1977
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
sobekcm - UF00072147_00272
System ID: UF00072147:00272

Full Text

Vol./. No. 1 SUNDAYiANUARY 2, 1977
i;rs. Andrea Talbutt, ,
-esearch Institute for -
Study of Man. (
162, East 78th Street, ^.
New York, N,Y. 10021,
Ph. Lehigh 5 8448,
U.S .A.I



THE New Year is
not a new beginning;
it is only a conveni-
ent human marker
on the indifferent
face of time.
Yet it is custom'
ary at this time to
peer into the dis-
tance knowing how
limited are the
options, and pain-

fully aware that the
future is largely
shaped by the hap-
penings of the past.
Still, Tapia looks
to the future with
hope. Fortunately,
there is always the
unforeseen, deve-
lopment or the un-
perceived histori-

cal factor, invariably
cause for surprise.
We are not
daunted, like those
who talk blandly
about the innimi-
ability of human
nature, or like those
who concede to
whoever happens to
be in office, the

magic of knowingg
Trinidadians and To-
We take this
opportunity t o
speculate about the
year 1977.. In fact,
we should like to
gaze a bit more
deeply into our crys-
tal ball in the hope

of discerning if we
might, the shape of
things to come for
the difficult years
We retain the
faith that we, the
people of Trinidad
and Tobago, like all
other people, have
it within us to rise

above the restraints
of the past and to
make history for
ourselves and for
the. succeeding gene-

Now turn to page'
2 and read-- The
Perils and the Possi-
bilities of 1977.

THE President of'the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, to
no one's surprise, is Ellis Clarke, On January 28, 1977 he
will be duly installed.
But the President was nominated by government
members alone. And when the Electoral College met on
Wednesday to confirm Clarke as President, only govern-

ment members were present.
Some are claiming that this
has cast a shadow on the Presi-
dent and more thn that, has
undermined two party dem-
ocracy in Trinidad -and
Everyone expected the ULF
parliamentarians to be absent at
Wednesday's sitting, because
since mieir clash with the
Speaker, they have stated that
they will boycott Parliament.
what was unexpected was
the fact that neither the ULF
Senators nor me two DAC
-members of the House of
Representatives attended.
The Opposition Leader has
stated that, although the ULF
supported Ellis Clarke for Presi-
dent, they did not wish to be a
part of the Electoral College.
This, presumably, is the reason
why they did not also nominate
Ellis Clarke.
But the position of the ULF
Senators and the DAC house
members remains unclear.
How is their boycott to be
Could it be that the ULF
Senators are pursuing tlheparty
line of non-participation in the
Electoral College?
Could it be that the Sena-
tors have now decided to boy-
cott Parliament in sympathy
with their colleagues in me
Lower House.
Or is it that the ULF as a
whole have decided that they
will not sit in any House pre-
sided over by the Speaker who
also presides over the Electoral
The position of the DAC is
morelcurious still.
Are Robinson and Murray
itoo boycotting the Electoral

Owen Tvompton
3ls~r^^Bkt SU \

House Back-backs

Or has there been some
collaboration over strategy
between DAC and ULF?
The prospect of collabora-
tion between the DAC and
the ULF is not far fetched.
WeekeLs and Robinr: hav
been known to be c k`Only
a .few months ago, the DAC
and the ULF were trying for
an alliance to contest the elec-
In the recent Budget Debate
it was ANR Robinson who led
the attack for the entire
Barring comment by the
DAC or the ULF, the next
Sitting of the House of Repre-


As Theatre
ON January 13, Derek
Walcot's 'revised version
of The Charlatan opens at
The Little Carib Theatre.
The play is a calypso
comedy with music by
Galt McDermot and lyrics
by Walcott.
Next week, in the Tapia
Edition of January 9, 1977,
we present Calypso As Theatre,
a piece by Derek Walcott. The
article, the author writes,
"comprises notes on the
calypso as musical drama, and
the text of two calypsoes
from The Charlatan."

QRC Schoolboy Owen
Thompson took time off
during the Xmas holidays
to speculate on the coming
Test Matches.
This week Tapia carries
his survey on the back

sentatives and of the Senate
should provide some clues as
to how the ULF Sen tors and
the DAC member. fit into the
strategy of the official opposi-
This is not the first time
that 'Patiament has been uindea
strain. The first session of the
1961-66 term was boycotted
by the DLP opposition as a
mark of ,protest against the
election results. The voting
machines according to Rudra-
nath Capildeo were rigged.
During the 1966-71 term
the opposition DLP remained
largely silent. After the 1971
election boycott by the major
opposition parties, the Govern-
ment occupied all seats.
Now in 1976, just three
months after the September
Elections, the major Parliamen-
tary Opposition have walked
out of the House; and last
Wednesday, all 18 members of

the opposition, elected and
appointed have e-b -the
Electoral College brought into
being by the 1976 Constitu-
Since 1971 and Up to 1976
the DAC have been saying that
elections would solve the
national crisis. The slogan was
a boisterous "Elections Now".
The ULF too, never showed
any interest in the constitution
issue until February gone.
when the 1976 constitution
was on the verge of being
rushed through the Senate.
loday it is ironic that self-
government for Tobago has
been the first issue raised by
Robinson in Parliament; that it
was the issue of the role of the

media which got Nizam Moham-:
mtted tinr'iible ttr-th&r
speaker; that the role of the
speaker, his supposed imparti-
ality in parliament, is being
questioned by the ULF; and
that both the DAC and the
ULF, it seems, do not agree
with the method of election
of the President of the Republic.
The official opposition may
not know it, but the Constitu-
tion crisis is deepening as the
new Republic enters the New

New Tapiar

THIS week's Edition
marks the beginning of
Volume 7 of Tapia. We
came into existence on
September 28, 1969 as an
occasional. Later we passed
to being a monthly and
Then fortnightly. Finally,
Tapia became a weekly on
November 5, 1972.
WE celebrate the mile-
stone of a New Year and a
new Edition with a Literary
- Supplement beginning on
Page 3. The Supplement
contains only original crea-
LAST week Tapia sur-
veyed international deve--
lopments in 1976. Next
week we will conclude a
series of three with a
similar survey of the
Caribbean region.
THIS week we carry a
wide-ranging search into
the potentials of Trinidad
and Tobago in 1977. a
projection of our assess-
mcrts of 1976.
THE price of the I er
is 45 cents as from l'st

To 1966


THE challenge of the year ahead,
and for many years to come, is
the continuing challenge of inde-
pendence to create out of our
diverse peoples and cultures and
out of the varied endowments of
the land, a nation founded on the
principles of equality, freedom
and personal responsibility, and
the institutions appropriate to
such a nation. While the coming
year will sorely test our will and
our ability to do so, it will also
present us with new and unrival-
Sled opportunities for creative
THE creaking colonial econ-
omy will be put under further
strain .by a continuing and more
rapid escalation of prices. The
excess liquidity in our packets
will continued tempt merchants
to increase their trading mark-
ups. Large-scale construction pro-
jects outlined by the government,
if and when they get going, will
increase money in circulation and
put further pressure on already
inadequate domestic productive


THE government will continue
to dip into its surplus balances in
order to make short-term adjustments
to the many vociferous sectional
demands. The demand forimports
will continue to rise to supplement
domestic produce. Speculation in real
estate will continue, driving up the
cost of housing. Food prices will rise,
as will the prices of clothing, trans-
portation, school books, drugs and
medical care. How will the beleaguered
consumer react to these intensifying
inflationary pressures? ___
: ALREADY the unions are jarring
up for a round of major wage negotia-
tions in 1977. The PSA has announced
that it will be bargaining for wage
increases of up to 80%. Public servants
set the pace for large sections of com-
mercial and industrial workers. Realign-
ment of public sector wages will invite
from other quarters of organized
labour pressures for the maintenance
of the conventional partieses. The
slogan of organized labour this coming
year may well be: "Money is no pro-
blem"; And then we will count the
cost of yesterday's indiscretion.
BUT money could begin to
become a problem. The bubble of the
past few years may begin to subside.
Already -the brief boom in sugar has
collapsed. And now, with the refusal
of Saudi Arabia to go along with the
majority of OPEC members on the
question of a price increase for oil, the
solidarity of the producers on which
the boom years in petroleum were
based may be irretrievably under-


GOOD prices for producers may
continue for a while. But dramatic
increases are unlikely, and we may
even anticipate, a decline, in the not
too distant future. If and when that
time comes, what would have been
Trinidad and Tobago's permanent
gain from the bonanza years?
THE government failed to antici-
pate the so-called energy crisis. And
when prices began to rise they were
maddeningly slow in reacting. Oil was
to be their "defensive shield". Conser-
vative to the point -f being reaction-
ary, the government has failed to use
the revenue of the boom years to take
control of the significant productive
areas of the petroleum industry. In
fact, they have failed to achieve even
the full potential in revenue from the
- industry, based on international tax-
ation standards.
OF what revenue has been col-
lected, the greater part either has been

The Opposition
in Parliament
longs for

1977: Perils And

S -

squandered in mushrooming recurrent
expenditures, or stashed away in
foreign banks, to earn rates of interest
that fall below the rate of inflation.
Revenue has jumped from $398m
in 1972 to $1937m. in 1976 with an
estimate of $2313 for 1977. Recurrent
expenditure .has lagged somewhat,
jumping from $401m. in 1972 to
$952m. in 1976 with an estimate of
$1,025m. for 1977. The surplus has
gone largely to the celebrated Special
Funds. Unabsorbed by workable pro-
jects, these Funds are out of necessity
held in our foreign balances which
have.jumped from $93m. at the end
of 1973 to over $2200m. at present.
Meanwhile the Government has
acquired ominous bad ways, repeatedly
overshooting budgeted expenditure by
a long, long chalk. In 1976, while
planned recurrent income fell short by
$84m.; planned expenditure on overall
account overshot the budget by
$82m. just about 1/3 of the increase of
1976 revenue over the figure for 1975.
Thus the main response to the oil
bonanza has been to
spend like you mad,
this is Trinidad....
OTHERWISE, it has mainly been
talk, and plenty of that, about infras-
tructural projects or large-scale, energy-
based and energy-using industries, or a
Caribbean Food Plan. By 1976 the
total bill for industrial projects was
estimated at $7,223m. The supporting
infrastructural projects had a total cost
of $640m.

OF action on these projects
there has been painfully little. Already
the iron and steel and the aluminium
projects have been scaled down; and

Possib ilities

according to the 1977 Budget, the
AMOCO scheme is now in jeopardy,
owing to Soviet intervention in the
raw material market. And we have
beerr-told that the infrastructural pro-
jects have been the victims of inevit-
able delays and unpredictable short-
ages, as well as intractable labour pro-
Meanwhile, output in the non-
petroleum sectors continues to decline,
prices to rise, and unemployment
remains at a chronically high level, now
officially tagged at 15% of the working
age population. If the cushion of high
oil prices is removed, how are we
going to take the fall?
How, when increasingly the only
jobs are Govemmer s2 We have
made absolutely -ndo through in
low technology industry and agricul-
ture; we have failed entirely to emanci-
pate the sports and the arts; and we
are only now beginning to reorganise
schooling and education. If the people
could not be bribed by Special Works
and wanton spending, unemployment
would immediately assume revolu-
tionary dimensions. -
THIS comprehensive failure of
the government to convert the favour-
able conditions of the past few years
into the foundation of long-term
prosperity in Trinidad and Tobago
means that, for all the oil we have, we
are little better off than our struggling
Caricom partners. And we may be
worse off than they, insofar as they
have- had at least to face up_ to the

grim consequences of maintaining the
inherited colonial economy.
HAVING equally failed to use
our strong position to assume the
leadership of a movement towards an
integrated and self-reliant Caribbean
economy, we may find ourselves, when
the bubble bursts, thrown ignomin-
ously onto the heap of impoverished
Caribbean mini-states, rooting com-
petitively for scraps -of international
THE leader of the ruling party
is fond of seeking the sources of our
:manifold woes on the international
stage. Whether it is prices, drug addic-
tion, the spirit of revolt or what have
you, Trinidad. and Tobago is merely
.the passive taker of international
IF it comes to pass that we need
to seek international relief, we are not
likely to find the richer, industrialized
nations forthcoming with help. The
virtual collapse of. the much-touted
North-South dialogue is evidence of
the growing introversion of the North
Atlantic countries, as, racked by the
twin evils of-high inflation and high
unemployment, they seek in vain to
apply the nostrums of old.
THE great fear is that the reces-
sion, which only temporarily abated
in 1976, will progressively deepen
into conditions as depressed as those
of the 1930's. What is the likely
impact of such international develop-
ments on Trinidad and Tobago and
0 Cont'd on Page 9

Cor. Independence Squ. & Henry St. 62-35585


Agents f r-

Manufacturers Representatives
Anid eral nsuransu nce Agents
No.5 Concessiot, Rd. Sea Lots
Phone: 62-37813


* Fertilizer Plant
* Iron and Steel Complex
* Polyester Fibre Complex
* Furfural Plant
* Fertilizer joint-venture with
* Natural gas pipeline
* Upgrading and expansion of
Trintoc refinery
* Olefins/Aromatics petrochemi-
cal complex
* Aluminium smelter
* LN.G.
* Petrochemical joint-venture
with Texaco.
* Caroni-Arena and designs of
North Oropouche water deve-
* Power station at Point Lisas
* Point Lisas Estate and Port
* Cement expansion

:r;; ~-1? ,.,


New Year


"BET on The Wrag then," the
short one (Rupert to you) was
saying.. "Bet on anything." He
got up from the depopulated
bank halfway along the back-
stretch and looked around hin
vaguely. Then, either because
there was nothing to see or
because the physical act had
absorbed its emotional impera-
tive, he promptly sat down
again. "Bet on The Wiag then,"
he muttered.
The taller boy-henceforth Johna-
than drew inward his brows, per-
haps to deflect the other's words (since
verbal anger finds its mark, like a
sharpshooter's bullet, right between
the eyes) but he did not otherwise
respond. Instead, he plucked a spear
of grass from the vicinity of his hip
and tore it carefully lengthwise.along
the spine before losing interest and
letting the halves drop. They lay where
they fell. Rupert tried again.
"Look," he said exasperatedly,
"Stargazer never lose yet. Nine outa
nine he beat them."
"Nine outa nine!" he repeated,
one clawed and lifted hand alerting
the sombre heavens to bear witness.
"But now" sotto voce, slant-eyed -
"suddenly you say he cyar win."
"I never say he cyar win. I say
I don't think he could win."
Rupert looked uncertain. Then:
"Words", he decided bitterly, "Just
words." He squinted up at the sky and
the other boy might be excused for
thinking he was about to comment on


The loneliness of Van Gogh.
The humbleness of Van Gogh.
The terror of Van Gogh.

He looks into a mirror,
and begins to paint himself.

He discovers nobody there
but Vincent Van Gogh.
This is not enough.

He cuts 9ff an ear.
He looks into a mirror:
there is Vincent Van Gogh
with a bandaged ear.

It resembles his portrait,
he is attempting to remain,
first, he must disappear,

he will arrive by reductions
beyond any more terror
by a lonely process

when the mirror will proffer
neither fame nor pain,
neither no nor yes

or maybe, or once, or
no. Nobody there,
not Vincent Van Gogh,

humble, frightened ahd lonely,
a fiction. An essence.

Bring On The

the weather, but sad Rupert only
crossed his elbows between his thighs
and, jack-knifing slowly, forward,
applied his shining forehead to his

OUT of sight of the track, discrete
but near, like a parent and, like a
parent, never wholly to be ignored -
lies the Allotment: a rhomboid of
ruined pastureland across whose
weedy surface generations of beeline
walkers have impressed a pattern of
dirt tracks like spokes. Mysteriously,
it has escaped development, and the
mystery is heightened by the fact that
it has never been far from the minds of
an alert populace, members of whom
have periodically written in to the
press suggesting how it should be put
to use. Concerned Patriach ("an en-
during eyesore") invited the Govern-
ment to remember the tourists;
Pedagogue begged leave to postulate
for it a regional conference centre;

Extract from

and Housewife suggested, timi
park, "with statues and fountain
trees." NASP demanded a n
stadium, Comrades in Christ, a s
Committees rose up, recomm
and subsided. There was even a
by an old and much read poet
began "Thou alone, O desert
Shalt the sands of Time deride
for which the opening rhymes
"gnaw:' and "pride". The Chaml
Commerce ("a gross waste of reso
asked the Government for a stat
of intent; whereupon the Childi
Africa warned the people's Gc
ment not to let the Chamberof
merce get its here followed a t
ising trickle of dote, the handiwi
doubt of a prudent but scrup
editor hands on it. When wort

a long short story

dly, a
ns and by Wayne Brown
shrine. spread that an American hotelier, one
ended, Ludendorf (a shady character), had
in ode approached the. Government to buy
which it everyone wrote at once, and the
hoar/ ode-writer, swept off his metrical steed
", and by the reverberations of the fray,
were added a scalding cascade of vers libre.
ber of But nothing was ever actually done.
urces") Beneath the crossfire of recommenda-
ement tion and report the Allotment, dourly
ren of oblivious, remained what by default it
overn- had long become:'a playground for the
Cor- children of the poor.
tantal- But today it was a car park for
ork no the race meeting, and when, a couple
)ulous hours ago, our young friends walked
d once past it on their way to the track it had
.. already been filled. "Boy", quipped
lanky Johnathan (a compulsive quipper),
"Look at the desert whore today!"
"More like a tank factory tof-me,
retorted stubby Rupert. And in truth _
there was a sinister air about the cars -
as though, standing shoulder to
shoulder, rank on rank, they concealed
a collective and malignant will of their
own, the more potent for their having
been left unattended. (Some of their
windshields blazed in the sun).

IN the 'distance now a loudspeaker
said something which ended in a
brief scream, and Johnathan, looking
up from the bank, saWthat the betting
booths had set up a mild magnetic
field and were drawing people gently
towards them from all along the
homestretch rail. The betting booths
were low green-painted structures built
predominantly of corrugated zinc.
They had been created a month ago,
they would be abolished in a month's
time, but now they squatted,-tremul-
ous in the afternoon heat, looking
passably like a pair of poorly camou-
flaged pillboxes (grim Rupert's remark)
facing the stands with the winning
post showing between them. Johnathan
eased his binoculars from their case and
focused them to the offside of the
betting booths where the parade ring
would be and, yes, was. There was .
nothing happening there and he
lowered the glasses, telling himself
that there was still plenty of time. He
Cont'd on Page 4


Derek Walcott



four roads 112, henry st. 42, easterrr mn. rd. cross crossing

I -k___ll



0 From Page 3

reversed the binoculars extracting
process (left cap, right cap, fold the
wings, slide, change hands, buckle the
case), and having deposited that
precious possession tenderly flat on
the grass, glanced warily at his com-
Rupert sat with his back to the
stands, glaring at the inocuous moun-
tains. It was hotter now that the sun
had gone in and the mountains, blue
and vague, gave off a directionless
haze. Above them the sky was high
and silvery, like the light which
announces the sea. Looking at it hurt
the eyes. Johnathan, returning his gaze
to his friend's immobile face, with its
stubbled beard and slightly bulging
eyes, thought: The boy could be a
statue, or dead. "Boy.," he attempted,
"you sitting there like a statue.
Wapnin' Einstein?"
The statue of Einstein blinked.
"I just want to know", it said gloomily,
"how you could be so mulish. Every
tipster in town say Stargazer but you
there with The kiss-me-ass Wrag. Ijust
don't understand you."
Arguments like this one, when
indulged in by the young, are apt to
ramble on into the dusk, since the
young are both more adamant and
more generous than us, their brittle-
spirited elders. What follows is there-
fore a ruthlessly telescoped version of
their ensuing conversation.
Stargazer, like most local horses,
had been bred to sprint (Johnathan),
though he'd won a mile race (Rupert).
That had been a slowly run mile (J)
and' Stargazer had been pushed to win
it (J), but these were both big lies (R).
The race today was two furlongs
--longer (J), which hadn't seemed to
worry the tipsters (R), who were
being sentimental (J) like everyone
else (J) though "everyone" obviously
did not include him, J, (R. scathingly).
A man had to know what he knew (J)
and a-,man had to know what he felt
(R)'though feelings couldn't change
facts (J) and J knew everything, right?
"Awright!" declared violently
irritated Johnathan, "Tell. me this.
When last, WHEN LAST, a creole win
the Governor's Cup?"
'Governor-General Cup," cor-
rected Rupert acidly. "Try to remem-
ber, the name change."
"Same rac, muttered Johna-
"Well," said Rupert bitterly, "I
glad you say it.' Hugging his knees he
had begun to rock back arid forth.
"Say what?"
"What you just say. That a local
horse could never beat a English horse.
That a English horse mus' always beat a
local horse. I glad you put it like that.
At leas' now we know where you
A petrified instant fled by before
Johnathan understood. "We?" he
demanded threateningly. "Who 'we'?"
"We, the people of this coun-
A mirror-multiplication of Petri-
fied Instances marched stiffly out of
sight. Johnathan stared at Rupert.




In 1932

"Look, you!" he yelled sud-
denly, "Just go to hell, you hear?"
Rupert stiffened but did not
reply. Abruptly he got up, dusting his
trousers, and set off in the direction of
the betting booths.
"Where you going?" called
Johnathan. (Poor Johnathand!)
Johnathan sat and watched until
the other boy, grown anonymously
small, disappeared into the crowd
around the betting booths. Then he got
up, shouldered the binoculars, stuck
his hands into his pockets, and set off
miserably in that direction himself.

NOW Johnathan loved racing. It was a
true love, in that it lifted him out of
himself, and it might have saved him
(indeed, may yet have done so, for
who is to say that in some simultaneous,
purified universe all essences, not,
like ours, hopelessly mired in dross -
some negative of that melancholic boy
does not sit in eternal, self-forgetting
animation at the right hand of the
Track Steward?)' Many mornings rising
early, he would cycle up to the track
to watch the horses exercise before
getting back on his bicycle to pedal.
the rest of the way to school. In this
way he had learnt many things. He
knew the tipsters by their first names
now, and the man who rode the snow-

cone cart across the park on his way
into the city, appearing promptly every
weekday morning at 6.50 around the
edge of the foothills. He-had come to
look forward to watching the moun-
tains change, altering from black to
grey, from grey to blue, from blue to
green and black as the sun climbed; to
look forward to the smell and creak of
leather, and the stable boys' cries,
which carried emptily, without reson-
ance, across the early-morning fields;
and to hearing the horses' hooves thud
when it was dry and plash when it had
rained. He could re-create at will now
the scent of wet grass, the great
beams of light which the sun threw
across the sky, like the headlamps of a
conquering army, in the minutes
before it cleared the mountain, and
its sudden warmth on his face when it
did. You could tell the time, he knew,
by the way in which the:.cars trickled,
and then poured, into sight around
the bend from which, earlier, the
snow-cone man had come; and if the
Indian coconut vendor had done well
the night before you knew by the
amount of chippings swept' beneath
the bench near the spot where he
parked his cart each evening. Kaiser,
the tipster, had a habit of enthusing
when a horse he was sure would not
win put in a good gallop, as such
horses sometimes did and of falling
furtively silent whenever one went by
whom he did think would do well; so
you knew that too, and you watched
him, and hoped besides that one day


When I think of the unwritten books I will not read,,
of the slow faces evolving
from the fading ones,
of the great movie some child
"admonishing a doll,
will haupt in fifty years,
of who, after his blasphemous prayers
will at last grow deservedly rich,
when I thinkof how, with every hair grey
your wild eyes wrinkled,
your lean body eternally erect,
your fine skin a brittle linen
that my dirty hands cannot touch,
I am irritable and suck my teeth at death.

I don't wish to see my own face anymore,
my death-mask, its humble arrogance
in impossible bronze,
what infuriates me with its stubborness,
its blindness, its dumbness, its deafness,
its ignorance,
is a posture determined never again to see,
to argue, to listen.

This is not about missing the rain,
or the habitual novelty of light,
or the huge clouds
that can cover the world
but do not survive a gnat;
but it is about the unwritten books in front me,
the written books behind me,
the gossip in the evening editions,
surprises, banalities, delights.

I would like to bite the first apple
and hand it to my grand-daughter,
sure, I would like to swim my first river again,
and say, 'Is that the sea?',
I would like also to tell the dead what is going on,
the banalities, the delights,
and you, who may read this after me
know that this is a compliment to the life around you,
the pain around you, your losses, your loves,
but I cannot speak for the dead,
I am not yet in that position,
as I once thought my mother was eternal
I cannot speik for the dead.

Der/ek Walcott

The Trumpeters

you would know as much about race-,
horses as was contained: behind that
bucolic expression, with its ,slack
mouth and chronically bleary. eyes.
Likewise, you watched the trainers:
Tall, black, austere Tom Charles, and
the others, like red-faced, foul-mouthed
DeVere and his polar opposite,*Chin.
Yen; or you tried to edge near enough
to overhear what little,, quick-talk-
.ing Boodoo had to say to his trainer
when he came back on Morgan's Folly
from a mile run; which began cun-
ningly at the four-furlong post and
ended abruptly in the backstreteh,
leaving you with your stopwatch
ticking foolishly on; and, in between
all this, you watched the girls. You
watched with frank interest the
daughters of the' owners, standing
around in jeans and boys' shirts and
chatting, like girls who are not being
watched; and you watched, with 16-
year-old shyness, the wives: handsome,
mature, brown-skinned women for
whom a husband seemed always at
hand when needed for something,
such as to explain the significance of a
gallop,br help with the adjusting of a
shooting stick, or confirm what their
stopwatches said.
But mostly you watched the
horses: stocky, barrel-chested bays
that swished their tails and bowed and
seemed to feel the ground often with
their forehooves, until released into a
gallop; long-legged chestnuts, matt or
gloss, cantering Jike dogs with their
heads down; long-striding, mottle-silk-
coated greys; the occasional high-
stepping black-month in, month out
you watched them, learning their
habits and matching proportions with
-names until you could tell a horse at a
distance, and which had acquired or
shed bandages since when, who had the
leg up on whom in whose place, and
which would go left better than right.
Then, in your first free period at
school, you wrote it all down in a red-
covered notebook, shielding what you
wrote with your left hand and glancing
up ofteh at the'presiding priest; and in
the evening, sitting in the lounge with
the TV on, or in the pencil-biting
silence of your sister's room, you tried
to work out what it all meant.

THEY sat on the bank shelling and
eating the peanuts; Rupert ate with
concentration, decanting the shelled
nuts into one hand and raising his
cupped palm to his lips as if to drink.
After several minutes: "Hey, guess
what?" he said.
Johnathan tossed a nut into the
air and moved his face about under it
so that it fell into his mouth. "What?"
"Hosang find a next way to
get rich."
Hosang was a boy at school thty
"He invent a non-sticky icetray."
Johnathan snorted. "You tell
him about the new fridgedaire from
'America with the automatic ice-maker
"Is that what I tell him. Exactly!
I say, "Hosang, lemme ask you some-
thing. It already have fridge with auto-
matic icemaker attach. You ever think
of that?" (I know because I see one
already. Johnson father have one in the
den )"
"I seen it, is a damn good den.
So, what he say?"
Rupert shrugged. "What he could
say? I catch him there!"
"Hosang is a ass."
"Boy, you could say that again."
There was a short silence.
Johnathan squinted up at the I
skyline, where now clouds lay heavily
piled. It was getting very dark.
"One hell of a rain coming," he
SContd on Page




EDWARD Brathwaite's latest
book of poems, Other Exiles
(52pp. OUP 1975), carries as
cover illustration a detail of the
never completed nineteenth
century church of La Sagrada
Familia in Barcelona an extra-
vagance very likely seen by the
colonial poeton his European
tour of the 1950's. The "horned
and crawling church" with its
"twisting unicorn and spider
patterns' appears to have
inspired 'Judas of Barcelona', a
poem which was first published
in Bim 29, 1959 and which is
carefully placed in the middle of
the present collection.
According to the-poem, a
carver of "great giddying cathedral
stones", the exuberant creator of
what the poet describes as a
tropical Christ (thorns and
wounds "as glorious flamingo
flowers") had aroused the bitter
envy of his brother:

the architect had loved this holy
image, only his watchful brother
knew how much; who irrevocable

afternoons ago, had pushed the
builder from the scaffolding, so
that he fell down the facade

hundred fee to that quick crack-
ing blow; his jealousy had urged
and had tormented his pride so.
and now he was the city banker


Not a doudin sight:
day calm and bright:
cliche tranquillity.

Out of the blue she floated in,
a memory,
playing her enigmatic grin

(whose legend reads "At last, at last"
but is re-written fast
as you move in)

nostalgic, but embarrassing.
I mumbled"Hi" and moved away.

A ghost I'l never lay.

Mervyn Morris


The razor-wielding badjohn
himself becomes all cutting edge:
heislices: pieces off the moon
till the moon is all cut up
he slices bits of song
till the song has bled to death
he slices chunks of shadow
till he runs out of shadows
and then he carves and carves
his two-timing lil black mamma
into halves.

Nicolas Gui/len


And now, every Friday evening, the
prosperous betrayer makes his way
through one of the archways in the
facade, past "the decayed littered
workyard" and thence desolately
to the crypt oelow, dropping thirty
pieces in the collection box and
"genuflecting anxiously" before the
surviving image of his murdered
brother's art.
In setting, subject matter, and in
its use of language this tale of jealousy,
betrayal, prosperity and guilt is very
different from the poems in Brathwaite's
previous collections Rights of Passage
(1967), Masks (1968) and Islands (1969),
recently re-printed in one volume as
The Arrivants (1973). It is true that
'Judas of Barcelona' can lend itself to
political and social moralising the
coloniser or middle-class brother
growing fat on the blood and toil of the
colomsed or the sufferers; but it is even
more possible to see that murdered
brother as a figure of the aspiring
Icarus, destined to fall; and to discern
in the legend of the poem a version of
the Cain-Abel myth.
If'Judas of Barcelona', which was
written in 1959, can sustain a number
of different readings, is not reducible
to a statement about the specific
situation of being West Indian, ex-
slave or African, it is not because the
poem is diffuse, precise or uncertain.
It is rather that the poet of 1959 was
not yet settled upon his theme of
cultural revival and revolution; the
character portraits and the stories
told around imaginary personages
in the several early poems found in
Other Exiles are more objective and
open to interpretation, and less likely
to be designed to carry one meaning
or message than their later counterparts
like 'Francina' and 'Tizzic' (from
Islands), or the emblematic 'Labourer'
(first published in 1970), and which is
one of the later poems to be found in
Other Exiles.
'Judas', 'Heretic', 'Machiavelli's
Mother' and 'The Doktor', a handful
of touring poems at the centre of
Other Exiles derive their impact not
so much from the journeying poet's
awareness of himself as an outsider
but from his finding behind the Euro-
pean facade he has been brought up
to admire from afar a desolation no
less chastening than that evoked in
the dark island poem'Ragged Point',
("cloud-carpet over the sea, light/
seeping through like a slow stain"/)
with whose forebodings the collection
begins. The violence and death tele-
graphed in 'Ragged Point' ("banged-
head against the walls", "burst brains",
"shot in the neck") return in 'Herectic'
where a glib lecturer mouths the themes
of the age:

rockets and wreakage, meteors
aind panic-stricken planes, sky
larks of parachutes picked out
by lights and stiller than the stars.

grey weather from the spreading
bombs, roses and wreaths, clouds,
funerals and broken jarrs., and all
hearts howling from the mosque
of death

One of the remarkable features
of Other Exiles is the way in which the
opposition between colony and metro-
polis, latterly "the central axis of all
his work" (according to the publisher's
blurb), is blurred and modified by a
more complex awareness in the poet:
image and theme in the early poems
reveal a common fate attending all
mortal affairs; and many of the
figures and themes in the poems set
in Europe transfer readily to our more
familiar island settings. In 'Machiavelli's
Mother', for example, the choir boy and
acolyte Antonio dreams of being an"
archangel and the scourge of the
wicked, only to fall as he grows oldgr
into the condition of slave or ex-slave:
but his voice broke, and he awoke
from sanctuary dreams to find himself
a porter at the'local railway station
toting the tourist bags for tips and
working overtime among the leaky
barrels and the sharp-edged boxes on
the sidings: heaving and hefting,
sweating and trolley-carting all of his
dreams away
There is an island familiarity, too,
about Antonio's mother, who lives
pathetically in a limbo zone, seemingly
blind to her grief and her son's declen-
sion, and finding comfort in a casket
containing white mice and the holy
paraphernalia of her visionary boy:

and while her son grew vulture-
eyed and vulgar, fall ith disease
and drink,-
this broken lady preserved his
cassock and his candles and his
holy book.
and though the pain she tried to
hide was more than she could
she kept her white mice warm
within the casket
and every time she peeped at
them, this mother smiled

We can begin to account,for this
larger humane awareness of what we
have in common with other peoples
- by noticing two impulses present in
Brathwaite's poetry from the very
beginning. The first, a social concern,
may be seen in rudimentary form in
'Shadow Suite' published in Bim 12,
1950 when' the poet was -twenty years

The palm trees wither on the
And the islands are without
light and scripture
The island isolated
Separated by the air-mail letter-
form or cable
Or the radio telephone.
The isolated islands.
Exchange only adventurous sea-
Antilles without tradition


The second impulse comes over in
'Shadow Suite' more as an influence
from T.S. Eliot than as something felt.
It helps to impose a mood on the
poem ("Twilight shadowed" and
"Wood-ants preying on the pews"),
and it is given statement thus:

Know that here you will see
Only what you have already seen
What you hear
Is only what you have already
For life isan eternal pattern
Woven only into different mottoes
At first these two elements simply co-
exist in Brathwaite's poems, and they
exist without intensity, merely as
postures. But as the poet develops,
each element begins to be presented-
and explored as something the poet
has experienced for himself; and they
seem to be being brought into some
kind of relation with each other. By the
time that 'Prelude' comes to be written
in Rights of Passage, there is a sensuous
response to the perishability of all
earthly things:
But square frames
crack, wood
rots, smooth mortar
too remains mortal,
trapped in its own salt,
its unstable foundations of water.
So grant, God
that this house wil stand
the four winds
the seasons'alterations
the explorations of the worm.

And in the prayer that succeeds this.
thereis an awareness of the part that
human beings can play in the destroy-
ing process ("thieves", "robbers",
"those that plot and poison"): also
present is a recognition of the co-
existence of opposites, allowing the
movement that begins with a request
for "warm fires good wives and
grateful children" to close thus, para-
doxically and apocalyptically:
Flame is our god. our last defincce.
our peril
Flame burns the village down.
Rights of Passage has remained for this
critic Brathwaite's best work because.
for one thing, it is the work in which
both elements in the poet's writing
inform and modify each other:
within a larger perspective which
includes the notion of Time's circular-
ity, the poet rhythmically pursues his
survey and analysis of the ftle of a
particular people disposed in specific
places at specific times. The choric
figure of Tom who has seen and
endured all thhe stl'erins of thle race
brings a necessary underlone of
contemplation. compassion. and irony
0 Continued on Page 6

Edward Brathwaite's

Other Poetry

by Ken Ramchand


She's withering
before our eyes

and no one

we do

the hopeful

each day
we bring

fresh fruit
we prattle

and we pray
for hours

Her room
is heavy

with the scent
of flowers

Mervyn Morris


0 From Page 5

to the brash and bristling surface of
the poems.
In the urgent poems of Islands,
in contrast, these complications
disappear. An immersion in African
and New World histories seems to
have led to the establishment and
fixing of a more strictly historical
view of things; and that sense of
the sacred evoked in Masks (1968),
that had so sharpened our sense of
the profane, fallen condition
presented in Rights of Passage now
degenerates into a mystique based
upon cultural relics. With the
shifting of the balance between
season and eternity, the language in
Islands takes on a rhetorical precision,
the crafty appropriateness of writing
with palpable designs upon us.
Some of the poems in Other
Exiles contain the two impulses just
identified in Brathwaite's poetry,
without any attempts at resolution. In
the first three movements of 'Journeys',
the growing up of a boy is set in a
social context satirised by the poet as
clogged with aunts, mothers, teachers
and friends "content with sub-
committees;" people who believe in a
"a tie on Sundays and a well-brushed
blazer", and who are discovered serviley
taking off their hats "to the white
inspector's car". According to the
poem, the effect on the boy of this
atmosphere, and the teaching he
receives at school, is that "all his
thoughts were chained/which should
have sparked and hammered in his
brain", so that "his old instinct
died like flies".
Brathwaite tells us plainly in
Savacou 2, 1970 that

... My education and back-
ground, though nominally
'middle class'is, on examination,
not of this nature at all. I had
spent most of my boyhood on
the beach and in the sea with
'beach-boys', or in the country,
at my grandfather's with
countryboys and girls. Itwas
therefore not in a position to
make any serious intellectual
investment in West Indian
middle class values. But since
I was not then consciously
aware of any other West Indian
alternative (though in fact I had
been living that alternative), I
found and felt myself 'rootless'
on arrival in England and like so
many other West Indians of the
time, more than ready to accept
and absorb the culture of the
Mother Country.

We ought then, I suppose, to accept
that the Barbadian childhood sug-
gested in the poems not directly the
poet's own. Yet one returns again and
againto the feeling that such lyrical
intensity as accompanies Brathwaite's
social concerns in Other Exiles and else-
where arises from the pressures of the
poet's personal history; and that for
'all the appearance and pose of imper-
sonality in Brathwaite's work, what
really muscles his poems when they
work is the poet's personal individual
experience. For the moment we
must notice the second impulse to be
found in the poem, 'Journeys'.
In the fourth movement of
'Journeys' comes a lament which is
.surely related to a larger awareness
:than that one lives in an ex-colonial
territory. We do not lose the capacity
to "laugh and point to the sea"
simply because we discover that
"the brittle sand it washes is possessed
by millionaires" as the first stanza of
the first movement seems to imply.
The lament, in movement four of the
Spoem, is for the fall from innocence

that comes even to the dispossessed
where are the friends who ran
with sunlight in their eyes bright
and upright as grass

where are they now after the
young imagination had attracted

The evidence of the poem is that
Brathwaite is responding to this
archetypal experience, something
known to all classes and colours of
human being, now and in the past,
not as an intellectual concept but as
something felt in his life and times.
Although the interest of Other
Exiles for this reader then, lies in the
more humane and complex vision in
the early poems the volume contains,
the book is not offered or designed
as a collection of earlier work. It
ranges, indeed, from 'The day the
first snow fell' (first published in
Poetry From Cambridge, 1950, then
in Bim 18, 1953) right up to the
1970's, to include poems like
'Conqueror' (this first appeared in
Bim 54, 1972). The volume, then,
ought to allow us to follow
Brathwaite's development over 25
years of writing, and in particular,
the shifting relationship between his
social concerns and his metaphysical
perspectives during this period.
One of the inadequacies of this
edition is that the poems are not
arranged in chronological order.
Since neither dates and places of
publication nor dates of composition
are indicated in the volume, the
reader who wishes to trace the
poet's career or to compare original
with revised versions must undergo the
horrors of dusty searching among
incomplete runs of badly catalogued
and uncared for periodicals. To carry-
out even half of this labour, is to
realise how much one is at the mercy
of Brathwaite's and/or his publishers'
arrangement of the poems in this
volume; and not only that, how much
both the completeness and the repre-
sentativeness of this first collection of
the author's shorter poems suffer
from the author's and the publishers'
Other Exiles begins and ends with
a New Year poem. The first, 'Ragged
Point' establishes a sense of silence
("the heart's broken drum, dumb in
the sunlight forever") and foreboding
in the quiet dawn, "unshattered/by
wounds and by bullets/but the fear of
it there in the cold/and the dark wind"/.
The closing poem, 'New Year Letter'
(first published in Bim 40, 1965)
sees the co-existence of death ("The
burnt out year/dies as the rocket/
dies") and birth ("A brave new world/
bursts as the rocket/bursts") and
advances the resolution that we must
"face the new year/with clear eyes."
The second poem, 'Journeys'
deals with the island world of a
childhood in Barbados, and is followed
by a group of fifteen poems that have
to do with experiences that occurred
outside of the West Indies. In this
group are poems like 'Arrival', 'The
Day the First Snow Fell' and 'Clock'
which seem to refer directly to the
author's experience; and other poems
like 'Blues' in a more recent and
familiar manner where the personal
dues are carefully excluded, and the
pains of exile are dramatised as part of
a New World Negro situation.
Next come the portrait poems I
have earlier called touring poems, set
in Europe. These are followed by a
group of three 'Schooner', 'Dives',
'Journal' dealing with return to lost
love, to departed childhood, and to
what in a Walcott poem is described
as homecoming "without home". The
dosing stanza of 'Journal' runs:

So here we are: stripped
sniffing like dogs from pillar to
running alone, lost, tail between
not daring to bark at the bone

since the waters' reflections are
using the cracks in the fence as
holes: running from shadow to

The remaining poems are all island
poems speaking in hope and in despair
to the condition of loss described in
'Journal'. In 'Dred', aijudge who has
become "all voice and forehead"
almost breaks out of his sterile existence
as he confronts a wrecked and parched
prisoner; and in the first movement of
'Conqueror', a middle-class West Indian
who has returned home "to this empty
house, these windmills turning,
turning", nervously looks back to
England as home, in fear of "this
midnight drummer". The poem pushes
through the violent desire of the
dispossessed to burn and destroy into
a 'ceremony of the mounted dead"
in which the poet as houngan, posses-
sor of"favella vision" hopes to
"obliterate you/from the obscurity
of yourselves'/uncertain silver", and
humbly to lead

into light into stone into path-
way into leaf_
of hope
and rope: whip tomb boulder:
that had bound you

now talisman now twisted into
prayer now shredded into
timeless stars
-The correspondence of this poem in
matter and in spirit with 'Veve' and
'Jou'vert' of Islands, makes its'placing
in the collection significant of the
author's intention that the volume as a
whole should seem to be of a piece
with the three sets of poems re-issued
in 1973 as 'TheArrivants.
But the poems in Other Exiles are


I pE

Ken Ramc

colloquial and conversational while
making little or no use of dialect or any
of the other specifically New World
Negro speech and song rhythms that
are so spectacularly employed in
Rights and Islands. And just as the lump
ing together of the three volumes
tends to make the position finally
arrived at in Islands a biasing perspec-
tive when we try to appreciate the
special qualities of each book, so
the arranging of Other Exiles tends
to conceal important features, of
the otherness of Brathwaite's earlier
poetry. To support the latter conten-
tion we must examine the texture of
some of the poems, with special
reference to their recurrent image or
According to the publishers'
blurb, "the central theme and metaphor
of the-book is a journey: from his .
home island Barbados to Europe and
back again." Such an emphasis,
encouraged by the arrangement of the
poems does indeed link Other:Exiles
with The Arrivants. But there seems


land continues

to me to be a more impressing figura-
tive complex running poignantly
through all the poems except those
published in the 1970's. The key
idea in this complex is'that of a fall.
It is concretely established in
'Judas of Barcelona'; it is consolidated
by descriptions in various formsand
circumstances ot a fall in lateral
patterns like illusion-disillusion,
expectation-disappointment; and it is
signalled by words related to 'rise' -
like 'climb', ascendz and their
opposites. The pervasiveness of this
notion in the form of image, theme,
metaphor, and an accompanying
lyrical response in the tone of the
poems give a continuity to the
earlier poetry of Brathwaite that is
quite different from the narrative
'historical'continuity implied by the
arrangement of poems in Other Exiles.
The first association of the word
'fall' in Other Exiles is with the
recurring tale of dashed aspirations.
The most obvious case is that of the
architect/builder in 'Judas of
Barcelona';it is present as we have
already seen in the decline of Antonio
"i Machiavelli's Mother'. The intel-
lectual aspirations of the students
in 'Heretic' ("rung after rung of our
exertions to achieve the top") come
down in' the apocalyptic vision ("the

,dust was deafening") of the tourth'
paragraph. Fall is associated too with
the forces that pull down the Black,
limiting his achievement; the player in
'Miles' wants to be an eagle but is
cast in the role of cock, and the poet
merges the picture of crowing cock
anxious for the new day with the
brass player's ecstatic straining to
lift himself above:
he reaches to the sky
with his eyes closed
his neck
topples through the sunlight like
a shining stone

Finally, in the poem 'Lion', the
speaker's fantasising attempt to will
himself out of the dereliction .of
exile, subsides as he awakens to the
realities that strip him:

sometimes the will that builds
me up could break down
no fires
flash their warm illusions in my
room; at best
it is like those piccadilly nights;
a facade
of tremendous lights rigged up
on quivering heights

The fall as disappointed expecta-
tion is another prominent suggestion
in the poems. It is implicit in the poem
entitled 'Dives', for example in which
the diving of boys after coins thrown
into the sea by tourists is made by the
poet to image perpetual daring, quest
and equally perpetual disappoint-
ment. And in 'Machiavelli's Mother',
the fall in this sense is echoed in the
lowering of the gaze' of the tourists
seeking romance in Italy as well as in
the fall of the narrating voice in the
following passage:

we.rang the bell again, looking
to the balcony; hoping to see
some tall romantic woman,
mistress of the place, lean
down to us, placing a hand
upon the balcony, the other
on the cool brown rift of
breasts she'd iry to hide as she
leaned dqwn to us. But looking
up, we saw no door, no
window opening on the balcony:
what entrance-out was there
was now walled up, and to the
flaking sun the house presented
stolidly, a monochrome of clay

The preceding associations of 'fall'
obviously relate to and intensify the
social and cultural themes of the
poems. Cutting somewhat deeper than
these is a cluster that includes fall as
loss of innocence (the banker's
brother in 'Judas of Barcelona',
the young in movement 4 of 'Journeys');
fall as the loss of love; and fall as the
final descent. The last two lead us
to notice that the poet of The Arrivants
has written a fair number of early
poems about love and death. Even
in the tight context of Other Exiles,
it is the poet's response to the
coming of death that moves the
reader at the climax of 'The Doktor'.
And in the poem.'So long,
Charlie Parker' (his fingers had
fixed upon a minor key, "then slipped")
slipped"), the blues mood has less to
do with the New World Negro condi-
tion than with the poet's feel for the
brevity of life and breath, and the
relentless march of that fell

his bright eyes blazed and
bulged against the death in
him then knocking at the door

he watched:
as one will watch a great clock
striking time from great
booming midnight bell:
the silence slowly throbbing in
behind the dying bell

the night before he died
the bird walked on through fear
through faith through frenzy
that he tried
to hide but could not stop that

The love poem 'Schooner'
,similarly refuses to settle into the con
text prepared for it in Other Exiles.
The poet of The Arrivants captures
the moods of love in a number of early
poems ('The Faces of Love' Bim 36,
1963, and two movements in the
original.version of the poem 'Leopard'
in Bim 33, 1961). Even as late as 1972,
in Bim 54, he published 'Papak' a
poem about the sleeplessness of a
demon lover who has abused loew.
The exclusion of these poems
seriously weakens OtherExiles
whether we think of it as a collection
of either shorter or earlier poems. In
'Schooner' the motif of separation in
the past, now regretted haunts the
reader as another aspect of he fall
from grace and vision.
The other poetry of Edward
Brathwaite is his earlier poetry of
which we can see deposits in Other
Exiles. Their otherness lies not only
in Brathwaite's engagement with a
wider range of subject matter, in a
manner we have come not to associate
with the poet of The Arrivants; but it
is also to be found in a different tone
a more open attitude inthe poet
to himself, his audience, his raw
material and his craft. The recurring
image of fall, and our awareness of the
poet's sensuous, sometimes confused
responses help to keep in the reader's
' mind the figure of a man stumbling
upon his different selves (personal,
social, ancestral) and hoping to know
as well as td harmonise them. The
poet in these poems is neither the
impenetrable hougan of'Conqueror',
nor the possessor of absolute faith in the
Word we see in 'Negus' (Islands) He
is rather the humble, bewildered
listener of 'At the Death of a Young
Poet's-Wife' facing Death, and the
death of his love, and knowing,
however disturbing, that the silence
he cannot break is more eloquent than
any healing words he might frame.
The early, other poems are not
the perfected "vessel (s) of breath...
patiently flared to a syllable" and
floating free of the maker (see 'Builder');
they cling, sometimes messily, (these
"impinges of pain", "disasters un-
hinged from his growing") to their
begetter. Though few would-dispute
the massiveness of Brathwaite's
success in TheArrivants, one cannot
help.looking wistfully back and
'hoping for a reunion with the other
Brathwaite, and the other poetry
preserved in the early poems and
suspended in the first movement
of 'Clock' in the present collection:

At last that night the pounding
in his dark released a flower

electricity of nerve a blue
serrated fire the scent
blooming with tears of glass
rounded him he

unfolded e -
rect a wrecked

calyx what disaster unhinged
from his growing what

,0 From Page 4

said and he thought at once of Stali
gazer, and that the race was still to
come. I wish to God it would rain lik
hell, he thought, let them cancel the
di.n race. But he did not think that
would happen, and, looking for somb
other way out, he wondered next if he
night indeed be wrong and if Star-
gazer might hang on to win. Then it
came back to him the mile Stargazer
had won, and he felt sure.-that he was
not wrong.
He remembered that race too
well. Morales had ridden cleverly and
won by a length, but Johnathan had
only just bought the binoculars, he
had kept them trained on the big
chestnut the whole way, even after
they had passed the post, and h'e had
seen, what the tipsters had not or not
wished to, how the horse's ears had
gone back in the last strides, and how
quickly he had come to a stop, shaking
his head and changing down into a
loose-jointed, slowing-up trot while
the chasing pack swarmed around and
past him; and Johnathan had known
then with a thrill of surprise that Star-
gazer had been dead on his feet.
If only, he thought, old man
Dixon had Aot been so wilful. If only,
for the creole's first race among the
imported horses, he had sent him in the
Johnathan could see it now: the
long, bunched, driving run up the
backstretch, with Stargazing outsprint-
ing the fastest of them; Stargazer
laying- out on the corner, clear; Star-
gazer stretching forward his great
golden neck and coming pounding
down the homestretch rail. . They
would have come at him in the straight,
to be sure, especially a strongbrute like
The Wrecker, and probably there
would have been Andromeda too,
finishing fast and wide under the
stands; but Stargazer would have held
them, he was certain of it, he would
have hit the straight so full of running,
and there would have been the roar of
the crowd and he would have been one
of them, leaping in the air and shout-
ing, like everyone else... Johnathan
saw it all, as if it were really happen-
ing, saw it from start to finish; and
when it was over he found himself
grieving for the race that would not
now be run, and cursing the greed and
stupidity of old man Dixon that he
should send his great horse out to meet
defeat for the first time like this.
"Listen," he said gently to
Rupert, "They making a mistake, you
"The Stargazer people."
Rupert grew wary. "How come?"
"They should send him in the
sprint. He'd abound to win that."
Rupert looked as though any
moment he might frown.
"What 1 don't understand," per-
sisted Johniathan (again, boy?) "is
why is so important. I mean, okay. so
he's a local horse, and it would be
nice if he won. But why it should be a
matter of life and death that is what
I don't understand."
"Sometimes." Rupert muttered,
"I think you don't understand any-
"Listen man." Rupert went on
turning to look squarely at the other
boy. "You don't see what happening
here today? You don't sce how this
horse bring everybody together? Black.

i Cont'd on Page 8

impinges of pain *


SFrom Page 7

white, rich. poor. everybody unite in
this horse. When last you see this
place like that, with everybody laugh-
ing and talking with everybody else?"
"Don't know," admitted Johna-
"Not since independence. Not
since Independence! You don't see is
not just a race? Everybody feeling this
thing! Look around. Everybody have
their' money on the creole to win.
Everybody excepting you." .
"Me and somebody else," said
Johnathan. And he told Rupert about
the odds shortening like that on The
Wrag, and about the image that had
come into his mind.
Rupert listened attentively and,
when he had finished, nodded.
"Exactly, Exactly, Some white
man. Some Yankee executive, come
down to bleed the people. You see it
yourself. Man, Johnathan I don't know.
Sometimes I just wonder. How you
could gang.up with a manlike that?"
"Is not ganging up,"
"Old man, people have to back
up their own! You don't see it?"
"People have to know what they
"Oh shit! You always know
what you know. You is God."
"Well," said Johnathan surlily,
"This good united feeling -you say
everybody feeling. I only hope they
still- feeling it a(ter the race. After
Stargazer lose." -
It was happening and he did not
want.it to happen. A fear, greater it
seemed than any the occasion could
Shave warranted, was closing on him,
R stand now he was afraid, afraid. He said
Sqickly, I c wonder where y T are,":h
meaning Lydia, meaning: I wish she
were here; if she were here everything :
S would be okay.
"'Probably over by the stands,"
Rupert said, sullen, but accepting the
offer. He stood up, peering, and
Johnathan thought that he had seen
her and was going to wave. But when
Rupert spoke it was only to say, in a
voice to which all the deadness had
returned, "The horses out."

NOW the start of a race was some-
thing our Johnwathan tried never to
watch. The shattering wail of the bell,
the instantly answering'roar of the
crowd as if it were some monstrous
animal which the bell, a spear, had
\ found out as the startled horses leapt
from their stalls these were things he
shied away from. He too would be
pierced by the bell if he watched; he
too would want to cry out as in pain.
Nor, he amended, was there any
sense in trying to, pick them up too
early. They would break from the ten-
furlong gates, he knew, only to dis-
appear almost at once into the corridor
between the stands and the home-
stretch crowd, and there would be the
baulked, heart-beating seconds with
only the caps of the jockeys going
along above- the crowd as behind a
hedge and flickering in and'out behind
the betting booths and the tote board
before they poured into sight at the
far end and ran down, in clear view
now, to the seven-furlong pole and the
long banked turn at the bottom end of
the course. So now he raised the bino-
culars and found that marker and
worked the cogs to bring it into
clearest focus and when the ted
light began to flash, when the bell
wailed and the crowd answered, when
Rupert said softly, once O-God!",
aind a. man nearby began immediately

to leap in the air and shout "The
Gazer! The Gazer!" in a voice which
seemed to start below his collarbone
and to rattle with saliva as it emerged,
Johnathan raised the binoculars and
fixed them on the )crowd-free place
near the seven furlong pole and tried
to keep his hands from shaking.
They were a long time in com-
ing. The roar of the stands' crowd
reached crescendo, passed, and he
thought "They coming now," then,
"Now!" and still they did not appear.
Then they came, one horse by itself
and then the rest all at once, and he
swung the binoculars to find the lead.
ing horse again and it was in truth the
red and black of Stargazer, and he was
twd lengths clear.
"Who?" demanded Rupert,
"Who?" And when he said "Star-
gazer," Rupert shouted once, "The
creole!" before demanding "Who next?
Who, next?" Johnathan did not answer
at once. He was raking the field for the
green and gold of The Wrag and not
finding him. Then he saw him, lying
seventh or eighth on the rails, and
Johnathan kept the binoculars on him.
for several strides until he was sure-
that Maraj was doing nothing, just
crouching over the horse's 'neck with
his hands still, and that 'Ihe Wrag was
neither dawdling nor pulling but
running strongly .and steadily in his
Place, and then, answering Rupert, he
said "Oleander," and eased the bino-
culars to the right to find Stargazer
"How he look?" asked Rupert,
-suddenly anxious.
"Okay. He look okay."
They were streaming around the
bottom turn now to come up-into the
backstretch and Staigazer had gone
three lengths clear. He's going too
fast, Johnathan thought, but he did
not say it, only wondered whether this .
was old man, Dixon's idea of tactics,
if it was. Maybehe would rest him going
up the, hill, but it was still bloody
stupid except that Oleander was
-.: already- being broken, slipping back
,through the field, and now-Great
Vulcan"had come up and was second.
S'The horses swung into the backstretch,
seeming to concertina as they came,
and Rupert was shouting again. "Come
on, Stargazer!" and now Johnathan
said it.-
"He's going too fast."
"Watch and see."
"YOU watch and see!"
They were coming up the long
slope now, and even with them head-
ing straight for you you could tell that
Stargazer was in front and running all
by himself. In the binoculars he was
very near, and Johnathan was struck
by a kind of light, a kind of energy
that played off him as he raced, and,
he thought, But in truth that is some
horse! He could see Morales sitting
high and looking grim and pinch-
faced behind his goggles, and Johna-
than felt a knot starting in his throat
and his eyes were, beginning to swim.
The binoculars were dragging his eyes-
out and he lowered them against his
chest and watched the racecoming,
the horses spread out across the track
but with the chestnut drumming
strictly along in front. He could see
the depth of his chest now, and the
exultation in his swift earthpounding
stride and in the way the horse kept
swinging its.head from side to side
against the restraining of the reins, as
if seeking a way to break free of them
and into the pure joy of running,,and
Johnathan felt his insides turn over,
and he whispered, "Oh Christ, but he's
beautiful !"
But travelling too fast: the
thought came clamming back as from
some iron arctic in his mind, and a
great weight of doom passed over him
and left him trembling slightly with
anger and with fear. "Such a horse,"
he thought angrily, "should not be
doomed. Everything's wrong in this
world." But then, as the horses,
stored up to where he stood, as the
thunder of their hooves rose up to

, overwrhelm the returning cries of the
spectators, the beauty and the doom '
seemed to fall together within him and'
mix, lis body blazed, the earth shook
terribly Under his feet and they were
gone, going away, already gone, leav-
ing falling at his feet a briefshower
of ,sods the lone note of a jockey's
Desolate, cautionary cry, and the tail
Sof the last horse swishing helplessly.-
S -Someone, far off, then nearer,
ais screarhing one word he could not -
understand. '
", iStargazer!" Rupert screamed,
"Stargazer!" He ran stiff-legged a few
paces after the receding horses; stop-
Sped; ran back; turned. There was a -
rigid, convulsed quality about all he
did and Johnathan, watching him, in-
-comprehension giving way to recogni-
tion, came slowly, dismayingly back
to himself and looked around.
The crowd had entered ecstasy.
Men,. their heads back, fists held to
the sky, stood rigid as-lightnig con-
ductors, but roaring; women grabbed
each other and screamed; and one man -
(whom Johnathan recognized as the
man who had started bawling "The
'Gazer!" from the word go) now aban-
doned his place on the backstretch rail
Sand ran thunderingly across the field
-,towards the winning pole, stopping
sudderily to peer over, like a startled
animal, at the hurrying horses and to
bellow once "The Gazer!" before
dashing off again.
Johnathan remembered the
horses. Reluctantly he raised the bino-
culars. A slow dread was staining
throughhim and he did not want to
look at them. But something made him
They were pouring around the
home turn now and the creole was still
three lengths clear. Behind him. Johna-
than knew, the jockeys would be
shouting.and jostling. Those who felt
they had a winning chance would be
hustling to get into position; some,
boxed in, would be pleading- to be let
through. Some, sensing their mounts
had had enough, would pull out and
drop back, as Great Vulcan was doing
now; others, unsure of their chances,
would be sitting stubbornly in their
places, uncertain but riding hard and
waiting to see what the homestretch
would bring. Johnathan found Star-
gazer in the glasses and saw that he
was. running on the bit still, and,

startled, -thought: Jesus suppose -I
Then, abruptly, as he watche
something gave, some rhtyhndm, someha
harmony vanished, and there was n :
longer the effortless onward-sweeping
of the horse, no longer-the great neck
motionlessly sailing, but Stargazer's
head was going up and down, Morales'
hands were scything on his ,neck, and.. ,.i
the horses, were .bunching.behinhind' -hi .-: -,,
to' swing for home. And -Johnathan, ,
with the returning sorrow of a man "
who has laughed himself empty, stead-
i ed the binoculars on the chasing pack
and waited, knowing that what woujd
happen would come froe m there.
I They were in. the straight now
and he saw that The' Wrag was through
on the rails and going.~p to close with'
the leader. Helen's Armour was find,
ing nothing, he'could tell, and some-
thing in pastel colours, its jockey's whip
hand flailing, was coming up fast on
the outside, going past horse after
horse but with a lot of ground to '"
make up. Johnathan watched only
long enough to see The Wrag go clear, -
and to make-tsure the. pastel-coloured
jockey had left-it too late, and theh; -ne .i
he lowered his binoculars. They would '
Sbe going into- the crowd soon, he ,
knew, and besides he would not need
them for the rest. ou did not need
binoculars to tell who that far, toylike
figure of a horse was, sinking, as you
watched, so quickly through the field,.
no longer second, nor third, fourth
now, no longer fourth, sixth, seventh -
out of it; nor to see the pastel colours
go clear in second. Nor did you need,
binoculars to see your friend, Liydia's :
boyfriend, standing dream-like with
his hands by his sides, slowly opening
and closing his fists. A man might
curse and throw his tickets away but'
you did not need binoculars for that, ,-
nor to know that all the shouting had
'ended and that people were standing
numbly in their places.
Nor to watch Rupert's hands. :-
Johnathan looked at his friend's.
hands, oblivously, rhythmically clench- -, :
ing and unclenching, and thought sud-
denly of those other, white hands, "
lying immobile on the desk in the sky,
and he felt a great surge of pity for
the hands before him here, seeing how. :;;
helpless, how childlike they seemed,
Watching them, he forgot everything
else. Then Rupert turned and looked ""
'at him and he knew that, the race-was -. .
over, and that it, was tiie to speak. ".-'

- 1.' y


He pulled with the hawser of his neck,
with teeth clenched into teeth
like a locked chain,

his house, his children, his work,
and his country.

His eyes are closed like fists,
there's enough cold sweat on his forehead '
to refresh a tired flower.

Those who saw him straining
noticed nothing.
They saw an exhibitionist in contortions of tension,

groaning from imagination.
After a while, when they'd looked long enough,
when they noticed themselves moving

as passengers at a ship's rail think the land moves,
that their country is leaving them,
or, as children think that the moon

is racing the clouds,
they let that gentle marvel subside
amused at the miracle
of work.

Derek Walcott



-* From Pa.ir ':

the Caribbean as a whole?
IF the- past is any guide, a wo!. i-
wide depression would cause tremend-
ous dislocation throughout the English-
speaking Caribbean. The frankly
colonial economic structures of the
1930's crumbled under the impact of
the world-wide depression then. Tlhe
collapse of markets and the closing off
of supplies induced a sustained social
upheaval throughout.the region.
BY the end of a decade, the
.social turmoil had given birth to a
political movement and a new genera-
tion of nationalist leaders.'Bustamante
and Manley appeared in Jamaica,
Adams in Barbados. Butler articulated
the grievances of the downtrodden in
Trinidad. The imperial power was
forced to adjust, granting universal
adult suffrage in Jamaica in 1944 and
in Trinidad and Tobago in 1946.
Through that opening finally emerged
in the 1950's the parties led by Gairy in
Grenada, Jagan and Burnham in Guy-
ana, Williams in Trinidad and Tobago,
' Bird and Bradshaw further up the
BUT by then the British Empire,
battered by depression and then war,
was on the decline, and for such parties
and such men, the ascent to political
power was a relatively straightforward
affair. 'The comparative ease of the

1977 Perils And


political transition did little to equip
them with either the vision or the
means for the economic and cultural
THAT is why today we continue
to be dependent on the outside world
for a major part of our foodstuffs,-for
markets for our major products, agri-
cultural or mineral, for capital, for
raw materials, for consumer goods. We
are still not equipped to withstand
the effects of a loss of marketseand
supplies. Already Jamaica, Guyana and
Barbados have felt the impact of
dwindling markets for exports and
rising prices of foreign supplies on
their foreign exchange balances, on
government revenue and on the level
of employment.
THE only thing which has saved
Trinidad and Tobago is high oil prices.
If it sticks, the most recent increase in
oil prices is likely to create additional
problems for our Caricom neighbours.

Possib ilities'

If it doesn't, Trinidad. and Tobago
could sooner than later be sharing
their fate.
INEVITABLY, then, severely
adverse economic conditions in the
industrialized nations will produce
economic, political and social crises
in the Caricom countries. The Prime
Minister's spectre of recolonization
could then return to haunt us. The-
PNM's vaunted twenty years of
stability could then vanish into thin
IS this likely to happen in 1977,
or just how soon? Already, Caroni Ltd.
has refused to pay its workers a year-
end bonus on the ground that there
was no profit in 1976. The failure to
make a profit is related to the collapse
-of tge sugar market. The leadership of
the workers' union is claiming that
the state-owred company's decisions
politically motivated. The head of the
union is the Leader of the parliamen-

tary Opposition. The oilworkers'
union is also a major element of the
major opposition party in Parliament.
HOW soon will the squeeze in
oil come? And how will the parliamen-
tary opposition deal with the looming
economic crisis which directly threatens
the interests of the giant unions to
which they are so closely tied? -Will the
ULF coalition hold together under
conditions of stress? Will the ULF
engine of the OWTU be cut asunder
from its traditionally PNM rank-and-
AFTER a mere three months
in Parliament, the ULF has already
shown its impatience with the pace
of events there, and an inability to
exploit the forum for whatever that be
worth. At a time when Trinidad and
Tobago has a golden opportunity to
make a radically new departure in the

SCont'd on Page 10

Ah Wouldn't Know If He Came Again

Stephanie King'
OH Gord Jane-Ann! Doh jump on de sofa ah just
clean. Dese children will sen mih mad dis Christmas yes!,
Ah look at de nex one dere! God put ah han! Yuh run-
ning inside de house as doh yuh des clean house .... A
big horse like you kar find no work to do-dis Christmas
season?. .
SIS.only smoking tamp.e. (don't tink I eh have eyes),
an in and out as dough P taking borders. God eyes eh
close, nah. . Ay-Aye Miss Adams? How long yuh
calling by de gate? . De dogs keeping a big fuss' ah
couldn't hear yuh nah, Man dese children lening mih ah -
dance. Is mih patience a des have to keep at dis goodwill
time. Is I to ketch when dey close dem schools, yes.
YES, I soak my fruits long time mahn, You know
he had some ends a liquor dat I mix up and is de same
ting I doing each year. De manh doh study how de cake
Sahd ham get on de table, yuh know. As long as it dere.
I stopping de: darm nonsense next year, Ah know is me
who giving him he bad habits, but is like fifteen years of
grime I have to clean out and when a meet him he
had he same bad habits. Who is me to try and cause him
to change. Ah not he mudder. He down in de club with
She friends again.
WHO! Me? I could find better tings to do with
mih time. How de house go get clean? Who cooking the
food? Who minding the children and the dogs eh? You
answer me dat .... I kar afford no maid you know.
You eh go down in de town and see de prices ah tings or
what. Oh gorsh. chile! Ah bake dis ham for Christmas,
leave it along.
LOOK doh give mih no dam back chat before ah
hit you in your dam face. What I say goes in dis house.
But I kar take haid ah dis generation. In my time,_ if
my mother tell mrh something, I do it and shut .up..Now
dey have a plaster for every sore.
YOU hear what she tellin me? She belly doh wait
for Christmas to get hungry. OK den Miss Adams. Call
mih when you get ah chance later, we could talk better
without de ears.
GO by de gate somebody an see if any cards come
from away. Like ah hear de~postman. With dis mail
strike and stupidness dey doing in de Government I kar
hear a ting from yuh Aunty in Brooklyn. An every. year


28 Mucurapo Street

mih borther des send a parcel from California, ah doh
know what happening dis year.
WHAT you say? Look chase that dam beggar from
infront of mih blasted yard. Ah kar stand people who
wouldn't get off.,dey backside and look for work, nah, I
have something to give away, here? Man, yuh doh fraid
de dogs? How you could walk inside mih gate straight
in mih backdoor, ah have four ferocious dogs yuh know.
Doh send mih in courthouse if one bitetyuh. '
... EVERY Christmas is de same ting. Beggers and
tiefs in yuh yard. De priest ask in church if we could
recognise.it . if. Jesus come again and be ready, to take
him in. But only beggars and tiefs coming in my back-


Best Wishes

The Management and Staff

Abercromby St.

(opposite Gencra1dBuilding and Loans)
S__ .


Cor. Edward Lee

Cipero Streets

Main Road

p 1




creole dishes

;I - ' ' r I _. I


* From Page 9
economic field, and at a time when
that opportunity may soon be lost,
and, moreover, at a time when the
government of the day can offer no
better response than to bank the
money and sit on its hands, the
Opposition has shown itself to be
singularly bankrupt of ideas for
national reconstruction.
THE incapacity of the ULF to

use its parliamentary position to offer
a genuine alternative to the govern-
ment is demonstrated by the fact that
it allowed Robinson, the leader of the
DAC, to lead off for the Opposition
during the Budget debate. Any doubts
about the inability of the "party of
the working class" to cope with parlia-
mentary politics were laid to rest when
they walked out halfway through the
debate, thereby forfeiting their opport-
unity to give the lead to public,

opinion, TV coverage or no TV
coverage. What are they likely to do
The one thing Panday does not
dare to do is to resign altogether from
the House of Representatives and pin
his faith on subsequent by-elections..It
is true that Williams created the ULF
by conceding the so-called 100% for
sugar workers and by softening his
position in regard to Shah's farmers
and-Act.1 of 1965. By putting Panday

in charge of Central Trinidad, he suC-
cessfully displaced the DLP and set the
stage for the return to traditional
alignment in the -elections of Septem-
ber last. It remains true that Williams
would bend far over backwards to keep
this congenial outfit within the
portals of the Red House where he
could always eat them raw or feed
them to his own umpire whenever he
0 Cont'd on Page 11

. w
rl e0

With more than 50 years of service and exper-
ience behind us, we are identified today as Specialists
in our field in the Oil, Sugar and Petrochemical
We guard our reputation jealously. Yes, we
are big, but not too big to be of service to the small
man. The truth is, we are really equipped to do both,
to give service with equal satisfaction, to large and
small industries alike.
As we said before, we have a reputation built
on experience and know-how, and we aim to meet
and satisfy the requirements of our customers.

ESENM I NR.SV.6-3,1,'58I-SN ENND 5-82


Roger Laing muses on

a recent Jama ica visit

THE dramatic approach to Norman Manley Airport still
holds the traveller, Jamaicans included, in an awe that is
almost hypnotic. The sea still pays gracious hpmage to
the verdant peninsulars, and "The Mountains" are still
blue. And, nestled snugly at their lush feet, wrapped in
pomp and gentility, the Neros fiddle while Kingston
The drive from Norman Manley is still interspers-
ed with scenic seascapes, and floating garbage, dusty
winds and quaint cottages; And the 'buses are still green;
But their drivers, now, are red . or so they believe.
And the observers witness, without fully com-
prehending, a classic confrontation between mis-used
Capitalism and mis-guided Communism.

A memorable week at-the once "snooty" Sheraton
with intermittent lapses in vital facilities, such as eleva-
tors, air-conditioning and bieakfast-in-bed, and one is
forcefully aware of the simmering source of that confron-
tation; And the well-meaning Neros fiddle, oblivious to
the smoke ... or so they pretend.
And the observers whisper behind Board Room doors,
and live-it-up "ad publicum".
Public figures, on strangely contrived platforms
of charm and aggression, yell "Freedom!", and empover-
ished peasants pay homage, and assassinate.
And the C.I.A.-controlled restaurants announce
their new low-cost menu, the "Manley Economy Basket"
. . it's filled with left-wings and back-sides they say,
and can't understand why it's selling so fast.-

Ken Gordon

calls for

reform of

State Owned

Mass Media

THE President of the
Republic should be Chair-
man of the Government-
owned media. And mem-
bers of the Board and
Management' s h o u I d
include representatives of
the Government and the-
This suggestion was thrown
out by Express managing direc-
tor Ken Gordon in a "freedom
of the Press" speech to the
Rotary Club which was pub-
lished in both the Sunday
Express and Guardian on
December 19 last.
Gordon also asserted: "I am
convinced beyond any shadow
of a doubt that freedom of
the Press as we know it in !i'e
free world is dead in Guyanm."
He was replying to a recent
challenge by Guyana Clhroniv,'
( Cont'd on Page 1C'

I I k I m I


Frederick St. POS. 112 High St. San F'do Arima,

and HARDWARE & ELECTRIC: Kirpalani's Roundabout


From Page 10

cared for a rest.
But now that the shape of Parlia-
ment is settled, how would the elector-!
ate contrive to make the best of a bad
job, given a second bite of thecherry?
And suppose that Williams dilly-
dallied just to make Robinson Leader
of the Opposition, to change the com-i
position of the Senate and to fuel all
manners of mischief not only in regard
to Tobago, but also in respect to the
Council of Progressive Trades Unions
in a crucial negotiating year.
RESIGNATION is not a probable
option; Panday, as usual, was talking
from the top of his head. The greatest
likelihood is that the Opposition will
now simply downgrade Parliament and
politics to second place and revert to
what it knows best agitation and
confrontation. Already Panday is hold-
ing rallies with sugar workers on the
Caroni bonus issue. And a few weeks
ago the ULF doubtless inspired food
farmers to demonstrate outside of
IF the ULF has its way, we may
be in for a hot season of demonstra-
tions and rallies and strikes. Forth-
coming wage negotiations, rising prices
and continuing inadequacies in the
public utilities provide plenty of grist
for that mill. Is there now any greater
chance of transcending the limits of
protest than there has been in the
past seven or eight years.


.EACH succeeding season of con-
frontation has seen the government
emerge, if weaker, politically, than
before, certainly better fortified than
ever, legally, constitutionally and on
the military plane as well.
OVER the years of agitation and
Crisis the government have equipped
themselves with the repressive Acts of
1971 (Summary Offences, Sedition
etc.), a process which culminated with
the one-man Republican Constitution
of 1976. The government have also
gone a long way toward legitimating
the use of the military for civilian,
political-purposes, They have tightened
their grip on the media.
BUT most of all, they have
Bought into industry and commerce
and agriculture on a colossal scale,

From Page 10 I

managing editor Carl Blackman.
to make a statement about
Press freedom in Trinidad and
Tobago in view 9f the dismis-
sals of journalists from the
State-owned media.
Gordon said "whatever our
;sympathies over the Wilbert
Holder case or any other of the
other instances of decapita-
tion", the cause was "bad
There was also "merit",
Gordon said, in arguing that
the problem lay in the "exist-
ing structure for Government-
owned media" in Trinidad and
Perhaps, Gordon said, "if it
were argued that the con-
straints within which a media
manager must work in a
Government-operated station
even.in Trinidad and Tobago
make it virtually impossible for
him to be guided by totally
professional considerations,
there would be a good deal,
More merit to this argument.".
Gordon did not elaborate
on those "constraints".
He said: "Glossing over the
Guyana situation only post-
pones-the day when it becomes
understood that whatever may
occur in the future, the reality.
of the present is that the Press
(s not free in that country and
Shas*to do what it is told by the
'*Government."' .

1977:Perils And

creating a $1,000m. empire of state.
Now, more than half of the labour
force is employed by the state. And
today, fortuitously, they dispose of
gigantic revenues derived from oil.
Even though, as the election revealed,
there is little enthusiasm for the ruling
party, by fixing a tight gnp on political
and economic resources, they have left
little room for an alternative to emerge.
IS it likely then, that where the
sectional, if massive, agitations of
1970 and 1975 failed against a govern-
ment, caught unawares, unprepared
and lacking the resources it has today,
that more sectional agitations, on
however massive a scale, will make any
difference? Especially now that the
government can claim that the people
of the country expressed their prefer-
ences in the free and fair elections of
UNDER the conditions of inde-
pendence,, possession has come to
be nine points of the politics. Blind
agitation, so deartto those who refuse
the option of solid building, is there-
fore no more than a hangover from
the colonial days when the Governor
was the referee. It is no more than a
refuge for those who are stuck in the
politics of protest and therefore antici-
pate no future when their movement
will prevail to assume the responsibility
of government.


WHAT drives our people, as
distinct from the political leaders, into
the futility of confrontation, is the
continuing failure of the government
to fulfil repeated promises and tme
consequent pressures of every conceiv-
able kind. In the absence of any per-
ceived political alternative, the -only'
choice open to many'of us is to hold
our head and bawl, or to try to shout
the walls of Jericho down.
SOME of us have yet to accept
the harsh reality of life that political.

os sib ilitie s

effectiveness is not to be confused
with the antics of agitation or the
histrionics of electioneering. Power is
the organised-capacity to hold firm,
come hell or high water, whether you.
are enjoying seats in Parliament or
whether you dispose of none. Without
such enduring capacity, there can be
no alternative to those who control
the State; it does not matter what
illusions are cherished by the inveter-
ate opportunists who are enchanted
by easy victories.


AFTER more than 20 years of
broken promise, the only choice before
us is to clear away the ruling party.
But to move the presenTGovernment,
'we have first to stir the country and
to stir the people, we have to present a
movement and a party capable of
governing on behalf of the huge
majority of the nation, of whatever
colour, race or class. That is the work
of a valid Opposition. It is prope:
measure of the abject failure of the
ULF outside of Parliament before, and
now inside the House as well.
CLEARLY, then, the political
action -will be extra-Parliamentary
come 1977. But will it be the continu-'
ing futility of endless protest, or the
constructive activity of permanent
politics? That, indeed, is the question'
of 1977. We have to lay down abridge
to span the gap between where we are
now and the kind of country we want
for the future. We have to build that
bridge plank by plank, making it
broad enough and sturdy enough to
accommodate our people in all our.
THAT bridge can only-be a
permanent, professional political party,
with a grass-roots presence in the
localities and with the capacity at the
national level to articulate an alterna-
tive vision -of what Trinidad and

Tobago could be, only if we were
freed from bondage to the present
incompetent Government and iniauit-
ous regime. What are our chances of
Getting such a party?
SUCH a party must be' more
than an occasional crowd, or a collect
tion of part-time enthusiasts, or a
.trade union or religious organization
in disguise. Such-a party must dispense
with the illusions engendered by
colonial politics and must appreciate
that the means needed, to dismiss a
retreating imperial power are as
nothing compared with those needed
to deal with the native holders of
SUCH a party must know that,:
in the conditions of independence, the
crucial political resource is trust; and
that it must therefore show candour,,
constancy of effort and consistency
of position if it is to win the respect
-and commitment needed to prevail
against the fortresses of power.
SUCH a party requires a tre-
mendous expenditure of psychic and
material resources. It requires men and
women active at all times in building
organization, in raising funds, in ela-
borating policy and in disseminating
its views, if it is to match the vested
interests of the State, of organized
labour, of corporations andc business,
if it is to match their propaganda with
'political education, match their cynical
purveying of patronage with political
ideals, and match their repressive
apparatus with the organized resolve
of our people.
THAT, indeed, is the programme
Tapia adopted eight years ago. Sept-
ember 13, 1976 found us wanting by
the very standards we ourselves had
set. But in 1977, our country shall
more than ever want a politics of the
kind that Tapia espoused. Neither
side in Parliament will deliver the
goods in 1977. The only relevant
.question at this time is, will Tapia?






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Ministry of Industry and Commerce,Metrication'Board,Sage Buildinl, 27-31 Henry Street,',Portfr-Spain
.. . ==. i.;'A -_ = -. ..

~"~''' "' "'-~s~


- '-~j


Owen Thompson asks







IN another month and al half, Caribbean cricket lovers will
once more be witnessing test cricket at their doorstep. It
will be the Pakistanis this time, by no means a weak cricket
nation today.
When they last came here in 1958, they supumbed
1-3 to the might of the West Indies. It was in that series that
the now almost legendary Sir Gary Sobers made his record
365 not out and amassed 824 runs all told. It was then that
Lance Gibbs made his test debut.

The present West Indian
Team does not possess a
Sobers or a'Gibbs but it is still a
powerful one. Though unpredict-
able, and despite its humiliat-
.ing 5-1 defeat by Australia, it is
ranked by many as, one of the
best West Indian teams ever.
In spite of this one has to
face the fact that the team has
a major weakness in spin. This
was clearly revealed on our
recent tour of England.
Since the departure of
Lance Gibbs, our team has
lacked a penetrative spinner.
Jumadeen, who has played
most regularly as the number
one spinner, though tidy,, is
just not probing enough.
Imtiaz and Padmore are
quite ordinary and present few
real problems. This is probably
"too harsh a judgment to pass on
them since together they have
played in- only three test
There can still be room for
improvement. The fact remains
though that we do not possess a
world-class spinner.
In our fast bowling depart-
ment, on which we rely so
heavily, there also some pro-
blems. There have been reports
that Mike Holding may not be
able to play due to studies.
The injury-plagued Roberts
of whom we are hearing nothing
is also a doubtful starter. Clive
Lloyd may well find himself
with only Daniel of the
"unholy trinity", which so
devastated England this sum-
mer. How will he confront a

reputedly strong Pakistan bat-
ting line?
Added to this, Bernard
Julien, the only genuine all
rounder in West Indian cricket,
has been badly out of form.
Given that neither Roberts nor
Holding may play, coupled with
our weak spin attack, one
wonders what our bowling staff
would be like?
We possess a galaxy of
batting stars who are as un-
predictable as they can be
devastating. All of Fredericks,
Rowe, Kallicharan and Lloyd,
while capable of playing innings
as good as one could wish to
see, can also disappoint and
have actually disappointed
many West Indians.
What is most encouraging are
the recent performances of
Greenidge after the. fate he
suffered at the hands of the
Australian fast bowlers. About
the phenomenal batting of
Vivian Richards nothing more
needs really be said.
Another encouragement is
Murray's cool, level-headed
approach to batting. That has
pulled us out of many a tight
spot in the past and stands
out in bold contrast to the
extravagance of the rest of the
What blots Murray's copy-
book somewhat is the evident
fall in the standard of his
recent wicket-keeping.
Of the Pakistanis, we know
very little by way of seeing
them play, but judging from
reports, one message is coming

CA\ li k 'A i=i

Keep abreast of the

real currents in the

Caribbean Sea.

Trinidad & Tobago
Caricom Countries
Other Caribbean
E.E.C. (incl. U.K.)

TT $18.00 per year
U.S. $25.00
Stg. t 14.00

Surface rates and rates for
other countries on request.
Tapia, 82-84 St. Vincent St., Tunapuna, & 22 Cipriani Bvd.
P.O.S. Trinidad & Tobago, W.I: Telephone 662-5126. & 62-25241.

through very clear. They have
crop of excellent batsmen.
All of the Mohammed
brothers, the cousins Khan,
Zaheer, Asif and the latest
sensation Javed Miandad have
good records as batsmen in
tests. Everyone waits with
interest to see how they will
face our fast bowlers, if the
latter all play.
Looking at the composition,
of their team, they depend for
the sting of their attack on the


two experienced medium-
pacers Asif Masood and Safraz
Intikhab and Mushtaq pro-
vide the spin. On our sluggish
wickets, I have doubts asto
their effectiveness against our
Finally, one has to hope
that the series will be blessed
with fine weather, large crowds,
more lively wickets and of
course, the fitness and the
availability of all the West

Indies fast bowlers.
What could make for a more
interesting and more memor-
able series?
At the moment Pakistan
and Australia are occupying
the centre of the stage. The
focus is on the Pakistani bats-
men above all.
How will they now fare
against Thomson, Lillee, Gil-
;nour. and Walker, who.one
year ago instilled terror in
West Indian hearts?

Angostura Old Oak Rum
A mellow blend of light
Trinidad rums. Smooth.
clean tasting


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