Material Information

Place of Publication:
Tapia House Pub. Co.
Creation Date:
November 29, 1970
completely irregular
Physical Description:
no. : illus. ; 43 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Trinidad and Tobago ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )
periodical ( marcgt )


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:
Copyright Tapia House Pub. Co.. Permission granted to University of Florida to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
000329131 ( ALEPH )
03123637 ( OCLC )
ABV8695 ( NOTIS )

Full Text


November 1970 is coming to a close.
Divali has gone, Eid is with us, and
Christmas is fast approaching. With
Tapia just beyond the threshold of
its third year, we are arriving at per-
haps the most important crossroads
in our history.
The last lap of the current Par-
liamentary term has just begun; the
election campaign is underway. And
as if this fever were not enough,
we're in the midst of a crisis com-
prehending almost every aspect of
our national life.
In pain we've been discovering
that independence did not make us
free. We're learning now that to
emancipate ourselves we must find
that identity which is all our own;
that there must be an equal place
for those who are left behind; and
that our politics must serve not per-
sonality or race or class, but justice
and humanity.
We face, in short, a constitutional
crisis in the deepest meaning of that
term. It is not therefore enough to-
change tlie government important
as that is. What we also have to do -
let us be clear is to constitute a
new and better world.
Since the 21st of April we've
come to understand just this. But,
in anguish, we've come to see how.
hard it is to bring the .change we
need.Our greatest fear has been that
Williams may call a quick election.
For if he does, we tell ourselves, the
movement will be caught unequal
to the job. And then the old regime
will surely stay in place for five more
long intolerable years.


With every passing day this fear
is mounting into panic. What must
we do?
What must we do? Well, the first
thing is to understand that the
crisis has arisen because the political
system does not and cannot give any
.real representation to the people. As
a result no democratic political
party can survive; and no govern-
ment can commit the country to the
kinds of plans needed to solve such
problems as foreign domination of
the economy, unemployment, and
cultural penetration by the metro-
politan countries.
We therefore have to steer clear
of any politics which simply aims
to change the government while
leaving the political system un-
touched. Williams and the PNM
came into office in 1956 with the
best of intentions; Williams was far
more energetic and incomparably
more competent than his present
imitators. And he enjoyed a trust
and a moral authority that it is
almost impossible to match.---
Yet Williams and the PNM have
landed the country in a great deal
of trouble. The reason is simply that
they have maintained the old rela-
tionships between the government,
the leadership and the people.

This is what unconventional pol-
itics opposes. We have to stop being
duped by personalities into forming
now-for-now political parties. We
have to discard the Westminster
parliamentary model and design a
form of government appropriate to
our needs.


1956 -Sept. 1958. Cha-
rismatic excitement.

1958 June 1960.
Structural weakness of
party concealed by robber

1960 September 1969.
Bribery and intimidation to
the rescue.

1969 September
Terror and gun talk
desperate rearguard

in a

* 1970 Convention.
Attempt at rebirth.

The PNM has failed be-
cause it was from the start
a Doctor Party. T h e
People's Education Group
was formed initially t o
support Williams' personal
candidacy for public office.
The party was built up on
the basis of personal
loyalty to the Doctor. It
was Williams and not the
Annual Conventions that
gave t h e party its
character. Now that the
generations have shifted
under the old war-horse,
the party, inevitably, i s
finished and done f o r.

To do this we need a Constituent
Assembly of all the community
groups. We need a grand meeting of
the forces which genuinely want to
resolve the crisis, This Constituent
Assembly must adoptireforms which
will reduce the voting age to em-
brace the youth; which will ensure
that registration is comprehensive
and fair; which will prevent rigging
of the machines and gerrymandering
of the boundaries.
But we also need a discussion of
the fundamentals. What, for exam-
ple, is our attitude to foreign invest-
ment? This is not a matter for
O'Brien or for Williams to decide;
nor for any of us singly. We have to
talk about it.
S-,,- II


Then, what plan are we goir
adopt to solve the problem
employment? What is each
prepared to do? How can a
ment find these things out
by issuing "perspectives"
finding dedicated opportun
a whistle-stop tour?
We can only find out b
munity discussion and then I
munity representation in a
meeting of the leaders who
from those discussions. Othe
will continue to be Doctor
as usual.
The election campaign
forces of unconventional


must therefore be for a Constituent
Assembly at which we will decide
our own destiny. Let the conven-
tional politicians carry on the char-
latanry of forming parties in the
So long as the unconventional
politics continues to commit people
in the communities to constructive
work and to serious thinking about
constitutional and political reform,
there is no sense in which we can
"lose" the election. We will be get-
ting stronger every day and we will
be calling the tune for the govern-
In fact, with these overnight
political parties which are bent on

| *- B-MO

p .- w U
- I,-.1 e .i


ng to contesting the elections, the situa-
of un- tion will become so unstable after
Sof us the election that the majority of the
govern- population will come over to our
simply side before long. So we have nothing
or by to fear so long as we are working.
ists on If we do what we claim to be doing,
it will build up confidence and trust;
it will throw up leadership and or-
y com- organization.
by com-
Sgrand So let us continue to work and to
emerge build. Let us continue to call the
rwise it shots for the government as we
Politics have been doing throughout 1970.
If our new movement ever becomes
of the read to govern everybody will
politics know. The people will then do
the rest.




at 8.00 pm

Rain-Shine-Emergency-Without Fail





I '

* SEE INSIDE on Page 2


Augustus Ramrekersingh

In 1956 when Williams
let his bucket down, a Doc-
tor party was born. The
National movement had
been drifting aimlessly for
more than a decade, a
consequence of the failure
of the Butler movement to
organise the population into
a modern mass political
Since its inception in 1956
the PNM has passed through
four major phases of de-
velopm ent.
The firstphase started with the founda-
tion of the PNM. At the inaugural con-
ference of the PNM on 15th January
1956 the people's charterwaspresented.
It said in part, Nor are we an ordinary
party in the accepted narrow sense of the
word. We are rather a rally, a convention
of all and for all, a mobilisation of all
the. forces in the community, cutting across
race and religion, class and colour, with
emphasis on united action by all the
people in the common cause Williams
clearly had some insights into the prob-
lem of the creation of a genuine mass
political party. The implication, conscious
or unconscious, in the definition of the
party was the idea of the constituent
assembly,, "a rally, a convention of all
and for all, a mobilisation of all the
forces in the community."
The PNM was unquestionably the first
attempt at creating a modern mass party
in Trinidad and Tobago. Its revolutionary
character lay in its effort to offer the
country a specific nationalprogramme and
a permanent,full time apparatus through
which the people at large could exercise
influence on the political process and
some control on national decision-making
at all times, not just at election time.
But inherent in this attempt atmoder-
nisation was an important element of
traditionalism in that the decisive, sus-
taining factor in the party was the gift
of grace (charisma) possessed by the poli-
tical leader. In CHAGUARAMAS TO
SLAVERY (1965) Best argued that "the
leader was vital to the survival of the
movement." The contradiction between
the attempt to introduce party politics
and the emergence of a "doctor" leader
je vital in the PNM's failure.


Constituency organisation took second
place to the mass meeting inpubli
squares. The population thronged the Uni-
versity of Woodford Square and its con-
stituent colleges. Williams had struck a
vital chord in the hearts of the people.
Crown Colony Government had created the
politics of impotence. The population,
in the belief that it could do nothing on
its own, reposed absolute trust in Wil-
liams. In the Editorial of Tapia No 3 we
argued that,
argued leadership is continuously
providing for its own obsolesence To the
extent that his leadership is successful
the leader expects to be superceded,
precisely because he understood that the
basic condition of his success is the
active participation of those whom he
leads. Without this participation, leader-
ship turns to messianic prophecy, inwhich
case his utmost destiny is only topreside
over eternal crisis.b
The consequence of this miscarriage
was that the very features which won the
PNM wide support as a nationalist move-
m inhibited its development into a
seasoned national party fortified by a clear
ideological commitment on the part of
members and bolstered by working
machinery in the constituencies. T h e
over-emphasis on personality and slogan
and the stressing of the less problematic
issues allowed each interest gro"o'missin
terpret the ultimate objectives in its own


terms, and therefore, to join the move-
ment for different and sometimes con-
flicting reasons. ) (Best, 1965).
Another contradiction lay in the fact
that while the PNM aimed
at racial solidarity through a nationalist
programme, its lack of ideology prevented
the rural Indians, for example, from
involving themselves in the Movement.
The basis of the Movement's support,
therefore, remained largely where it had
started among the broad, urban "work-
ing class". The cost of gaining mass
support for the nationalist programme
was the prevention of ideological conflicts
from surfacing.This too was the key factor
in the so-called New World "split" (1968),
A further contradiction was that while
intellectual oratory and messianic leader-
ship played the major role in sustaining
the Movement, they also served as a facade
behind which were concealed the weakness
of the Movement as a vehicle of social
and economic change.

The second phase-whenthe structural
impotence of the party was revealed -
began with the Third Annual Convention of
the PNM (17th October, 1958).
By This Time PNM was in control
of the Central Government and all the
Williams in his address to the Con-
vention listed the PNM's achievements
up to that time the establishment of
Party Government, the establishment of a
political leader who could speak. authori-
tatively and the establishment of the
University of Woodford Square. It was
not without some justification that he
boasted, The participation on a large
scale of thousands of citizens in this
programme of political education has been
described as a revolution by intelligence
and as one of the great contributions to
20th C democracy, Williams continued,
*Never before in the history of the West
Indies have so many average citizens been
associated actively with the work of
Government. )

So that when Williams dealt with the
state of the Party he admitted that "the
Party, left to fend for itself two years
and nine months, becomes automatically
and necessarily the number one priority
from October 1958."
This was the first of several abortive
efforts by Williams to reorganise the
party. Analysis of why these efforts were
futile is extremely instructive for us today.
But we must first examine the way in.
which he set about the task of party
First of all, Williams recognized the
need for a genuine political party and the
obstacles which had to be surmounted.
Reorganisation was to be based on an
imposing Party Headquarters, a vigo-
rous Central office to facilitate effective
liaison between Party and Government,
improvement of the Party's Press and
education of the Party. The "New Poli-
tics" was to be dominated by consti-
tuency organisation and it was expected
that within three years a powerful party
would have been created. This was a sine
qua non of'racical legislation.

The Party's need for money was
stressed, and not for the last time.
"The Party membership must finance
its. own organisation.. Finance and re-
organisation have, rentained recurrent
themes of all subsequent PNM Conven-

2 4

t, ;t-

~ .N.WTWv rvnvnr,, ,"-in.r[p' ^-ini<'. i
.d oaa w sw -F-7r I 05 c= *- --

It was significant that he said that
citizens were activelyinvolvedinGovern-
ment, for as he was to say later in that
speech, the Party had concentrated up to
that time on Government not politics. All
energies and resources had been devoted
to winning office in 1968. Consequently
up to the time of the 3rd convention
emphasis had been on the organisation
of the Government. Politics had suffered.
The Party had been neglected.

tions; The Party's Development P r o-
gramme was to cost $100,000.00. This
fallacy has survived into 1970 as illu-
strated by Millette's statement in London
a few months ago that the cost of or-
ganising the UNIP was estimated at
$250,000. The fact is that constituency
organisation can only be created by hard,
patient work. IT CANNOT BE BOUGHT
William's conception of the role of the
leader and the doctor-base of the party

were in sharp contradiction to his admoni-
tion that "We have to build our party
organisation from the bottom up." All
in one speech.
The doctor-base of the movement,
which by now was all that remained, was
clearly expressed in William's disserta-
tion on leadership. The leader had to
be "The main source of its (the party)
ideals and of its political and social
attitudes." As the theoritical leader,
'he is the source of inspiration, ideas
and facts and research for journalists,
orators and innumerable other individuals
and groups who transmit their ideas to
the public, )

Yet Williams claimed that the Move-
ment was laying a sound foundation for
democracy. And he could pontificate that
6the basis of electoral success is a
party that is active in its own right in
all sorts of political and social projects-
a party which (a) provides an opportunity
for the Party Membership to give of
its best and to attract the best; (b)
educates the masses and the middle
classes to see politics and the party as
something else besides elections and
Government handouts; (c) convinces the
general public as a whole that it is an
instrument fit to govern it so they follow
it in the need to create a society built
on new instead of colonialist foundations
In 1958, therefore, Williams admitted
the need to reorganise the party. Before
we seek to ask how this grandiose plan
came to nought, it is necessary to estab-
lish that the proposals for reorganisation
came to nought and that it became in-
creasingly clear that after 1960 Williams
had abandoned the idea of a party.
At Woodford Square on 24 th September
1960 (4th anniversary of the 1956 victory),
one week before the 5th annual convention,
Williams gave what was essentially an
account of the first four years of his
stewardship. Helistedthreeachievements
political education, the promotion of
nationalism and a party which had pro-
vided the Government with a dynamic
and cohesive prgramme of economic and
social development.

While stating that the party machinery
was fundamentally sound and needed only
"competent r'.~.irs and overhaul and
regular servicing," he admitted the defi-
ciencies of the party especially in finance.
This was a restatement of the 1958
We will do well to remember Williams'
warning that evening, Theemancipated
The emancipated
to not accept the restoration of slavery.
They fight to preserve their freedom, as
their former masters fight to restore
WHILE the dominant theme of his con-
vention speech one week later was the
impending election of 1961, he also dealt
with the question of the reorganisation of
the party. "Profiting by the mistakes and
misfortunes of those who preceded us, we
have been able to establish in Trinidad
and Tobago a political partvon foundations
which are now being reappraised and
examined in conformityrwith article 17
of our constitution.

*Cont'd on Page 3

A party convention assumes a vital set of con-
stituent units. These units are live constituency
organizations having an independent existence and
throwing up leaders in the constituencies. If units
of this type exist, then, the annual convention is a
coming together of constituency organisation in order
to exercise control over the party and to give it a
sense of direction. Because the PNM has never been
a party organised along those lines, the annual con-
ventions have been unable to exercise any meaningful
control over the party.

-c~ir~~~ ~-~-L_l) I I I I -~-



il A RY

magnuji Ft anE1 pva cvac0\


Cont'd from Page 2

He continued, "The foundations have been
solid foundations. Whatever the imperfec-
tions your Party, they have been im-
perfections in respect of performance
and not of structure.
No realprogress had beanmadesince
1958. Williams bemoaned the fact thatthe
Budget presented by the Treasurer at
the 1958 Convention had not been im-
plemented. This never improved.
With respect to party organisation
he spoke in strains which were to recur
year after year,

Five' years later at the 1965 Con-
vention Williams was still talking about
party re-organisation. His Meet t h e
Party Tour had started on 14th June
1964 and had been suspended on 5th
JuAe 1965. Instead of de-emphasising the
dependence on the doctor domination of
the Party, Williams was reinforcing it.
Little in the way of reorganisation had
taken place since 1958. In fact it has
been asserted before that he gave up
the idea of organising the Party properly
after 1960.


He decided that he would meet the
Party. The doctor-messiah had to do it.
Organisation was to be initiated from
above, not as he had said in 1958, from
the bottom up. I shall have specific
proposals toputbefore the General Council
as I carry further the political leader's
"meet the party" tour and find time to
analyse the representations, comments
and criticisms of the Party Groups."
In the interim, Parliamentary Re-
presentatives and Senators were t o
continue with Constituency groups.
The young, especially, were tobetraimea.
Yet no. leadership outside of Williams
has emerged within the party.
At the Convention of 11 September

1966, Williams admitted that there was
need for constant and regular super-
vision of party and constituency groups
without waiting until election time to
rehabilitate them. Meet the Party tour,
countless attempts at re-organisation. A
lot of movement. A lot of activity. No
progress. No party re-organisation.
Came the Convention of September
1967 and back to square one
with respect to party re-organisation.
Total contradiction in Williams as he
tries to cover up the lack of a proper
party structure.
In one breath he could say that since
1965 much progress in organi-
,sation, had been made.

More than. 5,000 members had been
recruited into party. Liaison betweert the
Government and the Party had grown.
So much so that the Government had taken
action on two major issues OAS mem-
bership and Family Planning after
consultation with the party. Consultation
with which Party? "Progress in re-
organisation", but a deterioratingfinancial
situation in the Party. Arrears i n Party
dues amounted to $91,000. Gimmicks
had to be introduced to stimulate in-
terest in the party awards to best
constituency and best party group. The
meet the party tour was to be resumed,
and it was, that very month. Steps were
to be taken to revivify the dormant
committees in the party. The party in
shambles, but Williams claimed that it
was growing in strength .

The contradictions were borne out in
1968. One year before Williams had said
that the most significant feature of the
political scene had been the growing
strenght of the PNM. But in 1968 he
admitted that the local government
elections (mid 1968) had revealed deep
seated malaise in the party. Party groups
were inactive. In one constituency 9 out
of 23 were inactive; in another over
6 out of 15, and in a third 7 out of 11.
Cont'd on Pages 4-5


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DAREEIING grown on the sidos of the Himalayas, is
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NILGIRIS cultivatej on the Blue Mohuntais in Kerala, is a
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It's the perfect cuppa t b wtt. f tiil i I tl 1 oil It
Lt tr, iflra fy | I^,4,,. ill
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ports to be more than just a another
history book Its sub-title which makes
it '"The History of the Caribbean
1492-1969", implies that it is the
definitive study of 477 years ofhistory
in these widely scattered islands
Apart from this fantastic claim is the
fact that the book was written by Dr.
E. E. Williams, the Prime Minister
of a country which has been for some
years in a state of silent turmoil.
Thus the reader is particularly in-
terested in the views of its author
on the Caribbean past; his sense of
how the past permeates and defines
the present, and the prospective,
which he offers for the future.
Since, too, From Columbus to Castro is'
presented as the fruit of over eighteen years ex-
perience and research, and succeeds an impres-
sive list of books, monographs pamphlets and
lectures, it is of particular interest as the intel-
lectual climax of a long academic and political
career, and as the synthesis of a lifetime's expe-
rience in both the writing and making of West
Indian history. Questions which engage the read-
er almost before he reads the book are, "What
new things does Dr. Williams have to say about
the Caribbean past?", and "How coherent will
his vision turn out to be?" "What, if any ,is
the connection between his scholarship and his
I n addition to all this, From Columbus to Castro
has already been used as the springboard from which
the PNM means to jump into the era of the swinging
seventies. It has been welcomed in by an exclusive



dinner, which the publisher himself, Mr. Deutsch, travelled
from London to attend; by an adulatory speech made
in worship of the author by a minister of his govern-
ment who, from his lack of concrete references, seems
not to have read the book a s yet; and by a meeting
of the PNM at Queen's Park Savannah, in which Dr.
Williams, fulfilling his multiple role of historian-poli-
tician and philosopher-King, unleashed on an unsus-
pecting public the Party's new Charter, which contains
(and I quote) "the most profound concept in contem-
porary political social and economic thought." (end
of quote). This seems rather like an attempt to oust
Mr. Burnham of the Republic of this game of
Caribbean one-upmanship. Mr. Burnham had scored
a first in the Caribbean by instituting the world's only
Co-operative Republic in 1969. Now it is the Trinidad
Magna Carta ushered in by a massive history book,
which is certainly much more impressive than Mr.
Burnham's A Destiny to Mould, which ushered in the
Co-operative Republic.


From Columbus to Castro, then, is meant to be both
the historian's bible for the new era, and the great
work from which the national movement in Trinidad
and Tobago will derive its intellectual dynamic against
the deepening pressures of this age of neo-colonialism.
It is Dr. Williams titanic attempt to bring up to date
such thoughts and perceptions as are his; to revise
old insights, to include fresh ideas, and to assemble
both the archaic and the immediate visions in a single
massive volume, which would show once and for all
how West Indian history can be pressed into the service
of decolonisation; how the academic can become a politi-
cian and yet preserve his academic integrity, while
at the same time reassuring former students of the now
defunct University of Woodford Square, that despite his
years of hermit-like invisibility, the great brain is
still solidly at work.
These days it is difficult to view



without scepticism anything Dr. Wil-
liams has to say either as politician
or as historian. His last two history
books have been the objects of quite
astringent criticism from professional
historians at UWI.
Dr. K.O. Laurence, for example views Dr. Williams'


Cont'd from Page 3

In every party group over 40% of the
members were unfinancial; in one the
figure was more than 75 %. After 12
years of office and 10 years of reor-
ganisation, this was the state of the party.
no activity to keep party groups alive
in the periods between elections.
Once more the doctor decided to take
the party by the scruff of its neck.
He was going to reorganize. It was
to be done through the implementation
of six proposals which he presented.
The utmost destiny of a
messianic leader is topre-
side over eternal crisis.
The endemic, structural weaknesses of
the PNM, concealed by the charismatic
excitement of the first phase, were
glaringly revealed during the second phase
So much so that the problem of p a r t y
reorganization was never resolved suc-
cessfully. Williams perceived the in-
adequacies of the party, tried to remedy
adequacies of the party, tried to remedy


History of the People of Trinidad and Tobago as an ex-
cellent "manifesto of a subjugated people," but criti-
cises the author for a tendency to overstat" his case, and
to omit a number of things which would significantly modi-
fy his conclusions. Dr. Laurence mentions in particular
Dr. William's failure to credit the contribution of Albert
Gomes; to assess the work of the Abolitionists; to treat
the system of Apprenticeship, the effect of World War
II and the American occupation on the islands; to consider
the Moyne Report; or to see the long struggle for self-
government as a continuous and unbroken process. He
sees William's treatment of the post-1956 era as "frank-
ly partisan" and ends with an implicit rejection of his
However it is obviously desirable that the
books which will dictate the view of their own his-
tory which the peoples of the Caribbean will
possess, for the next generation should be written
as histories not as nationalist. manifestos. Other-
wise it will be necessary for later generations
to unlearn much of the "history" which the first
generation learned, just as in the United States,
for example, it has been necessary to rewrite
the traditional views of the emergence, of that
great country in the eighteenth century. )
Dr. Laurence then goes on to define the problems
as an imperfect marriage between the historian, and
the politician.
SDr. Williams of course is both politician and
historian, and if it be said that it is the politician
who gives the book its punch, it is certainly

the historian who gives it its authority. T hat
authority needs frequently to be challenged, for
th e nationalist politician has from time to time
led the historian to swerve dangerously; but the
book is a great achievement. 9
One wonders whether the last statement is not defeated
by all that precedes it.
Elsa Goveia's review of British Historians and the
West Indies, first published in Caribbean Quarterly
and since republished in John La' Rose's N e w Beacon
Reviews, Collection One, (1968), is inits calm way a
devastating piece of criticism. She thinks that Dr.
Williams has misnamed his book, and is able to show
that he does not 'examine the work of seven or eight
major British historians who wrote extensively about
the West Indies, while he includes the work of a n
American who did not write about the West Indies
at all. She mentions the "combination of omissions
and hasty dogmatism which mars his present work,"
and concludes:
SWhether in education or history, good intentions
are not enough, and the road to hell is paved
with authoritative half-truths. No one is e v e r
educated or liberated from the past by being
taught how easy it is to substitute new shib-
boleths for old. )
She finds the book "disappointing and even somewhat
irresponsible", and sees it as "just not good enough
either for the people or for the students of the West
Indies who are likely to read it." Later, she suggests
that Dr. Williams write essays on the contemporary
West Indian scene, which his experience as historian
and politician could render valuable.


With these two warnings behind us, then, we cannot
help but approach From Columbus to Castro with some
scepticism. Indeed,such scepticism, is doubly neces-
sary since Dr. Williams makes fantastic claims for
the book and has been prepared to use its publication
as a means of bolstering up his political position in
Trinidad and Tobago. Dr. Williams' states his purpose
in a Preface.
*Few "colonials" have to date extended their
nationalism to cultural field and dedicated them-
selves to the task of writing or rewriting,
where necessary, their own history.
The present work is designed to fill this gap
and to correct this deficiency. Its scope is the
entire -West Indian area, including t h e Guineas
whether their connections have been or are
British or French, Spanish or American or Danish....
Its goal is the cultural integration of the entire
area, a synthesis of existing knowledge, as the
essential foundation of the great need of our
time, closer collaboration among the various coun-
tries of the Caribbean by outside interests '.
From Columbus to Castro, then, has grown out
of a belief that little is being done by West Indians
in the rewriting of their own history, and its preface
is a direct criticism of the History Department of the
University of the West Indies. Dr. Williams has now
come to rescue historiography in the West Indies..
from the doldrums, as he claimed in 1956'to have
rescued Trinidad from the Crown Colony system and
from political anarchy and immorality in public affairs.
He must have been living in a hermit's cell some-
where, by-passed by time. He clearly has taken no
account of the growing number of unpublished theses
in West Indian history, the fruit of hard work, serious
scholarship, and at times of nationalist pride. In this

area, the lack of West Indian publishing houses willing
to handle academic texts, is a felt one Publishers
know that relatively few West Indians historians will
have Dr. Williams's ability to advertise their books
on trips abroad, as well as on the local television
and radio, since very few of them willbe Prime Minister
of anywhere.


Apart from its messianic urge, the preface ex-
presses Dr. Williams's very commendable aim of work-
ing towards "the cultural integration of the entire area."
This indicates that he is one of an increasing band'
of creative writers in the West Indies who sense
the essential cultural similarity of the area. DrWilliams,
despite his abrupt withdrawal from the Federation
after Jamaica left, has been an advocate of regional
cooperation since the mid-forties. In the fifties when
he was lecturing about the necessity for a Federation,
George Lamming was producing New World of the
Caribbean, a programme of readings from British
Caribbean writers which, was federal in perspective,
growing as it did out ofthe optimism at the prospective
British West Indian Federation. Now From Columbus
to Castro appears while CARIFTA is in its embryonic
stage, and while Brathwaite and Walcott are annually
widening their perspectives.Literature, historyand politics
are thus quietly serving as a counterpoint to each
other, and Dr. Williams is certainly not alone in the
great task which he says that he has undertaken.
It is therefore good to hear Dr. Williams mentioning
the names of some of the region's creative writers
in his final chapter, and in his preface implying
the identity of his quest with theirs, though it is by
no means evident from some of his past and most
of his recent political activities, that he has applied
their severe critique and rejection ot our sterile
politics and Afro-Saxon attitudes, to himself. It seems
that he has read them to no end.


Dr. Williams' notion of writing history has hardly
developed since Capitalism and Slavery. He still con-
ceives of history writing as the gathering together
of a stock pile of facts to be hurled like bricks against
dead and living imperialists. Capitalism and Slavery,
like the Negro in the Caribbean (1942) was the product
of the age when Black intellectuals first began as a
body to refute the stereotypes of the African which
Europeans had for centuries been vending. Those two
early works were the academic equivalent of Cesaire's
Cahier and Damas's Pigments which the French banned
and burned during World War I1 because this colonial
had been able to show that France as a colonial power
had been just as racist as Nazi Germany. Williams'
early work was a significant advance in Black con-
sciousness. The fact that it is largely a reaction
to white prejudice explains its extremely factual nature.
Williams knew that if he aspired to altering the past,
he could do so only by a true rediscovery of fact.
The meticulous citation of facts and figures was a
necessary defence against the accusation which is
still being made about Capitalism and Slavery, that
Williams as a Black man was simply trying to write
history as revenge. It was self that he sought to
vindicate his own self and the racial one -and the
Cont'd on Page 6

them, failed abandoned the idea of a
mass party and proceeded to reinforce
the doctor base.
The pretence of being a party has
been facilitated by the fact that the PNM
has the instruments of state at its dis-
posals so that government projects parade
as community activity and government
:mercenaries masquerade as constituency


C.L.R. James had seen the organizational
weaknesses of the PNM and had pointed
them out to Williams. In a report on the
party soon after his arrival in 1958 he
said that,
( The most potent cause of dis-
order is the almost incurable habit of
a top leadership always taking over every
important task, because it isquite obvious
that it is being done badly. That is the
surest way never to train anybody; to
direct the eyes of the party and the public
always to the summit; to destroy the con-
fidence of the second and coming layers
of leadership f
He saw thatthe lack of proper organiza-
tion was the major reason for Williams'
domination of the Party. Consequently, the

Party was powerless to check Williams
in "whatever course he may decide to
follow "
James further recognized that an or-
ganization can only be created by hard,
patient work. He went on to say, 'after
you have built an organization with people
who have method it is possible to make
a call upon it for action. The PNM has
no Party organization to speak of yet
these demands are hurled on it, as if
they are soldiers who have nothing to do
but obey. The inevitable result is that
members and friends listen, and then do
little or nothing. The public and the party
get blamed for apathy, ignorance, back-
wardness, when in reality the fault is
entirely the leadership' s
Williams failure to create a real
party may be explained by:
* his general lack of moral insight;
of an understanding of how his style
affects human relations
* his concern with office before the
work of organisation had been carried
far enough.
* his confusion of very necessary crowd
excitement with the equally necessary
community participation in the making
of decisions
Try as he has done, he has not been
able to retrieve the position in thirteen
long years. Cont'd on Page 7







iii II





- ~e



,; 'Pi~l~i




Cont'd from Pages 4-5
completeness of this self-vindication depended on the
authenticity of the facts. Dr. Williams at this stage
couldn't afford to write too much propaganda, since
identity itself depended on his telling a substantial,
part of the truth.
When the victim of colonialism begins to tell his
version of the truth, he normally shocks the liberals
within the ranks of the colonising race most. For
the colonial, the study of his history is a journey
into self rather than into time past, for the white
liberal, it is more generally evasion of the deeper
implications of racial and cultural contact under the
artificial conditions of imperialism. Recently, Sylvia
Wynter has argued that British critics of West In-
dian literature show a similar capacity for evading
its central issues and agonies. She identifies their
failure as a failure to admit the part their people
played in West Indian history, and to see how this
produced the rebellion of the West Indian mind in
both its positive and negative aspects. Her argument
is that such rebellion leads to a totally different
approach to art, which critics brought up in a metro-
politan tradition of criticism judge from the standpoint
of their own irrelevant or inadequate aesthetic. They
therefore sidestep the judgementwhich West Indian
literature passes on both their culture and their role
in the sordid drama, of Empire, by concentrating on
the aesthetic flaws rather than the wider implications
of this' literature.

Significantly, as Dr. Williams realises, it is the
Irish writers like Swift, Orwell, Shaw and Joyce who
come nearest to the corrosive irony which is the
peculiar gift of the colonial experience. "Iunderstood
Britain's Irish policy and the Irish 'colonial' better
after I had read Swift, Shaw and Joyce," he writes in
Chapter 3 of Inward Hunger. He also mentions with
approval in From Columbus to CastroSwift's scathing
satire on British imperialism in Gulliver'sTravels.
Whites who have known the, pressures of,
colonialism themselves, generally have an approach
to history and to life which resembles that of their
Black counterparts. Joseph Conrad, that Polish
colonial, sailor and exile in his Heart of Darkness was
one of the few Europeans who realized an idea that is
a first principle with Black writers: that in the im-
perial collision it was the West that was on trial -
Western culture, values, mythology, scholarship,tra-
dition, and reputation for humanitarianism. Heart of
Darkness, a book which shows neither a love nor ar
understanding of the African, is nevertheless a maca-
bre study of the decay of the West and ends up by ex-
pressing a profound disillusion at the process of
history itself.
The Williams of Capitalism and Slavery was part
of this international company of acrid ironists all
bound together by the futility of their colonial status.
His work most resembles Swift's in tone, in clarity
of style and in acrimony. Indeed, since Williams
thinks so highly of Swift, a brief comparison of the
two men is not out of place. Swift's family had in the
past seen better times, and he grew up with a bound-
less ambition for high office andaristocratic position.
SAllmy endeavours, from a boy, to distinguish my-
self, were only for want of a greattitle and fortune,
that I might be used like a lord by those who have
an opinion of my parts whether right or wrong,
it is no matter,* and so the reputation of wit or
greatlearning does the office of a blue ribbon, or

or a coacn ana six norses.w
Swift, then, equated authority with respectability. An
Anglo-Irish politician who would have liked to be a
moving force in English politics, he was exiled in-
stead to an Irish deanery because of his 'subversive'
writings as chief Tory journalist and pamphleteer.
There he oscillated between contempt for the Irish
whom he considered unworthy of a man of his calibre,
and raged at the English who had banished him from
his beloved coffee-house crowd, where he was a gen-
tleman among equals.
Swift saw Ireland with a colonial's self-contempt
as "this landof slaves" into whichhehad been dropped
by accident. His crowning ambition in Ireland was
"to have none about me that denies my authority" and
to live the life of a "king among slaves." This,
however, he regarded as a poor substitute for the
attractions of high-level politics. His reaction was
fascinating. First, he surrounded himself with
minions, minor clerics, impoverished students seek-

NAIPAUL ...... a different discovery

ing advancement, and later on with small business-
men and shop-keepers, over whom he exercised a
more absolute authority than ever Lear could over his
one hundred soldiers. Next he championed the Irish
cause against a typically iniquitous piece of English
legislation and was cheered through the streets of Dub-
lin by a people he detested, as a national hero. In his
pamphlet against the introduction of Wood's half-
pence, he all but stated the case for Irish Home Rule,
and in his famous and macabre A Modest Proposal
he equated the English treatment of the Irish peasant
with cannibalism, which he set out toprove could more
profitably be replaced by actual state-controlled can-
nibalism. The argument was that since England as
an imperial power was concerned only with the making
of profit she ought to allow no moral scruple, no mere
consideration of humanity, to stand in her way. In this
satire, Swift also stated the principle of Buy
Local, and in part blamed the Irish businessman for

YExplorations In The History Of Our Peoples -

THE significance of pseudo- scientific racism rests
in the fact that such racism was most prominent at
precisely the period when Europeans were partitioning
off Africa and setting up their respective grids of colonial

The colonizers, who were provided with
the best opportunity to study the pre-
colonial past of Africa, naturallyassumed
that Africa could have no history worth
investigating. And, whenever and where-
ever they came across evidence of African
achievements which clearly ran counter
to their prevailing ideas they fashioned
what is known today as the "Hamitic'
Hypothesis"' to explain it away.
The word Hamitic,' or "Hamite" is
derived from Ham in Genesis Chapter 5.
There, Noah damned his youngest son,
Ham, saying to him:
"Cunsed be Canaan
A servant of servants shall he be
unto his brethren......"
Now, even though nothing racial was
implied in this curse, it was not long
before Christian and Jewish theology at-
tached a racial connotation to the episode.
HAM NEGRO SLAVE wasthe equation.


So that, in its original form, the Hamites
were identified with Negroes.
This notion of a 'Negro-Hamite' held
sway until the drastic discoveries of
Egyptian civilisation. At the turn of the
19th Century the French found that the
Egyptians were a dark people so there
occurred an adroit intellectual somersault.
The Negro Hamite became Caucasoid
Hamites i.e. a "Master Race" of invaders,
such as the Egyptians and the Ethiopians.
Then "Caucasoid" Hamites were desig-
nated as the early culture-bearers in
Africa by reason of the "natural" superio-
rity of intellect and character of all
Caucasoid Hamites.
The leading exponent of the Hamite
hypothesis was C.G. Seligman, Professor

his lack of nationalist pride, and forthe shoddy nature
of his product. In Gulliver's Travels Swift poured all
his thwarted ambition not only into a rejection of Brit-
ish imperialism, but of the entire process of history
and politics. In short, his life was an example of the
now well-known colonial love-hate complex, which
binds the colonized to the colonizer, teaches him con-
tempt for self and a twisted love for his people, and
leads finally to the emergence of irony both as a
quality of perception and as a psychological necessity.


This is, of course, nothing like a full summary of
the life or career of Jonathan Swift. It is a simple
isolation of the colonial experience insofar as itaffected
his career. There are several respects in which this
career resembles that of Dr. Williams. In Inward Hunger
Williams sees himself as the product of a largely irre-
levant primary and secondary education who sets out
to 'conquer' Oxford. Chapter Three of thisbook begins
with an extremely lyrical description of Oxford's broad
academic tradition. Dr. Williams' discovery of this
heritage is seen almost as a fulfilment of self, "a true
discovery of identity. Then there is a latish discovery
of the pain and irrelevance, the non-identity of being a
colonial at Oxford and a Black colonial at that. The
second half of the chapter is decidedly less lyrical
than the first. In it Dr. Williams describeshow he moved
from under the protective wing of his tutor and faced
what he interprets as the racial prejudice of the insti-
tution as a whole, when he tried to qualify for a fellow-
ship at All Souls, If a grim sort of humour informs his
description of the ordeal of dinner-parties, teacups and
choosing the correct teaspoon at the right moment, while
saying precisely the correct piece of irrelevance that
passes for wit in that incestuous world, it is a kind of
naive outraged innocence that informs the narration of
a passage like this one:


The first incident occurred in the examination room.
The examination included an oral translation from
a foreign language. I >chose' French. Spanish not
being available. The students had to enter a long
room, in which he found some forty -Fellows seated
around a table. In the course of translation, I made
a horrible mistake. The crowd roared. I received
the distinct impression that the roar was aimed at
me and not at the mistake. It sobered me at once,
I lost all nervousness, I looked all aroundthe room,
at one individual member after the other until
quiet had been restored. I felt like a schoolmaster
upbraiding by looks a group of unruly pupils; some
began to pick their nails, one looked out of the win-
dow, one twiddled with a book in front of him. When
there was absolute quiet I resumed translation in
a cold, unemotional voice. At the end I came to a
passage of which I could not make head or tail. I
declined to translate. The warden pressed me three
titles to have a go at it. Irefused. To set the matter
at rest, I told him on the final occasion that I did
not wish to give rise toanother such guffaw as I had
already listened to. He thanked me for coming, and
I took my leave. b
This is a remarkable passage precisely because it
reveals much more of Dr. Williams and the cultural
predicament of the Afro-Saxon colonial than he admits.
Beguiled by the idea that he had conquered Oxford
merely because he had proved himself their besthistory
student in years, he had dreamed briefly of joining

0 Cont'd on Page 7

of Ethnology at the university of Lonaon
from 1913 to 1934. His Races of Africa,
was first published in 1930. He painted a
historical scenario of 'wave after wave'
of pastoral, 'European' Hamites descend-
ing on Africa and carrying the "higher"
traits of civilisation to 'the d a r k
agricultural Negroes'.
By the Seligmanite view of Africanhis-
tory, the Hamites possessed a number of
related characteristics. Racially, they
were Caucasoid or nearly so (i.e. they
had 'white blood' in their veins). Linguis-
tically, they spoke a language that was
related to Euro-Asian language family.
Culturally, they were pastoralists. Their
role in African history was romanticised
as having been one of conquerors and
bearers of ideas of state organisation and
superior technological skills.
In actual fact, however, each ofthese
elements is independent of the other. As
a matter of fact, there exists nothing
as a "Hamiticrace' The term "Hamites'
is a linguistic term like the term 'Bantu'.
For all useful historical purposes,the
so-called Hamitic-speaking peoples of

Africa are mixed peoples, with a great
variety of physical types and an equally
great range of social and p oliti c al
Historically, too, the role of pastora-
lists in history has generally been one
destructive of ordered life.
However, this is what
generally happens when
people try to establish link-
ages between "race"
"language" and "culture"
and tryto work up general
laws of historical develop-
ment and decay on such a
basis We end up by in-
venting "Nancy" stories
about the sons of H a m
to condemn w h o 1 e
peoples. But, then, w h o


Nancy stories


. .. T





Cont'd from Page 6
a world of entrenched snobbery and tradition. As he
saw it, the world had replied by laughing at his black-
ness and his ignorance of one of its languages. Like
Swift, Dr. Williams found his ambition thwarted by the
world towards which he aspired, and his dignity under-
minded. His rejoinder was also similar to Swift's
He stresses his moral superiority to his tormentors -
"I felt like a schoolmaster upbraiding by looks a group
of unruly pupils" The OxfordFellows, though, probably
saw him as a tiny little Blackboy, whom, they didn't want
to torture too obviously. The entire passage is like Mr.
Biswas's first appearance before the family tribunal of
the Tulsis. There is a passage in Chapter 4 of A House
for MR. Biswas which seems exactly to describe
Williams' pose nere: "Looking stern, preoccupied ana,
as he hoped, dangerous, Mr. Biswas became very busy
helping the carter to unload." The incident has certainly
taken its full toll, maiming part of the psyche beyond
all redemption. Dr. Williams' entire life since that
period has been partly an attempt to prove to the
Fellows of All Souls that he is not only their equal, but
their superior; not anybody's pupil, but everybody's

How, for example, is the reader expected to take
this account of the famous confrontation between Dr.
Williams and Mr. X of the Caribbean Commission, when,
according to him, they were trying to use his book The
Negro in the Caribbean as an excuse to dismiss him?
SThroughout the discussion I was conscious of two
impressions (a) that Mr. X was literally flabber-
gasted. I doubt that he ever expected any colonial
to write or speak to him like that; (b) that morally
and physically I was his superior. That he should
be evasive and apologetic I fully expected. Bue he
was more than that. At times he was quite inco-
herent ... when we were through he had had enough;
I could havemgone on (talking) for three hours 9







Here we find the daydream which the colonimlalways
has of humiliating Massa, his longing to ply the casti-
gating whip for a change. Beneath it lies the need to
prove self and manhood, which can never be fulfilled
unless there is an audience of squirming colonizers
and a chorus of applauding slaves. There is a kind
of triumphant pettiness about the passage which rings
embarassingly near to the core of the colonial psyche.
All colonials have had the dream. It was one of the
moving forces behind Swift's satire. In the case of Dr.
Williams, though, a brilliant mind constantly satirises
itself. The last passage quoted reveals all the bitter-
ness of the in-fighting of the late Crown Colony era;
the loneliness of the individual whose dignity had always
to be asserted as limits were placed on personality.
V.S. Naipaul, who came a generation after Dr. Williams
and also attended Oxford, found it a .distinctly different
place from the one Williams described. In contrast
to philistine Trinidad, Naipaul tells us, England has
been the only place where he has discovered "gene-
rosity the admiration of equal for equal."
The Middle Passage, De .tsch, 1962) England must hake
changed after twenty year's; but under the strain of the
thirties, the divided Afro-Saxon colonial psyche could
scarcely be expected to cope without a weird un-
predictable oscillation between its componenthalves. The
victim learns to feel a simultaneous blend of love,
hatred and contempt for both Black and White, and he
swings unpredictably between these conflicting emotions.
Sometimes he expresses all of them at the same time,
and in the same action. The result of this is generally
irony of some sort, a peculiar rigour of mind, and a
schoolmaster's desire to castigate and be respected.

This is perhaps what explains, the similarity
between minds as different as Dr. Williams's and
Swift's. His habit of accumulating facts and figures
and arranging them for ironic effect, and of sometimes
summarising argument by an immense tabulation of
detail is similar to a method Swift employs from time
to time, to clinch his point for good and all. In the
passage about to be quoted, Lemuel Gulliver receives




the answer of that rational superman, the king of
Brobdingnag, to his panegyric onEruopeanhistoryand
civilisation. The king's voice, which at this point is
almost certainly Swift's, is the bewildered voice of
the colonial rebel passing judgment on the myths which
the colonising power has createdfor itself, and used in
the process of controlling the minds of the subject
people. Indeed part of Swift's Olympian laughter is at
the fact that such a tiny immoral insect as Gulliver,
European Man, should undertake the gigantic task of
trying to change the customs and mentality of alien
SHe was perfectly astonished with the historical
account I gave him of our affairs during the last
century, protesting it was only a heap of con-
spiracies, rebellions, murders, massacres,
revolutions, banishments, the very worst effects
that avarice, faction, hypocrisy, perfidiousness,
cruelty, rage, madness, hatred, envy, lust, malice,
or ambition could produce. )
Flow compare this passage from Dr. Williams'
From Columbus to Castro, which is simply one of
many in his work.
SOne of the most vigorous of the abolitionists, G.
Thompson, said that the immigrants into Mauritius
were indolent, mendicants, runaways, vagrants,
thieves, vagabonds, filthy, diseased, dissolute, im-
moral, disgusting, covered with sores; some were
priests, some jugglers, some barbers, some
wrestlers, some cooks, some grooms, some bef-
foons, some herdsmen, some pedlars, some scul-
lions, bakers, tailors, confectioners, instead of
agricultural labourers. 4
It may be that Dr. Williams is quoting Thompson
directly without benefit of quotation marks; or it may
be that he is paraphrasing Thompson.Whichever is
true, it is clear that he likes the pamphleteer style
of the passage, which also appears in History of the
people of Trinidad and Tobago. It may also be the
vigorous polemical approach of such eighteenth
century giants as Swift and Defoe that attracts Wil-
liams to their work. He is, like them, a polemicist
of no mean order. The passage just quoted, though an
extreme example, captures the main characteristics
of Williams' style. Here can be seen his passion for
making lists of words, facts, statistics the passion
for cataloguing experience in a manner reminiscent
of Robinson Crusoe's diary. Even for the economic
historian the passion is an extreme one.


From Pages 4-5
Like Williams, James also hadinsights.
In a series on The Problems of Demo-
cracy and Political Change (Express,
March, 1969), Wally Look Lai contended
that James was'saying that political power
should be evenly distributed between the
leadership and the population in Trinidad
and Tobago.
aImplied in all his political
analyses of Caribbean society (indeed, of
all modern societies) isthebelief that no
radical transformation ofthe economy is
possible without a genuine and active in-
volvement of the entire population,
and that such an involvement can
only come if the population is
mobilised and given real powers of
decision and control in a way that
would protect it from the dicta-
torial domination of a Caribbean
despot or a bureaucratic elite. I

Loook Lai further argued that James
and later Best were saying that the most
important problem was the need to alter

the authoritarian political culture and to
create the foundations of real democracy
within the society, for real political
and economic progress are dependent on
the creation of the conditions for genuine
popular participation.
James fell into the trap of rushinginto
an essentially unsound political alliance,
hoping that everything would turn out all
right and that he and Williams would
reorganize the party. That was his first
mistake... in 1958. His second mistake
was in 1966 when, in desperation, he
tried to organise a now-for-now party
in the form of the WFP.
The Tapia strategy of
change insists that a cer-
tain amount of democratic
experience in the con-
stituencies must precede
the formation of the party.
The party must arise from
open discussion, from
shared leadership from a
coalition of community
groups with their own

I Constituency groups are to exercise
control over the leadership and to chart
the direction of the Party theymusthave
an independent existence, and must exist as
full-time organizations. To this end we
have suggested schemes of self-help and
economic activity. From this type of ac-
tivity community leaders are likely to
to emerge and the localitieswill be eman-
UNIP and ;Robinson.andthe'Dedicated'
citizens have opted for the same strategy
as Williams first acquire power and then
seek to induce change and create a de-
mocracy. Acceptance of such
discredited strategy and over-simplistic
analysis -for example, remove Williams
and the PNM and change will come about -
is likely to cost the country dearly in
terms of tears and time.

Once a new movementbegins
to ape old movements, it becomes by that
very fact an old movement.
With Williams's belated attempt to
reorganise the Party, and his consequent
dumping of the idea by 1960, the third phase
in the life of the Party was ushered in-
The over-riding need in this period
was political stabilisation. It was initially
achieved by co-opting professional, busi-
ness and labour leaders into positions of
government responsibility. Those who, at
the time, were capable of political oppo-
sition were bought out.

Within the Party, too, Williams had to
have resort to gimmicks the party award
scheme of 1967, for example.
Intimidation first took the form of a
Commission of Enquiry into Subversive
Activities (1963).
Organised labour had to be kept out of
politics. In the interest of political stability
it was necessary to stop strikes and the
formation of new Unions. Hence the BA
(1965), defended at the 1965 Convention on
the grounds of the security of the State
against subversive elements.
*Cont'd on Page 8






4 ....... the review of the new politics

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Dr. ANANCY and the blue flies

THE folklore of a people is its collective wisdom. It is
therefore especially valuable for true-to-life portraits


of basic strengths and weaknesses in the popular char-

acter or psyche.
Our own folklore points to a capacity for fantasy-
ing, for malicious imagining and for spiteful cunning in

THE story has it that.
"Dr. Anancy went out one day, and saw
a dead dog, with a lot off blue flies on it.
So Dr. Anancy jumped outof his clothes
and he dressed-off in,'blue flies. You
can imagine how pretty he was looking
in the sunlight.
But when he got home, his wife eyed

him coldly. Before she could open her
mouth, Nancy bawled: "Look how nice I
looking, eh!"
The Doctor didn't want these old clothes
again. So he dropped them and told the wife:
"Burn them...Don't let me come back and
see them here at all. I don't want them!"
The Doctor strutted offinhisblue-flies
suit. Dr. Nancy making a lot of garbage,

Voom... Voom. Voom, Voom......"They
coming off!'"
Doctor startedtorun, bawling;... Wife...
Wife, don't burn the clothes. Don't burn
them ... I want them."
When Doctor/Wife heard him, she took
up some oil and threw it on the clothes
and set them on fire. Everything, Gam-
bage and all, went up in smoke.
Dr. Nancy in distress.
There was only one thing left for him to
do. He scrambled to the roof of the house
And there the Doctor is till today.
(A Question: What made the "Flies"
abandon Dr Nancy in his time of distress?)

One of ancient hand written copies of the HOLY KORAN, the Moslem
Bible. It is believed they were penned by two of the Prophet's closest

I noticethat quite recently government
has been inviting economists from abroad
to comment on and analyse the present
state of affairs in the country.
I was rather interested in the conmnents
made by Mr. Dumont. What he has said
is no different to what many of the national
critics of the government have been saying.
The lack of agricultural productivity in
a country where agriculture should be the
base of the economy, the imposing of go-
vernment policies on the population in
general, and the co-operatives in par-
ticular, and of course the gap between the
middle class and the grass roots.


N.J.A.C. and Tapia have been pointing
out that there should be agricultural
schools and farms to make the young
people concentrate on agriculture, that
there should be more participation on the
part of the people in all areas and less
centralisation. In fact it is true to say that
these groups have shown the population
the way to the New Society.
Why then should government be im-
porting people like Mr. Dumont to say
the same thing? Is it that legitimate
criticism could only comefrom European
visitors? Why doesn't government listen
to the voice of the people? We see the same
thing with the Commission of Inquiry
which looked into racial discrimination in
the private sector with specific reference
to the Banks.


Black people have been telling the
P.N.N. that there is discrimination in the
in the banks. N.J.A.C. went into this
question at length. The thing was plain
for every body to see. Why then do we
need a Commission of Inquiry? Isn't it
wasting the tax payers money, and at the
same time showing up the hypocricy of the
What we need is not Mr. Dumont or a
Commission of Inquiry, but the changing
of the economic system which has pro-
duced and perpetuated all those ills.
But with all these soul festivals
and foreign artistes coming to
it seems to me that government is leading
the population on a thin cob-web to the
gates of hell by attempting to "cool off"
the constructive protests in the country.


Why did the PNM fail?

* Cont'd from Page 7
At the 1966 Convention, Williams put it
this way: "On the political front the out-
standing problem is the need to preserve
our democratic inheritance and constitu-
tional procedures in the face of an in-
creasing threat of violence and racialism.
This is associated on the one hand with the
emergence of the Marxist ideology, and on
the other hand with the resurrection of the
old reactionary right, known formerly as
the POPPG".
The Subversive Literature Act came in
1967. It was a further attempt to contain
those few who had the moral courage to
withdraw from the movement and to start
all over from scratch. They were already
being branded as subversive and un-
Charismatic excitement had given way
to covert terror and bribery as the means
of concealing the structural weaknesses of
the movement.
The 1969 Convention in Tobago effected
the transition from the third to the present
phase. Two things were evident by this


First, after Rodney (1968) the country
was beginning to organise against the PNM.
New World (Trinidad) had split, butMOKO
and TAPIA emerged as intermediate
political institutions. NJAC emerged with
the crisis following Rodney Michener.
Nor were these the only crises. The neo-

colonial regime was coming under in-
creasing pressure, facing crisis after
crisis, never ending.

Secondly, the PNM was high and dry.
It had completely lost touch with reality,
with the population. Williams, in his Con-
vention address, spoke of the improve-
ments in the Party over the last year.
7,739 new members had been recruited;
70 Party Groups had been reactivated and
19 new ones formed. The Youth League
alone had recruited 1,608 new members.


Williams set the Party a target for the
next year of 7,500 new members, "of whom
5,000 are to be youths" and "a target of
$25,000 from Constituency dues". The en-
suing events, especially the February
evolution attest to the fact that the PNM
was in a dream world of its own.
Having lost touch with the country,
the transition to the fourth phase -that
of Terror was both inevitable and
necessary. First, an illict State Of
Emergency, for a long time clearly
untenable, and then a n abortive Public
Order Bill, which was shouted down
by the population. It is against this
background of mounting repression and
terror that the 13th Annual Convention
takes place this week-end. T h i s
Convention, Constituent Assembly
in style, is Williams's response to the

TAPIA call for a Constituent Assembly.
But it cannot be a genuine Constituent
Assembly, It is, in fact, a gathering
of the Old Regime, the clarion call
having come in the form of"Perspectives
For the New Society."
But Make No Mistake About It.
This Convention is the most important
since the inaugural Conference.
It Is The Last Stand Against Terror.
Williams is trying to win approval for
his Perspectives (the New/Old Charter)
in order to give the Party a new lease
on life and to salvage the discredited
political system established in 1962. He is
hoping to bestow a new but spurious
legitimacy on the Order so that he can
remain in power without the continuing
use of overt, Naked Terror. The
crisis over the Public Order Bill de-
monstrated quite clearly that the popula-
tion will not tolerate the iron fist of
repression. Yet Williams has neither the
moral authority nor the popular support
to govern democratically.

The only option which
Williams still has is to call
a Constituent Assembly as
Prime M:inister, not as
Leader of the PNM.

He must makeway for an in-
terim government and for
sweeping electoral, econo-
mic and constitutional re-
form. This is the only way
for him to give the society
a genuine new perspective
and at the same time, to
rescue his reputation for
posterity. What he will act-
ually do only the coming
months will tell.

Printed for the publishers, THIL A4PA HOUSE Publishing Co. Ltd., by Vanguard Publishing Co. Ltd., San Feinando.



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