Material Information

Place of Publication:
Tapia House Pub. Co.
Creation Date:
December 26, 1971
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

NO. 23 SUNDAY, DECEMBER 26, 1971.

NEW YORK 21, N, Y.

Blackpool's 'Evening of Relaxation' at Tapia House

parang artises..the Blacpoolcast.
parang artistes... the Blackpool cast.

Blackpool and Tapia are two of
biggest names in Tunapuna. On
S Saturday December 18, the people of
S Lower Tunapuna saw some of the re-
sults of the kind of work that scarcely
makes headlines but which is vital to
the development of community self-
confidence. The occasion was Black-
S pool's "Evening of Relaxation" at the
S Tapia House.
A packed house saw a presentation
of drama, song, dance, parang, music,
and lots of youthful exuberance.
Blackpool showed how it is possible to
S get maximum participation of people
in the communities in activities for the
communities altogether outside the
sphere of "Better Village" paternalism.
The show involved large numbers of
young people from the pre-teens to
the twenties in performances that
showed much preparation, and en-
thusiasm if not professionalism.
In this respect, it is significant that
it is the Tapia House and not the
Village Council's concrete building
which has become the real community
centre of the area. Blackpool has been
using the resources of the area to pro-
mote community activity in sport, cul-
, ture and entertainment. The young
brothers and sisters have been learning
the value of hard and systematic work,
1 regular activity and the upliftment of







Lloyd Taylor

"A most hopeless mess. Ask
any of the members of the tra-
velling public, any among us,
they'll tell you that a more apt
description of the present state of
road transport in Trinidad could
hardly be found. Other interests
involved, be they representatives
of the Transport Board, The
Licensing Authorities, private car
owners, transport companies,
Public Transport Service Cor-
poration, Police Traffic Board, or
taxi-drivers, all would really en-
dorse the view.


Look at the picture: More and
more road congestion at peak
hours, increasing congestion in the
urban areas, longer peak hours, a
high accident rate, increasing road
fatalities, a quickening rate of
wear and tear on vehicles, and
rapidly deteriorating road sur-
faces. Always the same. The con-
sequences: unending frustration
;and unbridled impatience as road
users get in the way of each other.
But just whoare the main sufferers?
A quick glance would suggest the daily
commuters who must hire transport,
and the "pirate" taxi-drivers who ply
the routes for a living. For all road users
the social costs are high. Everyone must
bear real cost deriving from a loss in

working hours. School children, from
observation, appear to spend half as
much time on the roads as they spend in
cheir schools. For vehicles the wear and
tear of tyres, front-ends and other parts
is rapid; they consume more and more
oils and fuels.
These extra burdens fall like a ton of
bricks on the head of the taxi-driver.
For him they take on a special signifi-
cance. He not only has to keep his
machine going; he has to keep himself
and his family as well. To do so he has
to employ his car, his skill as a driver,
and all the entrepreneurial talent that he
can summon from within. These pro-
ductive resources he must bring together
in the most efficient way if he is to
succeed. His instinct for self-endeavour,
for business is what he needs most
to sustain himself. Like any other firm
or business he has to face fixed, and
variable costs as well. Money must be
paid down before the vehicle can be
acquired; he must continue to pay
interest to be allowed to keep it; costs
of purchase tax and motor licences must
be met before he can ply his service
within the law; working capital must be
put aside each day to meet costs of gas,
fuels, and oils of one kind or another, so
that his motor car can be kept in mo-
tion, or, if you like, running.

The problem remains virtually the
same when the driver is not the owner
of the vehicle as well. He still has to
work to meet the outlay for acquiring
the car and the running costs. Above all
he has to ensure that his daily takings
are adequate. So be it profits or wages,
same story.
Whether he makes or not remains a
subject for enthusiastic enquiry. The ab-
sence of the necessary figures to help us
make this calculation is itself sufficient
proof of the paucity of concreteness, of
detailed evidence that goes into crucial
areas of Government's'planning. Which
is another reason why the New Move-
ment must harness all its technical sup-
port to initiate, in miniature, the new
Civil Service that will give free reign to
people's talents.


However, what we do know is that
the success of the taxi-driver depends a
lot on the traffic conditions, which are
in fact his conditions of work. And the
ease in which these conditions allow
him to work determines the manner he
plies his trades.
In the horrid conditions that now
exist it is reasonable to expect that the
taxi-driving business be approached with

a kind of viciousness. Like sugar, the
business seems to have an "'inexorable
tenacity" about it. Once you're in
brother, you're stuck. The stresses and
strains thereby created, (as the Rose
Commission of Enquiry of 1961 was
careful to point out) lead to a number
of unsavoury features. On the road itself
one finds "poor attire," "a mad
scrambling and jostling for tourists,"
importuningg of passengers by the route
taxis," "obstructive manoeuvring in
congested areas," "aggressive and dis-
courteous attitude to other road users,"
But what are the choices open to the
taxi-driver? Hardly any really exists.
A key factor is the over-
centralisation of the bureaucratic
machine in Port of Spain. This above all
leads to the indecent haste, what is liter-
ally a mad scramble by commuters, to
take up work in the city on mornings;
and to race home on evenings before the
flood of traffic submerges the in-
A kind of vicious circle ensues with
taxi-drivers responding not just to the
urban pull; rather to where the money
is. For them it is better to make some
bumper to bumper trips, pay a little ex-
tra for gas, tyres, fuels and time and be
Cont'd on Page 20

Dancers, actors, singers,

Page 2

No, it's not Jouvert. It's Christmas
again. Another one of those
Christmases. And it's no change in
the pattern we have known for all
these years. For a while we are en-
couraged to allow a distorted
vision of the reality to be super-
imposed on the paralysing patch-
work of degradation that is life
here for us.
But nothing of the terrible
reality can really be disguised.
Unemployment is still chronic;
inequality still colossal. Housing
still outrageously inadequate. Our
roads, schools, hospitals, roads
and transport facilities remain a
source of unending frustration and
punishment. The realisation of
this calamitous incompetence of
the regime has finally struck
home; now the housewives are up
in arms against the regime's
incredible mismanagement. The
pressure of prices is driving people
to distraction. And on top of it all
there are recurring shortages of
sugar, butter, milk, of flour, rice
and meat.

With all this a policy comprehensive
repression makes itself felt in all the
avenues of normal political expression.
As sure as it's the end of the year it's
also final curtain. The Williams regime
blunders its way off the stage of history
in the impatient gaze of a people
anxious to usher in the new era. We
expected the fall of the regime by the
end of the year but Williams played for
time by crying wolf. This State of
Emergency has postponed the final
reckoning but has surely enlarged the
account that must be given.
When the day of Judgement comes it
is certain to astonish quite a few. The
neo-Crown Colony experience since
1956 and the crown colony experience
in the years before have deluded us into
thinking that a government can change
only when its time is up. But we must
now clear our minds of that; we know
our rights. The moment that a
government can no longer govern, it
must go . five years, five months,
five weeks, five days even!
Yes, we have learnt. We are now clear


people J




with "l,


<3 ir(

No, it's not Jouvert


on why the government must fall as we
are clear on the reasons why it has
survived to rough up and mamaguy this
country into captivity.

Among the reasons are the
constitutional domination of the Prime
Minister of the machinery of state;
Executive control of the election
system; government monopoly of the
communications media and an almost
total absence of independent jobs. But
the most important reason of all has
been the Crown Colony predilection for
conventional politics overnight
parties, and now-for-now activity. All of
this has just flattered or fostered the
regime, as we have seen.
Now everything is primed for change.
The February Revolution has provided
us, suddenly, with a vision of the
possibilities. It brought, dramatically, an
appreciation of the fact that we could
not repeat the ways of the past in the
planning for the future.

'Ihe politics of Doctors, we are now
sure, produces neither participation nor
party. The inner hunger feeds on the
powerlessness of cheering crowds. It
cannot win commitment nor carry out
plans. It corks and bottles up our vital
energies in nips of excitement in the
square. It thrives on race and violence,
engenders cynicism, disillusion and rage,
and breeds more race and violence.
For the rest, the thorough job of
political repression has had its effect in
inducing in many of us a dangerous kind
of moral fatigue. People who have
invested themselves so heavily in the
struggle to bring down the regime
ultimately begin to wonder if it has not
been all in vain. Hasn't the regime
fortified itself? Haven't we had laws

restricting meetings, marches, free
expression and now even posters on the
True. But such legislation is sure to
be ineffective.Laws aimed at suppressing
political opposition cannot silence the
opposition that will inevitably come
from people who recognize in everyday
living the manifest utenability of
the system. The people who just want
good government and wise management
of the country's business and resources
will find themselves more and more op-
posed to a regime forced into the histor-
ical logic of continuing corruption and
How do you lock up housewives
complaining about high prices and
scarcity of staples? Or taximen who
must live a life of permanent
degradation and suffering? The
tradesmen, the professionals, the
academics, the churchmen are now





at 8.00 pm

Rain-Shine-Emergency-Without Fail




anxious for the new dispensation and
the end of the old order. The regime, it
is obvious, has been manoeuvred into a
position where it has no resources left
and no power base to speak of. The
farmers are against them, small business
too, and even the well-behaved trade
unions are against them. Lawyers,
doctors, youth, unemployed Africans
and Indians, artists and journalists,
printers, the military and the clergy as
well. The entire brutalised community is
just spoiling for the judgement Day.

So that we have all seen through the
regime of Afro-Saxons in all its forms.
We have seen how its industrial policy
of dependence on the outside world has
led to unemployment and inequality
and a mere' rubber-stamp technocracy.
That is has brought on dependence of
the spirit too. The source of the cruelty
and the corruption stands exposed, and
none of the seductions and fair promises
have any credibility. The sonorous
hollowness of a "Parliament" that says
nothing is a grand drama of absurdity.
Not matter what happens the thing
can't make. It's not Jouvert, not
Christmas even. It's las lap.


Name: ...............................................
A address: ............................................ .


Page 3

Tapia St Augustine wins

Guild President Keith Sith introduces Berie Marshall ad te "Ber
Guild President Keith Smith introduces Bertie Marshall and the "Bertfone.

UWI elections

Candidates put up by Tapia's St.
Augustine associates won election to key
positions on the UWI Students Guild
Council in a bye-election held on Decem-
ber 6.
The six members of Tapia St. Augus-
tine now on the Guild Council are Keith
Smith, President; Lennox Grant, Vice-
president; Dennis Pantin, Secretary; Tony.
Bartholomew, Treasurer; Ramnarirte
Ramnasibsingh, Social Science Represen-
tative; and Esther LeGendre, Guild Hall
The bye-elections were held following
the resignation of seven members of the
Guild Council after the Council passed a
resolution to hand over the student gov-
ernment to the University Administra-
tion. That decision was admittedly taken
in order to block Tapia St. Augustine
from taking control of the Guild Council
when general elections were called late in

November on the basis of a revised Stu-
dents Guild Constitution.
The action of the incumbent build
Councillors created a crisis on the campus
which raised all the long festering issues
of unsatisfactory student government and
student apathy. Though Tapia St. Augus-
tine won three of the seats uncontested,
there was considerable opposition and
anxiety generated among the students
over the question of an "outside political
organisation" entering student politics
and taking over the Guild administration.
Our St. Augustine associates held a
series of open meetings in different parts
of the campus and put out the first issue
of their own paper "Tapia St. Augustine"
to discuss the issues and clarify the Tapia
position with regard to the university and
student politics. The results seemed to in-
dicate that we were able to mobilize the
radical vote on the campus, and to win
broader support from the student body
on the basis of programmes to involve
large numbers of students in enlightened
student activity.

Page 4
IN A letter to the Trinidad Guardian of October 18
this year, a certain Mr. H. Razul, who described himself
as Chairman of the United Indian Organization, made
the following statement:
Nature, our grand teacher has shown us how the races on earth
should live. For example, in the jungle one will see a tiger with a
tiger, a lion with a lion. One will not see a panther with a tiger
nor a leopard with a lion .
In a speech made to mark his installation as Chan-
cellor of the University of the West Indies, Sir Hugh
Wooding made the following remarks:
As Robert Ardrey commented ir AFRICAN GENESIS. 'hier-
archy is an institution among all the social animals, hence the
"pecking order" of which ethologist have written so much lately.
To my mind, there will always be those who lead and those
who follow. Even among dissenters in any field of human acti-
vity, there will always be the few at the helm and a mass of
supporters in their wake.
The arguments are identical. Each
consists of an analogy drawn between
human beings and animals, and the im-
plication that because things have
always been a certain way, they will
always be that way.
Sir Hugh was no doubt led to use the
quotation from Robert Ardrey because
he felt that a University Chancellor
must display erudition; but the level of
his reading is as superficial as the use to
which he puts it. In addition to Ardrey,
he quotes Lin Yutang, a cracker-barrel
philosopher par excellence. On the
evidence, we are lucky not to have had
Dale Carnegie and Norman Vincent


While Mr. Razul used his allusion to
support a warning to Trinidadian girls of
Indian descent not to "pollute their
race" by miscegenation, Sir Hugh in-
voked Ardrey to support his view that
one of the tasks of the University must
be to produce a "West (Indian leader-
5hip."This, he says, is not an elitist view,
for he is not claiming that there is any
group pre-ordained to lead; but since
men are unequal in that some possess
the "natural" qualities of leadership to a
greater degree than others, the Univer-
sity must provide the training which will
develop, refine and discipline those
qualities. It must also "significantly in-
fluence" the "direction" such leadership
will take.
It is an unexceptionable, if trite, view
that a University should, among other
things, "develop leadership." The
question is, what do we mean by leader-
ship? Wooding, in the same speech, gives
his own view of what it is: he equates
leadership with power, and power with
the subjection of some to the cons-
traints of others. Demands for equality,
he says flatly, are inconsistent with con-
current demands for power-he cannot,
apparently, conceive of qualities or
balances of power, of equitably shared
control of society.
This conception of leadership is quite
frightening in itself, and Wooding's
quotation from Ardrey makes it even
more so. His use of the word "natural",
in combination with the animal analogy,
makes it clear that he is seeing leader-
ship as something instinctive, deriving
from man's biological makeup and not
from his cultural heritage.
The characteristics, aggressive and
otherwise, that determine the social or-
ganisation of lower species are genetic-
ally conditioned and contribute to bio-
logical survival. Man has ensured his bio-
logical survival by the development of
his intellect, and it is this freedom from
dangers (other than those, admittedly
terrible, which his intellect itself has de-
vised) that has enabled man to lay the
foundation for the edifice of moral
values that constitutes human, as op-
posed to animal, progress.


But as Sir Hugh must have read, even
in Robert Ardrey, some of the most
annoying impediments to this process
of development are the results of man's'
confusion about the role played by his
"natural"-- i.e. biological -- charac
teristics in his cultural behaviour. A con-
fusion of which Sir Hugh's idea of
human leadership as biologically deter-
mined is a perfect example. Ardrey him-
self, in The Territorial Imperative, men-
tions the findings of ethology to the ef-
fect that only human beings kill their
own kind, since all other species have
developed rituals of domination :and
submission to regulate the apport-
ionment of territory, mates and other
objects of competition. Man, on the

other hand, is able to use the products
of his intellect to murder his'fellowson
a large scale. Warfare, the result of un-
easy coexistence, in man alone, of in-
stinct and intellect, must then be com-
bated, ironically, by further devisings of
the intellect such as peace talks and in-
ternational organizations.


"Leadership," therefore, like many
other human behavi ou r
patterns, can be--in fact often has
been--largely the manifestation of un-
usually well-developed neurosis, if not
outright psychopathology.
The unassertive neurotic will seek es-
cape from the surroundings to which he
cannot adjust; the forceful neurotic will
react positively against them, and in his
attempts to influence others will
invariably appeal to the more atavistic
components of their characters. In the
realm of practical affairs this has given
rise to undoubted, though often disas-
trous, leadership: the leadership, for
example, of Napoleon, whom Bertrand
Russell called a human disaster, or that
of Hitler, who needs no quotation to
convince us of the salutary effects of his
leadership. Sir Hugh would no doubt
say that Hitler had not the benefit of a
higher education; what would he say of
the Oxford don Enoch Powell, or of the
continuous stream of national leaders
turned out by a national University, the
University of Stellenbosch: to wit,
Malan, Strijdom, Verwoerd and


One of the concomitants of the
twentieth-century popularisation of
science is the alarming degree to which
non-scientists, even educated and
huma.nistically-oriented non-scientists
(such as I take Wooding to be), are
willing to accept the most unhopeful
and mechanistic interpretations of the
findings of science. They do this, in
fact, to a much greater degree than the
majority of scientists themselves. The
staggering progress of technology
(which most people really mean when
they speak of science) has not altered
the fact that the outstanding scientists
of the twentieth century are as much
humanists as were those of the seven-
teenth; for excellence in science is by
definition the possession of the unique
human faculty of creative intelligence in
its most highly developed form.
The sober sensationalism of
popularisers like Ardrey of course con-
tributes much to this popular outlook.
Ardrey is in fact a journalist who has
assisted in popularising the work of zoo-
logists and ethologists like Konrad
Lorenz. It is interesting to read what
Noam Chomsky has to say about
Ardrey and the attitude to human
values instilled by writers like him in the
minds of their readers. Chomsky is of
course the MIT professor who is as well

known for his contributions to the
study of the human mind-specifically,
through the discipline of linguistics--as
for his involvement (in fact, his leader-
ship) in the anti-Vietnam War move-
ment. In his book 'Language and Mind'
he says:

One word of caution is necessary in referring
to Lorenz, now that he has been discovered
by Robert Ardrey and Joseph Alsop and
popularized as a prophet of doom. It seems to
me that Lorenz' views on human aggression
have been extended to near- absurdity by
some of his expositors. It is no doubt true
that there are innate tendencies in the human
psychic constitution that lead to aggressive-
ness under specific social and cultural con-
ditions. But there is little reason to suppose
that these tendencies are so dominant as to
leave us forever tottering on the brink of a
Hobbesian war of all against all-- as in-
cidentally, Lorenz is fully aware, if I read him
rightly Scepticism is certainly in order when
a doctrine of man's 'inherent 'aggressiveness'
comes to the surface in a society that glorifies
competitiveness, in a civilization that has been
distinguished by the brutality of the attack
that it has mounted against less fortunate
peoples. It is fair to ask to what extent this
curious view of man's nature is attributable to
fact and logic and to what extent it merely
reflects the limited extent to which the
general cultural level has advanced since the
days when Clive and the Portuguese explorers
taught the meaning of true savagery to the
inferior races that stood injtheir way.
Chomsky's own view of the human
mind is based firmly on the belief--a
mply supported by data from the
structure of language-- that there is a
difference in kind and not merely in
degree of complexity between the
human psyche and that of all other ter-
restrial species. In this he reverses the
mechanistic view that began, in science
generally, with Newton in the seven-
teenth. century and continued, in the
biological sciences, through Darwin in
the nineteenth to culminate, as far as
the social sciences were concerned, in
the behaviouristic psychology of B.F.


Chomsky harks back to Descartes
and other humanistic I philosopher-
scientists of the seventeenth century,
whose science took as its starting-point
the qualitative difference of man from
beasts, and who unshamedly emphasised
the creative nature of human mental
processes. Among, these, Chomsky
points out, was Newton himself, who
was as ready to undertake a search for
the underlying cause of gravity (a force
whose nature remains occult to this
day) as Decartes was to attempt to
analyse the properties of the occult
force of mind whose existence he post-
ulated as a philosophic prime. But the
immense success of Newton's
mechanical physics and the technology
based on it, which have now put us on
the moon, ensured that all subsequent
science, to merit the name, must be\a
science of externals, especially in the
eyes of non-scientists.
This anti-mechanistic view of human
development, now that it has been put

Denis Solomon


j i~l,


forward by the scientist Chomsky,
seems to cry out for artistic expression,
and sure enough the artistic statement
was there all along--in the works of
the playwright and essayist George
Bernard Shaw. In Back to Methuselah,
Man and Superman and various other
works Shaw proclaimed his belief in a
mystical "Life Force" impelling the en-
tire universe toward greater and greater
self-realisation. Shaw held this view in
-esolute opposition to the prevailing
Darwinian theory of natural selection,
and he claimed as his philosophic fore-
bear the French naturalist Lamarck,
whose biological theories had in this
respect been discredited by the rise of

Interestingly enough, Shaw also
seemed to feel the need to explore the
mind of a great scientist in the light of
anti-mechanistic views of the nature of
the universe. In one of his later plays, In
Good King Charles' Golden Days, he
depicts Isaac Newton as a man im-
patient with his own mathematical
genius and more drawn to his self-
appointed task of developing a chrono-
logy of the universe on the basis of Old
Testament evidence than to math-
ematical pursuits. Shaw confronts
Newton with the painter)Kneller, who
from a strongly mystical view of his art
develops the idea that, since straight
lines are inhuman, space itself must be
curved. By this disturbing and highly ab-
stract idea, which of course foreshadows
Einstein, Newton is both attracted and
repelled. Repelled because if true it re-
futes all the neatest laws of his celestial
mechanics, and attracted because it
appeals to his deep-seated wish that the
nature of the universe should conform
to the subtler imaginings of the creative
human mind.

Though Shaw is anti-Darwinian,

Chomsky, of course, is not. Though he
postulates a difference in quality bet-
ween the human mind and the animal
brain, he does not claim that the former
could not have evolved through natural
selection. He merely says that we have
no evidence that it did.
In fact, the processes by which the
human mind achieved its present stage
of complexity and its particular form
of innate organisation are a total
mystery'"It is perfectly safe to attri-
bute this development to 'natural
selection', so long as we realise that
there is no substance to this assertion,
that it amounts to nothing more than a
belief that there is some naturalistic ex-
planation for these phenomena.
In fact what Chomsky is taking is as
religious a view of the human condition
as intellectual rigour permits; an atti-
tude supported, as in the case of so
many other scientists-, Russell, Pauling,
Einstein--- by the quality of his
actions in causes such as the peace
This is the great irony. A scientist
such as Chomsky feels impelled to take
so religious an attitude forwards the as-
pirations of humanity, and invoke in
support of it the opinions of the great
seventeenth-century philosopher-
scientists and apologists for religion. But
the "humanely" educated Wooding,
who is also a "religious" man in that he
is a pillar of the Methodist church,
marks his own elevation to the headship
of an institution devoted to humane
pursuits by enunciating a plan for its
development based squarely on the
Cont'd on Page 17

Ever since the reversal of West Indies test f
tunes in 1968 Gary Sobers competence
captain has been widely questioned. A gi
many people are genuinely deluded into
living that Sobers is another typical West Ind
leader who has sold his birthrights by ]
cipitating the demise of the WI golden era. A
there are malicious elements seeking to reinft
the circumstantial evidence that paints
picture of a traitor.
These malicious elements seem to me, to be the
verse faces of reaction the right wing and left m
elements in Caribbean society. The former seek. his
placement by Joey Carew while the other query his
to Rhodesia, his sojourn abroad and above all the b
fired declaration.
From the start Sobers background of blackness
poverty has alienated him from the right wing wl
influenceor rather strangle hold on the government
of cricket has been the source of so
much social conflict and bitterness. C r
After so many scandalous selections of t
captains in the past they are poised to
repeat the performance.
If one is genuinely seeking a re- eaters c
placement for Sobers one ought to seek flashy p
an alternative type. Is Carew an alter- last day
native type? The evidence does not of the
suggest this. Carew's style is modelled does no
after Sobers. The 1970 Shell series, in Sobe
the first match between Trinidad and runs to
Barbados, when Trinidad lost, was no keeping
different from the loss we suffered in ball. He
1968. duce d
things a
Kanhai would not fit that model. In attack
the territorial match between Indian
and Guyana (1971) Kanhai declared
overnight setting India a target of 200
odd runs in a day's play. Although that
declaration did not backfire, neverthe-
less, it reveals that Sobers, Kanhai,
Carew, Hall, in fact the entire 1963
Team are not only of the same genera-
tion but of the same cast of mind. To
find an alternative type to Sobers from
'63 team is to jump from one frying pan
to another. Moreover, Carew lacks
Sobers vast experience and he does not
play sufficient cricket.
The leftwingers on the other hand
condemn his visit to Rhodesia. If
Sobers' visit to Rhodesia was an Uncle
Tom act then condemnation would have
been deserving. But if one were to take
into consideration the attack on apart-
heid from within one would draw a
different conclusion. When South
Africans, Richards, Proqtor and Barlow
decided to play in the Rest of the World
Series in England, last year it revealed,
at least where cricket was concerned,
their attitude towards apartheid. It
indicated that among some South
Africans there is a flutter of disquiet.
Gary's visit was a calculated effort to
stir the pot. To seek the internal col-
lapse of apartheid is superior to the im-
position of economic sanctions. A de-
veloping country such as Rhodesia is
very fortunate to be ostracised. We in
Trinidad are not so fortunate.
If Sobers is misunderstood and ma-
ligned, who then is the real Sobers?To
my mind, Sobers belongs to that ad-
mirable band of intellectuals in their
thirties who are leading
the movement for serious change.
Sobers is a revolutionary of the highest
order. To understand Sobers' revolu-
tionary role one must understand what
he is trying to change and for that lets
turn to CLR James 'Beyond a Boun-
dary' where he deals with the "welfare
state of mind" and the analysis he
makes of the rigor mortis that has set in
modern cricket.,He says in part:
The prevailing attitude of the players of
1890-1914 was daring adventures creation.
The prevailing attitude of 1957 can be
summed up in one word security. Bowlers
and batsmen are dominated by it. The long
faward-defensive push, the negative bowling,
are the techniques of specialized performers
(professional or amateur) in a security minded
Yet bright cricket isnot simply a
question of attacking bowling or
batting. It is also a matter of drama and
tension. Or, is it the prerogative of an
exceptionally gifted team as the '63
team. As is the experience of all spec-
tators, the occasions which made hat


outstanding record of


* Strength

* Security

* Service

K -~



29 St. Vincent St., Port-of-Spain. Tel: 31421 7 Branch Offices and Friendly Security
Representatives throughout Trinidad & Tobago, the Caribbean and London.

Page 5

~r~1)1~~ I.

begin nn Iln bbean
stitutionsinth Southern Car
,, ..r...h vnl OR TRUST


icketer for all seasons

of us were occasions divested of
play .last pair, last over on he
etc. CLR also overlooks the role
captain in bright cricket. Sobers
ers' policy of even declaration -
make in even time succeeds in
a game alive right up to the last
Manages to artificially to intro-
Irama and tension when those
are absent in the natural sequence
the West Indies a tradition of
ng cricket has persisted through-

out our cricket history a tradition
which never came clear in the past be-
cause of the type of captains (generally
speaking) we used to have. Nevertheless,
Constantine, Headley, the Three W's
and others have established a tradition
which has found its fullest expression in
the '63 team when Worrell and Sobers
were in command (many forget that
Sobers, not Hunte, was Worrell's con-
stant adviser on the field). The contrast
between the performances of the 1963
and 1957 teams clarifies the point.
There is little difference in terms of

Ruthven Baptiste

natural ability between the two teams.
Yet CLR commented: "The WI team of
that year seemed to have betrayed
me. I was not discouraged, being con-
vinced that the game they were playing
was unnatural to them."


The conclusion from all this is that
the spirit of the golden era never died in
the WI and its finest individual ex-
pression is Sobers. His major con-
tribution is not only his amazing per-
formances on the field but also the for-
mula he has provided to keep a game
alive. It may yet be too early to measure
the full impact of his captaincy and of
WI cricket as a whole on the rest of the
world. Yet, we can see the introduction
of 40-over matches, 20 overs in the last
hour, and very significant is it that
captains of the Bill Lawry and Bria close
cast are forever disgraced. Let Sobers
have the last say. In an article in the
Guardian entitled "Great Year for
Cricket" Sobers writes:
"There is no doubt in my mind, this has
been a good year for cricket. I think the
crowds have been bigger because they would
see more interesting cricket.
Captains cottoned on to the fact that by de-
claring at the right time it was possible to
keep games alive right up to the end.
We saw less dead cricket than last year. I
think the players enjoyed it more too.
The grand irony is that while our
cricketers are revolutionising the game
or rather restoring its initial glory our
colonial administrators and a deluded
public fail to appreciate their work.
Real prophets are not loved in their own


Clico, a company of West Indians formed

for the economic upliftment for the people

of the region. Clico has grown from humble
,, nst financial
o o fn ne of the largest

Uu et or the securityof policy

holders total over $54,000,000.00

_ _





Page 6



AT A passing out ceremony on
December 8, 1970, Commissioner
Bernard lamented the lack of
proper accommodation at police
stations, the low pay and the
unduly long hours of work. He
was at that time uncovering
important reasons why on average
18 policemen were leaving the
Service each month.
Something has since been done about
salaries; two old police stations have
been fixed up; and there has been a hint
that working hours would be made
more reasonable. But the root of the
matter is much more than the sorry tale
of inadequate working conditions.


The problems which Bernard raised
had been pointed out to the Prime
Minister on his inspection tour as far
back as January 6, 1965. The hasty
attempts after years of ignoring these
problems after the eruptions of 1970
and the continuing state of terror are
not only concessions under pressure,
but an unjustifiable utilisation of the
police as instruments of intimidation.
During the course of 1971 large
numbers were recruited into the Police
Service. The official strength of the
police service is somewhere in the
vicinity of 4,000. In view of the
government's rapid movement to a
totalitarian regime, the real figure might
be nearer 5,000. Such regimes are
dependent on a wide "security"
network. The point is, unknown to the

public, the "security" forces have of
necessity been strengthened, and it's
going to lead eventually to a type of
praetorian guard created within 'the
police force.


But there are issues here which
transcend party and sectional politics.
They are issues which came to the
forefront during the course of 1970 and
have remained there throughout 1971.
In the heat of political conflict these
issues have been ignored by the new
movement. The army in 1970 quickly
became ',the people's army" because it
was created with our political
independence. But none dared embrace
the stardust child of our colonial legacy.
In fact, for most the police became the
unfortunate objects of abuse and
insults. And that worsened the

Policemen, no less than soldiers, are
citizens, human beings, brothers, and a
section of the people. It is just that their
traditional work has been to stand apart
and brutalise their kin. The effectiveness
of the colonial administration depended
upon a "force" which could adopt a
military and not a civil stance towards
the rest of the population. The imperial
occupation demanded an unquestioning
loyalty and obedience to authority; an
unwavering devotion to bounden duty.
"Theirs was but to do and die, not to
reason why."

In the long struggle for independence
the police bullied by their expatriate
British officers therefore stood
against their conscience on the other
side of the movement. Their plight was
misunderstood; the people disliked
them. Instead of mutual trust there was
mutual hostility. Yet when the

nationalist movement reached its
"final" phase some 15 years ago, the
police responded to its call. For the first
time they were presented with an
opportunity to forge a different kind of
bond, a new identity. But the
neo-colonial regime has been so
barbarous that independence broughtt
virtually no change in the organisation,
operation and objectives of the "force."


The problem was recognized by a
1964 inquiry into the role and status of
the police force in the age of
Independence. The Report said in part,
"one of the most difficult of national
problems associated with the
achievement of independence after a
long period of colonial rule is the
problem of developing a new and more
satisfactory relationship between the
general body of citizens and the
agencies of government responsible for
what is conveniently described as the
maintenance of law and order."
The long marches of 1970, the
subsequent State of Emergency and the
continual state terrorism of 1971 have
brought this problem even more sharply
into focus. All of it is reminiscent of the
Canboulay Riots (1881), the Arouca
Riots (1891), the Water Riots (1903)
and the Butler Riots (1937). Police
versus the people. Tragic.


In the light of recent repressive
legislation, the problem is being further
entrenched. But further exacerbation
must be averted. We must now turn our
minds to humanising and civilising the
old colonial force. The new movement
must not only support the policemen in
their call for improvements in methods
of selection, training and in conditions
of work, but must make some positive
First, the police service should be
delilitarised. This involves two things -
a radical change in the orientation of
police training, and a wider service with
larger civic tasks to perform. The service
must embrace school wardens, sports
attendants and estate constables in their
richest variety. This will shift the
balance away from crime control to civil
service in the real meaning of that term.
In this respect the recent establishment
of a Special Service Section (Triples-S)
ostensibly for "crowd control" is a step
in the wrong direction, for it is in
keeping with the intimidatory intention
of the regime. One army is more than
adequate. We neither need nor want
Second, a large part of the police
service should be part-time; some of it
through national service. This will allow
all classes, races and occupations to
participate. We shall so be helping to
build bridges of mutual trust.


Third, the police should, as far as
possible, be placed under the control of
the municipalities and other local
authorities in a participatory state. The
intimacy of relations between police
and community thus created could be
an aid to huminisation. Total control by
a central body or a single ministry in
fraught with danger.
Fourth, the Police Service
Commission and the Police
Commissioner should be chosen by the
Senate (the new kind of Senate
proposed by Tapia as part of
constitutional reform).

Finally, provisions should be made
for career policemen to acquire
technical skills and facilities through all
levels of study, and opportunities for
advancement should be made available
to them.
The police must accept the challenge
of change. They must, in spite of the
ominous increase in their powers, act
responsibly and justly at all times. This
is essential if their traditional role is to
be transformed and they are to win the
full confidence of the population.

The Institute of Social and Economic Research

University of the West Indies

announces the publication of

the works in the series are of extreme
public importance in the light of the
present state of post independence
Caribbean societies, they represent depth
studies and analyses by concerned
Caribbean academics who focus on social
charge and transformation in our
societies. The books are not only for
academics and scholars but moreso for a
public which has been starved on
comprehensive literature on our situation.


Dept. of Economics, U.W.I.
Dept. of Government, U.W.I.


Dept. of Economics, U.W.I.


Dept. of Economics, University of Guyana.


Dept. of Economics, University of Guyana


Social And Economic Studies

A journal devoted to the publication of
research and discussion on agricultural
anthropological, demographic, economic,
educational momentary, political and
sociological questions, with emphasis on
the problems of developing territories,
particularly of the Caribbean.

WHAT is the Catholic Church's position in Cuba?
To what extent has the character of the Church
undergone change with the rest of Cuba since the
Revolution? Joaquin Andrade, correspondent of
Prensa Latina, the Cuban news agency, puts these and
other questions to a French priest in the following
The priest, Francisco de L'Espinay, is described as
the Superior of the French priests in Latin America,
and gave this interview during a two-week visit to

What do the French priests do in Cuba?

"Cuban bishops, concerned about
finding a new road, asked for the help
of the French priests. It was an honest
attitude and not an opportunistic one."

What do you think of the Cuban
Catholic Church?

I think it is discovering that it must
review even its own structures in order
to find a new line to follow. I have met
people who have accepted the risk of
discovering something new. An
example: recently three bishops were
appointed. As you know, when a bishop
is appointed, everybody looks to what
line he represents. Well, these three are
most progressive people, very concerned
about finding this new road ...

How would you define this new line of
the Cuban Church?

"When I travelled to Cuba for the
first time in 1966 I found a very closed
Christian community. I remembered
then my work in Algeria, during the
colonial period: we had to confront the
obtuse mentality of the French
residents who refused to accept any
kind of change. Something similar to
the "Fatherland and Property"
Movement of Brazil. Absolute rejection.
Well, that's what I found here in 1966.
Now, after four years, I find the same
people but with a different mentality;
now they are ready to accept Cuban
reality and to participate in it. From a
"no" we have gone over to a "yes."

Do you think that there is a large
number of Christians who are convinced
that they are enthusiastically working
for the development of Cuba?

"In 1966 they were few. I repeat, the
"no" impressed me. Now the
commitment is mature, thought-out and
quantitatively larger. The thinking
behind this new line could be
summarized in a few words: under
present circumstances, the Church's
mission is to work for the development
of man, without seeking institutional

Is this the position of the Cuban
Catholic Church?

."I think that their position is what
Cuba must discover and that it is
beginning to discover..."

If the Cuban Church neglects its
institutionalization, neglects its
terrestrial organization, won't it stop

"It's better to save the man tha'1 it is
to save the institution But I'm not
being completely honest in my answer,
because I'm convinced that by saving
the man we'll also save the institution.
In the hypothesis you introduce, the
Church at the service of man is also at
the service of the institution. It does not
sacrifice one or the other. If I don't put
myself at the service of man I'm
condemning my institution. I am
introducing the seed of death."

It would seem that this favourable
attitude towards the Revolution that
you see in many Cuban clergymen has
its exceptions among some foreign
priests who visit Cuba. I refer to a
journalistic report about the Belgian
priest Joseph Serdoms who lived in
Cuba for several years, and to a letter
from Reverend Lucien Dewulf, a
colleague of Sermons, addressed to
Monseignor Helder Camara. Both
documents present a deformed version
of Cuban reality....

"I know somome, not all of the
Belgian priests who visited Cuba. I think
that they devoted themselves to the
people and that in Camaguey where
they worked they managed to build a
very fraternal Christian community. In

Cuba last month.
About the prelate Prensa Latina says: "He is over
50, with vivacious eyes and stocky in build. He
appears surprisingly agile when he speaks of his
favourite topics. He wears summer clothes
appropriate to Cuba and travels by bus with a big
smile and a desire for adventure. He is willing to talk
for ten minutes or for six hours straight. Flexible, the
exuberance of the tropics has penetrated his life. "




other words, the ministerial work of this
groups merits my respect and
admiration. But I am not in agreement
with, and I cannot share their
declarations to the press that they made

Why ?

"For several reasons. First, if they
had complaints, they should have
brought them up here. They should
have discussed, debated and defended
their points of view in Cuba. This could
have been easily done, and, in fact, it
has been done. To criticize from abroad,
after having left the island without
thinking hat these declarations could
lead to friction between the relations of
the Church and the Cuban State, does
not seem to be correct.
Second, I understand that the priests
who come to Cuba have a commitment
to Cuba, not to the government, since
that's not the job of the priest, but to
the people. So that, once outside of
Cuba, these priests had no right to give
opinions to these people.
"I also believe, and this worries me a
lot that the letter from Father Dewulf
to Helder Camara will be used by the
Brazilian government. Furthermore, the
declarations of Fathers Serdoms and
Dewulf are only half-truths: they
emphasize the negative without
mentioning the positive. Many of the
things they say are not true. For
example: they say that there is torture
in Cuba and insinuate that they did not
leave the island voluntarily.

What, in your opinion, is the most
marked characteristic of Cuban
socialism ?

"Well, the fact that socialism seeks
thw welfare of man. .This is the
conclusion that I come to from hearing
all the speeches of Fidel. Of course,
there are mistakes in practices, but the
basic ocncern of socialism and this is
what really counts is man."
But with a very clear ideological
guideline: The Cuban Revolution is
marxist-leninist. ..
"Yes, but it seeks the welfare of man
and has nothing to fear from a Church
that works for the good of man.
Capitalism wants to impose the ideology
of money. All the struggle of Latin
American is because a minority wants to
preserve this idea. This capitalism is
afraid of a Church that works with man.
So the Cuban Revolution is Marxist?
Pope John XXIII clearly distinguished
between Marxist atheism and the good
points of Marxist analytic techniques to
comprehend human situations and find
solutions for poverty."
How many priests were there in Cuba in
1959? How many are there today?

"In 1959 there were more than 700
today there are approximately two
hundred, including diocesans and
Does the Church enjoy more freedom of
custom than in the rest of Latin




TO rl,

Page 7
America? If this is ture, to what can we
attribute this phenomenon?
"T think that in Latin America the
youth are still following tradition.
Sexual liberation, so common in Europe
and the United States, has not reached
these shores. In a few cases, it is a
phenomenon found in the capital cities
(Mexico City, for example) but not in
the provinces."
And in Cuba?
"In Cuba the same thing is happening
as in the rest of Latin America, but for
very different reasons. In Latin America
the old customs and "machismo" play
an important role; in Cuba this is the
result of a specific situation. The
morality of the Cuban state (if we can
speak of the morality of any state) is
healthier than it is in other places. The
accent is on the need for sacrifice to
develop the country. There is no time
for other things.
"I think that in the future the Cuban
is also going to find this liberation, but
in a more mature way. He is already
accustomed to take on responsibility for
development and whoever has a sense of
responsibility for one thing, usually uses
it in relation to other things.
"The Church is not going to have a
closed mind regarding this problem. It
will try to make each individual decide
for himself and take on responsibility.
Of course, the Church is not going to
preach sexual liberation but this
liberation when it arrives will be in
harmony with the personal maturity of
the Cuban."
In Latin America the Church has serious
problems with many priests who do not
want to accept celibacy. Is this also true
of Cuba?
"No, the vocational problem is not
present the way it is in the rest of Latin
America. Here there are proportionately
more vocations and the priest knows
that he must give an example. The
problem of celibacy does not exist in
"We should not ignore, however, the
fact that the priest is influenced by his
environment, by the society in which he
works. Therefore, just as the Cuban
people are massively engaged in
overcoming underdevelopment, and
sexual liberation is in any case a problem
for the future, the priest also is obsessed
with the central problem of
development: several priests do
voluntary work, have donated their
blood to Peru, have analyzed and
debated the real possibilities of
obtaining the ten million tons of sugar
in this last harvest..."
A process of democratization has begun
in Cuba. You have already spent several
days here. Have you seen any changes?
What do you think of the
democratization process?
"I have noticed that people express
themselves and that the Government
listens to them. The government does
not repress anyone, it listens, and has
humanized the process even more ... I
know Latin America well and there
repression is a daily occurrence.
"When the news came that Cuba
would not reach ten million tons of
sugar (and failure of a goal always leads
to criticism among the people) I asked
myself this question: What will be the
reaction of the Cuban Government to
these criticisms? Well, we all know what
the reaction of Prime Minister Fidel
Castro was on July 26th. This proves to
me that the Cuban road is essentially a
human road."
Would you like to say anything else?

"I would like to say something about
the importance of Chile and Peru. An
island like Cuba, blockaded, has its exit
in relations with other Latin American
countries. For me, these ten years of
survival in the midst of blockade and
attack, are a miracle, because nobody
can live locked up in his own house.
Now, the first door is opening with
Chile and is of tremendous importance.
It is the first door and others will also
We are witnessing in Latin America a
certain kind of pluralism. The Chilean
solution is not the Peruvian solution,
but have man's specific welfare in mind.
We are witnesses of the Cuban process,
the Chilean and Peruvian processes. It is
a pluralism with one thing in common:
the primacy of man over money."

j -bd.

Page 8

SINCE this article "West Indian Poetry: Some Pr
Tapia No. 20, was first published, I have received
from friends and associates. Two said that they
much more than they did the material which it att
Now, I wasn't really trying to vindicate anyt
stated where I myself would not have chosen all
appeared in the issue. What I was doing was simple
growing debate about the nature of the West Ind
describe the context of contemporary West Indian
is probably why I spoke more about what was hapi
the folk-urban jazz of Jamaica than about the maga
Mr. Roach's article convinced me that a number
Indies are prepared to talk about literature
without understanding much about the context
out of which such writing grows. If my article
was attempting to do anything, then, it was to
sketch in some of the background relevant to
an understanding of the material in the
Savacou anthology.
Another comment to which I ought to reply, has
been the feedback on the last paragraph of the article,
where I said that most of today's strident youth will be
little different from last generation's once angry, now
tired rebels, after twenty years have elapsed. This last
paragraph was taken as a sign of my own despair. So it
was. In my short life, I've already seen so much fraud-
ulence and erosion of spirit through folly, absurd
politics and naked dishonesty on all levels of existence,
that I cannot with any honesty be anything but a pessi-
mist. Also, I feel that a great deal of West Indian writ-
ing is pessimistic, for much the same reasons that my
last paragraph seems to be particularly so.


That paragraph was meant as an answer to Mr.
Roach's question as to the future of today's youth.
What I wanted to stress was that there would be a
continuity in the folly, powerlessness, deceit and grief
which one can easily see in the people from Mr.
Roach's age. If the rest of my article stressed the fact
that there was a great deal of creativity in the West
Indian people, it also stressed that this creativity exist-
ed in spite of Caribbean politics.
I view with particular disgust the attempts which
politicians are making throughout the West Indies, not
to enhance, but to exploit art on all levels. This sort of
thing can become tragic when a folk art begins to be
used solely as a tourist attraction, or to gain a few
more votes for a party in office. Recently here in Trini-
dad, Derek Walcott has been making a similar point. If
in everything I've written I've affirmed a kind of faith
in our capacity for survival, I've never underestimated
the corrosive nature of absurd, politics, or absurd
history and historiography.

This is why I've seen the experience of Martin Carter
as a paradigm of what will be the fate of most of the
rebels in the West Indies. Because, if a finer spirit emer-
ges from the carrion of our present, it will be won at
the expense of individual defeat, sacrifice, tiredness of
spirit and the sickness unto death, attenuation of faith
and despair. This seems to me to be the meaning of
both Carter's life and Walcott's. It also seems to me to
be the experience of many a man who walks the street.
I know that young people here feel it to be the bone,
and that most of them will simply seek one way or
another of opting out of whatever struggle presents

This is not to say that nothing will be created, but to
stress the price at which such creativity will be
achieved. In a recent article, Calypso and Politics,
MOKO, No. 73, October 29, 1971, I tried to show how
what is happening in Trinidad has produced a complex
range of responses from a large number of calypso-
nians. On the other hand there is the fact that 1970 has
accentuated the youth's rejection of the calypso and of
most things Trinidadian, for Lord knows what. Anyone
who has lived through 1971 will recognize tiredness
and despair as inalienable parts of the landscape here.
My feeling is that they will increase, until the society
creates new means of dealing with them, a new kind of
indigenous soul equivalent to Jamaica's Reggae, recog-
nising both the similarities and the difference of the
American thing. There are signs that the calypso is try-
ing to adjust, to inject a deeper sense of blues into its
traditional gaiety, to tackle the problems of this com-
plex generation. I don't know, however, how long this
will survive against the tourist-oriented Carnival season,
onslaughts of sick Euro-American music and sicker
films, the break-up of the lime, and the growing drugs
racket. At present, the forces of decay seem to be so
much stronger than those of creativity.

Jamaica is a different case. The forces of despair and
erosion are even fiercer there than those in Trinidad.
But Jamaica has a more coherent people and a more
continuous line of history. Hence the dismay is
counterbalanced by a tremendous vitality. Contempo-

oblems of Assessment"
a number of comments
liked the article itself
empted to "vindicate."
hing, and, in fact, have
I of the material which
ly an attempt to join a
dian experience, and to
poetry, as I see it. This
opening in Reggae and in
izine itself.
r of people in the West




rary pressures in Jamaica seem to me to produce two
types of response from the man on the street. The first
is a rebellious urge to shatter the whole social frame-
work, best seen in the rhetoric of Rastafarianism, the
music of Rudyism, and more recently in the dread
tunes of Kingston. The second is a desire to retreat into
the self, and the dream of a land "Far far away where
there's no night, there's only day." This is best seen in
the hymns of Rastafarianism, (e.g. The Lion ofJudah,
Zion We Want to Go, There is a Green Hill, by the Sons
of Negus) and in more secular humns such as the
Reggae tunes Jordan River, Selah, Satta Amasa Gana,
Mabrak, and many others.

But these two responses are not opposites as some
seem to think. They complement each other, intersect-
ing at several points. The rebel is shot down or beaten
and imprisoned. After a few years of this, his response
is to retreat within himself, and search for new strength
to counter this despair. The result of this retreat, this
excavation in the ground of being, is a grounded music,
whose basic beat, the ground-beat of survival itself, is
as solid as the earth.
Each new weight of pressure has its corresponding
effect on the music, and the revolution is usually felt
first as perceptible change in the bass, the basoc
rhythm, the inner pulse whose origin is in the confront-
ation between despair which history and iniquitous
politics inflict, and the rooted strength of the people.
When such innovation takes place in the ground-beat,
the whole trivial stream of popular-appeasing enter-
taining music is transformed. It acquires a new explo-
siveness which increases the dread and tension in the
whole society, because the beat dominates the city; the
rhythm of the basic bass is the grounded heart-beat of
the city. So when the rhythm goes dread, the whole
city feels the tension; and why not? After all it was the
cruel tension which determined that the beat should go
dread in the first place.

Hence the retreat to Ethiopias of the spirit returns
to the sufferer the image of his own bleeding face. The
inner journey takes him back to the outer hardship. It
is this that the music od dread reflects. Hence in
Jordan River, we have first the dream of final release
from horror:

I saw Selassie I stretch forth his hand
to take I cross
Jordan River
I'm on my way to Zion.
Then there is the other side of this dream
The man that hear the word of Jah
and harden his heart
shall burn with fire...
The dream of a final journey of the spirit is counter-
pointed by a dream that the wicked shall one day burn
with fire. The same thing is true for Let the Power Fall
on Ifor I, which is a prayer for physical and spiritual
strength. A later stanza begins "Let the wicked bum in
flames for I." The apocalyptic F nse of the Jewish
psalmist and his intense yearning for a final justice, a
final vengenace, and ultimately transcendence of the
whole sorry scheme, informs today's dread sounds
from Kingston.

The image of a refining fire recurs in Jamaican music
with a frequency which cannot but alarm those whose
aim it is to preserve the historic scheme of things. One
hears tunes with names like Blood and Fire, Brimstone
and Fire, successors to What a Fire and Babylon Burn
ing. Incidentally, Babylon Burning is the same tune as
Woman a Hebby Load, and recently Nyah Man Story
carries the tune of this traditional folk-song again. In
other words, a folk song is carrying the burden of the
folk-urban rebellion.
This is an important point because it underlines the
difference between Trinidad and Jamaica. It would be
almost unthinkable for a calypsonian to attempt to use
a folk-song in order to convey his message. Calypso
departed from those folk roots about three decades
ago. While there was a sort of lime going in the towns,
while legendary people like Polycar met in groups all

-VU;IT_ -

over the city and created a style and a rhetoric all their
own, the calypso retained its basic roots, or such basic
roots as a small town is capable of providing.
Today, however, Port-of-Spain is wide open to the
world, and the character of the lime has changed. A lot
of the rhetoric is imported, and the calypso, which
depends on the richness of local idiom, imagination and
gesture, and on the sense of a vital urban spirit in the
lime, is suffering. An almost total lack of idea or con-
tinuity in politics hasresulted in a bewildered society
with a sense of void and sickness, and a demoralizing

In Jamaica, the phenomenon has been one of urban-
isation, a shift from the country to the towns. In
Trinidad it has been more one of immigration, and
almost automatic squatting in the towns, automatic un-
employment and loss of original roots in the process of
bec coming, not so much Trinidadian as a citizen of
This is why although there are so many roots in
Trinidad, it is difficult to get to them. French eroded
much of the Spanish influence, though evidence of it
remains in the Parang. English education was first
aimed at destroying the French sub-structure of lan-



Susan Craig

BY MAY 1970, when it became
more than clear that the people
were demanding that the power to
affect and effect decisions should
be vested in them, Williams in his
first address to the nation after
the declaration of the State of
Emergency, said on May 3, 1970
"A study has already been com-
missioned on the delegation of
greater powers to Local Govern-
ment bodies so as to permit
greater participation of the people
in the decisions of Government."
Later that month, the Permanent
Secretary in the Ministry of Planning &
Development, approached one of his
officers and asked, "You have any ideas
on Local Government?" She had none,
but believing that he wished to be
briefed before attending a meeting to
discuss the issue, she agreed to produce
a short paper within five days. She read
what she could, and wrote what were
really notes for discussion by adminis-
trators and politicians. Her report was
by no means an attempt at a compre-
hensive outline of Local Government re-


A few weeks later, she heard that the
Prime Minister was pleased with the re-
port, and was having hundreds of copies
made for circulation to Village and
County Councils and other publics for
comments. The news media announced
on June 13, 1970, that:
"The proposals have been submitted to
the Prime Minister, Dr. Eric Williams, by an
expert adviser commissioned to work out
ways and means of expanding the Local
Government system, as well as increasing the
functions and responsibilities of Local
Government authorities."


The Ministry of Local Government was
told to send out the document to the public,
to receive comments and to pass these on to
Whitehall. At no time was the Ministry of
Local Government invited to comment on
such reforms as were proposed.
The report was released on June 12 and
the public was given one month in the first
instance to comment until July 15. As was
to be expected, the Village Councils had
difficulty in understanding the document in
the first place, since it was written neither as
comprehensive recommendations, nor for the
purpose for which it was being used.
Little more has been heard about the pro-
posed "reforms" or the comments on them.
Senior Civil Servants say that one suggestion
in the paper has been approved that of
creating the post of County Coordinator,
who, under the circumstances, will be v;ry
much like the Warden of colonial days. Of
course, the County Coordinator is expected
to be directly responsible to Whitehall.
So the system continues: Little wonder
that we have just witnessed, in the Local
Government Elections of November 1, the
greatest non-event of the year.


In September, 1970, the Government
of this country applied to the United
Nations to participate in a scheme
which Venezuela, Colombia and
Ecuador had already undertaken. The
idea was to carry out a pilot project to
develop a rural area in a comprehensive
way, so that, "the social and economic
improvement of rural families may be
greatly accelerated." The role of the
United Nations in the scheme was to be
a very limited one. What they were
offering is what, to my mind, we need
least technical "expertise" supplied
by WHO, OAS, AID and other "inter-
national" bodies.
It was hoped that the Project in each
country would be treated both as a research
and a practical exercise, so that each of the
participating countries would learn from its

-c''- --- 4
OW,. .~





own experience, as well as, where possible
from the experience of its neighbours.
We hoped too, that the success of the
Project would have two kinds of "demonstra-
tion effect" to encourage a policy for rural
development within defined planning regions,
and furthermore, to create an example, a
model which other "images" in Trinidad &
Tobago may be inspired to emulate.


One may well ask whether it is possible to
repeat "demonstration" projects: for they are
often carried out in areas selected because
theyhaveoptimum conditionstor success;and
then particular emphasis is paid to giving re-
sources time, staff, money which may
not be available to be spread around on a
number of Projects...
When in December 1970, I was asked to
be responsible for the Project, I insisted that
if the scheme was to be yet another Govern-
ment "hand-out" or Crash Programme, or if it
did not encourage self-help and self-reliance in
the area chosen, I would wish to have nothing
to do with it. The Ministry agreed and in fact
claimed to regard this pilot project as a kind
of breakthrough:
Since the idea was an "integrated"
approach to planning, a team of individuals
from various Ministries, from the University
and private persons was formed to be in the
Steering Committee for the Project.

The Committee met for the first time in
late January and decided on the best
approach to the scheme: namely, placing an
emphasis on the people in the area and
building on their existing resources. We felt
that the area chosen should not be a dormi-
tory settlement but one in which people lived
and worked, that our task should be to help
to upgrade existing facilities and services and
economic well-being while helping to foster
self-reliance and co-operation among the

With this in mind, we spelled out criteria
that an area should satisfy and invited sug-
gestions from officers in the field. The Com-
mittee invited the villagers in different areas
to send information about their area; event-
ually we came to a short list of sites and after
visiting all of these and talking with people,
Erin was selected as having, among other
things a diverse economic base with potential
for development.


The area defined for the Project is a string
of settlements along the Siparia/Erin road,
from Rancho Quemado in the East, to Erin
proper in the South West. The population is
spread out in seven villages Rancho
Quemado, Arena, Via Franca, Los Iros,
Carapal, Pepper Village and Erin proper or
San Francique. All told there are almost three
thousand souls in the area. Farming and
fishing and work in the nearby oil fields are the
main sources of income. As with the rest of
the country, unemployment especially among
the youths, i hiph.
Rancho Quemado and Erin can be seen as
two "centres" in the area, Erin having more
facilities recreation ground, health service,
post office.


The area was chosen in March and we then
set about to consult with all relevant author-
ities as well as with voluntary groups, about
the Project and to ask for their co-operation.
We decided not to go to the people there be-
fore the Election of May 24, because we felt
too that it was important that the Project be
not identified with any political party, for
that would be the surest way to failure. This
seemed sensible, given our aim of including us
many people as possible in the development
of the area on a non-partisan basis.


We decided to avoid publicity for the Pro-
ject via the mass media but rather to go to the
people first, start to work and then whatever
publicity comes should redound to the credit
of the people in the area.
After the Election then, members of the
Committee and volunteers began to go to Erin
on week-ends, talking with the people
wherever they were on the fishing beach,
by the rumshop, at the street corner, in their
homes and trying to put over the idea, es-
pecially to leaders and members of groups.
Our first task would be to carry out a
survey of the area in order to get an appraisal
of the needs of the people, as well as their
own resource, skills, etc. Then we could start
to plan. At the end of June therefore, I went
to Erin to train a team of young people from
the area and University students on vacation,
to carry out this survey. I was still the only
person employed to work permanently with
the Project: In addition to the responsibility
for the design of the survey, the training of
acistants, the administration and analysis of
it, we sought to continue to win the support
of the people for the idea behind the Project.

In a real sense, the most important work
we were doing began after four in the after-
noon we showed films on co-operation and
self-help, entertainment films, organized dis-
cussion meetings. The groups in the area in-
vited us to their meetings and to other acti-
vities Rancho Quemado's excursion to Los
Iros in August, and so on. In all we arranged
and attended at least 30 meetings.


On the fishing beach, we tried to interest
the County Council and the Drainage Division
in maintaining the sanitation of the area until
the problem of the lagoon could be tackled
with engineering advice. We arranged to have
electricity connected to the fishing centre,
and began to talk with the fishermen who
were willing to form themselves into an
association, but needed our help.
And having sensed the immediate needs of
the people, we began to encourage them to
choose sites for a recreation ground for
Rancho Quemado and a Community Centre
for Erin. The significant thing about those
two facilities is that they are greatly needed,
are simple to start and were able to arouse the
interest and participation of great numbers of
people in the area. The people agreed to co-
-operate voluntarily in the establishment of
the ground and in the building of the Centre.
The entire process involved a breaking
down of the initial suspicion and mobilizing
the people for the tasks ahead: The planning
and implementation of more efforts. All this
was undertaken between end of June and end
of September.



E.M. Road, Sangre Grande,



Sangre Grande


Phone: 668-2583

Page 9





A FEW WEEKS ago, Issues and Ideas
devoted itself to considering "how to
get people involved in community life."
But the focus of the programme was
mainly on how to get middle class
people with skills to assist in voluntary
work. And though a few participants
tried to point the emphasis to the more
serious problems involved, there was
either an embarrassed mutter that the
discussion was getting "controversial",
or, as happened at the end, the
moderator intervened to divert atten

But this is hardly the issue or the idea.
What is important is that the first quality of
any person or team seeling to carry out pro-
jects in the countryside or anywhere alse -
must be commitment: to the people in the
area, as well as to the idea in mind. With com-
mitment, the community worker will be pre-
pared to make personal sacrifices to live
and work there. For we must realize that
there is more to these islands than Port-of-
Moreover, the real task of "getting the
people involved in community life 'is fraught
with problems. The Rural Improvement Pro-
ject was initiated from the Government side
and this provoked, a number of interesting res-
ponses. The areas we will recall, is seven
villages, strung out along the Siparia/Erin
Road. Their history can be written in several
ways, but what is important is that it is a
history of neglect. For this reason, the most
frequent response to the Project was pure
cynicism "Girl you come to ole talk again?
If somebody gie me a wuk to ole talk I would
take-it too!" Fifteen years of asking for this
or that facility community centre, re-
creation ground, light on the beach, water -
and nothing happening: why all of a sudden?


And again, why self-help at all? All over
the country the Government was giving things
away Look at the houses for the Shanty
Town people; look at Laventille. Are Erin
people not tax payers too?
Many people saw the neglect of the area as
the fault of the representative who, they
claimed, had failed to represent them.
"Weak" and "lame" were some of the
adjectives used to C.nscribe him; "no dialogue"
said one gentleman in a meeting; and many
people suggested "a proper representative" as
an improvement for the area. But much of
this cynicism and disaffection with the regime
was part of a feeling of helplessness and de-
pendency of people upon Government,
people upon representative. They saw them-
selves as passive acted upon: "What is the
Government doing for us. "


There is a great respect too, for Authority
in spite of the cynicism that most people feel:
often people ask to have a "big boy" from
town to come to help them, or felt perhaps
that only if "a higher gender" came that
things would succeed. I believe that this too,
is part of an understanding of the over-
centralized machinery which exists: only if a
programme comes straight from the top will it
ever work. But, conversely, it can be inter-
preted as a cowtowing response before a pat-
ernalistic regime.
And there is the question of inertia among
the villagers themselves: apathy is the'
counterpart of cynicism. Village life is not
particularly meaningful: so people turn in-
wards on themselves. For this reason in part-
icular, we are able to talk about "depressed"
rural areas.


The Project brought a stimulation and new
life to the area: people began to come to
meetings, both those advertised and those
not. They began to take an interest all
around: women, even, with babes in arms
from way in the back of Carapal: willing and
eager to move, to do some serious work.
The isolation of the people from Govern-
ment and from all meaning in life apart
from eat, drink, ketch arse and sleep and
the apathy described above, lend themselves
easily to the domination of community life
by a few people, often local "politicians."
Such individuals are well placed by their party
contacts to dispense favours and to act as in-
termediary between the people of the village
and a remote and impersonal administration.
In one of the villages, the local party
hack, "The Baroness," is the intermediary and
matriarch. She has a great reputation for
liking to dominate the groups in the area, and
many persons spoke of her policy of "destroy
and control what remains. Many adults -
potential leaders themselves had retired

from the life of the village as a result, in a
kind of mute withdrawal.
It is my feeling too that she was much
resented by some of the youths in the area,
but their disapproval, though often voiced,
was ineffectual. There is evidence within the
Village Council, of a permanent "Opposition"
from some of the young people who were
constantly trying to put a distance between
themselves and the established, formal
'leadership' in the village.


The party hacks in the villages have several
resources of power: The first lies in the very
role of intermediary between the State and
the citizen, for a certain gratitude is owed to
them by the villagers. In other words,
voluntary services create obligations and a cer-
tain dependence from the recipients.
Secondly, with the help of the politicians
in the party, the intermediary can be seen to
"deliver the goods." The biggest of these is

AND HERE,a serious appraisal of the
consequences of all this is necessary:
If I am right about the attitudes of people
and the crisis (which is in a deep sense, po-
litical) that bedevils the situation, then the
first and most important task of community
development should be to break the de-
pendency complex, to encourage the people
to stand on their own feet. But it is only by
doing by the experience of building from
small by deciding democratically for them-
selves, that this can be learnt. The process is
slow, painstaking. The community worker in
the rural areas must therefore be careful to
efface himself and to to encourage projects
which are a response to the felt needs of the
people. His role is more to inspire confidence
and to eliminate red tape than to lead. Other-
wise the people will expect him to run every-
thing, for they don't begin with the con-
fidence to do it themselves. Leadership must
come from the people themselves, interested
and committed 'activists' who could help
initiate the work and keep people enthused
and interested. But the leaders cannot be
figures such as "the Baroness," since large
sections of the village will fear domination
and party control.


But, by the same token, if the system is
centralized, the people schooled to look to
messianic matriarchs and patriarchs at all
levels, then any attempt to do what is n
necessary to foster self-reliance and co-
operation is seen by the powers as a threat.
The Government's role becomes that of ass-
imilating, controlling and ultimately :stifling
In Erin, since the Project was started by an
agency of the Government, but was clearly
not going to be channelled via the party
hacks; and since it was not intended to be
another Special Works exercise in counter-
productivity, the local party hacks and their
Chief Whip, one of the representatives of the
area, set to work to stop it. Most of their
"work" was done in Rancho Quemado/Arena.
One device was to start a whispering cam-
paign from house-to-house that we were intro-
ducing "Communism in disguise," that we
were a group of "subversives. It was felt too
that the fact that the Project was not an-
nounced on the radio, nor was there a speech
by a Minister to launch it, meant that it could
oily be "subversive." Some of this propa-
ganda was believed, but most of the people
were soon convinced that the Project was
bona-fide and so this effort failed.
Another move was to seek to harangue the
leaders of the groups who were in some sense
committed to the Project. The line taken was
often one of loyalty to the village i.e. to
"the Baroness" and others versus loyalty to
the "strangers."


This was supplemented by a trip to the
Ministry of National Security in July by "the
Baroness." She reported that we were "sub-
verting" the people of Erin and asked for an
investigation. At the same time, a leaflet
about the Project which the Committee had
prepared and given out in the area, was
deemed "subversive" and was sent to the
Minister of Planning & Development for his
The main objection to the leaflet, I pre-
sume, was that it noted that "the people of
the rural areas are usually a forgotten people"
and it described the Project as being neither
"hand-out" nor "crash Programme."
Now, what is interesting here is that the
Cabinet of this country knows about the Pro-
ject and its nature. We had the assurance that
it was fully approved. Yet, the Min-ter finds
it necessary to call in the Permanent Secretary
urgently to explain the leaflet and whether he

the "distribution" of lands to the farmers by
the Ministry of Agriculture in 1970 lands
which were at the same time leased to
Trinidad Tesoro Petroleum Company. It is
a peculiar kind of "good" this, since farmers
have no security of.tenure and are unable to
claim compensation either from Government
or from Company for pollution. But I shall
deal with this issue fully below.


And then, of course, a continuing source
of power for the local party hack is always
the Special Works and other "crash pro-
grammes" which are administered by the
Village Council. (Those, by and large, are the
only jobs that came into the area). But since,
as I have argued, the Village Council is left to
the energetic, the system becomes an ex-
tended form of patronage, dispensing jobs to
the acolytes of those who have the power and
the glory.

authorised it s circulation! And again, in spite
of all assurances to the contrary, the Special
Branch and the C.I.D., acting on orders from
the Commissioner of Police, began an elabo-
rate investigation of me and at least one of
the persons who were employed as survey
assistants with the Project!
I and all the Assistants under my super-
vision had been careful to avoid expressing in
public, opinions that could be called


How "subversion" is defined is still a
mystery, but the action of the Police, that is,
the Government, is itself an indication of one
fundamental fact any meaningful activity
for improving the conditions of the popula-
tion is a threat Government sponsored or
not. Whatever is a threat to Nature's Non-
entities can be called "subversive."
It is a threat for many reasons that have to
do with the peculiar confusion and isolation
in which the regime is now placed an iso-
lation so critical that it is impossible for the
Government controlling all the seats in Parlia-
ment to govern.


In the first place, lacking any kind of
moral authority and having only a spurious
legal one, the regime has fallen more and
more into a preference for patronage and
"hand-out" schemes as a solution to the social
ills of the country. It may be that there is
nothing the matter with "crash programmes"
if they fit in with meaningful long-term pro-
gramme in works, agriculture aid so on. But
in our present situation, planning in this
country involves one of two conceptions:
o planning as a series of ad hoc, stop gap
measures, unrelated to each other or to
any conceivable policy "planning by
o planning as the production of reports
by local, but preferably foreign "ex-
perts." These reports are produced to
be filed and stored in cupboards. Thus
the function of the Ministry of
Planning & Development is a 'storage'
one; it becomes what it likes to call
itself "a think-tank!"
So there are no long-term programmes to
which the Crash Programmes are related.


This year the Government will have spent
$13 million in Crash Programmes most of
which seem to involve the uprooting of grass
to put down concrete along the roads and
highways of the country. The Siparia/Erin
road passing through the Project area is a
classic in the logic of counter-productivity:
Workers are employed to fill potholes in the
raod. No raod user can yet see any improve-
ment in the surface. All that matters is that
the system generates continuous employ-
ment: today's potholes'become tomorrow's
craters. It is a wilful waste of time, energy and
Since the Project aimed at more long-term
tasks, this constituted a threat to some of the
powers: for not only would they not be
needed if people gai d confidence in them-
selves, but ace -nplishment where there was
none before, Ib to insecure politicians, a threat
in itself.
The view that we were doing "too much"
was held by one representative for the area. I
was astounded to know that it was in August
1971 that he visited the area for the first time
even though a part of it fell within his con-

r*-*-' i-a "',_-

...* -

S- --

Self-reliance a threi

Crash programme ... exI

2. Z ..- w -.-^.--^1

Today's potholes

His feeling was that we were there to carry
out a survey of the area and to write a report
which would be considered by the politicians
in due course The fact that we were sen-
sitive to the people, their expectations and
the momentum we had helped to create
meant nothing to him. We should not have
been trying to start, to carry out, anything -
that was doing too much. Who ever heard of
doing too much serious work in a country
such as ours?


One of his close associates said too, that
the feeling was that we were stealing the
thunder of the politicians this, from a "re-
presentative" who was visiting part of his con-
stituency for for the first time!
In sum then, the threat comes from the
fear that the bases of the present authority
will be undermined, and that where alter-
natives to the "crash programme" are put for-
ward, this may be a discredit to the regime.
Furthermore, the whole approach that we
took was too different incompatible with a
government that only understands the politics
of illusion. The regime prefers the photogenic
way of doing (or not doing) things: One

4 Anbdy hosysaytiggginta.i b yin,, is outr ange ab llt

Page 10


" Threat of Self Reliance

Page 11


Land [Hunger

rcise in counter-productivity

.. tomorrow's craters

representative discovers that we wish to -et
the County Council to put the light on the
pole at Erin as a landmark to guide fishermen
into shore. He himself had received per-
mission for this to be done no less than a year
ago and had done nothing. But within two
days he announced on radio land in the Press
that he is seeing to it that a "lighthouse" will
be built on Erin beach. In the EXPRESS,
Friday September 3, 1971, Mr. A. C. Alexis
was quoted as saying that ". .a shed at the
sea coast is being wired for the setting up of a
beacon." This remark is a lie, for the two jobs
are quite separate; and whether a "light-
house" will ever be built on Erin beach, time
alone will tell. The reporter obviously shared
my scepticism, hence the caption "A Light-
house for Erin, But .. "


In such a situation, the alternatives to the
Project that would satisfy the powers must
include a preference for the tangible and the
now-for-now. Involvement of the people is
not valued It cannot be measured, itemized
or photographed. And, indeed, changes in
attitudes are in the long run counter-
productive to the interests of the powers.
It will also be necessary to limit objectives
because there is no evidence that the Govern-
ment is serious about tackling the funda-
mental problems of the country. Take, for
example, the business of land reform:

ALL OVER the country, in rural
areas, there is a common problem: land
hunger in the midst of land plenty. Most
of the good land is under large estates
growing traditional export crops and
employing very few people at abysmal
wages; the majority of the people eke
out a living on small plots, usually the
worst land, and in spite of the dis-
abilities, feed themselves. Erin is no
different. And the problem is more
acute in villages like Carapal where the
lands are almost totally owned by large
landowners Huggins, Wharton,
McShine a galaxy of familiar names.
Most of these estate lands are under-
utilized and often abandoned.


South of the Siparie Erin Road, lie more
than 600 acres of Crown Lands. Most of the
farmers, especially in Los Iros and in Rancho
Quemado Arena, have been squatters here for
years some as long as 25 years on the soil.
The administration of these Crown Lands
is divided between the Crown Lands Division,
Ministry of Agriculture and Sub-Intendant of
Crown Lands, Red House. It is not clear what
the functions of either Division are and a
situation is created where frequently the left
hand does not know what the right hand is
The lands had, in the past, been under
mining lease to B.P. When, in 1970, the com-
pany passed into the hands of Trinidad-
Tesoro, a new lease was signed between
Crown Lands, Red House and the new


Crown Lands, Ministry of Agriculture,
hastily undertook, in September 1970, to dis-
tribute lands to farmers squatting in the area.
One would expect that the legal position on
the matter would have been sought from the
Red House. This was not done.
Instead, the Ministry "distributed" the
lands. But it also deliberately did not put the
farmers on a secure footing for two reasons -
to give the farmers long term leases would
take two years of red tape and the Ministry
was bent on the fastest solution; and
secondly, the Ministry's Crown Lands Divi-
sion was "not sure" about whether the lands
were under mining lease or not. In other
words, there was at least the suspicion that all
was not well.


The quick way of meeting the political ex-
igency of appearing to be doing something -
the politics of illusion was to take the line
of least resistance: give out the lands; give the
farmers worthless bits of paper showing that
they are tenants of the Crown on a month-to-
month basis, that they can be removed from
the lands with three months' notice, that they
are not eligible to claim compensation from
oil company or from Government in case of
pollution, and finally, they to plant only
crops that will mature within three months.


The farmers of Rancho Quemado; en-
couraged by "the Baroness" who, by the
way, is no farmer, but is a leading figure in
the farmers' group signed the agreement. As
their situation remained precarious and the
assurances by word of mouth from the
Ministry seemed phoney, many of them began
to regard the whole business as "fishy", to
quote one farmer.
The farmers of Los Iros, und-r different
leadership, refused to sign without security of
tenure. In any case, the Ministry stopped the
whole business of registering new farmers
until they could come to some agreement
with Tesoro. One wonders how concerned the
M.listry is with settling the matter, since it is
fully seven months now since the Ministry of
Agriculture agreed to supply information on
the lands distributed which the Project team
could send to Tesoro. This has not been done.
Thus, a number of farmers in the area
remain semi-legalized, while others, the
supposed "beneficiaries" of the land distribu-
tion scheme, have the legal status of squatters.


I might add that many squatters in nearby
villages Los Charos, for example are
living under the illusion that their applications
to be bona fide tenants of the Crown are
being "processed" by the Ministry. In fact,
the lands on which they are squatting are
under Forest Reserve and can only be released
by Act of Parliament. One would have

thought that this would be easy to clarify, but
the fundamental dishonesty of the Govern-
ment encourages, not only concealing the un-
pleasant, but frustrating the people with pro-
mises and promises of promises .....


The Extension Service of the Ministry of
Agriculture refuses, as a matter of policy, to
offer assistance to squatters. And so, while
one arm of the Ministry cynically encourages
the farmers on the land without giving them
proper legal guarantees, the other arm of the
Ministry avoids the same farmers like the
plague on the grounds that they are only
squatters. This explains why most farmers in
the area do not know the Ixtension Officer
since lie obeys the "policy" of his Division.
The squatter is thus in the most precarious
position. He works. He contributes to the
economy by producing under adverse
conditions for the local market pumpkins,
pigeon peas, cucumbers, corn. In the dry
season his land is subject to drought and he is
legally prevented from winning water on the
Crown Lands. He is asked furthermore to
grow crops that will mature in three months
which is ridiculous.


But, more than this, lie is castigated for
concentrating on pumpkins, an easy short
term crop to grow. But what else can lie do?
What other crop is he to grow''?Carrots," say
the pundits. But here the crop needs more
care and the risks are high. And advice and
subsidies are not available to squatters. And
anyway, why bother, if tomorrow the com-
pany bulldozers can raze your labour to the

Most farmers would not like to see their
sons and daughters take to agriculture,
because, as they have experienced it, for the
poor man it is a most precarious way to make
a living. Perhaps incidents like these help to
explain more than anything else why some of
the youths will not turn to farming as a


The farmers of Los Iros especially
understand perfectly the run-around that they
have been getting. And they are angry men
and women. But they do not know what to
do about it. And it is always surprising to me
how it is possible for people to understand so
well, to endure and not to grow bitter.
Instead, the prevalent attitude to the land
question is a kind of fatalism "We will die
and they will bury us." At one meeting I
attended, the farmer who spoke the words
quoted above suggested that they form a
delegation and go note where to White-
hail, about the lands in the area. But at once,
displaying a certain perspicacity about the
political system of the country, he remarked,
"But we will get a bullet! Anybody who says
anything against a big boy in this country can
get a bullet. (This, in the Year of National
Dialogue!) Another farmer suggested that
women and children be taken along, but the
general fear of the consequence of challenging
the authorities was enough to stifle any such
idea. Only anger remains. Anger, and the des-
pair that says, "We will die and they will bury


We are in the situation, then, where the
Ministry of Agriculture cares about farming
but has managed to do nothing serious yet
about land reform and land use in the
country. It cares about farmers Agriculture
Year! Co-operative Year! and all that jive -
but the basic arrangements for helping
farmers are carried out with a most high-
handed cynicism!

Special r~anh .oop

IT SEEMS TO ME, then, that the
strategy open to the politicians will be
that of carrying out small projects: care-
fully chosen, conspicuous ones, with
very limited objectives: Limited in
scope because this has been the pattern;
conspicuous, because how else are the
politicians to get their pips?The self-
help and self-reliance aspect, of course,
will go by the board.

For Community Development Pro-
jects to succeed one of two conditions
must be fulfilled. Either there must be a
whole machinery set up to carry out
these projects throughout the country,
as is the case in Tanzania; or the
politicians must clear a space, give an
institution the authority to work, and
leave these projects alone.
Anybody who wishes to do comm-
unity work under this regime, must

expect to work under the benign sur-
veillance of the Special Branch!
i resigned in Scptemiber h ecauc it %\as
clear that I was going to be in the position
.vhcre I would be looking three miles ahead
and be asked to move one mile back. The
Project is now at a total standstill.
The staff in the area were fired. Officials
in the Ministry, calmly and not without
cynicism, remark that Phase 1 is over and
Phase II is yet to begin. This is simply tran-
slating in the language of the bureaucrat the
fact that nothing is being done.
There is no serious attempt to get the
people to set the Project in motion again; no
posts exist for any staff because the Project is
"not important enough" to warrant it: and
nobody y is really looking lor staff One person
was recommiicndedcd by me andi the Adminis-
tration dragged its Iect for two months, by
which time le had accepted another offer...
But the people in Erin are beginning to ask
questions: Does the Government intend to do
anything serious in the area? If so, what?IAnd
when? They want an answer.









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Page 12







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Page 13


guage and the African basis of folk-lore and religion.
he Church played a major role in destroying continu-
ity in Trinidad culture, though the loss of the original
language of Creole culture, that is French Patois, has
had a lot to do with the sense of void and discontinuity
in Trinidadian culture.
This accounts in part for why the Calypso has today
moved so far away from what were regarded as its
roots. In so doing, it has simply conformed to the
general drift of things in Trinidad. Discontinuity is part
of the national experience, in history, politics and cul-

Jamaica; however, because of the greater integrity of
its population, has begun to lay the foundation of a
vital folk-urban culture. This is why Afro-Jamaican leli-
gion, mythology, rhythms rhetoric and music have be-
gun to saturate the whole consciousness of the place.
This accounts for the sound of Savacou /4, which I can
see is simply a beginning. The folk-jazz group called
The Mystical Revelations ofRastafar-I is another such
beginning. When I heard the group in December 1970,
they sounded like the most frightening awesome
energy that I had ever heard in music. Marrying the
agony of Coltrane and Sanders to the rooted cool and


menace of Rastafarian drums, the Mystics as they were
then called, constructed the bridge between tropical
and temperature zones of blackness. It was good to
hear that Marina Maxwell was able to include them in
he r Bongo Man A Come programme of poetry and
music. All sorts of things are jelling in Jamaica, which
one needs to understand before one can begin to speak
intelligibly about consciousness or art.


All of these folk-urban manifestations have their
roots in the syncretic Afro-Protestantism of
Pukkumina, Bedwardism, Garveyism and
Rastafarianism. At all times in the history of Black
Jamaica, culture has had a religious basis. So also have
politics, and the reaction of people to the depredations
of politics and politicians has always had a nearly
mystical basis. This is why it is difficult today to
separate religious music from the music of open
Take, for example, Bob Marley's Duppy Conqueror
which was popular late in 1970. The singer begins by
describing his release from prison:

Yes, me fren,
Dem set me free again
Yes me fren. me fren,
Me deh pan street again

the next few lines are a statement both of defiance
and religious affirmation:

The bars could not hold me
Walls could not control me
They tried to keep me down
But God is still around

Yes I've been accused
Wrongly and beaten
But through the power of the Most-I
Dem had to turn me loose.

He goes on to say that he has to make a journey to
"Mount Zion" and that no force either material or
supernatural is going to stop him. "If you're a
bull-bucker, well let me tell you I'm- a
duppy-conqueror." Normally, people in using the
phrase 'duppy-conqueror" deny that they are
themselves duppy-conquerors. "Duppy-conqueror,"
which today siriply implies "hooligan", used to have a
much stronger meaning, which Bob Marley seems to be
trying to recapture in his song of defiance and faith.


A duppy is a spirit of the dead, whose burial rites
have been incomplete. The spirit then wanders in a sort
of limbo, and cannot take its place as an ancestral voice
or protector of the group, but rather, if caught by an
evil obeah-man, can be used against the group. In other
words duppies exist because one has failed to make
amends with the past. In Marley's song, the whole
oppressive system which remains intact because of cor-
rupt justice, becomes a duppy, a malignant spirit of the
unplacated dead. This duppy of history, tis corpse
inherited from the colonial master, has been captured
by the judge and the politician, evil obeah-man, necro-
mancers, (or, to use Sparrow's word, negromancers)
who employ their energies to destroy and gain personal
power, rather than to make amends with the past, to
heal history's wounds, or to increase the strength and
coherence of the community.


The perverted leaders of the society, then, become
the duppy which the man in the street must overcome.
The duppy-conqueror is in this instance more than
hooligan. He is the Myal man, the folk-priest who
always appeared at critical moments in Jamaica's
history. He usually claimed to have power over life and
death, to be the true houngan, whose function had
been perverted by the corrupt obeah men. In Marley's
song, then, the man on the street is prisoner, sufferer,
but also shaman, Myal man, resurrected victim, who,
because he lives within the grace of the Most-I (Most-
High), cannot be suppressed by the gates, the bars and
the prison walls which the privileged are compelled to
raise up against him. In Duppy Conqueror, the com-
mon man assumes the role of healer, defender of faith
and consciousness, conscience, in a society which.still
consists of masters and slaves, judges and prisoners. In
Small Axe the same spirit can be seen. I'll just quote a
few lines to illustrate this point.

Why boasteth thyself, Oh evil men?
Playing smart without being clever
So you working iniquity to achieve vanity
But the goodness of Jah Jah 1-ndureth for I-ver.


Now, this attempt to see the "criminal" as redeemer,
as measure of the society's wound and power to trans-
cend, is by now a common-place occurrence in the
West Indian Literature. It is there in Mais, in
Lamming's Season of Adventure, in Harris's too, and
appears as a major element of Savacou %. The Guyan-
ese Mark Matthews's For Cuffy is addressed not only
to the slave rebel of 1763,but to Clement Cuffy, a
convict whose jailbreak in the late fifties, resulted in a
relentless manhunt in Guyana s backlands. Moreover,
both C uffies, the rebel and the convict, (same thing in
the West Indies) are associated with the common man,
the eccentric, the grotesque. ..Bald head Barney, Top
Hat, Charley, Banja Mary. In addition, all these people
are seen as the true preservers of conscience and sacri-
fice, the real revolutionaries: and they are associated
with their counterparts in Jamaica or Harlem.


It is with these that the poet, himself going mad,
identifies, because he can recognize the fraudulence of
those who lead the society, the degree to which they
preserve the inhumane values of the original slave
masters, whom Cuffy of 1763 made the fatal mistake
of trusting, as Toussaint was to do later on. The protag-
onist of this dramatic monologue becomes like the
eccentrics he is talking about. He assumes their fears,
their schizophrenia, the fragmented rhythms of their
speech; and like them he is an observer of the rest of
the society as it waits for its deliverance.
Ah stampin, ah stampin, ah stampin a whole heap o'
groun' by de asylum, with truth in the morning just to
keep me warm and ah see you waiting for a bus to


This desire to reclaim the "criminal" on the part of
middle class writers is partly an attempt to exercise a
guilt at having grown away from roots, or an emptiness
at having never known them. It is also a positive
attempt to create and deepen conscience in sections of
society whose traditional response has been an auto-
matic impulse to repress, beat up, execute and impri-
son. As such it is to be welcomed. H alf in guilt and half
in self-vindication, the West Indian writer is declaring
his identity with the West Indian people; in their
shame, in their degradation, in their in-search, in their
mythical eternal journeying, which so many Puk-
kumina hymns, Baptist hymns in Trinidad, and so
much popular music in Jamaica are today celebrating.


Finally, then, this self-acceptance is the important
thing. It is what Cesaire's return really meant, a terrible
affirmation in the face of an almost total despair,
which, however, is how Kierkegaard would have
defined real faith. Real faith, for the West Indian will
continue to grow out of despair, and in spite of the
eternal recurrence of the betrayer, the boss man, all
those bald-headed attorneys-general of repression.
Cesaire's great act of affirmation will continue to be
made, even when it changes little or nothing.
Iaccept..... Iaccept..... entirely, without reservation..
my race which no absolution of hyssop
mingled with lilies can ever purify.
my race gnawed with blemishes
my race ripe grapes from drunken feet
my queen of spit and leprosies
my queen of whips and scrofulae (p. 80)
At the end of the small hours, lost pools,
stray smells, stranded hurricanes, dismasted
boats, old wounds, rotten bones, buoys,
chained volcanoes, ill-rooted deaths, bitter cries
I accept!

(Return to My Native Land. p. 83
(Penguin Translation)

It is this which is beginning to sound in the poetry
of the "Commonwealth" Caribbean at the end of the
small hours. Not surprisingly, some of us cannot recog-
nise or accept the sound. On the political level, all over
the West Indies the laws of censorship are being
invoked, or, as in Trinidad, grim laws of sedition have
been passed to kill this acceptance.
On the level of literary criticism, one can still find
the critic who believes that a thorough grounding in F.
R. Leavis, an understanding of how he rescued English
criticism from Bradleyan doldrums in the thirties, will
save us here, and help us to understand why Bongo
Jerry writes as he does.
But one will have to study the Caribbean people and
to listen to them, before one can learn to make
important or relevant critical statements on the new
writers. The critic's business is first to understand the
contexts out of which the work that he is examining
grows. Our context is simply not Leavis's. The critic,
like the writer, will have to learn the meaning of self-
acceptance. New day has already cleared in West
Indian writing.

Page 14
IN Brazil recently, Pele, the
world's most outstanding
professional footballer
announced his retirement from
international football. The
decision came as a shock to the
millions of fans who have
followed the superstar's career
through 13 years of

international football.
Brazilians took Pele's sen-
sational announcement with
anxiety and incredulity. The
directors of the Sports
Federation made a dramatic
plea for Pele to reconsider his
decision, and even Government
officials joined in a desperate

appeal for Pele (Born Edson
Arantes do Nascimento) to
change his mind.
The 31-year old footballer
stuck to his decision, however.
And it seems that "several
factors the public knows little
about" had more to do with
Pele's retirement of than his

own anxieties about being "at
the top of your form." He is
the PRO man for a Brazilian
bank; one of the stars in a film
now being made in Brazil; and
holds a lucrative contract with
the Santos Football Club.
His continued participation
in international football could

affect these other activities,
and many suggest, cause him to
lose a lot of money. The
following interview with Pele
was recorded by Elmer Rodri-
guez and Rogelio More, two
co-respondents df Prensa
Latina, the Cuban news

Pele lived only for the Santos Football Club. But in Munich he will be only a
spectator. The last time we saw his brilliant playing was in Mexico; now here, in the
Pacaembu Stadium, he is just another dark shadow on the grounds. He is still an
impressive figure, but has a certain reserve.
We interviewed him on the lawn of the stadium. Wearing the white uniform of
the Santos team, the football king recalled his early years; with a touch of nostalgia
he remembered his victories, told us about his present life, and referred to his
somewhat uncertain future.
"Yes I have definitely decided not to
play any more for Brazil's team. I felt .
deeply about having to make this '
decision, but many factors came into I.
play here, and though I feel fine, I think
it's now time I gave up my position to
someone else."

Pele, we have seen you playing in
many places. In the world series in
Mexico you played magnificently. But
now it seems your playing has gone
down a little, and rumour says you are
not too keen on going all out to play
the 90 minutes.
"Well, you can't always be at the top
of your form; that's one of the reasons
I'm giving up the team. I always try to
live up to what my fans expect, but
sometimes I manage this, sometimes
not. It depends on several factors the
public knows little about."
At present how do you feel, after
your victorious career in football?
"Well, you know it's difficult to give
up football when it has been everything
to me. It has given me lots of very
emotional moments, and I have the
inestimable satisfaction of being the
only player in the world to win three

4 : _

,t, j .

world championships out of the four I
took part in.
"I could quote lots of examples of
times which were very happy for me,
but I'll just mention one: when I made
my thousandth goal, and the whole
Maracana seemed to go mad with joy."
A moment of silence, while Pele was
clearly thinking back to the past his
start with the Santos Club in 1956; the
world series in Sweden in 1958; in Chile





in 1962; in London in 1966; in Mexico
in 1970; and his winning the Jules
Rimet Cup.
"Mexico was an unforgettable
moment in my life. It had been my
ambition for a long time, and I was very
anxious to do my very best. There were
difficult matches like the one in Britain,
and crucial ones like the one in Italy.
When I held the Rimet Cup in my hands
and knew that we had really won it for
ever well, it's difficult to explain
exactly how I felt then."
What is your opinion about world
politics today, and your country in
"I haven't any opinion about these
natiers, i am just a ruotballcr dedicated
to his job. I want to get on well with
everyone, and I'd prefer that we
continue this conversation talking only
about sports."
What do you think of Brazil's
chances for the world series in 1974 in
Munich ?

"There are many good players in my
country who together can make a team
which could easily win the World Cup.
Our preparation and training in Mexico
must be seriously taken into account.
We have worthy opponents to face,
however, especially the team from the
German Federal Republic, which has
fine players and the public's support.
They played excellently in Mexico and
seemed very anxiously to win. They are
our most serious rivals."

Who do you think is best equipped
to take his place in the "scratch"?
"There are several outstanding
players like Jairzinhe, Rivelino, Paul
Cesar, but I think Tostao is the man to
play as number 10 on the team. He's
not particularly spectacular in his play
but he gets around the field very
quickly. But the decision has to be
made by Zagallo, the technical
When you leave the Santos Club, will
that be the end of your football days?
"I could never cut myself off
completely from football. It's been my
life for so many years, and I shall always
have close links with it. I intend to work
with children, to teach them and help
them with my knowledge and
experience. The children's sections of
the Santos Club are the source of our
future stars. Whatever other work I do,
I'll always be ready to help and train
children in football."

Brief Biography
Edson Arantes do Nascimento (Pele) was
born on October 21, 1940, in Tres
Corazones, Minas Ferais. At 16 he began
to play for the Santos Football Club. and
at 18 was a member of the world team
which won the title in Sweden. He has
played over 100 matches for his country,
and is the only footballer in the world to
win three world matches. He has scored
over a thousand goals, and therefore it is
not surprising he is known as the King of

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the workers'bank

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Page 15


AT LAST Trinidad footballers have cottoned on to the fact that Eric
James is not the only professional in the country. Despite the fact that
most of them backed down at the eleventh hour on their demand for
payment for participation in the CONCACAF series, it is just the first
round in a battle which will end up in a professional league.
It is very unfortunate that the players underestimated the support they have in
the country. They did not realise, apparently, that Eric James' unpopularity is
surpassed only by that of the other Eric. They have failed to grasp that the country,
as much as themselves, is sick of the incompetent, bloodsoccing vampires in the

Free Weekes

and Nunez
At a meeting of the Womens' Auxiliary
Council of the Transport & Industrial
Workers' Union on Sunday 28th
November, 1971 the following
resolution was passed.
WHEREAS The Womens' Auxiliary of
the Transport & Industrial Workers'
Union is of the opinion that Clive
Nunez, Education Officer of the TIWU,
George Weekes, President General of the
O.W.T.U. and other detainees have
always acted in the best interest of the
oppressed workingclass peoples of
WHEREAS The said Womens' Auxiliary
deplores and condemns the oppressive
and undemocratic detention of the
above mentioned freedom fighters and
Liberators of the workingclass;
WHEREAS We denounce these acts of
detention as cowardly, inhumane,
anti-workingclass and anti-justice;
AND WHEREAS The perpetrators of
this distardly act do so to protect their
capitalist cohorts and to promote the
interest of the minority exploiting class,
and as members of the ruling class, to
further and compound the exploitation
of the masses;
BE IT RESOLVED That we hereby call
for the release of all detainees, so that
they can rejoin their brothers and sisters
in their struggle for emancipation of the
subjugated and oppressed masses of

The bloodsoccers are completely out
of touch with the hopes and aspirations
of players and supporters. Even if they
knew what was going on they are far
too incompetent and unimaginative to
realize present and future possibilities.
The demand by the national team for
payment is in the final analysis a call for
a professional league, and contrary to
the prevailing mood in official circles,
professional football is not only feasible
but necessary to further progress in the
All the basic ingredients for success
exist. The game is extremely popular.
There are fenced grounds other than the
established grounds, and most of all,
fans are willing to pay to see a good
match. The only obstruction is the
crucifixed vision of a corrupt football
association which uses irrelevant FIFA
definitions and rulings to veil its dracula
You ever hear of such nonsense? A
senior official of the TFA once confided
to me that if our players become
professionals they would be eliminated
from international competition the
exposure to which we worked hard for.
Surely if we have professionals then we
can play on greener pastures. Instead of
running down "Cali Games" and the
like we can promote the visits of
professionals clubs and national teams.
Besides, professionals play in the most
cherished international competition, the
World Cup. Are to believe that amateur
competitions and FIFA rules are more

important than the improvement and
satisfaction of our own players.
Fans will agree that Trinidad/Nautico
is a far better proposition than Costa
Rica/Cuba. But even if we have to
accept FIFA rules there are ways to
evade them. Instead of.playing football
we can invent a new game and call it
"boots." Instead of playing on a square
field we can play circular fields and
replace throw-ins with freekicks.
However the purpose of a
professional league is not simply to
export funds from grasping Eric, but, to
provide an incentive to induce better
performances and to give our top talent
the full time to devote themselves
towards realising their maximum
potential. It is annoying to see gifted
players failing to head or pass a ball
properly skills which can be
easily acquired by a week or two of
serious practice.
Also, the TFA can only conceive of a
professional league in terms of

Ruthven Baptiste

sponsorship, grandiose stadiums and
million-dollar players from abroad.
Initially, all a professional league needs
is a fenced ground and fans who are
willing to pay to see a reasonably good
match. Well, North/South encounters
convincingly demonstrate this. In every
nook and cranny of the country there
are supporters who relish seeing their
community heroes against any worthy
opponent. To my mind, these localities
are roots for initiating and
intercommunity league. Superimposed
on that we can establish a regional
league with each region drawing its
sustenance from a group of community
leagues. Such a league can be run on a
full professional basis.

While the grass is growing the horse
won't starve. There are more immediate
possibilities. Players should form a
bargaining body of some kind to
demand the players participating in the
inter-league series should be paid a
percentage of the gate receipts. IF the
TFA turns a deaf ear they must mobilise
themselves to boycott all football


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Page 16
For 20 years Ecuador was the
world's top banana exporter. The
history of banana growing and the
country's swift climb into first
place are quite recent.
In the early 40's Central American
banana plantations were ruined by
hurricanes and floods. Many of them
belonged to the United Fruit Company
which also monopolized banana ex-
ports, including the quotas it purchased
from independent producers.
The U.S. monopoly and other
smaller firms such as the Standard Fruit
then turned their eyes to Ecuador where
United Fruit already held huge land ex-
Under different names (Compania
Bananera del Ecuador, Agricola del
Guayas, Canadian Ecuadorian Com-
pany, United Fruit had already pur-
chased a group of adjoining haciendas of
unusually rich soil: Tenguel, Balao,
Pangua, Vainillo and La Isla, which
amounted to 225,000 hectares.


They were purchased at low prices
because at that time plagues had ruined
the traditional cultivation of cocoa of
which Ecuador was also the world's top
exporter. Tenguel, purchased in 1933,
cost only $44,000 and after 15 years,
according to a conservative estimate of
the pro-US magazine La Calle, net
profits amount to $35,200,000.
Soon after the downfall of Central
American bananas, a chain of U.S. pro-
perties spread over the Ecuadorian
coast, including the haciendas purchased
by Astral in the province of Esmeraldas.
From the beginning Astral appeared
as a Swedish company, thanks to the
nationality of its promoter, Folke
Anderson, who was mysteriously
murdered in 1968, but actually the
company was a United Fruit subsidiary.
It is no coincidence that Folke Ander-
son had been a former representative of
the U.S. monopoly in Panama. More-
over, Astral's main offices never were in
Sweden but in Gulenport, Mississippi.
With the purchase of Rio Blanco, Cole,
Quininde, San Jose and Timbre, Astral
created a small empire which
completely dominated the life of the
rich province and influenced national
policies decisively.


As Jorge Amado tells in his novel Sao
Jorge Dos Ilheus, when Ecuadorian
cocoa went bankrupt, Brazilian ex-
porters were exhilarated because it
meant new opportunities for their pro-
duct. At the same time, their
Ecuadorian colleagues toasted to the
ruin of Central American bananas. No
thought was given in either case to the
consequences suffered by the hungry,
underdeveloped peoples of both
countries, traditionally ignored by
monopolistic book-keeping.
In 1965, a U.S. journalist explained
that "the Ecuadorian banana industry
actually began in 1949, when United
Fruit and Standard Fruit gave up their
Central American plantations because of
plagues and hurricanes." Freid Lander,
Vice-President of Panamerican Fruit,
and other sources from U.S. import
trade circles, as well as spokesmen of
the two big companies already men-
tioned, pointed out that "there were no
strong winds in Ecuador, labour was
cheap, and that in 1949 the so-called
Mal de Panama (a plant disease) did not
exist in the country." According to
them, the big companies had to leave
Central America, and "Ecuador was


And of course "Ecuador was con-
venient." The US-owned haciendas,
until then kept as reserve zones, were
swiftly put into production. Docks, rail-
ways, highways, homes for workers,
hospitals, warehouses, etc., gradually
burgeoned in the huge possessions of
the U.S. monopoly. But all this was not
sufficient. Banana production had to be
increased everywhere; overproduction
had to be promoted in order to cut
prices down for the company's benefit





ih f discouraging petroleum production
- with the aid o ("The East is a myth, we must go to the
Coast") and promoting banana culti-
Galo Plaza, OAS nation through the Development Bank
and U.S. loans granted for that purpose.
Sec retaAdvertising did the rest: "Ecuador is
ecy destined to become the king of bananas
Generalall over the world. "

The new passion overtook the stag-
nant, ruinous agriculture of tlhe
Ecuadorian coast and all farms began
growing bananas. Apparently, there was
room for everybody, both small and big
farmers. Other crops were forgotten and
they gradually disappeared under the
tropical sun when a sea of banana plant-
ations flooded the coast.
Encouraged by the growing exports
(they reached as much as 50 million
bunches) a large sector of domestic ex-
porters very much linked to U.S. mono-
polies, appeared. Such is the case of
Noboa Naranjo, currently one of the
major fruit exporters, very influential in
domestic politics and an active pro-
moter of reactionary plots. In addition
to the exporters, whose headquarters
have always been in Guayaquil, a power-
ful bourgeois sector also developed: that
of company employees, the so-called
calificadores, in charge of a thorough
selection of the fruit according to size
and quality, who have always dis-
criminated against the smaller pro-
In a certain way this meant Plaza's
political ruin because the greedy coast-

(they purchased the crops of most
national producers); banana cultivation
had to be stimulated at any cost; there-
fore, big, medium and small landowners
dedicated themselves to this cause.
But to achieve this, a centralized
policy was necessary, a true promotion
at the state level, and that is how Galo
Plaza Lasso, a politician without mass or
influential followers, came into the
arena. His coming into power had been
forecast years before, in 1942, by John
Guntherwhen he predicted the coming
election of Plaza in his book The Latin
4merican Drama.

Plaza, the golden boy of U.S. mono-
polies today Secretary General of the
Organization of American States (OAS)
- was elected in 1948, and he made his
government concentrate on bananas,


oligarchy, now notably strengthened,
jumped at the chance to recuperate the
total power they had partially lost to
the highland bankers and latifundists.
The Concentration of Popular Forces
(CFP) headed by Carlos Guevara
Moreno and sponsored by the coast oli-
garchy adeptly profited from Plaza's
mistakes and negotiations and his links
to the highland landowners. On the
other hand, CFP backed the new
election of Jose Maria Velasco Ibarra in
The banana bonanza went on and ex-
ports became the major source of state
revenue. Of course there were ups and
downs along the way: workers' strikes
in the big haciendas, strikers murdered
in San Jose, Asia threatening to become
a competitor as well as the slowly re-
covering Central American plantations
where .United Fruit was again getting
into the act and encouraging the culti-
vation of new varieties. The final crisis
began in 1960: United Fruit stopped
buying Ecuadorian bananas, Astral cut
down its exportations and several U.S.
importers made their purchases back


United Fruit technicians (after his
presidential term Plaza flew to
Honduras as one of them to give
lectures) had developed other varieties,
which are smaller but more resistant to
strong winds and floods. But Ecuador
was no longer "convenient" and before
the gullible eyes of TV audiences, U.S.
propaganda turned the best bananas in
the world into the worst.
Since then, half the country's banana
harvest rots in the plantations,
thousands of Ecuadorians have lost their
jobs, and the State no longer collects
the income it used to. This time the
toast was made by Central American ex-
Of course, the above did not
prevent Galo Plaza from writing a whole
book of praise about his favourite com-
pany, which he titled LA UNITED

Just a few paragraphs are enough to
give an idea of the present OAS sec-
retary general, unmask his ties with
United Fruit and highlight his involve-
ment in the banana affair:

ePrejudice is so strong in connection with
private investments in general, and with
United Fruit in particular, that peoples, both
northern and southern ones, tend to see only
what they expect to see and not what really
exists. "

"All of us in this hemisphere will have to
develop a comprehensive vision to cover the
gap between the cultures of both Americas.
.In the case of the United Fruit it will serve to
pave the road for future understanding."

"Pioneers (those of United Fruit) were
audacious enough to confront the formidable
problems to come. Almost ignoring them, and
facing windmills big enough to discourage
Don Quixote himself, they set the founda-
tions of today's giant enterprise.. .In general,
so far United Fruit has managed by itself with
the occasional moral support of the U.S. State
Department. Prensa Latina
7 (Prensa Latina)


ALSO: Fishing nets and Cords.
42 Independence Sq. Phone: b2-37424. 5 Charlotte St. P.O.S.



B 00S








* From Page 4
animal characteristics of human nature.
It is understandable why Wooding
should take this view of leadership. As
Chomsky implies, aggression flourishes
in an aggressive society. Therefore the
circle of cause and effect can be broken
only by leaders rising above their
genetic and sociological origins. So
might it have been with Wooding. The
Americans are fond of saying that the
office of President brings out the best in
its incumbents--qualities they them-
selves did not know they had. There
have been one or two Presidents of the
United States whose record leads one to
believe that the maxim may be occa-
sionally true.


So Wooding the Chancellor of the
University of the West Indies might be a
different Wooding from Wooding the
hanging judge, Wooding the company
directoror Wooding the member of the
Governor's Executive Council. But if his
statements since taking office do not en-
courage this belief--and such is the
contention of this article-- it is not
hard to see why. The political history of
colonial territories does not encourage
optimism about the human condition,
and' ideas about leadership and power
are bound to be inseparable from a con-
ception of hierarchy and domination as
permanent features of existence.
This, too, is why Wooding can only
interpret the rhetoric of Black Power in

the way he does--as a call for domi-
nation rather than participation, re-
placement rather than reform. It ex-
plains why he does not see that the
most desirable potential leader may be
the one with the least, not the greatest,
share of aggressive instinct, and that
there is a world of difference between
aggressive instinct and firmness of moral
resolve. It is possible to explain
Napoleon or Hitler, Powell or Vorster in
terms of "pecking order", but not
Gandhi or Jesus.


This is not to say that leaders must
be saints. Saints are too few and too far
ahead of the rest of humanity for that
Bernard Shaw made this point too, in
Saint Joan. Saints have a different evo-
lutionary function to perform. We must

Page 17
develop practical leaders in all fields--
not just those fields serviced by the Uni-
versity. But if they are to lead the way
out of the toils of a society that was
created and maintained by the exercise
of force, their leadership must be more
than a combination of competence and

It must be imbued with a human-
itarian spirit and an optimism which is
sufficiently strong to overcome the
cynical quality of our public life. As a
training ground for leaders the Univer-
sity will only be effective if it can offer
them the framework in which they can
learn to recognize and abhor the inhu-
manities of their society and its institu-
tions and if it can be seen by them to be
combating these inhumanities with all
the resources it properly commands.

April '70


Syl Lowhar.

Pyre of stone, cordon of mortised
Prison no bar can prise,
round, oblong, square, multi-

Tower of Babylon
round which electric wires stretch
like hangman's rope from which the
charr'd corpse drops
dead-crashing in the void.

Steel makes the sky eternal.
The metal slab grates on its rusty hinge
unevenly like justice. Turnkeys turn
angels of death shouting the living from

A bullet, gleaming in the breach,
the robot's eye swirls in an arc through
Throat twists like spring, with muscle
The executioner's grin escapes the mask.

Since the uprising in the gulf
when bofors shell'd the hills of Teteron
and hoodlums' flying squads swooped
on us dreamers,
Freedom has had no rest from violence.

The olive green was stained with
Bailey's blood;
the shrapnel burst like sandbox in his
Here's for the revolution and the rebel-

the banished and
martyr'd and betrayed!

detained, the

Against the sweeping wind grey pillars
like guards among the ruins of an
ancient fort,
resisting change, they cannot last
Not silk cotton-tree the 'magnum est,'
leaning over the gulf of troubled waters.
Even the diehard shrubs that rallied
round its foot,
it seemed for years, is shedding green,
and yielding to the sun their cherished

April still bleeds its lilacs, cruel month.
the sprays ofpoui were trampled in the
dust. They gunned Basil down like a
dog in the square, planted the blame in
his cold clenched fist.

thousands of mourners with headbands
of grief red like poinsettia in the ceme-
tery cried, 'murder police, they set
Gordon free!'


Brinsley Samaroo

ON October 19, 1971, the
government of the People's
National Movement slapped down
Trinidad's fifth Emergency since
1956. The frequency with which
this government has had to resort
to Emergency rule places it high
on the list of New World
Countries in such distinguished
company as Haiti where force is
the only means whereby a
government can stay in power.
Of even greater interest is the fact
that, as the PNM government lost more
and still more support, the more
frequent has been their resort to States
of Emergency. Between 1956 and 1964,
there was only one emergency and that
was in 1961 but as the PNM's
percentage of the total vote fell from
56.97 in 1961 to 52% in 1965, the
screws began to tighten: in 1965 there
were two emergencies. Since 1965,
there has been a steady and noticeable
decline in PNM support, culminating in
that party's receipt of 28% of the vote
in 1971. And coinciding with this
decline has been a proportional increase
in coercive government.


In April 1970, a State of Emergency
was declared and this was extended to
November of that year. In 1970 too, the
government sought to declare a
permanent State of Emergency through
the Public Order Bill, but they made the
mistake of allowing public comment on
that proposed legislation. The Bill had
to be withdrawn. Since then however,
the PNM decided they were going to
pass the Public Order Bill in parts. For
this reason they called another State of
Emergency (which has now been
extended beyond Carnival). The
Sedition Act forms the first instalment
of this. In other words, as the ruling
regime saw its normal authority
loosening, it decided to strengthen its
hold through the institution of a policy
of fear and legalised terrorism.


There is another important
dimension to this government-by-
emergency. The pattern of its fulfilment
indicates the PNM's initial attempt to
use emergency to punish the East Indian
community for daring to oppose the
King of the Afro-Saxons. The problem
arose when the rest of the dispossessed.
population decided to join the
opposition. At this stage, they too had
to be punished.
In 1961, the first state of emergency
was declared in a predominantly East
Indian area Central Trinidad; from
Caroni East to Chaguanas. In 1965, the
areas chosen for punishment were again
predominantly East Indian: Barataria
and St. Augustine. But by this time,
other dissentient sections had joined the
opposition; the grievance of this
occasion being the iniquitous ISA.

In 1965, therefore, a state of
emergency was declared for a second
time in one year and thus to a wider
area, extending from Tacarigua to
Naparima. By 1970 it was the nation's
young Africans who were leading the
revolution. The wheel has come full
circle. The Emergency was clamped
down on the whole country.

In October this year, the whole na-
tion had again been blanketed by emer-
gency and the Government has brought
in two parts of the Public Order Bill the
banning /of processions and the
restriction on non-Trinidadians from
voicing opinions about Trinidad affairs.
At the present time, there seems to be
no letting up of nation-wide opposition
to the PNM, so that if this party's past
record is to be any indication of their

future action, we can expect laws that
will seek todend normal forms andprotest
and dissent.


The consequences of such laws,
which muzzle expression of public
feeling, are very dangerous indeed. On
the one hand, there could be an
increasing tendency on the part of
dissidents to go underground and to
plan violent revolution. The government
in its turn would become more
repressive, the opposition would
become more desperate and so on until
everything crashed. It is impossible to
imagine a historian Prime Minister who
does not know this would be the
inevitable result of banning public
expression, but then the rumours might
be correct after all ... the historian may
well be only a marionette manipulated
by international interests.


The second dangerous consequence
of the stifling-of the spirit of the people
will beAthe necessary flow and
counterflow of ideas will be stopped. If

Air Conditioned Rooms
Eastern Main Road, El Dorado,

any society is to progress and to remain
abreast of a rapidly expanding modern
world, its people must be encouraged to
think, to experiment with new forms, to
challenge the status quo. In our society,
where the legacy of a colonial past
places special shackles on our way of
life, this theory has special relevance.

As if to add insult to dangerous
injury, Hudson, the Q.C., tried to
browbeat the population with fair but
dishonest words. At a press conference
called to allay the nation's fears about
the Sedition Bill, he affirmed his great
faith in the people of Trinidad and
Tobago and their commonsense in their
national approach to things. Yet he
could not trust such people to have
copies of the then proposed bill
beforehand for he knew only too well
that all men of commonsense would
reject this colonial piece of legislation.
Nor would the population accept his
sickly humorous assurance that there is
no need to fear so long as he is Attorney
No politician can superimpose his
tenure of office on the execution of
non-executionof a law. And to say that
certain sections of the ordinance would
be leniently observed during the term of
office of any particular person is clearly

If Abdullah is prepared to close his
eyes to the sorry state of affairs that
prevails here and to equivocate
shamelessly about the Churchmen's lack
of evidence and of their "insult" to
Hochoy, there are thousands of others
who will not forget the harassment of
Kelshall and the inhuman detention of
Dave Darbeau who is held for 23 hours
each day in solitary confinement, with
no legal right to appeal against such
The memory of Shah and Lasalle still
inspires thousands of youths in the land
and there are those who weep to see
their country being surrendered to the
grasping paws of the men from the




111 Frederick St. Tel: 38767.


186 EASTERN MAIN RD., 638-3223.
102A SUTTON ST., SAN FERNANDO, 652-3104.




Now the "Bertfone '. .

TAPIA St. Augustine was formed
in April this year comprising stu-
dents, lecturers, and other mem-
bers of the administrative and non-
academic staff. Things started slow-
ly, and not much progress was made
in the face of competing claims of
examinations etc. during the last
academic year which ended in June.
Since the new term starting in
October, the St. Augustine Group
began to make itself felt more
dynamically with the holding of
weekly lunch-time meetings over
pelau, mauby and roti, on the grass
under a wide-spreading samaan.
One of the more significant
meetings involved members of the
Society for the preservation of
Indian Culture to discuss the
problems of race relations. On
December 17, Tapia St. Augustine

sponsored the launching of Berti
Marshall's "Bertfone",
revolutionary steelband instrumei
fitted with dampers to control tt
sound. The occasion attracted lan
numbers of students and membe
of the public, in particul
steelbandsmen, and focused on tf
question of the university's role
development of West Indian art ar
It was therefore significant th
the "Bertfone" launching w
followed by a grand exposition i
West Indian music "A We
Indian Evening" put on by tt
Guild Council. Hundreds
students and members of the publ
came to the Students Union
enjoy several hours of African ar
Indian drumming, calypso, reggi
and "sans humanite."

- m






" f
---l:"^r~ *F^~C

Photo by Bovke

Page 18






~-~I~ Fl


Review Walcott s In A Fine Castle





LIKE THE revolutionary about to be crucified,
Derek Walcott reaches another station of his
cross in the latest play In a fine Castle. The
critics for whom he wrote have quenched his
thirst with gall. Yet he must forgive them their
sarcasm and invective. These provide the real
vindication of the stand that he has taken on
the question of Black Power.
To dismiss Walcott as an Afro-Saxon is to neglect
analysis for anger. Years ago, in one of his plays a
character exclaimed, Gcd is a white man. The sky
is his blue eye, his spit on Dauphin people is the
But in Henri Christophe, the historical drama of the
career of the Haitian dictator, the poet is wary of black
leaders whose motive force is an intense hatred of the
whites.They often end up enslaving the very people in
whose name they shouted power.
A venomous personal attack on a politician like
Gomes is equally the symptom of a fascist inward
hunger as the violent ejection of whites from political
meetings. This antipathy is part of the pain of falling
out of love. Invariably, it selects its victims among
those with whom it had the deepest empathy. Those
who have been liberated long enough from the deepest
outrage of the white man or his God are not as furious
in their resentment.
It is obvious that Walcott has been pro-occupied
with the problem of identity for a long time. In his
poem, A iFar Cry From Africa, he asked himself:
I who am poisoned with the blood of both,
Where shall I turn divided to the vein ....
How choose between thisAfi'ica and the English tongue
I love.
In a Fine Castle is a restatement of this dilemma. It
takes its cue from a folk lyric that has come down
from slavery:
In a fine castle, do you hear my sisi-O
Which one do you want do you hear my sisi-OThe one with the
golden hair...'
With monotonous sameness the ghetto of the black
underdog is repeated scene by scene in contrast with

Syl Lowhar

the mansion of the well-off white. The black woman in
the person of Shelly, and the White Clodia La Fon-
taine are juxtaposed in the castles of their skins. It is as
though a contest is actually in progress, and we are to
be the judges. But the poet rejects the "which one"
way in which the question is asked in terms of black
and white. He suggests that our judgement should be
based on their humanity. This humanity is symbolised
by carnival which is common to both. But carnival is
presented as being identical with revolution. They
spring inevitably from a common history. One by one
the La Fontaines leave the great house to jump in the
band as though they were dancing out a ritual that
would end in their sacrifice.


The hero of the play is a journalist, a person whose
duty it is to report and interpret the news faithfully.
The heroine is Clodia voluptuous pride of a ruling
French Creole family.
She withdraws from the Carnival Queen contest,
allowing a black girl to win it, and the whites interpret
her action as being motivated by racial pressure.
Naturally the journalist arranges an interview with
the defeated girl so that he can publish a story. But he
is honest enough to appreciate the danger in being sen-
sational on the mere face of the event. He must get to
the back of it, and put the facts together in a coherent
form. He must be intellectual as well.
Now understanding and sympathy, tend to
emanate from the combined process of heart and
reason. The interaction, the conflict even, of these two
forces comes out in the way in which the English
governess, who is almost a stepmother, and the French
Creole father view the reality of their history. The
mother is warm, on the make, "bourgeois," reaction-
ary; the father is more rational and resigned to change.
The step-mother, newly arrived, is obsessed with no-
tions of class, status and privilege, is willing to become
a harlot, and to encourage Clodia to go to bed with
the black in order to protect her position of rising
affluence. On the other hand the cynical father is not

Page 19
condescending enough to accept such a compromise.
Younger whites, however, reluctant and piqued by past
antagonisms, are more tolerant of freer intercourse.
Walcott sees the French Creole as a class morally
degenerate and in economic decline. "All we have are
coconuts," Clodia confessed. And when she stripped
herself naked, offering her white body to the black, he
rebuked her, not so much out of the suspicion that she
was trying to seduce him, but out of shock at her
vulgarity, and the abrupt abandonment of the image of
decency and propriety that he had grown to respect.
Yet I think that Walcott has taken the position of
warning blacks, especially intellectuals, against an ex-
cess of sympathy with the whites. We must beware of
these sudden revelations of humanity. It is by yielding
to Clodia's advances that the journalist becomes a
house slave no less contemptible than the obsequious
butler whom he.detested.
The scenes are set in a curious way. Although the
playwright speaks through, and identifies most with
the journalist one gets the impression that he is nar-
rating and reflecting upon his own experiences. There
is therefore a double-focus, one on actual history, the
other on his essential being.
And the reason is clear. For years Walcott has had
to earn a livelihood by producing a "hack's hired
prose" in the pages of the Trinidad Guardian where he
was distinguished by the compressed vigour of his
critical reviews. He is acquainted with the problems of
journalism here, and the play is written about them as
much as about the inevitable revolution and the fate of
the whites.
Because he was born in patois-St. Lucia, he is able
to project the dilemma of the mixed mulatto-type,
young bright journalist who cannot make up his mind
whether his place is with the new movement or the
established order. He is foundering in the Wide
Sargasso Sea. Hence his name Brown, neither black nor
If the play is boring it is because of this quandary,
its complexity, its inconclusiveness. "Is the cliches I
can't take!" Brown is sick of the black power slo-
ganeering of his woman Shelly, young, militant, just
from studying abroad with an American accent. He
attends a political meeting of revolutionaries, and is
disgusted with the clenched fists, the hysterical power
shouts, the inauthentic bitching and blasting. He sees
the tragedy of the black radical on whom pressure is
brought to abandon the white woman whom he
married long before the spread of revolutionary con-
sciousness which he has helped to inspire. What of the
injustice to the baby in her womb! Yielding to the new
mood, he gives up his wife. hn so doing he warns his
campfollowers that they are dehumanising him. What
he committed to say was that even they would not
escape his brutality.
Yet 1 suspect that Walcott recognizes that the rage
and hate which he cannot feel is perhaps essential for
the success of the revolution which he too clearly
desires. He therefore curses himself for his own quality
of judgement. "Perhaps I am ..." All in compassion
ends so differently.


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NO. 23 SUNDAY, DECEMBER 26, 1971.


From Page 1
sure of passengers. Remember the risk
the business faces if it has to remain idle
foi most of the time! It's one thing to
earn the hard way; it's another to lose
one's investment and one's job. So it
makes good economic sense to leave
Barrackpore and work in San Juan, St.
James or Belmont. Something or some-
body would take care of the dwellers in
such remote areas provided they take
care of themselves.
So we are beginning to give less im-
portance to taxi driver mileage as a
major cause of road congestion.
The consequence for accidents in
P.O.S. is acute. The third Five Year Plan
notes that the accident rate down-town
is 37 per million vehicle miles of travel,
75% more than the national average for
the whole country. For the planners the
cause is merely "the disorderly flow of
traffic through the street system."


There is also the question of taxi-
stands. That is another sore-foot. They
hardly exist. Where they do, the space is
inadequate for the number of cars
plying any given route, further, there is
so much jamming up there itself that
very often it does not pay to use them.
The time to get back on the route is
hardly worth the trouble of getting into
the stand. The whole effect of the stand
is nullified by the necessity for the
Traffic Police to urge traffic on.
A brief appraisal would make the
point: in High Street, San Fernando, the
stand caters for a possible 21 vehicles,
while the number of possible users is in
the vicinity of 200; in Princess Town
the ratio is roughly one to five;
Carenage one possible space for every
five cars; D/Martin one for every 10.
Roads are another waist-down. De-
teriorating suilaces are a perpetual pain
in the neck for vehicular drivers. One
has, at most every turn, to be avoiding
some threatening potholes. The driver
has also to face the many instances
where gravel is strewn across the sur-
face. Such conditions affect the com-
fort, the economy, and the safety of
motor travel. One wonders what has
been happening in the last few years.
Maintenance has virtually come to an
The resulting daily toll on the
pockets of those who ply their ser-
vices in such conditions is becoming
higher. Shocks of motor vehicles are
always going bad, and left front-ends in
particular are becoming a pretty scarce
It is not enough to exclaim "So
what! For while the conditions are not a
paradise for any of the various interests
on the roads, it is not a hell in the same
way for all. Certainly not for the taxi
drivers. What are his returns, just how
much he makes from the business may
not be easy to tell. But a rough evalu-
ation of his commitment to costs would
reveal the pressures under which the
taxi-driver is clamped before the wheel
of his vehicle.


Let's assume he goes for the in-thing.
His model would be the new Belmont
Holden. We are also assuming the
amount of time he'll be given to meet
his cost on capital outlay. It is reason-
able to assume that the vehicle costs
$10,0000 market value. This includes a
45% on the factory costs, and another
2.5% to cover the costs of risks taking
with a full third-party insurance. The
minimum he has to pay down is one
third sale value. He then has to pay
down on a monthly basis 10% interest
on the balance owed. He'll thus have 30
months in which to pay the balance
owed. together with the interest on
The figures would be as follows:
Down Payment $3,330 approx.
25% Interest on balance $1,890
Balance would be $6,670
So for thirty months his average month-
ly instalment would be $285.
This figure we can safely round


off to $ 300 to take account of Motor
and Insurance Licenses, assuming that
they remain constant during the period.
To consider going into the taxibusiness
one must consider at least $300
per month to cover capital costs alone.
That will just put the vehicle on the
road. With the bad roads, the congestion
he'll have to pay a lot for tyres, gas, oil
and servicing another $150. So to break
even on that score he can't work for less
than $450 per month.
If he is already in the business he can
trade-in his vehicle to finance the initial
down payment. To enter his woes are
increased. Up to March, 1971 he would
have had to pay $500 to $600 for a
taxi-badge from a willing seller. Then he
would have to raise usually $1,500 for
the right todrive a hired car. We see his
minimum 'monthly average earnings
must be higher if he is a newcomer in
the business.
Depreciation? One is never sure that
he makes this charge on his profits. In-
variably he may have to Iraise finance
anew for the purchase of each new ve-
hicle. With the permanent wear and tear
that takes place frequent repairs become
necessary. There is a loss in the earning
power of the vehicle while it is laid -
up. This is perhaps the most perplexing
calculation to make. If we are to com-
pute, for the taxi-driver/owner the value
of this element as a cost against gross
earnings then the picture is even more


On top of all this he has to pay for
the extra cost' of milk, saltfish, meat,
flour, potatoes, rice and butter. So he
has to make more trips, more aggress-
The rest has to do with the keenness
of the competition. With roughly 7,700
taxis and about 23,000 taxi drivers if we
minus 3,000 to 4,000 for Lhose who just
own badges but don't work taxis, we'll
begin to appreciate why there must in-
evitably be a mad scramble for passen-
gers, and above all, why there continues
the notorious habit of stopping
anywhere. It is simply that the condi-
tions have not changed.
The acute competition generates pro-
duct differentiation. Very elaborate,
very costly. It ranges from special up-
holstery, all manner of gadgets to radios
and tape decks. Thereby goes an extra
pinch on the pocket. And the ceiling on
his daily takings must rise. He has to
pay the toll in working hours too. For
the man who just drives he probably has
to work for nothing less than 12 hours.
For the owner he probably makes sure
his car does 16 hours per day employing
two shifts. This is just an impression;
perhaps a little more.


The consequences are indiscretion,
and indiscipline on the roads. A high
rate of accidents too, an increasing
number due to carelessness, road and
mechanical defects. Though the taxi
driver has managed, it seems, to keep
accidents down both in relation to the
number of taxis on the road, and the
number of accidents actually caused.
Yet like everyone else he has had to
suffer considerable moral degeneration.
His is virtually a dog's life having to
scramble indecently for a livelihood up
and down the country's roads. He has
had to give up other human considera-
tions save his own; and has been forced
by the pressure of circumstances to es-
tablish a marked preference for the
short drops. Commuters travelling long-
er distances are left stranded. And we
witness the phenomenal rise of the PH's
stepping in to take up the slack, and to
bring relief to many as well. With such
unrelenting pressure on the roads the
P.H. appears to save the commuter from
just about being seditious.
The precise policy that has cultivated
such chaos in this arena of popular
welfare, literally "blowing" peoples'
minds, we shall not go into here in any
great detail. Suffice it to say that the
policy has been essentially no different
from that of the Administration before
the P.N.M. It shares the weaknesses of


the past. These are as follows:
(a) Official policy has not really con-
sidered the problem from the necessity
to organise the various modes of passen-
ger transport, taxis, buses, private cars,
and trains, such that they complement
each other. It has instead inherited the
simple technique of axing one for the
other. When there has not been the
axing of taxis for buses, there has been
the preference of road transport to
So have the problems of competi-
tion among them, the problem of shar-
ing income opportunities been
approached. Obviously, nothing has
been solved.
(b) Restrictions on the number of
taxis and the number of drivers have not
been accompanied by a corresponding
expansion in the capacity of the
economy to absorb displaced persons.
This factor is itself a weakness inherent
in the economic policies pursued. The
point is important for on the question
of reducing the number of taxis the
Rose Commission of 1961 noted that;
"Government has declared its accep-
tance of responsibility for creating by
appropriate economic and fiscal policies
the proper climate which will permit of
the efficient utilisation of the nation's
capital and labour resources. This must
lead to the increase of industrial activity
which will in due course absorb persons
displaced in the route taxi trade." No-
body really takes that hope seriously
now. In fact that the job situation has
grown so bad that the lifting of official
clamp on taxi-driver permits in March
1971, (after a seven-year freeze) was
greeted with 7,000 applications.
(c) No relevant consideration has
been taken of the phenomenal rise in
private cars. In 1966 the amount was
41,500, increasing by another 6,000
three years later. Wt l exCacItly has pro-
mpted this rapid increase? It seems rea-
sonable to assume that it is largely a re-
sponse to the congestion itself. By creat-
ing in the individual a compulsive desire
to be independent of the system the im-

mediate solution is to purchase a car.
What he doesn't see is that this adds to
the traffic as well. For invariably when
he needs to be on the move, he finds
himself part of the chaos.
This means that we'll have to solve
the problem in a way which reduces the
necessity to own cars. Congestion will
have to be cleared by means other than
by just laying down more miles of road,
incurring huge amounts of capital. For
at the rate cars are being acquired
there'll be no end to the problem.
Vehicular density would increase and
road miles would shrink. More it's
doubly a drain on already limited cap-
ital resources.
The present prospect offers little
hope. A Study carried out by
Canadians, and accepted in principle for
the present plan period 1969 1973,
appears to have introduced some ele-
ment of rationality in transportation
planning. But it seems to broach no-
thing new. The brief comment on it in
the Third Plan suggests that it merely
recommends that present capacity of
roads be expanded to accommodate the
stresses and strains from the worsening
trends. It does not seek to change, for
example, current land use planning.
Rather it integrates transportation
planning with what is essentially a slip-
shod programme of land use.
An implementation schedule has
already been prepared for the period
1969 1983. Yet this Plan has not
been made available for public con-
sumption. Not even the Transport
Board has seen it. We are therefore not
party to what must have been some
valuable work done on transport, for all
its apparent deficiencies. Specifically, it
requires a commitment to improve the
road system, to set up a Parking
Authority, to limit taxis, and to
improve bus transport. this would not
relieve us to any great extent from the
horrors of traffic congestion. Then we
would be in double trouble. For
Williams has long since promised the en-
forcement of discipline where necessary
on our roads. A Public Order Act for

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