Material Information

Place of Publication:
Tapia House Pub. Co.
Creation Date:
May 11, 1975
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

vt'. 5 No. i

30 Cents

SUNDAY MAY 11, 1975


THE recently concluded
Commonwealth Prime
Minister's Conference
held in liieon, Ja-
maica was noteworthy
for a number of reasons
not least mongst which
were I'e- absences aii the
list of Beads or SateI.
Idi Dada" ~.Amin of
Uganda failed to attend
so to did Eric "the
chickenhearted Williams,
our very own Prime
It is not .known why Idi
Amnin c i o hu show up in
Kingston; although one can
have great fun guessing as to
the reasons. But as 'c;r
William's reasons there is no
need to guess, he told us
The\:ea iih ti:.
Minister's CoU'iference you se
has never beeii very high on
our Prime oi,!iis L s ljst ;
Priorii, ,, besi de; hv iiikes
his Cal, .- ,i; g: ,' : ge" t
expos, F? i1 1 p i "e
can agree: v.itih ioily b caise
after L- cr:i year; :'ec :e

Co ntrov ersy:

IN the coming week the
West Indian Cricket
Board will meet and
decide who are the
official winners of the
Shell Shield.
It is a pity that so
much controversy has
been generated on decid-
ing who the winners are
the important thing is
that it was a keenly

- ME
still waiting on Kamal's
assets to get exposed.
in any case Williams was
more pre-occupied with the
arrangements for the ECLA
Conference her:i in Tinidaa.
After all those latins are the
greatest threat to us right
now and it was probably wise
to demonstrate to them how
we too, like Martinique and
Guadeloupe, are already well-


So that we should prob-
ably be greatful that we have
a far-seeing Prime Minister
like Williams who stays at
home to protect us while
Burnham and Manley play
at being statesmen.
Burnham was only being
impertinent when he said
that he did not feel the need
to consult Trinidad on the
Caribbean position on new
world economic relationships
Trinidad pass that stage long
time. Our position is very
clear. We not paying a damn
cent for Texaco or Caroni



contested series in which
some good cricket was
Nonetheless, the con-
troversy was bound to
arise when one considers
how inadequate the Shell
Shield scoring rules are
and coupled that with
the whole history of
organizations in the
Caribbean. So in the long
run the decision by the
V.I.C.B.C. this week is
really only a test of the
The situation as it
stands is that the Chair-
man of the Board spoke
out of turn in pronounc-
ing a decision which
stemmed from a cricket
law which was not relev-
ant to the situation.
If n, ning else, after
all the several letters to
the pr ss etc., one thing
that I is come out is the
irrele ancy of the M.C.C.
definition of a tie that
is clear, the match as

Hurray for expropriation!
And in any case, between
you and me, those big-time
Prime Minister's don't really
like we small-islanders. The
only reason so many of them
turned up in Jamaica was to
get suntan and dance with

At S

beautiful native girls.
But when our Prime
ister goes to their coui
then they show their
colours. Like those
Frenchie's who sent a
for our Prime Minister
did not even have the



mon decency to pay the
And those damn Britishers
1. they not nice either. If you
t thirqk Enoch Powell is the
o one who don't like
blak people you are wrong.
The whole bunch like that
and they treat all of us like
that. Imagine I got thrown
out of an office once. ,
Look how they treat poor
S Eric, (Gairy that is) in Kings-
ton. The man tell them how
S Grenada scrunting and need
money and they deliberately
try to embarass the man by
telling him how he misspend
the money they give him.
They treat the poor man
so bad he did not even feel
up to going to enjoy himself
in Montego Bay. And you
know how he likes pleasant
But it serve him right. He
should not have gone. If he
came here I would offer him
Min- Unitary Statehood. And there
entries is so much trade we can
true arrange between us. We
nasty could give him oil and he
taxi could send us his Mongoose
r and Gang. They so "efficient".
com- (M.H.)


Shell Shield

defined by the M.C.C.
was a tie but also
clear is that the relevant
rules in this situation are
the Local Shell Scoring
The Board then if
faced with the issue of
either tying itself to an
M.C.C. rule (or, more
appropriately, definition)
although it is irrelevant
to the situation or
sensibly applying the
Shell Shield rules.
If they opt for the
latter the only sensible
course then they must
answer the question -
why did the rules invoke
the principle of run
aggregate to decide a
"tie" on first innings
while nothing is said
about it on 2nd innings.
The answer can only
be one of two alterna-
tives either they
deliberately did not want.
to adopt the principle of

run aggregate on 2nd
innings or they did
not actually state it
because no one foresaw
that such a situation
would arise.
If the answer is the
former then it is very
strange that they should
want to use a different
criterion to determine
a match on second inn-
ings (that is inconsistent
and foolish) and do not
specifically state it.
If the answer is the
latter then as we have
said before, the principle
of, the Shell Shield
Scoring rules must
obtain and the Shield
awarded to the Islands.
Any other decision
will reflect the tendency
to be rigid and sterile
where decision making is
concerned where we get
lost in words and form
and do not tackle the
substance of the matter.

THE Matelot Village Council
and Youth Group is holding
an all day Produce Sale, and
a Night-time Dance, at the
Matelot R.C. School, on
Sunday 18th May 1975, in
aid of raising funds to pur-
chase a Multi-Purpose Vehicle.
An effort begun over one
year ago, and we wish to
extend this invitation to all
visitors to our Islands, as well
as to residents of nearby
villages, to attend the hap-
penings mentioned above.
Vibrations will be supplied
by a D..I. from 2 p.m. 0o 6
p.11. from S p.1m. i A P.ll.
we al;"e ihC 5000 '-s. "rimi-
liv. pu s ',"



SUNDAY MAY 11, 1975

Mexico & Venezuela Launch

Economic Initiative.

THE much publicised
Sisrema Economico Latino-
americano (SELA) was
formally launched at the
end of March in a joint
declaration. signed by
Presidents Luis Echeverria,
of Mexico and Carlos
Andres Perez of Vene-
A communique issued
at the end of Perez's five-day
visit to Mexico said the two
leaders would be inviting
other Latin American heads
of state or of government to
a meeting at which SELA

Dear Sir,
I was most surprised at
Dr. C.V Gocking's article in
Tapia in support of the Prime
Minister's contention that
"the Caribbeanis about to be
recolonized by Latin America
(most specifically) Venezuela
and Mexico.
Normally an analyst of
Dr. Gocking's astuteness
might have been expected to
examine the question of the
Caribbean's having t-een
decolonized before raising
fears about recolonization.
Secondly I am surprised
that a man of Dr. Gocking's
scholarly bent could produce
as independent evidence the

would be given concrete
shape; at a time and place to
be agreed.
This meeting had origin-
ally been envisaged for the
middle of the year in Caracas,
but sources in the Vene-
zuelan capital are now
speaking of September at the
There is certainly nothing
very concrete about SELA
yet. The nine aims mentioned
in the communique referred
to 'fostering', 'promoting',
'sponsoring', 'stimulating' and
'defending' a variety of desir-
able activities.
These include economic

fact tlat an English ....onial
historian Alan Burn had
issued the same warning in
If Dr. Williams' declara-
tion and Burn's warning are
the only two pieces of evi-
dence Dr. Gocking can
adduce, does he expect a
reader interested in corobora-
tory evidence to take him
Let me say that I am not
surprised at an almost total
ignorance of our situation in
relation to Latin America
between 1948 and 1975.
There is on the St. Augustine
Campus an Institute of
International Relations, but
for all the information it

development projects, the
establishment of Latin
American multinational com-
panies, the defence of prices
and markets for Latin
American produce, the co-
ordination of resources, co-
operation on food production
and supply, etc. But there
was no indication of how
or when these aims were to
be put into practice.

Indeed, although the
United States is to be ex-
cluded from SELA, and
although on Friday of last
week Fidel Castro told a
group of Mexican journalists

feeds us about Caribbean
relations with Latin American
countries, it might as well be
in Timbuctoo.


in Havana that he would be
delighted to attend the pro-
posed meeting to constitute
SELA, there is no sign that
Washington is unduly
bothered about the organisa-

The well-informed corres-
pondent of the Caracas con-
servative daily El Universal,
who was in the Perez presi-
dential party, even went so
far as to say that SELA 'will
be shelved'.
Although the communique
said the Mexican-Venezuelan
initiative over SELA had
been 'favourably received'
throughout Latin America,
the correspondent of El
Universal said the general
feeling among officials in the
Perez party was that it 'had
not found substantive bases
for support'. Rather, he
added, the idea of SELA was
being used 'as an ingredient
to inflame the Latin passion
for the unity of the continent
and for the viability of
Even allowing for the
fact that El Universal does
not support the Venezuelan
ruling party. Accion Dem-
ocratica, the paper's report
seems to make a good deal
of sense.
It is hardly possible to
imagine that Mexico would
be party to anything that

would cause distinguishable
damage to established United
States interests.
On the other hand, it
would be perfectly prepared
to indulge in symbolic resis-
tance, as it'often has in the
past. In this case, especially
if Castro takes an interest,
SELA could become a sym-
bol of some significance in
awakening and co-ordinating
Latin American concern in
the defence of its economic
interests, against those of the
United States.
As for Venezuela, it seems
clear that for the moment
President Perez does not
want to press Washington
too hard one confronta-
tion at a time, over oil, is
enough. Although it might
seem more logical for Vene-
zuela to go along with Peru.
which really is standing up
to the United States, the
symbolic opposition of
Mexico is as far as Caracas
wants to go for the moment.

In any case, Perez has
probably been more con-
cerned to ensure that there is
no backsliding by Mexico
over its possible oil exports
to the United States in
regard to price, quantity or
nature of the oil (i.e. crude
or refined products).
The Venezuelan President's
remarks to journalists at
Minatitlan airport in the
state of Veracruz that week,
would suggest that he is now
satisfied with the Mexican
position. He said that Mexi-
can oil policy was entirely
aligned with that of OPEC,
and Venezuela was perfectly
happy with what Echeverria
had told him on that score.
(Courtesy Latin America)



Participatory democracy C.V. Gocking
We are in a State Ivan Laughlin

1 Black Power and National Reconstruction
Lloyd Best
2 Black Power in Human Song Syl Lowhar
4+5 Constitution Reform Tapia's Proposals
Government and Politics in the West Indies
Lloyd Best
6 The Machinery of Government and Reform
of the Public Service Denis Solomon
Constitution of the Tapia House Group and
Related Documents
1 Democracy or Oligarchy? C.V. Gocking
2 Power to the People
3 Tapia's New World
4 Prospects for our Nation Lloyd Best
5 Whose Republic?
6 Honourable Senators
Bound Volumes

Vol. 1 (Nos. 15 23)
Vol. 1 No. 26 Vol. 2 No. 13
Vol. 3 (1973)
Vol. 4 (Nos. I 26)

West -Indian Social Sciences Index

m New World a Moko a Tapia a Savac o

1963- 1972

Subject and author entries in one alphabetical sequence
Comprehensive coverage of all articles
Supporting cross references

Professionally prepared by a librarian at the University of the Wst Indies, St. Augustine,
the Index includes an Introduction by Dr. Gordon Rohlehr, Head of the English Depart-
ment, which places the publications in a social and historical context.

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SUNDAY MAY 11. 1975

Latest Developments In


THE Chaguaramas Deve-
lopment Plan as pre-
sented to the Public on
Friday, 2nd May 1975
will now go through
various bureaucratic
channels before reaching
the Minister of Planning
and Development. The
Minister will then, if he
accepts Joint Venture's
Plan, have to present it
to Cabinet.
Normally, under the
Ordinance, the Minister can

Letter to the Editor:

I was extremely pleased
to see Tapia devote its time
and resources to producing
a Special Issue devoted to a
consideration of the role of
women in our society. Ltake
this as an indication that
Tapia must have felt, like I
did, that the contributions
and discussions which have
characterized the whole de-
bate thus for have been
exceedingly trivial.
I must compliment Tapia
for injecting into the discus-
sion a greater degree Q of
relevance than has hitherto
appeared. Nonetheless I feel
compelled to express my dis-
appointment with the effort.
Certainly a full discussion
of the social and economic
condition of women in our
society is imperative but I do
believe that none of that is
really, by itself, worthwhile.
As paradoxical as it may
seem, the social and econ-
omic discussion, is too
abstract, unless it emanates
from a prior philosophical
interpretation of the whole
question. And it is this
philosophical dimension
which Tapia's issue,surprisingly
For it must be evident
that the whole issue of
women's equality is but a


alter the Statutory Plan that
was the outcome of the
original Public Enquiry as
long as it is expedient so to
do. In this case, Joint
Venture's Plan is so vastly
different to the Minister's
Statutory Plan (thanks to
ECO One's representation)
that it would be more
correct for the Minister to
return the issue to Parliament
for the legal removal of the
old plan and the acceptance
of this new plan. Whether
such action will necessitate a
new Public Enquiry will be

feature, albeit a signicant
feature, of a more cc;.. ie
hensive worldwide .o!lt
against the existential condi-
tion in which the whole of
humankind finds itsmif.
As such the "revolt" of
women finds :s counterpart
in the revolt of the youth,
the rise of exotic and
charismatic religion and
movements, the irrationality
and anarchy and hallucina-
tions of so many protest
movements throughout the
world and in the violence and
terror that are common at all
levels of international society.
If we view it as such then
our first task is a proper
evaluation -f the objective
conditions of world society
and man's place therein. This
calls -for examination of the
political, technological, admin
istrative, economic and cul-
tural structures of Interna-
tional Civilisation as a first
An examination which
would reveal that we humans
have emeshed ourselves in a
claustrophobic maze in which
it seems choice has been
reduced to either accepting
the role of a faceless, mind-
less, interchangeable cypher,
manipulated by unseen and
unknown forces exterior to
ourselves or of opting jut of
this "system" by burying
ourselves in some form of
psychic escapism.
'Our problem is that we

an interesting point of inter-
pretation of the archaic
Planning Ordinance 1960.
So much for the actual
Planning Machineiy. The
environmental p r e s s u r e
groups have won the day
over the ridiculous proposals
of the Town and Country
Planning Division and have
had their campaign sealed in
"eir favour by the flexibility
u. .oint Venture's Plan, by
the complete eradication of
tourism and by a definite
bias towards agriculture,

did not reach this stage
blindly. This all-pervading
anomie is the price we
accepted, and voluntarily
paid for the affluence and
progress of which we boast.
And now the true meaning
of the biblical question
comes to us with tragic
force, "What does it profit
mankind to gain the whole
world and to forfeit our
The philosophical impera-
tive of the times therefore is
to dismantle and redesign the
structures of civilisation in
such a way as to achieve and
maintain the liberation of
the human spirit.
However, while it is dis-
appointing it is not surprising,
that this fundamental dimen-
sion of the whole issue has
thus far being ignored. For
the very tools that are needed
in the quest for spiritual
regeneration are those most
easily destroyed or twisted
by the present structures of
What we need now is the
vision of the philosopher,
the imagination of the poet,
the faith of the apostle all
of which are in woefully
short supply. Which is
another reason why Tapia's
contribution was so dis-

Yours Truly.
Phillip Woodward.

particularly in the five and
ten yea: stages.
As ECO One said at last
Friday's public meeting, the
main concern is of course for
the next five years. This first
phase of planning should not
be oppresively rigid and
should dwell more on im.
proving and not irreparably
damaging what is there
Joint Venture's Long
Term Plan that swings away
from Agriculture to an un-
reasonable mass of Housing
should not be even presented
to the Minister.


ECO One maintains that
by then, ten or fifteen years
hence, the labour intensive,
low keyed agriculture technol-
ogy will be so very much a
part of life that the 1975
planners' replacement of
agriculture by housing will
simply not be entertained. In
any case, if Trinidad-and
Tobago is-to.survive at all,
there must be, within the
next few years a more
humanist political philosophy
thafi presently exists.
That then is the happy
position on Chaguaramas
Development Plan except for
the total lack of public
participation in the planning
and in particular the overt
refusal to recognize the
original residents of the areas
as represented by the Back
to Chaguaramas Action

This omission is certainly
enough to damn the Plan no
matter how enlightened it is
otherwise. As Joint Venture
must know,non-participatory
planning was recognized and
dismissed from good plan-
ning principles many years
ago, but this is apparently
not so with our Government
and their Planners.


So here we have the
whole put down of this
chaguaramic charade. The
Planners and the bureau-
crats have proceeded to
impose their plan upon the
masses without so much as a
recognit on that the masses
have any rights in the say of
their own heritage.
Indeed, Joint Venture let
it slip that they, in fact,
were forbidden from any
communication with the very
people who had centuries of
this area in their very bones,
the farmers who know every
outcrop and stream, the
fishermen who know every
rock and current, the Back
to Chaguaramas Action Com-
The people of Carenage
are of course at a complete
loss to understand this auto-
cratic procedure and are
meeting at the St. Antoine
Friendly Society Hall, Wes-
tern Main Road, Carenage at
3.00 pnm. on Sunday, 11th
May 1975 to discuss and
decide on their next move
in this shameful imposition.

Our coverage of


is unsurpassed anywhere

for focus and point.

Keep abreast of the

real currents in the

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Effective from March 23, 1975.

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~ L~Lofm ~XI'..'.-t.l_ s-_
Di s-a Ef fo

P 4 I S M 11 1975

THE notion of teachers in politics evokes
images of teachers in parliament. While I
unequivocally support the view that teachers
should be encouraged and permitted to
campaign for the political party and cause of
their choice, and to run for office without any
loss of seniority or pension rights whether
they win or lose, my interest in the subject of
teachers in politics is much broader than this
particular issue. We now have at least two
teachers in Parliament and it is not evident
that putting a few more in that arena or in
local bodies would necessarily improve the
quality of our politics in general or the nature
of our educational system in particular.
Whether it does or does not depends in large
part on the kind of politics that teachers
become engaged in. My main preoccupation
therefore is not with the status of teachers as
a pressure group.
My principal focus will be on the role of the
schoolsin the political education of our children, and
the responsibilities which teachers at all levels of our
school system have to play in imparting that political
Most of us who are teachers consider ourselves
to be specialists in one subject or another, and
define our responsibilities rather narrowly. We see our
role essentially as preparing our charges for the
highly competitive examinations which lie before
them. In doing so we make them supreme egoists and
individualists. For to get that scarce place in the
school or the University, it is necessary to outshine
one's classmates and to prove one's academic
superiority. In this competitive environment, there is
little room for genuine co-operative activity or

group participation in class-room
The relationship between
teacher and taught in our
schools is essentially an
authoritarian one, with the
teacher using the child's urge
to succeed as leverage for
imposing discipline and
control. This competitive
individualism which one
finds within the authoritarian
class-room is in a sense a
miniaturized replica of what
exists in the larger society.
In one of his seminal
speeches on the meaning of
development, Mwalimu Julius
Nyerere, one of Africa's
most outstanding educators
raised a somewhat nobler
conception of the role which
the, school should perform in
societies such as ours in

decision making.

generating a spirit of co-operation. Education,
observed Nyerere, "has to foster the social goals of
living together for the common 'good. It has to
prepare our young people to play a dynamic and
constructive part in the development of a society in
which all members share fairly in the good and bad
fortune of the group, and in which progress is
measured in terms of human well being, not prestige
buildings, cars, or other things."
One of the key problems involved in the
attempt to use the school as a vehicle for civic train-
ing along such lines is, of course, the question of the
competence and the value system of the teacher
himself. The teacher is a product of the competitive
school system and is constantly striving for upward
He invariably resents being required to perform
other educational responsibilities which he views as
not being properly "academic". His role, as he sees
it, is to get through the curriculum and get ahead
professionally and not to play "guru" in the class-
The teaching of citizenship education in the
classroom inevitably involves a certain degree of

controversy if it is properly done and few teachers
enjoy becoming objects of controversy whether in
the classroom or in the larger community. As one
recent study of American schools noted,"teachers
are not inclined toward using the classroom as
a medium for the discussion of controversial issues.
While there are considerable variations in approach
to the classroom, teachers find their lives much less
complicated if they.avoid controversy. We are refer-
ring here not only to the potential for trouble
within the community, but also to the potential for
trouble within the classroom. Classes are easier to
manage if the authority structure is not challenged.
Engaging in controversy presents a challenge to
authority structure and therefore is avoided."
There is, of course, validity in the view that all
teachers are teachers of citizenship, and that any
subject can be taught so as to enhance citizenship.
Children learn a great deal by imitating the examples
and life styles of those whom they select as reference
points for behaviour. They learn from teachers both
what is desirable and undesirable. In this sense,
teachers are already deeply involved in politics. The
seriousness with which they undertake their profes-
sional responsibilities, their sense of discipline, the
examples which they set, the social and political
values and norms which they hold, are all of great
significance in determining the way in which children
view and evaluate the world and the social and
political system in which they live. Their political
attitudes as adults are in part nurtured in the school.
Recent studies suggest that informal or non-
instructional education is far more influential in
shaping the attitude of children than explicit civic
education. It has been found that while explicit
propagandizing generates boredom and cynicism,
indoctrination which is implicit and latent is far more
persuasive and lasting. Numerous studies in Britain
and the United States have shown that many of the

assumptions of civic training are not borne out by the
results. One such study observed that "the formal
education of youths makes no difference in regard
to their image of the political world." Another group
of researchers reported that their study "did not
support the thinking of those who look to the civics
curriculum in American high schools as even a minor
source of political socialization. When we investi-
gated the student sample we found not one
case in which the civics curriculum was signific-
antly associated with students' political orientations".
What these -surreys show is that- children are
socialised in their homes and in the wider community
far more than in the schools. These experiences not
only fill the important gaps left in the school curricu-
lum, but also constitute the matrix through which
the school curriculum is interpreted. Most schools
reinforce what is learnt in the home and the wider
community. They function like service stations,
preparing children for'the world as it exists, providing
them with maps with which to make their way
through the complicated environment in which they
One point of view holds that this is the proper

function for the school, and that education must be
relevant to the social and economic environment
in which the child has to function. True as this
obviously is, the school, particularly in n6wly
developing societies, must strive t6 perform addi-
tional roles. It must help the child to think, to
become liberated from the constraints of culture.
Culture must function as a resource and not a deter-
minant for creative thinking. The role of the school
is not 'merely to train people for the job market, or
to mould loyal, patriotic and flag waving citizens who
are well-disciplined and adjusted to their environ-
ment. To do this and this alone is to produce a
nation of sheep programmed to remain in their place.
Our schools and our teachers must equip our children
to challenge their environment.
All social systems, except those which are in
revolutionary turmoil, seek to mould and train their
young to celebrate the past and present. They fear
to educate youth to think freely and responsibly
about political ideas for the future. As the noted
theologian educator Ivan Elich observed: "political
order cannot tolerate too much awareness or origin-
ality or risk. The kind of education that is analytical
and dialectic leads inevitably to a liberation from
taboos. Governments must (therefore) fear Socrates.
He must be jailed, exiled, ridiculed or even driven
underground". Socrates however felt that his role
was to make Athenians "virtuous" rather than to
cater to their pleasures and whims. When ruling elites
encourage criticism and innovation, they always strive
to ensure that such criticism takes place within
well accepted limits and that it is "constructive".
What this usually means is that the elite wants to
determine what issues should be on the agenda. They
do not want to be forced to come to grips with
problems which are awkward to resolve, and are
therefore hardly ever willing to tolerate institutions,
whether they be schools or radical unions which
raise politically sensitive questions.
The school must however
always be in tension with
established society. Teaching,
nation, properly understood, is
potentially a subversive
Stakes activity. The teacher must
it iS not only encourage children
to support the social and
at the political system in which
on the they live, he must also help
them to determine when
)me to such systems have become
illegitimate and therefore
resolve, undeserving of such sup-
olerate port. He must not, like some
Confucian sage, teach stu-
unionS dents merely to follow the
established ways and rites
and to respect the will of
Heaven. He must not only
transmit received heritage
We are often led to think of "established"
rules and precepts as having eternal validity. If we
however pause and examine the social implications of
these rules, we often see that in most cases, "the
established ways" and the "normal channels" for
changing them are unequivocally biased in favour of
certain classes or social groups. One such established
notion is the celebrated "rule of law" which we are
religiously urged to follow. What this often means is
that people are being urged to obey laws which were
established by ruling cliques to oppress them or
which have become obsolete. While laws are indispens-
able in all societies, not all laws are deserving of
respect. Power relationships often masquerade
behind seemingly neutral laws. Laws are mystified and
given a transcendental quality, when in fact, they
may be no more than a reflection of the balance of
social power in society, whether just or unjust.
When groups seek to use the "normal channels"
to alter the balance of power. eCs.blished elements
are often lthe firsl tol violate the "rule of law".
either by subveltillg lic judiciuaii. in h\ passing new
Continued on Page 9

teachers Selwyn R)





"When ruling elites encourage criticism and inno
they always strive to ensure that such criticism
place within well accepted limits and that
"constructive" What this usually means is th
elite wants to determine what issues should be
agenda. They do not want to be forced to co
grips with problems which are awkward to re
and are therefore hardly ever willing to tc
institutions, whether they be schools or radical
which raise politically sensitive questions."
L" !. I II i 1 II

I- -e~ -~-a~.----a~Ra~e9lla~ss~~~-~Ila~

SUNDAY MAY 1 1, 1975


SUNDAY MAY 11, 1975

GOOD EVENING. Brothers and Sisters, I
have come this evening to sound a warning. I
have come to ring an alarm bell whose peals,
I hope, will resound in every heart and mind
across the country. I have come to wave a red
flag, to be seen, I hope, by every discerning
eye from one end of the country to the
other. I say loud and clear that our Nation is
in danger, an unmistakably clear and menac-
ingly present danger. Tonight we stand
threatened by the spectre of total dictatorship
which, unless vigorously and steadfastly
opposed and thwarted now will soon move
to snuff out and strangle the few freedoms we
have left under the iron heels of the military.
Now more than ever before do the words of
the poet haunt us like unwelcome prophecy,
Each night there is darkness at the door,
Each morn terror of the lih t.
I want to join with the Chairman in welcoming
you here tonight Brothers and Sisters. Our country
has been through a lot these past few weeks. But
they tell me that all is well now. The messiah stepped
in and gave us gas, a lot of gas. I am just afraid
that nowhere else in the world, even at the height of
the "so-called" energy crisis, did any people have to
pay the terrible price for gas that we may soon be
forced to pay.
Already we are paying that price. For Brothers
and Sisters the price of that gas which we now have
delivered to us with such "efficiency" by the Defence
Force is that we have well and truly put a Tiger in
our tanks and it will take all our skill and all our
courage to get rid of it. For I want to put it to you
here tonight that more than anything else what the
attempt to shut down the country by cutting of gas
and sugar supplies did, was give this Government and
more precisely the Prime Minister of this country the
opportunity to accelerate at a terrifying rate ithe
downward slide into dictatorship.
Consider with me for a brief while some of thef
events of the past few weeks.
On February 17th the voice of Raffique ShI
is summarily banned from the Government owned
610 Radio and the Television Stations. The thin edge
of the wedge if you ivill. Almost one month later.
the Commissioner of Police Tony May declares that
procession deemed by its organizers to be a Religious
procession is or will be illegal. On March 18, the
Police using tear gas, batons and rifles, and either in
plain clothes or without their badges, proceed to
disperse the marchers. In the process marchers, news-
men and members of the public are beaten. A week
ago we had a fitting sequel to those events. Burroughs
got his promotion and Ramdwar got his scholarship
to England.
Meanwhile a new Chairman had been appointed
to the Board of Directors for the Government owned
media. Mr. Bain declared that he was shocked to
find that there was no clearly defined Editorial
Policy. He proceeded to lay down one. No law-
breakers voice will ever be heard on radio and
Television. Mr. Bain also took the opportunity to
state that as far as he was concerned this country was
much better off when certain people were incarcer-
ated on Nelson Island.
Meanwhile after waiting until the eleventh
hour, with the country on the brink of total shut-
down, Cabinet decides that in view of the many
requests from organizations across the country and
the severe economic dislocations which the lack of
gas was causing they would commandeer all supplies
of gas and sugar and have the Army deliver these to
the outlets.
The Prime Minister goes to Point Fortin and an-
nounceS that a special Corp of Engineers will be
established within the Protective Services to run the
Essential Services. Senator Inskip Julien stands up
in the Senate and suggests that what this Country
needs is a Benevolent Dictatorship for a period of
five years.
I waii you, Brothers to consider these events
carefully, i. relation to each otier. For 1 am arguing
that what they portend is the end phase of a system-
atic, organised and orchestrated movement towards
The events in themselves are enough to make
the case. But it is not too difficult to discern the
threads of these developments in the past history of
the Government and the attempt to do so is worth-
while so that none may remain in doubt.


In the beginning then was tihe word, and the
word was made flesh and let its bucket down. In the
beginning too, was the vision. Independence, West
Indian Federation, Morality in Public affairs, multi-

The Nation now moves to the drumbeat oj Marche Militaire

Full text of the Address delivered
by Tapia Campaign Manager Michael
A CLEAR A N D Harris at the San Fernando Town Hall

- - - --*-

acialism, and economic development.
The population to a large extent rallied to the
new movement and in the forefront of the rally was
organised labour following, what was then believed
to be, the star of a new economic dispensation. In
many ways it was a remarkable honeymoon. In those
days Williams was the champion of the Trade Union
In 1959 he had supported the Telephone work-
ers in their long struggle against the company which
only ended when the Government bought out the
Company for the sum of $13 million. And when the
oilworkers went on their long strike in 1960 there
was no question of Government intervention.
Indeed it is very interesting to read the stated
policy in this regard in the Government's 1961 Elec-
tion manifesto which stated; that the Government
stood for,
"Freedom of collective bargaining between
employer and employee without government


With an election manifesto like that it is not surprising
that organised labour,particularlythe Oilworkers and
the Telephone workers, was foremost amongst those
who came out in massive numbers to give the Gov-
ernment its second five year term.
In 1963 in an address in Guyana Williams
declared that he wished to stop "all those idiots all
over the place who say that Government must step
in to interfere in the relations between employers
and employees or a Government must pass laws to
ban strikes." But in 1963 such a statement was
merely an echo of the good old days for, by then,
the honeymoon was clearly over.
Whether the bubble burst or was merely
deflated, whether the vision vanished or merely faded
away is not too important. Nor is it too important to
give a precise date for the start of the erosion. Some
claim that it all started with the Chaguaramas be-
trayal. Perhaps. It does not really matter. What
matters is that by 1963 -- the vision was gone and the
population had begun to question the word.
Federation had been consigned to the depths,

Williams delivering very extreme unction with his
infamous remark that "One from ten leavesnought."
It was left to another poet, The Mighty Sparrow, to
make on that occasion, the unwelcome prophecy.
From then on in it would be dog eat dog and the
survival of the fittest.
Morality in Public Affairs too, lived an embaras-
singly short life and the population was told in no
uncertain terms that if we did not like it we could
get the hell out of here.
Long before this of course, multiracialism had
disappeared, killed off, Williams would have us
believe, by a "recalcitrant minority."
But it was above all in the issues of Indepen-
dence and economic development, which, given the
history of Trinidad and ,Tobago, are inextricably
interwined, that the hopes generated by the Govern-
ment in its earliest days vanished into thin air.
The biggest and most tragic blunder of the
Government must be that it adopted an economic
strategy which served only to perpetuate and en-
trench the existing exploitation of our resources and
the economic dispossession of our people. The effects
of this have been twofold, firstly as they relate to the
economy in general and Industrial activity in part-
icular and secondly as they relate to the nature and
quality of our political life. It is necessary to deal
with both.
I have heard it argued in defence of the Gov-
ernment's absurd policy of "Industrialisation by
Invitation", that it was after all the prevailing theory
of Economic development, formulated by the Carib-
bean's own blue eyed genius, Arthur Lewis, and
adopted in other countries. The apologists would
point to Puerto Rico as an example of its success.
Even if we accept for a moment this defence the
critical question which must be posed in why in fact
has the Government after five, ten,fifteen and soon
twenty years of dismal failure not abandoned its
economic policies and sought to liberate the econ-
The answer, I want to put it to you, is that
the Government is philosophically committed to the
fundamental assumptions implicit in the policy of
"Industrialisation by Invitation". Their entire ideol-
ogical framework is premised on the contemptuous
assumption that the people of this country are
incapable of assuming total responsibility for our
own development. They do not believe that we have
tie capacity, the intelligence or the courage to
liberate ourselves.
Dr. C.V. Gocking in his recent booklet
"Participatory Democracy" quotes C.L.R. James on
the effects of a Colonial education.
"It was only long,years after that I understood
the limitation on the spirit, vision and self-
respect which was imposed on us by the fact
that our masters, our curriculumn. our code of
morals, eererlthin,g began from the basis that
Britain was the source o.f all light anrd learning,
and our business was to admire, m'wonler. learn".
Dr Gocking then goes oni to quo t' mioan an
article written by the Plunt Mini\i in in tie April

(. onl imlned i n lP;i' 6


SUNDAY MAY 11, 1975

Armed Soldiers and Police a rare and almost unknown sight before 19 70 are now a ubiquitous presence.

A Clear and Present Danger!

1973 issue of "Round Table" an International Affairs
magazine in which Williams had written,
"Trinidad and Tobago finds itself rather in the
position emphasized by ProfessorRupert Emerson,
that the prime requirement of the new develop-
ing independent states is not fbr more freedom
but for discipline, and that in any country with
tribal, racial and religious hostilities the
essential need is strong and unified manage-
ment. "
Those words are certainly worth repe :'ing
"The prime requirement of the new developing
independent states is not for more freedoms but for
discipline", and "the essential need is strong and
unified management." What agency could provide
less freedom but more discipline than the military,
what could be stronger and more unified than a
Philosophically and, I might add, technically
incapable then of abandoning its committ-
ment to its disastrous economic policies and
faced with the rapid erosion of its political
support the Government has had to resort at
every round to greater and greater doses of
repression and terror. The history of this
country from the early sixties has been a
story of a relentless advance backwards into
Beginning in 1963 with the Commission of
Enquiry into Subversive Activities set up, Williams
claimed,to get rid of "the communist elements which
had infiltrated certain sections of the labour move-
ment"and at certain Trade union leaders "whoseem
to regard a trade union as a political party" much
of the repression has been aimed directly at the
militant Trade Union Movement which was the first
and for a long time the only organisation to challenge
the King.
By 1964 the Government's new policy in the
Industrial Arena was firmly entrenched. It was vigor-
ously enunciated by the then Minister of Finance,the
blue-eyed boy of the sixties, the Duke of Scarborough.
"Tranquillity and stability in Industrial Relations
was to be enforced in order to maintain the proper
climate for investment." In other words once again
the Colonial syndrome was to be firmly established.
We were to have a political system which served to
facilitate economic exploitation and perpetuate
foreign dependence.
It was not long before we saw precisely how
Tranquillity and Stability were to be sought. 1965
started with Act 1, an attempt to knock sugar out of
the firing line and then the notorious Industrial
Stabilisation Act was introduced. It was born inci-
dentally in 48 hours. In the middle of the first State
of Emergency. The writing was on the wall.
Since that time we have moved from I.S.A. to
Public Order Act, Firearms Act, to Sedition Act, to
Summary offences Act to I.R.A., all of which con-
stitute serious restraints on our political and Industrial
freedom of Action. I shall return to this question
later. Along the path from I.S.A. to I.R.A. we have
on three successive occasions been forced to stop and
enjoy the "Tranquillity and Stability" that a State of
Emergency brings and on occasion some of us have
been granted leave to enjoy the solace of the Mon-
astery Garden at Nelson Island.
Armed police, a rare and almost unknown sight
before 1969 are now our constant companions, our

guardian angels, and in the six years since then many
of our citizens have been sent by these guardian
angels to their eternal rest.
A letter from one of our readers printed in
Tapia, asks the question, "will the P.N.M. settle for
the blood of the lamb or will they demand the blood
of Isaac"? And if I have dwelt at some length on the
past it is in order to support my answer to that
question with the full weight of empirical evidence
and logical analysis as well as contemporary events.
I hope therefore that the answer is clear. The
P.N.M. is not about to settle for anything less than
the blood of Isaac, our blood. And if tonight we
have come to assess the the position of our country
after the events of the last few weeks then it is
incumbent that we do so with crystal clarity and
brutal frankness. We .cannot afford to mince words
and we hold our tongues tonight only at the risk of
having them silenced forever.


I want to repeat firmly and categorically
what I said at the beginning. The strategy
pursued by the United Labour Front was ill-
advised and highly irresponsible and has suc-
ceeded only in giving Williams and the P.N.M.
a golden opportunity to accelerate the en-
trenchment of a military dictatorship. The
forces of opposition in this country cannot
afford to make another mistake, particularly
one of the tragic proportions of this last
On Thursday last George Weekes at a U.L.F.
meeting in Woodford Square told thegathering that
the "strategy" of the march was decided upon with
the intention of bringingi the struggle to a quick
end." That is a hell of an admission to make, for it
demonstrates quite clearly that the leadership of the
U.L.F. had learnt nothing from our recent history,
not from 1969 with the Transport Strike and not
from 1970 with the Black Power demonstrations. It
demonstrates also that they paid absolutely no
attention to the advice given by Tapia weeks before
the aborted march.
On February 21st the Friday after the all-day
rally at Skinner Park here in San Fernando we wrote
urging the U.L.F., now that it had demonstrated its
massive support, to turn their attention to the vital
task of political organisation. Listen to our Editorial.
"By' its very nature a revolutionary situation
will always bring recurring periods of intense
excitement, when crowds will assemble in
their thousands over some specific issue or
issues. But now that the lessons of 1970 have
been learnt, we all understand that it is never
enough simply to assemble the mammoth
crowds in the square ..........
Now we all know that the critical dimension
in all such climax situations will always be the
extent to which the work of organisational
politics has kept pace with the momentum of
agitation. The question at any such moment
will always be how concrete, how widespread

and how clear are the political structures, the
political programme and the political leader-
The following week, March 2, the occasion of
the Fifth Anniversary of the February Revolution
our editorial once again returned to the question of
strategy. Listen again,
"The exciting promise inherent in the situation
is that it becomes possible to move beyond
a United Labour Front to a United National
Movement. The formidable challenge of the
moment is whether we can summon out of
ourselves that combination of courage, capacity
and humility necessary to the creation of such
an alignmenC t ...............
It is important to recognize that we the forces
of change have not been theonly ones preparing
for iicrori. The forces of reaction have been
doing so as well .......... .
Let no one imagine that they; will hesitate to
clamp such a throttle on the voices of the media
so as to engulf us all in a resounding
silence ........
Yetl they shall only succeed, can only succeed
if we in the movement for change fail to
forge. before it is too late. the political weapon
needed to conslunate the revolution in
Freedom ".
The next weekend March 9th we clearly out-
lined what the Government's strategy was going to be.
On that occasion we said,
"We must not delude ourselves into believing
that their silence stems from any paralysis of
fear. They only playing dead to ketch Cor-
beaix: alive. We repeat what we have said
before in a conflict situation the best policy of
those in power is to do nothing and let the
opposition make the mistakes.......
If the Companies can goad the Unions into
some rash action then the Government is in a
position to intervene as a supposedly impartial


arbitrator, acting solely iti the "national
interest" and take whatever steps it deems ne-
cessarv to restore stability.
And then we asked the question? "Who dares ask
what these steps will be?"
Finally on Friday March 14, five days before
the proposed march our Editorial asked the simple
question, "Long march to what?" We wrote,
"The real choices which have faced the leaders
of the U.L.F. from the start are two. On the
one hand they might have sought to elaborate
a perspective on politics and Government and
society and economy which could unify not
only oil-workers and sugarworkers but the vast
majority of citizens beyond the barriers of race
and class.
On the other hand they could opt to use the
unity of the moment in an attempt to defeat
the Government with a single mighty stroke.
In short the choice has been between the
longer, harder but surer tasks of sustained
political organisation and mobihsarion and the
swift uncertainty of agitation and confronta-
tion . .
If the purpose of the long march is confronta-
tion then whatever happens the Country
stands to lose."
That was our position all along and that is why
we could not accept the invitation of the U.L.F. to
join in the March. To have done so would have been
to ,show ourselves to be opportunists of the worst
kind no better than the other bandwagon jumpers,
who when things look good jump on and who when
the going gets rough quietly fade away.
I tell you tonight Brothers and Sisters that there
was no joy in Tapia in seeing our predictions come
true. All we felt was deep regret and heightened
anxiety for we understood that the country had
moved to the brink of a precipice and one step
beyond that lay the abyss of dictatorship. Above all
we had to ask ourselves the question,why? Why in
the face of Tapia's advice, why in the face of the
clear history of 1969 and 1970 did the leaders still
persist in trying to blow the Government away with
one mighty breath?
The answer to this question lies, I believe in
three areas. In the first place I am convinced that the
Union Leaders, and indeed most of us, fail to under-
stand and appreciate the enormous power that resides
in the hands of those who control the institutions of
State. Secondly the answer lies in the anachronistic
concepts of Trade Unions and Trade Unionism
which still pervade our society and finally and,
perhaps, most importantly in our political culture.


Let us take the State first of all. We need from
the start to distinguish between the State and the
Government. Government is of men, who may and
do pass away, the State refers to institutions control-
led by men, which, notwithstanding the Marxist
dream, give every indication of rolling on.
The institutions of State differ from system to
system but would include, where they exist, the
Central Government, the Public Service, the police
and the military, the Parliament, the courts and
local government bodies. It is in these institutions
that State Power resides and it is through these institu-
tions, that men obtain and exercise "State Power".

SUNDAY MAY 11, 1975
Throughout the world the pattern in the 20th
Century has been for greater and greater demands to
be made upon the institutions of State. The death
of the laissez-faire ethic in the advanced capitalist
countries; the dictates of rapid development in the
non-industrialised world and in general a progressive
widening of the concept of social welfare are among
the reasons for the rapid increase in the demands
made upon State institutions.
The important factor, however, is that as these
institutions develop and expand to meet and service
these demands, inevitability, they accrue unto them-
selves greater and greater reservoirs of Power. This
fact, in itself, is not a cause for anxiety. For the
essential question always must be, how is the Power
invested in these institutions distributed and there-
fore controlled.
The essence of a democratic society is such a
distribution of Power among the various
institutions of the State system, between the
State System and the institutions of the wider
political system and between the people and
the institutions, that no one institution of the
society obtains such an inordinate degree of
control that it can emasculate and destroy
the other institutions or deprive the people of
an effective voice in the determination of
their affairs.
What determines this distribution in the final
analysis is the nature of the constitutional and
political system, and, underlying this, the political
culture of the society. Within the political system as
a whole there are, apart from the institutions of
State, other political, economic and social institu-
tions which can help determine by their strengths
and actions the final distribution of Power. These
include the Political Parties, the Business Organisa-
tions, the Church, the University, the Press and the
multitude of social and community groups, existing
in Society at any given moment.
This concept of democratic society is what is
known in the jargon of the political scientists as
"pluralistic equilibrium." And let me just point out
here that the equilibrium of any given period may be
the disequilibrium of a later date. One of the reasons
why there is such political and social turmoil in the
"so-called" western democracies is precisely because
the balance is all askew and adjustment is proving
extremely difficult.
That question need not concern us here. For
the point is that the situation in Trinidad and
Tobago is extremely different. Under our political
system the Central Government stands like a Colossus
towering over the other institutions of State and,
what is perhaps even worse, over many of the key
institutions of society which lie outside the realm of
the State.
Dr. C.V. Gocking has done us an invaluable
service in listing in his recent booklet the posts in
the Public Service over which the Prime Minister
enjoys the Constitutional right of veto. The
number comes to the fantastic total of 255, included
in which are the Commissioner of Police, the deputy
Commissioner of Police, all Permanent Secretaries,
and the Auditor General.
The PrimeMinister. alsocontrols by Constitu-
tional right appointment to the office of Chief
Justice. He is the effective Commander in Chief of the
Army and the Coast Guard. Local Government is non-
existent. The Senate is again by Constitutional
definition in the pocket of the Government. And
what need I say about the Parliament in these latter
In other words, Brothers and Sisters, what I
am pointing to is that within the State System, all the
power of the other institutions are by constitutional
definition directly or indirectly under the control of
the Central Government and, more particularly, of
the Prime Minister.

It is either extremely naive or downright
stupid to look to the other Institutions of
State for any assistance in bridling the terrify-
ing Power of the Central Government. The
dismal fact is that in Trinidad and Tobago
Government and State are unquestionably, one.
The initiative for the struggle for Freedom and
Democracy must therefore come from outside the
State system and in the institutions of the wider
political system.
Yet even here the task is an exceedingly
difficult one. In the first place Government control
extends even here. They control the Television and
one of the Radio stations and by their inordinate
influence can direct the policies of the other sup-
posedly Independent Media. The Church is com-
promised. The University is now threatened and had
better fend for itself. The business sector is largely
a parasitical bunch of missing-ball entrepreneurs who
are quite content to leave things as they are. And
here I want to warn them that they are living in a
fool's paradise if they believe that under a benevolent
rlictatorshin the benevolence will inevitably apply to

them and the dictatorship to the people. Meanwhile
half of organised labour is firmly in the camp of
the Government.
Secondly, as we wrote in our booklet on Con-
stitutional Reform "the dramatic increase in the
participation by the State in the economic life of the
country has given the Government a wide control of
the jobs and muzzled would-be opinion-makers
especially amongst the professional, executive and
technical grades." What this economic domination
by the Central Government does to the prospect of
the development of strong and independent social
institutions in the society need hardly be elaborated.
So that even in the wider political system the
Central Government does in fact exercise an exceed-
ingly massive degree of Power. Were it not for the
militant unions and the Political Parties, with which
I shall deal later, it might truly be said that the
Central Government is the Political System.
What this all means is that to speak of Dem-
ocracy under such conditions of Power is to speak of
what does not and cannot conceivably exist. Let us
be quite clear, Brothers and Sisters, Democracy does
not depend on the benevolence of leaders nor does
dictatorship automatically arise from their evil.

In Trinidad and Tobago dictatorship is an all
too imminent probability because both leaders
and people are prisoners of a political system
which makes it so.
I have argued earlier that the Government is
philosophically and technically incapable of jettison-
ing their present economic policies and adopting
more radical measures. But this does not mean, and
it would be uncharitable to imply, that they are not
concerned to eliminate or ameliorate the multitude
of problems which beset our people. It is unneces-
sary to demonstrate that they would not like to see
unemployment reduced, inequality eliminated or
the population enjoy a range of social services which
are adequate and efficient. If only for their own
political survival such aims would be necessary.
So that we have to assume that the many
promises and plans for social and economic re-
organisation, and the grandiose iPerspectives for a
New Society were genuinely meant. It does not
matter.The fact is that the very political conditions
which ensure the Central Government such dominance
over the institutions of society and over the people
renders those very people and institutions incapable
of rallying behind and working for any program of
reconstruction no matter how wonderfully it is

Let me be quite specific. When a political
system is such that it deprives people and
institutions of responsibility, participation
and effectiveness in the political sphere it is
impossible to generate either responsibility,
participation or effectiveness in any other
sphere of national life.
In such a situation results always and neces-
sarily fall far short of intentions, the people are
blamed for the failures, greater "management"
comes to be seen as rore necessary than greater
"freedom", the Government moves to acquire
greater and greater control over national life, avenues
for responsibility and independence on the part of
the people are thereby further curtailed, plans and
programs meet with even more ignominious failure
and the noose gets tighter and tighter.
It is in such an atmosphere that the Govern-
ment turns more and more to the instruments of
repression. Ralph Miliband in his book "The State in
Capitalist Society" has described the process suc-
cintly and well.
"Faced as they are with intractable problems,
those who control the levers of power find it
increasingly necessary further to erode those
features of "bourgeois democracy" through
which popular pressure is exercised. The power
of representative institutions must be further
reduced and the executive more effectively
insulated against them. The independence of
Trade Unions must be whittled away, and
trade union rights, notably the right to strike,
must be further surrounded by new and more
stringent inhibitions. The State must arm
itself with more extensive and more efficient
means of repression, seek to define more
stringently the area of "legitimate' dissent and
opposition, and strike fear in those who seek
to go beyond it. "(Pg. 242)
More than anything else therefore do such
regimes welcome rash attempts hby its opponents to
hurl themselves against the solid walls of Slate Power.
so that in easily repulsing each frenzied rush they
can demonstrate for all potential opponents their
own invincibility.
It is this process winch has Ibeen unfolding
before our eyes evci sic' I( ..;i and which was
Continued mn Page 8

From Page 7
greatly accelerated after the events of 1970 destroyed
the Government's illusion that they did in fact still
possess the trust and confidence of the majority of
the people.

SUNDAY MAY 11. 1975

( IUT"7. k'

I ,

RVN -now


All during this process the only institutions
independent enough to challenge the mounting
authoritarianismof the State have been the militant
wing of the Trade Union Movement, and the
Political Parties.
As far as the Trade Unions are concerned it has
been a necessary but in many ways unfortunate deve-
lopment. Forclearly,,since the sixties the Unions have
been unable to make the organisational and con-
ceptual'shifts necessary to wage a successful challenge
against the Government.
The struggle of the Trades Union against the
Government has always been plagued by duality.
The traditional raison d'etre of the union is to
bargain for better conditions for its members. Yet it
must be a very blind or reactionary Trades Union
leader who cannot perceive that the only way to
really achieve any worthwhile gains which will nc
be eroded every three years, thus leaving the workers
in the same monkey pants whatever the size of their
increase, is to change the fundamental structure of
the economy. Inevitably, however, to raise this
issue is to challenge the Government.
But the strategies of industrial negotiations
are vastly different from the strategies of political
revolution. And everytime the Militant unionists run
up against this dilemma the dictates of an Industrial
solution always supersede the longer-tt m tasks of
political organisation.
To some extent the reluctance of tle Union
leadership to engage, or rather to be seen to be
engaged in permanent political activity is a function
of the reluctance of the rank and file to sanction
their engagement in such activity.
The reasons for the reluctance of the rank and
file are several. In the first place there have been
examples of Union leaders who have actively entered
the political arena with the effect either of being
absorbed into the "Establishment" a move which
has been seen, and under the circumstances quite
rightly so, as a sell-out, or of suffering extreme harass-
ment by the Government with a resulting curtailment
of their effectiveness as purely wage bargainers.
The imperatives of wage-bargaining in an
economy .structured like ours cannot be denied and
the workers are probably right to insist that the
primary function of the Union Executive is to seek
to secure, maintain and improve the economic
position of the workers.
Nonetheless what all this really demonstrates
is that both leaders and rank and file in the
Unions share a concept of a Trades Union
that is extremely narrow and frankly anachron-
istic. For precisely because of the structure of
our economic system should the Unions be
moving with rapidity to organise themselves
in such a way as to emancipate their member-
ship from total dependence on employers for
financial well-being as well as dependence on
the Government for a whole range of social
This is not the time nor place, Brothers and
Sisters, to elaborate fully on this question. I would
just like to offer a few suggestions. It seems to me
that no Union today should be without a Develop-
ment and Investment Council which seeks to establish
business enterprises of a co-operative nature both
within and without the occupational structure it
It seems to me that no Union today should be
without an Education Council which should seek to
perform such vital tasks as establishing a news-
paper; organising and running schools devoted to
improving the skills of its members and providing
courses in the technical sciences and the social
sciences; as well as building up a core of expertise
from within the Union membership capable of
matching both Companies and Government in their
grasp of the intracacies of the enterprise.
It seems to me further no Union today should
be without a Social Welfare Council responsible for
initiating schemes in such areas as housing, health and
community services for the advancement of the
social and psychological well-being of its members.
Brothers and Sisters you can use your own
vision and imagination to sweeten the pot. It will, of
course, be argued that manyUnions,would not have
the financial resources necessary to pursue such a

scheme of reorganisation. The argument does not
hold. In the first place suggest thai the union
members would be quite willing to contribute more
heavily to achieve such goals and perhaps more impor-
tantly it gives the opportunity for a much needed
rationalisation and strengthening of Unionism in this
country through the integration into larger and more
meaningful organisation many of the small scrunting
unions we have today.
Another great failure of the U.L.F. was that it
was a marvelous opportunity for attempting these
goals as well as going a long way towards bridging the
vicious income inequality gap in this country em-
bracing as it did the richest and the poorest of the
industrial sectors.
Why then did the U.L.F. fail to even attempt
such a reorganisation and why indeed have none of
the Unions been able to break free of the traditional
impotence of wage-bargaining?
There are two possible explanations. In the
first place most of the Union leaders do not under-
stand either the politics or the economics of inde-
pendence. They are firmly trapped in the miasmic
view of Government, politics and people inculcated
from the Colonial days. They are just as philosophic-
ally incapable as the Government of jettisoning their
old concepts of organisation and policy.
Secondly, as I pointed out earlier, organized
labour represents one of the few enclaves of Power
not dominated directly by the State, as badly as that
Power is used and as greatly as it is being eroded.
And I am certain that there are those Unionists who
recognize that the present organisation of Unions
permits them to participate in a narrow oligarchic
control of the reservoir of Power and are determined
to maintain that pattern of control whatever the
political, social or economic consequences for the
workers or for the Nation as a whole.
They too, however, are living in a tool's
paradise. For the only real means of survival that the
Trades Unions have today (given the proclivities of
the Government) is to move towards the type of re-
organisation that I suggested at earlier. Such a
reorganisation will inevitably demand a breakup of
the present overcentralised structure of the Unions by
creating a whole range of activities in which the rank
and file will have the opportunities for meaningful

It is this participation and this participation
.alone which will give to the rank and file the
necessary comprehension of the vital inter-

relationship between their economics and the
total political system to enable them to
support the permanent political involvement
of their leadership.
This informed support allied to the freedom
from cutthroat wage-bargaining which theUnions'
involvement in economic enterprises will achieve is
the only insurance the Union leaders have of ever
becoming involved in real politics rather than forever
scurrying up and down the cul-de-sac of agitation,
confrontation and empty bombast.


The question of experience and comprehen-
sion through participation is one that brings us face
to face with the realities of our political culture. In
our booklet on Constitutional Reform we wrote "In
the West Indies government and politics are upside
down. That is the way they were born ....... the
sovereignty was anchored not in the little people but
in the king, proprietor and Governor. Power invari-
ably descended from on high."
This was clearly the situation in the Colonial
era and as I have tried to demonstrate it is just as
clearly the situation today. Under such conditions we,
as a people, have never been able to develop a tradi-
tion of involvement or responsibility in our political
affairs We have viewed ourselves as passive recipients
of the will of our leaders except on those few
occasions when pent-up frustrations have caused us to
spill into the 'streets in our numbers to offer
concerted prayers for change to the Powers-on-high.
The obverse of this is that we have been thus
regarded by our political leaders who have conceived
of their role as one of demonstrating their fitness to,
inherit the mantle of Lord Protector, the Loving
Shepherd of his sheep, theomnipotentand omniscient
messiah, the doctor possessing a plaster for every
Such conceived roles have made us the inherit-
ors oi a political method which is one of robber-
talkingcrowd nmanipulatioii on tlhe art i of the leader
and awe-struck adulation on the part of the people.
And the netliodl has precluded any growth in our
political experience ed ucation and wisdom.
Continued on Page 11


,-.-.. _. .. _-
The strategies of Industrial negotiations are vastly different from the strategies ofPoliticalRevolution.
everytime the Militanrt Unionist rnm up against this dilemma the dictates of an Industrial solutions always
supersede the longer-tem tasks Political Organisation.

SUNDAY MAY 11, 1975

From Page 4
laws to deprive emergent social forces of the re-
sources with which they seek to. create a new
ordering of social forces. Alternatively, they co-opt,
compromise, or threaten the new elite, using the in-
strumentalities of the state machinery which they
control. Teachers must speak out collectively if not
individually when they see oppression masquerading
behind the abstract concept of the rule of law.
Teachers must also assist children to resist the
pressures of adult society when such pressures are
seen as being dysfunctional to the maturation of the
child. This is a delicate area for educators to tread
and usually generates conflict between the teacher
and the community.
Parents can be expected to be hostile to
teachers whom they believe are undermining deeply
entrenched political and religious values. The fact
That the teacher considers himself to be presenting
material objectively is no guarantee against con-
troversy and community pressure. Once the teacher
attempts to go beyond what is considered the margin
of acceptability, he can anticipate a measure of
criticism either from superiors who are responding
to or anticipating community pressure or directly
from elements in the community.


As was observed earlier, however, most teachers
shun controversy. Most are also conservative and
aspire to middle class life styles. Moreover there might
be something about teaching which helps to establish
an authoritarian mind set. One recent study in fact
indicated that there was a correlation between
length of teaching service and authoritarian behaviour
in the classroom. "The longer one teaches, the less
likely the possibility of engaging in risk taking
behaviour; the longer one teaches the more custodial
becomes one's approach to the classroom. The goals
of education gradually become dominated by
concern with control of behaviour, creation of
respect for authority and establishment of orderly
behaviour." My real fear then is not that teachers
would radicalize their charges or that they would
become "wild men" when the restraints of their
political freedom are removed, but that they would
add more ballast to the already sodden political
So far we have not attempted to define
politics. This is by no means an easy task. Numerous
definitions exist. Some people see politics as corrupt
and unprincipled behaviour on the part of those
who hold or seek offices in the state or some political
body. Others define politics as "who gets what, when,
why and how". According to this point of view,
politics is not about what ought to be in a society,
but about the distribution of power in society. The
role of the politician, therefore, is to assess the
demands of the various interest groups which make
up the political unit and allocate resources in terms
of the sanctions or rewards which such groups can
bring to bear on the political system of which he is a
part. From this point of view pressures are seen as
the important givens for elites tobe concerned about,
not human needs or fulfillment. Political development
in this view is concerned with creating a system
which can meet or adapt to the demands of strategic
pressure groups, whether they are milk producers in
the United States, or armies, bureaucracies, or
multinational corporations in third world societies.
This view of politics is now part of the conventional
wisdom. It holds that there is no one public interest,




only the interest of numerous publics. The politician
thus has to be pragmatic and entrepreneurial if he is
to survive.
But this is not the way in which politics was
always defined. According to Aristotle, politics is a
noble activity, an activity through which man might
realize his fullest potential and society fulfilled its
highest needs. Politics, in this view, is not merely the
art of the possible or the struggle for power between
those groups which have and those which want, but
the pursuit of justice. To quote Aristotle, "the study
of politics is the study of how best to promote the
common good of the political community." Another
scholar in this tradition, Professor Christian Bay,
insists that one must make a distinction between
politics and pseudo-politics. To quote Bay, "by
political, I refer to all activity aimed at improving or
protecting conditions for the satisfaction of human
needs and demands in a given society according to
some universalistic scheme of priorities, implied or
explicit. Pseudo-politics on the other hand, refers to
activity that resembles political activity but is exclu-
sively concerned, either with alleviating personal
neuroses, or with promoting private or interest group
advantage, deterred by no articulate or disinterested
conception of what would be just or fair to other
groups. Thus, pseudo-politics is the counterfeit of


The philosophers of the 18th century En-
lightenment also shared this view of politics. Diderot
held that "everything (in society) must be examined
(and) shaken up without exception and circumspec-
tion." That was the historic role of the intellectual.
Similarly, Thomas Jefferson saw the University as
having a responsibility not merely to provide expert
advice, but also to criticisee those forces of church
and state which fear every change as endangering the
comforts which they now hold". The University's
mission was to "unmask their usurpation and ques-
tion the monopolies of honour, wealth, power, which
they now emjoy." The philosophers of the Enlighten-
ment therefore, believed that intellectuals must be
allowed a "sovereign right of criticism". Their role
was to help make public opinion more self-critical,
to "meddle" and "make trouble" for the established
forces of the society when such elements were not
exercising their trusteeship in a responsible and
humane way. They also had to point out the way to
achieve what appeared to others to be impossible

This intellectual tradition is not, however
accepted in Caribbean society. Like our primary and
secondary school teachers, most University teachers
in the Caribbean eschew active politics in favour of
esoteric professionalism. Caribbean academics actively
seek out involvement with governments and private
corporations and neglect "their responsibility to the
wider society. Only a handful have gone beyond the
confines of the campus to raise larger political issues
and to educate the public. And these are often
viewed, both on the campus and in the wider com-
munity as mavericks and power seekers who have
exceeded what is their proper role in society. My
own view, however, is that the charge of academic
delinquency is more properly levelled at the silent
majority rather than the so-called university politi-
cians. They are heirs to a nobler academic tradition.


But.this failing is not unique to Caribbean intel-
lectuals. As one American observer complained, "we
do not have an intellectually responsible politics in
America, principally because the single largest intel-
lectual interest group in our society the learned
professionals have opted out of politics. It has
felt no professional obligation to relate the life and
work of its members to the problems of justice and
survival which dominate our times. It does not insist
that intellect embrace a dimension of citizenship.
Instead it understands "intellect" to be primarily a
means of career-building in the university world, or at
best, a means of heaping up collections of "know-
ledge" as an end in itself."
The late C. Wright Mills made a similar com-
plaint about American academics whom he said, "live
and work in a benumbing society without living and
working in protest and in tension with its moral and
cultural insensibilities. They use' the liberal rhetoric
to cover the conservative default. They do not make
available the knowledge and the sensibility required
by the public if it is to hold responsible those who
make decisions in the name of the nation. They do
not set forth reasons for human anger and give to it
suitable targets."
The German philosopher Frederick Nietzche
also had little that was complimentary to say about
his academic contemporaries who pretended to
academic "busyness" in order to avoid political com-
mittment. To quote Nietzche, "men pursue their
business and their sciences with such single minded-
ness in order to escape the most important questions.
which every moment and loneliness and true leisure
would urge upon them questions concerning the
why, whence and whither of life. But curiously
enough,not even the most obvious question occurs
to our scholars. What benefit their labour, their haste
and their painful ecstacies can possibly have? But if
as men of science, you go about science in the same
manner in which workers go about tasks which life's
daily necessities impose upon them, then what is to
become of a culture condemned to await the hour of
its birth and its salvation amidst this breathless, aim-
less, fidgeting infatuation with science and learning."
At the' present juncture of our political development
there is a serious need for a new concept of politics,
a politics which would emphasise justice for the
underprivileged and probity and morality in public
affairs. As a people, we have not yet acquired a sense
of purpose and direction. We drift from crisis to crisis

Continued on Page 10

Get your Bargains & Gifts

For Mother's Day

62 queen St P O

62 Queen St P O.S.



From Page 9
without leadership, guidance or inspiration. Such
principles as we have are lle principles of pragmatism,
of order and stability. These now fill the existing
normative vaccuum.
Our political buckets are worn thin, but we
appear to be incapable or unwilling to secure teplace-
ments. In the olden days, when we were less well
endowed, we used soap or pitch to caulk leaking
utensils. Today there is no longer any such need, but
we still continue to use these old fashioned methods
to disguise obsolescence instead of simply throwing
the buckets out. Clearly, we need new buckets,
buckets that can more effectively contain and canalise
the floods of our discontent and frustration.
Our human and physical resources, when com-
pared with most countries in the so called Third
World, are quite ample, but they are being poorly
husbanded. Allocations are made not on the basis of
ieed or some principle of equity, but on the basis of
pseudo-political calculations about the strategic
position or nuisance value of groups which demand
to be accommodated. Lacking any overreaching prin-
ciple or ideology to guide our day to day choices, we


SUNDAY MAY 11, 1975




react haphazardly to crises and pressures rather than
politics of vapse and indecision.
We do not have a strategy to combat inflation,
to combat the pollution of our coastal waters, our
streets or our walls. We have no credible strategy
for attacking poverty or solving our unemployment
problem which becomes more frightening every day.
Instead we invite the once criticized multinational
corporations to solve the problem for us. We have
meaningful strategy for stopping the blight that is'
destroying our hospitals, or our schools and the
minds that struggle vainly to blossom within them.
anticipate them and respond coherently. Ours is the
Instead we seek to fashion new tools of repression.

Instead of teaching our soldiers to function as a sort
of National Service which would supplement the
civic efforts of other community development
agencies, we cynically prepare them to perform scab
roles. Instead of urging people to participate more in
politics, leaders of opinion talk irresponsibly about
the need for dictatorship. But dictatorship by whom,
and on behalf of whom, one is entitled to ask. Will the
new "army" and the Flying Squad be called upon to
provide the coercive base for this dictatorship?
Teachers have been involved integrally in
party politics in Trinidad and Tobago before. They
were in large part responsible for the birth of the
PNM in 1955-56. Those were times of crisis and
many teachers were prepared
to defy the "Eighth Army"
in their quest for a brave
new world. Theirs was the
politics of the People's
Charter which stressed the
need for political life.

WUhen on importer

tolls business

to an international

industrial capital


we talk his finance

The National Commercial Bank works for you through more than
140 respected international banks in 33 countries.

The National
Commercial Bank
of Trinidad & Tobago

th)1 bank with international banKing Know how

That dream has now
soured for most of us. To-
day, twenty full years later,
we are back at the stage when
it was felt necessary to make
a c.ise for party politics in
Trinidad and Tobago.
Cynicism and disillusion-
ment now stalk the land as it
did then. Any individual who
ventures out on a limb to
raise questions about the
existing order immediately
becomes an object of suspi-
cion and distrust by the
citizenry or a target for
official hostility, and displea-
And teachers, like other
citizens, meekly accept the
status quo preferring instead
to play safe in the interest
of job security and advance-
ment. We bleat occasionally,
but meekly disperse and even
flee at the first whiff of tear
gas and grape shot.
But our situation is
grave, and our teachers re-
present too valuable an
intellectual resource to
remain locked up in narrow
professionalism. They must
not only politicise our child-
ren, albeit with taste and a
sense of discretion, but as
citizens they must be free to
speak openly on political
platforms and run for office
with full entitlement to
return to their posts after
their political soujourns are
The rule which now debars
teachers from running for
office without first resigning
is obsolete and must be
abolished before the forth-
coming elections. The sort of
problems which develop
when civil servants become
openly involved in politics
should not arise with respect
to teachers who have no
state secrets to guard or
political information to
But little will be achieved
if teachers simply become
one more group in the
pluralist universe, demanding
more and more for them-
selves. Teachers must help
provide the spark for the new
politics which is struggling
to surface and which others
are vainly attempting to



I-- --- -----~---

SUNDAY MAY 11. 1975

A Clear And Present Danger!

From Page 8

And it is our lack of political experience, and
education that is the single ui ti important factor
facilitating the continued reign of the present regime
and the iinmanence of dictatorship. It is also why the
conventional political parties and the conventional
political methods stand as much chance as a snowball
in hell of ever removing the P.N.M. or of engineering
constructive social, economic and political change.
Listen to Lloyd Best writing in the Express in
"OCowds cannot control leaders least ofall
when they nicer in political Universities. They
risk being branbled by rhetoric. But we are a
literate and articulate pcoplc and what we need
are small groupings whcre real conversation is
possible .... Wle need a Constituent Assemblyj
of the entire electorate. Hence the need to shift
fromn platfoiin and crowd politics to infori'al
and local groups. "
Or if you prefer a non-Tapia source listen to
C.L.R. James in his "Party Politics in the West

"I cannot conceive of any other way of develop-
ing a sense of the rights and duties of a dem-
ocracy in an inexperienced and untutored
population. Making speeches to them is useful
up to a point. But they cannot live on that.
They must have experience, experience of
organisation and of action. Organizing only to
seek votes is a form of degradation. It is only
by independent organisation and independent
action that people discover their needs, and
discover their capacities ......
A Party is the only organisation by which the
people can make up for the centuries of dem-
ocratic experience which they have not had. "
This then is the fundamental -political premise
on which Tapia is founded. We have from our very
inception been committed to "unconventional
politics", by which we simply mean a political
method which emphasises community organisation,
participation and conlrnl which emphasises political
discussion and cduca, i and which eschews the
adven :t; escapades into agitation and mindless
*. ; .. .. io n .

If in our 7 years on the scene our success has
been small this is no cause for despair. We are and
have been swimming against the tide. Nonetheless we
are satisfied that as all the conventional options
exhaust themselves in their frenzied agitation the
clarity and the consistency with which we have
enunciated our position will become more and more
It is an ill wind that blows no good and one
effect of the continuing turmoil in our body politic
must be that it demonstrates that there are no Gods,
no instant solutions. Our salvation lies in recognizing
that our involvement and our participation counts
and in following the injunction so oft repeated in
Tapia to "take up our beds and walk."
Brothers and Sisters the time is short and the
threat to our freedom frighteningly close. The climax
to the revolutionary situation cannot be far away
and the time has come to choose. The choice I repeat
is clear; Democracy or Dictatorship. We shall be there
at the end to battle the monstrous juggernaut of the
totalitarian State. It is my fervent hope that all of
you here tonight will be at our sides when the call to
battle sounds. Thank you very much.



W'iat youth has not experienced
men forget,
their beards turning to grey
in spite of blackness.

Same journeys are retraced;
old obstacles now overgrown with bush
prove insurmountable;
no one would hack the deadwood,
and move on.
Abominable laws
give off their stench.
The vultures would not dive;
they flock on branches sagging with their weight,
pick at each other's eye;
Corruption will not die for them to feast.
Even our dove
that flies towards the sun,
our golden cross
is flaming swastika,
another hawk in search of empire.

Who says the thunderflash
emits more light
than the bright morning'
that precedes the storm!
or thinks the splash
more terrible than the swell!
The fisher knows
who pulls the stangling seine,
bending like full-drawn bow
as breakers lash the shore.
Brine-soaked skin, tough as carbon,
curved, corned, glistening with grease,
tug and tug against the marling,
taut, leaden with the wheeling,
of captured shoal resisting.
His head is petrified
as foam is coral,
leaf is rock,
as atoms that implode
each sanguine minute
discharging waves too fine for human sense.

Tank -Top





Available at the House Ring 662-5126



We've got what you
need at mihimum cost.-


Your Family is well

1fed with

irBa lueBand

i on Bread


Yrs. Andrea Talbutt,
Research Institut for
Study of _.afli
162, 9a V 7t-II 6treeb,
PN Y. -i-IF, 5 8448.





THE Second part of the
Annual General Assembly
takes place this Sunday
at the S.W.W.T.U. Hall
on Wrightson Road in
Port-of-Spain. The second
session of the Assembly
is divided into three parts.
First order of business
will be. Reports from
the Central Executive.
Listed to Speak are Syl
Lowhar, Chairman,
Lloyd Best Secretary,
and Angela Cropper,
The second session will
be devoted to a fullscale
discussion among all members
of the political situation in
the country and of Tapia's
broad strategy for the coming
Last major item on the
day's agenda will be the
annual elections to the
National Executive. Nomina-
tion forms are already out
and nominations will close
at 12.00 on the day itself.
All members are reminded
that they must be fully
registered in order to nomi-
nate, vote or be nominated.
The following are the
posts up for election and

the names of their present

Chairman Syl Lowhar
1st Vice A. Ramreker-
2nd Vice M. Matthews
Secretary Lloyd Best
Asst. Sec. Paula Williams
Treasurer Angela Cropper
Cor. Sec. Ivan Laughlin
E'tion Sec. -Denis Solomon
Warden Vacant
Unassigned Volney Pierre
Hamlet Joseph
Sheila Solomon
Keith Smith
Baldwin Mootoo
-Alston Grant
Ruthven Baptiste

The division of the Annual
General Assembly is by now
a regular practice. This
second part follows on a
highly successful first part
held at the same venue on
Sunday March 16.
Devoted to political re-
ports and open to friends



and associates as well as
members the first session of
the Assembly was note-
worthy for two reasons. ,
In the first place it was
the first time that Tapia was
holding its Assembly, in
Port-of-Spain. This move to
the capital had long been
anticipated and it marked a
symbolic advance in our
The second important
feature of the Assembly was
that the session came
only two days before
the United Labour Front
had said it would hold its
religious procession from
San Fernando to Port-of-
Spain and had been warned
by the Commissioner of
Police that it would be con-
sidered illegal.
It was clear that these
two considerations were
uppermost in the minds of
most of the speakers on that
occasion, for most of them
warned against any headlong
rush into confrontation.
Apart from the political
statements the gathering was
also given an indication of
Tapia's dire financial position
Administrative Secretary,
Allan Harris recounted some
of the problems the group
was facing in generating
funds and renewed his appeal
for members to make dona-
tions whether in cash of in
time and energy, to facilitate
the continued operations of


the group.
This Sunday me question
of operating funds is expected
to be one of the main
items which the members
will have to look at together.
The Assembly begins ai
10.00 sharp.

Top: Paula Williams, Hamlet Joseph, Lloyd Best
Bottom: (L to R),
Ivan Laughlin, Mickey Matthews Syl Lowhar,
Baldwin Mootoo, Denis Solomon, Volney Pierre.



Tapia House 82-84 St Vincent Street Tunapuna

Our printing-plant is open at
The Tapia House 82-84 St. Vincent
Street, Tunapuna.
Kindly phone orders to: 662-5126.







IJ~ ~~