Material Information

Place of Publication:
Tapia House Pub. Co.
Creation Date:
September 5, 1976
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

Vol 6 No. 36

1 ;,'.

30 Cents



"THREE at the Helm"
was the caption of the
cover photo of the Guard-
ian's Independence Supple-
ment last Sunday.
The three persons
captured in chummy con-
sultation at the August 1
Republic celebrations at
the President's House
were President Ellis Clarke
himself, Chief Justice
Isaac Hyatali and the Prime
It must be a jolly ship
of state indeed which
would require not one but
three men at the helm.
But who is that one who
really mans the tiller of
Trinidad and Tobago -
as distinct from who, for
the time being, has charge
to this nation's till?


First guess: the Prime
Minister and Minister of
Finance, Founder-Leader
of the People's National
Movement, head of the
government in power for
20 years, now bidding fair
to head it for another five
(Let, Chief Justice
-Hyatali take a side for the
'time being as these calcula-
tions are being worked
out. Though his own
legal-constitutional astute-
ness may yet be called
into urgent service before
this country's intriguing
constitutional crisis is
finally resolved.)
So second guess:
President Ellis Clarke,
former Chief Justice elect,
former top-ranking diplo-
mat, former constitutional
adviser to the PNM Gov-
ernment, acknowledged
architect of the 1962
Independence Constitu-
tion, and from from 1972
till July 31, 1976, "new-
style" unhorsed Governor


President Clarke has
shown himself to be cued
enough about the 1976
Republican Constitution
to be giving hush-hush
lectures to BWIA air
hostesses, as revealed
exclusively in TAPIA
earlier this year.
The Constitution we
now have, let it be
remembered, is the result
of the frantically rushed
passage of a Bill through
both houses of Parliament
in April this year.

TO .



Is who he go put?

Its steamrollered passage
caused sufficient alarm to
bring together for the first
and last time all the major
opposition groups in the
country, who joined pro-
, test with other community
groups and concerned


To no avail. The govern-
ment, affirming that the
country had had time to
say its piece on constitu-
tion reform, went ahead
regardless. Even though
the government had already
sonorously repudiated the
Wooding Constitution on
which at least the. country
did have chance to pass its,
In his ownf time, the
then Governor General Sir
Ellis Clarke serenely gave
assent to the Bill that had
been the cause of so much
agitated' protest. For him,
the Bill clearly held no
terrors. And those inr the
country who were disposed
to trust the GG's good
sense and judgment of
constitutional propriety,
breathed a sigh of relief.
Few indeed, in that
breathless anxious moment
when the Bill was being

debated, with the bewilder-'
ing speed that amendments
were added and withdrawn,
held a clear enough head
to study what it actually
TAPIA is predicting
that by September 14 the
country say well be hasten-
ing to correct that over-
For what the Republican
-Constitution does in fact
do is to chart for President
Ellis Clarke the role of
strongman or kingmaker
(as repugnant as both
those terms might be to
our new republican sensi-

But the scenario being
*sketched now by political
observers is one in which
there could well be scope
for the distinguished per-
formance for such a role
or such roles.
Consider the morning
of September 14 when the
country wakes up to learn
that none of the contesting
parties in the election
secured a clear majority.
The ball would then have
landed neatly in the grassy
court of the President's
Botanical Gardens mansion.

And then the question
would be: Is who he go
It is the President
whose opinion will be
decisive here. It is he who
will determine which of
the newly elected members
of the House of Repre-
sentatives will be Prime
Minister and who will be
Leader of the Opposition.
To him will all eyes
turn as the question will
be repeated throughout the
country: "Is who he go
put?" ,
That is where we are at
now, with the President
holding office until after
the elections when a vote
will be taken to choose the
new president (if there is
to be a "new" president).
After years of agitation
over ballot boxes and
voting machines, PR and
reduced voting age, and
now the wholly artificial
hue and cry being made
by the Prime Minister
about "integrity", we
find ourselves in a position

in which the PNM-
appointed Governor Gene-
ral-President would now
sit in judgment as a
supposedly impartial re-
feree at a stage when a
simple decision would
decide the game.'
Would not President
Clarke in all his constitu-
tional acuteness find a
formulation which would
at least favour his own
continuance in office after
the Electoral College
Even to suggest that, of
course, is to imply motives
wholly unseemly in as
elevated and as highly
respected a personage as
our first Republican Presi-
But indeed the factor of
mere personal gratification
apart, would not the coun-
try be entrusting this
supremely important
decision to one of its most
distinguished sons, so
eminently qualified for the
performance of this
momentous task?
There is one other man
in this country who thinks
And there can be, for
sure, only one man at the


Tapia House
7 p.m.

, _

-~ 1 113



"WAS THAT Manifesto thing the TAPIA
poper of last week, or did you did you
bring out something else together with
That was one kind .of question
Another kind: "All you still bringing
TAPIA? I thought I heard it had been
stopped till after the elections."
In other words, people sensed the
historic nature of TAPIA Vol. 6 No. 35
which did not contain, but was itself the
1976 General Elections Manifesto of the
Tapia House Move.ment.
It was a fitting end to an era. It was
what' the efforts and struggles of the past
nearly eight years added up to, though
it must be recognized as only a sub-total
to be. carried forward into the new leaf
that the Tapia Movement will have
turned by the time of production of
Vol. 6 No. 38.
My own guess is that it should mark
the end of an era in journalism in this
country as well. And I also suspect that
the journalists in the country, both
actual and aspiring, may not be altogether
well prepared for the new situation.
Well, it depends on the extent to
which journalists have cherished dreams
and visions of a "new order" in the
profession. For those who did would not


have assumed the status quo to be an
eternal condition, mandated by the
fact of our having .been born into a cul-
de-sac of disadvantage.
The "old order", or at least that
part of it in which I have grown up over
the last eight years, necessitated the
containment of ambition and aspiration.
It has been always a matter of making
do, of making the best of a situation
that was unsatisfactory but one which
really could not be helped.
Poverty was always assumed. There
was always so much that couldn't-be
done for want of relevant resources, and
then so much to be done by so few just
to keep things going, that the few could
probably be forgiven for expending less
and lesp thought and yearning on what
might have been.
We might have had photographic
coverage and reportage. of Carifesta.
Only the monthly Caribbean Contact
gave us that as it had tried to give some
reporting of the political violence in
Kingston which claimed over 100 lives in
the first six months of this year.
We might as well, then, acknowledge
some' small advances along the way. But
these. don't amount to more than point-

ing to the way ahead, to something like
the totality of what might have been, to
and what could be.
So we moved into the 1976 elections
with a press ill-served for the require-
ments of reportage, speculation, inter--
pretation, investigation and commentary
that so epoch-making an event would
seem to deserve. Nowhere has here been
,assembled a corps of people equipped
with the commitment and the skills to
do more than skim- the surface of the
daily stream of history.
So much of what passes for political
analysis has been bogged down in
unceasing wonderment at the large
number- of parties and candidates, held
to reflect on the misbehaviour of "the
Everybody accepts that there is
corrupt jn in ruling party circles, but
there hasn't been one memorable expose,
not one scoundrel brought to light by
the press.
It is not enough to say that the
decisive deficiency has been the lack of
"resources". Unless you also include
among those the absence of a will and
of the recognition of the need to create
the resources.
It is clear, however, that the Guard-
ian, say, would have been hard put to
prevent a large staff of competent
reporters and writers from delving into
the several areas just waiting to be mined
in the service' of public information.
The fact is that no such staff exists
anywhere and its necessity not regarded
as sufficiently important by any of the
people who can do anything about it. It
is by now .pretty self-evident that the
private sector interests behind the daily
newspapers will not make the- crucial
investment in what gives their papers
their reason for being, the news coverage.
The same holds for the state-owned
enterprises like TTT and 610.
Again, what we have seen of the
rich trade unions which should have the
added motivation of a political interest
to service, indicates that for them a com-
petent press is not a priority either.
There were no takers for the Tapia offer
of a joint political opposition news-
pape, and, significantly, little interest
in the question of securing radio and TV
It is at least arguable, then, that no
real change will come about in the
scope, the prospects and the capability
of ou'r media until there arrives a gov-
ernment which recognizes the need to
do'something about it, and and which
has some enlightened plan for ensuring
that the media will both have the means
to be free and the crucial institutional
supports for that freedom.
The Tapia plan for transforming
the Guardian into a major paper for the
Eastern Caribbean will be the centre
piece of a major development of the
mass media of a kind hardly visualized
even by journalists here.
Where are the journalists anyway?
The absence of professionals both in
quantity and quality. is a problem which
we will be having to face in this new
It seems like it's going to be solved
through the definition of journalism as
a dynamic sector in the march towards
reconstruction of this new republic.
This will be a call to glory for
both actual and aspiring journalists now
hanging out, misfittedly, all parts of this



the education of

a journalist


THE GOVERNMENT over the past 20 years
has been conscientious in its efforts to demon-
strate that it does not require vast reservoirs
of intelligence and integrity to stay in power.
It can scarcely point to a single ministry,
for instance, which has a record of efficiency
and, on the eve of a general election, Williams
is forced to own up to corruption and waste
in a number of public utilities and to promise
to bring the "racketeers" to heel.
The trick, of course, is to do all this and
-to appear still to be undefiled in this rubbish-
heap of squandermania and broken promises.
But, as the American press used to say about
Nixon, the man can fall into a sewer and come
out smelling of roses. Williams, we have seen,
has the same skill; when he is finished with
his probes, the public is convinced that it is
everybody else around him who has climbed
out of the sewers.
We have seen it recently with his treat-
ment of the party and of the party nominees
for the elections. "Either the nominees remain
and you get a more appropriate Political
Leader, or the Political Leader remains and
you get more appropriate candidates for whom
no apology need be made."
The public is aware the party may be
disintegrating, that ministers may. be incom-
petent and may lack confidence and self-
respect, that parliamentary representatives
may be millstones about the neck of the
party and the government, butthe Prime
Minister, not unlike the President, remains
upright and unbending, the only man it can
trust, the only politician which can get the
work done, the whitest man in Trinidad and
Curiously, there are many people who
do not see beyond the spotlight which
shines on Williams. They do not see that any
other leader, whose strength is charisma and
not necessarily character, will act in the same
manner if all that mattered was staying on

"He's in form", one newspaper editor
tells me in Woodford Square the afternoon
Williams announced the PNM candidates for
this month's election. "It's a good election
speech", he says, admiringly.
I do not feel the same way; I am upset,
angry, I feel I have wasted my time going to
the square to hear Williams' tired jokes, to
be a party to the malice he nurses against
his critics. "The same people who are talking
about-ideology", he says foolishly, "cannot
spell the word". And those who are asking
about the PNM's philosophy spell it with
The amused faithful do not see that if
what Williams says is true, the secondary
education programme which he had been
bragging about a few minutes before is
really a dismal failure.
So many other plans are failures but
it is customary nowadays to mistake
materialism for growth and to confuse the
desire of the population to keep-up-with-the-
Joneses with development.
However, I find that I cannot sympathise
with any government which attempts to
vindicate itself by quoting amperes, stand-
pipes, telephones, hospital beds and school
These are services which are expected
of every government. And if any government
which has been in office for 20 years as the
PNM has been, needs still to point to
S achievements of this kind, I suspect that it
has not brought about any fundamental
change in the life of the community,
especially one which has moved in that time
from colonialism to independence and
now to a republic.

PaGE 3r~ aUnDA-ETME d1976

trates the inefficiency and
criminal neglect of this
Government than the
series of maternity cen-
tres recently opened up
in outlying districts.
As one woman put it,
sizing up the spanking new
maternity centre built in
Roxborough, Tobago: "If
a woman go in there to
have a baby, she taking
a chance on she and the
child life."
And then there is the
Rio Claro maternity cen-
tre, ceremoniously opened
about two months ago.
You might call this
centre a study in how to
waste money, time and
people's health.
To begin with, the Rio
Claro centre is located on
a hilly site where land-
slides are always a possi-
bility. Access to the
building itself is difficult.

An ambulance, for
example, cannot be driven
right up to the door step
to receive emergency
The centre is also a
concrete monster. Con-
crete walls. Concrete
roof. No air-conditioning.
That no doubt is the
reason that the Centre is
open to the street. And if
you pull the drapes for
privacy, it is steaming hot.
The dispensary, apart
from being on the top
floor, is also tiny and
easily congested. But,
then, there are only four
beds and some women
have to be turned away
because of a lack of
There is no provision
for continuous casualty
treatment because there
are no doctors available.
The Minister of Health did

promise this facility when
the centre was ,opened.
And what did this
disaster cost? A whopping
$4 million.
So that the Government
can always claim as it
does in so many other
areas that the cost of
such centres is prohibi-
tive and that's why they
are so scarce and so
badly equipped. Oh yes?


In fact, medical experts
point out that for the
same amount of money
the Government could
have built a compact 15-
20 bed hospital at Rio
Claro to cater for short-
term patients, especially
in view of the overcrowded
facilities at the Port-of-
Spain and San Fernando
General Hospitals.

One of Tapia's manifesto proposals is to upgrade Scarborough and other hospitals tothe level of
teaching hospitals. of the UWI Medical Faculty.

The existing centre-
doesn't even have provi-
sion for attendants. And
nurses are hardly attracted
to working there since it
means working under the
worst imaginable condi-
tions any maternity centre
can have.
The Ministry of Health
has failed miserably in its
attempts to organise a
proper home delivery
programme or to provide
post-natal care.
For example, there is
no resident nurse in Biche.
Public health nursing in
the area is therefore nil.
A Government with
any compassion for its
people would of course
never operate in this way.
The women of the
country know this better
than anybody else because
it is at these so-called
maternity centres that
they come face to face
with the callous disregard
the Government persist-
ently demonstrates to-
wards the people. .
,It is one thing to go
around the country open-
ing up these nicely painted
concrete structures and
telling people health is
now in better shape.
It is something entirely
different to care enough
about the people to put
down health centres that
are designed not to win
votes but to improve the
quality of life of the


he old

"The Prime Minister
himself has publicly called
for the inclusion of young
people on an adequate
scale to participate in the
Parliamentary process. It
is a matter of regret that
so little attention has
been paid to this exhorta-
tion. ..
August 29, 1976.

"Either the nominees
remain and you get a
more appropriate political
leader or the political
leader remains and you
get more appropriate can-
didates for whom no
apology need be made..."
Williams to PNM General
Council, May 23, 1976
WILLIAMS' call for
young blood and female
energy in the PNM has
come to nought. But the
PNM leader isn't quitting.
He's going to take largely
the same team he cut up
last May 23 to the polls.
And when he loses, he's
going to say "see what
I told you."

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

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

|~ 1.... 1^^L




SpN 0





outside the Tapia House
on St. Vincent Street; all
over Tunapuna; in Santa
Cruz and sundry areas of
north Trinidad, the green
and gold Tapia posters
promising "New Politics"
are being plastered over
with ULF and DAC
-The meaning is clear:
stop Tapia at all cost.
And in this endeavour
the ULF and the DAC
for once find common
ground with the PNM.
It is not paranoia which
makes many Tapia people
feel themselves the victims
of undue harassment by
political foes all over the


In the St. Anns con-
stituency where Tapia's
Ivan Laughlin has been
battlingagainst a cainpaign
of unprecedented vicious -
ness being run'by Minister.
of Education George
Chambers, a key Tapia
cadre was recently fifed
from his job on the
Special Works.
Chambers has been little
bothered to disguise the
use of state patronage to
create art army of "sup-
porters" or, if that can't
work, to intimidate people
against coming out for the
opposition, Tapia.
Another cadre, appear-
irig for work on the Special
Works project wearing a
Tapia jersey, was ordered
to take it off forthwith.
All over areas like
northern San Juan, Laven-
tille Road, Quarry Road,
Petit Bourg, Maracas St.
Joseph that comprise the
far-spreading St. Anns
constituency, the most
virulent PNM cadres are
drawn from the ranks of
Special Works.
"Laughlin will give all

yuh wuk?" was the
menacing taunt "blasted"
from a PNM loudspeaker
car which followed the
Tapia caravan in northern
San Juan last Saturday.
The interference was
constant and systematic.
When the man-woman
PNM crew could find
nothing to say- to disrupt
an ongoing Tapia meeting,
they played music on
their loudspeakers.
Other times they urged
the people not to listen to
Tapia, not to come out to
attend the "spot meetings".
The Tapia team of 40
or so that swept into the

Laughlin they taking big
men to make boys

Yaxie Joseph hell and
high water in Laventille

SUNDAY SEPTEMbrt: 5. 1976

area last Saturday morn-
ing was prepared for that,
Teams of cadres fanned
through the backyards and
the hillsides, distributing
manifestoes and other
literature and talking to
the people in their homes.
And it immediately
became clear that, once
they didn't have to
identify openly and put
their jobs in jeopardy,
people were at least willing
to listen and in many
cases were disposed to
support Tapia's "new
politics" and programme
for national reconstruc-
"Talk about corruption
in the Special Works-
but don't sav I say," one
youth whispered to a


There was much obvious
quiet resentment of the
PNM stranglehold on poli-
tical expression in the
area based on their control
of Special Works employ-
Several weeks ago Ivan
Laughlin had noted the
opening up of new Special
Works projects in the area,
coinciding with the elec-
tion campaign.
Chambers, the PNM
candidate, identified with -
the creation of Special
Works jobs in an area
where, of course, un-
employment is rampant.
"The Government is
taking big men and making
them into boys," Laughlin
charged at Independence
Square on August 11.
Noting that "project
work" was the only kind
of employment the gov-
ernment was offering to
the mass of the people,
Laughlin added: "To get a
job on the project you
have to have a godfather."


Strutting in his role of
The Godfather last week
Wednesday evening in
Quarry Road, Chambers
was personally approached
by Tapiaman Jerry Pierre
who with Ernest Massiah
had been advertising a
meeting by loudspeaker
Pierre demanded of
Chambers that he call off
his team of henchmen who
had followed around the-
Tapia car heckling and
yelling threats.
Chambers reportedly
muttered something in
apology as he, heard
Pierre insist on Tapia's
right to organise politic-
ally free from the organ-
ised interference under-
taken on the PNM's
behalf by key foremen
etc. in the area Special
Works projects.
Chambers must also
reflect that the PNM

Pierre .

strategy of harassment
could well be counter-
productive as it focused
attention Tapia as the
force to be feared in this
That Tapia is seen in
this light is borne out by
the several attacks on the
Movement coming from.
PNM and ULF political
platforms recently.
One remark whose
idiocy is only credible in
that it was attributed to
Hector McLean is that
Tapia was urging people
to build tapia houses at a
time when the government
had already taken over
the cement factory.
Other reports provide
nothing to laugh about,
however. A campaign
meeting at the Port-of-
Spain centre last week

heard -that the man whd
had been renting his public
address system ;to Angela
Cropper had been
threatened by a carful of
men one of whom carried
a shotgun.
It was not Ms. Cropper's
first brush with the threat
or the reality of political
violence in this election
On the night of August
14 she was on hand to
drive to the hospital one
of the cadres of Bhoen-
dradatt Tewarie's St.
Augustine constituency
who sustained a busshead
after resisting a demand
that he take off his Tapia
The meeting last week
also heard a report from
Neville Maynard, cam-
paign manager for Yaxee
Joseph in Laventille, that
some "God people have
been paid to mash up
Tapia meetings."
Maynard, Yaxee Joseph
and other Laventille.
cadres remained staunchly
unconvinced by the religi-
ous bona fides of what
.they called "God people"
who had oni more than
one occasion started
"prayer meetings" as a
rival attraction to nearby
Tapia political meetings.
"It's going to be hell
and high water in the last
week of the campaign,"
Maynard predicted. "Some-
thing dread I sense it
coming. They feel we




We've got what you
nlPed at minimum oost,






,dence 19.76






A REVIEW of JOURNEY a volume of
poetry by Trinidadian Raoul Pantin and
VOCATION a volume of poetry by
St. Lucian Robert Lee. Reviewer: Victor
D. Questel.

DAILY one has to resist the paradoxes and
pressures that threaten to drown one's efforts
in this Republic. Paradoxically genuine recog-
nition of talent usually comes too late, while
popular recognition comes too early. There-
fore the writer finds himself in a literary
free-for-all where a few poems, a one-act
play, some short-stories, two reviews and
some lesser known and occasional efforts
could easily earn _him the titles of poet,
playwright, short-story writer, photographer,
critic and director.


Given -this situation that is further con-
fused by the tendency to mistake critical
expression for malice and absence of criticism
for indifference, one is' never certain if it
makes any sense to talk at all. One is asked
to write a review of a -production or a book
of poems and in the same breath the requester
tells one to write a "good" review, by which
he or she means not a balanced review or a
fair review, but a collection of positive
affirmations bordering on flattery. If one
wishes to make the cocktail-party circuit then
one must simply wink one's eyes at the several
inadequacies, write a non-review, say "cheers",
and everyone is happy de place was always
a Republic.


You have two choices, ban' yer jaw or
ban Caliban. But Caliban- writing, danci*i#.
acting and shooting pool. Daily one comes
across new first volumes of poetry, murmurings
of all kinds. One simply has to account for
this continuous compulsion to write and to
publish, to edit and to found new magazines.'
There is no significant financial return, most
times the writer does not break even, the
magazines are always "in the red".


To say we have a tradition of writing
and a love for words is not enough. These
writers influence no one, because few of the
booklets sell, when they do it is because they
are purchased by the converted.
One can therefore conclude that the
urge' behind the need to write and publish is

similar to the one that motivates the "kings"
of our Carnival the momentary satisfaction
of self-expression and the triumph of display.
The triumph of display seems to be the be-all
and the end-all of the literary efforts swamp-
ing the bookstores. How else can one explain
the efforts of SEARCH for example?
The triumph of display is only concerned
with the finished product, not the careful
work and detailed study that should precede
it. What I am getting at is that the majority
of these volumes of poetry and small maga-
zines reflect a total disregard for standards
and simply present their existence in the face
of the chaos as their own justification and
defence. They are riddled with proof-reading
errors and all the other ensuing errors of haste.
They show no development over a period of
time, while the poets don't seem to be
familiar with the efforts of the major poets
of the area, and are therefore writing in a
vacuum, not concerned with placing them-
selves within the established tradition of
poetry that exists. But then again they are
on the book shelves of the leading book
stores, and the triumph of display attained.


Recently Raoul Pantin published his
first volume of poetry Journey. Journey
designed and produced by Repro graphic
Consultants is poorly laid out -- too many
blanks assault the reader's eyes, pointing him
to the blank in the poet's brain, the plague
that hounds even the best of poet's. On the
cover the poet stares steadily back at the
reader -- another triumph of display.
But Pantin's Journey is interesting and
important. Pantin is a journalist who has by
a collusion of circumstances written a film
script, and who is writing reviews of books and
drama productions. He reads, he owns,
"nothing but books". So one goes to Journey
expecting some insight into the man's personal
pilgrimage from press man to poet, from
reporter to reviewer, only to he 'tol that:

Where, you ask, this journey
It ain' matter. (p.4)

Open shut case; that is the newv Republic's
newest poet speaking and "It ail' matter".-
In this society where the political leadership
has failed to chart a meaningful course for
the people, where the politician's journey is,

going nowhere, the explorations of the artists
are important, where their journey leads is all
that matters now. Pantin's mask slips off very
early in his journey.
Some of the poems work, by which I
mean they ring true, others are false. It is
difficult to lie in poetry and when the idea or
the experience eludes the poet he should not
let the public see the result, especially if the
public has to pay to see it. Pantin at times was
not sufficiently severe on himself. Thus poems
such as On the road, Fragments 1, Fragment
II, Burning Spear, Lover, Woman, Saturday
Night and Dreams all fail.


Pantin's Journey is ambitious. The poet
is really trying to straddle two worlds,"the
urban and the rural, as well as our two seasons
which he expands to embrace and express
failure and the renewal of effort. Thus Pantin
begins with a meaningful theme which he
explores fairly successfully at times: when he
fails it is because he settles for banal state-
ment, because he tells us rather than shows
us. Hence, one tends to distrust lines such as
"I rage, I rage at strange/thieves/who took
them by ship at night/stolen from their land."
(p.30). The rage has to be there beneath the
lines, working along with the poet's concern
for craft, not as an intruding declaration.
Declaration only works when the poet's voice
becomes very sure of itself after speaking
volumes. Then the voice selects the right
words, and the poems appear deceptively
simple while reflecting maturity, restraint and
depth, a range of moods and tones held
together by a vision shaped, as well as earned
by a careful response to living. :is happens in
Walcott's superbly sub;ime Sea Grapes.
At times Pantin's collect ion reflects his
enthusiasm for the poetry o Wailcott and
Brathwaite, and I think A.I.. L I ndricks of
These Green Islands is tHhere a well. I am a
bit surprised that Pantin thought it wise to
omit his early effort Shadowman published
in Tapia Vol. 4 No. 10. SundaLy Miarch 10th,
1974. A careful editing of that poem would
have added a usel'ul dlimeils:on, 0o I irst col-
lection. Anyway, the title pewi en is very
confidently with the lines
Pi odigal
collic to this fo l lnihinlg sight
soaked in hel colouts
retllecling hei pools o re',llent liht. (p.5)

Victor D. Questel

C I I -L1-~ '1 C---P'---.~- L-Y1-L ~I-~-~BLI~IL~YbS

PC ~bl ILicllr ~I~-_~- '.ll~pab~llrprr~pbeb~e~ab




itic s

They say you fled the terror
you ran away from the Emergency,
and like the celebrated slave
you claimed your master's birthright to be free
in Mansfield's country.

But I know better:
you sought bur amnesty
and to alert the world of our detention.
This then is my contention:
We are too old in struggle to succumb
to the seductions of the temptress power
whose art, let me repeat one decade later,
makes friends oppose one another.

Look it the roll of honour
the glory does not reflect the power
absent are names of those who struggled much
more than the stalwarts mentioned in despatches.

Let me recall some names lest we forget
Ruthven Baptiste, Massiah, Emmet Haynes.
They have not spoken much, or written
but onr the sidewalk could be seen
waving our pamphlets in the face of danger.

I'd rather bleed, trampled upon like poui
by hooves of centaurs claiming to be men
than blossom in the stifling air of greed,
this sickening smell of filth,
with headless worms wriggling in the slime
for a brief option to surmount the top;
who cannot see beyond the poisonous pit
of human waste that we call politics.

Syl Lowhar


Azul azul
a rain season sky
every single root
regreening, and I
like this outcrop
of rock
an estuary
coppered by wind,
ocean, river, rain
a chiselling
a passage
of days disguised "
even from the eyes
of close friends
so that we may see
again love unfolding
as slow
as a breaking wave spreads
a smile widening the length
of this green bay, lit
silver by night
as in a Fiesta dawn
the first tendril
dilates, laughing
to embrace its sun.

Raoul Pantin

If the land is always arid and defeating, the
,sun can at the same time shock and liberate
the poet into a confident reality of commit-
ment. Pantin says:-

unfettered I am
walking towards this now
clarified place; in
to this sudden flame red
sun clowning the day
I am striding to the
rhythm of my black
shadow cast across this
land. (p.6)

Significantly, if the land impresses the poet's
devotion to coming to terms with it, the sea
sharpens the poet's vision. As he says:-

That green depth suddenly
startles me into clarity. (p.7)

The poem Pilar has a tone and flow that I
like, while it gives us an insight into the poet's
concept of himself.

I gave you nothing but a name
a wild, imaginary vision; the
straddling of three continents.
The fulfilment of my tribe. (p.9)


Pantin the poet straddling three continents
naturally has an ambiguous response to the
1970 revolutions as the poems On the road
and A 1970 Letter reveal. You can't make the
march over "St. Barb's, up/and down that
hill steep as a plane/descending on Port-of-
Spain spread/like a white concrete settlement
below/"and reject the easy tag of "Brother"
as is done in On the Road, since they are the
two sides of the same coin.
Pantin in his exploration of his theme
of journey from the urban to the rural, from
the air-conditioned office to "his green cave
buried deep in the giant forest", expresses his
contempt for "the monster" which is really
the political chaos, the pointless lime, the
pretence, palaver and hypocrisy of the urban
jungle. So the poet returns to the promise of
the future as he travels again from "yesterday's
- tumult" to "'today's reaffirmation."


The attempt by Pantin to see history in
the landscape is a very significant one. This
effort works best in the last few lines of the
poem Blanchiseusse (sic), where after a rather
hackneyed response to slavery and a lame
attempt to define the experience the poet
moves away from hollow statement to a
tighter presentation as he sees the caves.-as
"broken mouths silenced. their screams. .
disfigured stills of agony." (p. 17)
East Coast has large sections that are
successful in terms. of maintained tone and
sustained meaning. He says: -

Distance must slowly relieve the nightmare
of too many lives wasted through haste.
Those seagulls carooming above us
are not fixed always in their erratic pace.
Let those years sink their differences here
on this sprawling, desolate shore. (p. 18)

Incidentally, although July to July is not
satisfactory in the manner in which the idea
of many cycles is stated, there is no need to
repeat it in the lesser poem, Dry Season.
It is in Ice Age that the poet returns to.
his main theme, the corroding of values as the
process of industrialization eats into our lives,
as concrete covers more and more of the
"green" island. Yet as in Exile, the poet sees
his efforts and the efforts of others in this


society as "unnamed tafl grass" that is strug-
gling "through concrete refusing to die". But
if the solution lies in sitting still and creating,
that is not an easy process, as the poem Your
Own demonstrates. It is not easy if only
because there is always "the shiver-of knives
in your back", and one's wrists that "will
twist the wreck".


So another poet has begun his journey,
aware -of the drought but also alive to the
need for commitment and renewal. What
Pantin needs now that he has taken both his
past and his future into his own hands and
published, is to place people in his poems.
Judging from BIM and his enthusiasm for
drama, it should not be that difficult for him
to explore his journey and make it matter,
make it lead somewhere, in addition to the
Pantin's movement from bewilderment
to statement is important and will be even
more so if he continues to work with a
tighter control over his wrist, and make a
greater attempt to get beneath the surface,
especially now that he has staked out his
A necessary companion collection to
Pantin's Journey is Robert Lee's Vocation
published early last year by the U.W.I. Extra

Mural Department of St. Lucia. Both poets
.are saying the same thing. They are defining
the areas they intend to explore later on, they
are reading the major poets of the area and
they are very conscious of the fact that they
are. now beginning.

Lee has always shown a serious concern
with shaping his work and his Vocation is a
declaration that his life's work is writing
poetry. The cover design is annoyingly literal
and supported by a detailed definition just in
case we missed the heavy symbolism. The "Pro-
logue to the poet" should not have been there
at all. It explains \and tells us too much. The
reader must be left to see the transition and
development in the work rather than be told
that it is relentlessly there. The same comment
can be said about influences.


Lee fails in just the same areas that Pantin
fails the short poems that try to capture a
moment or to define a position or an experi-
ence. For me the personal poem, the one in
which the "I" in the poem is the poet's only
works if the poem reflects sufficient pain or
tension or joy that somehow moves b, yond
the poet's enthusiasm and embraces a mood
that throws light on the reader's experience..
To put it differently, in such a poem the
poet's voice should be existential rather than
histrionic. It is Lee's failure to do this in
poems such as Sunset, Moments and Like

Faces Caught (all very similar to Pantin's
Dreams, Woman and Lover.)-
Once the poet finds an object that he
can hang his feelings on and use it to explore
a moment, then we see Lee's potential as a
serious poet. This happens in the poem Drift-
wood. There the poet examines the tendency
of the youth of the Caribbean to emigrate.

A sunset later it was gone, leaving
Us strangely lost.
And we thought how much alike
We were.
How many beaches would be tried
Before we found our own ...

We could not look each other in the eye
for we had seen our own driftwood. We saw
how like it, we'd always seek some other shore.

Lee, a St. Lucian and a director of a theatre
company there, 'like Pantin, is very concerned
about the effects of advancing industrialization
and tourism. Lee's Skeet's Bay, Barbados
explores this growingphenomenon very well.

Off where sea-egg shells and fishermen
Now lie with unconcern. Naked children
And their sticks flush crabs from out
their holes

And a bare legged girl, dress in wet folds
wades slow towards a waning sun.

the children and their crabs
,Would leave; a better world would" banish
Them to imitation coconut trays. (p.7)

Return. .'. is easily one of the stronger
poems in the collection, the tone is measured
and sure, the influence of Brathwaite tailored
to his Doem's mood. Kite is as tight as any
hawk's circle. It is a mark of promise that
Lee's devotion to craft is going to fulfill.
The poems of the city and of St. Lucia
itself are all poems that will endure. I am
thinking of Fragments To a Return and Lusca.,

The city folds about me confidently.. the pot-
holes find my feet
with certainty.
... old twists and turns nod heads
and in the same place
at the same time
same faces come
And sure, in their old haunts I see the fears,
liming still the comers
of my averted eyes ... (Fragments To A Return
... p.26)
The Poem ends with the same control. Lusca
is not only a carefully written poem about
the city and the need for the strength and
direction of country life with its folk-lore, but

a poem that is also about the conflict between
industrialization and the struggling nascent
culture, as well as about the poet's growth and
his detennination to remain in St. Lucia.
Lusca must make its way into all major.
Caribbean anthologies. The poem begins:-

Caught in my private limbo, my
youth lost in a ravine somewhere
between town and suburb, between
strict aspiringfather, always poor,
and bitter burnt out mother, once not poor
I never knew anyone like you,
my Lusca. (p.32)

Then Lee makes his pact
conscience and craft. He says:

with country,

My plot of ground is dry and hard
as sidewalks are; at nights street lamps
block out the stars and hi-fi sets
replace the country violons;
and I must dig foundations deep,
plunge steel and concrete shafts into
this city's dirt, and hope for structures firm,
and spare, no space for flair or show,
each entrance, passage, exit, clear and marked,
each section storing much within a little space.

Lusca is Lee at his most precise.


There are enough signs in the poems
Kite, Fragments to a Return, Lusca, Return..
and Skeete's Bay, Barbados to make Lee's
declaration in Vocation the title poem a mean-
ingful one. It is a bit strange, though, to see
defining his devotion to craft in religious or
rather Roman Catholic terms, since the Church
in St. Lucia has always been easily incensed by
the efforts of the leading artists there, as the..
Walcott brothers can testify. Lee does not
seem to be saying that poetry or his art is now
his religion, but appears to be making a
broader link between art and religion. He
confesses that:-

And I
who share a common celibacy
that priests and, poets must endure,
search that purity of syllable
seeking truths you've found;
incensed with love, I make too
thht ritual of Word and Gesture,
wrists uplifted, fingers plucking
outward, scratching at this altar,
daring faith and hope, changing them
into some clarity. (p.36)

Lee's success in the poems Fragments to a
Return and Lusca, points out Pantin's failure
to bring to a logical conclusion his concern
with the tension between the urban and the
rural, the writer alone at his desk and the
communal life of the country folk, the blare
of the pop-music of the city and the gut
treng-ka-treng of thefolk music of the country.


The significant fact about both these
volumes, Journey and Vocation, is that they
reflect the serious attempts by poets to
balance the public and the private, their inner
silences and outward public gestures, rather
than trying to deal with either the public or
the private as is a tendency among some
young Caribbean poets. In Lee one sees an
attempt to use song and the St. Lucian patois,
while in Pantin there is a concern with the
landscape. In both men, the sense of commit-
ment and renewal is very strong, though either
sees his island's drought very steadily.
The new voices in the world of Caribbean
poetry are preoccupied by very similar ten-
sions in the islands, and now that two more
men have declared and outlined their deter-
mination to shape these tensions into poetry,
one looks forward to their next efforts which
will take up not only where they left off, but
will reflect a development of vision aid

"EMBER.5, 1976

The Di ap

as o n


Shackles and Drums,
Ether and Fire,
Fates and Furies.
Such is man that was,
This is Man that will be.
Dreams, words, .. reality,
The diapason resounding through the

Shackles: Not only bounds of slavery, but
an enslaved mind. Also refers to
untruth and ignorance.

Drums: Consciousness, the germ of a free

Furies: In the sense demoted by Athena:
humanee statute".

Cecil H. Sectahal



we ascend ..........
from within, the scum
stained walls
of this abyss
leaving the scrawled slogans
of blood thirsty revenge

we leave
sadly rechoing
the noisy carnival of butchers
and confusions
with a thorn entrenched in our
loving hearts....

while africa in-forced
reminiscence recollects the screams ,
our mothers uttered
as hebrew babes were
ushered in a time
titled the eleventh hour; in a
season dubbed the sixth day,
but seals are sealed,
as we propel onward
outward of this dungeon
of death
an' devastation .....

we sing songs, pure songs of
chosen few
we move

pushing onward
tearing away false barriers
in elite circumstances
as the voices that shouted
POWER!!!! drown themselves
in a turmoil or voiced opinions. ....

we arise, with the blood scrawled
foreign slogans, running, dripping
off the walls /
alike urine of a
stray-bitch on their city's pavement
mixing with the canal water
propelling, to the
outpost of the river mouth
and the sea .........

that leaves like
us, i mean as we ascend
from within the scum stained walls
off this abyss,
tears, wash
and purify'our dreams
an' aspirations
preparing us for a REAL LIBERATION!

Fitzroy Cook Jnr.


Tapia symbol is the Tapia
House and our candidate
for Tobago East is Miss
Eutrice Carrington from
Charlotteville. For Tobago
West, our candidate is Miss
A.P.T. James of Bon





7j.J7Bjjji E11P. LT.,

How i


none of





The PNM have to answer the responsibility for at
for 20 years of benign least 15 of those years.
neglect of Tobago. The Slowly but surely, Toba-
DAC will have inherited gonians are beginning' to

Now on stage

realise who should throw
the first stone. Meantime,
September 13 comes -up


party of progress'

Anita P.T. James

rich and fertile land,
carved by the courses of
many streams; beaches of
sparkling white sand, bring-
ing to a reality the
mythical fountain of
A people, creative,
original, proud yet dis-
Tobago knew about
representative government
before Trinidad, before
evenmost of the West
Indian.islands. Today?
The Administration is
inert. The Ministry of
Tobago Affairs on the
Main Street in Scarborough
is a possible death trap to
all those who risk climbing
the rickety stairs to relate
their problems to a reprP.A
sentative and an admin-
istration who are power-

less to do anything but
listen and wait with empty
begging. bowls for the
"charity" of Whitehall.
The cost of living is
soaring, way above Trini-
Probably the hurricane
also blew away the Gov-
ernment's agrarian reform
Or was it all just a
dream? The people, now
awakened, see estates of
ti-marie and nettles; lands
that are being used to
build hotels, golf courses
and two-by-four barrack
houses without room to
spit far less to grow a
kitchen garden.
Fishing is done on a
helter-skelter basis, with no
proper storage facilities.
Fertile fishing areas are
converted into public
beaches for the foreign

Thanks to them and the
Tourist Board, Tobago has
been shoved into the
jaws of prostitution, with
even men selling their
Most Tobagonians are
saying: "Twenty years is
enough. We want a change."
Yet there are people who
are being fooled by indivi-
duals who are not really
interested in the welfare
of the people of Tobago,
but who are only interest-
ed in occupying the throne
of the Little King.
But with Tapia there.
spirits are not daunted.
Tobagonians identify Tapia
with progress, a party that
really cares, whose absolute
ambition is to build a new
world in the Caribbean,
and land of and for the
little people of Trinidad,
Tobago and elsewhere.


approaches, the talk. in
Tobago is varied.
"This is the only opport-
unity for a Tobagonian to
become Prime Minister,"
of Trinidad and Tobago,"
some say..-
"The PNM can't win at
all," others say.
"Tapia move too late,"
yet others say.
When I travel through
the eastern and western
electoral districts of Tobago
I hear that "Robbie is the
They are saying that the
DAC is going to win. Why?
Because ANR says so.
The people of Tobago
East are totally ashamed
of their representative.
"The, man is a complete
fool," they. fume. "He
can't talk."
He for his part is asking
the people to give him
another chance because he
has only been there for
five years.
Not only are the people
disappointed in him, but
they feel that "the Move-
ment of '56" has failed
and therefore it must
What surprises me is
the fact that so many

people do not recognize
Robinson as part of the
"the '56 Movement".
Have they forgotten
that he had been their
representative for over 15
years? That he was Min-
ister of Finance, Minister
of External Affairs,
Deputy Prime Minister,
and acting Prime Minister
on several occasions?
The people of Tobago
have not wanted to face
the fact that he did nothing
for their island over all
this time.
They are slow to realise
that the situation in
Tobago did not develop
only during the last five
years but during the last
20 years.
Tobagonians are how-
ever impressed with the
Tapia team now working
in Tobago.
They like what the
Movement is saying, but
mutter "You have come
too late."
Some DAC cadres who
know better, however,
admit that they're not
sure which party will lose.
They are saying that in
Tobago things have a way
of turning out at the
eleventh hour. and it is
quite likely that Tobago
will swing its own way
come September 13.



Clothes made to order


Original Designs

Ann's Dressmaking 27 Belle Smythe St. Curepe

J.C Sealy


For the better type of book
I1 I Ri) I'I RI(K S I R I RI'-o( -SPAIN




playwright Eric Roach's
"Belle Fanto" is on at the
Little Carib Theatre in
White Street,Woodbrook,
this weekend, staged by
the Trinidad Theatre
Directed by o Albert
Lavedu, Belle Fanto's
leading players are Ermine
Wright (who recently won
applause for her role as
Virgie the vendor in
"0 Babylon"), Stanley
Marshall, Carole La
Chapelle, Claude Reid,
Ozilla Stewart and Jennifei
"Belle Fanto" is one of a sTa W N
number ofplays which the
Workshop is bringing to SEETA BROWN, 23, is the Tapia Candidate for JULIAN STANLEY (JAKE) has constantly protested
the Little Carib this year San Fernando West. She is a fourth year student at KENNY, the candidate for against such destructive
as part of a new theatre the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine St. Joseph, is Trinidad and policies as the useoof the
season introduced in Faculty of Natural Sciences. Tobago's leading authority Bird Sanctuary area by
Triridad and Tobago for Born in Cedros, Mrs. Brown grew up in Point on marine science. He has the Shell Barge and the
the first time. Fortin and San Fernando. She was educated at served on thd National rape of the Lady Young
It means, in effect, con- Naparima Girls High School and at lere High School Scientific Advisory Coun- hillside. He has made
stant theatre by the where she took her "A" Levels. cil and the Inter-Ministerial positive proposals for the
Workshop. Seeta is married to a chemical engineer Committee on Marine protection of Buccoo
Other plays expected employed in the public service, Mr. Joel Brown. Affairs. For nearly 10 Reef and for the use of
to be staged later this They have two children, the second only 5 months years he was the Chief our swamplands for the
year include a re-run of old. Fisheries Officer and Head planned cultivation of
that very popular piece, First drawn to Tapia when she entered the of the Ministry of Agricul- oysters and shellfish. Above
The Joker of Seville, and UWI in 1971/72,fSeeta later joined the party at the ture Fisheries Division. all, he has detailed propos-
"Ti-Jean and His Brothers". Foundation Assembly. She is a practised public Sinea 1963 Jake Kennv als for the development of
Dancers are now in speaker and sport is the main area of her interest has been teaching at the an organized and prosper-
rehearsal for the staging of in public affairs. UWI where he is now the ous fishing industry in this
the Workshop's first dance Professor of Zoology and country.
concert. Head of the Department
This kind of production of Biological Sciences. Apart from his work in
is a result of the multi- A man noted for his conservation and marine
disciplined approach that outspokenness and inde- science, Jake Kenny does
Workshop Director Walcott pendent views, Jake Kenny underwater photography,
has been developing with- has campaigned vigorously builds his own furniture
in the group which now for the preservation of our and cuatros guitars and
comprises actors and DENIM LONG SKIRTS environment against pollu- lutes. He is a parang
actresses who can sing and tion and destruction. He fanatic.
dance-aswell. PANTS- SUITS
In "Belle Fanto," for
example, Carole La TAN K-TOPS
Chapelle is appearing as a -E SrY/
lead actress, fresh from JERSEYS.
her work as choreographer
of the dance sequences in Our coverage of
"0 Babylon" and an
American production of LEONE'S BOUTIQUE THE REGION
Walcott's Dream on 11 IB Belmont Circular R'd. Belmont
sMonkeyMountain" earlier (Next to St. Francis Church) 62-42302 is unsurpassed anywhere




Fas ions

& Dance

Saturday Sept, 11 '76 7.30 p.m.
Tickets $10.00



for focus and point.

Keep abreast of the
real currents in the

Caribbean Sea.
OWING to the recent increase in the postal
rates, the Tapia House Publishing Co., Ltd., has
found it necessary to increase the subscription
rates for TAPIA.
The new rates are as follows:

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


$18.00 per year

Surface rates and rates for other countries on
request The new rates are effective February 1, 1976.
Tapia, 82, St Vincent St Tunapuna, Trinidad &
Tobago, W.I. Telephone 662-5126. & 62-25241.


Bar -B-Q,

_ L_ ___













But to listen to Williams is to realise
that the PNM Government has no other
successes by which to measure its years in
office. The Prime Minister could say with
venomous sarcasm that people prefer to
read "pornography rather than manifestoes".
But the fault is really with his government
not thatit made the former easier to
come by, but it failed to set the proper
-standards- and to encourage a public taste
for serious thinking;
The truth is, even as it condemned the
carnival mentality of Trinidadians and
Tobagonians, it chose to exploit this weak-
ness and folly and to store its gains by its
understanding of it.
And yet, the government can express
shock at the depressed state of affairs in
the country. For instance, Minister of Public
Utilities, Sham Mohammed, complained
vigorously to a meeting of statutory boards
that despite the large amount of money
provided for improving essential services,
protests from the public have increased
rather than decreased.
And, in another instance, brother
Minister 'of Health, and Local Government,
Kamaluddin Mohammed, angrily ordered an.
urgent investigatio- into the low level of
production among county council workers.
His own feelings seemed to be, though, that
councillors were not carrying out their
responsibilities and were sitting on mdney
provided for infrastructural development.
It is not possible, however, to scorn
these people; whatever has been poisoning'
the country from election to election has
affected all areas of political life.
The -situation, the public- sees, is no
better in the San Fernando borough where
grave-diggers threatened to take industrial
action if overgrown bushes in the Paradise
and Broadway cemeteries were not cutlassed.
Later, the Borough discovered that it would
take 41 men all of two weeks to cut one
cemetery at a cost of $9,400 but only

$5,000 had been allocated for the clearing of-
the two cemeteries. And the Borough was
having other difficulties: work on the public
toilets near the Chancery Lane car-park had
stopped because funds had been exhausted.
Port-of-Spain even was not without its
own share of horrors. On the "docks, the
Central Marketing Authority had finally to
dump 1,600,000 lbs of rotting potatoes which
the Public Health Department had confirmed,
after a visit by housewives and after a strike
by dockworkers, were "unfit for human
After a fire which took the life of
seven-year-old Joy Procope, the country
learned that the Fire Services were operating
with outdated appliances and without rescue
Two doctors working with the Insect
Vector Control Division of the Ministry of
Health pointed ominously to the alarming
increase of positive cases of aedes aegypti in
the country: 9,772 in the first nine months
of 1975 as compared with 2,739 in 1972.
According to Drs. A.D. Santiago and Miles
Williams,' the generalised re-infestation of
,aedes aegypti in Trinidad was posing a
threat of a yellow fever outbreak in the
It has taken less to overthrow govern-
ments and, the age-old politician that he is,
Williams senses the necessity to provide the
population with suitable sacrifices.
The destruction of a few guilty ones,
he thinks, will re-instate him in the critical
eyes of the masses who are undecided still
about supporting his opponents. And so, he
pounces on WASA and on the irregularities
which the Auditor General has uncovered in
its 1974 accounts.
A special task force of 20 detectives is
immediately assigned to .investigate allega-
tions of improper distribution of truck-
borne supplies of water. And for a lagniappe,
he orders a probe into the Chaguaramas
Convention Centre -j on which $7,000,000

had been spent and another into pool-
rooms which have sprung up all over the
country. 0




Inevitably, though, many people view
all these inquiries only as an attempt by the
government, or, rather, by the Prime Minister,
to blur the public understanding. of the
failure of the government after 20 uninter-
rupted years in office.
It is impossible really not to recognize
now the attempts by Williams to shield his
ministers or to pass the buck. The Trinidad
and Tobago public, as he has said on many
occasions, is sophisticated and sees through
all his subterfuges and insinuations.
The fact, is, more and more people are
now aware that the political clout which the
Prime Minister uses in the government and
the party is responsible for the malaise and
the sense of defeat in the government and
the. country. Tactfully, this is the. criticism
which Sir Lindsay Ring, Lord Mayor of the
city of London, voiced to the Port-of-Spain
City Council when he said to councillors
that "political party interests should be
second to those of the municipality". Free-
dom of thought, freedom of vote without
lobbying, he -told Mayor Lakshmidatta
Shivaprasad, was still the best way. PNM
councillors, accustomed only to rubber-
stamping decisions made for them, must
have smarted in shame.


The resentment to Williams is clearly
not just from people who are opposed to his
government; unavoidably, other people who
have no political ambitions have *seethed
with rage against him and have not been as
tactful as the Lord Mayor. The Trinidad and
Tobago Chamber of Commerce, for example,
in 'a paid advertisement in the nation's
dailies, expressed concern over the reported
plan of Caribbean Health Ministers to
"increase foreign exchange savings by bulk
purchasing of drugs". Under the heading,
"onion shortages, potato shortages and rice
shortages", the Chamber wondered whether
the community would now be faced with
drug shortages.
Clearly, the Chamber, which represents
the country's' leading businessmen, is piqued
with the government and with the com-
munity which continues to acquiesce in a
kind of political stupor.
It had joined the Horticultural Society
earlier in the year to sponsor a programme
for beautifying the parks and squares in the
city. But in spite of prizes and cash awards,
it had reported mournfully that it had seen
no improvement in the conditions of the
parks and it was considering discontinuing
the competition in 1977.
One can go on and on, without attempt-
ing to senisationalise all these public griev-
ances. But one does so only at the risk of
appearing to have a personal spite against
the government, and I have no intention to
facilitate Williams with such an easy riposte.
The vigour with which he has pursued
the villains in WASA betrays that fiendish
talent of his to mesmerise PNM supporters
into seeing him as the victim and into accept-
ing always his version that he has been
wronged and that it is always others who
violate their trust.
He is invariably in the clear: the WASA
reports which he has received from his
special investigator, for instance, have been
turned over to the Attorney General, he
says. We can therefore expect that he has
washed himself clean by unmuddying the
waters of Valsayn. The messiah is still the
lamb of god.
Will it be another election victory?
Who knows? But there is an implacable
justice which awaits us all. Providence, it is
said, allows the evil to continue till the
measure is full, and then it exacts the
One day one day congotay.



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-Y 7 t l 1002
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