hopes for next year
is the country to fare in 2007 must be a question on the minds
of many as a year slips away.
I am always fascinated, in many ways unable to grasp/accept
this concept of time going by never to be retrieved. For instance,
that there will never be another 2006, that the moment you
started reading this column will never return.
I settle the confusion by saying that at least we will have
the memories and modern technology to recapture the physical
attributes of the times that have slipped away.
For purposes of convenience, civilisations have delineated
periods to mark time. Therefore at the end of a week, a month,
a year, a decade and so on, there arise expectation, anticipation,
gloom and doom as to the uncertainty about whats up
ahead. In reality, however, its a mere continuation
of the process of time, habits and the steady beat of lifes
But in attempting to make a case for the 12 months allotted
to marking 2007 being of great significance, we can look on
it in several ways that could make a difference to life here
in T&T, so here are a few random thoughts about
things in general, to borrow from Larry Heywood. If
youre not aware of who that was, ask someone else, but
please dont ask another child like yourself.
Carnival without the Grand Stand: no early morning rumbling
of sweet pan across the big stage; the winer girls must rue
not being able to play themselves for at least one more
time; bet your last dollar, though, they will find sweet
spots on the streets to do it.
But hear what, the middle class winers of today must know
that when they do their thing, say, on the Piccadilly Greens
or at George and Prince Streets in front Lucky Jordan Club,
with dice rolling upstairs, they are identifying with Gateway
Elaine, Marabunta Jean and the Jamette Society
of Old Port-of-Spain who preserved the mas from the ignorance
and cultural snobbery of colonial society.
But of course there is sure to be a whole set of bacchanal
before Carnival comes to a close. Them one-song calypsonians,
for instance, now have a chance to win the crown, while bards
like Chalkie with versatility on their side would be shouting
quacks and invalids in calypso.
Lets join together on the night in a demonstration of
love for tradition by going to the Big Yard and
lighting a candle before we hustle down to the Jean Pierre.
Anyhow, that Madam Minister not easy. Ah liken she to Mayfieldthe
greatest flag woman of all time, leading All Stars from Hell
Yard and when she reach by the corner and point she flag in
a southerly direction, she expect the band to follow. Ah hear
the pan boss say he and the panmen not going South for Panorama.
We go see who name man.
Next year is also ICC World Cup in the West Indies. Will Lara
and his men return pride to WI cricket? True, true West Indians
want to hope, but they frighten to expose their fragile self-esteem
to get mash-up again. But if we cannot be man and woman in
we own backyard, then we have to crawl for the rest of our
natural cricketing lives. Not easy this cricket business.
Incidentally, notice how the national is extended to the regional
frame in which T&Ts future slides into that of the
West Indies? Well, 2007 is also important for the Single Market
aspirations. If this economic co-operation being pursued for
40 years is not taken to another level in this year, then
the Single Economy project with the real possibility for harmonised
economic production will be pushed into the never, never land
The economic gurus have warned that the ten per cent inflation
rate is a dangerous threshold to stand on, other countries
having cascaded down the inflation precipiceor should
we make nonsense of the image by saying that we could ascend
into hell from ten per cent?
Establishment of a productive agricultural base. More productive
utilisation of the hundreds of millions now spent on social
welfare programmes, Cepep included, and in the process give
people an opportunity to acquire marketable skills and also
wean them away from dependency on political parties, could
be a few of the real hopes for 2007.
For the last few years, there has been threatening an evolution
of the political culture into one where political literacy
replaces vulgar and instinctive racial affiliation and or
unthinking devotion to which party meh father and mother
supported and being intent to remain there for the rest of
meh life, notwithstanding performance or lack of it,
capability or lack of it of the particular party.
Would it be pushing this very gentle evolution of a political
behaviour too far to hope for an advance in the process in
I was going to wish that perhaps the leaders of the political
parties would become more sophisticated and enlightened to
quicken the process, but that would be flying in the face
of logic and engaging in child-like optimism.
But who knows, one opposition party slammed the Government
for its incompetence but still did in the end what it thought
was in the interest of the population. So maybe 2007 may mark
off a year when insular and crippling partisan politics would
have been impacted upon.
The big one for 2007 is not simply that general and local
government elections are scheduled to be called, but that
there could evolve an approach to selection of political parties
to function in the Parliament and regional councils on the
basis of competence, track record, a set of proposals for
the future and a commitment by the electorate to not becoming
absentee landowners after the elections but staying on stage
to dictate the agenda.
What the hell, I figure if we are going to venture forward
with great aspirations and expectations, we may as well get
as ambitious as it is possible to be in politics. The point
is, as I have hinted at before, to wait for political parties
to effect such transformation would be to do a Spoiler, who
once optimistically tied-up a crocus bag hoping that Santa
would put a couple roast pig in dey for me.
Poor Spoiler, he got a police with a warrant to charge him
for child maintenance; we have to go out in 2007 and chase
down those squealing pigs to roast them over a warm fire.