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ARAB POWER? By Eugene Reynald

posted 28 Jun 2017, 08:23 by Gerry Kangalee
Some of you may not have seen the Report by Bourdain on his visit to T&T and may complain about the audacity of Bourdain to dare intrude and hold his mirror and light up to us. But what he has done what no local Journalist has been able to - and he has done it during a brief visit and without constitutional privilege, prejudice or vested interest (it was noteworthy that not a Politician was seen in what he presented).

He also would obviously have seen and learnt a lot more but he was intelligent enough to reference the negatives through locals, established facts and subtle inferences of his own raised largely as questions. Despite our supposed independence we always need someone from "outside" to tell us who we are and what we are doing wrong and even then we don't listen unless they are the IMF, IDB, the World Bank or Trump and then we only listen because we have to.

I was particularly surprised by comments coming out of the dinner Bourdain had with the Sabga Aboud family during which he was told that the Arab community in T&T was less than 5000 strong and were the "most powerful" ethnic group in the island.

I was not aware of this but I was aware of the fact that businesses owned by the Arab community turn over more than half of the annual budget of T&T.

Those facts coupled with others which we all know about should be a serious national security concern and if it isn't then we have to be much more concerned about those responsible for the national security affairs of the country and managing our patronage because all of these issues are about money earned from the patronage belonging to all citizens – despite arguments presented by Anthony Wilson and Terrence Farrell to suggest otherwise.

These matters will not be raised by those in the Office of the PM, Parliament, the Douglas Mendeses in the Law Association, the Press, the Presidential Office, Farrell and his Economic Advisory Board etc., so it is up to the "validating elites" to do so.

Today such an elite can only be found somewhere below the level of the middle class while in civilised countries they can be found in all strata of society, even among the aristocracy who get there by and large because of their service to the realm (country), not to a Political leader or Political Party.

If this elite remains silent as they are doing then the "civil commotion" that the Sabga Abouds mentioned at their dinner with Bourdain as their greatest fear, may very well become a reality and it will manifest along the fault lines of ethnicity that the widely travelled Bourdain himself acknowledges we have done better than most in managing as a society…to date.

There are lessons in his work for those who have eyes to see, ears to hear and the intelligence to understand and act on what they see and hear. But the latter is just a wish from a beggar...even though my experience has repeatedly confirmed to me that "if wishes were horses beggars would ride".