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FROM JACK WARNER TO JACK PALANCE by Burton Sankeralli

posted 27 Jun 2012, 23:13 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 27 Jun 2012, 23:19 ]
And so begins…or rather so it continues…

Yup, you may consider this an “I told you so” piece. But I must apologize, this is far too off-hand a way to go about this critical incident…

Let’s start over.

The Rights Action Group condemns in the strongest possible terms the destruction of the re-route camp by the agencies of the state allegedly under the direct supervision of the new minister of national security. And the arrest of Dr. Wayne Kublalsingh whose subsequent whereabouts for quite some time were unknown….

Does this sound all too vaguely familiar? Which regime is this? The Spanish? No. The British? No. The PNM? Oh no! ‘tis our very own PP!

As Lloyd Best may put it the arithmetic changes but the algebra of the plantation remains the same. But I must say the actual numbers this time around is banana republic stuff.

So I told you so: that we are the proud recipients of a shiny best fascism we can get. States of Emergency and all. We have gone from Jack Warner to Jack Palance.

Errr… Jack Palance? Remember him? Cowboy gunslinger from my father’s time? The youths might be at a loss.

Ahhh…Jack Palance. The epitome (correct Trinidadian pronunciation here with the “e” at the end silent)…the epitome of masculine strength virility and badjohnism; so ugly he ruggedly handsome; whose sole law is the gun.

From Jack to Jack. And there is Señor Palance leading his merry band in the pre-dawn hours (that allegedly included two other government Ministers) raiding a camp of dangerous revolting citizens…defending their homes.

According to a report the Palance man was there in person assisting in the dismantling of the structure and removing the stuff. “C..c..come officer help me move this fridge…”

First day on the wuk! The ink on his letter of appointment eh even dry! What more can we expect?

Well he has indicated a desire to re-introduce the flying squad. Oh yes you’re hearing correctly. Back in the 1990s I actually wrote a newspaper article titled “Return of the Flying Squad”. The context was once again the overseers. I’m sorry I mean the police doing what they do best: administering love and justice with their little sticks. Well they’re a lot better armed now.

So, I told you so.

A sanitized Flying Squad the Minister suggested because in spite of its many flaws the Flying Squad did good things. True: and the same can be said of the Gestapo.

But please remember that the origin of the Flying Squad lay in the liquidation of trouble makers like Guy Harewood (the very best of us) whose blood turned the river red. Did they actually carry the name “Flying Squad” as yet? This murderous arm of the then PNM regime. Anyhow the concept is the same.

But it’s not as if the re-incarnated Flying Squad will turn its guns on citizens defending themselves? Right? Errr… there was the incident at the re-route camp this morning… I forgot.

I suppose putting down troublemakers will remain their speciality. (Ten years from now I will tell you I told you so).

And here is the cruel dilemma. Because good citizens of all class and ethnic backgrounds do feel at the mercy of criminals. And they are looking to Minister Palance for protection. So what if a few innocent black boys get pass out in the process? What’s new?

And here’s the rub. Because the citizenry may honestly feel they have no choice as was evidenced by the apparent widespread support for the State of Emergency. And if we accept the present system as it is we do have no choice. (Or rather the only other choice is an even more interesting chaos.) We are left with the best fascism we can get.

So it’s this or we explore the radical alternative.

But is our notoriously apathetic population ready for this? In Marxist terminology the objective conditions are falling into place but are the masses (subjectively) ready to pound the pavement (or go to the mountains)?

I once heard a man say that when its back is to the wall even a mouse will roar. A cliché perhaps but clichés may very well be what we are left with. So let me share some more with you… from the philosophers…

Sartre – The reign of beasts have begun. Except it has been going on for a while and these are not beasts (too flattering a term I fear). No we are dealing with ideological degenerates seeking glory and/or a food. Just like the corrupt society they come from.

Arendt – The banality of evil. A lot closer but I prefer the word stupidity.

But here’s one I whole heartedly agree with from our own CLR James – Socialism or barbarism. And the longer I live and the more I see and hear the truer his words ring. Such is the choice that we are confronted with as a people. But before we can even begin to properly understand far more act upon it we have to grow up.

So I see a great deal more barbarism in our future. And from his socialist heaven in the sky I can hear a far better man than me shouting – I TOLD YOU SO!       

Burton Sankeralli
June 27, 2012
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