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KAMLA'S FINGER by Rae Samuel

posted 2 Jul 2012, 19:49 by Gerry Kangalee
Class struggle is constant, pitiless, remorseless, subtle today, overt tomorrow; but constant and consistent. That is why a banker turned finance minister can receive a golden handshake while workers in the state sector are given Kamla's 5% finger, right where it hurts the most.

Shamelessly, without a nuance of apology, former comrade Howai lamented the loss of earnings the decision to enter the Ministry would cost him, where he would at least start with a Prado and a housing allowance.

How many of us workers would love to take a pay cut that left us with a $10 million severance pay. And go moan about it in the media. It gets worse. Mr Howai did not have to be living on 2007 and 2008 wages in 2012. In fact the Board, observing good industrial relations practice, approved the payment within days of his appointment as a Minister. No protracted negotiations, no conciliation, no visits to the Industrial Court. Straight up good industrial relations practice…$10 million dollars worth.

And we cussin' Hindu Credit Union bosses and “$5 million check was left in the draw” Gita. Take your place in the line, Larry!

Which is clearly what brought Shaq to town. Who does not want to eat a food, drink a juice and belch after? No working class people can sit at that table. Yuh mad or wha’? For them, the morsels will be shared weekly, by Sissons AFTER the firm has closed down. Sissons, a la CEPEP, would have become a ghost employer. Try collecting from a jumbie.

But we don't have to worry. Sport is the panacea, the cure all, the quick fix. If only these poorly educated, adversely labelled and economically exploited communities would come to play basketball and take a "cokioko" from Shaq the East/West corridor would become Paradise Gardens. After all, Miami is a zone of peace where there are no racial vigilante killings. And Miami is in Shaq's home State. Guess crime plans do not begin at home right?

I imagine that Usain Bolt and Yohann Blake will now give Prime Minister Portia Simpson a “jockey back" around Tivoli Gardens. Oh SHAQ, WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT AGREE TO LIFT UP MARLENE MC DONALD! BELIEVE YOU ME THEY COULD NEVER PAY YOU ENOUGH TO DO THAT!

All of which will segue into the grand 50th anniversary gala. Even as senile Flying Squad members long for the days when they killed at will, under the grateful eye of the PNM regime. Left to them a statue of Randolph Burroughs would be erected next to Cipriani on Independence Square.

But I despair not, even as the finger seeks to go further. An old order is passing. Birth is a painful process. James Baldwin used to say the new order is kicking in the womb, waiting to be born, and we are about to discover what exceedingly clumsy midwives we are.

We, in our youth, foretold the passing of the post colonial arrangements. We analysed, criticised, dissected, postulated and resisted, and as our Jamaican cousins up North would say 'prophecy fulfill'

What are we going to do as the stiff finger probes? Just bawl ouch and look for a Senate seat?