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posted 23 Sep 2018, 04:18 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 23 Sep 2018, 04:30 ]
“Yet when the masses turn (as turn they will one day) and try to end the tyranny of centuries, not only the tyrants but all ‘civilisation’ holds up its hands in horror and clamours for ‘order’ to be restored. If a revolution carries high overhead expenses, most of them it inherits from the greed of reactionaries and the cowardice of the so-called moderates.


The shock is slowly wearing off and is turning into anger and outrage. There is a groundswell that is saying THIS MUST NOT HAPPEN. The debates are still raging and that is a good thing. The propaganda blitz by GRowley and friends is beginning to fade. His narrative is no longer the only story in town.

The extent of the horror that is being perpetrated not only on the workers of Petrotrin, permanent, temporary, casual and contract, is beginning to dawn on even the most voluble “PNM till a dead.” It is becoming clearer and clearer that whole communities face devastation; that if we allow them to betray the interests of the country, while at the same time accusing people of being anti-patriotic, we are opening the road to anarchy and extreme violence.

This is not an incitement to revolt, but is recognition of the terrible truth that we cannot escape the fury. We could run; we could hide; but working people and the poor are under severe attack from international and domestic economic and political elites (the one percent) and there is a growing mood of resentment and a growing intent to resist.

It is called neo-liberalism and it proposes to transfer income from the pockets of working people into coffers of the bankers, huge transnational corporations, the greedy hands of colonial merchants posing as astute businessmen, avaricious, corrupt politicians and professional middle class elements who feed off the fat of the land and use the neo-colonial state as a feeding trough, siphoning off public funds and fixing themselves and their own.

That transfer is done through wage suppression, undermining of permanent work, retrenchment, downsizing of the public sector, widespread introduction of fixed term contracts, privatisation of state enterprises.

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The Smiling Assassin
Imagine Smiley Khan (the smiling assassin) had the brass to admit, in his own words, "the commanders of the commanding heights did not do a good job." Those who are charged with the trusteeship of the nation’s resources, roll around in our dough, do what the hell they want with public funds and the nation’s patrimony turn around and laugh in our faces and we allow them to get away with this gobar? So they screw up, but the workers and, by extension, working class communities must pay, while they blithely go on to loot and plunder the next project.

If you believe that the destruction of Petrotrin came about simply because of incompetence and corruption, then you should read this article by Sylvestre McLaren here. They say there were cost overruns, unexpected hitches that caused none of the projects to really come to fruition; billions of dollars supposedly going down the drain.

Well money doesn’t go down no drain, neither does it disappear into thin air. Money is not lost. Money ends up in the hands of international construction companies, politicians, bankers, favoured contractors, consultants, attorneys, top level managers, specialists of one kind or another, party financiers, friends and family. Billionaires were created because of the feeding frenzy over WGTL, the Gas Optimisation Project and the Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel project. Meanwhile, those in positions to do so steered contracts toward particular companies, falsified data and covered up outright theft.

The OWTU will do what it perceives it has to do or should I say the leadership of the OWTU will. But this looming social conflict has long
Image result for owtu gone past the trade unions. It raises the quintessential political question. By political I do not mean the insipid charade that passes for party politics, but rather a question of power; a question of who can best deploy their strengths on the ground to advance, protect or defend their class interests.

The ruling elites understand this clearly and have taken and are taking measures to ensure that they force the indentured servants; the chattel slaves back to the plantation. They have launched a sustained attack on the trade unions and on the laws that give workers the minimal protections they enjoy. Now they have broadened the attack on the very ability of working and poor people to maintain a civilised quality of life.

It is no co-incidence that Stuart Young is now Minister of National Security and Inspector Gadget is now Police Commissioner. After all: law and order must prevail ent? History tells us that the police in T&T were not established to solve crimes (that is obvious) but rather to keep law and order, meaning they are there to ensure that you stay in your place and do not dare to threaten the interests of those who oppress you.

It is ironic isn’t it...the very people who Sparrow sarcastically called “Good Citizens” the architects of economic slavery, those who stand before the bar of public opinion accused of graft, corruption, tax evasion, money laundering and trafficking in all manner of contraband; those who “make a mockery of the law and have the law protect them same time.” These are the first to call for law and order and support armoured personnel carriers crushing the cockroaches.

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Allyson West
Taking us for fools, Allyson West, Minister in the Ministry of Finance says better days are ahead. “We have been able to demonstrate that there has been a turnaround. The problem is the trickle down to everybody in the economy. It takes longer de­pend­ing on where you are.” Wow! There has been an economic turnaround, but unlike the earthquake nobody felt it.

Trickle down, she says, mouthing an old discredited economic theory that devastated England under Thatcher and started the ongoing and largely successful assault on US unions by Reagan. Trickle down? No! a flood of pressure that if not diverted could prove to be a game changer in the way citizens of this country make their living, how we live and how we die, how educated we are and how healthy.

“West said Gov­ern­ment rolling out more projects will help ease the bur­den on those who are most af­fect­ed by the eco­nom­ic down­turn. But she ad­mit­ted that the sentiment on the ground is that peo­ple had con­cerns.

“But if they look at the record they will see that apart from the Petrotrin mat­ter we have not laid off thou­sands of peo­ple and we ex­plained why the Petrotrin de­ci­sion was nec­es­sary.”

 Hmm! Apart from the Petrotrin “matter” The retrenchment of close to 9,000 workers and the devastation of diverse communities is a minor matter. Anyhow we “explained” why the decision was “necessary.” All yuh just like bacchanal, we must move on. We already explained that all yuh had to be scapegoats for the massive looting and plunder of public funds. Isn’t that what government is about anyway? Peter pay for Paul and the worker pay for the capitalist crisis!

Asked if T&T will see better days ahead, West said “Oh, most def­i­nite­ly…and I think that in 2019 peo­ple who have not be­gun to feel it yet, will feel it. We have had busi­ness­es be­gin to say, yes, we are see­ing some pos­i­tive im­pacts.” That is the rubbish you speak when you try to turn reality on its head. She started to sound like McLeod: What you think you are feeling is not what you are really feeling…! Up is down and black is white!

A superhuman effort must be made: pressure to force these charlatans to step back must be applied in any and all ways that are available. Let us hold discussions as to what tactics may be used to stop this madness in our homes, in our community groups, our sports clubs, our classrooms, our unions, what is left of our political parties.

Let us network with all whose interests are adversely affected by this betrayal of the people. Let the union leaderships take a good long hard look at themselves and decide if they are on the side of the masses or are only concerned with personal interests. Let the small and medium business peoples associations in Gasparillo, Couva, Penal, Debe, Barrackpore, San Fernando and other areas seek common cause with the OWTU.

A perfect storm is brewing. You can see the lightning flashing white against the night sky and if you listen carefully hear the faint 
Image result for perfect stormrumblings of thunder growing louder and louder as the black clouds roll in overhead. 

It is not a matter of ignoring what is happening and hoping it will go away. It won’t! A tremendous social explosion is coming, jump high or jump low! T&T is on the cusp of a rearrangement of the economic, social and political arrangements we inherited from colonialism and which our best and our brightest refused to abandon.

Flammable material is lying all over the place. All it needs is a spark. The social explosion is coming. We must prepare for it. It will make the 1903 Water Riots, the 1919 General Strike, the 1937 anti-colonial revolt, the great fightback of the 1970’s, all look like a children’s party. The difference this time is that the forces of organised labour are weak; the government is insecure; the police are untrustworthy and there are mucho weapons on the streets. We are already living in one of the most violent societies on the face of the earth. Whatever forms the social explosion takes it is going to involve blood and sand.

The economic and political elites are using this crisis to advance their interests which are opposed to ours. We must ensure that we do not retreat in the face of these initial attacks. If we do not defend our turf now, we will be condemned to fight a long, rearguard action where we won’t have the initiative and where we will always be on the back foot.

Let us show these hustlers, these confidence tricksters, these servants of the one percent that the people ent taking dat so. Let no black skin white mask force us back onto the plantation. Let us defend and show practical solidarity with one another as we fight to stave off the barbarism they want to inflict on us in an effort to better serve their God of Capital.