If ah didn' say that mih country sweet, ah would be lying too bad!
I'd toyed with the idea of titling this post "July 11th - Lost Credibility Day", but could find no more than these two quite amusing stories that have me shaking my head and sighing to myself with deference to Tobago, "only in Trinidad, oui!"
"UNC/Alliance" (Express 1, Express 2)
First off was the news tonight that the "UNC/Alliance" has been formed, symbol to be determined but "which is not a complete departure from the UNC rising sun".
In a clear case of too many heads, the new accommodation's "leadership council" is to be composed of UNC Political Leader Basdeo Panday, YesTT's Stephen Cadiz, DPTT leader Steve Alvarez, NDC's Mike Simms, NAR leader Carson Charles, Leader of the Opposition in the House Kamla Persad-Bissessar with UNC Deputy Political Leader Jack Warner as convener and Stephen Cadiz as the deputy convener. According to the Guardian, a political leader is yet to be determined. When Panday does eventually step down/loses his seat/is jailed on re-trial/passes quietly from the political scene, the battle for the throne in the new 41-seat house will be more than interesting. Notably absent from the line-up though is the NDA leader Garvin Nicholas.
In response, political analyst John La Guerre indicated that the benefit to the UNC was less than marginal, and their sum chance of group's attaining any major success at the polls was still slim. According to him, the new parties have simply not gained any traction with the public. It would appear too that this may be a last attempt by the NAR to hold to both life and relevance.
Cadiz though, a man who has probably led the largest public march in Trinidad and Tobago's history, has the most to lose. After indicating long ago that his motives were not political, he has clearly shifted gears. Even if he had not made such a statement, entering an arrangement like this can do little to bolster his already flagging credibility.
In commenting on the accommodation though, Cadiz indicated that the door remains open to the COP for them to join and form a unified opposition to the PNM.
In quick response, COP leader Winston Dookeran said of the alliance, "it is carrying the joke to an extreme now."
Certainly, this will be the subject of much jesting in the House.
Danah Alleyne to get youth award (Express)
Poor Danah Alleyne seems to not be able to slip quietly off the public scene. In a Kimberly Castillo story in the Trinidad Express, Choc'late Allen's "100% Crime Free Youth Committee" had included the 15-year old in their list recipients for their "Youth Motivator Award".
Alleyne is included among five other young persons who will receive awards and monies for "being a source of inspiration and motivation to the nation". In response to the reporter's question as to why Alleyne, Allen responded that "she was the most courageous person for the first half of 2007".
Yes. She has to be quite courageous. After all, she left her parent's home under false pretence and attended a night club without their knowledge, but still went up on stage where she won a wining competition and then achieved international celebrity as a participant in Akon's adults-only stage show. Then, after apologising to her family and the public for her behaviour, new clips posted on the 'net purportedly show the young lady bumping and grinding suggestively in other night spots on later dates. It appears that she does indeed have a pair of brass ones.
According to a friend of mine, one has to wonder whether these children - Allen and her little committee - have any adults vetting and sanctioning their releases.
Alleyne's relatives are justifiably livid about the renewed attention. There has been further criticism that Allen's 10-member, all under-16 committee may be promoting double standards of behaviour for young people. (Behave bad. Get ketch. Get licks. Say sorry. Get a prize fo' bravely takin' de licks yuh get fo' wilfully doin' chupidness in de firs' place...)
At the end of the day, this decision casts horrid light in the face of Allen's earlier efforts to raise public awareness on social issues. It further devalues the awards that they also intend to present to deserving notables including sterling academic Veera Bhajan and youth cricketer Adrian Bharath.