I read with complete amazement the United National Congress’s latest spin on its refusal to support the Bail Amendment Bill in the Parliament recently.

The fact that this latest shift in the goal post came from Prakash Ramadhar, the COP/UNC MP for St Augustine, only served to compound the situation, as it reeked again of a man struggling to demonstrate his relevance to an Opposition Leader whose own credibility sank even lower with her attribution of this country’s success in managing the coronavirus to “weather conditions”.

Coming on the heels of Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s claim that the Opposition’s position was in defence of poor black boys, Mr Ramadhar will now have this nation believe that “the issue is far bigger than that, that is why we are now more concerned than before. It is that this present administration has shown itself, in some indirect way, supportive of dictators and tyrants in other jurisdictions. We do not wish to participate in that”.

What absolute poppycock. Mr Ramadhar’s not-so-veiled reference to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is tantamount to the Opposition clutching at straws, believing that once the bogeyman of Venezuela is raised, then all citizens will suspend rational thought.

There are some of us who earnestly believed the representatives of the Congress of the People (COP) would have raised the political bar of Opposition politics, but alas, the weight of UNC’s selfishness and myopia put paid to those hopes.

Both the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Police have made passionate pleas for the amendment to the legislation, demonstrating its efficacy when the same Opposition was in office during 2010-2015.

With a plethora of reasons, none able to withstand any serious scrutiny, the UNC has again demonstrated its penchant to shift the goal post any time it suits their fancy.

Unfortunately, this is yet another tangible demonstration of their well-worn strategy of refusing to support legislation that is identical to what they passed during their tenure, or ideas once touted by them as workable solutions to intractable problems.

The issue of the Caribbean Court of Justice as this country’s final court of appeal immediately springs to mind — supported when they were in power but rejected in Opposition, not as a result of questionable judicial competence, infrastructural readiness, or any other reason that would have made a modicum of sense, but ostensibly because of an alleged ethnic imbalance in composition of the court.

Hopefully, the constituents of St Augustine would be spared the embarrassment of having to adjudicate on their current MP’s tenure.

The question would then be, will Mr Ramadhar’s political corpse be the last nail in the coffin of the COP.

S Estrado

via e-mail


I hadn’t intended to write a word; my feelings were raw and I felt that everything I could possibly say had already been expressed. I had already begun writing about something else for this column, but I couldn’t do it. I didn’t feel that it was right to let my exhaustion with the ongoing brutality of humankind shunt me away from a principle I hold fast.

EARLIER this week, the Minister of Housing officiated at a ceremony organised by the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) in which 500 lucky would-be homeowners stood to benefit from a random television draw for the allocation of State housing. This was the expected end of the line for at least those persons, some of whom would have submitted applications since who knows how long ago.

I lived in Falcon Heights, Minnesota for most of the 18 years I resided and worked in the state, teaching at the University of Minnesota. I was offered the job there in 1990, and subsequently bought a house. Falcon Heights is a suburb that is equidistant from both Minneapolis and St Paul, the capital, about a ten-minute drive away from both cities. For most of my time there I was the only black person owning a home on my street, and indeed on adjoining streets.

To say that we live in difficult times is to minimise the challenges each and every one of us faces on a daily basis.

From viral pan­demics leading to broken economies which have given rise to a huge number of people struggling to feed their families.

A minority of social media users have voiced dismay that West Indians are fixated on opining about the injustice of George Floyd’s death due to police brutality.

Here in sweet Trinidad and Tobago, we have jumped on the bandwagon and stood up and expressed our diverse views on the ongoing racial tensions in the United States, but I ask us to step back and look at our country.