I hasten to write in disbelief, having read the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (Tuco) will forbid calypsonians from singing a new calypso or adding a new verse if they make it to the finals.

Tuco is asking us to believe a new song might be “libellous” and could expose them to court action. What drivel, and exactly how low of an opinion do they have of our intelligence?

Ingenuity and creativity are hallmarks of every art-form, including calypso. Why would anyone want to prohibit additions, revisions or entirely new compositions to a calypso competition?

This is analogous to an art gallery stopping a painter from adding new works to his display, or asking Beethoven to ignore the inspiration to write a new symphony!

This episode is a vivid example of why Government largesse has destroyed so much of what we were once so proud of.

Tuco, if it were depending on crowd and sponsor support to pay its salaries and provide prize money, would encourage calypsonians to innovate and deviate for the finals. But Tuco, like Pan Trinbago and the NCC, need not care about gate receipts or public support—they have support from the treasury and, if the public goes to the beach instead of the Savannah, the same salary and bonus will still be paid.

The failure to create an entertainment product that appeals to the public is why the calypso tents are on life support, and why there were no young people in the Savannah for the pan semis.

It is sad to be a witness to all this decay of our once-great cultural attributes, and to see the empty Savannah on Carnival Monday and Tuesday.

The Carnival administration cannot solve the problem because they are the problem.

Easy money has ruined much of our greatness and has become our new colonial master. Were this not the case, why would Tuco want to prohibit lyrics that add excitement to its presentation?

I fully support Chalkdust, Sugar Aloes, Pink Panther and Skatie.

Tell Tuco to keep their money—you keep your honey and die with your dignity.

Bois for them.

Gregory Aboud

Port of Spain

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We are deeply disturbed by the Government’s incremental response to the COVID-19 pandemic which we fear runs the risk of delivering too little too late.

In time to come, when future generations write about us, about our behaviour during the great war against COVID-19, they may well resort to the Charles Dickens’ classic, A Tale of Two Cities, which was set in a tumultuous period in European and world history, 1775-1792.

When is an exemption to closed borders not an exemption after the borders are closed?

I will return to this riddle, but let me first note that the limited testing for COVID-19 has been expanded in obvious response to queries about its previous deficiencies.

I have been the severest critic of this administration for the past four-and-a-half years.

I have chastised them unrelentingly for their economic mismanagement that has taken the nation to the precipice, stranded in a fading energy sector and no new foreign revenue streams incubating; the national debt reaching an unsustainable $120 billion,

Just a few weeks ago it was possible for T&T’s Prime Minister, Dr Keith Rowley, to indicate in a major speech, that the Caribbean as whole had a potentially very bright future as a major western hemisphere oil and gas supplier. He had good reason for saying so.

In response to my column of three weeks ago, “Black Betrayal”, a critic attacked me in a slanderous manner.

Mercifully, the Express deleted the more vitriolic aspects of his original letter.